What is Salatan Tunjina supplication, its meaning and virtue? Why do some people turn their hands backwards when it is read? Is it a bid’ah or sunnah to read this supplication after every fard prayer?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

It is sunnah, not bid’ah, to say/read supplications (duas) after fard prayers.

As a matter of fact, the Prophet (pbuh) stated the following in a hadith reported by Abu Dawud, Nasai and Tirmidhi:

“When one of you performs a prayer, he should praise Allah, say salawat for the prayer and say any prayers/supplications he wishes after that.” (see Naylul-Awtar, 2/577)

Salatan Tunjina Supplication:

"Allahumma salli ala Sayyidina Muhammadin wa ala ali Sayyidina Muhammadin salatan tunjina biha min-jami'il-ahwali wal afat. Wa taqdi lana biha jamial hajat wa tutahhiruna biha min-jami’is-sayyiat wa tarfa'una biha indaka a'lad-darajat wa tuballighuna biha aqsal-ghayat min jami’il-khayrati fil-hayati wa ba'dal-mamat birahmatika Ya arhama'r-rahimin. Hasbunallahu wa ni'mal wakil, ni'mal mawla wa ni'man-nasir. Ghufranaka rabbana wa ilaykal-masir."

Its meaning:

"O Allah! Grant your blessings to our Master Muhammad and the family of our Master Muhammad, blessings with which we will be saved from all adverse conditions and misfortunes with which all our needs will be fulfilled with which we will be cleansed from all sins with which we will be raised to high spiritual ranks, and with which we may attain the best of all kinds of goodness in this life and in the hereafter. O the most merciful of the merciful! Allah is sufficient for us and the best to arrange all our affairs. He is the best Lord I can have and the best One to advise me, I am asking your forgiveness, O our Lord, and to Your presence we return.

We should state that the following part does not exist in some resources: "Hasbunallahu wa ni'mal wakil, ni'mal mawla wa ni'man-nasir. Ghufranaka rabbana wa ilaykal-masir." However, it is very useful to say that part too.

This supplication is of great importance and thawabs. It is hoped that a person who says this supplication regularly will be saved from troubles, protected from misfortunes and that his wishes will be realized and he will have ample sustenance.  

During a dua (supplication), the hands are held separately, the palms facing the sky. The palms of both hands are held open like the two scales of a balance at the level of the chest, awaiting the divine mercy to come from the sky. 

However, it is not contrary to the Sunnah to make the hands adjacent and hold them next to each other sometimes. The Messenger of Allah made dua in both ways. However, it is understood that he generally held his hands separate.

As a matter of fact, in Shafii madhhab, the hands are held backwards, the palms facing the ground, when the sentences that include fear are read but in Hanafis, the palms face the ground only in rain prayer, not in others.

Shafiis’ holding their hands backwards in duas in order to avoid misfortunes is based on some hadiths; it is sunnah. One of those hadiths is as follows:

“When the Prophet (pbuh) asked something to happen from Allah, he would make his palms face the sky. However, when he wanted to avoid something, he would make his palms face the ground.” (For the hadiths regarding the issue, see Musnad, Ahmad b. Hanbal IV/56; Majmauz-Zawaid, X/168; Jam’ul-Fawaid, II/618; al-Fathul-Kabir, II/357)

Therefore, those who hold their hands backwards act in accordance with those hadiths. Hanafis imitate Shafiis when they do so.

A memory regarding the issue:

Ibn Faqihani reports the following incident, which I will summarize, in his book called "Fajru Munir":

Abu Musa, who was a great saint, was on a ship in stormy weather. When the ship was about to sink in the stormy weather, he took refuge in the Prophet (pbuh) as follows:

O Messenger of Allah! Our ship is going to sink; so many innocent people on it are going to be drowned to death. Please show us a way of salvation!

Meanwhile, he heard the following: O Abu Musa! Read the supplication of Tunjina! That is, read the supplication that rescues, the supplication that rescues.

He said: O Messenger of Allah! What is the supplication of Tunjina? We do not know about it.

The Prophet (pbuh) read Salatan Tunjina, which is given above and which we read after prayers today. He told them to read it.

The passengers on the ship learned it from Abu Musa and read it altogether. The storm calmed and they landed safe and sound.

When the danger of enemy appeared in the borders of Muslims’ land, our soldiers would resist them with material weapons and the believers in the country would read this supplication that rescued due to the properties of that supplication. They expelled the enemy with spiritual weapons along with material weapons.

Zapsu, who wrote about the issue in the periodical called Ehl-i Sünnet made an offer and said, ‘We should not read Salatan Tunjina, which was demanded by the Presidency of Religious Affairs to be read in the mosque in order to prevent the danger of the enemy in the borders, any longer. The danger disappeared. If something like that happens again in the future – God forbid – what shall we read then? 

Badiuzzaman Said Nursi states the following for this supplication, which is included in "Dalailul-Khayrat" written by Dawud Efendi of Morocco: "A supplication that many great saints read and give importance to."

This supplication was written based on inspiration. We should not urge others to read it or not to read it. If a person reads it, he gets thawabs. If a person does not read it, he is not regarded to have committed a sin. I myself read it and find it appropriate. As it befits its name, it is a supplication that rescues.

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