Will you give information about Sakinah (tranquility) supplication? What is the wisdom behind its being read 19 times?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Sakinah Supplication consists of the beautiful names of Allah, all of which are mentioned in the Quran, and some verses of the Quran.

Sakinah lexically means peace of heart, feeling of satisfaction, trust, calm, tranquility, solemnity, etc. (Ibn Manzur, Lisanul-Arab, Beirut nd., XIII/213; Tajul-Arus, I/8069-8071)

In Sufism, Sakinah is generally defined as the state of satisfaction and tranquility experienced by the heart when the unknown and spiritual prosperity come. (Ibn Arabi, Istilahatus-Sufiyya, p. 13; Sayyid Sharif Jurjani, Ta’rifat, I/159)

In our books, Sakinah that came to Hz. Ali is mentioned. That Sakinah is mentioned as “Qasida al-Arjuza” in Majmuatul-Ahzab. (Ahmet Gümüşhanevi, Majmuatul Ahzab, Pages 582-597) It is a supplication made with six great names of Allah: “Fard, Hayy, Qayyum, Hakam, Adl, Quddus”.

The meanings of those six names are as follows in brief:

Fard: Allah is one, single, unique; He has independence and individuality.  

Hayy: Allah is eternally alive; He is pre-eternal and post-eternal; He has immortal life. He is the one that gives life to everything and that revives everything.  

Qayyum: Allah is always existent; so to speak, He is always standing; He is dominant over everything He does. He rules, controls and leads beings as He wishes. Everything exists, stands and continues with Him. No slumber can seize Him nor sleep; nor is heedlessness in question for Him. Everything in the heavens and world continue living and standing thanks to His will and subsistence.   

Hakam: Allah has dominion and wisdom. It is His high practice to have wisdom and benefit in everything He creates. He does not create anything that is useless. He observes and controls His creatures. He distinguishes between the right and wrong among His slaves; He judges with justice among them.     

Adl: Allah has justice. He gives every creature their due; He never wrongs anybody. He judges with justice on the Day of Resurrection. His penalty is not oppression or injustice but justice. Allah has justice and He orders His slaves to act justly. 

Quddus: Allah is pure and clean; He is free form deficiencies, weakness and all kinds of incomplete attributes that the unbelieving and aberrant people think. Allah has perfect attributes. Every attribute, name, act and deed of Allah are perfect. He creates the beings perfectly, cleanly and purely. He likes cleanliness and orders cleanliness. He purifies His slaves who regret and repent of their sins and cleans them.   

In Sakinah, after those names are mentioned, help is asked from Allah with nineteen verses having nineteen letters; then, refuge is taken in Allah; Allah is mentioned with His various names; the prosperity and blessings of those names are asked in order to overcome all worldly and otherworldly difficulties.    

Badiuzzaman Said Nursi expresses the form of reading this supplication called "Sakinah" as “it should be read with seventy-one verses one hundred and seventy-one times all the time” (Lem'alar, p. 425). Afterwards, he chose nineteen of those seventy-one verses and the current “Sakinah supplication” was formed. (Hizbü’l-Envâri’l-Hakâikı’n-Nûriye, p. 119)

The Mysteries of Sakinah Supplication

Sakinah is a supplication of the greatest name of Allah based on the system of nineteen. Stating that this supplication, which includes Allah’s honorable names of nineteen letters in accordance with the nineteen letters of bismillahirrahmanirrahim (in the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful), has great blessings, Imam Ali deals with those names in both Jaljalutiyya and Arjuza.  

It will be useful to mention a few points indicating that Imam Ali took this Sakinah, based on the system of nineteen, directly from the Quran.

1. Sakinah consists of six names (Fard, Hayy, Qayyum, Hakam, Adl, Quddus). The word “sakinah” is mentioned six times in the Quran (al-Baqara 2/248, at-Tawba 9/26, 40; al-Fath 48/4,18,26).

2. The word sakinah mentioned in the Quran indicates the number nineteen in various aspects.

     a) The word Sakinah included in the chapter of al-Baqara is mentioned as a sign of the kingship of Talut; it is a symbol of divine help in the ark of covenant as a great source of morale for believers provided by Allah and is used in the sense of tranquility, security and peace. There are 247 (13x19) verses in this chapter before this verse.

     b) The other repetitions of the word Sakinah are in question for the Prophet (pbuh) and Muslims. The first three of those five repetitions are in the chapter of al-Fath. The last two are mentioned in the chapter of at-Tawba. The sum of the ordinal numbers of those two chapters (9+48) is 57 (3x19). There are 38 (2x19) chapters between those two chapters.

     c) The sum of the numbers of those five verses is 114: (at-Tawba 9/26, 40; al-Fath 48/4,18,26). This number is in compliance with the total numbers of the chapters of the Quran (114).

     d) In terms of the order of revelation, the word “sakinah” was first sent down in the chapter of al-Fath. This chapter was sent down in the nineteenth year of the prophethood (while the Prophet was returning from the Expedition of Hudaybiyya). According to the system of the chapters that do not start with huruf al-muqatta’a (disjointed letters), the ordinal number of first verse is 102x19(=17x114), a multiple of 19.

      e) The form of the word Sakinah in the first verses that it was sent down (al-Fath, 48/4,18) is “as-sakinat”; its abjad value is 571 (the year of the birth of the Prophet). This conformity should be regarded as a sign of the Prophet’s being a source of tranquility and security for humanity. If the letter alif that is silent is excluded, the abjad value is 570(30x19).

3. The number of the letters of the six nouns named sakinah is nineteen.

4. One of the basic elements of Sakinah is bismillahirrahmanirrahim. The number of the letters of bismillahirrahmanirrahim is nineteen.

5. The number of the verse in which bismillahirrahmanirrahim (having nineteen letters) is included is (an-Naml, 27/30) is the same as the number of the verse in which the number (nineteen) of zabanis (angels of hell) is included is the same (al-Muddaththir, 74/30). This conformity shows the existence of a relationship between bismillahirrahmanirrahim and zabanis and confirms the following view of the great Companion Abdullah b. Mas'ud:

“The number of the letters of bismillahirrahmanirrahim is the same as the number of zabanis in Hell: nineteen. In that case, he who wants to be saved from zabanis should read bismillahirrahmanirrahim, which has nineteen letters. If a person reads it, Allah will make each of those letters armor against each zabani. Zabanis, which are angels of Hell, do all their tasks by uttering bismillahirrahmanirrahim and take their strength from bismillahirrahmanirrahim.” (Qurtubi I/12; Beki Niyazi, Namazın Sayısal Mucizesi, p.15)

It is interesting that when the number 30, which is the number of the verse in which bismillahirrahmanirrahim is included and the number of the verse in which the word nineteen is included, is multiplied by 19, we get 570, which is the abjad value of the word “as-sakinat”.

6. The abjad value of the word ”Sakinat” through the method of tahajji (sin=120, qaf=101, ya= 12, nun=106, ta=402) is 741(39x19). It is also interesting that the first verse of the chapter of al-Muddaththir mentioning nineteen is the 741st verse of the Quran from last.

7. Sakinah is read by being added to the six greatest names for different purposes. However, those verses need to in conformity with the number nineteen. As a matter of fact, Badiuzzaman Said Nursi states that he added 171 (9x19) verses to those names in the past when he read them.

8. The “Sakinah“ supplication that is arranged by Nursi and that we have now shows the number nineteen from various aspects:

     a) After Allahu Akbar (Allah is the greatest) is uttered, bismillahirrahmanirrahim, which has nineteen letters, and six names of Allah with nineteen letters are uttered.

     b) The number of the letters of each of the nineteen verses in question is nineteen. – However, the second verse in the twentieth chapter consists of twenty letters- (“wa anatil wujuhu lil hayyil qayyum“. Nevertheless, the letter “waw” at the beginning of the verse is a conjunction meaning and. If we do not count the conjunction, “anatil wujuhu lil hayyil qayyum” will remain in the verse, which has nineteen letters.

      c) The verse ”Praise be to Allah, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the worlds (Alhamdulillahi Rabbilalamin) ” is in the nineteenth place. This verse is mentioned with a waw at the beginning (“walhamdulillahi Rabbilalamin) in verse 182 of the chapter of as-Saaffat.

- The number of the letters of this verse is nineteen.

- This verse is the 1824th (96x19=5x19x19+19) verse of the Quran according to the system of the chapters that do not start with huruf al-muqatta’a (unencoded).

- This verse is the nineteenth repetition of the word “alhamdulillah” in the Quran.

- The abjad value of this verse is 589 (31x19).

How to read Sakinah Supplication:

As far as we know, there are two different reading styles of sakinah supplication.

The first one: Reading it nineteen times with bismillahirrahmanirrahim.

The second one: According to what we heard from some brothers, Hulusi brother said it could be read as follows too:

1. Niyyah (to make intention and state the purpose of reading it)

2. Istighfar: asking for forgiveness (7 times)

3. Salawat (7 times)

4. Allahu Akbar (10 times)

5. Six names of Allah to be read with each verse (19 times)

- After bismillahirrahmanirrahim, six names of Allah (Fardun, Hayyun, Qayyumun, Hakamun, Adlun, Quddusun) and then the first verse will be read nineteen times. After that, bismillahirrahmanirrahim, six names and the second verse will be read. Example: Bismillahirrahmanirrahim, Fardun, Hayyun, Qayyumun, Hakamun, Adlun, Quddusun “Sayaj‘alullahu ba’da ‘usrin yusra” will be read nineteen times. Then, bismillahirrahmanirrahim, six names and the second verse will be read; thus, all verses will be read. Another reading style is said to be as follows: If a person reads sakinah supplication for a certain purpose, he will read the verse that is in accordance with his purpose 19 times after uttering bismillahirrahmanirrahim and the six names.

It is necessary to consider the following about the number nineteen in the form of reading: 19x19=361. 361 is the angle of the circle. However, mathematicians accepted it as 360 to make it easy for calculations. Every verse in Sakinah has 19 verses and is read 19 times. In our opinion, a luminous shield forms around the person who reads Sakinah as 19X19.

The answer to a criticism:

The following text included in On Sekizinci Lem'a (Eighteenth Flash) is criticized by some people:  

“Then Hz. Jibril brought the greatest name of Allah written on a sheet called Sakinah to the presence of the Prophet and it fell onto the lap of Hz. Ali. Hz. Ali says, "I saw Jibril in the form of a rainbow. I heard his sound and took the sheet and found these names on it..."

As it is seen, Sakinah falling onto the lap of Hz. Ali is mentioned, not revelation received like a prophet. The Sakinah that is in question is a supplication including Allah’s six great names: “Fard, Hayy, Qayyum, Hakam, Adl, Quddus”. Badiuzzaman Said Nursi states the following in the preface of this Lem’a (Flash): It expresses an important hidden miracle of the Prophet (pbuh).” Thus, he presents is as a miracle of the Prophet and a karamah of Hz. Ali, about whom the Prophet said, “I am the city of knowledge. Ali is its door."

What is opposed is the phrase “a sheet (page) called Sakinah”; what is meant by the sheet (page) is an inspirational message; it should not be confused with the “revelation” sent to the Prophet (pbuh). If what is opposed is the state of seeing Jibril, many Companions like Hz. Aisha, Hz. Umar, Ibn Abbas, Usama bin Zayd, Umm Salama, Sa’d Ibn Abi Waqqas stated that thy saw Jibril in the form of the Companion Dihya or a cavalry. (Bukhari, Fadailul-Ashab: 30; Maghazi: 18, Libas: 24, Iman: 37; Muslim, Fadail: 46, 47, Iman: 1-7; Qadi Iyad, ash-Shifa, 1/361)

If what is opposed is its falling onto the lap of Hz. Ali, Imam Ghazali expresses it very concisely.  

"When they were sent down to the Prophet (pbuh) through revelation, he ordered Imam Ali, ’Write’ and he wrote. Then, he arranged it." (Şualar, p. 635)

To sum up, when Jibril entered into the presence of the Prophet (pbuh), he brought the supplication including six great names of Allah due to divine demand to the Prophet (pbuh) to dictate it to “Hz. Ali, the key to the city of knowledge”. The Prophet (pbuh) told Hz. Ali to arrange Sakinah in the form of an ode. Divine demand wanted Hz. Ali to arrange it in the form of a poem; therefore, Badiuzzaman Said Nursi says, “It fell onto the lap of Hz. Ali.” (see Cevşenü'l Kebir ve Meali İcmali, Translated by Asst. Prof. Dr. Niyazi Beki, Tenvir Neşriyat; We benefited from the writing by Dr. Emin Şimşek to answer the criticism.)

The Meanings of the Verses Included in Sakinah:

1. After a difficulty, Allah will soon grant relief. (at-Talaq, 65/7)

2. (All) faces shall be humbled before (Him) - the Living, the Self-Subsisting, Eternal. (Taha, 20/111)

3. Verily Allah is to you most kind and Merciful. (al-Hadid, 57/9)

4. For Allah is Oft-returning, Most Merciful. (an-Nisa 4/16)

5. For Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful. (an-Nisa 4/23, 106)

6. Verily Allah doth blot out (sins) and hath power (in the judgment of values). (an-Nisa 4/149)

7. For Allah is He Who heareth and seeth all things. (an-Nisa 4/58)

8. And Allah is All-knowing, Al-wise. (an-Nisa 4/11)

9. For Allah ever watches over you. (an-Nisa, 4/1)

10. Verily We have granted thee a manifest Victory. (al-Fath, 48/1)

11. And that Allah may help thee with powerful help. (al-Fath, 48/3)

12. It is the fellowship of Allah that must certainly triumph. (al-Maida, 5/56)

13. He is the Strong One, and able to enforce His Will. (Hud, 11/66)

14. Verily Allah is He (that is) free of all wants, worthy of all praise. (Luqkman, 31/26)

15. Allah sufficeth me: there is no god but He. (at-Tawba, 9/129)

16. For us Allah sufficeth, and He is the best disposer of affairs. (Aal-i Imran, 3/173)

17. The Great Terror will bring them no grief. (al-Anbiya, 21/103)

18. Thee do we worship, and Thine aid we seek. (al-Fatiha, 1/5)

19. Praise be to Allah, the Cherisher of the worlds. (al-Fatiha, 1/2; al-Anam, 6/45)

Conclusion:

Regularity in dhikr and discipline is necessary in order to keep the heart, which is the center of the spiritual life, alert and active. Giving up dhikr is a sign of the deterioration of the heart. Badiuzzaman Said Nursi expresses it as follows:  

“...The wounds that sin inflicts upon us and the temptations and doubts that arise from those wounds will – may God protect us! – penetrate our inner heart, the seat of belief, and thus wound belief. Penetrating too the spiritual joy of the tongue, the interpreter of belief, they cause it to shun in revulsion the remembrance of God, and reduce it to silence. Sin, penetrating to the heart, will blacken and darken it until it extinguishes the light of belief. Within each sin is a path leading to unbelief. Unless that sin is swiftly obliterated by seeking God’s pardon, it will grow from a worm into a snake that gnaws on the heart.” (Lem'alar, p. 9)

Badiuzzaman Said Nursi, who was wonderfully protected from the terrible afflictions he encountered throughout his life, which lasted almost a century, regularly read the supplication called Sakinah, which he learned from Hz. Ali. Therefore, we hold the view that Sakinah will be a shield and light for us at times of trouble and heedlessness.

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