1. What is meant (here) by Qunoot is supplication to Allah, the Mighty and Magnificent, to relieve a calamity that has afflicted a group of Muslims.2. The main legal and textual evidence for this is the Qunoot of the Prophet Muhammad (May Allah’s Peace be Upon Him) whereby he performed it for one full month supplicating against some of the Arab tribes that had betrayed and killed the Qur’an Reciters that the Prophet (May Allah’s Peace be Upon Him) had sent to them. Similarly he (May Allah’s Peace be Upon Him) supplicated that Allah save some of his Companions from the plots of the Quraysh. Both these narrations are found in the two famous hadith compilations (al-Bukhari and Muslims).Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that whenever the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace be Upon Him) wanted to supplicate against someone, or for someone, he (May Allah’s Peace be Upon Him) would say after having stood from ruku, “Allah hears him who praises Him, to you is the praise” and would then say:
“Oh Allah, save Al-Walid ibn Al-Walid, Salamah ibn Hashim, Iyash ibn Abi Rab’iah, and the oppressed believers. Oh Allah, put hardship and pressure on the tribe of Mudar and give them years of famine like those during the time of Yusuf.”
He would say this aloud. In some of the Prophet’s (May Allah’s Peace be Upon Him) prayers, such as the fajr prayer, he would say: “Oh Allah, curse so and so”, cursing some of the Arabs tribes until Allah revealed:
“Not for you is the decision whether He turns in mercy to (pardon) them or punish them; they are the evildoers.”
3. Qunoot takes place after ruku (bowing) in the last rak’ah (unit) of all the obligatory prayers, whether the prayer is silent or loud prayer when performed in congregation. There is no harm if it be confined only to the loud prayers since there is no specific evidence concerning the matter; as such the matter is flexible.
4. Qunoot can commence with supplicating against oppressors without mentioning the praises of Allah, and there is no harm in this – indeed it seems to be closer to the literal understanding of the practice of the Prophet (May Allah’s Peace be Upon Him) in the hadith previously mentioned. Were one to commence with praising Allah, there is no harm in this due to the generality of his (May Allah’s Peace be Upon Him) saying,
“If anyone makes du’a, let him start with praising Allah, then invoking salah on the Prophet, and then supplicating for what he wishes.”
8. When the Imam praises or glorifies Allah, Mighty and Magnificent, those who follow him should keep quiet, not saying “aamin, Ya Allah, Subhanaka” or the likes. More than one of the followers (tabi’in) and early fuqaha (legal jurists) have explicitly stated this.
9. If the specific calamity passes, the Imam should stop performing the Qunoot in the prayers.
10. You must follow the Imam whom you pray behind when he makes Qunoot, even if you do not agree with this opinion. This is because following the Imam in that which does not invalidate the prayer is obligatory. Qunoot, in the view of those who do not allow it does not invalidate the prayer; the difference of opinion regards whether it is a Sunnah or not.
11. We advise the Muslims to leave off going to extremes in the Qunoot by beautifying it with poetic words. We should try to employ the supplications of the Messenger (May Allah’s Peace be Upon Him) which were concise and comprehensive.
12. We must make supplication sincerely and reflect on its meaning in our heart. This is the means for it to be answered by Allah. The Prophet (May Allah’s Peace be Upon Him) said,
“Know that Allah will not answer a supplication arising from negligent and heedless heart.”
May Peace and Blessings be upon our Prophet, Muhammad, upon his family and all his Companions.