Supplication (Du'a)

Defining Supplication

The scholars are well aware of the fact that there are different and numerous ways to describe and explain an ambiguous issue. Each way is used in certain conditions to cause man to reach his aims. These ways are briefly the following:

• Verbatim definition: This is when we use a clearer concept in order to solve an ambiguity;

• Real definition: When the essence of an object is in question, we describe the category to which it belongs.

• “Sharhol Esmi” definition: This is when we are asked about the appearance and effects of some thing, and we provide a person with some features of that object.

• Definition based on the existence of an item: This time a question is asked concerning the forms of the object. In this case, we must endeavor to delve into the forms and quality of the object.

• Definition based on samplers: This time, in order to define an item we can provide the questions with samplers or examples of the event or object.

Since old times, the provision of defining supplication has always been available. Here we offer several definitions for supplication.

Definition Based on Meaning

Ibn Faris in his Mo'jam Maqaiis al-Logha, under the title of supplication, says: “supplication means attracting one's attention by using words”. 1

Raghib has written in the section Mofradat: “Supplication is the same as vocative speech except that in vocative speech we use vocative articles (Ya or Aya)”.

Qualitative Definition

If we take the absolute supplication as a genus and if we consider the kinds of supplication such as “genesis” supplication, “tongue” supplication, “heart” supplication, creature's supplication, the Creator's supplication, people's supplication as Fasl or a chapter, we may adjoin the absolute supplication with one of the above features and call it supplication.

  • 1. Mo’jam Maqaiis Al-Logha, vol. 2, p 274