Question: Can I make du’a against someone who hurt me?
Bismi Llahir Rahmanir Rahim
Assalamu alaykum wa rahmatuLlahi wa barakatuhu
In general, believers are discouraged from making du’a against each other.
Another person’s bad treatment towards one is a test from Allah Most High. It is best to handle the test in a way that is pleasing to Allah Most High and closest to Prophetic character.
If a person hurt one’s feelings, one should make du’a for them – that Allah helps them and forgives them. People make mistakes and we should overlook their faults, just like we hope that they overlook ours. The believer loves for his brother what he loves for himself. (Muslim) It may help to read this article: Five Reasons To Forgive.
It is a hard reality to swallow, but the truth is that people will hurt us in life. Practicing patience and demonstrating good character towards the other person are all commendable deeds. One can even inform the person that they hurt one’s feelings and try to resolve the issue through open communication.
The following is a more detailed breakdown of the Sacred Law rulings of what is permissible and not permissible:
1. Making du’a against someone is not permissible if the person did not oppress or unduly wrong one. Examples of oppression/wronging are that a person unjustly took away one’s property, or refuses to fulfill one’s Sacred Law right, or abused one’s honor.
Therefore, if this was not the case, then it is unlawful to make du’a against the person, as well as hoping for bad things to happen to the person, his/her children, wealth, or the like.
2. Making du’a against someone who has oppressed or unduly wronged one is permissible, but only to the extent that the person has wronged one. It is not permissible to make du’a beyond this limit.
Allah Most High says, “And if you were to harm (them) in retaliation, harm them to the measure you were harmed. And if you opt for patience, it is definitely much better for those who are patient.” (Qur’an 16:126)
For example, if a man stole money from a woman and he vows to not return it to her, she can make du’a against him for Allah Most High to take vengeance on him for this crime. She cannot make du’a that Allah Most High destroys all his wealth, ruins his children, or punishes him without limit.
With that being said, what is preferred is that one not make du’a against the oppressor. Rather, one practices patience, or pardons the oppressor, or consigns the affair to Allah Most High to deal with the matter justly. One can also make du’a for the person to change for the good and stop their wrongdoing.
3. Making du’a against someone who does not deserve it or making du’a beyond the extent of the wrong committed is not permissible, and it could cause the du’a to return upon oneself instead. Most definitely, one must avoid cursing believers or asking for their destruction.
The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Verily, when a servant curses something, the curse rises to the heaven and the gates of heaven close upon it. It turns right and left and if it does not find a place to go, it will return to that which was cursed, only if it deserved to be curse; otherwise the curse will return upon the one who made it.” (Abu Dawud)
4. Making du’a against one’s own self, children, wealth, or the like is not permissible. For example, a mother making du’a against her own children out of her uncontrolled anger is unlawful.
The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Do not supplicate against yourselves, do not supplicate against your children, and do not supplicate against your wealth, lest it coincide with a time in which Allah is asked, and He gives, and your supplication is answered.” (Muslim)
No one with a sincere heart truly wishes to inflict Allah’s curse and anger upon their loved ones. It is often harsh words uttered in a dark state of mind. Nevertheless, the du’a can come true if we say it, and this can cause deep regret or remorse. Thus, we should be careful of what we say in a state of anger so as not to inflict pain upon our loved ones, as well as upon ourselves.
5. Making du’a for someone to die on disbelief (i.e. to die as a kaafir) is not permissible, and some scholars deemed it to be an act of disbelief (kufr). On a similar note, making du’a for someone to commit a sin, like falling into adultery or drinking alcohol, is not permissible.
May Allah Most High inspire us with supplications that are pleasing to Him.
You can learn more about how to make du’a in our course: Call Upon Him.
Jazak Allah khayran
- Imam Nahlawi, الدرر المباحة في الحظر والإباحة
- Imam Abu Sa’id al-Khadami, بريقة محمودية في شرح طريقة محمدية
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This answer was collected from Muslimacoaching.com, which was founded by Ustadha Naielah Ackbarali. She studied Islamic studies (Hanafi Fiqh) in Syria for about 6 years with various scholars, including Sheikh Hassan al-Hindy, Sheikh Adnan Darwish, Sheikh AbdurRahman Arjan, and Sheikh Abdullah Rahal. She also studied Hanafi Fiqh in Jordan with Sheikh Faraz Rabbani, and aqeedah with Sheikh Hamza Karamali.