Should I Recite Awrad if I Have Prayers to Make Up?

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

Should I recite awrad if I have prayers to make up?

There is a difference of opinion regarding this but the best course of action is to gradually make up your prayers and to take the position that it is permissible to recite the awrad and pray supererogatory prayers at the same time.

On Feeling Pain and Constriction When Reciting Adkhar

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

I feel pain and constriction in my heart when reciting adkhar. What should I do?

This is due to two things. The first is the effects of darkness in the soul due to sins and heedlessness. The way to combat this is to persevere with the adhkar until the darkness is removed and the light is manifested. The second is the presence of devils (due to black magic, the evil eye or other things) that attempt to dominate a person’s heart. Again the person should persevere in reciting the adhkar because this is a means of treatment.

On Making Up the Adhkar before Sleeping

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

If I fall asleep before completing the adhkar that it is recommended to recite before sleeping should I make them up when I wake up?

You will be rewarded for intending to recite them all even if you fall asleep before completing them. Strictly speaking, they are adhkar for a specific time and thus cannot be made up. However, if you do make them up you are guaranteeing yourself the reward for reciting them and teaching your lower self a lesson that it cannot fall asleep before completing them.

Balancing Between Consistency in Performing Good Deeds and Seizing Opportunities to Do More

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

The pious say that the seeker should perform good deeds whenever the opportunity arises. How can we balance between this and the hadith that the most beloved of actions are those that are consistent even if they are a little?

You need to set yourself a minimum amount of good deeds which you never leave. It should be small enough for you to be consistent in performing it while not preventing you from performing other good deeds when the opportunity arises. As Imam al-Haddad said: “Appoint for yourself a fixed amount which you are able to perform consistently. When you feel energetic you can do more but when you feel lazy you do not permit yourself to do less.”

On Making Up Awrad

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

I have a routine of praying tahajjud, reciting the Qur’an and adhkar before Fajr. If I wake up late and am unable to do all of these things what should I do?

You should do a little bit of everything: pray a few units of tahajjud, recite some Qur’an and recite some of the adhkar. Then you should make up whatever you missed between sunrise and midday. The Prophet ﷺ said that if someone oversleeps and fails to perform the prayers that he regularly performs at night but then makes them up between sunrise and midday it will be recorded for him as if he prayed it at night.

On Increasing Awrad

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

At what point should I increase my awrad?

You do this when you are consistent in reciting the awrad that you are already reciting and you have the desire to increase and sufficient time to do so.

Focusing on Allah’s Remembrance

Advice from Habib Husayn al-Saqqaf (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

When you remember Allah, you should focus on two things:

  1. Realising the greatness of Allah and His remembrance. Allah says:

ولَذِكْرُ اللهِ أَكْبَر

Truly Allah’s remembrance is greater [1]

When you say “Allahu Akbar” you must realise in your heart that Allah is greater than everything else that you hold in high esteem. Then everything in creation will dwindle into insignificance and only Allah will remain in your heart. Realise that Allah is greater than yourself and all the things that your heart is attached to. Realise that Allah is the greatest, for if your heart is overcome with veneration for Him, that feeling will settle in your inner being and your heart will be in a state of submissiveness to Him. This will then lead to another type of remembrance which is:


  1. Remembering Allah with more fervour, as indicated in the verse (referring to those performing hajj):

فَاذْكُرُوا اللَّهَ كَذِكْرِكُمْ آَبَاءَكُمْ أَوْ أَشَدَّ ذِكْرًا

Remember Allah as you used to remember your forefathers, but with more fervour[2]

Imagine how you remember your family when you are apart from them or how you remember someone who was very dear to you who has passed away. How do you remember someone you yearn for? You need to remember Allah with a greater yearning. Remembering Allah with fervour does not mean articulating the words with fervour. Rather it means remembering Him with intense love. Allah says:

 وَالَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا أَشَدُّ حُبًّا لِلَّهِ

Those who believe are more fervent in their love for Allah [3]

You must remember Allah with intense passion, yearning and fervour. Say the Divine Name “Allah” with every atom of your body and with all your emotions. This is what is intended.

Every time you remember Allah, He remembers you – as expressed in a Hadith Qudsi: “I am as My servant believes Me to be, and I am present with him when he remembers Me”. Experience being “with Him.” Taste the sweetness of your Lord’s words when He says “I am with him.” Imagine how you would feel, you weak, needy and negligent slave, if He says to you, “I am with you”? Allah is your constant Companion – so reflect upon this.


[1] al-Ankabut, 29:45

[2] al-Baqarah, 2:200

[3] al-Baqarah, 2:165


Can Driving be a Form of Khalwah?

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

Can someone who is driving alone to work be considered to be in a form of khalwah?

Yes, this could be a lesser khalwah when one isolates oneself to be with Allah. It is like when someone wraps a shawl around their head so they can only see what is in front of them and not what is around them.

On Taking Permission Before Reciting a New Dhikr

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

If we come across a new dhikr or dua should we take permission before reciting it?

If it is from the Sunnah there is no need to take permission. Likewise there is no need to take permission before reciting the duas and adhkar of the great Imams of the Ummah as long as the meaning is clear and they are easy to read. Continue reading On Taking Permission Before Reciting a New Dhikr

Balancing Seeking Knowledge and Remembrance of Allah

A Tunisian scholar asked Sayyidi Habib `Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him):

How does one balance between seeking knowledge and spending time in the remembrance of Allah (reading awrad or litanies)?

Habib Umar replied:

“The key to seeking knowledge is the soundness of one’s intention. If one’s intention is sound and pure, then seeking knowledge is one of the best acts of worship and one of the best forms of remembrance.

If you would like to continue reading your awrad but are considering reducing them to focus on seeking knowledge, not out of laziness, then this is a sign of sincerity. In this case you may reduce the amount you read, but you should not leave your awrad completely. If, however, you find yourself wanting to leave your awrad out of laziness, then it is a sign that you are not sincere, so you should persist in reading them.

Soon after I left Hadramawt, when I was based in al-Bayda, I visited one of my teachers, Imam Abu Bakr al-`Attas bin `Abdullah al-Habashi (may Allah have mercy upon him). He said to me: “Do not read a lot of awrad since you are busy seeking knowledge and calling people to Allah. The Wird al-Latif of Imam al-Haddad is sufficient. If this is too much, then just read the second half of it from ‘hasbiya Allah..’ onwards.” He was indicating that there should be a balance in one’s affairs.

May Allah take us by the hand and rectify our outward and inward state.”