I need to know sufficient information about the Need Prayer. Does it consist of twelve Rak‘ahs?
All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His Slave and Messenger.
‘Abdullaah ibn Abi Awfa, may Allaah Be Pleased with him, narrated that the Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “Whoever has a need with Allaah, or with any human being, then let him perform ablution well and then pray two Rak‘ahs. After that, let him praise Allaah and send blessings on the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. After this, let him say:
There no god but Allaah The Forbearer The Generous.
Glory be to Allaah, Lord of the Tremendous Throne.
All praise is to Allaah, Lord of the Worlds.
I ask You (O Allaah) everything that leads to Your mercy, and Your tremendous forgiveness, protection from every evil deed, enrichment in all good, and freedom from all sin.
Do not leave a sin of mine (O Allaah), except that You forgive it, nor any concern except that You relieve it, nor any need in which there is Your good pleasure except that You fulfill it, O Most Merciful!” [At-Tirmithi, Ibn Maajah, An-Nasaa’i and others] Ibn Maajah added in his narration: "Then let him ask Allaah for what he wishes in the affairs of the life of this world and in the hereafter, for it is answered." This prayer with this form was called by scholars the Need Prayer. Scholars held different views with regards to acting upon this Hadeeth as a result of differing about its authenticity. Some of them believe that it should not be acted upon because it is not authentic for its chain of narrators includes Faa’id ibn ‘Abdur-Rahmaan Al-Koofi the narrator from ‘Abdullaah ibn Abi Awfa who is Matrook (his narrations are rejected) for them. Others believe in the permissibility of acting upon it because of two reasons: First, it has ways and proofs by which it is strengthened and the narrations of Faa’id are acceptable according to them. Second, it is about a virtuous deed. In virtuous deeds, it is permissible to act upon a weak Hadeeth if its meaning is implied in an authentic Hadeeth and it does not contradict another narration that is more authentic. That is the case here. This opinion is more correct, Allaah willing, and it is adopted by a group of scholars. Concerning performing twelve Rak’ahs for the Need Prayer, the Hadeeth regarding this is not authentic according to the people of knowledge and they explained this based on many issues that are mentioned in detail in the relevant context.
Allaah Knows best.
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