Qunūt (Arabic: قنوت) is a recommended action in prayers. In qunut, the person should raise his hands and pray. It is recommended that the person raises his hands up to his face, facing the palms toward skies. In most prayers, qunut is performed once in the second rak'a after recitation of Sura al-Fatiha and another sura, before ruku'.
In qunut, any dhikr or supplication can be recited. There is a disagreement among fiqh scholars about reciting non-Arabic dhikr in qunut; but, all of them believe that it does not make the prayer invalid. When performing qunut, some actions such as saying takbir before going to ruku', audible recitation of the dhikr in qunut and reciting some verses of the Qur'an such as verse 201 of Sura al-Baqara are recommended. Sunni Muslims disagree about the permissibility of qunut. Some of them consider it an impermissible innovation and a group of them only consider is permissible in fajr prayer.
Literally, "qunut" means "obeying with humility". In the Qur'an, the word "qunut" and its derivations have been mentioned 13 times with the meanings of supplication, worship, prayer and obedience. In fiqh, reciting supplication in a certain manner after reciting Sura al-Fatiha and another sura in obligatory and recommended prayers is called qunut.
In qunut, hands must be raised. It is recommended that the palms touch on the side while they face up to the sky and be raised up to the level of the face. Also, it is recommended that the person's look be at his palms. Some scholars of fiqh consider it unnecessary to raise up the hands.
It is not necessary that a certain supplication or dhikr be recited in qunut. Also, any dhikr can be recited in qunut. It is recommended to recite qunut audibly; unless, the leader of congregational prayer hears it.
Differences in Qunut of Different Prayers
Except for the prayers of Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha, Friday prayer, Ayat prayer and Watr prayer, in all other prayers, qunut is performed only once in the second rak'a after recitation of Sura al-Fatiha and another sura, before ruku'. In the prayers of Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha, qunut is performed five times in the first rak'a and four times in the second rak'a. There are five qunuts in Ayat prayer, two qunuts in Friday prayer, one of which is before ruku' of the first rak'a and the other is after ruku' of the second rak'a; and in Watr prayer, qunut is after reciting Sura al-Fatiha and the other sura of the first rak'a.
Reciting Qunut in a Language other than Arabic
There are two opinions about reciting qunut in a language other than Arabic: some authorities such as Imam Khomeini, Ayatullah Bahjat, Ayatullah Khamenei and Ayatullah Nuri Hamadani consider it permissible. But, authorities such as Ayatullah Makarem Shirazi and Ayatullah Fadil Lankarani consider reciting qunut in a language other than Arabic impermissible; however, they do not think that it makes the prayer invalid.
Turning the Ring in Qunut and Forgetting Qunut
Some people turn the stone of their ring inside the palm for qunut. According to rulings of authorities, it bears no rewards and there are no hadiths about the recommendation of this action; however, it does not make the prayer invalid.
In some fiqh references, it is mentioned that if a person forgets qunut in ruku' and after it, before prostration, he can perform it.
Reciting some verses of the Qur'an and dhikrs is common in qunut, some of which are as follows:
- Saying takbir and raising hands near ears before qunut.
- Raising hands up to the face and facing the palms toward the sky when performing qunut
- Putting the fingers together except the thumbs which are recommended to be kept isolated
- Prolonging qunut. However, in congregational prayer, the condition of followers need to be observed.
- Reciting qunut audibly in non-congregational prayers
In books of hadith and fiqh, reciting some verses of the Qur'an and dhikrs has been recommended, some of which are as follows:
- Verse 201 of Sura al-Baqara
- Verse 41 of Sura Ibrahim (a)
- Verse 8 of Sura Al 'Imran
Permissibility of Performing Qunut in the Views of Sunnis
Sunni muslims disagree about the permissibility of qunut. Hanafis and Hanbalis consider it an impermissible innovation in prayers other than Watr prayer; but, Shafi'is and Malikis consider it recommended both in Watr and Fajr prayers.
- The material for this article is mainly taken from قنوت in Farsi WikiShia.