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Supplication (also known as petitioning) is a form of prayer, wherein one party humbly or earnestly asks another party to provide something, either for the party who is doing the supplicating (e.g., "Please spare my life.") or on behalf of someone else (e.g., "Please spare my child's life.").
Supplication is a theme of earliest antiquity, embodied in the Iliad as the prayers of Chryses for the return of his daughter, and of Priam for the dead body of his son, Hector. Richard Martin notes repeated references to suppliants throughout the poem, including warriors begging to be spared by the Greeks on the battlefield.
One example of supplication is the Catholic ritual of novena (from novem, the Latin word for "nine") wherein one repeatedly asks for the same favor over a period of nine days. This ritual began in Spain during the Middle Ages when a nine-day period of hymns and prayers led up to a Christmas feast, a period which ended with gift giving. A contemporary Christian example of supplication is the practice of the Daily Prayer for Peace by the Community of Christ where a member prays for peace each day at a specified time. Philippians 4:6 says, "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God."
In Islam, the Arabic word duʻā (plural du'aat or ʾadʿiyah) is used to refer to supplications. Adʻiya may be made in any language, although there are many traditional Islamic supplications in Arabic, Persian and Turkish. In Islam, duʻā tends to mean personal prayer. The supplications (Duaas) of Prophets are given in the Holy Quran.
The word Ardâs ( ਅਰਦਾਸ ) is derived from the Persian word 'Arazdashat', meaning a request, a supplication, a prayer, a petition or an address to a superior authority. It is a Sikh prayer that is done before performing or after undertaking any significant task; after reciting the daily Banis (prayers); or completion of a service like the Paath, kirtan (hymn-singing) program or any other religious program. In Sikhism, these prayers are also said before and after eating. The prayer is a plea to God to support and help the devotee with whatever he or she is about to undertake or has done.
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- Supplication Prayers and Supplications from the Quran and the Sunnah
- In Praise of God Supplications by the great-grandson of the Prophet Muhammad (Ali ibn Husayn Zayn al-Abidin)
- Prayer types in Judaism, Christianity and Islam: Do You Pray Like Your Fathers?
- An explanation of supplication in the Sikh tradition