Question # 486: In Bangladesh, a lot of people believe that if you cannot find a certain object in your home, you should recite Dua Yunus so that you can find it. Is this belief and practice a bidah?
bismi-llahi r-raḥmani r-raḥīm,
Assalamu ‘laikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,
All praise and thanks are due to Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم).
First of all, we implore Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) to help us serve His cause and render our work for His sake.
Shorter Answer: We do not know of any authentic report for reciting the du’aa from Soorah Yunus for finding a lost thing. However, based on an authentic hadith, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) recommended reciting this du’aa when distress or grief befalls anyone of us.
Conversely, two similar du’aas have been recorded to have been recited by Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) for finding a lost item. Please refer to the long answer for the du’aa wordings.
Long Answer: We do not know of any authentic report for reciting the du’aa from Soorah Yunus for finding a lost thing. However, it has been reported by at-Tirmidhi and an-Nasa’i, that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: “The invocation of my brother Dhun-Nun (Prophet Yunus), “None has the right to be worshipped save You; glory be to You, far removed are You from any imperfection; I have been amongst the wrong-doers,” none who is experiencing difficulty employs it except that Allah would relieve him of his difficulty.” (Graded sahih)
In another version, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said to his companions: “Shall I not tell you some words which, if distress or grief befalls any of you and he offers this prayer (supplication), it will bring him joy? It is the du‘aa’ of Dhoo’l-Noon (i.e., Yunus or Jonah): ‘There is no god but You, Glory to You; verily I was one of the wrongdoers.’” (Saheeh al-Jaami‘)
There is a supplication for finding a lost item that is recorded by At-Tabarani from the narration of Ibn Umar (رضي الله عنه). The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) used to supplicate [for finding a lost item], by saying, “O Allah, the One Who Returns lost items, the One Who Guides all who go astray, the One Who Guides from deviation, return back to me my lost item, by Your Might and Sovereignty, as it is given to me by Your Grace and Generosity.” (Islamweb.net)
Ibn Shaybah’s narration from Ibn Umar (رضي الله عنه) adds, “The Prophet used to perfume ablution and then prays two rak’ahs, and then say after the supplication of Tashahhud, ‘In the name of Allah, the One Who Guides all who go stray, the One Who Returns lost items, return back to me my lost item, by Your Might and Sovereignty, as it is given to me by Your Grace and Generosity’.” (Islamweb.net)
Allahu A’lam (Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) knows best) and all Perfections belong to Allah, and all mistakes belong to me alone. May Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) forgive me, Ameen.