Is the supplication, “O Allah, show us a bad day for them” regarded as reviling or inveighing against time?
This supplication is not narrated in any report and we did not find it in any of the books of Sunnah.
There is nothing wrong with using these words in supplication and it is not regarded as inveighing against time. What is meant is describing the day as very difficult and stressful. This is like the words of Loot (peace be upon him): “This is a distressful day” [Hood 11:77]. It is also like the words of Allah, may He be glorified and exalted (interpretation of the meaning):
“Verily, We sent against them a furious wind of harsh voice on a day of evil omen and continuous calamity”
“So We sent upon them a furious wind in days of evil omen (for them)…”
and there are other similar verses which describe or speak of hardship and distress but are not intended to inveigh against the day or criticise it. There is a difference between merely telling and intending to criticise, revile and undermine.
Moreover, describing the day as “bad” does not mean that it is bad for everyone; rather what is meant is that it is only bad for them because of what they go through – by the decree or the power of Allah – of punishment and vengeance.
Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
No doubt the days on which Allah sent His punishment against His enemies and the enemies of His Messengers were days of evil omen for them, because the evil omen befell them, even though these were the days that were good for His believing close friends. So they were days of bad fortune for the disbelievers and days of good fortune for the believers. This is like the Day of Resurrection; it will be hard for the disbelievers and a day of evil omen for them, but it will be easy for the believers and a day of joy for them. Mujaahid said: “Days of evil omen” mean bad fortune… With regard to good and bad fortune, good fortune is connected to good deeds that are pleasing to the Lord, and bad fortune is connected to deeds that go against what the Messengers brought. One day may be a day of good fortune for some people and a day of bad fortune for others, as the day of Badr was a day of good fortune for the believers and a day of bad fortune for the disbelievers. End quote. Miftaah Dar al-Sa‘aadah, 2/194
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
Inveighing against time is of three types:
Where it is just a statement without expressing discontent. This is permissible. For example one might say, “The heat (or cold) today is unbearable” and the like. That is because actions are judged by intentions and such words are merely a statement. Another example is the words of Loot (peace be upon him): “This is a distressful day” [Hood 11:77].
Inveighing against time as if it is the cause, such as believing when inveighing against time that time is what changes things or decides what is good and bad. This is major shirk because it is a belief that there is another creator with Allah, because this is attributing events to something other than Allah. Everyone who believes that there is another creator with Allah is a disbeliever, just as the one who believes that there is another god with Allah who is deserving of worship is a disbeliever.
Inveighing against time not because of any belief that it is the cause; rather he believes that Allah is the cause, but he inveighs against time because it is within the framework of time that these disliked things take place. This is haraam, even though it does not go as far as shirk, and it is foolish thinking and misguidance in religious terms, because in fact his inveighing against time reflects on Allah, may He be glorified. That is because Allah, may He be exalted, is the One Who is in control of time and Who decides what happens in it of good or bad. So time is not the cause and this inveighing against it does not constitute kufr, because he is not inveighing against Allah, may He be exalted, directly.
End quote from Majmoo‘ Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, 10/823
And Allah knows best.