وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِى عَنِّى فَإِنِّى قَرِيبٌ ۖ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ ٱلدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِ ۖ فَلْيَسْتَجِيبُوا۟ لِى وَلْيُؤْمِنُوا۟ بِى لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْشُدُونَ
“Whenever My servant asks of Me, tell him I am near. I answer the invocation of the invoker when he invokes Me; so, let them respond with obedience to Me, and let them believe in Me, perhaps they will be guided the right way.” (Quran 2:186)
The virtues and power of dua (supplication) shines throughout the Quran, whether it be in the stories of the prophets or every moment that Allah (swt) calls upon us to reach out to Him. Many forget these virtues, not realizing how essential it is as an act of worship. The Prophet (pbuh) said:
“Dua (supplication) is worship.”(Riyad as-Salihin 1465)
Dua can sometimes open doors for us we never knew existed. Allah (swt) is always there listening. Seek out to Him with a sincere heart and He will not leave a believer empty-handed. The response to a dua can lead down different roads. Those roads include the following:
- Allah (swt) fulfills the person’s request
- He will ward off evil from the individual because of that dua
- Something good will become attainable because of it
- Allah will save this dua for Judgement Day when one may need it.
Allah knows best which road is appropriate for each individual. Again, Allah does not leave the hands of a sincere believer empty. Out of His mercy, He will find a way to give. It is all part of His Divine plan. He knows what is best for us, whilst we do not.
وَعَسَىٰٓ أَن تَكْرَهُوا۟ شَيْـًٔا وَهُوَ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ ۖ وَعَسَىٰٓ أَن تُحِبُّوا۟ شَيْـًٔا وَهُوَ شَرٌّ لَّكُمْ ۗ وَٱللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ وَأَنتُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُونَ
“And it may be that you hate a thing, while it is most charitable for you; and it may be that you love a thing while it is evil for you; and Allah knows and you do not know.” (Quran 2:216)
Surah Al-Fatiha, the first surah in the Holy Quran, the first surah in every rakaat (section) of our prayers, is a dua for guidance that continuously calls out to establish our relationship with Allah (swt). If the first surah that we have memorized has been made a dua for us to call upon Him, imagine how much value this act of worship truly carries.
This theme of calling out to Allah through dua can be seen throughout the different stories of significant figures narrated in the Quran. One of the many being the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). There was a dua which he would always recite and also accompany this supplication with other supplications he would make. That dua was the following:
اللَّهُمَّ رَبَّنَا آتِنَا فِي الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَفِي الآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ
“O Allah, give us in this world what is good and in the next what is good, and protect us from the punishment of Hell-fire.” (Sunan Abi Dawud 1519) (Quran 2:201)
Other beautiful duas for guidance and forgiveness are mentioned in Surah Ali-‘Imran, which call upon Allah to not let one go astray after being guided.
“رَبَّنَا لَا تُزِغْ قُلُوبَنَا بَعْدَ إِذْ هَدَيْتَنَا وَهَبْ لَنَا مِن لَّدُنكَ رَحْمَةً ۚ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ ٱلْوَهَّابُ”
“O Lord, do not let our hearts move away from the truth after you have shown it to us. Save us from what happened to those who moved away from the truth. Give us, from Your vast mercy, that which will guide our hearts and protect us from misguidance. Our Lord, You are the One who gives much’.” (Quran 3:8)
رَّبَّنَآ إِنَّنَا سَمِعْنَا مُنَادِيًا يُنَادِى لِلْإِيمَـٰنِ أَنْ ءَامِنُوا۟ بِرَبِّكُمْ فَـَٔامَنَّا ۚ رَبَّنَا فَٱغْفِرْ لَنَا ذُنُوبَنَا وَكَفِّرْ عَنَّا سَيِّـَٔاتِنَا وَتَوَفَّنَا مَعَ ٱلْأَبْرَارِ
“Our Lord, so forgive us our guilty (deeds), and expiate for us our odious deeds, and take us to You with the ever benign (ones).“ (Quran 3:193)
One must note that when you ask for something from your Lord through dua, your intention plays a major role. You must you truly trust that whatever it is you ask of Him will be answered in one of the many ways He gives His provision. Recalling Ayatul-Kursi (Quran 2:186), whomever prays out of sincerity and calls out to Allah, there is no need to raise one’s voice. In other words, there is no need to be anxious or hasty, He knows what is in the hearts before the words are even spoken. He is always near, so call upon Him.
“We were with the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) on a military expedition. When we returned, we overlooked Al-Madinah, and the people were pronouncing the Takbīr, and they raised their voices with it. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said: ‘Verily, your Lord is not deaf nor absent, He is between you and between the heads of your mounts.’”(Jami’ at-Tirmidhi 3374)
Many individuals question the lack of a response, but one should never forgo their tawakkul (trust) in their Lord. As long as an individual is responsive to the sacred laws and what Allah has asked of us, one can rest assured that their dua is going to be of benefit to them in one way or another.
If one were to ask how to make dua, there is proper etiquette to follow:
- Tawheed – believing in Allah, the One true God, and being responsive in what He asks of us; fulfilling what is right and staying away from what is wrong.
- Sincerity & Firm Faith – not only should you sincerely mean what you say, but you must sincerely trust in Him and Him alone to answer your invocation. Be firm in your request, and know that He will answer; do not doubt His chance of responding
- 99 Names – Allah has the most beautiful of names ascribed to Him. Use His beautiful names to call out to His Greatness.
“And (all) the Most Beautiful Names belong to Allaah, so call on Him by them, and leave the company of those who belie or deny (or utter impious speech against) His Names.”(Quran 7:180)
- Praise Allah & Send peace and blessings upon the Prophet (pbuh) –
“The Prophet (pbuh) heard a man supplicating in his Salat but he did not send Salat upon the Prophet (pbuh), so the Prophet (pbuh) said: ‘This one has rushed.’ Then he called him and said to him, or to someone other than him: ‘When one of you performs Salat, then let him begin by expressing gratitude to Allah and praising Him. Then, let him send Salat upon the Prophet (pbuh), then let him supplicate after that, whatever he wishes.‘”(Jami’ at-Tirmidhi 3477)
“The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Every du’aa’ is kept back until you send blessings upon the Prophet (pbuh).”(al-Jaami’ 4399)
- Raising one’s hands & Facing Towards the Qibla – this is mustahab (encouraged) to do according to some hadiths about the Prophet (pbuh).
“The Prophet (pbuh) said: ‘Your Lord is munificent and generous and is ashamed to turn away empty the hands of His servant when he raises them to Him.’”(Sunan Abi Dawud 1488)
“The Prophet (pbuh) said: ‘When you make requests to Allah, do so with the palms of your hands, and not backs, upwards.’”(Sunan Abi Dawud 1486)
“When it was the day on which the Battle of Badr was fought, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) cast a glance at the infidels, and they were one thousand while his own Companions were three hundred and nineteen. The Prophet (pbuh) turned (his face) towards the Qibla. Then he stretched his hands and began his supplication to his Lord.”(Sahih Muslim 1763)
At the end of the day, one should never doubt in Allah’s greatness. Dua is the most powerful tool for a believer to ask for things from their Lord, but also help strengthen their tawakkul (trust) in their Lord.
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