Updated: Jan 11, 2021
Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, called Du'a (supplication) the essence of worship [Al-Tirmidhi: 3372]. It is a conversation with the all-mighty (al-Azeez), the most-merciful (ar-Raheem) and the all-powerful (al-Qadeer). It is an acknowledgment of the belief of the oneness of God, and we ought to believe that every aspect of our lives is through the manifestation of the will of Allah.
Du'a can often be seen as a last resort by us, reduced to the level of a ritual, somewhat indicating desperateness in a situation. But it is in fact the weapon of a believer holding the ability to change fate. Du'a embodies empowerment, uplifts a believer and transforms thoughts and feelings. Plus, at a time where we are at ease, Du'a can be a source of gratification whilst during difficulty, is assuring and refreshing as an act of cleansing our thoughts through solace in the abilities of Allah.
We know that if we aim for success, the same success is not possible without His will. We know that any medical treatment will only work by the command of Allah. We must make Du'a for all of this, but importantly, before and after our wish is granted. To thank Allah and to show our gratitude; recognising that without making supplication to Allah there is no guarantee that we will be granted that which we would like.
The sincerity of our supplication brings the feeling of closeness to Allah, increasing faith and providing hope to those who call upon Him. Throughout the Quran, Allah encourages believers to call upon Him and to be certain that He hears every word. Abu Hurairah narrated that the Messenger of Allah said: "Indeed Allah Most High Says: 'I am as my slave thinks of Me, and I am with him when He calls upon Me' [Tirmidhi: 2388]. What can be more assuring than knowing that our Lord is listening to us whenever we seek Him?
The Quran states in Surah Al-Imran, "Allah is sufficient for us and what an excellent Trustee is He" (3:173), reinforcing the teaching that with Allah, we cannot be without anything, but by the will of Allah alone.
How should we supplicate?
Though sincerity and intention form the basis of making Du'a in the court of Allah, there is an etiquette to be considered to enable us to benefit most from Allah's countless bounties. We are able to learn about the correct etiquette of Du'a through searching the Quran and Hadith:
It is recommended that a person raises their hands and faces the Qiblah (direction of Ka'ba).
Various Hadith state that Prophet Muhammad faced the Ka'ba when making Du'a.
Umar ibn al Khattaab (May Allah be pleased with him) said: "On the day of Badr, the Messenger of Allah turned to face the qiblah, then he stretched forth his hands and started to cry out to his Lord" [Muslim: 1763]. This sincere heartfelt supplication led to one of the greatest victories.
Salman al-Farsi narrated that Prophet Muhammad said: "Indeed, Allah is Shy and Beneficent. He is Shy when His servant raises his hands to Him to return them empty, disappointed!" [Al-Tirmidhi: 3556].
2. Call on Allah's beautiful names: "And to Allah belong the most beautiful names, so invoke Him by them." (Al Araaf 7:180).
By calling upon Allah by His names and attributes, we are in fact glorifying Him and accepting Him as our Lord. Many of His blessed names often relate directly to our affliction or solution.
3. Sincerity towards Allah alone
Allah says, "and they were commanded not, but that they should worship Allah and worship none but Him alone" [Al-Bayyinah 98:5]. Because Du'a is an act of worship, it should be filled with complete sincerity and faith. We must be certain that Allah does what He wishes, whenever He wishes. It is further reported that the Prophet said "Ask Allah with certainty that He will answer your prayers, and know that Allah will not accept the supplication from an absent heart" [Al Tirmidhi], requiring us to be firm in and determined in our manner.
4. Praise Allah and send salutations upon the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.
Al-Tirmidhi (3476) narrated that Fadaalah ibn ‘Ubayd (may Allah be pleased with him) said: Whilst the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was sitting, a man came in and prayed and said, “O Allah, forgive me and have mercy on me.” The Prophet said, “You have been too hasty, O worshipper. When you have prayed and are sitting, praise Allah as He deserves to be praised, and send blessings upon me, then call upon Him.” According to another version (3477): “When one of you prays, let him start with praise of Allah, then let him send blessings upon the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), then let him ask whatever he likes after that.” The Prophet said: "Every Du'a is kept back until you send blessings upon the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) [Al Jaami 4399].
5. To repeat a Du'a three times.
Abd-Allah ibn Masood (may Allah be pleased with him) said: "When the Prophet Muhammad made Du'a or asked of Allah he would repeat it three times" [Al-Bukhari 240, Muslim 1794].
6. To make Du'a in a quiet voice
Allah has stated in the Quran "invoke your Lord with humility and in secret" [Al A'raf 7:55] “And remember your Lord by your tongue and within yourself, humbly and with fear without loudness in words, in the morning and in the afternoon and be not of those who are neglectful.” [Al A'raf, 37:205]. A Du'a made quietly remains a personal conversation between a believer and Allah. Allah praised His slave Zakariyya (peace be upon him) by saying "When he called to his Lord a call in secret".
7. Ensuring halal in oneself (food and drink), Allah accepts the du'a of those who are abiding by the requirements of a halal lifestyle.
It is vital to make Du'a from your heart. We are calling our Creator, and there cannot be anything greater. Ultimately Dua is the foundation of faith for Muslims. It can be a source of hope, solace and fulfilment. Making it a part of our daily lives for betterment will only serve to please our Lord.
May Allah keep us steadfast in our faith and allow us to turn to Him in all times.
آمین یا رب العالمین