Lesson 24: Supplication (part 1 of 2)

Description: The meaning, benefits, and method of supplication (du’a)

 

Objective:

  • Understand the meaning of du’a
  • Appreciate that du’a is worship
  • Learn 18 benefits of du’a
  • Understand the proper etiquette and method of making du’a

Arabic Terms:

  • Du’a: Supplication, prayer, asking Allah for something.
  • Shirk: A word that implies ascribing partners to Allah, or ascribing divine attributes to other than Allah, or believing that the source of power, harm and blessings comes from another besides Allah.
  • Halal: Permissible
  • Taqwa: Linguistically it means “to protect” or “to shield”, as in to protect oneself from wrongdoing. In Islam, Taqwa refers to consciousness of Allah. It describes a state of awareness of Allah in everything you do.
  • Aameen: An expression said at the end of making a supplication, meaning ‘O Allah, please accept.’
  • Qiblah: The direction one faces during the formal prayers.

 

The Arabic word “du’a” means to ask your Lord for His help and support. It can be translated as supplication or prayer. It is a form of worship because Allah orders us to make du’a to Him:

“And your Lord says, ‘Make du’ato Me, and I will answer you!’” (Quran 40:60)

Since du’a is an act of worship, the way it is made, the procedure to be followed, and the manner to be observed when performing this worship must be from the Quran and Sunnah.

Du’a is closely related to one’s faith. One, it is an open declaration that you believe in Allah and Allah alone. Two, it makes you feel that you are not in control of your life, Allah is. This is why you are going to Him and begging Him for your needs. Three, it reminds you that Allah truly hears your du’a and will respond to it.

Since du’a is an act of worship, making du’a to someone other than Allah is an act of ShirkDu’a can only be directed to Allah and Allah alone. One verse from the Quran is sufficient to illustrate this point:

“Say (O Muhammad), ‘I make du’a only to my Lord (Allah), and I associate none as partners along with Him.’” (Quran 72:20)

Suppose a person makes du’a to other than Allah, be it an idol or a saint, while believing that that being can hear him like Allah, and can answer his du’a, then doing so is equating that object or person with Allah. That is precisely shirk.

Benefits of Du’a:

  1. Du’a is one of the noblest acts in the sight of Allah.
  2. Du’a is the essence of worship.
  3. Du’a is a sign of one’s faith.
  4. Making du’a is obeying Allah.
  5. Allah is close to the person who makes du’a.
  6. Through du’a Allah shows His generosity to us.
  7. Du’a is a sign of humility.
  8. Du’a repels Allah’s anger.
  9. Du’a can save one from the Fire of Hell.
  10. Makingdu’a shows having knowledge of the Almighty.
  11. Allah lovesdu’a.
  12. Du’asets apart a believer from a non-believer.
  13. Du’ais the weapon of the believer and those who have been wronged.
  14. Du’ais a means of communicating with the Creator.
  15. Du’ais an easy act of worship.

Before You make Du’a

  1. Realize that only Allah responds to du’a

“Who else is there that responds to the call of the one in distress when he makes du’a, and He removes evil from him, and makes you inheritors of the earth? Is there any other god besides Allah? Little is that you remember!” (Quran 27:62)

  1. Be sincere towards Allah when making du’a

“And those who you make du’a to (ask) besides Him can neither come to your aid nor can they help themselves.” (Quran 7:197)

  1. Don’t be hasty when making du’a

The Prophet said, “The slave will receive a response so long as his du’a does not involve sin or severing of family ties, and so long as he is not hasty.” It was said, “What does being hasty mean?” He said: “When he says, ‘I made du’aand I made du’a, and I have not seen any response,’ and he gets frustrated and stops making du’a.”[1]

  1. Make du’a for good things

Allah likes His slaves to ask Him for everything that is in their spiritual and worldly benefit such as food, drink, clothing, guidance and forgiveness etc. Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of Allah be upon him, said: “Let one of you ask his Lord for what he needs, even asking Him for the lace of his shoe if it breaks.”[2]

  1. Make du’a with an attentive heart

Concentrate on making du’a, focus on what you are asking Allah, put your mind and heart into it. Think of what Prophet Muhammad said, “Make du’a to Allah in a state that you are certain that your du’a will be responded to, and know that Allah does not answer a du’a from a heedless, inattentive heart.”[3]

 

 

  1. Earn your livelihood from an Islamically permissible source and eat halal food

Selling alcohol and pork, gambling, theft, and accepting bribes are all examples of impermissible sources of income. It states in the Quran:

“Allah only accepts (deeds) from those who have Taqwa (who fear Him).” (Quran 5:27)

While Making Du’a

  1. Praise Allah before the du’a and send prayers on the Prophet

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) saw someone make du’a. The Prophet instructed that person,“…when you finish your formal prayer, then sit down and praise Allah with the praise that He is worthy of, and pray upon me, then state your du’a.[4]

The Prophet also said, “A du’a will not be raised up to Allah unless the person making du’a includes with it ‘prayer on the Prophet.’”[5]

Therefore, you can begin your du’a with words like,

Alhamdulillah was-Salatu was-Salam ‘Ala Rasulillah

“All praise and thanks are for Allah and may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon the Messenger of Allah (Muhammad).”

  1. Raise your hands

Muslims are known to raise their hands when supplicating to Allah. There are numerous reports from Prophet Muhammad that he would raise his hands while supplicating to Allah.

  1. Face the qiblah (the direction you face when praying the formal prayers)

There are reports that the Prophet would face the qibla when making du’a.

  1. Try to weep when making du’a

Weeping shows sincerity and is more likely that a person will humble himself before Allah.

  1. Expect the best from Allah and know that He will respond

Prophet Muhammad said: “There is no Muslim who does not offer any du’a in which there is no sin or severing of family ties but Allah will give him one of three things in return: either He will answer his du’a sooner, or he will store it up for him in the Hereafter, or He will divert an equivalent evil away from him because of it.” They said: “We will say a lot of du’a.” He said: “Allah is more generous.”[6]

  1. Make du’a with humility and fear.

Allah says in the Quran,

“Make du’a to your Lord with humility and in secret. Indeed, He does not like the transgressors.” (Quran 7:55)

  1. Acknowledge your sins.
  2. Be firm in making your du’a

The Prophet said, “When one of you makes a du’a, then let him be firm in his du’a and let him not say, ‘O Allah, if you will, then please forgive me,’ for there is no one who can force Allah to do anything.”[7]

  1. Repeat the du’a three times

Repeating the du’a three times is reported from the Prophet in many hadiths.

  1. Say “Aameen” in the end

Aameen,” commonly spelled “Amin” in English literature on Islam and is the equivalent of the English word “Amen.” In Arabic, it means, ‘O Allah, please accept.’
Footnotes:

[1]  Saheeh Muslim

[2] Tirmidhi

[3] Tirmidhi

[4] Tirmidhi

[5] Nasai

[6] Ahmad

[7] Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Saheeh Muslim

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