Dua

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In the terminology of Islam, duʿāʾ (Arabic: دُعَاء‎, plural: ʾadʿiyah أدْعِيَة; also transliterated Doowa[1]) literally meaning invocation, is an act of supplication. The term is derived from an Arabic word meaning to 'call out' or to 'summon', and Muslims regard this as a profound act of worship. The Islamic prophet Muhammad is reported to have said "Dua is the very essence of worship," while one of God's commands expressed through the Quran is for them to call out to Him:

And your Lord says: "Call on Me; I will answer your (Prayer):

—Quran, sura 40 (Ghafir), ayah 60[2]

There is a special emphasis on du'a in Muslim spirituality and early Muslims took great care to record the supplications of Muhammad and transmit them to subsequent generations.[citation needed] These traditions precipitated new genres of literature in which prophetic supplications were gathered together in single volumes that were memorized and taught. Collections such as Al-Nawawi's Kitab al-adhkar and Shams al-Din al-Jazari's al-Hisn al-Hasin exemplify this literary trend and gained significant currency among Muslim devotees keen to learn how Muhammad supplicated to God.

However, Du'a literature is not restricted to prophetic supplications; many later Muslim scholars and sages composed their own supplications, often in elaborate rhyming prose that would be recited by their disciples. Popular du'as would include Muhammad al-Jazuli's Dala'il al-Khayrat, which at its peak spread throughout the Muslim world, and Abul Hasan ash-Shadhili's Hizb al-Bahr which also had widespread appeal.[citation needed] Du'a literature reaches its most lyrical form in the Munajat, or 'whispered intimate prayers' such as those of Ibn 'Ata Allah. Among the Shia schools, the Al-Sahifa al-Sajjadiyya records du'as attributed to Ali and his grandson Ali ibn al-Husayn Zayn al-'Abidin.

Anas reported that Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) visited a person from amongst the Muslims in order to inquire (about his health) who had grown feeble like the chicken. Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: Did you supplicate for anything or beg of Him about that? He said: Yes. I used to utter (these words): Impose punishment upon me earlier in this world, what Thou art going to impose upon me in the Hereafter. Thereupon Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: Hallowed be Allah, you have neither the power nor forbearance to take upon yourself (the burden of His Punishment). Why did you not say this: O Allah, grant us good in the world and good in the Hereafter, and save us from the torment of Fire. He (the Holy Prophet) made this supplication (for him) and he was all right.

Narrated Anas:
Allah's Apostle said," None of you should long for death because of a calamity that had befallen him, and if he cannot, but long for death, then he should say, 'O Allah! Let me live as long as life is better for me, and take my life if death is better for me.' "

Types and categories[edit]

Portrait of the Mughal Emperor Akbar invocation of a Dua prayer.

Dua is essentially an expression of submission of faith to God and of one's neediness.

Type I: Du'a al-mas'alah, or the 'du'a of asking.' This type of du'a is when one asks for the fulfillment of a need, or that some harm be removed from him/her. An example would be when a person asks, "O God! Grant me good in this world, and good in the next life!"

Type II: Du'a al-'ibadah', or the 'du'a of worship.' This type of du'a represents a very broad concept. In Islam, every single act of worship includes this type of du'a. Examples would include when a Muslim prays or gives zakāt or fasts.

What is asked[edit]

Du'a can also be divided into two broad categories depending on what is being asked. These two categories include religion and the world. Examples of making du'a for religion would include things such as if a Muslim asked God to increase their faith or ask God to forgive them for their sins. Examples pertaining to the world would include things such as if a Muslim asks God for an increase in wealth, to be cured from a disease, or to be granted more children.

Salat[edit]

The salat is the obligatory prayer recited five times a day, as described in the Quran: "And establish regular prayers at the two ends of the day and at the approaches of the night: For those things, that are good remove those that are evil: Be that the word of remembrance to those who remember (their Lord):"[citation needed] Salat is read in the Arabic language. Until the 1950s, Ismailis from India and Pakistan performed the prayer the language of the local Jama'at Khana.[5]

Duas[edit]

  1. A person who recites from إِنَّ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ in sura Al Imran till the end of the surah on any night or part of the night, will receive the reward of performing his Salaat for the whole night.
  2. A person recites sura Ya Sin early in the morning then his need for the day will be fulfilled.
  3. Abdullah bin Masood narrates that Muhammad has stated that the person who recites the last two ayat of sura Al-Baqara till the end, then these two ayats will be sufficient for him, i.e. God will protect him from all evil and ploys.
  4. When retiring to sleep, make wudu, dust off the bed three times, lie on the right side, place the right hand under the head or cheeks and recite the following dua three times.
  5. A person who recites three times أَعُوذُ بِاللَّهِ السَّمِيعِ الْعَلِيمِ مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ الرَّجِيمِ in the morning the last three ayat of sura Al-Hashr then God delegates 70,000 angels (malāʾikah) to send mercy onto him till the evening and if he dies that day, he will die as a martyr and if he recites these in the evening then God delegates 70,000 angels to send mercy onto him till the morning and if he dies that night, he dies as martyr.
  6. A Muslim servant recites رَضِيتُ بِاللَّهِ رَبَّاً وَبِالْإِسْلَامِ ِينَاً وَبِمُحَمَّدٍ نَبِيَّاً three times every morning, then it becomes the responsibility of God to satisfy him on the Day of Qiyamah.
  7. A person who has recited اللَّهُمَّ مَا أَصْبَحَ بِي مِنْ نِعْمَةٍ أَوْ بِأَحَدٍ مِنْ خَلْقِكَ فَمِنْكَ وَحْدَكَ لَا شَرِيكَ لَكَ فَلَكَ الْحَمْدُ وَلَكَ الشُّكْرُ in the morning, he has pleased (praised, glorified) God for His favours of the morning, and if he has done so in the night, he has thanked God for His favours of the night.
  8. If a person recites three ayat of sura Ar-Rum (Para 21) and if he misses his normal recitation of the day, he will still be rewarded for it. This applies to the night as well.
  9. If after reading it you die in the night, then it is as if you have died on 'Natural Deen' and if you awake in the morning alive then you will have good fortune".
  10. If a person retires to bed on the side and recites sura Al-Fatiha and sura Al-Ikhlas (Qul huwa- Allaho Ahad) he is immune from everything besides death.
  11. Reciting Ayat-ul Kursi will cause the reciter to be protected throughout the night by the angels and Satan will not come near him.
  12. When a person enters his bed (to sleep), an angel and a Shaitan surround him. The Shaitan whispers 'your awakening will end in evil' and the angel says' end in good". One sleeps after engaging in dhikr, the angels will protect him throughout the night. In order to gain the protection of the angels, it is encouraged to engage in dhikr and then sleep.
  13. A man dreamed of Muhammad several times. Each time he asked Muhammed for advice on being able to retain his faith. He was told by Muhammad to recite the following each day:

In the name of Allah the Beneficent the Merciful O Allah! O Allah! O Allah! The Security, the Security the Security from the vanishment of the faith. O the Eternally Known! O the Eternally Obliging and O the Guide of those gone astray, Thee alone do we worship and of Thee (only) do we seek help. May Allah’s blessings be upon His best creation Mohammed and all his (pure) progeny.

Book of 101 Dua’s (Supplications)[6]

Zayn al-'Abidin's Dua[edit]

Ali ibn al-Husayn Zayn al-'Abidin conveyed his understanding of the relationship between human and God by the prayers and supplications that he offered God during his extensive nighttime vigils in the Al-Masjid an-Nabawi (Mosque of the Prophet) in Medina. These prayers and supplications were written down and then disseminated by his sons and the subsequent generations. Among them is the Al-Sahifa al-Sajjadiyya, which is known as the Psalms of the Household of Muhammad.

All Praise is for Allah who treats me with clemency, just as if I have no sin. So my Lord is the most praised by me of all, and most worthy of my praise. O' Allah! I find the roads of wishes to You wide open, And the rivers of hope to You vast and running, And counting on Your bountifulness (in times of need) for those who wished You freely accessible, And the gates of prayer to those who are disparate, wide ajar, And I know that You are for those who ask You in the position of answer, And for those who are distressed, You are in a posture of rescue.

—An extract of the Dua of Abu Hamza al-Thumali by Ali ibn al-Husayn Zayn al-'Abidin[7]

The pre-conditions[edit]

In Islam there are nine pre-conditions that need to be present in order for a du'a to be accepted.[citation needed]

The first Mughal Emperor Babur and his Mughal Army perform a Dua prayer while saluting their standards.

Only God responds[edit]

This first pre-condition can be supported by the following verse in the Quran.

Or, Who listens to the (soul) distressed when it calls on Him, and Who relieves its suffering, and makes you (mankind) inheritors of the earth? (Can there be another) god besides Allah? Little it is that ye heed!

—Quran, sura 27 (An-Naml), ayah 62[8]

Muhammad said:

When you ask (for anything), ask it from Allah, and if you seek help, seek help from Allah.

Abu Hurayrah reported Muhammad as saying:

"Make Dua to Allah when you are certain of a response."[10]

Sincerity[edit]

This is basically summed up in one sentence: in Islam a Muslim prays to God alone. This can be supported by several verses in the Quran.

"And the places of worship are for Allah (alone): So invoke not any one along with Allah;

—Quran, sura 72 (Al-Jinn), ayah 18[11]

Say: "Think ye to yourselves, if there come upon you the wrath of Allah, or the Hour (that ye dread), would ye then call upon other than Allah?- (reply) if ye are truthful!

—Quran, sura 6 (Al-An'am), ayah 40[12]

Verily those whom ye call upon besides Allah are servants like unto you: Call upon them, and let them listen to your prayer, if ye are (indeed) truthful!

—Quran, sura 7 (Al-A'raf), ayah 194[13]

"But those ye call upon besides Him, are unable to help you, and indeed to help themselves."

—Quran, sura 7 (Al-A'raf), ayah 197[14]

Tawassul[edit]

The term tawassul means the seeking of God's help and response through something beloved to Him.

There are many ways of performing tawassul, as mentioned in the Quran and Sunnah, one may make mention of the names and attributes of God or a good deed one has done, a blessed time such as Ramadan. One could also ask someone alive to make du'a to God on one's behalf.

Patience[edit]

In Islam, to be hasty in du'a is said to be a cause of rejection of du'a. The concept of hastiness is described in the following hadith.

It was asked, "O Messenger of God?...What does it mean to be hasty?" Prophet Muhammad responded "A worshipper says, 'I have prayed and prayed , and I don't yet see that it will be accepted; so he gives up hope of being answered, and leaves du'a'.[15]

Basically this means that a person makes du'a and it does not get answered right away so a person gives up and stops asking for it. The type of hastiness that is forbidden in Islam is that a person leaves du'a, thinking that God will not respond to it. In Islam, Muslims are instructed not to give up du'a because they do not see a response immediately. This can be supported by verses in the Quran and Hadiths.

To Him belong all (creatures) in the heavens and on earth: Even those who are in His (very) Presence are not too proud to serve Him, nor are they (ever) weary (of His service):

—Quran, sura 21 (Al-Anbiya), ayah 19[16]

Muhammad is reported to have said:

"You will be responded to as long as you are not hasty (meaning that you give up du'a)"[17]

The word hasty is used because it means that a person is hasty in expecting a response.

Purity[edit]

In Islam, in order for a person's du'a to be accepted by God, it must be for something pure and good.

Good intentions[edit]

In Islam it is imperative that a person making du'a have the best of intentions for whatever he or she is asking. An example would be if someone asks for an increase in wealth, they should intend with that increase in wealth to spend more on the poor and on their relatives.

Attentive heart[edit]

Muhammad is reported to have said,

"Make du'a to God in a state that you are certain that your du'a will be responded to, and know that God does not respond to a du'a that originates from a negligent, inattentive heart"[18]

According to this hadith, a Muslim is instructed to make du'a with a mindful heart. A Muslim should be aware of what he is saying and should believe in his or her heart that their du'a will be responded to by God.

Sustenance[edit]

It states in the Quran in sura Al-Baqara Verse 200:

So when ye have accomplished your holy rites, celebrate the praises of Allah, as ye used to celebrate the praises of your fathers,- yea, with far more Heart and soul. There are men who say: "Our Lord! Give us (Thy bounties) in this world!" but they will have no portion in the Hereafter.

—Quran, sura 2 (Al-Baqara), ayah 200[19]

Again and moreover Muhammad is reported to have said,

"O People! God is al-Tayyib (pure), and He only accepts that which is pure! God has commanded the Messengers, for He said, 'O Messengers! Eat from the pure foods, and do right.' Furthermore he said, 'O you who believe! Eat from the pure and good foods we have given you.' Then Prophet Hazrat Muhammad mentioned a traveller on a long journey, who is dishevelled and dusty, and he stretches forth his hands to the sky, saying, 'O my Lord! O my Lord!', While his food is unlawful, his drink is unlawful, his clothing is unlawful, and he is nourished unlawfully; how can he be answered?"[20]

The Hadith above describes a man who earned his money by cheating other people. His money was impure so therefore everything he purchased with his money became impure. His clothes, drink, and food were all purchased with that money which was considered impure, so his clothes, drink and food were all considered impure. According to the above hadith, in Islam a person's du'a will not be accepted by God if he earns unlawful money.

The hadith also stresses that according to Islam, anyone who eats impure foods, such as pork, will have his or her du'a rejected by God.

Non-interference[edit]

In Islam there is no specific time of day to which making du'a is restricted. In Islam, if something more important comes up than du'a, then that takes precedence. What is more important than du'a is defined by the Quran and Sunnah. Some examples include the call to prayer. If the adhan is called, in Islam one must respond to it. Another example is if a person is making du'a, and his or her parents call him or her for assistance, then responding to his or her parents takes precedence over du'a. This means a person must stop making du'a when he or she hears the adhan or the parents calling him or her, to respond. In Islam, the rights of the parents are great and are emphasized greatly in the Quran and Hadiths.

Why Duas are not answered[edit]

There are various reasons due to which Du'as, supplications and invocations are not accepted.

Authentic or confirmed reasons[edit]

Impatience[edit]

God rejects supplications if the worshipper is hasty or does not have patience.

It was asked, "O Messenger of God?...What does it mean to be hasty?" Prophet Muhammad responded "A worshipper says, 'I have prayed and prayed , and I don't yet see that it will be accepted; so he gives up hope of being answered, and leaves du'a'.[15]

It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah (Radiallhu Anhu) that the Messenger of Allah said: "(The Dua) of any one of you will be answered so long as he is not hasty in seeking a response and does not say, ‘I prayed but I have not had a response.’"

—Narrated by al-Bukhari, 5981; Muslim, 2735[21][22]

"A person’s Dua will continue to be answered so long as he does not pray for something sinful or for the breaking of family ties."

—Narrated by Muslim.[21]

Change oneself first[edit]

This aspect is explained in the following verse:

Allah does not change a people's lot unless they change what is in their hearts.

—Quran, sura 13 (Ar-Ra'd), ayah 11[23]

Praising God[edit]

One reported Hadith relates as follows,

Once a man said, "O God, forgive me and have mercy and have mercy on me!" This was after the man had finished two raka'ats. Prophet Muhammad said, "You have been hasty, O worshipper! When you finish your prayer, then sit down and praise God with the praise that he is worthy of, and recite durood upon me, then state your du'a..."[24]

If worshipper thinks Dua will not be answered[edit]

Muhammad is reported to have said,

"Make du'a to God in a state that you are certain that your du'a will be responded to, and know that God does not respond to a du'a that originates from a negligent, inattentive heart"

—Hadith narrated by al-Tirmidhi and al-Hakim from Abu-Hurayrah and authenticated by al-Albani in sahih al-Jami[22]

Not thinking positively of God may have invocations unanswered. Muhammad said:

"Allah, may He be exalted, says: ‘I am as My slave thinks I am.’"

—Narrated by al-Bukhari, 7405; Muslim, 4675[21]

Sinful or haraam income and food[edit]

Muhammad made mention of a person who travels widely, his hair dishevelled, and covered with dust.

"He lifts his hands and makes supplication, ‘O Lord, O Lord,’ but his diet is unlawful, his drink is unlawful, and his clothes are unlawful, and his nourishment is unlawful. How then can his supplication be accepted?"[25]

A similar version in Hadith reported by Ahmad, Muslim, and al-Tirmidhi from Abu Hurayrah, as mentioned in sahih al-Jami #2744.

"A person’s Dua will continue to be answered so long as he does not pray for something sinful or for the breaking of family ties." Narrated by Muslim.[21]

Asking for something sinful[edit]

Abu Hurayrah reports that Muhammad said:

"A person’s Dua will continue to be answered so long as he does not pray for something sinful or for the breaking of family ties."

—Narrated by Muslim[21]

A dua for something that is haram cannot be made and will not be fulfilled. We cannot ask for that which is forbidden in Islam. Such duas would definitely not be answered. Hence for starters we should know that what we are asking for should be halal according to the Islamic Sharia. No one should pray for death.[26]

Cutting of the ties of kinship[edit]

"A person’s Dua will continue to be answered so long as he does not pray for something sinful or for the breaking of family ties." Narrated by Muslim.[21]

Muhammad said:

"The supplication of a slave continues to be granted as long as he does not supplicate for a sinful thing or for something that would cut off the ties of kinship and he does not grow impatient."[25]

Making Dua conditional[edit]

Muhammad said:

"Let not any one of you say, ‘O Allah, forgive me if You will, O Allah, have mercy on me if You will.’ Let him be resolute in the matter, whilst knowing that no one can compel Allah to do anything."

—Narrated by al-Bukhari and Muslim[21][25]

Other optional etiquette[edit]

There are various other optional techniques and etiquettes in the Quran and Sunnah for Du'a. Those who wish to do can do and those who wish to avoid can skip. Listed here are a limited few and just a fraction of the etiquettes of du'a that scholars have found in reference to in the Quran and Sunnah.

Raising one's hands[edit]

Raising one's hands is an encouraged option. There are many hadith that describe how Muhammad raised his hands during du'a. Some hadith describe him having raised his hands way up high in emergency situations. Many scholars agree that if it is not an extreme situation that Muhammad did not raise his hands above his head. The exact manner that many scholars in Islam describe how high the hands should be raised during a regular Du'a is up to the shoulders with palms placed together.

Scholars however agree that there are two authentic ways of raising one's hands: when not in drastic conditions the palms of one's hands should be turned up facing the skies, whilst the back of one's hands are facing the ground, then the du'a can be "recited". One must also make sure to face the Qibla (direction of prayer), whilst making du'a.

The second way agreed upon by scholars is to have the palms facing one's face; once again one must face the Qibla, but this time the back of one's hands should also face the Qibla.

Evidence for facing the Qibla during du'a can be found in Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim

Abdullah ibn Zayd narrated:

'The Prophet left (Madinah) to this prayer, seeking rain. So he made a du'a, and asked for rain, then he faced the Qibla and turned his cloak inside-out'

—Sahih al-Bukhari #6343, Muslim #894 and others

Facing the Qibla[edit]

The Qibla is the direction that Muslims face while performing salat. Facing the Qibla is an encouraged option. It has been reported in hadith that Muhammad faced the Qibla while making du'a as narrated in several hadith.[citation needed]

There are also well-known[citation needed] Sahih hadith which narrate that it is forbidden to lift one's eyes towards the sky in prayer.

Abu Huraira reported:

People should avoid lifting their eyes towards the sky while supplicating in prayer, otherwise their eyes can be snatched away.[27]

Wiping the face[edit]

Once the du'a has been completed, it is most common for the supplicant to wipe their face with their hands, and this act signals the end of the du’a. We find Ahadith concerning this etiquette e.g. in Sunan Abu Dawud.

Narrated Abdullah ibn Abbas:
The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said:...
Supplicate Allah with the palms of your hands; do not supplicate Him with their backs upwards. When you finish supplication, wipe your faces with them.

Narrated Yazid ibn Sa'id al-Kindi:
When the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) made supplication (to Allah) he would raise his hands and wipe his face with his hands.

—Abu Dawood, Sunan Abu Dawood[29]

However, this practice is objected to by scholars following the Salafi movement,[30] based upon a number of declared reasons. These declared reasons include: the wiping of the face were an innovation because there were no authentic hadiths which stated that Muhammad ever did it or ordered his followers to do it.[31] Also, in du’a al-Qunut, Muhammad had never been reported to have wiped his face after completing the du’a, or to have had ordered his followers to do so.[31] Finally, there were many authentic hadiths regarding du’a and none of them mentioned wiping the face at all.[31]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Bombay High Court:Haji Bibi vs H.H. Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah 1 September 1908". Russell, High Court of Bombay. Retrieved 26 March 2012. 
  2. ^ Quran 40:60
  3. ^ Sahih Muslim, 35:6501
  4. ^ Sahih al-Bukhari, 8:75:362
  5. ^ Asani, A. S. (1987). "The khojahs of Indo‐Pakistan: The quest for an Islamic identity". Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs. Journal 8: 31–41. doi:10.1080/02666958708716015. 
  6. ^ For preservation of faith
  7. ^ Dua'a Abu Hamza Thumali
  8. ^ Quran 27:62
  9. ^ Home > Bulugh al-Maram > The Comprehensive Book - كتاب الجامع > Hadith
  10. ^ Narrated by Muhammad ibn `Isa at-Tirmidhi
  11. ^ Quran 72:18
  12. ^ Quran 6:40
  13. ^ Quran 7:194
  14. ^ Quran 7:197
  15. ^ a b Hadith narrated by Muslim from Abu Hurayrah, as mentioned in sahih al-Jami #7705
  16. ^ Quran 21:19
  17. ^ Hadith narrated by al-Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud and others, from abu Hurayrah, as mentioned in sahih al-Jami #8085
  18. ^ Hadith narrated by al-Tirmidhi and al-Hakim from Abu-Hurayrah and authenticated by al-Albani in sahih al-Jami
  19. ^ Quran 2:200
  20. ^ Hadith reported by Ahmad, Muslim, and al-Tirmidhi from Abu Hurayrah, as mentioned in sahih al-Jami #2744
  21. ^ a b c d e f g Why Our Duas Are Unanswered
  22. ^ a b Why our Dua'as are not answered?
  23. ^ Quran 13:11
  24. ^ Hadith narrated by al-Tirmidhi and al-Nasa'i from Fadalah ibn Ubayd and authenticated by Al-albani in Sahih al Jami #3988
  25. ^ a b c Why is my Dua not accepted
  26. ^ The True Call
  27. ^ Hadith reported by Abu Hurayrah and Jabir b. Samura, as mentioned in Sahih Muslim (Book of Prayer, chapter 24), #863 and #862
  28. ^ Sunan Abu Dawood, 8:1480
  29. ^ Sunan Abu Dawood, 8:1487
  30. ^ The Weakness of the Ahaadeeth Mentioning Wiping the Face with the Hands after Du`aa' (supplication), From Irwaa' al-Ghaleel (2/178-182), by Muhammad Nasiruddin al-Albani
  31. ^ a b c The Weakness of the Ahaadeeth Mentioning Wiping the Face with the Hands after Du`aa' (supplication), From Irwaa' al-Ghaleel (2/178-182), by Muhammad Nasiruddin al-Albani

External links[edit]