The Meaning and Importance of Dua (دعا)
Dua (دعا) is an Arabic word that means to ask, to question, to call, to talk, to ask for help, and to worship. According to Shariah, supplication is the name of showing great humility and need before Allah Almighty.
Allah encourages His people to ask Him. Its importance becomes quite clear considering that one of the meanings of supplication is to worship.
وَقَالَ رَبُّكُمُ ادْعُونِي أَسْتَجِبْ لَكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَسْتَكْبِرُونَ عَنْ عِبَادَتِي سَيَدْخُلُونَ جَهَنَّمَ دَاخِرِينَ
And your Lord says, “Call upon Me; I will respond to you.” Indeed, those who disdain My worship (Dua) will enter Hell [rendered] contemptible.
The Etiquettes of Dua:
A lot of our Muslim brothers and sisters may be unaware that they are actually quite a few etiquettes of praying that should be kept in mind. Here we will present a few of them.
1). Tawheed (Monotheism):
A requirement of making dua is to have belief in Tawheed and not to associate any partners with Allah (Al- Baqara: 186). Learn about Tawheed by reading Kitab at Tawheed published by Darussalam.
It’s imperative to be sincere when supplicating and to pray with the purest intentions. (Al-bayyina: 5).
Those who disbelieve from among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) and among Al-Mushrikun (polytheists), were not going to leave (their disbelief) until there came to them clear evidence.
3). Supplicate through Asma ul Husna (أسماء الحسنى):
It is recommended to supplicate through the names and attributes of Allah.
And (all) the Most Beautiful Names belong to Allah, so call on Him by them, and leave the company of those who spoil (when pronouncing) or abuse (or utter impious speech against) His Names. They will be punished for what they used to do.
( Al Aaraaf: 180)
4). Praise Allah سبحانه وتعالى & Send blessings on the Prophet ﷺ:
It’s important while praying to praise Allah first and send blessings on the Prophet ﷺ before making dua. (Jami ut tirmazi: 3476, Sahih Jami 4399)
It has been narrated:
“When one of you prays, let him start with praise of Allah, then let him send blessings upon the Prophet ﷺ, then let him ask whatever he likes after that.”
(Jami` at-Tirmidhi 3477)
5). Face the Qiblah:
One should be careful to face the Qiblah whenever supplicating (Sahih Muslim:1736).
When it was the day on which the Battle of Badr was fought, the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) cast a glance at the infidels, and they were one thousand while his own Companions were three hundred and nineteen. The Prophet (ﷺ) turned (his face) towards the Qibla. Then he stretched his hands and began his supplication to his Lord: “O Allah, accomplish for me what Thou hast promised to me. O Allah, bring about what Thou hast promised to me. O Allah, if this small band of Muslims is destroyed. Thou will not be worshipped on this earth.
(Sahih Muslim 1763)
It is concluded from this hadith that it is mustahabb to face the Qiblah while making dua.
There are lots of etiquettes for praying and are not limited to these 5 alone. However, this provides insight into the fact that there is a proper way of making dua that will not only lead to greater acceptance but will also increase one’s blessings and Prayer will also establish a direct line with Allah.
To learn more etiquettes on praying, learn and attempt Noble Student’s quiz on 30 Quranic Supplications at www.noblestudent.com
The Acceptance of Dua:
As Muslims, we have faith in Allah and the fact that all our sincere duas are being heard. Yet there are instances in everyone’s lives where we feel like our prayers are not being accepted. In such instances, people often become disheartened and question why their prayers are not answered. Here we present some reasons why our dua may not be accepted.
1). Haram Earnings:
We are well aware of the concept of Haram and the income earned through unlawful and haram means, yet we still indulge in the act of earning income through interest (ربا) and other means that are prohibited in Islam.
He (ﷺ) made mention of the person who travels for a long period of time, his hair is disheveled and covered with dust. He lifts his hand towards the sky and thus makes the supplication: ‘My Rubb! My Rubb!’ But his food is unlawful, his drink is unlawful, his clothes are unlawful and his nourishment is unlawful, how can, then his supplication be accepted?”
(Sahih Muslim: 1015)
Although Allah is the best forgiver we still need to be aware of our actions and avoid sins and haram actions.
2). Heedlessness in Dua:
If we become heedless in our prayers then how can we expect Allah to accept our prayers? Praying is about speaking to Allah, to unburden our hearts and soul. Not reciting a monotonous prayer with our minds wandering elsewhere.
3). Committing Sins:
We as humans are not perfect and that’s understandable but if we don’t even strive to follow the right path and instead lead a life full of sins and bad deeds then that can be a major reason why our prayers are not being accepted. Lying, cheating, Zina’s disregard for others and so much more have become second nature to people. We must protect ourselves from such sins.
4). Forgetting To Pray At Times of Ease:
Unfortunately, a lot of us only turn towards Allah when facing a calamity or when in distress. As soon as we get through the hard times we forget to make dua to Allah. The reality is that we need to pray at all times, even in times of ease. In fact, praying in times of ease may lead to a greater acceptance of prayers when distressed.
The Prophet ﷺ said: Remember Allah during times of ease and He will remember you during times of hardship.
(40 Hadith Nawawi 19)
5). A Weak Prayer:
A weak prayer usually goes unanswered. What is a weak prayer though? By a weak prayer, we are referring to a dua that may contain the wish for something inappropriate or unacceptable. It could be a wish for something that is sinful or could be a prayer for eternal life and the like.
Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “The supplication of any of you is answered as long as he does not make supplication for something which is a wrong action or cutting off ties of kinship or become impatient and say, ‘I made supplication and was not answered,’ and so he stops making supplication.’
(Al-Adab Al-Mufrad 655)
Once again the list of things that may be coming in the way of the acceptance of our dua is not limited to these alone. For the acceptance of prayers, we must take care to follow all the etiquettes of prayers and avoid all tasks that may be sinful or unacceptable. As rational Muslims, we all should be aware of the deeds that are prohibited and disliked. إن شاء الله, you will see a change for yourself.
Also Read: Supplications for Children.
It’s also important to note here not to lose hope. Even if a prayer may not be accepted the way we assume, Allah does hear us all. Acceptance of dua can be done in a number of ways.
“Either Allah will respond and fulfill the desire of the person who made the dua’, or He will ward off some evil from him because of the dua’, or He will make something good easy for him to attain because of it, or He will save it with Him for him on the Day of Resurrection when he will be most in need of it.”