“Dua is worship.”
Dua (supplication) is a gift. Through dua, one is able to connect with the Lord of the worlds and ask for one’s needs, as Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) says in the Qur’an:
وَقَالَ رَبُّكُمُ ادْعُونِي أَسْتَجِبْ لَكُمْ ۚ
“And your Lord says, ‘Call upon Me; I will respond to you.'”
وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِى عَنِّى فَإِنِّى قَرِيبٌۖ أُجِيبُ دَعۡوَةَ ٱلدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِۖ فَلۡيَسۡتَجِيبُواْ لِى وَلۡيُؤۡمِنُواْ بِى لَعَلَّهُمۡ يَرۡشُدُونَ (١٨٦)
“And when My servants ask you, [O Muhammad], concerning Me – indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me [by obedience] and believe in Me that they may be [rightly] guided.”
“There is nothing more noble to Allah the Glorified, than supplication.” [Ibn Majah]
“Your Lord is munificent and generous, and is ashamed to turn away empty the hands of His servant when he raises them to Him.” [Abu Dawud]
“Whomsoever of you the door of supplication is opened for, the doors of mercy have been opened for him. And Allah is not asked for anything – meaning – more beloved to Him, than being asked for Al-Afiyah.” And the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “The supplication benefits against that which strikes and that which does not strike, so hold fast, oh worshippers of Allah, to supplication.” [Tirmidhi]
Dua, in essence, springs from the heart. One may supplicate at any time and in any language or not using any words at all but rather asking in one’s heart. However, among the good observances with regarding to making dua is to utilize the comprehensive and eloquent supplications taught to us in the Qur’an and hadith and also to seize opportune moments such as the time of rainfall, the time after the call to prayer has been completed and before the prayer has commenced, the last third of the night, while on a journey, on the day of Arafah, while one is fasting, etc.
The response to one’s supplications may not be immediately or outwardly visible every time. The response to an accepted supplication varies by Allah’s (Glorified and Exalted be He) wisdom and infinite knowledge. For instance, wealth may be withheld from a person because Allah knows that particular person would end up in more harm than good when given wealth, and therefore he is protected by having it withheld.
وَلَوْ بَسَطَ اللَّـهُ الرِّزْقَ لِعِبَادِهِ لَبَغَوْا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَلَـٰكِن يُنَزِّلُ بِقَدَرٍ مَّا يَشَاءُ ۚ إِنَّهُ بِعِبَادِهِ خَبِيرٌ بَصِيرٌ ﴿٢٧﴾
“And if Allah had extended [excessively] provision for His servants, they would have committed tyranny throughout the earth. But He sends [it] down in an amount which He wills. Indeed He is, of His servants, Acquainted and Seeing.” [Qur’an; 42:27]
No accepted supplication is wasted as Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) is in control and He delivers in the best way at the best time. Some supplications receive a response in this life, while others may be replaced with something better, or something good in the Hereafter, or even perhaps by having a calamity averted.
“There is none who utters a supplication, except that Allah gives him what he asked, or prevents evil from him that is equal to it – as long as he does not supplicate for something evil, or the cutting of ties of the womb.” [Tirmidhi]
Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy on him) has mentioned three possibilities with regards to dua and Divine decree. Firstly, it is possible that the dua is stronger than the Decree and thus repels it permanently. Secondly, it is possible that the dua is weaker than the Decree, so the Decree occurs but the dua softens it a little bit. Thirdly, they could be of equal strength, so that each prevents the other from acting. Either way, our dua is certainly worthwhile.
Ibn al-Qayyim is also reported to have said, “Du’a is of the most beneficial cures, and it is the enemy of all diseases. It fights them, and cures them, and prevents their occurrence, and causes them to be raised up or reduced after its occurence. It is the weapon of the believer.” [Source]
“Nothing increases one’s life span except righteousness and nothing repels the Divine decree except supplication, and a man may be deprived of provision by a sin that he commits.’” [Ibn Majah]
“There is no believing servant who supplicates for his brother behind his back (in his absence) that the Angels do not say: The same be for you too.” [Sahih Muslim]
“One of you is granted an answer (to his supplication) provided he does not say, ‘I prayed but I was not granted an answer.'” [Sunan Abi Dawud]
“The supplication of Dhun-Nun (Prophet Yunus) when he supplicated, while in the belly of the whale was: ‘There is none worthy of worship except You, Glory to You, Indeed, I have been of the transgressors. (Lā ilāha illā anta subḥānaka innī kuntu minaẓ-ẓālimīn)’ So indeed, no Muslim man supplicates with it for anything, ever, except Allah responds to him.” [Tirmidhi]
“No precaution can protect against the decree of Allaah. Du’aa’ is beneficial with regard to what has been decreed and what has not been decreed. The du’aa’ meets the calamity that has been decreed and wrestles with it, until the Day of Resurrection.” (Narrated by al-Tabaraani, 2/800 (33). Al-Albaani said in Saheeh al-Jaami’, 7739, (it is) hasan).
It was narrated from Ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: “Du’aa’ may be of benefit with regard to what has already happened or what has not yet happened, so adhere to Du’aa’, O slaves of Allaah.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi (3548)
“There are three supplications which are answered: the supplication of the person who is wronged, the supplication of the traveller, and the supplication of a parent for his child.” [Al-Adab Al-Mufrad]
“Beware of the supplication of the oppressed; for indeed there is no barrier between it and Allah.” [Jami At-Tirmidhi]
Tariq bin Ashyam (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Whenever a man entered the fold of Islam, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) would show him how to perform Salat and then direct him to supplicate: “Allahumm-aghfir li, warhamni, wa-hdini, wa ‘afini, warzuqni (O Allah! Forgive me, have mercy on me, guide me, guard me against harm and provide me with sustenance and salvation).” [Muslim] In another narration Tariq said: A man came to the Prophet (Peace be upon him) and said to him: “O Messenger of Allah! What shall I say if I want to pray to my Rubb?” He (Peace be upon him) said, “Say: ‘Allahumma-ghfir li, warhamni, wa ‘afini, warzuqni (O Allah! Forgive me, have mercy on me, protect me and provide me with sustenance).’ Surely, this supplication is better for you in this life and in the Hereafter.” [Riyad as-Salihin]
Supplicating to Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) is a demonstration of our humility before Him. It shows that a person has embraced the concept that everything happens by Divine Will and Power and therefore it makes sense to ask Him (Glorified and Exalted be He) for everything we want.
اللَّهُمَّ طَهِّرْ قَلْبِي مِنَ النِّفَاقِ وَعَمَلِي مِنَ الرِّيَاءِ وَلِسَانِي مِنَ الْكَذِبِ وَعَيْنِي مِنَ الْخِيَانَةِ فَإِنَّكَ تَعْلَمُ خَائِنَةَ الأَعْيُنِ وَمَا تُخْفِي الصُّدُورُ
Allahumma tahhir qalbee minan-nifaaq, wa ‘amali minar riya, wa lisaani minal kazib, wa ‘ayni minal khiyaanati, fa innaka ta’alamu khaainatal a’yuni wa ma tukhfis sudoor.
‘O Allah! Purify my heart from hypocrisy, my deeds from any kind of riya (ostentation), my tongue from lying, and my eye from treachery. For indeed You know the treachery of the eyes and what the hearts conceal.’
اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الشِّقَاقِ وَالنِّفَاقِ وَسُوءِ الأَخْلاَقِ
Allahumma inni a’udhu bika minash-shiqaqi wan-nifaqi, wa suw’il-akhlaq
“Oh Allah, I seek refuge with You from opposing the truth, hypocrisy and bad manners.” [Sunan An-Nasai]
اللهم إني أعوذ بك من منكرات الأخلاق، والأعمال، والأهواء
Allahumma inni a’udhu bika min munkaratil-akhlaqi, wal-a’mali, wal- ahwa’i
“Oh Allah! I seek refuge in You from undesirable manners, deeds, and aspirations.” [Tirmidhi]
اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الْهَمِّ وَالْحَزَنِ وَالْعَجْزِ وَالْكَسَلِ وَالْبُخْلِ وَضَلَعِ الدَّيْنِ وَغَلَبَةِ الرِّجَالِ
Allāhumma innī a`ūdhu bika minal-hammi wal-ḥazani wal-`ajzi wal-kasali wal-bukhli wa ḍala`id-dain wa ghalabatir-rijāl
“Oh Allah, I seek refuge in You from sadness, grief, helplessness, laziness, being stingy, overwhelming debt, and the overpowering of men.” [Tirmidhi]
Abdullah ibn `Umar (Allah be pleased with him) relates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) used to say:
Allahumma asaluka al-sihhata wa al-`iffata wa al-amanata wa husna al-khuluqi wa al-rida bi’l qadr.
“O Allah I ask you for good health, dignified restraint, trustworthiness, good character, and contentment with Divine decree.” [Bayhaqi]
Umm ad-Darda’ said, “Abu’d-Darda’ stood up in the night to pray. He was weeping and said, ‘O Allah! You made my physical form good, so make my character good!’ until morning. I said, ‘Abu’d-Darda’, your only supplication for the entire night was for good character!’ He replied, ‘Umm ad-Darda’, the Muslim makes his character good with the result that his good character takes him into the Garden. He makes his character bad with the result that his bad character takes him into the Fire…'” [Adab Al-Mufrad]
“Oh Allah, I ask You for sound health with faith, faith with good manners, success here/in this world/life followed by success in the Hereafter, mercy from You, health and safety and Your forgiveness and pleasure.” [Abu Hurayrah-Mustadrak Hakim 119/1919]
اللهم أرني الحق حقاً وارزقني اتباعه ، وأرني الباطل باطلا وارزقني اجتنابه
Allahumma ariniyal haqqa haqqaw warzuqniyat tiba’ah, wa ariniyal batila batila warzuqana ijtinabih
“O Allah! show us the truth as true, and inspire us to follow it. Show us falsehood as falsehood, and inspire us to abstain from it.” [See Sharhul Ihya, vol.10 pg.106]
اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الأَرْبَعِ مِنْ عِلْمٍ لاَ يَنْفَعُ وَمِنْ قَلْبٍ لاَ يَخْشَعُ وَمِنْ نَفْسٍ لاَ تَشْبَعُ وَمِنْ دُعَاءٍ لاَ يُسْمَعُ
Allahumma! Inni a’udhu bika minal-arba’: min ‘ilmin la yanfa’u, wa min qalbin la yakhsha’u, wa min nafsin la tashba’u, wa min du’a’in la yusma
O Allah, I seek refuge with You from four things: From knowledge that is of no benefit, from a heart that does not fear (You), from a soul that is never satisfied, and from a supplication that is not heard. [Ibn Majah]
اللهم آت نفسي تقواها، وزكها أنت خير من زكاها، أنت وليها ومولاها
Allahumma ati nafsi taqwaha, wa zakkiha Anta khairu man zakkaha, Anta waliyyuha wa maulaha.
Grant me the sense of piety and purify my soul as You are the Best to purify it. You are its Guardian and its Protecting Friend. [Riyad-us-Saliheen]
اللَّهُمَّ انْفَعْنِي بِمَا عَلَّمْتَنِي وَعَلِّمْنِي مَا يَنْفَعُنِي وَزِدْنِي عِلْمًا
Allahummanfa’ni bima ‘allamtani, wa ‘allimni ma yanfa’uni, wa zidni ‘ilma
“O Allah, benefit me by that which You have taught me, and teach me that which will benefit me, and increase me in knowledge.” [Ibn Majah]
سُبْحَانَكَ لَا عِلْمَ لَنَا إِلَّا مَا عَلَّمْتَنَا ۖ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ الْعَلِيمُ الْحَكِيمُ
Subhaanaka la ilma lanaa illaa maa allamtanaa innaka anta al-aleemul hakeem
“Exalted are You; we have no knowledge except what You have taught us. Indeed, it is You who is the Knowing, the Wise.” [Qur’an; 2:32]
رَبِّ زدْنيِ عِلْماً وَ رْزُقْنيِ فَهْماً
Rabbi zidni ‘ilman war zuqni fahmaa
“O Allah! Advance me in knowledge and [true] understanding.”
بٙارٙكٙ اللّٰهُ لِي وٙلٙكُم فِي القُرآنِ الكٙرِيم
و نٙفٙعنِي وٙإِيّٙاكُم بِالآيٙاتِ وٙ ذِكرِ الحٙكِيم
إِنّهُ جٙوٙادٌ مٙلِكٌ بٙرٌّ رٙبٌ رٙئُوفٌ رٙحِيم
Barakallahu lee wa lakum fil quranil kareem
Wa nafa’nee wa iyyakum bil aayaati wa dhikril hakeem
Innahu jawaadun malikun barrun rabbur ra’oofur raheem
“May Allah bless me and you through the guidance of this noble Quran. And may its teachings and remembrances benefit me and you. Truly Allah is the Possessor of wealth, the Sovereign, the All-Good, the One Who has authority and power over us, the Loving and Infinitely Merciful.”
اللَّهُمَ حَبَّبْ إِلَيْنَا الْإِيمَانَ وَزَيِّنْهُ فِي قُلُوبِنَا، وَكَرِّهْ إِلَيْنَا الْكُفْرَ وَالْفُسُوقَ وَالْعِصْيَانَ،
وَاجْعَلْنَا مِنَ الرَّاشِدِينَ
Allahumma habbab ilaynal-eemana wa zayyinhu fee quloobina, wa karrih ilaynal-kufra wal-fusooqa wal-isyaana, waj-alna minar raashideen.
“O Allah make our faith beloved to us and beautify it in our hearts and make hateful to us disbelief, wickedness and disobedience. And make us of the rightly guided.”
اللّهُمَّ لا سَهْلَ إلا ما جَعَلْتَهُ سَهْلا وَأنتَ تَجْعَلُ الحَزْنَ إذا شِئْتَ سَهْلا
Allahumma la sahla illa maa ja’altahu sahlan, wa Anta taj’alu l-hazna idha shi’ta sahla.
“O Allah! There is no ease except that which You make easy, and indeed You, when You want, make difficulties easy.” [Sahih Ibn Hibban]
اللَّهُمَّ أَصْلِحْ لِي دِينِيَ الَّذِي هُوَ عِصْمَةُ أَمْرِي وَأَصْلِحْ لِي دُنْيَاىَ الَّتِي فِيهَا مَعَاشِي وَأَصْلِحْ لِي آخِرَتِي الَّتِي فِيهَا مَعَادِي وَاجْعَلِ الْحَيَاةَ زِيَادَةً لِي فِي كُلِّ خَيْرٍ وَاجْعَلِ الْمَوْتَ رَاحَةً لِي مِنْ كُلِّ شَرٍّ
” O Allah, set right for me my religion which is the safeguard of my affairs. And set right for me the affairs of my world wherein is my living. And set right for me my Hereafter on which depends my after-life. And make the life for me (a source) of abundance for every good and make my death a source of comfort for me protecting me against every evil.” [Sahih Muslim]
اللهم إني عبدُك وابنُ عبدِك وابنُ أَمَتِك، ناصِيَتِي بِيَدِكَ، مَاضٍ فِيَّ حُكْمُكَ، عَدْلٌ فِيَّ قَضَاؤُكَ، أَسْأَلُكَ بِكُلِّ اسْمٍ هُوَ لَكَ، سَمَّيْتَ بِهِ نَفْسَكَ، أَوْ عَلَّمْتَهُ أَحَداً مِنْ خَلْقِكَ، أَوْ أَنْزَلْتَهُ فِي كِتَابِكَ، أَوِ اسْتَأْثَرْتَ بِهِ فِي عِلْمِ الْغَيْبِ عِنْدَكَ: أَنْ تَجْعَلَ الْقُرْآنَ رَبِيعَ قَلْبِي، وَنُورَ صَدْرِي، وَجَلَاءَ حُزْنِي، وَذَهَابَ هَمِّي
Allahumma inni `abduka wabnu `abdika wabnu amatik nasiyati bi-yadik madin fiyya hukmuk `adlun fiyya qada’uk as’aluka bi-kulli ismin huwa lak sammayta bihi nafsak aw `allamtahu ahadan min khalqak aw anzaltahu fi kitabik awista’tharta bihi fi `ilmi al-ghaybi `indak an taj`ala al-Qur’ana al-karima rabi`a qalbi wa-nura sadri wa-jala’a huzni wa-dhahaba hammi.
O Allah, I am Your slave, son of Your male servant, and son of Your female servant. My forelock is in Your Hand. Your command for me prevails. Your judgement concerning me is just. I beseech You through every name You have, by which You have called Yourself, or which You have sent down in Your Book, or which You have taught to any one of Your creations, or which You have preferred to keep to Yourself among Your guarded secrets, to make the Great Qur’an the springtime of my heart, the light of my chest, the remover of my sadness, and the pacifier of my worries. [Ahmad]
رَبِّ أَوۡزِعۡنِىٓ أَنۡ أَشۡكُرَ نِعۡمَتَكَ ٱلَّتِىٓ أَنۡعَمۡتَ عَلَىَّ وَعَلَىٰ وَٲلِدَىَّ وَأَنۡ أَعۡمَلَ صَـٰلِحً۬ا تَرۡضَٮٰهُ وَأَدۡخِلۡنِى بِرَحۡمَتِكَ فِى عِبَادِكَ ٱلصَّـٰلِحِينَ
“My Lord, enable me to be grateful for Your favor which You have bestowed upon me and upon my parents and to do righteousness of which You approve. And admit me by Your mercy into [the ranks of] Your righteous servants.” [Qur’an; 27:19]
The daughter of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), Fatima (may Allah be pleased with her) came to him asking for a servant. He said, “May I inform you of something better than that? When you go to bed, recite ‘Subhan Allah’ thirty three times, ‘Alhamdulillah’ thirty three times, and ‘Allahu Akbar’ thirty four times. [Sahih Bukhari]
Sending Praise on the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “If anyone invokes blessings on me once, Allah will bless him ten times.” [Abu Dawud]
It was asked, “Messenger of Allah, you have commanded us to invoke blessing on you and to salute you. As regards salutation we have already learnt it. How should we invoke blessing?” He (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “Say: ‘O Allah, bless Muhammad and Muhammad’s family as You did bless Abraham and Abraham’s family. O Allah, grant favours to Muhammad and Muhammad’s family as You did grant favours to Abraham; You are indeed praiseworthy and glorious.'” [Abu Dawud]
Furthermore, couching one’s supplications with an opening of praise on Allah and sending prayers on the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and a closing of the same is said to increase the strength of the supplication.
Apart from the prescribed supplications, one may also choose one’s own words in praising and asking, as long as there is no deviation from correct belief about Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) and His messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).
Wa akhiru da’wana an al-hamdu li-Llahi rabb il-‘alamin! (10:10)
Was-salatu was-salamu ‘ala rasulihil-karim! Rabbana taqabbal minna innaka antas-Sami’ ul-‘Alim! Subhana Rabbuka rabb ul-‘izzati ‘amma yasifun. Wa salamun ‘alal-mursalin. Wal-hamdu li-Llahi rabb il-‘alamin! Amin!
In the end our claim is that all praise be to Allah, the Lord of the World and blessings and greetings to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). Our Lord! Accept from us this duty! Lo! Thou, only Thou, art the Hearer, the Knower! Gloried be thy Lord, the Lord of Majesty, From that which they attribute (unto Him)! Peace be unto His messengers! Praise be to Allah the Almighty, Lord of the Worlds! Be it so!