Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim
My respected people! Du’a is an act of worship to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala for the fulfilment of certain particular needs. It is a means by which a servant of Allah who is utterly helpless and in total dependence on the Creator relies upon for assistance. It is a route through which one gets in communication with Allah ta’ala.
Human beings and Jinn kind were created to serve and worship the one and only Creator, Allah. A hadith states:
"Du’a is the essence of worship." (al-Tirmidhi)
An-Nu’man bin Bashir (May Allah be pleased with them) reported that:
The Prophet (SAW ) said: “Du’a (supplication) is worship.” (Abi Dawud)
A’isha (May Allah be pleased with her) reported that: “The Messenger of Allah (SAW) liked comprehensive supplications or (Al-Jawami’ – i.e., supplications with very few words but comprehensive in meanings), and discarded others.” (Abi Dawud)
Here are some recommended etiquettes while making du’a:
* Raise your hands to Allah
* Focus on the du‘a’ and its wording
* Try to supplicate during one of the times when du’a may be more readily accepted by Allah
* Have a heart that is full of humbleness as well as willing and ready to cry for the sake of Allah
* Face the qiblah (direction of the holy Ka’aba) if possible
* Be in a state of purity if possible
The Protocols of making DU’A and the Challenge of Du’as not getting accepted
We make Du’a hoping and praying to change our conditions or states that we are in. By acquiring the right knowledge about various aspects of making DU’A, we can cause a change in that condition because Du’a can cause miracles to happen.
Du’a is probably one of the most commonly used tools that we use to reach out to Allah to present our case and to ask for our wishes and wants. However, we also know that not all Du’as are accepted as readily – may be more often because we ignore some of the conditions required for Du’as being accepted – issues that both the Quran and our prophet have taught us. Consider the case of Prophet Yunus, who was swallowed by a large fish as a punishment by Allah. Although he (being a prophet) made Du’a, but this is what Allah says about him before he rescued him from the fish’s belly.
"Had he not been of them who glorify Allah, He would have indeed remained inside its belly (the fish) till the Day of Resurrection." (Surah Saffat, Verses 143-144)
This was Prophet Yunus’s Du’a to escape the major calamity – We therefore need to learn all those small issues that can help get our Du’as accepted. We know that there are Du’as that aren’t accepted because that’s what’s in our best interest. However, we need to ensure that we do our part as best as we can.
Why a Du’a doesn’t get answered?
Sometimes our du’as are not answered. Some of those reasons eventually become obvious to us with the passage of time and some don’t. However, as Muslims we should understand the reasons to help us better cope with situations when our Du’as are not being answered. This can help us influence factors that are under our direct control. We know from Quran and Hadith the many reasons behind du’as not being accepted. Some of them are the following:
* The Du’a that a person is asking may not be good for the person but that person may not know the reasons yet;
* A persons’ sins may be in the way of accepting Duas;
* A person earns his living through unlawful means (haram means);
* A person may be asking for forbidden or sinful items;
In the Quran, Allah the Most High says: “And it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you.” [Surah Al-Baqarah, 2:216]
According to a hadith of the Prophet (SAW):
“There is no Muslim who calls upon his Lord with a du’a in which there is no sin or severing of family ties, but Allah will give him one of three things: Either He will answer his prayer quickly, or He will store (the reward for) it in the Hereafter, or He will divert an equivalent evil away from him.” They said: “We will say more du’a.” He said: “Allah’s bounty is greater.” [Narrated by Ahmad, 10749; Al-Tirmidhi, 3573. Classed as Sahih by Al-Albani in Mishkat Al-Masabih, 2199]
On a related note, Umm Salamah said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (SAW) say:
“There is no calamity that befalls one of the Muslims and he responds by saying ‘Inna Lillaahi wa inna ilaihi raaji’uun, Allahummah ajurni fi musibati wakhluf li khayran minha (Truly, to Allah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return; O Allah, reward me in this calamity and compensate me with something better than it),’ but Allah will compensate him with something better than it.” [Narrated by Muslim, 918]
Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim said:
"Whatever Allah has decreed for His believing slave is a blessing even if that is in the form of withholding; it is a favour even if that is in the form of a trial, and the calamity decreed by him is fair even if it is painful." [Madaarij Al-Salikin, 4/215]
He also said:
"Many ask if Allah is not being merciful with them when not answering their prayers. (The real reason is that) What Allah chooses for His slave is better for him than what he chooses for himself. Allah is more merciful towards His slaves than they themselves or their mothers are. If something happens to them that they dislike, that is better for them than if it did not happen, so His decree is all kindness and mercy. If the slave submits to Allah and has certain faith that all dominion belongs to Allah and all things are under His command, and that He is more merciful to him than he is himself, then he will find peace of mind regardless of whether his need is met or not." [Madaarij Al-Salikin, 2/215]
The effect of earning haram (through illegal ways) on ones Du’as
One of the basic prerequisites for having our du’a accepted is to ensure that our way of life is devoid of haram (illegal) provision and food. This essentially means to ensure that the way we make our living doesn’t involve haram. For example, if someone sells alcoholic products to make a living, that person’s du’a’s according to Islamic teachings will not be entertained.
In a hadith it says: The Prophet (SAW) mentioned the man who undertakes a lengthy journey and is disheveled and covered with dust, and he stretches his hands towards heaven saying, ‘O Lord, O Lord,’ when his food is haram, his drink is haram, his clothes are haram. He is nourished with haram, so how can he be granted a response? [Narrated by Muslim, 1015]
Ibn Rajab Al-Hanbali (RH) said:
"It was narrated that Umar Ibn Al-Khattab (RA) said: “By avoiding that which Allah has forbidden, Allah will accept du’a and tasbih.”
Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim said:
"Thus eating haram things saps the strength of the du’a and weakens it."
How sins block our du’a is something that many of us don’t comprehend because if we did, we would pay more attention to stop the sins that we indulge in daily.
Imam Al-Qurtubi (RH) said:
"It was said to Ibrahim ibn Adham: Why is it that we supplicate and receive no response? He said because you know Allah but you do not obey Him, and you know the Messenger but you do not follow his Sunnah, and you know the Quran but you do not act in accordance with it, and you eat from the blessings of Allah but you do not give thanks for them, and you know Paradise but you do not seek it, and you know Hell but you do not flee from it, and you know the shaytan but you do not fight him rather you agree with him and follow him, and you know death but you do not prepare for it, and you have buried the dead but you do not learn a lesson from that, and you ignore your own faults and are preoccupied with other people’s faults." [Tafsir Al-Qurtubi, 2/312]
Mistake people make after their du’a is answered
Acceptance of du’a is a great favour and blessing from the Almighty Allah. So, it’s only logical for us to thank Him for his blessings and bounties. Unfortunately it is common for many of us to forget the time, when we were desperately calling on Allah for His help, and get so carried away with enjoying the results, that we forget remembering Allah and thanking Him for His grace.
Allah the Almighty says in the Quran:
“He it is Who enables you to travel through land and sea, till when you are in the ships, and they sail with them with a favourable wind, and they are glad therein, then comes a stormy wind and the waves come to them from all sides, and they think that they are encircled therein. Then they invoke Allah, making their faith pure for Him alone,(saying): “If You (Allah) deliver us from this, we shall truly, be of the grateful.”But when He delivers them, behold! They rebel (disobey Allah) in the earth wrongfully. O mankind! Your rebellion (disobedience to Allah) is only against your own selves, — a brief enjoyment of this worldly life, then (in the end) unto Us is your return, and We shall inform you of that which you used to do.” (Quran Surah Yunus, Verses 22, 23)
Shaykh Ibn Al-Sa’di (RH) said in his interpretation of the above verses:
"They understood that they were doomed, so they ended their dependence on created beings and they realized that no one could save them from this hardship except Allah alone, so they called upon Him, making their faith pure for Him alone and promising that they would adhere to that, and they said: “If You (Allah) deliver us from this, we shall truly, be of the grateful” but “when He delivers them, behold! They rebel (disobey Allah) in the earth wrongfully ” i.e., they forget that hardship and that du’a, and what they committed themselves to, and they associate others with Allah whom they acknowledge cannot save them from hardships or protect them from difficulty. Why are they not sincere towards Allah in worship in times of ease as they are at times of hardship? But they will face the consequences of their rebellion, hence Allah says: “Your rebellion (disobedience to Allah) is only against your ownselves, — a brief enjoyment of this worldly life” i.e., everything that you hope when you rebel and turn away from Allah, is to make some worldly gains, which will soon come to an end, then you will leave them behind: “then (in the end) unto Us is your return” on the Day of Resurrection, “and We shall inform you of that which you used to do.” This is the ultimate warning to them against persisting in what they are doing." [Tafsir Al-Sa’di, 361]
The essence of the above is that while we tend to return to Allah when we are in tough situations , we forget Him and disobey Him when life becomes easy. Let us not forget that both good times and bad times are a test from Allah. If we fail that test (by disobeying Him in good times, for example), we may not get a respite next time when we are faced with tough times again.
May the praise and salutations of Allah be upon our beloved master, Prophet Muhammad, his household, and his Companions.
Your Brother, who loves you for the sake of Allah:
Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, from Okene Kogi State Nigeria.
He can be reached via: +2348038289761.