We all will be tested by Allah and therefore we will pass through times that would seem difficult to us. But indeed Allah will be preparing us to be strong and firm on our Imaan. At such times or occasions, the best way to ask help from Allah is the way Allah and Prophet (SA) taught us to do. Prophet Muhammad is the greatest human to have ever been created and is a mercy for all of creation. It is to him that Allah gave the appointment as His last messenger and it was to him that Allah in His Infinite mercy revealed the Quran too. The Quran is guidance and salvation for all of humanity, all you have to do is take the leap of faith and turn to it. Allah says:
أَلَمْ تَرَ أَنَّ اللَّهَ يُسَبِّحُ لَهُ مَن فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَالطَّيْرُ صَافَّاتٍ كُلٌّ قَدْ عَلِمَ صَلَاتَهُ وَتَسْبِيحَهُ وَاللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ بِمَا يَفْعَلُونَ
“Do not you see that Allah – glorify Him whoever (is) in the heavens and the earth and the birds (with) wings outspread? Each one verily knows its prayer and its glorification. And Allah (is) All-Knower of what they do.” (Surah An-Nur 24:41)
Humans cannot see Allah directly, that is a fact but that in no way means that He is not close. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said, “When you pray (offer Salaat) do it as if you are in front of Allah. And if you cannot achieve that level, then imagine that He is watching you.” Allah is the Master of all the universe, the Creator and Controller of the heavens and earth and all that is between them and that which the human mind cannot even fathom and have absolutely no knowledge about. Allah says:
مَّا أَصَابَكَ مِنْ حَسَنَةٍ فَمِنَ اللَّهِ وَمَا أَصَابَكَ مِن سَيِّئَةٍ فَمِن نَّفْسِكَ وَأَرْسَلْنَاكَ لِلنَّاسِ رَسُولًا وَكَفَىٰ بِاللَّهِ شَهِيدًا
“What(ever) befalls you of (the) good (is) from Allah, and whatever befalls you of (the) evil (is) from yourself. And for the people (as) a Messenger and Allah is sufficient (as) a Witness.” (Surah An-Nisa’ 4:79)
Trials, tribulations, and challenges are part of every person’s life. However, to counter that, Allah has provided us with a very powerful tool – and that is the tool of dua or asking Allah for help and his mercy when we need it. And we need it all the time. However, to understand the trials and tribulations that we face in our daily lives, we also need to understand the topic of “Sins” and how our sins may be related to our trials and tribulations. Allah says:
الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَتَطْمَئِنُّ قُلُوبُهُم بِذِكْرِ اللَّهِ أَلَا بِذِكْرِ اللَّهِ تَطْمَئِنُّ الْقُلُوبُ
“Those who believed and find satisfaction their hearts in the remembrance (of) Allah. No doubt, in the remembrance of Allah find satisfaction the hearts.” (Surah Al-Rad, 13:28)
Here is a short list of things you should make sure are in place when making dua:
- Praise Allah – Whatever it is you want in life, you must still be thankful for what Allah has already given you. Allah rewards gratitude and punishes ingratitude. So before you, before you begin asking Allah for a bunch of things, make sure you begin by thanking and praising Him.
- Send Peace and Blessing upon the Messenger of Allah – After praising Allah, the next you should do is ask Allah to bless Prophet Muhammad. The Prophet was the best of creation. So ask Allah to bless him and earn little rewards before asking for things for yourself.
- Supplicate with emotion – Your duas shouldn’t be dry, formulaic, robotic acts of worship. Instead, ask Allah for what you want with determination, desire, and devotion. Pray to Allah with the earnestness He deserves. It’s even better if you can cry while making dua. And if you cannot cry, then make yourself cry.
- Have patience – One thing that makes our duas get rejected by Allah is losing patience. A person may ask Allah for something, and they don’t get it in the timeframe they want. So they get impatient and say things like: “I made dua for this, and Allah did not give it to me.” This impatience makes us lose all the blessing of our dua.
- Be specific – Don’t say things like “Oh Allah, you know what I want, please give it to me.” Allah IS all-hearing and all-knowing, but we should articulate the specific things we want Him to give us. Ask for it directly and don’t say things like “If You will” when speaking to Allah. He will do what He wills anyway. To speak with conviction and the expectation that Allah will answer you.
The better we understand the ghastly nature of our sins, and the rate at which we accumulate them, along with their undesirable impact on our daily lives and the hereafter, the more it can propel us away from committing sins in general and the more it will drive us to seek forgiveness for our sins – through making the right Duas for us and others. Allah says:
وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِي عَنِّي فَإِنِّي قَرِيبٌ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ الدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِ فَلْيَسْتَجِيبُوا لِي وَلْيُؤْمِنُوا بِي لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْشُدُونَ
“And when ask you My servants about Me, then indeed I am near. I respond (to the) invocation (of) the supplicant when he calls Me. So let them respond to Me and let them believe in Me, so that they may (be) led aright.” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:186)
The Prophet (SAW) was asked by some of his companions: “Is Allah near so we invoke him or is he far so we call him? so Allah revealed this verse, – Allah (SWT) is near He can hear the supplicant anytime anywhere and respond to him if the supplicant invokes Allah (SWT) with a sincere heart and avoid interdictions of supplication. Allah says:
ادْعُوا رَبَّكُمْ تَضَرُّعًا وَخُفْيَةً إِنَّهُ لَا يُحِبُّ الْمُعْتَدِينَ
“Call upon your Lord humbly and privately. Indeed, He (does) not love the transgressors.” (Surah Al-A’raf 7:55)
Supplication is of two kinds. One is worship and the other is a request. So He commands to be invoked with humility which is insisting on the request and continuously in worship and “secretly” not loud to avoid “Ryea” (showing off). Allah says:
وَقَالَ رَبُّكُمُ ادْعُونِي أَسْتَجِبْ لَكُمْ إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَسْتَكْبِرُونَ عَنْ عِبَادَتِي سَيَدْخُلُونَ جَهَنَّمَ دَاخِرِينَ
“And said your Lord, “Call upon Me; I will respond to you. Indeed, those who (are) proud to worship Me will enter Hell (in) humiliation.” (Surah Ghafir 40:60)
Allah (SWT) said: “Invoke Me, I will respond to you”, so from His mercy, for His slaves, He has promised to respond to their invocations but for those who do not invoke Him, He has promised punishment because the invocation of Allah (SWT) is an act of worship and refusing to invoke Him ( disbelieving in Him or having doubt in His ability to answer the invocation) is a refusal to worship Him.
Manners of Supplication:
- Supplication should start with “Bismillah…In the name of Allah, Praise is to Allah, and Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon the Messenger of Allah and should end with (Peace and Blessing be upon the Messenger of Allah).”
- Supplication should be performed secretly and with a present (sincere) heart: Allah (SWT) said: “Invoke your Rabb (Cherisher and Sustainer) with humility and in secret, He likes not the aggressors.” (Qur’an 7:55)
- Supplicate Allah (SWT) with humility and express your need for Allah (SWT): He said: “Verily, they used to hasten on to do good deeds, and they used to call on Us with hope and fear, and used to humble themselves before us.” (Qur’an 21:90)
- Insist on Allah (SWT) in your supplication by repeating it many times:
- Invoke Allah (SWT) by His Names and Attributes: He said: “And (all) the Most Beautiful Names belong to Allah, so call on Him by them.” (Qur’an 7:180)
- Supplicate Allah (SWT) by mentioning the righteous deeds you have done:
- Admit your sins during your supplication:
- Repeat each sentence of your supplication three times:
- Face the Qiblah (Mecca) during your supplication:
- Raise your hands while supplicating Allah (SWT):
- Be in the state of Purity during your supplication:
- When making supplication for others, start with yourself first then include others.
- Do not be aggressive when you are supplicating Allah (SWT):
- Remember to include your parents in your supplication:
- Be patient. Do not expect an immediate response from Allah (SWT) although this could happen:
Some Final Tips
There are many little things we can do to make our duas more impactful. Here are some brief pointers to keep in mind:
- Pray for another Muslim in their absence without them knowing
- Make dua in the last moments of daylight on Fridays
- Call upon Allah using the word “Rabbee (My Lord).”
- Pray for your parents when you make dua
- Make wudu before making dua
- Make dua when it’s raining
- Call upon Allah by His names (Ar-Rahman, Al-Ghafur, etc.)
- Ask Allah based upon some good deed you’ve done in the past
- Use authentic duas from the Quran and Sunnah in Arabic (though it’s perfectly okay to make dua in your native tongue also)
Inshallah, these ideas will help your duas become more meaningful and in turn, Allah will bless you with an improved life. May Allah accept all of your good supplications. Ameen!