December 4, 2020

The Beauty of Dua in Islam

Dr. Bilal A. Bhat & Intizar Ahmad

Dua or supplication is such an important part of being a believer, that our beloved Prophet Muhammad (salalahu alayhi wa salam) equaled it to worship. That’s why, Allah (Subhannahu wa ta ala) has given us examples of duas made by the Prophets and pious people in The Holy Quran. The Prophets (salalahu alayhi wa salam) were sent by Allah (Subhannahu wa ta ala) as role models and the best examples for mankind. We emulate them by making dua during hardship and need, in order to achieve peace and success in our lives as well. Dua is an Arabic term which means to ‘call out’ or to ‘summon’ or to ‘invoke’ and in the Islamic terminology, it means a humble prayer by a modest person to a superior. It has been related from the sources that Dua can change fate. One should not say “this can not happen.” Nothing is beyond the reach and the power of Allah (SWT). He is most generous and full of mercy. Dua is a Higher (Afzal) form of worship, an important part of our faith and belief. It is a higher form of worship that Allah loves. It is a means of keeping in touch with the Creator, and draws the supplicant closer to the Almighty. It helps in removing of pain and suffering. There are many ways that people make Dua. The Quran and Hadith Literature tell us about the extraordinary importance of praying to Allah (Subhannahu wa ta ala) for all our needs. Allah (SWT) says in the Quran: “Thee alone we worship and Thee alone we ask for help.” (S.1) “And your Lord says: Call on Me; I will answer your (prayer). But those who are too arrogant to serve Me will surely find themselves in Hell-in humiliation.” (S 40: 60 ). Once Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) passed by a people who were suffering from some affliction. “Why don’t they make dua (pray) to Allah for protection,” he said. With all the suffering and disasters Muslims are facing in various parts of the world, the question can be directed to all of us today. It is not that we have forgotten dua completely; we refer to it regularly. But, our ideas and practice regarding dua have become distorted. Often it is reduced to the level of a ritual. Generally it is considered when all our efforts have failed — an act of last resort. It is belittled through actions and sometimes even with words. Is it any wonder that today mostly a mention of dua is meant to indicate the hopelessness of a situation? What a tragedy? Abdullah ibn Umar (radiallahu anhu) narrates that the Prophet (PBUH) said: Dua is beneficial regarding calamities that have fallen and calamities that have not fallen. So, servants of Allah, devote yourself to dua. (Sunan at-Tirmidhi and Musnad Ahmad) Prayer has wings. It can lift you beyond the dark clouds of the human struggle so that you are able to soar above. At the same time, prayer is a reminder that we are not God. It means that dua can prevent a disaster that was going to happen as well as lift the one that has already happened. With it we can never fail; without it we can never succeed. In the proper scheme of things, dua should be the first and the last resort of the believer, with all his plans and actions coming in between. Dua is conversation with Allah, our Creator, our Lord and Master, the All Knowing, the All Powerful. This act in itself is of extraordinary significance. It is the most uplifting, liberating, empowering, and transforming conversation a person can ever have. We turn to Him because we know that He alone can lift our sufferings and solve our problems. We feel relieved after describing our difficulties to our Creator. We feel empowered after having communicated with the All Mighty. We sense His mercy all around us after talking to the Most Merciful. We get a new commitment to follow His path for that is the only path for success. We feel blessed with each such commitment. Abdullah ibn Umar (radiallahu anhu) narrates that the Prophet (PBUH) said: Anyone of you for whom the door to dua has been opened, the doors to mercy have been opened for him. And the thing that Allah likes Most to be asked for is afiyah (health, security, protection). (Sunan at-Tirmidhi and Ibn majah) In every difficulty our first action is dua, as is our last. We ask Allah to show us the way to handle that difficulty; we seek His help in following the path He shows to us; we seek His aid in making our efforts successful. When we fall sick, we know that we cannot find the right doctor without His Will; that the best doctor may not be able to diagnose our condition without His Command; that the best treatment plan will not succeed without His Permission. We make dua for all of these. We make dua before we seek medical help, while we are receiving it and after it has been delivered. The same is true of all other difficulties we may encounter. Dua is the essence of ibadah or worship. A person engaged in dua affirms his belief in Tawheed (monotheism) and shuns belief in all false gods. With each dua his belief in Allah grows. A person seriously and sincerely engaged in dua understands exactly the relationship between himself and the Creator and affirms it through his actions. That is the essence of worship! Additionally, such a person can never become arrogant or proud, a logical result of true worship. Halal earnings and consumption are necessary for Dua’s to be answered. Abu Hurairah (RA) narrates from Rasool-Allah (salalahu alayhi wa salam), Do dua to Allah with this confidence that HE will accept it and know this well that Allah doesn’t accept the dua done with a negligent and careless heart. (Tirmizi) Abu Hurairah (RA) narrates from Rasool-Allah (salalahu alayhi wa salam), ‘There is no man who prays to Allah and makes dua’ to Him, and does not receive a response. Either it will be hastened for him in this world, or it will be stored up for him in the Hereafter, so long as he does not pray for something sinful, or to cut the ties of kinship, or seek a speedy response.’ Jabir (RA) narrates from Rasool-Allah (PBUH), “Don’t do Bad-dua [against] yourself, your wealth, or for your children. May it be the moment of acceptance in the court of Allah and your Bad-dua be accepted. (Muslim) Dua is our most potent weapon in all struggles of life as well as in jihad in the battlefield. During the battle of Badr, the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) stood up all night in prayer seeking Allah’s help in the battle between unequal armies that would follow the next day. Though the number of Muslim combatants (313) having only 3 horses, 70 camels and a few swords was one-third that of the infidel forces (1000), the Muslims defeated the infidels by their power of faith and by Allah’s (SWT) help. In the decisive battles against the crusaders, Sultan Salahuddin Ayyubi (R.A) was busy day and night. His days were devoted to Jihad. His nights were spent making dua, crying, seeking Allah’s help. This has been the practice of all true Muslims.
t answer is the one made by one Muslim for another in his absence.” (Abu Daw’ud and Tirmidhi) We should make dua not only for ourselves but also for our parents, brothers and sisters, spouses and children, relatives and friends, teachers and other benefactors, and destitute and struggling Muslims everywhere. We should pray for them for the good in this world as well as in the Hereafter. Once a voyaging ship was wrecked during a storm at sea and only two of the men on it were able to swim to a small, desert like island. The two survivors, not knowing what else to do, agreed that they had no other recourse but to pray to Almighty Allah. However, to find out whose prayer was more powerful, they agreed to divide the territory between them and stay on opposite sides of the island. The first thing they prayed for was food. The next morning, the first man saw a fruit-bearing tree on his side of the land, and he was able to eat its fruit. The other man’s parcel of land remained barren. After a week, the first man was lonely and he decided to pray for a wife. The next day, another ship was wrecked, and the only survivor was a woman who swam to his side of the land. On the other side of the island, there was nothing. Soon the first man prayed for a house, clothes, more food. The next day, like magic, all of these were given to him. However, the second man still had nothing. Finally, the first man prayed for a ship, so that he and his wife could leave the island. In the morning, he found a ship docked at his side of the island. The first man boarded the ship with his wife and decided to leave the second man on the island. He considered the other man unworthy to receive Allah’s (SWT) blessings, since none of his prayers had been answered. As the ship was about to leave, the first man heard a voice from heaven booming, “Why are you leaving your companion on the island?” “My blessings are mine alone, since I was the one who prayed for them,” the first man answered. “His prayers were all unanswered and so he does not deserve anything.” “You are mistaken!” the voice rebuked him. “He had only one prayer, which I answered. If not for that, you would not have received any of my blessings.” “Tell me,” the first man asked the voice, “What did he pray for that I should owe him anything?” “He prayed that all your prayers be answered”. We conclude that our blessings are not the fruits of our prayers alone, but those of another praying for us (Congregational Prayers). The Holy Prophet (PBUH) said: “The dua of a Muslim for his brother (in Islam) in his absence is readily accepted. An angel is appointed to his side. Whenever he makes a beneficial dua for his brother the appointed angel says, ‘Aameen. And may you also be blessed with the same.‘” [Sahih Muslim] In the dark ages that we are living in today, every day brings fresh news about atrocities committed against our brothers in Palestine, Kashmir, Afghanistan, Iraq, Chechnya, and the list goes on. We should stand up before Allah and pray for His help, who alone can help. The dua can change our life, our outlook, and our fate. It is the most potent weapon. But it works only for those who try sincerely and seriously to use it. We should remember the Hadith: “There is nothing more dear to Allah than a servant making dua to Him.” On the other hand, a prayer lacking concentration and conviction is no prayer at all. We should make dua at all times, not only during times of distress. The Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) said: “Whosoever desires that Allah answers his duas in unfavorable and difficult conditions, he should make plentiful dua in days of ease and comfort.” Allah Almighty says in the holy Qur’an: “When my servants ask you concerning me, (tell them) I am indeed close (to them). I listen to the prayer of every suppliant when he calls on me.” [2:186] The place of dua is so high to Allah, that the Holy Prophet had said: “Nothing is more honourable to Allah the Most High than dua.” [Sahih al-Jami` no.5268]. He also said: “The most excellent worship is dua.” [Sahih Al-Jami` no. 1133]; and in order to warn those who are arogant, or careless in making dua, the Holy Prophet (S.A.W) said: “The most incapable person is the one who does not make dua, and the most miserly person is the one who does not give salaam.” [Sahih Al-Jami` no. 1055], and He further, said: “If one does not ask Allah, He will get angry with him.” [Sahih al-Jami` no.2414] Allah is the Glorious and the Mighty, the answerer of every person in need and every person with a request. Indeed Allah is free of all wants, and He is answerable to none. We have no other god, but Him, whilst He has many servants other than us. Indeed Allah has revealed: “O mankind! It is you who stand in need of Allah, but Allah is Rich (Free of all wants and needs), Worthy of All Praise.” [Quran 35:15] So to fulfill our needs and wants, we must call on Him. Making Dua to Allah, is a recognition of our weakness and His greatness. The Prophet (salalahu alayhi wa salam) had said: “Ask Allah for everything, even the lace of your shoes. If Allah does not provide, it will never be available.” [Ibn al-Sunni, no. 349 – hasan. Supported by at-Tirmidhi 4/298 and others]. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic is a public health emergency of global concern and poses a challenge to psychological resilience, economy and social life of people worldwide. An epidemic obviously threatens both personal and public health. A Muslim should strictly follow Islamic guidelines, instructions of pandemic experts to protect his/her personal life as well as public health. In this circumstance, there is none but Almighty Allah can save us. We should Dua more and more in our regular prayer. In current pandemic, we should Dua, “Allahumma inni audhubika minal barsi, wal junooni, waljuzaami, wa min sayyil asqaam” (Meaning: “O Allah, I seek refuge in Thee from leprosy, madness, elephantiasis, and evil diseases) -Sunan Abu Dawood, Hadith 1554. May Allah (SWT) bless and protect us all – Ameen!
(The authors regularly write on Islamic topics for “Kashmir Horizon”. Views are his own) [email protected]

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