What is Supplication?

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(part 1 of 2) Description:  The meaning, benefits, and method of supplication ( du’a ) Objective: ·         Understand the meaning of  du’a ...

(part 1 of 2)

Description: The meaning, benefits, and method of supplication (du’a)
Objective:
·       Understand the meaning of du’a
·       Appreciate that du’a is worship
·       Learn 18 benefits of du’a
·       Understand the proper etiquette and method of making du’a
Arabic Terms:
·       Du’a: Supplication, prayer, asking Allah for something.
·       Shirk: A word that implies ascribing partners to Allah, or ascribing divine attributes to other than Allah, or believing that the source of power, harm and blessings comes from another besides Allah.
·       Halal: Permissible
·       Taqwa: Linguistically it means “to protect” or “to shield”, as in to protect oneself from wrongdoing. In Islam, Taqwa refers to consciousness of Allah. It describes a state of awareness of Allah in everything you do.
·       Aameen: An expression said at the end of making a supplication, meaning ‘O Allah, please accept.’
·       Qiblah: The direction one faces during the formal prayers.

Supplication1.jpgThe Arabic word “du’a” means to ask your Lord for His help and support. It can be translated as supplication or prayer. It is a form of worship because Allah orders us to makedu’a to Him:
“Indeed, your Lord has said, ‘Makedu’a to Me, and I will answer you!’” (Quran 40:65)
Since du’a is an act of worship, the way it is made, the procedure to be followed, and the manner to be observed when performing this worship must be from the Quran and Sunnah.
Du’a is closely related to one’s faith. One, it is an open declaration that you believe in Allah and Allah alone. Two, it makes you feel that you are not in control of your life, Allah is. This is why you are going to Him and begging Him for your needs. Three, it reminds you that Allah truly hears your du’a and will respond to it.  
Since du’a is an act of worship, making du’a to someone other than Allah is an act ofShirkDu’a can only be directed to Allah and Allah alone. One verse from the Quran is sufficient to illustrate this point:
“Say (O Muhammad), ‘I make du’a only to my Lord (Allah), and I associate none as partners along with Him.’” (Quran 72:20)
Suppose a person makes du’a to other than Allah, be it an idol or a saint, while believing that that being can hear him like Allah, and can answer his du’a, then doing so is resembling that object or person to Allah. That is precisely shirk.

Benefits of Du’a:

1.     Du’a is one of the noblest acts in the sight of Allah.
2.     Du’a is the essence of worship.
3.     Du’a is a sign of one’s faith.
4.     Making du’a is obeying Allah.
5.     Allah is close to the person who makes du’a.
6.     Through du’a Allah shows His generosity to us.
7.     Du’a is a sign of humility.
8.     Du’a repels Allah’s anger.
9.     Du’a can save one from the Fire of Hell.
10. Making du’a shows having knowledge of the Al-Mighty.
11. Allah loves du’a.
12. Du’a sets apart a believer.
13. Du’a is the weapon of the weak and the wronged.
14. Du’a is a conversation with the Creator.
15. Du’a is an easy worship.

Before You make Du’a

1.     Realize that only Allah responds to du’a
“Who else is there that responds to the call of the one in distress when he makes du’a, and He removes evil from him, and makes you inheritors of the earth? Is there any other god besides Allah? Little is that you remember!” (Quran 27:62)
2.     Be sincere towards Allah when making du’a
“And those who you make du’a to (ask) besides Him can neither come to your aid nor can they help themselves.” (Quran 7:197)
3.     Don’t be hasty when making du’a
      The Prophet said, “The slave will receive a response so long as his du’a does not involve sin or severing of family ties, and so long as he is not hasty.” It was said, “What does being hasty mean?” He said: “When he says, ‘I made du’a and I made du’a, and I have not seen any response,’ and he gets frustrated and stops making du’a.”[1]
4.     Make du’a for good things
      Allah likes His slaves to ask Him for everything that is in their spiritual and worldly benefit such as food, drink, clothing, guidance and forgiveness etc. Prophet Muhammad said: “Let one of you ask his Lord for what he needs, even asking Him for the lace of his shoe if it breaks.”[2]
5.     Make du’a with an attentive heart
      Concentrate on making du’a, focus on what you are asking Allah, put your mind and heart into it. Think of what Prophet Muhammad said, “Make du’a to Allah in a state that you are certain that your du’a will be responded to, and know that Allah does not answer a du’a from a heedless, inattentive heart.”[3]


6.     Earn your livelihood from an Islamically permissible source and eat halal food
      Selling alcohol and pork, gambling, theft, and accepting bribes are all examples of impermissible sources of income. It states in the Quran:
“Allah only accepts (deeds) from those who have Taqwa (who fear Him).” (Quran 5:27)

While Making Du’a

1.     Praise Allah before the du’a and send prayers on the Prophet
      The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) saw someone make du’a. The Prophet instructed that person,“…when you finish your formal prayer, then sit down and praise Allah with the praise that He is worthy of, and pray upon me, then state your du’a.[4]
      The Prophet also said, “A du’a will not be raised up to Allah unless the person making du’a includes with it ‘prayer on the Prophet.[5]
Therefore, you can begin your du’a with words like,
          Alhamdulillah was-Salatu was-Salam ‘Ala Rasulillah
      “All praise and thanks are for Allah and may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon the Messenger of Allah (Muhammad).”
2.     Raise your hands
      Muslims are known to raise their hands when supplicating to Allah. There are numerous reports from Prophet Muhammad that he would raise his hands while supplicating to Allah.
3.     Face the qiblah (the direction you face when praying the formal prayers)
      There are reports that the Prophet would face the qibla when making du’a.
4.     Try to weep when making du’a
      Weeping shows sincerity and is more likely that a person will humble himself before Allah.
5.     Expect the best from Allah and know that He will respond
      Prophet Muhammad said: “There is no Muslim who does not offer any du’a in which there is no sin or severing of family ties but Allah will give him one of three things in return: either He will answer his du’a sooner, or he will store it up for him in the Hereafter, or He will divert an equivalent evil away from him because of it.” They said: “We will say a lot of du’a.” He said: “Allah is more generous.”[6]
6.     Make du’a with humility and fear.
      Allah says in the Quran,
“Make du’a to your Lord with humility and in secret. Indeed, He does not like the transgressors.” (Quran 7:55)
7.     Acknowledge your sins.
8.     Be firm in making your du’a
      The Prophet said, “When one of you makes a du’a, then let him be firm in his du’aand let him not say, ‘O Allah, if you will, then please forgive me,’ for there is no one who can force Allah to do anything.”[7]
9.     Repeat the du’a three times
      Repeating the du’a three times is reported from the Prophet in many hadiths.
10.  Say “Aameen” in the end
      “Aameen,” commonly spelled “Amin” in English literature on Islam and is the equivalent of the English word “Amen.” In Arabic, it means, ‘O Allah, please accept.’


Footnotes:
[1]  Saheeh Muslim
[2] Tirmidhi
[3] Tirmidhi
[4] Tirmidhi
[5] Nasai
[6] Ahmad
[7] Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Saheeh Muslim

Supplication (part 2 of 2)


Description: Six of the most important matters you should avoid when supplicating to Allah. Ten special times to make du’a.
Objective:
·       Learn the matters that one should avoid when supplicating to Allah.
·       Identify the times when it is preferred to make du’a.
Arabic Terms:
·       Adhan - An Islamic way of calling Muslims to the five obligatory Prayers.
·       Hajj – A pilgrimage to Mecca where the pilgrim performs a set of rituals.  The Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam, which every adult Muslim must undertake at least once in their life if they can afford it and are physically able.
·       Iqama - The second call to prayer. It is similar to the Adhan and is said right before the prayer starts.
·       Dhul-Hijjah - The twelfth month of the Islamic calendar. It is the month is which the obligatory pilgrimage is performed.
·       Ramadan - The ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar.  It is the month in which the obligatory fasting has been prescribed.

Things to Avoid While Making Du’a

1.     Don’t go beyond limits
What it means is asking Allah for things He has forbidden. For example, while it is fine to pray to Allah to marry someone, it is forbidden to ask Allah to give you a girl friend or a boy friend, or to win a lottery.
2.     Not expecting an answer
A Muslim should hope that Allah will answer His du’a as Allah is Merciful to His slaves and powerful to grant them their wishes.
3.     To ask for things of this world only in du’a
Think about it, what is greater, this world or the hereafter? For a true believer, it is obvious that what Allah has prepared in the life to come is greater. Therefore, a Muslim who understands this point will ask Allah for the blessings of the Hereafter as well.
4.     To address Allah with improper Names
Remember this simple rule: do not address Allah or use any Name of Allah that is not from the Quran or Sunnah. Addressing Allah with words like “Big Guy.”
5.     Do not make du’a against yourself or your family and do not curse others.
A point to remember, as a person may pray against a family member or even himself in a fit of rage and start cursing.
6.     Do not pray for your death
Your life is Allah’s gift to you, do not ask Allah to take it away!

Preferred Times When Du’a Is Likely to Be Accepted

Du’a can be made at any time, but it is more likely to be accepted at the following times:
1.     Du’a in the last third of the night
Allah informs us in the Quran describing the believers,
“and they seek forgiveness from their Lord in the hours of the dawn.” (Quran 51:18)
How do you calculate the last third of the night? The night extends from the time of sunset till the time for Fajr begins. For example, say sunset is at 5pm and Fajr for next day starts at 5am. The night is 12 hrs. A third of a night is 4 hrs. The last third of the night will be from 1am-5am.
2.     Du’a when Adhan is called
The Prophet said, “When the Adhan is called, the doors of the skies are opened, and the du’a is answered.” (Saheeh Muslim)
3.     Du’a Between Adhan & Iqama
This is one of the best times for the prayer to be accepted that is given to a believer to ask from Allah for his needs of this world and the Hereafter.
4.     Du’a while prostrating (kowtowing)
This is the best posture that a worshipper can be in because it is the height of humility. Allah loves this posture the most. The Prophet, may Allah praise him, said: “The closest that a person is to his Lord is when he is prostrating, so say a great deal of du’a then.” (Saheeh Muslim)
5.     Du’a before the conclusion of formal prayer
Before concluding the formal prayers, by saying ‘As-Salamu ‘Alaikum wa-Rahmatullah’a person can make any du’a that he likes at this time as it is one of the times when prayers are responded to.
6.     Du’a after the obligatory formal prayer
When asked which du’a is most likely to be responded to, the Prophet said, “In the last part of the night and after the obligatory prayers.” (Tirmidhi)
7.     An hour on Friday
Prophet Muhammad said: “On Friday there is an hour when, if a Muslims happens to pray at that time and ask Allah for something good, He will give it to him” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Saheeh Muslim)
8.     Du’a in Ramadan, the month of fasting
Prophet Muhammad said: “When Ramadan comes, the doors of mercy are opened and the doors of Hell are closed, and the devils are locked up.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Saheeh Muslim)
9.     First ten days of the Islamic month of Hajj (Dhul-Hijjah)
The Islamic month in which the annual pilgrimage, or Hajj, is performed, is a blessed month. The Prophet said about the first ten days of this month, “There are no days during which good deeds are more beloved to Allah than during these ten days.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari)
10. During rainfall
The Prophet said, “Two are the du’as that are never returned: the du’a made when the Adhan is called and at the time of rainfall.” (Abu Daud)

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