Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Beseeching & Seeking Allah's Blessings



The Weapon of the Believer

And your Lord has stated: Make Du’a to Me, I will (of a surety) respond to you. Verily, those who are too arrogant to worship Me will enter the Fire of Hell, humiliated. (Surah al-Ghaafir, (The Forgiver) 40:60)

Note: Yusuf Ali -4434: As this life is not the end of all things, and we are to have its fulfilment in the Hereafter; we have only to pray to the Lord of the Present and Hereafter, and He will hear us, forgive us, guide us, and make our Path smooth. But Pride will have its fall, and its humiliating Punishment:

40:60. உங்கள் இறைவன் கூறுகிறான்:என்னையே நீங்கள் பிரார்த்தியுங்கள்; நான் உங்(கள் பிரார்த்தனை)களுக்கு பதிலளிக்கிறேன். أدعية

وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِي عَنِّي فَإِنِّي قَرِيبٌ ۖ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ الدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِ ۖ فَلْيَسْتَجِيبُوا لِي وَلْيُؤْمِنُوا بِي لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْشُدُونَ -2:186

2:186 - When my servants ask thee concerning Me I am indeed close (to them); I listen to the prayer of every suppliant when he calleth on Me; let them also with a will listen to My call and believe in Me; that they may walk in the right way.

2:186. (நபியே!) என் அடியார்கள் என்னைப்பற்றி உம்மிடம் கேட்டால்; நிச்சயமாக நான் சமீபமாகவே இருக்கிறேன், பிரார்த்தனை செய்பவரின் பிரார்த்தனைக்கு அவர் பிரார்த்தித்தால் விடையளிக்கிறேன்; அவர்கள் என்னிடமே(பிரார்த்தித்துக்) கேட்கட்டும்; என்னையே நம்பட்டும். அப்பொழுது அவர்கள் நேர்வழியை அடைவார்கள் என்று கூறுவீராக

The divine promise of help and success is contingent upon our striving and faith. Nothing comes to the poltroon and the sceptical idler. Dangers and difficulties, and conflict with Evil are foretold us, and we must meet them with fortitude and courage. Prophet() said: Allaah is angry with those who do not ask Him for anything (Tirmidhi)

. إِلَّا الَّذِينَ تَابُوا وَأَصْلَحُوا وَاعْتَصَمُوا بِاللَّهِ وَأَخْلَصُوا دِينَهُمْ لِلَّهِ فَأُولَٰئِكَ مَعَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ ۖ وَسَوْفَ يُؤْتِ اللَّهُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ أَجْرًا عَظِيمًا {146}4:

4:146 – Except for those who repent, mend their life, hold fast to Allah () , AND PURIFY THEIR RELIGION AS In ALLAH’S () SIGHT; if so they will be numbered with the Believers….

Note: Yusuf Ali 652

Even Hypocrites can obtain forgiveness, on four conditions:

1). Sincere repentance, which purifies their mind;

2). amendment of their conduct, which purifies their outer life;

3). steadfastness and devotion to Allah, which strengthens their faith and protects them from the assaults of evil, and

4). sincerity in their religion, or their whole inner being, which brings them as full members into the goodly Fellowship of Faith.

4:146. யார் மன்னிப்புக் கேட்டு சீர்திருந்தி, அல்லாஹ்வை (தம் நற்செய்கைகள் மூலம்) கெட்டியாகப் பிடித்து, தங்களுடைய சன்மார்க்கத்தை அல்லாஹ்வுக்காகத் தூய்மையாக்கியும் கொண்டார்களோ அவர்கள் முஃமின்களுடன் இருப்பார்கள்; மேலும் அல்லாஹ் முஃமின்களுக்கு மகத்தான நற்கூலியை அளிப்பான்.

(Du’a - is direct communication with Allaah, while you reveal and ask the One who is in control, Who knows you better than you know yourself for all that you want. Prophet (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam) said: unpleasant matter has been preordained for us, but only if we do not make du'a to avert it from us. So if du'a is made, then this matter will not occur or be fulfilled, whereas if du'a is left, the misfortune will occur. Another narration in al-Tirmidhi also supports this.

A Prayer or Du’a

Hadith Qudsi

On the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him), who said that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: Our Lord (glorified and exalted be He) descends each night to the earth's sky when there remains the final third of the night, and He says: Who is saying a prayer to Me that I may answer it? Who is asking something of Me that I may give it him? Who is asking forgiveness of Me that I may forgive him? It was related by al-Bukhari (also by Muslim, Malik, at-Tirmidhi and Abu Dawud).

In a version by Muslim the Hadith ends with the words: And thus He continues till [the light of] dawnshines.

Remembering Allah:

Hadith Qudsi

On the authority of Abu Harayrah (may Allah be pleased with him), who said that the Prophet (PBUH) said: Allah the Almighty said: I am as My servant thinks I am (1). I am with him when he makes mention of Me. If he makes mention of Me to himself, I make mention of him to Myself; and if he makes mention of Me in an assembly, I make mention of him in an assemble better than it. And if he draws near to Me an arm's length, I draw near to him a fathom's length. And if he comes to Me walking, I go to him at speed.

(1) Another possible rendering of the Arabic is: "I am as My servant expects Me to be". The meaning is that forgiveness and acceptance of repentance by the Almighty is subject to His servant truly believing that He is forgiving and merciful. However, not to accompany such belief with right action would be to mock the Almighty.

It was related by al-Buhkari (also by Muslim, at- Tirmidhi and Ibn-Majah).

Du’a is the only act that repels Predestination:

The Prophet () stated:

Nothing repels predestination (qadr) except du’a.( Tirmidi139-hasan gharib, Albani as hasan in his Shahiha -154)

In other words, it is possible that a certain misfortune has been decreed for a person, yet, because of the sincerity and quality of his du’a, Allah will repel that misfortune from him, and change this decree. So every Muslim should seek refuge in Allah from future calamities and misfortunes that might befall him, for that is the only way that he can avoid them.

Du’a is the only Act that Changes Predestination:

Not only does du’a repel a future misfortune that might befall a person, it also changes and removes a current calamity and misfortune. The Prophet () stated: Caution will not be of any benefit against predestination, but du’a benefits (matters) that have occured and that are (yet) to occur. And indeed, du’a meets with a calamity, and fights it until the Day of Judgement.

Divine Decree

There are a number of ahadith that clarify this point. For example, Mu’adh ibn Jabal reported that the Prophet () said: “Caution will be of no benefit against Divine Decree, but du’a benefits all things, whether they come down or not. I therefore advise you to make du’a, O servants of Allah. 175.

So no matter how cautious a person is, he cannot escape what is written for him, simply because Allah controls everything, and nothing escapes His Knowledge or Power. However, by turning to Allah through du’, it is possible to avert something that might have b een decrered. Salman al-Farsi (ra) narrated that the Prophet () said: “Nothing repels Divine Decree except du’a, and nothing increases one’s life-span except good deeds.176.

This hadith informs us in no uncertain terms that the only way that we can repel some Divine Decree is through the means of du’a. So it is possible that some unpleasant matter has been preordained.

So no matter how cautious a person is, he will not be able to save himself from Allah’s decree. The only way that he can repel a calamity that has befallen him, or will befall him, is by resorting to du’a. The Prophet () stated that it is as if the du’a rises up and fights the calamity, defending the person who made the du’a from this calamity until the Day of Judgement.

To Cry Out Loud in Public.

Although crying is covered in the etiquette of du’a, a person must avoid excessive crying, or crying out loud, when he is in front of others. In some mosques, the entire congregation weeps and wails with a loud voice, such that it is possible to hear them from a long distance away. People flock o these mosques just because it is known that the congregation will cry. Such attitudes and habits are in contradiction to the Sunnah of the Prophet () and the practice of the pious predecessors. A person should try to control his crying in front of other people, for it is a private act of worship between him and his Creator. If, however, a person is overcome with emotion and cannot control himself, then he is excused, but it is a mistake to make it a continual habit in public.

The Reward of Du’a is guaranteed

Jaabir ibn Abdillah stated that the Prophet () said: “There is no person who asks Allah for anything except that Allah gives it to him, or keeps away from him a similar evil, as long as he does not ask for something evil or for breaking the ties of kinship”. At this, a person said to the Prophet (): In that case, we will ask for plenty. The Prophet () responded: “ Allah (is even) more plentiful!”

In this hadith, there is clear proof of the fact that Allah has taken upon Himself a promise to respond to the du’a of every person who asks Him, with the condition that the person who is asking Allah fulfils the conditions of du’a. In this case, Allah will either give him what he asks for, or avert from him an evil of an equivalent nature to the good that he was asking for, as long as he does not ask for an evil.

So what excuse does a person have in not making du’a to Allah ! No matter what the outcome of his du’a is, it will only for his benefit. Ibn Hajr stated: “ Every single person that makes du’a will be responded to, but the actual responses are different. Sometimes, the exact matter that was prayed for is given, and sometimes, something equivalent to it is given”

Du’a is one of the easiest acts of worship

After reading all of these great benefits of du’a, one might presume that it is one of the most difficult acts of worship, for surely an act with so many rewards and benefits cannot be an effortless act !. (Madarij al-Salikin, 2/229)

In fact, quite the contrary is true. Du’a is one of the easiest acts of worship, for how much energy does it require ? And how much time does it take up?

Du’a is not confined to a certain place, or a certain time, or a routine or mode. Rather all persons, whether male or female, old or young, rich or poor heart and a humble soul., scholar or worshipper, can make du’a at all times, and in all places. All that is needed is an attentive heart and a humble soul.

To Make Excessively Long Du’as in Congregation

Another common mistake that occurs in congregation is that the Imam prolongs the du’a to an unnatural extent. He might stand up to an hour, invoking Allah, while the people behind him become impatient and annoyed. The Imam must take into account that there are women and children, the sick and the weak, all behind him. He must be concerned for their needs as well. Hence why the Prophet () prohibited Mu’adh from reciting a long surah while he was Imam, and he stated that this would cause hardship upon the Muslims. Likewise, the du’a that is done in congregation should be of a moderate length, and cater to the needs of the whole community.

Raising One’s Hands

Amongst the etiquette of du’a that is known by all Muslims, young or old, is that of raising one’s hands while making du’a. In fact, the raising of one’s hands during du’a has been narrated in so many different traditions that Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah said: “As for the Prophet (), raising his hands in du’a, then this has been narrated in so many ahadith that they cannot be counted !”. 113

Of these ahadith is that of Abu Musa al-Asha’ari, who narrated: “The Prophet () made a du’a, and I saw him raise his hands, until I could see the whiteness of his armpits”. 114

Furthermore Salman al-Farsi said that the Prophet () said:” Indeed, Allah is Shy and Beneficent. He is shy when his servants raises his hands to Him in a du’a, to return them empty, disappointed.117.

Subhan Allah! The Lord ofthe Creation feels shy when one of His servants lifts his hands up to Him to make du’a! Verily, hearts are filled with love and awe at the Generosity and Beneficence of Allah.

It is important that one’s arms face upwards, and not the back of one’s hands. Malik ibn Yasar narrated that the Prophet () said:”If you ask Allah, then ask Him with the palms of your hands outwards, and not with the outward portion of the hands (ie. with the palms facing down”118.

It is not befitting for a person to ask with his palms facing down, for it is a sign of arrogance, and an indication that he is not really in need of His request.

There are three different types of motions that are narrated from the Companions. The first type is to point with one’s finger, without unnecessarily lifting one’s hands. This action is done when one asks for forgiveness, or makes a general dhikr (remembrance of Allah) or while making a du’a during the khutbah (sermon), or during the tashahhud (that part of the prayer said in the final sitting position of each cycle of two rakat).

The second type is to raise one’s hands to the level of one’s shoulders, with the palms facing up. This is done for regular du’as that one makes at any time.

The last type of action is only done in extremely severe circumstances, such as asking for rain after a drought, or seeking protection from an imminent enemy attack. In this case, the hands are stretched forth towards the sky, without joining the two palms together. When this is done, a person’s armpits become exposed due to the severity of the stretching.

This is affirmed by the narration of Ibn Abbas, who said:”The asking ( of any du’a should be accompanied by) raising your hands to the level of your shoulder, or around that level. The seeking of forgiveness (istighfar) (should be accompanied by) pointing with one finger (ie. the forefinger). Petitioning (is done by) stretching forth your hands totally (above the head, such that the armpits are exposed)”. (Abu Dawud 1486)

The general rule is that when a person makes du’a, he should raise his hands. However, there is one case in which the Prophet () did not raise his hands, and that was during the Friday khutbah. So for the du’a during the khutbah, it is not Sunnah for the Imam or the people to raise the hands, except if the person giving the khutbah makes a special prayer for rain (istisqa), for it is Sunnah to raise one’s hands for the particular du’a.

Also, it is not Sunnah to raise one’s hands for the general du’as of the day, such as the du’a for entering a mosque and house, and for exiting them.

As for the exact manner in which the hands should be raised, then note that they should be raised to the level of the shoulders, and placed together. One can either turn one’s palms towards the sky (or turn the palms to face one’s own face, in which case the back of the hands will face away from him.

To Cry

One of the ways in which sincerity is shown in du’a is through crying. This brings about a feeling of humility in front of Allah, and shows the importance of one’s request. It displays the great need that the servant has from his Lord, and that he can never be without His help and aid.

Once, the Prophet () recited some verses from the Qur’an, including the Prophet Ibrahim’s statement: “O my Lord! These (idols) have caused many people to go astray, so whoever follows me is of me, and whoever disobeys me, then (even then) you the Most Forgiving, Most Merciful.

And the Prophet Isa’s statement: If you punish them, then they are Your servants. And if You forgive them, then You are the One of Honour, the All-Wise.

After reciting these verses, the Prophet () said: “O Allah! My Ummah, My Ummah!” and he started crying. Allah said to the Angel Jibril, “ O Jibril, go to Muhammad – and your Lord knows- and ask him what makes him cry?

So Jibril went to the Prophet () and asked him. The Prophet responded that he was crying out of concern for his followers, just like Ibrahim and Isa were concerned for their followers, and Allah knew why he was crying, without having to ask Jibril.

So Allah said , “ O Jibril ! go to Muhammad and say: “We will please you regarding your followers, and will not cause you grief.”126.

To Pray Quietly

While making du’a, a person should not pray loudly, so that others can hear him. The proper way to make du’a is in a subdued voice, as Allah mentions: “Call upon your Lord with humility, and in secret. Verily, He does not like the aggressors.

That is why Allah praised the du’a of Zakariyya when He described it as: “When he made a du’ to his Lord in secret (or privately).”

This principle is also mentioned in a hadith. Once, the Companions were travelling, and loudly engaging in dhikr (remembrance of Allah). The Prophet () said:” O people! Be gentle on yourselves, for you are not calling someone who is deaf or absent. Rather you are calling the One Who hears everything, Ever close.147

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah delved into the wisdom of making du’a silently, and mentioned a number of benefits to this.148.

Firstly, it is a sign of strong imam, as the person demonstrates that he firmly believes that Allah can hear even the quietest of prayers and thoughts.

So the Companions of the Prophet () understood the importance of saying a du’a silently. Ibn Abbas stated: A silent du’ a is seventy times better than a loud one!” 149.

And it has even been narrated that Ibn Masud once forced a group of people out of the masjid because they were raising their voices loudly while remembering Allah. In this respect he said : “ I don’t think except that you are innovators.”150.

Acknowledging one’s Sins

Part of the etiquette of du’a is to acknowledge one’s shortcomings and sins in front of one’s Creator. This is also a means of properly worshipping Allah.

To implore Allah Earnestly

Continued within the etiquette of du’a is that a person implore Allah, and beseech Him. This sense of urgency is demonstrated in the Sunnah of the Prophet (). A’ishah reported that when the Prophet () was afflicted with magic, he made du’a, then he made du’a, then he made du’a.154. This incident demonstrates a sense of urgency and insistence that is needed while making du’a.

Additionally, we find this same characteristic in many of the du’as that the Prophet () used to make. For example, he () would pray: O Allah! Forgive me all (my sins) that I have already done, and will do (in the future), and what I have done in private, and what I have done in public, and all (sins) that you know from me.155

Now, it was possible to just say, ‘Forgive all my sins’, and the meaning would have been the same. However, in this beautiful prophetic du’a, there is a strong sense of urgency – of imploring Allah, and beseeching Him, of pleading to Him, and insisting on this forgiveness. All of this not conveyed in the simple phrase,’ Forgive my sins.’

To Pray with Concise Du’as

‘Concise’ Du’as are those which are brief, yet contain many meanings, and ask for general benefits, and seek refuge in general evils.

He () used to say: “O Allah! I seek refuge in you from the evil of what I have done, and the evil that I have not done!”161

This du’a is a general, comprehensive one which seeks refuge in Allah from all evil, whether a person has done that evil or not.

Another comprehensive du’a that the Prophet () used is: “ O Allah! Forgive my sins and my ignorance, and my transgressions in my affairs, and all that You know of me. O Allah! Forgive me my sins done seriously or jokingly, purposely or unintentionally, and all else that is with me! O Allah! Forgive me what I have done, and what I have yet to do, and what I have done in secret, and what I have done openly, and all that you know of me. You are the First, and you are the Last, and you are capable of all things!”.

To Start Du’a with One’s Self.

It is desirable that the person making the du’ should first ask of it for himself. This is so for a number of reasons. Firstly, a person should desire all good for himself, so it does not make sense to pray for others and forget one’s self. Secondly, the fact that a person prays for himself shows that what he is praying for is an important goal and objective. In other words, this ensures that he desires for his brothers what he desires for himself. Thirdly, it increases him in his sincerity in this du’a, for verily mankind is weak, so when he makes du’a only for his brother, it is possible that it will not be as sincere as when he makes a du’a for himself and his brother.

This principle is demonstrated in a number of Qur’anic verses, such as:

“O Allah! Forgive us, and our brothers (in faith) who have preceded us.(Surah : al-Hasher 10)

“And he (Musa) prayed: O my Lord! Forgive me and my brother, and enter us into your Mercy”(Surah. al-Araf 151)

“O Our Lord! Forgive me and my parents, and all of the believers the Day the account will be taken”(Surah.Ibrahim 41)

“And seek Forgiveness (O Muhammad) for your sins, and for the believing men and women”(Surah Muhammad 19)

Likewise this principle is affirmed by the practice of the Prophet (). Ubayy Ibn Ka’b reports that whenever the Prophet () remembered someone and prayed for him, he would begin with himself.( Abu Dawud from Ubay ibn Ka’ab)

However, this was not the constant habit of the Prophet (), for there are other narrations to show that sometimes he () would pray for another person without praying for himself. For example, when he was speaking about Hajar, Isma’il’s mother, he () said: “May Allah have mercy on the mother of Isma’il. Had she left Zam Zam (to flow, and not stopped it with some sand) it would have been a clear lake.”169 (al-Bukhari from Anas ibn Malik)

He also said regarding Hassan ibn Thabit, “O Allah! Help him with the Holy Spirit (the Angel Jibril) and for Ibn Abbas, O Allah! Grant him an understanding of the Religion.

These and other examples besides these, show the permissibility of making a du’a without mentioning one’s self. but in general it is recommended to do so.

To Pray for all Muslims.

Part of the completeness of one’s iman is that a person loves for his brother what he loves for himself. Therefore, just as he desires that he be guided to the truth, and be forgiven for his sins, so too should he desire the same for his fellow Muslims.

The Prophet () is commanded in the Quran to: seek forgiveness (from Allah) for your sins, and the sins of the believing men and women. 172.

And the Prophet () said: “Whoever seeks forgiveness for the believing men and woman, then a good deed will be written for him for every single believing man and women (that he prayed for) 174

So it is encouraged for the Muslim to remember all of his brothers and sisters when he is making a du’a, and to pray for the entire Muslim ummah. He should also pray against the enemies of Islam, against tyrants and non-Muslim rulers that fight and torture the Muslims. All of this is a sign of the person’s own iman, and is contained within the etiquette of du’a.

Of particular importance is that a person prays for his own parents (if they are alive, or if they died as Muslims). Allah specifically instructs the believers in this respect.: “ and lower unto them the wings of humility and mercy, and say, ‘O My Lord! Have mercy; on them, even as they took care of me while I was young. 175.

To say ‘Amin’

When a person is listening to another person make du’a, it is recommended that he say, ‘Amin’, which means ‘O Allah! Accept ( or: Respond to) this du’a.

It is stated that the phrase ‘Amin’ is one of the specialities of this nation, and that no nation before Islam had been given it. This is inferred from the hadith in which the Prophet () said: “The Jews do not envy you for any matter as much as they envy you for Amin, and for giving salams to one another. 178.”

The purpose of saying ‘Amin’ is so that it might increase the chances that a person’s du’a be answered. It is like repeating the du’a over again, except that instead of going into all the details of one’s du’a, it is all summarised in the one phrase, ‘Amin’ which means, as mentioned, ‘O Allah! Respond (to the du’a)!’ So it is like another du’a after the first one.

Of course, there are certain du’as that should be done privately not in a group,. and there are others that are done in a group. Examples of the first type are most of the du’as that a person does during the day and night. It is an innovation to a group du’a for, say, entering the house, or after finishing the salat. An example of the second type is the du’a that is done in qunut, where the imam makes a du’a, and the congregation behind him says, ‘Amin’. Likewise, if the person giving the Friday sermon makes a du’a, the congregation is encouraged to say ‘Amin’ after his du’a. Furthermore to say ‘Amin; after reciting Surah al-Fatihah is encouraged, regardless of whether one is praying, or reciting it outside the prayer, and regardless of whether one is the imam or the follower. At all such times , ‘Amin’ should be stated with an audible voice.179.

There is a difference of opinion whether one should say ‘Amin’ after one’s own du’a, but it seems that the general rule of ‘Amin’ does not differentiate between a person’s own du’a and when a person is listening to another’s du’a, so it is permissible for a person to say ‘Amin’ after his own du’a.180.

When Musa prayed to Allah to punish Pharaoh, it is said that Harun was behind him, saying, ‘Amin!” Yet, even though only Musa was actually saying the du’a, Allah said in the Qur’an: Your (both of you) prayers have been answered.!181

Poetry in Du’a.

What is meant by ‘poetry’ is excessive rhyming of words, and matching word patterns in each sentence, since this does not befit the humility that should accompany du’a. However, if such rhyming is not excessive, or comes naturally to the tongue, then it is allowed, as some of the Prophet’s () du’as contained rhyming phrases. What is prohibited is excessive rhyming, or going out of one’s way to ensure it, such that the du’a resembles poetry.

Transgression in Du’a

Du’a has certain limits, and if one goes beyond these limits, one is transgressing in making du’a. Allah says in the Qur’an: Make du’a to your Lord in humility and in secret. Verily, He does not like the transgressors! 190

There are a number of ways that a person can transgress in his du’a such as:

Asking for things that are prohibited: it is the height of transgression to demand from your Creator those things that he has prohibited for you, either in this life or in the life Hereafter. A person should realize his place and status in front of his Creator, and beware of exalting himself to where he thinks that he is above his fellow creations, and is allowed to do what they are prohibited from doing. As Allah says in the Qur’an concerning the Jews: ...The People of the Scriptures ask you to cause a Book to descend upon them from the Heavens! Indeed they asked Moses for an even greater (thing), for they said ‘Show us Allah in public!’

Exaggerating in du’a: the narration shows what is meant by exaggeration in du’a.

Not Expecting a Response

Although this topic has been discussed in the etiquette of du’a, because of its importance it is reiterated here. Too many people expect that Allah will not respond to their du’a, and it is possible that the only reason that their du’a is not responded to is because of this presumption of theirs!

It is part of one’s iman to expect the best from Allah, and to be sure that Allah will respond to your du’a, as He is the Ever –Merciful, all Powerful.

Ponder over this beautiful statement from Sufyan ibn Uyaynah when he said, “Let none of you think that his du’a will not be answered because of (the sins) that he knows of himself, Indeed, Allah responded to the du’a of the worst of the creation, Iblis, may Allah curse him, when he said: “O My Lord! Give me respite until the Day of Judgement!” He replied, ‘Then you are of those who have been reprieved’.194,195.

So if even Iblis’s du’a can be accepted, then surely the du’a of a sinner has more right than his!

To Look Upwards During the Prayer

The Prophet () prohibited a person from raising his eyes towards the skies while making a du’a in salat, for he said: Surely, the people will stop raising their eyes towards the skies while they make du’a during salat, or their sight will be snatched away from them. (Muslim 1/321)

The desired humility of du’a will not be achieved when one raises one’s head arrogantly towards the skies, rather, one should have a humble and lowly appearance.

Du’a while Prostrating

This is the most noble posture that a worshipper can be in, for it is the epitome of humility and submissiveness. And how can it not be, when a person in prostration lowers his face –the most noble and sacred part of his body – to the dust, seeking the pleasure of his Lord? This is why this posture is the most beloved by Allah, all Glory and Praise be to Him. Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Prophet () said” The closest any worshipper can be to his Lord is while he is in prostration, so increase your du’as in it.230

Du’a Before the End of Salat

After a person has finished his tashahhud, and before he actually says salam, he should supplicate with any du’ a that he likes, as this is one of the times of response.

Ibn Mas’ud narrates: I was once praying and the Prophet (), Abu Bakr, and Umar (were all present). When I sat down (in the final tashahhud), I praised Allah, then sent salams on the Prophet (), then started praying for myself. At this, the Prophet () said: Ask, and you shall be given it! Ask, and you shall be given it ! 234.

Another proof of this is the hadith given in the following section .

Du’a After the Salaat

There are numerous narrations that show that this time period is one during which du’as are answered. Abu Umamah al-Bahili asked the Prophet () , “ O Messenger of Allah! Which du’a is the most likely to be responded to?” The Prophet () replied: In the latter part of the night, and after the obligatory prayers”( Reported by al-Tairmidhi (3499)and others.)

In fact, the Prophet () stressed this time period to those whom he loved, for he said to Mu’adh ibn Jabal: O Mu’adh! I swear by Allah, I love you. Therefore, do not forget to say after each prayer, ‘O Allah help me to remember You, and to thank You, and to perfect my worship for You’.( Abu Dawud,authenticted by al- Albani in Sahih al-Jami (7969)

It should be mentioned that there is a difference of opinion amongst scholars over the exact meaning of ‘after the obligatory prayers’, and this stems from the Arabic word that is used to convey the meaning of ‘after’, for the word used is dubur. Some scholars, such as Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah, considered the meaning of this hadith to apply to the time period before one says the final salam of the prayer, and after one has finished reciting the tashahhud. So, according to those that follow this opinion, the word dubur would translate as at the end and not, ‘after’.. According to this opinion, the time period would be the same as that mentioned in the previous section.

However, other scholars understand this hadith to mean the time period after the prayer finishes, and the word carries both meanings, as Ibn al- Qayyim mentioned,. ( Zad al-Ma’ad,1/305.)

An Hour on Friday

There is a special hour on Friday, during which all prayers are accepted and answered by Allah, all Glory and Praise be to Him. This is part of the blessings that Allah has blessed this day with, over all the other days of the week.

Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Prophet () said: “ On Friday, there is an hour during which, if any Muslim is standing in front of Allah in salat, and asking Allah for something good, he will be granted his request.”

Then he made a sign with his hands, showing that it was a very short period of time ( al-Bukhari (935)

There are numerous opinions as to the exact hour of Friday during which this occurs, but two opinions are the strongest: when the imam sits down between the two khutabs until the end of the khutbah, and after the Asr prayer until the Maghrib prayer. Ibn al-Qayyim preferred the second over the first one. Zad al-Ma-ad 1/378-396) This because of the following hadith:

Friday has twelve hours (or parts to it). There is one hour during which if a Muslim asks Allah anything, Allah will give it to him, so find it during the last hour after Asr.(Abu-Dawud (926)

This is also the opinion of the vast majority of early scholars as also of the Prophet’s () Companions – that this hour occurs after ‘Asr prayer, right before senset.(al-Hilali’s book pp50-55)

When Waking up at Night

When a person wakes up in the middle of the night, only to go back to sleep again, if he remembers Allah at this time, his du’a will be accepted.

The Prophet () stated: Whoever wakes up at night, and says, ‘Lailaha illa Allah Wahdahu la shrarika lah, lahul at-mulk wa lahualhamd wa huwa ala kulli shayin Qadir. Alhamdu lillah, wa Subhana Allah, walailaha illa all, waAllahu akbar, wala hawla wala quwwata illa bi Allah’, and then says,’O Allah, forgve me!’ or makes a du’a, then he will be responded to. And if he performs wudu and prays, then his prayer will be accepted.244.

When the Soul of a Person is Taken

During this frightening occasion, when a person is in the last stages of life, and is about to enter his life of eternity, bystanders shold not make any du’a except for good. This because the angels of death are waiting nearby to take the soul of the person, and they say Amin to every du’a made at this occasion.

Umm Salamah narrated that the Prophet () entered upon Abu Salamah (while he was on his death bed) and his eyes had fixed into a stare (ie. he had died, so the Prophet () closed his eye lids, and said: “ When the soul leaves the body, the eyes follow it)

At this, the people of Abu Salamah’s house, began crying and the Prophet () further said : “Do not ask for yourselves anything but good, for the Angels will say Amin to all that you ask for. O Allah, forgive Abu Salamah and raise his ranks among those who are guided...

Therefore, whenever a person is in the presence of one who is about to die, he should pray to Allah for all that is good, for the dying person, his family and for himself.

This hadith also explains why the eyes of those who are dead are always found to be in a stare, looking upwards, since the eyes follow the soul s as it leaves upwards in the hands of the angels of death.

At the crowing of a Rooster

Abu Hurayrah (ra) narrated that the Prophet () said: “When you hear a rooster crowing, then ask Allah for His Bounties, for it has seen an angel, and when you hear a donkey braying, then seek refuge in Allah from Shaytan, for it has seen a Shaytan.261

The Person Reciting the Qur’an

It has been authentically narrated that peace and tranquility descend on the one who recites the Qur’an, as do the angels. Therefore, after reciting any portion of the Qur’an, we are encouraged to make a du’a, as it is more likely to be responded to.279.

The Du’a for a Person in his Absence.

Abu al- Daarda (ra)reported that the Prophet () said: “There is no Muslim worshipper who prays for his brother (Muslim) in his absence except that an angel says, ‘And to you be the same.

Confirming with the Etiquette of Du’a

It is essential that the one making a du’a conforms to all the preconditions and etiquette that has gone before, in particular praying only to Allah, and concentrating on one’s du’a, and praying during the blessed times and occasions during which one’s du’a is more likely to be responded to.

Some important etiquettes of making Du’a.
1) Du’a must be preceeded by repentance of the slave. Allah says in the Quran: ‘Ask forgiveness of your Lord.’

2) One must not call on to other than Allah. He must not seek refuge or help from other than Allah.
3) One must have absolute faith that his Du’a will be answered. It is narrated in a Hadith: “The supplication of every one of you is granted if he does not grow impatient and says: I supplicated but it was not granted.” (Bukhari and Muslim).

4)The main purpose of Du’a is presence of the heart. The Prophet Muhammad () said: “ Know that Allah does not answer the Dua’a from a heedless heart”- (Thirmidhi). One’s heart must be filled with fervent desire, reverence and humility when he is making Du’a.

5) Choose the best times for the acceptance of Du’a, Among the best times is the time just before Fajr (dawn), the last third of the night, the last hour of Jumu’ah (Friday), when rain is falling, and between the Adhaan and iqaamah. Among the best places are mosques in general, and al-Masjid al-Haraam [in Makkah] in particular, although Du’a is acceptable at all times.

6) “When any one of you makes dua, let him start by praising Allah, then let him send blessings upon the Prophet (), then after that let him ask for whatever he wants.” Al-Albani said: it is a saheeh hadeeth. (See: Saheeh Sunan al-Tirmidhi, 2765.

When you are starting your du’a, you should always start by saying: Bismillah- ir- Rahman- ir- Raheem. Prophet Muhammad () said: A du’a that doesn’t have Bismillah- ir- Rahman- ir- Raheem at the beginning of it is rejected. A du’a should begin in the name of Allah, putting all trust and hope in Him alone. Describing Him as Kind and Merciful creates confidence that the du’a will not be rejected. The du’a should also contain salawaat (blessings) on Prophet Muhammad (

Other aspects of the etiquette of making du’aa’, although they are not waajib (obligatory), are: to face the Qiblah; to make du’aa’ in a state of tahaarah (purity. It is also prescribed to raise the hands when making du’aa’.

The reason why one’s du’aa’ is not answered may be because he has done something that Allaah has forbidden, such as having haraam wealth – whether it be food or drink or clothing or accommodation or transportation, or he has taken a haraam job, or the stain of sin is still in his heart, or he is following bid’ah (innovation) in religion, or his heart has been overtaken by negligence, or when the person who is making du’aa’ is weak in himself, because he is faint-hearted in his turning towards Allaah.

Note: Prophet () said: “ There are three types of people who attend the Friday Prayer. (1) One is a man who is present but speaks during the Khutbah and that is his portion of the prayer.

(2) Second is a man who is present and makes supplications. In his case, Allah may give him what he asks, if He wishes, or He may not give him what he asks.

(3) Third is a person who is present and observes silence and does not step over the necks of the Muslims nor does he harm anyone. For him, there is an expiation from that Friday until the previous Friday plus an additional three days

In conclusion, we quote ibn al-Qayyim: If the du’a is combined with the following factors: the presence of the heart, and its full concentration on the du’a; making du’a at one of the times of response; a meek heart, one that is broken and humiliated in the presence of Allah, full of humbleness and softness; facing the qiblah; In a state of wudu; raising one’s hands to Allah; starting the du’a with praise to Allah; following that up with salutations upon the Prophet (); preceding the du’a with repentance and seeking forgiveness for past sins; preceding the du’a by giving some charity; and finally entering in upon Allah, and being persistent in asking Him, and calling upon Him in a state of fear and hope, and performing tawassul with His Names and Attributes; then this du’a is hardly ever left, but rather responded to, especially if the du’a is using the supplications that the Prophet () informed are likely to be responded to.( paraphrased from al-Da’wa al-Da’wa page 48)

To request a pious person to perform a du’a

It is permissible to ask a person that one feels is more pious than oneself to make a du’a for one.

So, it is permissible to go to a scholar, and say, for example: ‘’O so-and so-! I ask that you make a du’a to Allah that he cure my son from such-and such an illness.”

Safwan ibn Abdillah narrated: “I went to Syria, and visited Abu al-Darda in his home, but he was present when I arrived. Umm al-Darda asked me, ‘Are you going to perform Hajj this year?” I replied that I was, so she said:

In that case, do not forget to pray to Allah for us for good, for the Prophet () used to say:

Similarly, if a person makes tawassul to Allah, but by means of something that has not been sanctioned in religion, this will be an innovation. The most common type of tawassul that is done in our times, and yet is not sanctioned by the Qur’an and Sunnah, is tawassul through the status of the Prophet ().

Without a doubt, the Prophet () is the one single person that all Muslims love the most. He is the best of creation, and the most noble of mankind. He is our leader in this world and on the Day of Judgement, and he is the righteous of all Adam’s children. All of this, however, should not cause us to raise him above the level that Allah Himself chose for His Prophet, and that the Prophet () himself was content with. One only needs to look at the Christians and the consequences that have occurred when they raised Isa ibn Maryam above the status that he deserved, to see the dangers of this line of thinking.

Tawassul by asking a living person to make du’a.

It is allowed to make tawassul by asking a living person to make du’a on your behalf, if you feel that such a person is a true and righteous person.

“The du’a of a Muslim for his brother in his absence is responded to. In his presence there is an angel that has been assigned to him every time he makes a du’a for his brother with good, the angel assigned to him says, ‘Amin. And to you the same”.367.

It has not been reported that any of the major Companions ever asked the Prophet () to make du’a for them regarding a personal, worldly benefit that they desired. They would ask him to make du’a regarding a matter that was of benefit to all of the Muslims (such as Umar’s request to the Prophet (), to make du’ to bless the Muslims with food when the army ran short of it during the Battle of Tabuk), or of a religious benefit (such as Abu Hurayrah asking the Prophet () to make du’ a to guide his mother to Islam), but there is no reported incident in which they came to the Prophet () to ask for a personal, worldly benefit.370

So if a person does tawassul by a means other than what has been mentioned, then with0ut a doubt he will either fall into shirk (associating partners with Allah) or bid’ah (innovation). For example, if a person makes tawassul to another object or false deity, this is one of the greatest types of shirk! To make tawassul through idols and other false deities is exactly what the pagan Arabs did before the Prophet’s () advent.

With this in mind, we say that tawassul through the Prophet () can be divided into three categories. The first type is tawassul through one’s love for the Prophet (). This type comes under tawassul through one’s good deeds, and is allowed. The second type comes under tawassul through the Prophet’s () du’a while he was alive.

This comes under tawassul by asking a pious person to make du’a, and without a doubt the Prophet () is the most noble and ;pious of Adam’s children. However, after the Prophet’s () death, it is not possible to use this type of tawassu an y more, as the Prophet () cannot hear a person sending salam upon the Prophet () for Allah has assigned angels to cvonvey these salams to him as has been narrated in authentic traditions. As for anything other than salams then there is no narration that such information is conveyed to him)

The third type of tawassul with regards to the Prophet () is tawassul through his status. So, a person would say: ‘O Allah, I ask you by the status of the Prophet () with You, that you grant me such and such.’

Tawassul through the status of the Prophet () is a matter that has not been mentioned in the Qur’an, or in the authentic Sunnah. Therefore, this act is a dangerous innovation into the religion of Islam..In addition, there are no authentic narrations from the three generations of Islam – the three generations that the Prophet() praised in many authentic narrations – that show that any one of the great scholars and worshippers of these generations practiced this type of tawassul. So this, in and of itself, is clear proof that tawassul through the status of the Prophet () is an innovation, and it is irrelevant who amongst the later scholars sanctioned it. For no group of people loves the Prophet () more than the Companions, and yet none of them, even when they were in dire need, performed this type of tawassul. And the Muslim has, in the Prophet (), and his Companions, a model to follow and imitate,.373

Wiping one’s face after Finishing the Du’a.

Abu Dawud said: “This hadith has been reported from other than this chain, on the authority of Muhammad ibn K’ab and all of them are very weak. This particular chain is the best, and it too is weak.”

There are also a number of other ahadith and statements of the salaf with regards to wiping one’s hands over the face after du’a (399) However, all of the ahadith are without a doubt weak. The difference of opinion occurs in whether these ahadith, put together, raise them to the status of hasan (acceptable) or not.

Other scholars held the opinion that it is permissible to wipe one’s hands over one’s face, but only while one is not in prayer. As for a person making a du’a during salat (for example, the qunut du’a), then he should not wipe it over his face. Shaykh Bakr Abu Zayd writes: “ And if he wishes, he can wipe his face with his hands”

In any case, both the wiping of one’s face, and the disapproval of this act, has been narrated from the scholars and Imams of the salaf, so it is not appropriate to ignore this fact. So what opinion one takes, one has a basis for it, even though it appears that the stronger opinion is that one should not wipe one’s hands over one’s face after du’a and Allah knows best.

Sincere Du’a for the Dead

Abu Hurayrah narrates that he heard the Prophet () say: “When you pray over the dead, then be sincere in your du’a” (Authentic, narrated by Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah and others (669.)

Imam al-Shawkani, commenting on this hadith said: “ The phrase be sincere in your du’a shows that it is not necessary to limit the du’a to the specific du’as mentioned, and it is essential for the person praying for the dead person to ask sincerely for him, whether the dead person was known to be a pious person or an evil person. In fact, the person who was a sinner is in even more need of the prayer of his Muslim brothers, and is in dire need of their intercession. And due to this, he has now been brought forth in front of them, and has come to them . ( 433)

Kissing one’s thumbs and rubbing one’s eyes with them.

It is all too common to see Muslims kiss their thumbs and then rub them upon their eyes when the Prophet’s () name is mentioned. The basis of this act is the following fabricated narration:

Abbas ibn Ahmad ibn Abi Bakr, the Sufi, reported with a chain of narrators full of unknown names, that Khidr, the Companion of Moses, said: “Whoever says when the Mu’adhin says, ‘I testify that Muhammad () is the Messenger of Allah, ‘ Welcome, my loved one,. and the coolness of my eyes, Muhammad (), ‘then kisses his thumbs and rubs them on his eyes, will never have any eye diseases.”

Dua in a Group

This is amongst those innovations that have become so common that many Muslims actually believe it is a Sunnah. Yet, this act has no basis in the Qur’an or Sunnah, not even a weak hadith! In many masjids, a joint du’a is made after every single salat, the imam says a du’a out loud, and the entire congregation says, ‘Amin’ behind him. There is no doubt that such an act is an innovation into this religion, as the Prophet () never did such a congregational du’ a after the salat, nor did the Companions after him, nor did the Successors after them.

In fact, quite the opposite is true! When a drought afflicted the Muslims during ‘Umar’s Caliphate, ‘Umar himself was the one who made the du’a. and he also ordered Abbas to make an individual du’a. He did not order all the Companions to make a joint du’a with him nor did any of the other Companions suggest this to him. This shows that such a concept was unknown to the Companions.

To Clasp One’s Hands to One’s Chest During Du’a.

This is contrary to the proper manner of du’a, as the Sunnah is to ask with the palms outwards. In fact, this act resembles the manner of prayer of the Christians.

Tawaaaul with the status of the Prophet ()

The way that a person does this is that he prays: O Allah, I ask you by virtue of the status of Your Prophet () that you grant me such and such. This concept has already been discussed previously.

Shaykh at-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah wrote: “Tawassul with the status of the Prophet () is incorrect) despite the fact that the status of the Prophet () is greater than the status of all prophets and messengers. However, the status of a created being with the Creator can never be compared with the status of a created being with another created being. None can intercede in front of Allah except with His permission. Yet mortals can intercede on behalf of one another without any permission, so the intercessor becomes like a partner in attaining the goal. “442. This too has already been discussed in detail.

To Specify the Unspecified.

What is meant by this is that a person specifies a certain time, or a certain place, or a certain du’a, that is not specified by the Shari’ah, and believes that such an act will increase the chances of his du’a being accepted . So, to make a habit of making du’a on, say the 12th of Rabi-al- awwal, or at a certain location, is an innovation.

Likewise, to specify a particular du’a before or after doing an act is also considered an innovation (unless such a specification is found in the Sunnah). It is not allowed to add constraints or details that are not found in the Qur’an or Sunnah, believing that such acts will be more rewarded by Allah!

Another example that is common is that during the tawaf (circumambulation around the Ka’bah) many people read specific du’as for each round, believing that this is part of the Sunnah. Yet, there is nothing specific of this nature found in the Qur’an or Sunnah, so if a person does this, believing that these specific du’as are encouraged or more rewarding than others, then he has fallen into a bid’ah or religious innovation.

Other examples of this include making a New Year’s wish, or doing the same while blowing out candles, or at the beginning of spring and autumn, or any other occasions that have not been specified by the Shari’ah.

The opposite of this principle is also true, so, if a specific du’a has been narrated in the Sunnah for a specific occasion or after a certain act, then it should not be used habitually except for the circumstances that it has been narrated for. So, for example, the du’a that is narrated from the Prophet () for entering the masjid should not be used every time a person enters any house or other structure, since the Sunnah has specified where this du’ a should be used.

How Duas can prevent Calamities:

Du’a is one of the most beneficial of remedies; it is the enemy of calamity; it wards it off, remedies it, prevents it befalling, alleviates it or reduces it if it befalls. It is the weapon of the believer. In the case of calamity, one of three scenarios must apply:
1. If Dua is stronger than the calamity, so it wards it off.
2. If it is weaker than the calamity, so the calamity overpowers it and befalls the person, but it may reduce it even if it is weak.
3. They resist one another and each impedes the other.

Verily, your journey is long, and the perils are many. Your destination is far, and the path is treacherous. So utilize your du’a. Use it to ward off the evil of yourself, and the evil of your enemies, and the evil that is destined for you. And use it as you strive to reach your every goal, and struggle to arrive at your desired destination.

Du’a is your sharpest sword, and your strongest weapon.

O Almighty Allah ! - forgive the errors and mistakes that might have crept in this book. O Our Lord! Accept this humble dedication. Verily Thou art the Mighty the Wise.