Bismillahi ir-rahman ir-rahim 1. The Meaning of Dua Dua is a Noble spiritual form of worship in which a persons calls out to Allah (swt) of any and every type of help both for this world and the next. Linguistically the Dua means to call out, or cry, or to say something out loud. Qur’an uses this linguistic meaning along with to request, to implore, to seek aid. The Sharia meaning is to ask Allah (swt) to give you something of benefit or prevent some evil coming to you. The Dua is the essence and height of worship. To not make Dua you are not worshipping Allah (swt). Allah (swt) has said make Dua to me and I will respond to you. And those who are too arrogant to worship me are going to enter the fire of hell humiliated. Dua is a clear sign of ones imaan and is related to concept of Tawheed (the concept of monotheism – oneness of Allah). It is related to all the three types of Tawheed (1, Tawheed of Allah’s Lordship, 2 Tawheed of Allah’s names and attributes 3, Tawheed of Allah’s right to be worshipped) Dua affirms all three types of Tawheed. Making Dua to anyone other then Allah (swt) whether that be a man, animal, idol, prophet is Shirk with is the gravest of all sins. Allah (swt) says “Those whom you call out besides Allah they cannot hear you… …and even if they could they have no power to do anything”. That includes our beloved Prophet Mohammed (pbuh). 2. Types of Dua There are two types of Dua. The first Dua Ul-Masalah (Dua of asking) e.g. Oh Allah please for give me, Oh Allah grant me a good job, Oh Allah grant me a child. This is where we ask of Allah for something that we want. The second is Dua Ulibadah (the linguistic meaning the call\the plea not necessarily an ask or request). This is every single action where we worship Allah (swt) e.g. Salaat, Dhikr, recitation of Qur’an. The first part of Surah Al-Fatiah is Dua Ul-Ibadah and the second being Dua Ul-Masalah. Dua Ul-Ibadah (worship) necessitates Dua Ul-Masalah (asking). Both are linked to one another. The perfect Dua is when you use both types, you worship Allah (swt) and then you ask of him. 3. The Excellence and Benefits (Status) Of Dua According to the Prophet (pbuh) there are over 20 blessings in Dua. The most important ones are as follows: 1. Dua is the noblest act in the sight of Allah (swt) – this is because it puts man in his proper place at the same time giving Allah (swt) the right to be praised and worshipped. 2. Dua is the best act of worship this is why salaat is full of dua. 3. Dua is the essence of worship 4. Allah (swt) has commanded us to make Dua and when we do we are obeying Allah (swt) 5. Allah (swt) comes close to one who makes Dua 6. Allah (swt) loves us when we make Dua and when we leave it the opposite applies 7. Dua is a sign of Allah’s generosity. 8. Dua is a sign of ones humility, ones humbleness and ones imaan. Arrogance is one of the major sins. The Prophet (pbuh) said whosoever has one atoms worth of arrogance will not enter Jannah. 9. Dua repels Allah’s anger and brings about Allah’s love. The Prophet (pbuh) said; the one who does not ask of Allah, Allah (swt) gets angry. The more you ask the more Allah (swt) will love you. This is the beauty of Dua. 10. The Dua will save you from the fire of hell. 11. Dua is the only act that can change Qadr (predestination). 12. Every single Dua will be responded to. The Prophet (pbuh) said there is no Muslim on earth that will not have their Dua answered in some shape or form, either in this life by granting the request, or by removing some affliction that was due to him, or in the next life. 13. The Dua is the weapon of the weak and suppressed 14. Dua opens up a relationship and a dialogue with Allah (swt). 15. Dua is the easiest act of worship. 4. The Preconditions of Dua The state you should be in before making Dua to increase the chances of it being accepted. The following preconditions must be met: 1. The belief that only Allah (swt) responds to the Dua 2. Once you realise that only Allah can respond then be sincere (ikhlaas). Even a kaafirs Dua can be responded to when one says it with ikhlaas. 3. The realisation that we must be persistence and not be hasty for a response. When there is impatience Allah (swt) will not respond to the Dua. You must also realise that the response may not be what you have asked for. 4. You must ask for something that is halal. 5. You must have a halal intention for what you are asking for e.g. requesting for money but then using to buy alcohol is obviously not permitted. 6. You must be halal, your food, your clothes, your earnings must be 100% halal 7. You must have an attentive heart and soul, to pay attention to the Dua and be sincere. These days this is lacking in so many Muslims one of the main reasons being they do not know\remember the meaning of the Dua. The Prophet (pbuh) said that Allah (swt) does not respond to a Dua from an inattentive Dua. 8. Dua should not interfere with something more important then the dua i.e. the time of Salaat should not be delayed because you’re making dua. 5. The Etiquettes of Dua What should you do while making Dua. 1. Praise Allah (swt) before asking for anything. i.e. first part of Surah Al-Fatiah 2. Use Allahs (swt) names and attributes. i.e. for forgiveness start with Ya Rahim (the All-merciful) or for money start with Ya Razzaq (the sustainers). 3. Give salaam to our Prophet (pbuh) by sending a darood when concluding your dua. Use the name and attributes that are befitting for the type of dua. Also use the greatest of the names and there are two strong opinions on this. 1, the name Allah itself, 2, Al-Haiyul-Qaiyum (self subsisting, eternal). This concept is called Tawassul. 4. Raise your hands up to Allah (swt). Both palms should be directly facing upwards at chest level. They should be like a beggar and we are begging Allah (swt). Do not close your hands. At time of extreme situations the Prophet (swt) raised his hands so high his armpits could be seen. This type should be used at the day of Arafat during the Hajj. It is also permitted to raise the forefinger for small requests. For general duas like entering in to the mosque you do not raise your hands. 5. You should face the Qibla when making the dua 6. You should have wudu when making dua 7. Cry when making dua. This shows how sincere one is how humble he is 8. To expect the best from Allah (swt) – be hopeful of Allah (swt). Be certain that Allah (swt) WILL respond to you. Allah (swt) says I will do as the servant thinks I will do i.e. when he thinks I will respond to the dua then I will (hadith qudsi) 9. We should have humility and humbleness. 10. Complain (the sympathy type) to Allah (swt) only i.e. you want sympathy you should want it from Allah not from the creation. Perfection of imaan is not to want sympathy from mankind 11. Make Dua quietly. Not loud but secretly. Making dua silently is a sign of imaan, it shows respect, a means to achieving humbleness, a means of achieving sincerity, allows you to concentrate, demonstrates the closeness that one feels with Allah, allows you to have lengthy duas, prevents distraction to others, prevents others showing envy and jealousy towards you. 12. Acknowledge your sins. 13. Be determined. Be firm, sincere and determined. i.e. Do not say oh Allah forgive me if you wish, you should say oh Allah forgive me. You can put conditions when you don’t know whether it will be good for you. For worldy matters such oh Allah give me this job if it is good for me. Deen matters should not have conditions i.e. guide me to the straight path or grant me jannah 14. Make dua for yourself first and then others i.e. oh Allah guide me and the Muslims. 15. Make dua for your brothers and sisters in Islam. Whoever seeks forgiveness for the believing men and the believing women, Allah writes for him - for every believing man and woman - a good deed." Tirmidhi and Ahmad 16. Complete with Ameen. Ameen means oh Allah respond to the pray. Do not lengthen the A of Ameen or the M of Meen. The een can be lengthened. 17. Make dua regularly especially at times of ease. When you have good health ask for good health. This shows your continuity, imaan and not only when you need Allah (swt). Allah (swt) will then respond when you do need him 18. Make dua for all matters not just big matters. Make dua for the most trivial things. Once again this shows your imaan 19. Make duas at the certain times and conditions (detailed later) Dua may be accepted without all of the above but it is preferred and increases your chances of the dua being accepted. 6. The Prohibited Acts of Dua The following things are prohibited as well as the opposite of the above. 1. Poetry in dua. 2. Transgression in the dua, i.e. ask for something halal but want it for haraam or asking for needless matters. Do not go in to too much specifics i.e. ask for Jannah but not, grant me Jannah and the hoorain of Jannah and a big white house etc… 3. Ask for something that has already been decreed i.e. Oh Allah grant the Muslim’s Jannah. 4. Ask for the dunya only and not for the hereafter 5. Improperly use names and attributes of Allah (swt) 6. Making dua against yourself and others i.e. making dua against ones children 7. The Prophet (pbuh) said do not make your dua against yourself, children, servants, wealth or property 8. Do not curse other people in your dua. 9. Do not ask for death 10. During the salaat you must not look upwards. Have a humble appearance by looking down towards the place of sajdah. 11. Do not experiment in your dua. I.e. make a dua and see if Allah gives it to me. 12. Do not say give me this and then I won’t ask you again. You’re accusing Allah of being miserly. 13. Do not ask other people for making dua for you when you do not make dua yourself. 14. Cry in public during your dua unless it is beyond your control as it goes against the private aspects of the dua. Cry in front of Allah not other people. 15. Making long duas when you are the imam. The dua should short and concise. 7. The Recommended Times of Dua This is from the mercy of the Allah (swt) who has allowed certain time of the day and night, the month, the year where the dua is more likely to be accepted. This allows us to be more hopeful at these times. 1. The last 1/3 of the night. Allah (swt) comes down to the skies of the heaves and asks who is there that is making dua to me that I can respond, who is there that is asking me so that I can give, who is there that is seeking my forgiveness that I can forgive. The last 1/3 of the night is the most powerful time where a dua is most likely to be accepted. 2. When the adhaan is being called. 3. Between the adhaan and iqamah 4. During the salaat itself. 5. While in sajdah (it can be in your mother tongue if you don’t speak Arabic) 6. At the end of salaat in private. Not congregational dua as that has no basis in the Quran and sunnah. 7. When the armies meet 8. 1 hour on Friday. Some scholars say between Asr and Magrib which is the stronger opinion, others say when the imam sits down between the two kutbahs on the Jummah prayer 9. After making wudu 10. Before drinking the water of zumzum 11. Month of Ramadan especially Laylatul Qadr nights (odd nights of the last 10 nights of Ramadan). Example dua is Allhumma innaka afuwwun tuhibbul afwa fa'fu anni - Oh Allah! You are Forgiving and love forgiveness so forgive me (Bukhari) 12. All of the occasions of Hajj especially on the day of Arafat. The Prophet (pbuh) said the best dua is the dua on the day of Arafat. 13. When rain falls (rain is from the mercy of Allah swt) 8. The Situations and Conditions Where the Dua Is More Likely To Be Accepted 1. A person who is in severe circumstances like a person drowning. When there is no hope there is the most hope. 2. When other people have wronged you 3. The traveller 4. The parent for or against his son or daughter 5. The children for their parents especially after their death 6. The one who is fasting especially one who is about to break the fast 7. After reciting the Qur’an (also for when you go for Hajj, Umrah or Jehaad) 8. For a person who remembers Allah (swt) all the time by way of zikr and reciting the Qur’an. 9. For a Muslim in his absence. The Prophet (pbuh) said if you make dua for another Muslim an angel will make dua for you asking Allah for the same for you. A dua of Angels are more likely to be accepted. When making dua for another Muslim you in affect praying for yourself. 9. The Factors That Increase And Decrease Chances of Dua Being Accepted Factors that increase duas from being accepted: 1. Sincerity (ikhlaas) is the single most important factor. Praying with your heart and soul. You must understand what you are asking i.e. for those who don’t understand Arabic must learn the meaning of duas especially the whole of the Salaat. 2. Expect the best of Allah 3. Doing good deeds 4. Fulfilling the rights of the parents 5. Repent from your sins 6. Dishevelled appearance (when in Arafat or travelling) 7. Times and places of response. Times as discussed previously and places being all the holy places (masjids) Factors that decrease duas from being accepted: 1. Praying to anyone other then Allah (swt) including our Prophet (pbuh) or saints. This is shirk and makes you a non-Muslim. 2. Haram sustenance (haram eating, haram earning, haram clothes) 3. Sins – continuous sinning act as barrier for your dua being accepted 4. When you leave advising one another. When you leave enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong. E.g. advising someone who does not pray salaat to fear Allah and pray salaat. 5. Being hasty. When your dua is not responded to quickly and you give up. 6. The Prophet (pbuh) said that Allah (swt) does not respond to a dua of an inattentive heart. The duas that we have memorised in hour childhood and we recite without thinking or knowing what they mean. These are the duas that Allah (swt) does not respond to. It is important to learn the meanings. 10. The Wisdom Behind Delayed Answering of Dua 1. Allah (swt) is Al-Malik (The King). He has the right to do what he wants and when he wants and is not questionable. What he gives is from his wisdom and what he withholds is from his wisdom. 2. Recognition of Man status. He has no right over Allah (swt). Allah (swt) has created him as a servant. 3. This is a type of test and shows your level of imaan. What will be your response when a dua is not responded to? 4. You might hate something but is good for you and what you might like something but it might turn out to be evil for you e.g. you are going through some physical pain but Allah (swt) is cleansing of your sins or you might want a job where you will earn a lot and it will be detrimental to your deen and the hereafter. Allah (swt) knows from his love and wisdom what is best for you. We have limited perception so trust in Allah. 5. Man does not know result of ones dua. 6. Trials and fitnas bring you closer to Allah (swt). If Allah loves a person he tests him in order to raise his ranks up. The delay of answering of a dua should be taken as an indication of this. 7. When a dua is not responded to it makes a person stop in his tracks, to ponder over his life, to think about his relationship with Allah (swt), to contemplate his own sins and the little good that he’s done. When you have fitna and trials then you think about religion but when things are all fine and rosy one doesn’t tend to think about religion. It is a blessing of Allah (swt) that you’re given this opportunity in this life to examine yourself before it is too late. 8. If Allah (swt) responds to every dua there is a risk of a person becoming complacent and even arrogant. 9. Dua may have been responded to in other ways that you may have not seen. We are narrow minded and only see what we want ignoring all the other blessings that have been bestowed upon us. 10. You might ponder on the dua itself, ensuring you meet the preconditions and etiquettes discussed earlier. Am I only asking for dunya and forgetting the hereafter? It causes you examine the very dua you want a response for. 11. A delayed response manifests Allah’s names and attributes. 12. It perfects a person ibaadah by prolonging your hope and fair of Allah, it shows your need of Allah realising that if Allah doesn’t wish it, it won’t come to you. It shows your pleasure of Allah’s decree and accept it. It also proves your humility towards Allah by continuing with the dua. 13. Combating the plots of Satan who uses this opportunity to say look Allah is not responding to you and by returning to Allah you are renewing your imaan with Allah. Remember even our Prophet’s (pbuh) duas were not always accepted so do you think all of our duas will be accepted? So when your dua is unanswered do not ask why Allah has not responded but look at the benefits and wisdoms behind it and thank Allah that he has chosen and option for you that is better that you desire as the one in charge of you is more aware of what is good for you. But do not give up on the dua as Allah will continue to give even though not exactly what you ask for. 11. The Relations of Dua with Qadr (Destiny) People ask why make dua when it is already written whether I will get what I ask for? You can ask a question back, why buy groceries if it is already written that you will eat? Dua is a means, tool, a path that we must take to arrive at our destination. Whether it is written or not we don’t know but you must make dua for you to obtain your goal. It is also possible for Allah to write something for a person but also add a condition on to it i.e. if he makes dua that he doesn’t become ill then he won’t become ill. If he doesn’t make dua he will. Of course Allah knows whether this condition will be met. The point is in we do not know what is in our qadr and therefore must not base our action upon it. We must try our best spiritually and physically. In one hadith the Prophet (pbuh) says that the dua comes out of the Muslim and fights qadr and one will be victorious over the other. Additional points: -Wiping ones face after dua – there are a few hadith. Some scholars make them authentic and some weak but whatever one follows there is evidence for wiping your face after dua. -We must remember to not only ask for this dunya but also for the hereafter. -Don’t think you are not pious enough to make dua to Allah as remember Satan made a dua and it was accepted. -Dua is our weapon against our enemies which includes Satan. It is like a sword. For it to be affective we must keep it sharp, ensure we know how to use it and make sure our arms are strong. Follow the above conditions and Inshallah our duas will be accepted. Summary of a lecture by Sheikh Yasir Qadi called Dua – The Weapon of the Believer.