Making dua is one of the greatest bounties Almighty Allah has given us. Through it we may get anything we desire by sincerely asking Allah for it. Of course, there are certain conditions that need to be fulfilled for dua to be accepted. But dua is an act of worship in itself that is simple, easy and available at anytime we feel like it because Allah is al-Hayy and ol-Qayyoom: always there to listen to our dua and respond to it.
None of us, therefore, should ever despair and say, “I don’t think Allah will answer my supplication”. Rather, we should be hopeful and frequently pray to Him to grant us what we want in this life and in the hereafter.
Part of the conduct proper to supplication is the presence of the heart: you must be attentive while you supplicate.
Another condition of supplication is that your food should be lawful. Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) is reported to have said, “Earn your livelihood lawfully so that your supplication will be answered. Nothing is dearer to Allah than supplication.” (at-Tirmidhee)
Etiquette of Supplication
- Choose a noble time for supplication, such as the Day of ‘Arafaat from the year, Ramadan from the months, Friday from days of the week, and the last third of the night.
Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) said, “Our Lord descends each night to the earth’s heaven when there remains the final third of the night and He says, ‘Who supplicates to Me so that I may answer it? Who is asking something of Me so that I may give it to him? Who is asking forgiveness of Me so that I may forgive him?” (Muslim and at-Tirmidhee)
The Prophet (pbuh) also said, “The Lord is at His Most near to the servant in the middle of the final part of the night, So if you are able to be among those who are remembering Allah at that time, then, be so.” (Muslim)
He also said, “Truly in the night there is a period of time when no Muslim man comes upon and wherein He asks Allah for something good from the things of this world and the hereafter without his being given it, and this is so every night.” (Muslim)
- Take your noble state as an opportunity for supplication.
Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) said, “Supplication made between adhaan and the iqaamah is never rejected,” (at-Tirmidhee)
He also said, “The supplication of a fasting person is never rejected.” (at-Tirmidhee)
The prostration position [sujood] must also be especially appropriate to receive the divine response, The Prophet (pbuh) said, “The slave is nearest to Allah when he prostrates, so make plentiful supplications at that time.” (Muslim)
The Prophet (pbuh) also said, “Truly, I have been forbidden to recite the Quran while bowing and prostrating, As for bowing, glorify the Lord in it; and as for prostrating, make supplications earnestly in it, so that your supplications may be answered.” (Muslim)
- Face the Qiblah.
By facing the qibloh, a Muslim turns himself in the direction of the very first place of worship ever built on earth – the Kabah. Abdullaah ibn Zayd narrated, “The Prophet (pbuh) left Madenah to this prayer-place seeking rain, He made a dua and asked for rain, then he faced the qiblah and turned his cloak inside out.” (al-Bukhaaree: 6343; Muslim: 894)
The turning of the cloak is a unique Sunnah. It is performed at the end of the rain-seeking prayer. It signifies hope and optimism that the situation will soon change from draught to rain. Imoom al-Bukhaaree placed this hadeeth in a chapter titled ‘Making duda’ while facing the qiblah’, showing that it forms the etiquette of dua . So a person is encouraged to turn towards the qiblah when he wishes to make dua.
- Raise your hands.
Abu Moosaa al-Ash’aree narrated, “The Prophet (pbuh) made a dua, and I saw him raise his hands until I could see the whiteness of his armpits.” (al-Bukhaaree)
Maalik ibn Yaasir narrated that the Prophet (pbuh) said, “If you ask Allah, then ask Him with the palms of your hands outwards, and not with the outward position of the hands (i.e. with the palms facing down).” (Abu Daawood)
- Supplicate directly and unconditionally; believe firmly in the response and hope in it sincerely.
Supplication should be made with humbleness, submissiveness, longing and fear. Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) said, “Let not any of you say in supplication, ‘O Allah! Forgive me if you will! Have mercy on me if you will!” He also said, “Supplicate to Allah with firm conviction of His response. Know that Allah never answers the supplication of someone whose heart is heedless!” (al-Bukhaaree and at-Tirmidhee)
- Supplicate earnestly and repeat the supplication three times.
When the Prophet (pbuh) supplicated, he would do so three times, and when he asked Allah for something, he would do so three times. (Muslim)
One should not become impatient for the response. Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) said, “[The supplication of] anyone of you will be answered so long as he is not so anxious as to complain saying, ‘I have supplicated, but my supplication has not been answered.” (al-Bukhaaree)
That is, not to be irritated and impatient about the delay of the answer, as though one had the right to be answered. There may be a certain interest and advantage in delay; furthermore, supplication is an act of worship and submission, and impatience and irritation are contrary to them. Allah knows what profits His servants better than they do.
- Begin your supplication by praising Allah.
This is because the person who makes the dua is asking for forgiveness, mercy and sustenance from his Creator. So it is proper for the supplicant to start his dua with the praise and glorification of Allah Most High.
Three Wonderful Supplications
Anas said, “The supplication the Prophet (pbuh) most often recited was
Allaahumma aatinaa fid-dunyaa hasanatan, wa fil-aakhirati hasanatan, wa qinaa ‘adhaaban-naar (O Allah, give us in this world that which is good and in the hereafter that which is good and protect us from the punishment of the Fire). (Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim)
Aai’shah said, “Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) used to supplicate [in these words],
Allaahumma innee doodhu bika min sham maa ‘amiltu, wa min sharri maa lam dmal (O Allah, I seek refuge in you from the evil [deeds] I have done, and I seek refuge in You from the evil [deeds] which I have not done.) (Muslim)
Alee ibn abee Taalib narrated, Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) said to me, ‘Recite
Allaahummah-dinee wa saddidnee (O Allah, guide me and help me do things rightly). (Muslim)
The Prophet (pbuh) once mentioned that when someone supplicates Almighty Allah, one of the following will happen:
- Allah will answer the supplicant’s supplication and give him what he has asked for;
- He will prevent the supplicant from being harmed, or
- He will reward the supplicant with good rewards which will be kept for him on the Day of Judgement. Therefore, it’s a win-win situation for a believer all around.