- Story of Specialist bone doctor Dr Ahmed. -
In his country he was on his way to an international medical conference in another city where he was going to deliver a paper and be granted an award in the field of medical research for his work.
He takes plane to city and 45mins into journey the plane develops a fault so they have to land plane. After some time, a replacement flight will only be available the following day. Dr Ahmed upset as international physicians would be present. He was told he could hire a car and drive 3 hours to destination.
He hires car, but weather turns foul and he is unable to continue as in a remote location and becomes lost. He sees a village and stops at a house to rest as he is tired and hungry.
He knocks on the door and an old woman opens it. He asks if he can charge his mobile phone and she explains that she has no electricity. However, she offers him food and shelter until storm passes.
Hungry, wet and exhausted, the doctor accepted her kind offer and walks in. After serving him, the old woman continues making dua next to a cot with a child in it, for his health and well-being.
Dr Ahmed asks her what she is doing
and she explains that this is her orphan grandson, whose parents were killed and he is ill with a rare bone disease. She has tried many doctors but they cannot help her. They have told her about a doctor called Dr Ahmed who specialises in this disease but she is old and frail and unable to travel with her grandson. She said that Allah always answers my supplication, and I have been asking Him to make a way for me to meet Dr Ahmed.
Stunned and speechless Dr Ahmed was in tears which were rolling down his cheeks. He whispered, Allah is great and recollected sequence of events. ....there plane malfunctioned, a thunderstorm hit, and he lost his way.
Never underestimate the power of du’a.
Everyone has needs from Allah. Keep asking and never stop. Make us firm believers that nothing is impossible. My series this Ramadan will be looking at different miracles in Islam. Today is the Miracle of Du’a.
- The Greatest Act of Worship -
When in a time of need the heart is penitent and humble and the heart is filled with love of Allah and he knows that only He can give. He knows that this is a lord that is Rahman and Raheem. He knows that his is a lord that is samee’ and baseer. The one who makes dua affirms the perfect nature of Allah. My lord loves me, he hears me, he sees my need, he has the power to grant me what I want and his heart if full of hope that dua will be answered and at same time fear that it will not be answered. When we make dua we perfect all these 3 aspects (love, fear and hope) of worship and they are the pillars that are perfection of emaan.
Hardly any action of worship combines all these three aspects except dua. Which is why the Prophet (S) said “Supplication is worship.” Supplication is the most noble of deeds before Allah. The Prophet (S) said: “There is nothing more noble before Allah than supplication.” The great acts of worship in Islam have its pinnacle. So for the Hajj, the best day is the Day of Arafah “Al-Hajj is Arafah”. For Ramadan the pinnacle is Lailatul Qadr. So when the prophet says Du’a is the pinnacle of worship we need to ask ourselves. Dua is the backbone of worship. So to be a true and righteous servant of Allah is that we increase in dua. It is the foundation, pillar of your worship. So let us ask ourselves what is the position of dua in my life?
In Islam dua is the act of supplication. It is calling out to Allah; it is a conversation with Allah, our Creator, our Lord, the All Knowing, and the All Powerful. In fact, the word is derived from the Arabic root meaning to call out.
وَقَالَ رَبُّكُمُ ادْعُونِي أَسْتَجِبْ لَكُمْ إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَسْتَكْبِرُونَ عَنْ عِبَادَتِي سَيَدْخُلُونَ جَهَنَّمَ دَاخِرِينَ
And your Lord said: “Invoke Me, I will respond to your [invocation]. Indeed, those who scorn My worship, they will surely enter Hell in humiliation.” [Ghafir:60]
This is a commandment from Allah. Allah is angry at the person who does not ask Allah as they are showing their superiority and that he is not in need of Allah.
The relationship between Allah and his servant Is one of servitude. What does a servant need from his master? Everything from his master. From the clothes on his back to the food he puts in his mouth. He has nothing except what master gives. Nothing belongs to the slave. Everything belongs to the master.
When you don’t make du’a, it is a sign of arrogance and that you are not in need of the Most High. Dua is a conversation with Allah and therefore one with high emaan is forever making dua and having conversation with Allah.
Story of Adam (AS)
The concept of du’a is beautifully portrayed in the first story in the Qur’an which is the story of our father Adam (AS). 10 different places in Quran story of Adam.
In this story there are two duas made by two very different beings as a result of both being expelled from paradise; one for arrogance and the other for disobedience.
Adam made dua immediately when he ate from the tree and his nakedness became apparent.
رَبَّنا ظَلَمنا أَنفُسَنا وَإِن لَم تَغفِر لَنا وَتَرحَمنا لَنَكونَنَّ مِنَ الخٰسِرينَ
They said, “Our Lord, we have wronged ourselves, and if You do not forgive us and have mercy upon us, we will surely be among the losers.” [7:23]
In contrast look at Shaitaan that when told to prostrate he refuses saying he is better than him.
Shaitaan is forced out and then he makes a dua only as the final resort as no other way out as now realises that he will be cursed until the end of time. So he makes dua
قَالَ رَبِّ فَأَنظِرْنِي إِلَى يَوْمِ يُبْعَثُونَ
[Iblis] said: "O my Lord! Give me then respite till the Day they will be resurrected."
قَالَ فَإِنَّكَ مِنَ الْمُنظَرِينَ
[Allah] said: "Then, verily, you are of those reprieved,” [Al-Hijr: 36-37]
Types of Dua
We learn from the story of Adam that there are different types of dua. Adam asks for magfirah and rahmah; spiritual requests. Shaitaan asks for long life. Adam is worried about the soul, Iblees the physical body, Adam the hereafter, Iblees the duniya.
Look at the content of the dua.
فَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يَقُولُ رَبَّنَا آتِنَا فِي الدُّنْيَا وَمَا لَهُ فِي الآخِرَةِ مِنْ خَلاَقٍ
“And among the people is he who says, "Our Lord, give us in this world," and he will have no portion in the Hereafter.” [2:200]
He’ll get the duniya but nothing from hereafter. He does not ask for the hereafter. So don’t fall into this mistake. Rather the following ayah gives us the perfect example of what to ask for in our duas.
وِمِنْهُم مَّن يَقُولُ رَبَّنَا آتِنَا فِي الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَفِي الآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ
Some scholars say we should try and follow this rule of thirds. One for the duniya and two for the hereafter. The eternity is in the hereafter so why concern ourselves for the short time in the duniya. Makes sure majority is for the hereafter. Jannah, forgiveness, emaan etc.
Establish relationship in times of ease and Allah will know you in times of hardship.
What to ask for?
This story also shows us that both Adam and Iblees ask for great things from Allah.
Can you imagine being given paradise all of it. Do what you want and eat as much as you want. Eat for the pleasure only. Nothing haram except from one tree. However, he does not lose hope and raises hand and asks Allah for forgiveness.
Hadith Qudsi: … O My servants, were the first of you and the last of you, the human of you and the jinn of you to rise up in one place and make a request of Me, and were I to give everyone what he requested, that would not decrease what I have, any more than a needle decreases the sea if put into it….
All asked me, simultaneously everything they want and I gave it, my kingdom will not diminish like needle in water (and this not literal as water is on needle, just saying).
Ramadan and Dua
Ramadan is about dua. Ayah of dua in the middle of the ayahs of Ramadan.
شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ الَّذِي أُنْزِلَ فِيهِ الْقُرْآنُ
وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِي عَنِّي فَإِنِّي قَرِيبٌ ۖ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ الدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِ ۖ فَلْيَسْتَجِيبُوا لِي وَلْيُؤْمِنُوا بِي لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْشُدُونَ
أُحِلَّ لَكُمْ لَيْلَةَ الصِّيَامِ الرَّفَثُ إِلَىٰ نِسَائِكُمْ ۚ
- Tafseer of Ayah -
The ayah starts with I am waiting for you to ask about me. Allah is waiting for us to call upon Him. WHEN you call me. There is a difference between if and when.
We are closest to Allah when we make dua. You are the closest to Allah even more when we make sujood and we make dua.
The Prophet (S) said
“A slave becomes nearest to his Lord when he is in prostration. So increase supplications in prostrations.’’
أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ الدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِ
Astajeeb means that it will take time. Ujeeb means I’ll answer straight away.
Every sincere dua is answered. However, the response is not always what we expected. He gave you what you wanted, or gave you something better. Or three He averts an evil that was destined for you. Sometimes Allah will save his response to a dua until the Day of Resurrection when a person will be most in need of it. People question when their dua that wasn’t answered and don’t look at the bigger picture.
Greatest factor that will guarantee that your dua will be accepted is sincerity from the depths of your heart. Even Iblees got what he asked. Have trust in Allah that you will be answered. Allah does not answer dua from inattentive heart (H). Make is from your heart as then it will be sincere for what is pure and good. Make dua for a BMW car to appear outside in the carpark may not happen but who knows what Allah has destined instead!
A lot of people lose faith because their duas no answered.
“The supplication of every one of you will be granted if he does not get impatient and say, `I supplicated my Lord but my prayer has not been granted’.
Just when a person feels like giving up he must make more dua, ask Allah again, and again for more and more. There is no power or strength except with Allah alone. There is no solution or outcome except from Allah. When supplicating to Allah a person must be both resolute and sincere.
Making du’a with Allah’s Names
Adam began dua with greatest name of Allah; he said ‘Rabbana’ learn names of Allah.
أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ الدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِ
‘I respond to the single call of the caller’ caller can be anyone as not described as believer or righteous. Since caller is not qualified it means that no matter how bad you are, you still call me, I’ll respond.
فَلْيَسْتَجِيبُوا لِي وَلْيُؤْمِنُوا بِي لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْشُدُونَ
‘So respond to my call and believe in me so that you may be guided.’
Fasting given so we get taqwa
Ramadan given so we can be grateful
Dua was given so we can be guided. Dua and guidance go together. No dua in your life, there will be no guidance.
Fourth virtue is it is a sign of the relationship with Allah and the strength of your link to Allah.
You didn’t need to make wudu, nor change clothes etc. it has made it so easy for us to do it.
- Virtues of Dua -
1. Supplication is an act of obedience to Allah and done the most.
2. Supplication protects us from arrogance.
“And your Lord said: Supplicate to Me, I shall answer you. Indeed, those who are too haughty to worship Me shall enter Hell in humiliation.” [60: 60]
3. Supplication expands a person’s heart.
It alleviates worry, removes distress, and eases a person’s affairs.
4. Supplication is a means of warding off Allah’s anger.
Allah is angry with those who do not beseech Him. The Prophet (S) said: “Whoever does not ask Allah, Allah becomes angry with him.”
5. Supplication is a sign of Allah’s generosity.
So ask for the best of everything. Allah is the creator, owner and sustainer of the heavens of the earth, all of which is for us so we can call upon Allah.
6. Supplication shows our reliance upon Allah.
The reality of relying upon Allah is for our hearts to depend on Allah alone. This reliance manifests itself in its greatest form when we beseech Allah in supplication, seeking His help, entrusting our problems and our concerns to Him and Him alone.
7. Supplication fosters love between Muslims.
When one supplicates for his fellow Muslim without that other knowing about it, his supplications are answered. This shows that the person’s inner being is genuinely in conformity with what he shows outwardly. This is a sign of piety, genuineness, and unity among Muslims. It strengthens the love that we feel for one another. Prophet (S) encouraged the believers to make dua. He said, “The dua of a Muslim for his brother 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, Ameen. And may you also be blessed with the same’”.[M]
8. Supplication is the refuge of the oppressed and downtrodden.
When oppression and weakness strips a person of all practical hope and leaves him with no soul to help him against those who oppress him, he raises his hands to the sky and sets forth his complaint before his Lord, the Almighty. Allah strengthens him and gives him success and lets His wrath fall upon those who oppress.
9. Supplication is a sign of having true faith in Allah.
It is an admission of Allah’s Lordship. It is an admission of Allah’s divinity, of His exclusive right to be worshipped. It is a recognition of Allah’s most beautiful names and attributes. When a worshipper beseeches his Lord in supplication, it implies that he believes in His existence, His independence, His hearing and seeing all things, his generosity, His mercy, His power, and his worthiness of being worshipped alone without partner.
Dua is uplifting, empowering, liberating and transforming and it is one of the most powerful and effective act of worship a human being can engage in. Dua has been called the weapon of the believer. It affirms a person’s belief in One Allah and it shuns all forms of idolatry or polytheism.
10. Supplication that is answered is a miracle.
From thinking about what food to make for iftar and then neighbour turning up with food, or sister who became pregnant on day of Arafah after husband’s dua, or feeling so thirsty on a hot day when a stranger hands you water to final story of an accepted du’a.