All praises are due to Allah. All thanks are due to Allah. All good are in the Good Hands of Allah. All affairs shall be returned to Allah. No god deserves to be worshiped, except Allah. We seek His Forgiveness at all times, and to Him we repent. May His Peace and Blessings be upon our Master; Habibi Muhammad, his family members, his companions and all those who follow their guided path, till the Day of Judgment.
In my previous article, Du’a and its Etiquettes (1), we went through the definition of Du’a, and its virtues. We also came to an understanding that Allah loves to be asked. We took a look into the etiquettes in the du’a of Rasulillah, s.a.w., the etiquettes that can be found in the du’as of other Prophets, as well as those (etiquettes) in the du’as of the (true) Believers and people of piety.
Today, insha Allah, we’re going to look into a few other angles of du’a; starting with ‘General etiquettes of du’a’, all the way to ‘Du’as from the Qur’an and Sunnah’. We will bridge at “Special times in which du’as are likely to be answered’ and ‘Special people whose du’as are likely to be answered’.
So, let’s start with ‘General etiquettes of du’a’.
Now that we have come to a common understanding, with regards to the importance of du’a, its value and its effects in the life of a Muslim, let’s then, go through some fundamental etiquettes of du’as, which I strongly believe, that we are all aware of. Yet, I’m outlining them below, as a reminder and reference for myself, and hopefully, as a reference for my beloved brothers and sisters (readers).
Constantly ensure your provisions are Halal
One of the most important things a Muslim has to prioritize, is to ensure that anything we consume is Halal. “Halal” here is not referring to the ‘No pork… No lard’ concept. “Halal” here refers to anything permissible and that is not prohibited in Islam. Thus, one has to ensure their earnings are earned righteously. On top of that, if we want our du’as to be answered, then observing the source of our living should be essential as we strive for good life. That’s why Rasulullah said, in a Hadeeth narrated by Abu Hurairah, r.a., and authenticated by Imam Muslim:
أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ طَيِّبٌ لا يَقْبَلُ إِلا طَيِّبًا، وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ أَمَرَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ بِمَا أَمَرَ بِهِ الْمُرْسَلِينَ، فَقَالَ: يَا أَيُّهَا الرُّسُلُ كُلُوا مِنَ الطَّيِّبَاتِ وَاعْمَلُوا صَالِحًا إِنِّي بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ عَلِيمٌ. وَقَالَ: يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُلُوا مِنْ طَيِّبَاتِ مَا رَزَقْنَاكُمْ. ثُمَّ ذَكَرَ الرَّجُلَ يُطِيلُ السَّفَرَ أَشْعَثَ أَغْبَرَ يَمُدُّ يَدَيْهِ إِلَى السَّمَاءِ “يَا رَبِّ يَا رَبِّ!”، وَمَطْعَمُهُ حَرَامٌ، وَمَشْرَبُهُ حَرَامٌ، وَمَلْبَسُهُ حَرَامٌ، وَغُذِيَ بِالْحَرَامِ، فَأَنَّى يُسْتَجَابُ لِذَلِكَ؟ ـ
It means, “O people, Allah is Good and does not accept anything but that which is good. Allah enjoins upon the believers the same as He enjoined upon the Messengers. He says (what means): “Messengers, eat what is wholesome and do good deeds: I am well aware of what you do”. He also said (what means): “Believers, eat the wholesome things which We have provided for you”. Then he mentioned a man who travels for a long distance and is dishevelled and dusty, and he stretches forth his hands towards heaven saying, ‘O Lord, O Lord,’ but his food is haram, his drink is haram, his clothing is haram, he has been nourished with haram. So how can he be responded to?!”
Believe in the Oneness of Allah
When we make du’a, one of the essential starting points is to believe firmly, in the Oneness of Allah; upon Whom we are calling. That is with regards to the Divinity, Lordship, Names and Attributes of Allah, s.w.t. Our hearts should be filled with what is known Islamically as ‘Tawheed’, when we present du’a before Allah, s.a.w. In order for Allah to respond to our du’a, it is essential that we respond to Him, s.w.t., by obeying Him in all situations. Our strong belief in Allah, together with obedience to Him is definitely what makes difference is His response to our du’as:
وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِي عَنِّي فَإِنِّي قَرِيبٌ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ الدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِ فَلْيَسْتَجِيبُوا لِي وَلْيُؤْمِنُوا بِي لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْشُدُونَ
It means, “When My servants ask you about Me, say (tell them) that I am near. I respond to the call of one who calls, whenever he calls to Me: let them, then, respond to Me, and believe in Me, so that they may be rightly guided.” [Surah Al-Baqarah, 2:186].
Be sincere towards Allah in your du’a
We have discussed in Part 1 of this article that Rasulullah said:
إِنَّ الدُّعَاءَ هُوَ العِبَادَةُ
Which means, “Du’a is the very essence of worship”.
Also, we all know that, for any act of worship to be accepted by Allah, genuine sincerity has to be observed. Thus, we should be sincere in our du’a too, since it’s the very essence of worship (‘ibadah). With regards to being sincere in ‘ibadah, Allah says in Surah Al-Bayyinah, 98:5:
وَمَا أُمِرُوا إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُوا اللَّـهَ مُخْلِصِينَ لَهُ الدِّينَ
It means, “And they were commanded not, but that they should worship Allah, and worship none but Him Alone”.
Face towards the qiblah during your du’a
The best form of communicating with Allah is in Solat, and one of the most significant things in solat is facing towards the qiblah. Therefore, facing towards the qiblah when supplicating gives your du’a significance and priority in response, as it also reflects how respectful one may be in their du’a. It’s narrated in several narrations that Rasulullah would face towards the qiblah in his noble du’a. One of those narrations is what Imam Muslim narrated that Sayyiduna Umar Ibn Al-Khattaab, r.a., said:
لَمَّا كَانَ يَوْمُ بَدْرٍ نَظَرَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ إِلَى الْمُشْرِكِينَ وَهُمْ أَلْفٌ وَأَصْحَابُهُ ثَلاثُ مِائَةٍ وَتِسْعَةَ عَشَرَ رَجُلا، فَاسْتَقْبَلَ نَبِيُّ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ الْقِبْلَةَ ثُمَّ مَدَّ يَدَيْهِ فَجَعَلَ يَهْتِفُ بِرَبِّهِ: اللَّهُمَّ أَنْجِزْ لِي مَا وَعَدْتَنِي، اللَّهُمَّ آتِ مَا وَعَدْتَنِي، اللَّهُمَّ إِنْ تُهْلِكْ هَذِهِ الْعِصَابَةَ مِنْ أَهْلِ الإِسْلامِ لا تُعْبَدُ فِي الأَرْضِ. فَمَا زَالَ يَهْتِفُ بِرَبِّهِ مَادًّا يَدَيْهِ مُسْتَقْبِلَ الْقِبْلَةِ حَتَّى سَقَطَ رِدَاؤُهُ عَنْ مَنْكِبَيْهِ
It means, “On the day of (the battle of) Badr, Rasulullah, s.a.w. looked at the ‘mushrikeen’, who were one thousand strong, and his companions numbered three hundred and nineteen. Then Rasulullah s.a.w., turned towards the direction of qiblah, he then stretched forth his hands and started to cry out to his Lord: “O Allah, grant me what You have promised me, O Allah, give me what You have promised me. O Allah, if this small band of Muslims perishes, You will not be worshipped on earth.” He kept on crying out to his Lord, stretching forth his hands, facing towards the qiblah, until his cloak fell from his shoulders…”
Be humble in your du’a before Allah
Don’t be the first slave (or servant) to boast before his Lord! Therefore, it will be wise to show humility, when we call upon Allah, while balancing between hope and fear. Allah says in Surah Al-A’raf, 7:55:
ادْعُوا رَبَّكُمْ تَضَرُّعًا وَخُفْيَةً
It means, “Call upon your Lord in humility and privately”
Also, in Surah Al-Anbiya, 21:60, Allah says, relating about Sayyidina Zakariya and his family:
إِنَّهُمْ كَانُوا يُسَارِعُونَ فِي الْخَيْرَاتِ وَيَدْعُونَنَا رَغَبًا وَرَهَبًا، وَكَانُوا لَنَا خَاشِعِينَ
It means, “Indeed, they used to hasten to good deeds and supplicate Us in hope and fear, and they were to Us humbly submissive.”
Raise your hands in your du’a
Raising hands when making du’a, or begging, signifies one’s humility and his desperate need, before his Lord. Rasulullah is our role model in presenting humility before Allah, s.w.t. In addition to being our role model in that (and in all acts of worship), Rasulullah said in a Hadeeth narrated by Salman, r.a. and compiled by Abu Dawood:
إِنَّ رَبَّكُمْ تَبَارَكَ وَتَعَالَى حَيِيٌّ كَرِيمٌ يَسْتَحْيِي مِنْ عَبْدِهِ إِذَا رَفَعَ يَدَيْهِ إِلَيْهِ أَنْ يَرُدَّهُمَا صِفْرًا
It means, “Your Lord, High and Exalted is He, is Kind and Most Generous. He is too kind to let His slave, if he raises his hands to Him, bring them back empty.”
Sing Allah praises
Before we continue, why don’t you consider singing Allah some praises, as you read the following: SubhanAllah.. Walhamdulillah.. Walaa ilaaha illa Allah.. Wallahu Akbar…? (3x)
It’s important that we sing Allah praises, beforehand, anytime we sit to invocate to His Highness. Let’s praise Him, as much as He deserves, before we call upon Him, although, He alone knows how much praises He deserves. Fadalah Ibn ‘Ubaid, r.a. said what was narrated by Al-Tirmidhi:
إِذَا صَلَّى أَحَدُكُمْ فَلْيَبْدَأْ بِتَحْمِيدِ اللَّهِ وَالثَّنَاءِ عَلَيْهِ ثُمَّ لْيُصَلِّ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ ثُمَّ لْيَدْعُ بَعْدُ بِمَا شَاءَ
It means, “When one of you prays, let him start with praise of Allah, then let him send blessings upon the Prophet, s.a.w. Then let him ask whatever he likes after that.”
Send blessings upon Rasulillah, s.a.w.
Let’s make a deal: Why don’t you consider sending blessings (salawat) upon Rasulillah, salla Allahu ‘alahi wasallam, as you read this? salla Allahu ‘alahi wasallam (3x)
After we sing Allah lots of praises, we should send (lots of) blessings upon Rasulillah, s.a.w. All that, are to be done, before we ask for anything. Rasulullah said in a Hadeeth narrated by Al-Tabarani:
كُلُّ دُعَاءٍ مَحْجُوبٌ حَتَّى تُصَلِّيَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ
It means, “Every du’a is held back, until you send blessings upon the Prophet s.a.w.”
An easy example of singing Allah praises and sending blessings upon Rasulillah will be as follows:
اللَّهُمَّ لَكَ الحَمْدُ كُلُّهُ.. وَلَكَ الشُّكْرُ كُلُّهُ.. وَبِيَدِكَ الخَيْرُ كُلُّهُ.. وَإِلَيْكَ يُرْجَعُ الأَمْرُ كُلُّهُ.. لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ أَنْتَ.. نَسْتَغْفِرُكَ وَنَتُوبُ إِلَيْكَ
اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلَى سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلَى آلِهِ وَصَحْبِهِ أَجْمَعِينَ
It means, “O Allah, all praises are due to You… All thanks are due to You… All good are in Your Hands… To You, shall all affairs be referred… No god (deserves to be worshiped) but You… We seek Your Forgiveness, and we repent to You”
“O Allah, send Your Peace and Blessings upon our Master Muhammad, his family members and all his companions”.
Call Allah through His beautiful names
Let’s imagine this: You are a parent, and you are blessed with two children. Both of them needed your favour regarding an issue. The elder child, when s/he came in, to see you, immediately, they started to ask. But when the other child came in, instead of taking things for granted, unlike the elder sibling, s/he called you by the name they know you like to be addressed with, especially by relatives. I’m certain that, although you’ll be more than willing to fulfil the needs of both of them, you’ll give the second child extra care, with personal follow-up. This is in addition to the respect and love he/she wins, in your kind heart. If this can be (and it is, indeed) true, in human-to-human relations, then Allah deserves more and will surely grant more bounties and more love and care. Therefore, we should ask of Allah by His Beautiful Names:
وَلِلَّـهِ الْأَسْمَاءُ الْحُسْنَىٰ فَادْعُوهُ بِهَا، وَذَرُوا الَّذِينَ يُلْحِدُونَ فِي أَسْمَائِهِ
It means, “And to Allah belong the best names, so invoke Him by them. And leave [the company of] those who practice deviation concerning His Names. [Surah Al-A’raf, 7:180].
The Beautiful (Best) Names of Allah
Click here to download the Beautiful Names of Allah in PDF file format. You may use them all, or some, in your du’a, to invocate to Allah, s.w.t.
Trust and be confident; that Allah will respond to your du’a
Having concrete faith that Allah will respond to your du’a, in addition to focusing with proper presence of mind, help a lot to make our du’as answered. Rasulullah, s.a.w. emphasized this when he said in a Hadeeth narrated by Al-Tirmzhi:
ادْعُوا اللَّهَ وَأَنْتُمْ مُوقِنُونَ بِالإِجَابَةِ، وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّهَ لا يَسْتَجِيبُ دُعَاءً مِنْ قَلْبٍ غَافِلٍ لاهٍ
It means, “Call upon Allah when you are certain of a response, and remember that Allah will not answer a du’a that comes from a negligent and heedless heart.”
Triple your du’a
Again, Rasulullah is our example in any act of ‘ibadah, which we perform. He would triple his du’as; to emphasize, to show humility; and to express fear and hope. Imam Al-Bukhaari and Muslim narrated, that Sayyiduna Abdullah Ibn Mas’oud r.a. said:
وَكَانَ إِذَا دَعَا دَعَا ثَلاثًا، وَإِذَا سأَلَ سَأَلَ ثَلاثًا
It means, “When he (Rasulullah s.a.w.) made du’a or asked of Allah, he would repeat it three times”
Frequent your du’a
Ask Allah frequently with regards to your need. We should repeatedly ask Allah for whatever we want of the good things in this world and the Hereafter. Although we are encouraged to beseech Allah in du’a, we are not supposed to seek a hasty response, because Rasulullah, s.a.w. said:
يُسْتَجَابُ لِلْعَبْدِ مَا لَمْ يَدْعُ بِإِثْمٍ أَوْ قَطِيعَةِ رَحِمٍ، مَا لَمْ يَسْتَعْجِلْ، قِيلَ: يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ، مَا الاسْتِعْجَالُ؟ قَالَ: يَقُولُ: قَدْ دَعَوْتُ، وَقَدْ دَعَوْتُ، فَلَمْ أَرَ يَسْتَجِيبُ لِي، فَيَسْتَحْسِرُ عِنْدَ ذَلِكَ وَيَدَعُ الدُّعَاءَ
It means, “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, “O Rasulallah! 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.”
We shouldn’t test Allah with our du’a
One should beseech Allah in his du’a and not to test Allah. An example of testing Allah in our du’a is when one of us may possibly say “O Allah, grant my wish, if You are really God”. Some will even try Allah as they try different physicians (doctors). Therefore, Rasulullah taught us the adab of du’a when he said in the Hadeeth narrated by Imam Al-Bukhari and Muslim:
لا يَقُولَنَّ أَحَدُكُمْ: اللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لِي إِنْ شِئْتَ، اللَّهُمَّ ارْحَمْنِي إِنْ شِئْتَ، لِيَعْزِمْ الْمَسْأَلَةَ، فَإِنَّ اللهَ لا مُكْرِهَ لَهُ
It means, “No one of you should say, ‘O Allah, forgive me if You wish, O Allah, have mercy on me if You wish’; he should be firm in his asking, for Allah cannot be compelled.”
What applies here is also applicable, when make du’a for our loved one and say, “May Allah bless you, insha Allah”. Instead, we should say, “May Allah bless you. Ameen”.
Those were the general etiquettes of du’a. They are to be observed by anyone who wants to invocate to Allah, s.w.t. Now let’s take a look at the times, in which one’s du’a(s) is/are likely to be answered. But before that, please take note:
Facing towards qiblah, tripling the du’a, and raising hands in du’a are things we do when we are in situations that allow us to do so in performing du’a. Otherwise, we still can do du’a without observing those situations; i.e., when on the go, when in the market place, or places where our hearts are engaged making du’a, but we are not able to specifically sit for it, or face towards the qiblah.
There are several times, in which our du’as are likely to be answered. These include:
In the depths of the night (especially in the last 3rd)
People may stay awake (almost) the whole night, but wait until it’s close to dawn; everyone goes to sleep. Honestly, this is the time when sleeping can be deep and dreams can be colourful, and more terrible in some cases. At this time, only few people can be awake. Constantly; this is the time Allah Himself, descends down to the lowest Heaven, in an honour for the people of the night; those are the ones who communicate with Him when everything else goes to sleep, and the entire world calms down and all movement stops and the excitement in sleeping reaches its peak.
Sayyiduna Abu Hurairah r.a. narrated a Hadeeth which was reported by Imam Al-Bukhari and Muslim, that Rasulullah, s.a.w. said:
يَنْزِلُ رَبُّنَا تَبَارَكَ وَتَعَالَى كُلَّ لَيْلَةٍ إِلَى السَّمَاءِ الدُّنْيَا حِينَ يَبْقَى ثُلُثُ اللَّيْلِ الآخِرُ فَيَقُولُ: مَنْ يَدْعُونِي فَأَسْتَجِيبَ لَهُ، مَنْ يَسْأَلُنِي فَأُعْطِيَهُ، مَنْ يَسْتَغْفِرُنِي فَأَغْفِرَ لَهُ
It means, “Our Lord descends every night to the lowest heaven when the last third of the night remains, and He says, ‘Who will call Me that I might answer him, who will ask of Me that I might give him, who will ask My forgiveness, that I might forgive him?”
How to calculate the last 3rd of the night?
To calculate the last third of the night in your location; count the number of hours from Magrib until azan of Fajr, and divide that number of hours by 3, the equal is the duration of the last third of the night. For example, assuming Maghrib in Singapore is at 1910hrs whereby Fajr (for the next morning) is at 0540hrs. The number of hours between these two ends of time is 10 hours and 30 mins. Divide 10hrs and 30mins by 3 and you’ll get 3hrs 30mins. Therefore, the last 3rd of the night will start on this particular day in Singapore, at 0210hrs and will end at 0540hrs.
Anytime, within this last 3rd of the night, is applicable for your du’a to be mustajab. So don’t miss it!
When hearing the crowing of roosters
Many are the times in which angels come down to be with the good servants of Allah. (No good servant knows he’s one, by the way.) To help us seize the opportunity to be close to Allah, we are given clues of some of the times the angels come down or may be with us. One of the clues is when the roosters crow. Since the presence of the angels brings peace and tranquility, Rasulullah, s.a.w. has encouraged us to make du’a, in the hope that Allah will answer it. It’s narrated in Bukhari and Muslim:
إِذَا سَمِعْتُمْ صِيَاحَ الدِّيَكَةِ فَاسْأَلُوا اللهَ مِنْ فَضْلِهِ، فَإِنَّهَا رَأَتْ مَلَكاً
It means, “When you hear the crowing of roosters, ask Allah of His bounty, for they have seen an angel.”
Between azhan and iqamah
Du’a within the time between any azan and its iqamah is narrated that it’s likely to be answered. Rasulullah said in a Hadeeth which was narrated by Sayyidina Anas r.a., and related by Al-Tirmizhi:
إِنَّ الدُّعَاءَ لاَ يُرَدُّ بَيْنَ الأَذَانِ وَالإِقَامَةِ فَادْعُوا
It means “Du’a [offered] between azhan and iqamah is not rejected, so make du’a”.
When in prostrating (sujud)
We all know that, the lowest one can go to show humility is to go down to the floor, and be in prostration. As a reward for the Muslim, Allah has made that state, a platform for you and I to get the closest to Him, as possible. Rasulullah, s.a.w. said in a Hadeeth reported by Imam Muslim:
أَقْرَبُ مَا يَكُونُ العَبْدُ مِنْ رَبِّهِ وَهُوَ سَاجِدٌ
It means, “The closest a slave can be to his Lord is when he prostrates (in sujud).
The time following the prescribed solat(s)
If you are one of those who rush to leave the mosque, immediately after the Imam says, ‘Assalamu alaikum…’, like I do, sometimes, please think again, and don’t miss the reward granted for making du’a in the time following prescribed solats. According to the Hadeeth of Abu Umamah, it was saidِ
قِيلَ يَا رَسُولَ اللهِ، أَيُّ الدُّعَاءِ أَسْمَعُ؟ قَالَ: جَوْفُ اللَّيْلِ الآخِرِ، وَدُبُرُ الصَّلَوَاتِ الـمَكْتُوبَات
It means, “It was said: “O Rasulallah, which du’a is heard?” He said: “In the last third of the night, and following the prescribed prayers.”
When rain falls
We (Muslims) believe that, the waters that shower the earth and nourish everything on it, brings along plentiful of blessing from Allah. Thus, we hope that du’a during that time will be listened to, by Allah, with special attention.
Sahl ibn Sa’d narrated a Hadeeth which he attributed to Rasulullah, which was reported by Abu Dawood, and classified as ‘authentic’ by Shaikh Al-Albani:
ثِنْتَانِ مَا تُرَدَّانِ: الدُّعَاءُ عِنْدَ النِّدَاءِ وَتَحْتَ المَطَرِ
It means, “There are two which will not be rejected: du’a at the time of the call (to prayer) and when it is raining.”
A certain time on Fridays
Rasulullah mentioned Friday and said, in a Hadeeth narrated by Al-Bukhari and Muslim:
فِي الجُمُعَةِ سَاعَةٌ لاَ يُوَافِقُهَا عَبْدٌ مُؤْمِنٌ يُصَلِّي يَسْأَلُ اللهَ فِيهَا خَيْراً إِلَّا أَعْطَاهُ إِيَّاهُ
It means, “During it (Friday) there is a time when a Muslim slave does not stand and pray and ask Allah for something, but He will give it to him,”
This is the night known to be better than 1000 months combined. Don’t miss it! It was narrated that Sayyidatuna ‘Aishah r.a. asked Rasulallah, s.a.w.:
أَرَأَيْتَ إِنْ عَلِمْتُ أَيَّ لَيْلَةٍ لَيْلَةُ القَدْرِ، مَا أَقُولُ فِيهَا؟ قَالَ: قُولِي: اللَّهُمَّ إِنَّكَ عَفُوٌّ تُحِبُّ العَفْوَ فَاعْفُ عَنِّي
It means, “If I know what night is Lailatul-Qadr, what should I say during it?” He said: “Say: Allahumma innaka ‘afuwwan tuhibbul-‘afwa fa’fu ‘anni (O Allah, You are forgiving and love forgiveness, so forgive me).”
When drinking Zamzam water
Sayyiduna Jaabir r.a. narrated a Hadeeth, that Rasulullah, s.a.w. said:
مَاءُ زَمْزَمَ لِمَا شُرِبَ لَهُ
It means, “Zamzam water is for that, for which it is drunk.”
The above were some of the special times, in which du’as are highly likely to be answered. Next, some special people whose du’as are most likely to be answered.
Below is an outline of some special people whose du’as are likely to be answered. You and I can strive to qualify for all of them, or for most of them; and hopefully not for less:
A Muslim who makes du’a for his Muslim brother in his absence
Making du’a or wishing good for your Muslim brother or sister in their absence can’t be pretentious, unless it’s done in the presence of others for a hidden agenda. Due to the fact that, it’s mostly done genuinely, it’s made mustajab. Rasulullah said in a Hadeeth narrated by Abu Al-Dardaa, and authenticated by Imam Muslim:
مَا مِنْ عَبْدٍ مُسْلِمٍ يَدْعُو لأَخِيهِ بِظَهْرِ الغَيْبِ إِلاَّ قَالَ المَلَكُ: وَلَكَ بِمِثْل
It means, “No Muslim slave (of Allah) would make du’a for his brother in their absence, unless an Angel would say: “May you be granted the same”.
How can we attain du’as from our brothers (and sisters) easily?
We can attain du’as from our Muslim brothers and sisters in our absence, by considering one of the following or more:
- Seek sincere friendship: If it happens (hopefully it will never happen) that everybody fails to make du’a for you, especially, in times of desperate need, be rest assured that your true friends, whom you know of, will be there for you. So ensure that, your circles of friends are sincere ones. Don’t befriend them for the sake of the du’a or any worldly gains. Instead, befriend them for the sake of Allah. Whatever is for Allah will permanently be connected.
- Be kind genuinely and unconditionally, to your friends: True and genuine friendship is one of the most difficult to achieve. If you are lucky and are blessed with one, then, treasure it.
Friendship gets strengthened with exchange of unconditional love and care. That is endorsed with simple gifts and words of encouragements, from time to time. Remember to be there for your friend in their difficult times. They, too, will be there for you. And du’a is the best thing we can use to support one another.
- Do good, unconditionally for the good benefit of the public: Sponsor an orphan; donate a wheelchair to a disabled and needy. You can endow ongoing charity (sadaqah jariah), i.e., plant a tree to save the environment and make shadows for fellow human beings, build a school, build a mosque, establish an orphanage, and contribute to your society unconditionally, for you don’t know where the du’a will come from, especially when you may need it most; after your death.
- Ask du’a from the people you know: If you are able to qualify yourself for any of the above, then you will be qualified for this, automatically, insha Allah. In many cases, you won’t need to request for du’a before the people mentioned above remember to make du’a for you. However, making request for du’a from your Muslim brothers (and sisters), in whom you suspect piety, is Sunnah, since Rasulullah himself (who doesn’t need anybody’s du’a) is report to had asked for du’a (to teach us of its importance), from Sayyidina Umar, r.a.
The Just ruler
The easier it is for people of power and authority to abuse, the difficult it is for them to be just, especially, in societies where “democracy” or “human rights” are severely abused. It’s even worse when fear for the Creator is taken away from the hearts.
Rasulullah said in a Hadeeth narrated by Abu Hurairah, and compiled by Al-Baihaqi and Al-Tabarani:
ثَلاثَةُ لَا يُرَدُّ دُعَاؤُهُمْ: الذَّاكِرُ لِلَّهِ كَثِيراً، وَدَعْوَةُ المَظْلُومِ، وَالإِمَامُ المُقْسِط
It means, “There are three, whom their du’a cannot be rejected: The one who remembers Allah, very often, the du’a of the one who has been wronged and the dua’ of the just leader (ruler)“.
One of the things (in my humble opinion) that makes a just ruler more deserving for Allah’s Mercy is that, in the kingdom of a just ruler, people fear Allah more than they fear anything else, including the ruler himself. Sayyiduna Umar Ibn Al-Khattab,r.a., and Umar Ibn Abdul-Azeez, are good examples. Unlike in the kingdoms just rulers, if you observe the people in the kingdoms of oppressors, the only one that people fear most is the ruler, and not Allah. Al-Hajjaj and Ghaddafi were good (bad) examples.
The oppressed or the wronged
The oppressed, if I can claim, is the weakest in every society. Therefore, the weaker and the more oppressed you are, the more Allah supports (or will support) you. With that, your du’a becomes mustajab. Rasulullah said to Mu’azh, r.a. in a Hadeeth, authenticated by Imam Al-Bukhari:
وَاتَّقِ دَعْوَةَ المَظْلُومِ، فَإِنَّهَا لَيْسَ بَيْنَهَا وَبَيْنَ اللهِ حِجَابٌ
It means, “Fear the prayer (du’a) of the one who has been wronged, for there is no barrier between it and Allah.”
He also said in a Hadeeth reported by Imam Ahmad:
ثَلاثَةٌ لاَ تُرَدُّ دَعْوَتُهُمْ: الإِمَامُ العَادِلُ، وَالصَّائِمُ حَتَّى يُفْطِرَ، وَدَعْوَةُ المَظْلُومِ يَرْفَعُهَا اللهُ دُونَ الغَمَامِ يَوْمَ القِيَامَةِ، وَيُفْتَحُ لَهَا أَبْوَابُ السَّمَاءِ؛ وَيَقُولُ: بِعِزَّتِي لَأَنْصُرَنَّكَ وَلَوْ بَعْدَ حِينٍ
It means, “There are three whom their du’a are not rejected: The just ruler, the person who is fasting, until he breaks his fast, and the du’a of the wronged; Allah raises it above the clouds in the Day of Resurrection. The doors of the heavens will be opened for it, and Allah would say: “By My Might, I will support you, even if at a later time“
How to avoid the du’a of the oppressed?
It’s possible to avoid the du’a of the wronged or the oppressed. Simply; don’t allow yourself to oppress anybody. Don’t make your living at the expense of others’! Don’t build your legacy at the expense of others’ happiness and sweat! Wronging others or oppressing them either physically or spiritually through magic (sihr), may gain one some temporal happiness, but the consequences in return can be a lifetime regret..
A parent who makes good du’a for his child
No one can love a person as much as their parents would do. No matter how a child can go astray, they will still enjoy some love from their parents. Nevertheless, Allah loves every human being more than any parent can do to their child. That’s why when the parent makes du’a out of pleasure, for the child, Allah will answer it immediately, especially when the child is a grown up, when there is tendency for them to abandon their parent.
Rasulullah said in a Hadeeth narrated by Abu Hurairah, reported by Al-Tirmizi and Al-Baihaqi:
ثَلاثُ دَعَوَاتٍ يُسْتَجَابُ لَهُنَّ لاشَكَّ فِيهِنَّ: دَعْوَةُ المَظْلُومِ، وَدَعْوَةُالمُسَافِرِ، وَدَعْوَةُ الوَالِدِ لِوَلَدِهِ
It means, “There are three prayers that are not rejected, no doubt in them: the prayer of the one who has been wronged, the prayer of the traveller and the prayer of a father for his child.”
A parent who makes bad du’a against his child
After all the love a parent naturally shows for his child, if he’s put in a situation whereby he has to curse his child rightfully, Allah will answer it, immediately. Rasulullah said in a Hadeeth narrated by Imam Al-Tirmizhi:
ثَلاثُ دَعَوَاتٍ مُسْتَجَابَاتٌ: دَعْوَةُ المَظْلُومِ، وَدَعْوَةُ المُسَافِرِ، وَدَعْوَةُ الوَالِدِ عَلَى وَلَدِهِ
It means, “There are three prayers that will be answered: the prayer of one who has been wronged, the prayer of a traveller, and the prayer of a father against his child.”
The pious child making du’a for his parent
Raising a pious child is undoubtedly a very difficult task, especially within this dynamically challenging time, in which we are living. Therefore, the price of been able to raise one is rewarding for the parent and the child alike. As for the parent, any good du’a made for him, by the child is answered, immediately. And as for the child, he’s honoured that his du’a is ‘mustajab’; just ask Allah, and you would be pleased. Rasulullah s.a.w. said in a famous Hadeeth reported by Abu Hurairah, and classified by Imam Muslim:
إِذَا مَاتَ الإِنْسَانُ انْقَطَعَ عَمَلُهُ إِلَّا مِنْ ثَلاثٍ: إِلا مِنْ صَدَقَةٍ جَارِيَةٍ أَوْ عِلْمٍ يُنْتَفَعُ بِهِ أَوْ وَلَدٍ صَالِحٍ يَدْعُو لَهُ
It means, “When the son of Adam dies, all his good deeds come to an end except three: ongoing charity, beneficial knowledge or a righteous son who will pray for him.”
The person who’s fasting
Fasting is one of the ‘ibadahs in which one can’t fake their intention. Our fasting is expected to bring us closer to Allah, s.w.t. For that, the fasting person is privileged; his du’a within the time of fasting is answered.
ثَلاثَةٌ لاَ تُرَدُّ دَعْوَتُهُمْ: الإِمَامُ العَادِلُ، وَالصَّائِمُ حَتَّى يُفْطِرَ…ـ
It means, “There are three whom their du’a cannot be rejected: The fair ruler, the person who is fasting, until he breaks his fast…”
Travelling is known to be exhausting, no matter how short the trip may be. And it’s very difficult to be Allah conscious in your voyage, on top of being engaged with troubles related to voyage, and thinking about your loved ones, whom you might have left at home. In addition to the privilege, with which the traveller can shorten the number of raka’at in solat, as well as combine them (qasr wajam’), the traveller who remembers Allah, and is able to spare some time to make du’a deserves to be answered.
Rasulullah said in a Hadeeth narrated by Abu Hurairah, reported by Al-Tirmizi and Al-Baihaqi:
ثَلاثُ دَعَوَاتٍ يُسْتَجَابُ لَهُنَّ لاشَكَّ فِيهِنَّ: دَعْوَةُ المَظْلُومِ، وَدَعْوَةُالمُسَافِرِ، وَدَعْوَةُ الوَالِدِ لِوَلَدِهِ
It means, “There are three prayers that are not rejected, no doubt in them: the prayer of the person who has been wronged, the prayer of the traveller and the prayer a father for his child.”
A person who in desperate need
When we are in desperate need, and all our conscious focuses back to Allah alone, our du’a is highly likely to be answered on the spot. Allah said in Surah Al-Naml, 27:62:
أَمَّن يُجِيبُ الْمُضْطَرَّ إِذَا دَعَاهُ وَيَكْشِفُ السُّوءَ
It means, “Who responds to the desperate one when he calls out to Him, and relieves his suffering?”
A person who sleeps on wudhu and remembers Allah
All you have to do is to take wudhu, recite a few remembrances of Allah (please go to Azkar & Du’a page (http://www.gsalam.net/azkar-dua) to download or save Du’as before going to sleep it in PDF file format), and go to sleep. Anytime you happen to wake up at night, it doesn’t matter whether your wudhu has broken or not, just present your wish list, and Allah will listen to you, insha Allah. Rasulullah s.a.w. said in a Hadeeth reported by Imam Ahmad:
مَامِنْ مُسْلِمٍ يَبِيتُ عَلَى ذِكْرِ اللهِ تَعَالَى طَاهِراً فَتَعَارَّ مِنَ اللَّيْلِ فَيَسْأَلُ اللهَ خَيْراً مِنْ أَمْرِ الدُّنْيَا وَالآخِرَةِ إِلاَّ أَعْطَاهُ إِيَّاهُ
It means, “No Muslim would go to sleep after remembering Allah, and wakes up at night, and asks Allah for the good of this world and the Hereafter but it will be given to him”.
Anyone who prays with the du’a of Sayyidina Younus a.s.
When Sayyiduna Younus, a.s., fed up with his people, he decided to give up on them, not knowing that, that was a wrong decision to make. As a result, he was tested; so, he got swallowed by a whale. In the darkness of the belly of the whale, in the midst of the ocean, he acknowledged to his mistake and repented to Allah, and hence, he said:
لا إِلَـهَ إِلَّا أَنتَ سُبْحَانَكَ إِنِّي كُنتُ مِنَ الظَّالِمِينَ
It means, “None has the right to be worshipped but You (O Allah), Glorified be You! Truly, I have been of the wrongdoers.” [Surah Al-Anbiya, 21:87].
He was answered immediately. Thereafter, any Muslim who says the same as Sayyidina Younus a.s. said in his difficult times, is answered and supported too.
With regards to that, Rasulullah, s.a.w. said, in a Hadeeth narrated by Sa’ad Ibn Abi Waqqas, reported by Al-Tirmizhi:
دَعْوَةُ ذِي النُّونِ إِذْ دَعَا بِهَا وَهُوَ فِي بَطْنِ الحُوتِ “لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا أَنْتَ سُبْحَانَكَ إِنِّي كُنْتُ مِنَ الظَّالِمِينَ”، فَإِنَّهُ لَمْ يَدْعُ بِهَا رَجُلٌ مُسْلِمٌ فِي شَيْءٍ قَطُّ إِلَّا اسْتَجَابَ اللهُ لَهُ
It means, “The prayer of Dhu’l-Noun (Younus) which he said when he was in the belly of the whale: ‘Laa ilaaha illa anta, subhaanaka, inni kuntu min al-zaalimeen’ No Muslim recites this du’a concerning any matter but Allah will answer him.”
Anyone, who a calamity befalls him and he says…
إِنَّا لِلَّهِ وَإِنَّا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُونَ. اللَّهُمَّ اؤْجُرْنِي فِي مُصِيبَتِي وَاخْلُفْ لِي خَيْرًا مِنْهَا
It means, “Truly, to Allah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return; O Allah, reward me in this calamity and compensate me with something better than it.”
Life is meant to be full of trials. Everyone knows this, but only few controls themselves when a trial or calamity befalls them. To compensate them, Allah has made the du’a of anyone who turns to Him, when a trial befalls him, ‘mustajab’.
وَلَنَبْلُوَنَّكُم بِشَيْءٍ مِّنَ الْخَوْفِ وَالْجُوعِ وَنَقْصٍ مِّنَ الْأَمْوَالِ وَالْأَنفُسِ وَالثَّمَرَاتِ، وَبَشِّرِ الصَّابِرِينَ * الَّذِينَ إِذَا أَصَابَتْهُم مُّصِيبَةٌ قَالُوا إِنَّا لِلَّـهِ وَإِنَّا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُونَ * أُولَـئِكَ عَلَيْهِمْ صَلَوَاتٌ مِّن رَّبِّهِمْ وَرَحْمَةٌ، وَأُولَـئِكَ هُمُ الْمُهْتَدُونَ
It means, “We shall certainly test you with fear and hunger, and loss of property, lives and crops. Give good news to those who endure with fortitude. Those who say, when afflicted with a calamity, “We belong to Allah and to Him we shall return”, are the ones who will have blessings and mercy from their Lord: it is they who are on the right path!”
Also, I believe you have heard, before, the story of Sayyidatuna Ummu Salamah, r.a., who lost her dearly loved husband, Abu Salmah, r.a., and she thought nothing can be a compensation to the loss of Abu Salamah. Rasulullah then taught her to recite the above du’a. True enough, when she did, her compensation to the loss of Abu Salamah, was that she was lucky enough to marry Rasulallah, s.a.w.!
Ummu Salam r.a. said in a Hadeeth that was narrated by Imam Muslim: “I heard the Messenger of Allah s.a.w. say: “There is no calamity that befalls one of the Muslims and he responds by saying ‘Innaa Lillaahi wa innaa ilahi raaji’oon, Allaahumma ujurni fi museebati w’ukhluf li khayran minha (Truly, to Allaah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return; O Allaah, reward me in this calamity and compensate me with something better than it),’ but Allah will compensate him with something better than it.”
The person in Hajj, Umrah or Jihad
It’s understood from Rasulullah, s.a.w. that the du’a of these three people are likely to be answered. Ibn Umar r.a. related in a Hadeeth, which was reported by Ibn Majah:
الغَازِي فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ، وَالحَاجُّ، وَالمُعْتَمِرُ وَفْدُ اللَّهِ، دَعَاهُمْ فَأَجَابُوهُ وَسَأَلُوهُ فَأَعْطَاهُمْ
It means, “The one in fight for Allah’s cause, the [one in] Hajj, and one in Umrah are delegates of Allah; He called them and they responded Him; and they asked Him and He gave them”
The person who remembers Allah very often
As much as you give priority to Allah, in your heart, Allah gives you priority in answering your du’a. This is applicable to everyone who fulfills the requirement. Rasulullah said in a Hadeeth narrated by Abu Hurairah, and reported by Al-Baihaqi and Al-Tabarani:
ثَلاثَةٌ لا يُرَدُّ دُعَاؤُهُمْ: الذَّاكِرُ لِلَّهِ كَثِيراً، وَدَعْوَةُ المَظْلُومِ، وَالإِمَامُ المُقْسِطُ
It means, “There are three, whom their du’a cannot be rejected: The one who remembers Allah, very often, The du’a of the the one who has been wronged and the dua’ of the just ruler”.
Someone who Allah loves and is pleased with
For Allah Himself said in a Hadeeth Qudsi, narrated by Rasulullah, reported by Abu Hurairah, compiled by Imam Al-Bukhari:
مَنْ عَادَى لِي وَلِيًّا فَقَدْ آذَنْتُهُ بِالحَرْبِ، وَمَا تَقَرَّبَ إِلَيَّ عَبْدِي بِشَيْءٍ أَحَبَّ إِلَيَّ مِمَّا افْتَرَضْتُهُ عَلَيْهِ، وَمَا يَزَالُ عَبْدِي يَتَقَرَّبُ إِلَيَّ بِالنَّوَافِلِ حَتَّى أُحِبَّهُ، فَإِذَا أَحْبَبْتُهُ كُنْتُ سَمْعَهُ الَّذِي يَسْمَعُ بِهِ، وَبَصَرَهُ الَّذِي يُبْصِرُ بِهِ، وَيَدَهُ الَّتِي يَبْطُشُ بِهَا، وَرِجْلَهُ الَّتِي يَمْشِي بِهَا، وَإِنْ سَأَلَنِي لَأُعْطِيَنَّهُ، وَلَئِنِ اسْتَعَاذَنِي لَأُعِيذَنَّهُ، وَمَا تَرَدَّدْتُ فِي شَيْءٍ أَنَا فَاعِلُهُ تَرَدُّدِي عَنْ نَفْسِ المُؤْمِنِ، يَكْرَهُ المَوْتَ وَأَنَا أَكْرَهُ مَسَاءَتَهُ
It means, “Whosoever shows enmity to someone devoted to Me, I shall be at war with him. My servant draws not near to Me with anything more loved by Me than the religious duties I have enjoined upon him, and My servant continues to draw near to Me with supererogatory works so that I shall love him. When I love him I am his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes and his foot with which he walks. Were he to ask [something] of Me, I would surely give it to him, and were he to ask Me for refuge, I would surely grant him it. I do not hesitate about anything as much as I hesitate about [seizing] the soul of My faithful servant: he hates death and I hate hurting him.”
Crying in front of Allah can’t be pretentious, especially when you are alone. Pretending in front of Allah (when alone) is just as nice as ikhlas (sincerity) itself. So, if you can cry before Allah; in your du’a, please, do so, by all means. If it happens that you are making your du’a in public, and your tears start to flow, I don’t think you should stop them from flowing, to avoid being criticized by your fellow human beings. Stopping your genuine tears from flowing in public to avoid others’ critics is as bad as crying to please others (acting).
Abdullah Ibn ‘Amr Ibn Al-‘Aas, r.a. reported that, Rasulullah s.a.w. raised his hands and said:
‘O Allah, my community, my community (Ummati.. Ummati!)’, and he cried.
There are a few things that may cause one’s du’a to be void or unanswered. Below are some:
- Bad intension: We don’t call Allah to show off, or to please other than Him. So, it’s very important to ensure that, our intention in du’a is always genuine.
- Committing Haram: The long hadeeth mentioned earlier in the ‘General etiquettes of du’a’ is a clear indication that, committing haram, and nourishing in haram may cause our du’as to be unanswered.
- Offending others with our du’a: Obviously, we can’t make du’a to Allah to cause harm to someone else, who has done nothing wrong, against us, nor has the person oppressed us.
- Making unrealistic (or impossible du’a): Unrealistic du’a can be like, “O Allah, forgive Satan!”, “O Allah, please grant me two more years when my time comes to die”, “O Allah, please stop the Day of Judgment (Qiyamah) from happening”. These are things Allah has decreed, and He has promised not to return on them. So asking for them is equal to not asking for them.
I have prepared and translated a collection of Dua’s from the Qur’an and Sunnah of Rasulullah s.a.w., They are in their original form, beneath each is their translation in English. To read it comfortably, please click here to download or save it in PDF file format.
Du’a is a very vast topic, similar to its importance in Islam. All what I have mentioned in this 2 parts of articles have covered less than 5% of the topic of du’a. This is because every single act of ‘ibadah in Islam is directly connected with du’a. In other words, every single aspect of the life of the Muslim is directly linked with /to du’a. Therefore, the biggest parts related to du’a still remain unwritten, here, yet…
Allah knows best.
Allahu Hafiz 🙂