DU’A – Definition: Supplication, Invocation, Prayer

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Dua is the most powerful weapon of a believer. It can change fate, while no action of ours ever do. It is the essence of Ibadah or worship. With it we can never fail; without it we can never succeed. With all the suffering and disasters Muslims are facing in various parts of the world, the question of Dua can be directed to all of us today. It is not that we have forgotten Dua completely; we refer to it regularly. But, our ideas and practice regarding Dua have become distorted. Often it is reduced to the level of a ritual. It is belittled through actions and sometimes even with words. Almighty Allah says:

And your Lord proclaimed, Pray to Me, I will accept; indeed those who stay conceited towards worshipping Me, will enter hell in disgrace. [Surah al-Ghafir, Verse 60]

The Almighty Allah states:

So why did they not humbly plead when Our punishment came to them? But their hearts were hardened and the devil made all their deeds appear good to them! [Surah al-An'am, Verse 43]

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..:: THE EXCELLENCE OF DUA ::..

There are numerous Ahadith relating to the excellence of Dua.

HADITH NO. 1

Sayyiduna Rasoolullah SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam states that Almighty Allah says:

I am as My servant thinks of Me. [Recorded in Bukhari (Hadith 7239), Muslim, Tirmidi, Nisai and Ibn Maja on the authority of Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah]

This means that as a servant imagines or has an opinion concerning Allah, the Merciful Lord accordingly reacts with him. Knowledge and Qudrat is with everything but there is a special proximity of mercy with those who make Dua to Him. What bigger mercy can a servant ask for than being blessed with the Divine Proximity of the Sublime Lord? Thousands of acceptances and millions of desires and intentions may be sacrificed on such Divine Proximity!

HADITH NO. 2

There is nothing nobler to Allah than Dua. [Recorded in Tirmidi, Ibn Maja, Ibn Habban and Hakim narrated by Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah. Also cited in Tahzib al-Kamil, Vol. 4, Page 309]

HADITH NO. 3

The Prophet of Allah SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam narrates from his Lord who says:

Oh the children of Adam! Until such time you invoke Me and have trust and hope in Me, I will continue forgiving your sins no matter what they are, and I do not care of anything (i.e. He is Independent.) [Tirmidi on the narration of Sayyiduna Anas ibn Malik, Hadith 3463]

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HADITH NO. 4

The Beloved Habib SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam states:

Do not get fed up with Supplication, for no one will perish with (continuous) Supplication. [Narrated by Ibn Habban and Hakim, Sahih Ibn Habban, Hadith 872]

HADITH NO. 5

Sayyiduna Rasoolullah SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam states:

Dua is a weapon of a Muslim, a Pillar of Deen and the light of the skies and earth. [Narrated by Hakim from Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah and Abu Yala from Sayyiduna Ali al-Murtudah, Hadith 6163]

HADITH NO. 6

It is narrated that Sayyiduna Rasoolullah SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam said:

All those calamities and misfortunes that descends and that which will descend in the future can be averted and protected from, by Dua. So, Oh servant of Allah! Observe Dua! [Narrated by Tirmidi and Hakim from Sayyiduna Abd Allah ibn Umar, Sunan al-Tirmidi, Hadith 3471]

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HADITH NO. 7

It is reported that Sayyiduna Rasoolullah SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam said:

When some misfortune descends, the supplication intercepts it and then they both wrestle till Qiyamah. (i.e. supplication does not allow the misfortune to descend to the earth.) [Reported by Bazar, Tabrani, and Hakim from Umm al-Mu'minin Sayyidah Aieshah Siddiqah, Mustadrak al-Hakim, Hadith 1813]

HADITH NO. 8

The Habib of Allah SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam states:

Supplication is the essence of worship.

HADITH NO. 9

It is reported that the Noble Prophet of Islam SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam said:

Must I not inform you of the thing which will protect you from your enemy and increase your sustenance? Make Supplication to Allah day and night because Supplication is a weapon of a Mumin. [Narrated by Abu Yala from Sayyiduna Jabir bin Abdullah, Hadith 6164]

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HADITH NO. 10

Sayyiduna Rasoolullah SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam states:

Allah casts His Anger on those who do not invoke Him. [Reported by Imam Ahmad, Ibn Abi Shaybah, and Al-Bukhari in Adab al Mufrad, Tirmidi, Ibn Maja and Hakim on the authority of Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah, Hadith 3295]

Such concepts and meanings are also reported in the Hadith al-Qudsi as follows:

One who does not invoke Me, I will direct My Anger at him. (Allah save us from this!) [Reported by Al-Askari in his Mawaiz]

Oh Beloved! Supplication is an amazing wealth that Allah I blessed His servants with, and through it gave them honour. There is nothing more effective and powerful in fulfilling needs in desperation besides Duas. Likewise, nothing is more potent in removing Bala than Duas. A person benefits from five things of a single Dua:

1. He is included in the category of Abids (worshippers) because Supplication by nature is Ibadah, in fact, the goal of Ibadah.
2. In supplication one acknowledges ones inferiority and dependency in relation to the Omnipotent Lord and His Divine mercies.
3. Obedience to the sacred Shari’ah because it has laid great stress in making supplications – and the danger of Divine Anger on those who do not supplicate.
4. It is a great Sunnah of the Prophet SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam as he supplicated frequently and ordered others to do the same.
5. It is a deterrent of Bala and achiever of goals as mentioned in the Holy Quran. If man seeks security from Allah from calamities, then the Merciful Lord will give it to him. If one seeks a desire to be fulfilled, the Sublime Creator will shower His mercies on him or else blesses him with Thawab in the Akhirah.

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The Master of the Sinless, Sayyiduna Rasoollulah SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam states:

A servants supplication is never void of three things:

1) either his sins are forgiven,
2) or he benefits in this world,
3) or virtues are accumulated for him in the hereafter.

When the servant will observe this reward (Thawab) accumulated for him in the hereaftr in compensation for that which was not fulfilled in the Duniyah, then he will desire that none of his desires should have been fulfilled in the world, but rather be accumulated for the hereafter.

This desire and benefit is for him who desires so in this Duniyah when supplicating. It is advised that when making Dua, this ethic should be considered seriously.

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Taken from
aHsan al-Wiyah li Aadab al-Du’a by Imam Naqi Ali al-Qadiri
Translated by: Shaykh Abd al-Hadi al-Qadiri [Durban – South Africa]