we declare Your Perfection above and beyond all: we have no knowledge whatsoever except what You have taught us. No doubt it is You, and You alone that is all Knowledgeable and all Wise. (al-Baqarah, 32)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Making Du'a

Du'a is a means for us to directly speak to Allah. We are taught from the sunnah of the Messenger s.a.w to always make du'a to Allah s.w.t. and of course, the majority of us usually follow up the daily prayer with du'a. In fact, even some portions of the prayer are forms of du'a. However, there are times that we may find ourselves not actually making du'a but only rehearsing whatever we've memorised instead. Worst still are the times when we have no idea what the imaam is reciting and we're just raising our hands saying 'amiin' over and over.

On the topic of making du'a, I'd like to share a reflection of a very beautiful ayah from Surah al-Baqarah. InshaAllah, this will motivate us to become more aware when making du'a. Allah s.w.t says:

وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِي عَنِّي فَإِنِّي قَرِيبٌ ۖ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ الدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِ ۖ فَلْيَسْتَجِيبُوا لِي وَلْيُؤْمِنُوا بِي لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْشُدُونَ

When My slave asks you about Me, then I am near. I respond to the call of anyone who makes du'a when he makes du'a. Then they should try to respond to Me and believe in Me so that they may be rightly guided [al-Baqarah, 186]

How to get close to Allah

There are several gems in this ayah. First of all, this part of the ayah "When My slave asks you about Me, then I am near" is a conditional statement. We are told in other ayaat from the Qurat that Allah is indeed near to us, but this ayah further clarifies who Allah s.w.t is near to - the one who asks about Him. Another lesson that we can derive just from the sequence of the ayah is that in order to get close to Allah, we must be the ones to first make the initiative.

Being close to Allah

There are also important things that we must take notice by Allah using the word qareeb (close). Obviously, it's much more effective to ask something from someone who is in close proximity to us, but even more than that, the word close can also depict the kind of relation we have with another person. For instance, a close friend is someone whom we can trust and just pour our emotions to. This is the kind of relation that we should have with Allah. We shouldn't be shy to admit our mistakes to Him, to ask for His forgiveness and to ask whatever it is we want.

Conditions for Allah's response to du'a

Next, Allah s.w.t says "I respond to the call of anyone who make dua when he makes dua"

Being the Most Merciful, Allah responds to the dua'a of anyone, but with a certain condition:

"Then they should try to respond to Me and believe in Me so that they may be rightly guided."

The first condition for Allah's respond to our du'a is that we should try to respond to his commands. Notice the Mercy that Allah grants to us in this statement. For himself, he said "أُجِيبُ" (I respond) whereas for our part, he said "فَلْيَسْتَجِيبُوا" (they should try to respond), meaning that as long as we make honest efforts to respond to His commands, this is enough for Him to respond to our du'a in return.

The second condition is to have iman (to believe) in Him, which might come off as a little strange. This ayah is intended for the believers, so why is it that Allah is telling us to believe? The answer is simple. Allah s.w.t is telling us to always revitalise our iman and this can be done by means of trying to respond to His commands. InshaAllah, by always adhering to this simple lesson that Allah taught us in the Quran, we might become among those who are rightly guided.

OK, I've been making du'a but it doesn't seem to have any effect

This is something that might come to the mind of some Muslims. Is Allah not responding to our du'a? He does. We just need to realise how He does so. This matter is dealt with in two hadeeth from the Messenger s.a.w:

"There is no Muslim man on the face of the earth who supplicates to Allah but Allah would either grant it to him, or avert a harm from him of equal proportions, as long as his supplication does not involve sin or cutting the relations of the womb." [At-Tirmidhi]

"The supplication of the servant will be accepted as long as he does not supplicate for what includes sin, or cutting the relations of the womb, and as long as he does not become hasty." He was asked, "O Messenger of Allah! How does one become hasty'' He said, "He says, `I supplicated and supplicated, but I do not see that my supplication is being accepted from me.' He thus looses interest and abandons supplicating (to Allah)". [Muslim]


I learnt this from:
A Juma'ah khutbah by Br. Nouman Ali Khan
Tafsir Ibn Kathir

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