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September 16, 2004
The art of beseeching Allah (swt)

by Nadia Khan

Once, a ten-year-old boy was praying feverishly in prostration, “O Allah [swt], the Most Merciful, the Magnificent, Make Faisalabad [a small city of Pakistan] the capital of Pakistan, make Faisalabad the capital of Pakistan...” Her mother overheard him and inquired, “Why would you pray so, my child?” The boy answered, “Well, Mother. We had a question on our final exam which asked, “What is the capital of Pakistan?” and I mistakenly put “Faisalabad” as my answer.

Although, we cannot help but laugh at the naiveté of the innocent child, his trust in his supplication to Allah (swt) and his belief that his prayer will be heard is quite admirable; as a matter of fact, quite “ideal”.

Allah (swt) states in the Quran:
And when My servants question thee concerning Me, then surely I am nigh. I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he calleth on Me. So let them hear My call and let them trust in Me, in order that they may be led aright. (Sura al-Baqara, 186)

The art of making dua:
Making dua in the court of Allah (swt) is an art and has an etiquette which if considered, can result in the opening of many doors of Allah (swt)’s Bliss and Bounties. Some of the factors that help are listed below:

Praise Allah (swt) and call Him by His beautiful names and attributes before setting out to ask Him for favors. Indeed He is praiseworthy who never tires of hearing and fulfilling duas of all of His creatures. Allah (swt) states in the Quran:
Call on Allah or call the All-Merciful, whichever you call upon, the Most beautiful names of His.” (Sura al-Isra, 110).

Be Humble:
When you are praying, do not act as if you are enjoined the right to deserve whatever you are asking for. Make sure that you know that your Lord is the Most Gracious and you the Most Humble. Acknowledge your status before the Magnificent and do not be proud.
“Call your Lord humbly and secretly. He does not love those who transgress the boundaries.” (Sura al-Araf: 55)

Let Him decide:
If you are asking for something which you really like, always remember that whatever you are asking for may not be always in the best interest. Allah (swt) states in the Quran:
It may be that you hate something when it is good for you and it may be that you love something when it is bad for you. Allah (swt) knows and you know not.”[Sura al-Baqara, 216] Always let Allah (swt) decide what is right for you and what is wrong for you instead of implying or imposing that you know better.

Be articulate and firm:
Make sure to spell out in clear words what you want exactly. It is true that Allah (swt) knows the secrets of the heart but He still wants you to pray and pray in an articulate manner. For example, all the sisters who want good husbands should not just suffice praying as such, “O Allah (swt), give us a good husband.” Though it may sound out-of-the-world, but it is true that there are brothers who are good looking, rich and possess an excellent character. A sister may ask for all three with all her heart, and she will inshallah get her wish, but it will be better if she knows the order of the features that she wants in her husband, i.e., a good character must come first and foremost.

Believe in your dua:
The most critical factor in a dua being accepted or not, is the belief of the seeker in his or her supplication’s being accepted. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported, "The Messenger of Allah (PBUH), 'The supplication of every one of His slaves will be granted as long as he does not get impatient and say, "I supplicated to my Rubb again and again but I do not think my prayer will be answered."'"
[Al-Bukhari, Muslim]. Also, Allah (swt) Himself states, “Do not despair of solace from Allah (swt). No one despairs of solace from Allah except for people who disbelieve.” [Sura Yusuf, 87] Therefore, it is imperative that we do not grow hopeless of Allah (swt)’s Mercy but keep on praying consistently and with patience.

Pray when happy and sad:
Allah (swt) states at numerous places that a human being only remembers Him in the times of distress but forgets Him when he has tears of joy in his eyes. We all know that we do not feel good when our friends remember us in the times of distress but abandon us in the time of need. Though Allah (swt)’s Rahma is infinite and His forgiveness is boundless, yet He expects us to keep on praying even when He has given us good times. Therefore, we should never forget our Lord when our heart's joys know no bounds or when we are shouting in exhileration.

Remember others during prayers:
Allah (swt) says: “And ask forgiveness for your sins and also for the sin of believing men and women.” [Sura Muhammad, 19]
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “The dua of a Muslim for his brothers in his absence is readily accepted, an angel is appointed to his side, whenever he makes a beneficial dua for his brother, the angel says, 'Ameen', and May you be blessed with the same”. [Sahih Muslim] So a great way of having a dua being accepted in your favor is to wish the same for your brother with all your heart and importune the Creater on his behalf. This way, not only will your dua be accepted, but you will become the cause of happiness of your brother as well.

In my next article, inshallah I will talk about all those times when a dua is more prone to being heard by Allah (swt) and being granted right away. I just want to reiterate that no matter how magnanimous your dua is, whether you want to fly or whether you want the most loving husband or wife, just believe in the beauty of your dua and in the Rahma of your Beloved. May Allah (swt) have all our legitimate prayers accepted and enable us to pray to Him with fervor and hope. Ameen.

of and relating to...
Faisal Akhtar said

May Allah bless you Sister.

I desparately needed to hear this today since it was not a very good day.

on September 16, 2004 7:33 PM
Rami said

Asalaam Aleuikum Warahmatullah Wabarakatu,

Interestingly enough the sheikh at the masjid today(Thursday) talked about this exact same thing after Isha Prayer...and it was a quite good reminder...especially in fully believeing in the fullfillment of your du'a.

Jazzakum Allah Kulla Khari and may Allah make your days much brighter and happier brother Faisal.

Waslaam Warahmatullah Wabarakatu

on September 17, 2004 2:03 AM
Arif bin Muzaffar said

Salaam alaikum,

Great article Nadia. Dua is the most powerful weapon we have. Even in a hadith, the Prophet (pbuh) narrated that Dua is the weapon of the believer. And he even said that Dua is 'ibadah. I think I wrote an article on this too. We don't give enough emphasis to dua, and it is quite unfortunate because if you read stories of our great predecessors, Dua was the center of their lives.

May Allah make this life and the next easy on all of us Insha'Allah.

Wa billahi taufeeq
Wassalaamu 'alaikum

on September 17, 2004 5:02 AM
gillette said

assalamu 'alaikum


the whole hisn ul-muslim online

on September 17, 2004 8:17 AM
gillette said

Praise be to Allaah.

Imaam Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

“Du’aa’s and ta’awwudhaat [prayers seeking refuge with Allaah] are like a weapon, and a weapon is only as good as the person who is using it; it is not merely the matter of how sharp it is. If the weapon is perfect and free of faults, and the arm of the person using it is strong, and there is nothing stopping him, then he can lay waste the enemy. But if any of these three features is lacking, then the effect will be lacking accordingly.”

(al-Daa’ wa’l-Dawaa’, p. 35).

From this it will be clear that there is an etiquette and rulings which must be fulfilled, in the du’aa’ and in the person making the du’aa’. There are also things that may prevent the du’aa’ reaching Allaah or being answered – these things must be removed from the person making the du’aa’ and from the du’aa’. When all of these conditions are fulfilled, then the du’aa’ may be answered.

1. Sincerity in making du’aa’. This is the most important condition. Allaah has commanded us to be sincere when making du’aa’, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):

“So, call you (O Muhammad and the believers) upon (or invoke) Allaah making (your) worship pure for Him (Alone) (by worshipping none but Him and by doing religious deeds sincerely for Allaah’s sake only and not to show off and not to set up rivals with Him in worship)” [Ghaafir 40:14].

Sincerity in du’aa’ means having the firm belief that the One upon Whom you are calling – Allaah, may He be glorified and exalted – is alone Able to meet your need, and it also means avoiding any kind of showing off in your du’aa’.

2. Repentance and turning back to Allaah. Sin is one of the main reasons why du’aa’s are not answered, so the person who is making du’aa’ should hasten to repent and seek forgiveness before he makes du’aa’. Allaah tells us that Nooh (peace be upon him) said:

“I said (to them): ‘Ask forgiveness from your Lord, verily, He is Oft-Forgiving; He will send rain to you in abundance, And give you increase in wealth and children, and bestow on you gardens and bestow on you rivers.’ ” [Nooh 71:10-12]

3. Beseeching, humbling oneself, hoping for Allaah’s reward and fearing His punishment. This is the spirit, essence and purpose of du’aa’. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “Invoke your Lord with humility and in secret. He likes not the aggressors” [al-A’raaf 7:55].

4. Urgently beseeching and repeating the du’aa’, without getting exasperated or bored; this is achieved by repeating the du’aa’ two or three times. Restricting it to three times is preferable, in accordance with the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). Ibn Mas’ood (may Allaah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) liked to say a du’aa’ three times and ask for forgiveness three times. This was narrated by Abu Dawood and al-Nasaa’i.

5. Making du’aa’ at times of ease, and saying more du’aa’s at times of plenty. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Remember Allaah during times of ease and He will remember you during times of hardship.” Narrated by Ahmad.

6. Seeking to draw closer to Allaah by calling upon Him by His Most Beautiful Names and Sublime Attributes at the beginning of the du’aa’ or at the end. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “And (all) the Most Beautiful Names belong to Allaah, so call on Him by them” [al-A’raaf 7:180].

7. Choosing the clearest and most concise words and the best of du’aa’s. The best of du’aa’s are the du’aa’s of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), but it is permissible to say other words according to the specific needs of a person.

Other aspects of the etiquette of making du’aa’, although they are not waajib (obligatory), are: to face the Qiblah; to make du’aa’ in a state of tahaarah (purity); to start the du’aa’ with praise of Allaah and blessings upon the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). It is also prescribed to raise the hands when making du’aa’.

One of the things that helps to bring a response to du’aa’ is to seek the best times and places.

Among the best times is the time just before Fajr (dawn), the last third of the night, the last hour of Jumu’ah (Friday), when rain is falling, and between the Adhaan and iqaamah.

Among the best places are mosques in general, and al-Masjid al-Haraam [in Makkah] in particular.

Among the situations in which du’aa’ is more likely to be answered are: when one is mistreated or oppressed, when one is travelling, when one is fasting, when one is in desperate need, and when a Muslim makes du’aa’ for his brother in his absence.

Things which may prevent du’aa’ from being answered include:

1. When the du’aa’ is weak in itself, because it involves something inappropriate, or involves bad manners towards Allaah, may He be exalted, or it is inappropriate, which means asking Allaah for something which it is not permitted to ask, e.g. when a man asks to live forever in this world, or he asks for a sin or something haraam, or he prays that he will die, and so on. Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “A person's du’aa’s will continue to be answered so long as he does not pray for something sinful or for the breaking of family ties.” Narrated by Muslim.

2. When the person who is making du’aa’ is weak in himself, because he is faint-hearted in his turning towards Allaah. This may be either because of bad manners towards Allaah, may He be exalted – such as raising his voice in du’aa’ or making du’aa’ in the manner of one who thinks he has no need of Allaah; or because he pays too much attention to the wording and tries to come up with unnecessarily ornate phrases, without paying attention to the meaning; or because he tries too hard to weep or shout without really feeling it, or he goes to extremes in that.

3. The reason why his du’aa’ is not answered may be because he has done something that Allaah has forbidden, such as having haraam wealth – whether it be food or drink or clothing or accommodation or transportation, or he has taken a haraam job, or the stain of sin is still in his heart, or he is following bid’ah (innovation) in religion, or his heart has been overtaken by negligence.

4. Consuming haraam wealth. This is one of the major reasons why du’aa’s are not answered. Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “O people, Allaah is Good and only accepts that which is good. Allaah commanded the pious to follow the same commandments as He gave to the Messengers. He says (interpretation of the meaning):

‘O (you) Messengers! Eat of the Tayyibaat [all kinds of Halaal (lawful) foods which Allaah has made lawful (meat of slaughtered eatable animals, milk products, fats, vegetables, fruits)] and do righteous deeds. Verily, I am Well-Acquainted with what you do’ [al-Mu’minoon 23:51]

‘O you who believe (in the Oneness of Allaah — Islamic Monotheism)! Eat of the lawful things that We have provided you with’ [al-Baqarah 2:172]

Then he mentioned a man who has travelled on a long journey and is dishevelled and covered with dust; he stretches forth his hands to the heaven, (saying) “O Lord, O Lord”, but his food is haraam, his drink is haraam, all his nourishment is haraam, so how can he du’aa’ be accepted?” Narrated by Muslim.

The man described by the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) had some of the characteristics which help du’aa’s to be answered – he was travelling and he was in need of Allaah, may He be exalted and glorified – but the fact that he consumed haraam wealth prevented his du’aa’ from being answered. We ask Allaah to keep us safe and sound.

5. Trying to hasten the response. Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The du’aa’ of any one of you will be answered so long as he is not impatient and says, ‘I made du’aa’ but it was not answered.’” Narrated by al-Bukhaari and Muslim.

6. Making the du’aa’ conditional, such as saying, “O Allaah, forgive me if You will” or “O Allaah, have mercy upon me if You will.” The person who makes du’aa’ has to be resolute in his supplication, striving hard and earnestly repeating his du’aa’. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Let not any one of you say, ‘O Allaah, forgive me if You will, O Allaah, have mercy on me if You will.’ Let him be resolute in the matter, whilst knowing that no one can compel Allaah to do anything.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari and Muslim.

In order for du’aa’s to be answered, it is not essential to adhere to all of these points and be free of all that could prevent one’s du’aa’s from being answered. That is something which happens very rarely. But one has to try hard and strive towards achieving this.

Another important point is to realize that the response to the du’aa’ may take different forms: either Allaah will respond and fulfil the desire of the person who made the du’aa’, or He will ward off some evil from him because of the du’aa’, or He will make something good easy for him to attain because of it, or He will save it with Him for him on the Day of Resurrection when he will be most in need of it. And Allaah knows best.

on September 17, 2004 8:18 AM
Bint Abdul Khaliq said

As Salaamu Alaikum

Jazakillah for the great reminder sister-much needed and appreciated.

Was Salaam

on September 17, 2004 1:22 PM
Justoju said

MashaAllah, very informative and beneficial article Nadia. One should never underestimate the power of dua. I miss you and Saima...or your Hidaya personalities anyway...

on September 18, 2004 1:32 PM
Nadia said

Jazakallah khair br.Gillete for putting up the site with great information.
Sr. Justujooooo!! I miss you too!!!

on September 21, 2004 6:51 PM
Mohammad C. said

Dear sister,

Your comments are very good and sound indeed.

I do not want to sound like a despondent, but I have been supplicating/making dua to Allah to grant me a few things.
Till now things have not worked out. I may have them inshaallah in the near future.

But I am now really really feeling low & somehow need Allahs help & at least a few duas to be fulfilled !

I even pray to almighty Allah that he create Khair & Islam and grant me my duas. He is the almighty and Allah can do whatever he intends.
Any suggestions or help in this matter would be greatly appreciated.

P.S. I try and keep up to most of my religious stipulations as much as possible. I also ask for forgiveness.

With Kind Regards.

Allah Hafiz.
Mohammad Cadri.

on May 1, 2005 10:17 AM
amatullah said

from: askmam.com

Allah ta'ala has promised to answer those who call out to him, however a few conditions have to be met for the acceptance of duas:
1. Staying away from sin
2. Staying away from Haraam food, drink, clothing and wealth.
3. Complete conviction in Allah.

You should bear in mind that Allah sometimes loves it so much when we turn in supplication to him, that he delays answering our duas so that we can get the huge rewards kept aside for those who turn to Allah in their difficult times. It is mentioned that when a person will see, in the Hereafter, the huge rewards he received in return for those dua that were not answered, he would wish that not a single one of his duas had been answered in the world.

Also, from personal experience, we have found that even thought it seems that everything is against you and that things are just getting worse, Allah will soon change conditions for the better, to such an extent that you will realize that if he had changed them earlier, the results wouldn't have been as fruitful as those attained by him chnging them now.

and Allah Ta'ala Knows Best

Mufti Ebrahim Desai

Also check out:

From the talks of Sheikh Nuh Ha Mim Keller

Have complete yaqeen that your dua will be answered. The Prophet, may the peace and blessing of the Lord of the Worlds be upon him, has told us that a dua is answered in one of three ways: a) What you ask for is given to you immediately. b) A calamity is averted from you. c) The dua is not answered in this dunya; you are rewarded for it in the aakhira. Allah is the one who answers the dua. There is no doubt that the dua will be answered. Allah does not male the dua appear on the tongue of a Mu’min, except that He wants to answer it.

Put your heart into your dua. Don’t make the dua a “habit.” Increase your presence of mind. One’s heart should not be distracted while making dua.
Do not ask for the committing of sins. For example do not ask for harm to befall a fellow Muslim.

Do not to sever family ties.

Do not ask for the un-fulfillments of the rights of another Muslim.

Do not ask for the impossible. There are three kinds of impossible. a) Something, which is impossible by the standards of the Divine Knowledge. For example, we know that Abu Lahab has been condemned to hell in the Quran. Do not ask for his forgiveness, because Allah chooses not to forgive him, in any case. b) Something, which does not occur normally, but still is possible for Allah. For example, do not ask for the ability to walk on the ceiling. c) Something, which is inherently contradictory. For example, do not ask Allah to draw a “square” circle for you.

The Adaab of Dua

Choose the best times to make a dua. The time after salat, Laylatul Qadr, pre-dawn times, 15th of Sha’baan, Tahajjud times, are all mubarak times. Make dua during them.

Choose the best places to make dua.

Make wudu, pray two rakahs and face the Qibla, before making the dua.

Raise your hands while making dua. Just like the Ka’bah is the Qibla of salat, the sky is the Qibla of dua.

Make tauba from your sins before making the dua.

Say alhamdolillah before and after your dua.

If you want your dua to be answered in bad times, remember Allah in good times.

It should be borne in mind that a Dua is discourse with Allah. Allah is the Highest Authority. Just as when you would maintain proper adaab while conversing with some high worldly authority, adaab should be taken care of while making discourse with Allah as well. Insha Allah, these rules will help your duas be more effective, and insha Allah, He will answer your duas, with the Most Perfect Answering.

Wassalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu

on May 1, 2005 11:36 AM
amatullah said

oopz...could the moderator kindly delete the post from the part that says "Posted by Ahsan Irfan | 5:01 PM | 0 comments "

"The Qasida by Habib Mashhur al Haddad in Arabic "

until the end

AlModeratoor says: Request completed, Sister Amatullah.

on May 1, 2005 11:39 AM
asif said


I can only talk about myself...

I think each time that I make a Duaa it is a sign of Allah's Benevolence towards me that HE has allowed me to praise and invocate HIM in sincerity. That itself is enough for me even if I dont get what I asked for in this life.

I mean really, think about what do we ask of this world: To pass our exams, get a great job, an awesome wife, bubbly kids, a house & 2 cars, maybe financial freedom. Perhaps we ask for health and well being for ourselves and our family, and sometimes we ask for authority and power....and so on.

I dont know about you young folks, but I am at a stage in life where all of this seems trivial to me. Dont get me wrong, I do supplicate for some of the above as necessary but I think as a human and especially as a muslim I must be asking more of Allah that is lasting and enduring.

And as far as I know, something that is lasting doesn't happen overnight...

on May 1, 2005 12:15 PM
gillette said

Sahih Muslim

Book 35, Number 6593:
Abu Huraira reported that Allah's Messenger (salillahu alaihi wa salam) said:
The supplication of every one of you is granted if he does not grow impatient and says: I supplicated but it was not granted.

on May 2, 2005 7:11 AM
gillette said

IBRAHEEM IBN ADHAM - may Allaah have mercy on him - a third century scholar, a teacher and a companion of Sufyaan ath-Thawree, was asked about the saying of Allaah - the Most High:


"We supplicate Yet we are not answered." So he said to them:

* "You know Allaah, Yet you do not obey Him,
* You recite the Qur'aan, Yet do not act according to it,
* You know Shaitaan(Devil), Yet you have agreed with him,
* You proclaim that you love the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam, Yet you abandon his Sunnah,
* You proclaim your love for Paradise, Yet you do not act to gain it,
* You proclaim your fear for the Fire, Yet you do not prevent yourselves from sins,
* You say "Indeed death is true", Yet you have not prepared for it,
* You engage yourselves with finding faults with others, Yet you do not look at your faults,
* You eat of that which Allah has provided for you, Yet you do not thank Him,
* You bury your dead, Yet you do not take a lesson from it."
(Taken from Khushoo fis-Salaat (p.62) of Ibn Rajab al-Hanbalee - rahimahullah)


on December 3, 2005 10:14 AM
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