Sunday, 14 March 2010
The Power of & Nature of Du’a
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
This has been adapted from an article by Brother Khalid Baig. To most Muslims, du’a means supplication. Du’a is much more than that. It is everything that is said, every passing thought. And that is why we are accountable for what we think. So guard the tongue and guard the passing thoughts.
Du’a can change our life and our outlook. It is the most potent weapon of a mu’min. Once, Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) passed by a people who were suffering from some affliction. "Why don't they make ud’iyyah to Allah for Protection?" he asked.
Most Muslims have not forgotten du’a completely. But the practice of du’a has become ritual for many. It is considered when all efforts have failed. It is an act of last resort. It is belittled through actions and sometimes even with words. For some, it conveys the idea of hopelessness. They have not recognised the Majesty and Generosity of Allah (s.w.t.). Du’a is the most potent weapon of a mu’min. It is the essence of ‘ibadah. We can never fail with it; we can never succeed without it. In reality, du’a should be the first and the last resort of the mu’min. All plans and actions come in between.
Du’a is conversation with Allah (s.w.t.), our Creator, our Nourisher, our Cherisher, our Master, the Omnipotent, the Omniscient. This is of extraordinary significance. It is the Knowing that Allah (s.w.t.) is Involved in the existence of His Creation. He is not remote, He is not far. He is nearer than the jugular vein.
…for We are Nearer to him than (his) jugular vein. (Surah Qaf:16)
We turn to Him because we acknowledge that He alone can Lift our sufferings and Solve our problems. We feel relieved after describing our difficulties to our Creator. We feel empowered after having communicated with Allah (s.w.t.). We sense His Mercy all around us after talking to the Most Merciful of the Merciful. We get a new commitment to follow His Path for that is the only path for success.
In every difficulty, our first action is du’a, as is our last. We ask Allah (s.w.t.) to Show us the way to handle that difficulty; we seek His help in following the path He Shows to us; we seek His Aid in making our efforts successful. When we fall sick, we know that we cannot find the right doctor without His Will; that the best doctor may not be able to diagnose our condition without His Command; that the best treatment plan will not succeed without His Permission. We make du’a for all of these. We make du’a before we seek medical help, while we are receiving it and after it has been delivered. The same is true of all other difficulties we may encounter.
A person engaged in du’a affirms his belief in tawhid and shuns belief in all false gods. With each du’a, his belief in Allah (s.w.t.) is affirmed. He beseeches Him, affirming his own powerlessness. A person seriously and sincerely engaged in du’a understands exactly the relationship between himself and the Creator and affirms it through his actions. That is the essence of ‘ibadah. Additionally, such a person can never be arrogant or proud. That is the reality of sincere ‘ibadah.
Du’a is our most potent weapon in all struggles of life as well as in jihad in the battlefield. During the battle of Badr, the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) stood up all night in prayer seeking Allah's (s.w.t.) Help in the battle between unequal armies that would follow the next day. In the decisive battles against the crusaders, Sultan Swalah ad-Din al-Ayyubi (r.a.) was busy day and night. His days were devoted to jihad. His nights were spent making du’a, crying, seeking Allah's (s.w.t.) Help. This has been the practice of all true mujahidin.
We should make it a point to make du’a for all things big and small. It is the beginning of wisdom to realise that big and small are arbitrary labels that are totally irrelevant in this context. Nothing is too big for Whom we are asking from; nothing is too small for the one who is asking. That is why we have been taught to ask Allah (s.w.t.) when we need something as small as shoelaces. We should ask as a beggar, as a destitute person, for that is what we in reality are in relationship to Allah (s.w.t.). At the same time we should ask with great hope and conviction that we shall be Granted our prayers. We should remember the hadits: "There is nothing dearer to Allah than a servant making du’a to Him." On the other hand, a prayer lacking concentration and conviction is no prayer at all.
We should make du’a at all times, not only during times of distress. The Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) said, "Whosoever desires that Allah Answers his du’a in unfavorable and difficult conditions, he should make plentiful ud’iyyah in days of ease and comfort." Also he said, "The person who does not ask from Allah, Allah becomes Angry with him."
We should ask for all of our needs: those related to this world as well as those related to the akhirah. Those who only concentrate on the former are, in effect, announcing that they do not care for their life in the permanent abode. They should blame no body but themselves for the total ruin in that world that Qur'an assures us awaits them. Those who only concentrate on the later are also showing lack of balance, for we need Allah's (s.w.t.) Help to lead a good life here as well.
We should make du’a not only for ourselves but also for our parents, brothers and sisters, spouses and children, relatives and friends, teachers and other benefactors, and destitute and struggling Muslims everywhere. We should pray for them for the good in this world as well as in the akhirah. The Prophet (s.a.w.) said, "The ud’iyyah of a Muslim for his brother in his absence is readily accepted. An angel is appointed to his side. Whenever he makes a beneficial ud’iyyah for his brother the appointed angel says, 'Amin. And may you also be blessed with the same.'" And this was recorded in Swahih Muslim.
Beyond the Realm of ‘Ubudiyyah, the Reality of Ud’iyyah is understood differently. By the strictest doctrine of tawhid, Du’a is Allah (s.w.t.) Asking of Himself through the medium of the one who thinks he is asking.
There is no power and no strength save with Allah the Most High, the Great.
Since there is n power and no strength and no reality except Allah (s.w.t.), the supplicant has no power to ask and certainly no power to grant. When you listen to the radio, you certainly know that the music did not originate from the radio. It is just the means. In the same vein, man is faqir. He is the owner and the possessor of nothing. Not even his own soul.
Verily Man is in loss, (Surah al-‘Aswr:2)
And your Lord says: "Call on Me; I will Answer your (Prayer): But those who are too arrogant to serve Me will surely find themselves in Hell in humiliation!" (Surah Ghafir:60)
If that be the case, why would anyone say their ud’iyyah is not Granted? Allah (s.w.t.) is not a liar. It is the inadequacy of understanding. Firstly, the du’a is not always what is on the lips. It is the one in the heart. In a heart conflicted, and most hearts are conflicted, it is oft time that the lips say one thing, but the heart says another. How many times has a woman made du’a for the heart of a man, asking in his hand in marriage, yet in the depths of her heart, she has doubts about him. It is the ud’iyyah of the heart that takes precedence over the ud’iyyah of the lips. And then, because of this misunderstanding, the woman blames Allah (s.w.t.) for not Answering the du’a. That is the reality of most people.
Secondly, if all ud’iyyah are Granted, when and how are they Granted? Since Allah (s.w.t.) is the Master of Reality, in truth, all ud’iyyah are Granted even before the asking. Allah (s.w.t.) has no inadequacy. He is not in need of your asking to be Giving. The issue is the awareness of the supplicant. The one who is aware knows immediately that a du’a is Granted and by the Favour of Allah (s.w.t.), he may see the results immediately.
Therefore ask with the certainty that it Granted, and it shall be so. If it was not meant for you, you would not even have the ability to even ask. Allah (s.w.t.) Never denies ud’iyyah.