Du’a – The Essence of Worship

[These are the rough notes of a talk delivered by Shaykh Kamaluddin Ahmed (db) in Karachi on November 28, 2015]

The Need to be Content with Allah’s Decree

Allah swt is behind our every decision – we need to be content in each state. Hadrat Adam (as) wanted to stay in paradise but the decision of Allah swt was final. Hadrat Nuh (as) wanted his son to be saved from the flood but the decision of Allah swt was final. Hadrat Ibrahim (as) had sharpened his knife and made his son lie down, but Allah swt did not want his son to be sacrificed.

Once Nabi sws made an intention not to eat honey again – the Qur’an revealed:

  لِمَ تُحَرِّمُ مَآ أَحَلَّ ٱللَّهُ لَكَ‌
 Why do you ban (on your self) something that Allah has made lawful for you [66:1]

Why do you make haram what Allah swt made halal for you? And Nabi sws started eating honey again – so we need to always turn to Allah swt as His decision is final.

We need to take the means, and ask Allah swt to put ta’thir in the means. First we do Dhabita (choose the means) then we do rabita (we make du’a for the means to work for us). Allah swt kept this rabita because He wanted us to understand His Majesty. Because we always have to turn to Him to remind ourselves that we are the servants.

Otherwise, we think we can only choose and depend upon the means – this is not right. We always need to turn to Allah swt. We can take the medicine, but it does not guarantee a cure as Allah swt is the One who puts cure in the medicine.

Asking from Creation Vs. Asking from Allah

There is a big difference when asking from people and asking from Allah swt.

  1. People will always choose from their own kin to bestow upon. Allah swt gives to all – both believers and disbelievers. Allah swt gives to those who are loyal as well as to those who are disloyal. He even gives to His enemies – He swt gives to all.
  2. People say I want to help but I don’t have the means ‘I am far away etc’ – but this is never the case with Allah swt. Allah swt does not have any need – Allah swt can help anyone at any time.
  3. If we ask for something small from the rich, they get angry. If we ask for something big from a poor person, they get angry. If you ask for a billion dollars from someone poor, they would think you are being funny and making a mockery out of them. If you ask for a dollar from a rich person, they will also get angry that why are you asking for something so small? This is the state of the dunya, but we can ask from Allah swt however much we want – Allah swt gets happy when we ask. It comes in a hadith that even if we ask for a broken lace, He swt will be pleased.
  4. People do not want you to ask when they are not in a good mood. They do not even want to pick up the phone. Allah swt gets happy when we ask – He swt gives when He is both angry or pleased with a person. Even when Allah swt was angry at Shaytan, He swt gave him respite until the Day of Judgement. So when you want to ask, ask from Allah swt. What point is there asking from people?
  5. When we ask from creation once, they might give, but if we ask repeatedly, they will get annoyed. It comes in a hadith that Allah swt gets angry when you don’t ask from Him! However many times we ask, Allah swt will grant it each time – whatever state we are in, whatever condition we are in – we should ask from Allah swt. He will make us into his wali just because we are not asking from anyone else.

Du’a is a Form of Worship

Shari’ah has said du’a is ‘ibadah. It comes in a hadith that – ad-dua makhul-‘ibadah – it is the cream, core and essence of ‘ibadah.

It is the best worship – Allah swt loves it a lot. There are so many people that do not turn to Allah swt and they get pushed from everywhere. We need to bend down on the door of Allah swt so He swt fixes our state.

When you read Qur’an, you will find that when the Anbiya (as) seeked help from Allah swt:

  • Hadrat Adam (as) sought forgiveness and found Allah swt to be Al-Ghaffar – the Most Forgiving.
  • Hadrat Ibrahim (as) sought Allah swt’s help in the fire, the fire was cooled off.
  • Hadrat Ayyub (as) sought help in sickness.
  • Hadrat Yusuf (as) sought Allah swt’s help in jail – Allah swt made him the King.
  • Bibi Hajra sought Allah swt’s help in the valleys of Makkah, she found the well of ZamZam.
  • Hadrat Musa (as) sought help in Madyan when he was homeless and hungry. Allah swt gave him a wife, a family, and a means to earn.
  • Hadrat Muhammad Mustafa sws sought His help during the battles of Badr and Hunayn, look at what Allah swt says in the Qur’an:

وَلَقَدۡ نَصَرَكُمُ ٱللَّهُ بِبَدۡرٍ۬ وَأَنتُمۡ أَذِلَّةٌ۬‌ۖ
Allah certainly supported you at Badr when you were weak. [3:123]

لَقَدۡ نَصَرَڪُمُ ٱللَّهُ فِى مَوَاطِنَ ڪَثِيرَةٍ۬‌ۙ وَيَوۡمَ حُنَيۡنٍ‌ۙ
Allah has surely blessed you with His help on many battlefields, and on the day of Hunain [9:25]

To talk about dunya in the masjid is generally disliked, but when it comes to making du’a to Allah swt, even if we are asking for the dunya, it actually becomes a good action.

Why are our du’as not accepted?

  1. We ask Without Passion. We should ask Allah swt in such a way as though we have no-one else to ask from – this is the truth. We actually do not have anyone else to ask from. Someone who wants something to eat can ask many people, but when it comes to us, we actually do not have any other means to attain what we are asking for.
  2. Our Hearts are not Attentive. Sometimes we ask but our hearts are inattentive and hence, our du’as are not accepted. Once Musa (as) was walking and someone was begging to Allah swt and crying – Musa (as) asked Allah that He is crying to You, why is it that his du’a is not being accepted? Musa (as) was told he is making du’a to Me, but his heart is somewhere else. His heart is My house – so why does he have creation inside it? Musa (as) told him and the man did tawbah and Allah swt accepted his du’a. Be sincere and then ask Allah swt.
  3. We Become Doubtful. Sometimes insan is asking, and Shaytan puts wasawas that your du’as are not going to be accepted because you are too big of a sinner. If you think your du’as are not going to be accepted, then they actually will not be. Do not listen to Shaytan. Always think your du’as will be accepted. If Allah swt accepted the du’a of shaytan (he was given respite), then why would Allah swt not accept others?

Allah swt will definitely accept our supplications, even if it’s at a different time. Some people say how can my supplication be accepted when I’m a liar etc – your tongue had the ability to proclaim faith, so how can you think your supplications will not be accepted?

In a hadith, it is written that whoever asks from Allah swt, He will accept all of his du’as.

Different Ways in Which Du’as are Accepted

There are three ways of a du’a being accepted:

  1. You get exactly what you wanted
  2. Sometimes that thing is not good for us, so Allah swt will grant us better than what we asked for. He might remove a difficulty for us – we may not even know, but because of this du’a a difficulty may be removed. Sometimes we are saved from some health issue – you never know, it may be because of a du’a Allah swt didn’t accept as it is. We may have been destined for an accident, or the businessmen may be destined to suffer a huge loss – but this may not happen because of a previous du’a.
  3. Allah swt will grant it on the Day of Judgment instead – He will save it for the Final Day. The du’as will be stored. There will be a man who will get so much from Allah swt for the du’as which were not accepted that he will say I wish none of my du’as had been accepted in the World.

Being Hopeful and Countering Wasawas of Shatyan

We have benefit either way – have yaqin it will be accepted in one of these ways. We should be happy when making du’as as there is benefit for us in all three ways. If Shaytan makes you think it won’t be accepted, then say to him, you didn’t even do a sajdah to Adam (as), and Allah swt still accepted your du’as, so why would He not accept mine?

Never resort to depression – tell Shaytan that Allah swt took you out of Jannah, and still accepted your du’a – Allah swt has brought me out of my house to this Masjid, to this madrasah, to the gatherings of the pious so mine will definitely be accepted.

Shaytan was alone when he made du’a, and we are usually in gatherings – so Allah swt will definitely accept our du’a.

Allah swt accepted the du’a of Fir’awn – once when the waters had dried out, his people came to him and asked him to bring water back in the Nile since he had proclaimed himself to be a god. He went out alone at night and made du’a for the water to be restored. Allah swt accepted his du’a. His body has been made into a sign for the people. He was the one who said ‘ana rabbukumul a’la’ (I am your greatest god) and still his du’a was accepted. We are the people who say ‘subhana rabbiyal a’la’ so surely our du’as will be accepted as well.

Sometimes we ask in the wrong way – we ask as though we are talking to our employers. We just tell Allah swt what to do – this is not du’a. Do not make du’a as though you are giving a to-do list – ask with humility and Allah swt will accept.

Allah swt accepts the du’a very quickly when one cries during du’a. Sometimes Allah swt does not accept our du’as to see if we are sincere or not. We look so closely at the items we are buying – Allah swt also looks at us to see if we are sincere. If it is not accepted, keep asking again and again.

Allah swt greatly values tears. The angels cannot cry in remorse and guilt due to sin as they don’t even sin. In the world, when we import an item from a different country, it is more expensive and the item is more valuable.

In the same way, when the angels take our tears to Allah swt, they are worth a lot as they are imported from this Earth. They gather our tears and take them to Allah swt. Just with one tear, the fires of Jahannam can be extinguished though the fire which may be as large as the oceans.

Heart Touching Story of a Sinner 

Wahb ibn Munnabih (ra) narrates that there was a person at the time of Musa (as) who was a huge sinner, even his neighbours did not like him. All the people in his town did not like him, so much so, that he was beaten and exiled as everyone was fed up with him.

They took him to the outskirts of the town and kicked him out – he went to sit under a tree whilst he was in pain – and it was cold at that time, so he became sick. He became more sick until he realised that he will die from the sickness. Allah swt sent wahi to Musa (as) that there is friend from my awliya’, go to this place and bathe him, pray his salatul janaza – and call people to pray too. And whomsoever prays, they will be forgiven.

So the people of that area went for the salah, and they were amazed that the person who had passed away was the same sinner. Musa (as) was surprised that Allah swt had told me he is a friend of Allah swt. Allah swt sent wahi to Musa (as) that yes, these people are correct – he is that sinner.

However, he was alone in the wilderness and he did not see anyone near him – at that moment he turned to Allah swt. He talked to Allah swt that everyone has forsaken me, and now, I only have You. My mother and wife would hold me right now if they were here, but ya Rabb, I am all alone – please support me.

Allah swt forgave him for all his sins, and made him into his wali. Allah swt sent a wahi to Musa (as), do you think I would leave him when he was hopeful of My mercy – he cried so much in front of Me and he implored Me – with so much crying, do you think I would have left him? Had he asked me to forgive all the sinners of the world, at that moment, I would have forgiven the whole world due to his sincerity.

Allah swt told Musa (as) I am the Friend of the stranger; and whoever does not have a friend, then I am his Friend – I am the representative of the one who has no representative. I am the one who shows mercy to whom no one else shows mercy. Just imagine, if a young man does tawbah, because of him, Allah swt could have forgiven all his slaves.

May Allah swt grant us the ability to make sincere du’a.

وَآَخِرُ دَعْوَانَا أَنِ الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ


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