Some Etiquettes of Dua` and its Rulings
Author : Dr. Hassan Abu_Arqoub
Date Added : 15-02-2024

Some Etiquettes of Dua` and its Rulings



Dua` (Supplication) is an act of worship that brings the servant closer to Allah, the Most High. Through it, the servant realizes the meaning of servitude, neediness, and dependence, while simultaneously invoking the divine nature, power, and richness of Allah, the Most High. Feeling one's inadequacy and recognizing the Creator's abundance are the fruits of this worship, and indeed the desired outcome of all acts of worship. That is why the Prophet Mohammad, peace be upon him, said: "Supplication is worship." (Reported by Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi). It is also reported: "Supplication is the essence of worship." (Reported by At-Tirmidhi). This is because through supplication, the essence of worship is manifested in the servant's need and helplessness, and in the richness and power of the Lord.


Allah has promised to answer the supplications of those who call upon Him, as He said: " And when My servants question thee concerning Me, then surely I am nigh. I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he crieth unto Me. So let them hear My call and let them trust in Me, in order that they may be led aright." (Al-Baqarah, 186). He also said: "And your Lord hath said: Pray unto Me and I will hear your prayer. Lo! those who scorn My service, they will enter hell, disgraced." (Ghafir, 60).


However, this divine promise is not unconditional and unrestricted. In the noble Sunnah, there are specific conditions and limitations associated with it. Examples of such conditions include consuming what is unlawful (haram), hastiness, supplicating with sin, severing family ties, or while absent minded, and here is their explanation:


Consuming what is unlawful (haram) prevents the supplicant from receiving a response. Therefore, one must be careful to consume what is lawful (halal). The Prophet Mohammad, peace be upon him, mentioned: "A man who undertakes a long journey and is disheveled and dusty, raising his hands to the sky, saying, 'O Lord, O Lord,' while his food is unlawful (haram), his drink is unlawful, his clothing is unlawful, and he has been nourished with the unlawful. So how can he be answered [by Allah]?" (Reported by Muslim).


Furthermore, the supplicant should not hasten and become impatient if the response does not come immediately. Saying, "I supplicated to Allah, but He did not answer my supplication," reflects a lack of etiquette with Allah, the Most High, and indicates weakness in faith. Regarding this, the Prophet Mohammad, peace be upon him, said: "The supplication of one of you will be answered as long as he does not hasten and say, 'I supplicated, but I received no answer.'" (Reported by Bukhari & Muslim).


Similarly, the supplication of a Muslim is not rejected as long as it does not involve sin or severing family ties. This is indicated by the saying of the Prophet Mohammad, peace be upon him: "The supplication of a servant will continue to be answered as long as he does not supplicate for something sinful, or for the severing of family ties." (Reported by Bukhari & Muslim).


The supplicant must have certainty that Allah will answer his supplication. This requires a heedful heart while supplicating along with complete trust in Allah. The Prophet Mohammad, peace be upon him, said: "Supplicate to Allah while being certain of a response, and know that Allah does not answer a supplication from a heart that is heedless and distracted." (Reported by Ahmad and At-Tirmidhi). Therefore, heedlessness and distraction deprive the servant of a response to his supplication.


In addition, there are etiquettes for Dua` that a supplicant should adorn him/herself with:


The servant should ask his Lord using comprehensive phrases of supplication, such as: 'O Allah, I ask You for forgiveness and well-being, O Allah, forgive me and have mercy on me, and pardon me, and elevate me. O Allah, I ask You for piety, guidance, chastity, and sufficiency,' and so on. This is based on the narration of our mother, Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her), who said: 'The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) used to prefer comprehensive supplications and would leave aside others.' (Reported by Abu Dawood with a good chain of narration).


Furthermore, one should begin the supplication by praising Allah and sending blessings upon our Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him), and conclude it with sending blessings upon the Messenger of Allah. It is mentioned in the commentary of Ibn Abidin: 'Al-Baji reported from Ibn Abbas: When you supplicate to Allah, make sure to include sending blessings upon the Prophet (peace be upon him) in your supplication, for sending blessings upon him is accepted. Indeed, Allah, may He be glorified, is more generous than to accept some and reject some."


The servant should seize the blessed times in which the response to supplication is hoped for and more assured. These include the last third of the night, after the obligatory prayers, on Friday, at the time of breaking the fast, and during prostration in prayer. This is understood from the saying of the Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him): 'The closest that a servant is to his Lord is when he is in prostration, so increase your supplications.' (Reported by Muslim). It was said to the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him): 'Which supplication is most heard?' He replied: 'During the last part of the night and after the obligatory prayers.' (Reported by At-Tirmidhi, who said: a good hadith)."


A person should not supplicate against himself, his wealth, or his children, as the time of acceptance of supplication may coincide, and what he supplicated for may happen. Then, he would regret it severely and lament his action. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: 'Do not supplicate against yourselves, your children, or your wealth, as there may be a time when Allah answers prayers and He grants you what you asked for.' (Reported by Muslim).

It is recommended to raise the hands during supplication, whether in prayer or outside of it, due to what has been established from the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in more than thirty authentic hadiths in the Sunnah, including:


The Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) once made ablution (wudu) with water and then raised his hands, saying: "O Allah, forgive Obaid Abi Amir." I saw the whiteness of his armpits. Then he said: "O Allah, on the Day of Resurrection, place him above many of Your creatures from among the people." (Reported by Bukhari & Muslim).


In addition, the saying of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him): "Indeed, your Lord is Modest and Generous. He is too Modest to let His servant raise his hands to Him and then let him return them empty (unanswered)." (Reported by Abu Dawood and At-Tirmidhi).


As for what the two Sheikhs (Al-Bukhari and Muslim) narrated, that "the Prophet (peace be upon him) would not raise his hands in any supplication except during prayers for rain (istisqaa), and indeed he would raise them until the whiteness of his armpits was visible," it can be understood that he did not perform the extensive raising of hands witnessed by the narrator of the hadith except during prayers for rain. Alternatively, it could be that the narrator himself only witnessed this action during that particular event, but others saw him raising his hands in supplication. In such cases, the narrations that affirm the action take precedence over those that negate it.


Moreover, it is permissible to supplicate for a long life, as the Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) prayed for Anas ibn Malik. Anas reported: "The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) supplicated for me, saying: 'O Allah, increase his wealth, his children, and prolong his life." (Al-Muwatta).


Some scholars have restricted the recommendation of supplicating for a long life to those whose long life would benefit the Muslims. However, if their benefit is limited to themselves, then the recommendation is lessened. As for others, the matter may even reach the level of disapproval or prohibition if it goes against these two categories.


It is well-known that the lifespan of a person cannot be brought forward or delayed, and their lifespan neither increases nor decreases. However, the benefit of supplicating for a long life becomes apparent in that Allah, the Most High, may have ordained that someone's lifespan be forty years. If they supplicate for themselves or someone else supplicates for them for a longer life, they may be granted an extension, perhaps until they reach fifty. Supplication is one of the means among the various religious causes, and it does not contradict belief in predestination and divine decree.


It is permissible to supplicate for the removal of epidemics, illnesses, and calamities, as it may be among the means to alleviate afflictions and achieve well-being and safety. There are numerous narrations emphasizing seeking refuge from insanity, leprosy, severe illnesses, reprehensible behaviors, desires, and harmful things. Such supplications demonstrate humility and submission to Allah, the Lord of the worlds, and they do not contradict belief in predestination and divine decree.


In conclusion, the response to supplication can take various forms:


The requested outcome is granted exactly as requested, the response is better than what was asked for, the supplication is saved for the Day of Judgment, where it serves as a source of reward for the supplicant or the supplication serves as an expiation for the supplicant's sins.






















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Summarized Fatawaa

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