Last month, we learned what Duaa is and the merits of making it regularly with humility and sincerity. To build on this, we are going to take a look at some basic duaa etiquette based on the Qur’an and Sunnah that will help our duaa to be made appropriately and received by Allah, the Most Gracious.
- Be sincere. This is crucial as it means that you believe that when you are calling on Allah, you are not only firm in the fact that your duaa will be answered in some way appropriate to your best interests, but you also believe that Allah Alone is able to meet your needs. It also implies sincerity in your application of duaa– that you believe you are really in need of Allah and that you are not making duaa to show off to others in any way.
- Be repentant. When you are making duaa, be sure to regularly ask Allah for forgiveness of any transgressions you may have committed. Sinful behavior is one of the main reasons that duaa are not answered and only Allah can forgive us of them, so be sure to repent, make the intention to be better, and seek earnestly what you desire from Allah Alone.
“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.’” [71:10-12]
- Humble yourself. By hoping for Allah’s reward and seeking His Forgiveness, we recognize that we are perpetually in the humble state of need. It is not Allah who is in need of our prayers, but rather us who are required to pray and have those prayers answered by Him. This is the essence of making duaa and one of the merciful reminders it offers us of our own humility.
“Invoke your Lord with humility and in secret. He likes not the aggressors”[7:55]
- Repeat your Duaas. Be Patient. A crucial component of making duaa is in its repetition and never tiring in our patience for it to be answered. Part of faith in having faith that our prayers will be answered in the best way possible at the time appropriate for us – something Allah can only know, The All-Knowing.
- Remember Duaas when all is good. Many people only make duaa when they need something, but remembering Allah in times of bounty and plenty is also an excellent practice for which there is great reward. It is also a part of being grateful and thus humble for we don’t take credit for blessings in our life that are attributable only to Allah.
- Call on Allah by His Beautiful Names. One form of righteous duaa is also called dhikr, or remembrance. This is the practice of reciting the many names of Allah, especially at the beginning and end of your duaas, or as a practice on its own. This helps us train us in the remembrance of Allah so when we feel to do wrong, our God-consciousness (Taqwa) is elevated and prevent harm.
“And (all) the Most Beautiful Names belong to Allaah, so call on Him by them”[7:180]
- Be clear. Try to choose the best duaas for your situation from the vast collection of duaas from the Prophet Muhammad (saw). You can also formulate your own words but try to be as clear as possible, choosing pure words that get the essence of what you are in need of.
Next month, we will look round out this series by looking at some of the possible reasons that duaa won’t be answered or addressed and how we can get around these issues in our practice according to the Sunnah.