by Rayeesa Tabassum (in collaboration with Team AYEINA)
الدعاء هو العبادة
The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Du’a (supplication) is worship.” [Abu Dawud]
Dua – a beautiful word for “supplication” in Arabic. Its root words are د ع و ( Dal-Ayn-Waw ) which means to seek, desire, ask, demand, call upon, invoke, ascribe, cry out, call out to, pray, supplicate etc.
It is a powerful weapon of the believer. If his/her dua gets accepted, there’s khair in it. If it doesn’t get accepted, it could either be a source of source of salvation in the hereafter or a way to ward off evil from you.
In short, dua can result in the following:
1) Allah will answer immediately.
2) Allah will postpone it for a better time and we’ll be rewarded for the patience in shaa Allah.
3) It will be rejected because Allah knows what’s best for us and it can help ward off harm in Dunya or Aakhirah (here or hereafter).
The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “Whenever a Muslim supplicates Allah, He accepts his supplication or averts any similar kind of trouble from him until he prays for something sinful or something that may break the ties of kinship.” Upon this, someone of the Companions said: “Then we shall supplicate plenty.” The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “Allah is more plentiful (in responding).” [At- Tirmidhi].
So, what are the secrets behind a dua that gets accepted?
1) Supplicate for others.
Make dua for others what you want for yourself. As a Muslim, we are supposed to feel the pain of other Muslims and pray for them. Life can throw us in the same situation where we might need duas from others.
“He who supplicates for his brother behind his back (in his absence), the Angel commissioned (for carrying supplication to his Lord) says: Amen, and it is for you also”.[Sahih Muslim]
You can ask people to make dua for you as well. This is a tacky situation sometimes as there’s a fine line between depending on Allah alone or thinking that someone’s intercession is divine. Please know that nobody can fulfill your wishes except Allah so asking others to make dua for you can simply be a way to connect. This does not mean that you go to a righteous scholar etc. with the intention that their dua will ALWAYS be heard. By the end of the day, if Allah doesn’t will, nothing can be done. He has a complete authority. But this does not mean that we can’t ask people to pray for us. We may not even have to ask people for a dua if we help them out, solve their problems, be of use to them. Duas may pour out directly from their hearts.
Right click the below image and click “save as…” to download the FREE Dua List Printable (without the watermark). If you print it, we’d love to see how you utilize it in shaa Allah <3
2) Make duas mentioned in Qur’an & Sunnah
Most of us think that Allah knows what we want so we don’t make duas at all, but what we forget is that we have nothing to lose here. We don’t go empty handed when we make a dua. We get a reward or we get acceptance.
If you don’t know whether you’re asking for the right thing or no, if it has khair or no, then pray Istikhara. As a matter of fact, pray istikhara for every small matter – asking Allah to put khair in whatever you ask from Him.
Making duas from the Qur’an and sunnah are the best way to cover all matters of your life in a compact form of words. As mentioned in our Hajj/Umrah article, THIS BOOK is a good compilation of the Qur’anic and masnoon duas.
Refer to the following links we’ve already done on the topic of dua:
3) Ask during the accepted times
Allah (SWT) did not place a limit on the number or type of duas you can make. Show Allah your dependence on Him through constant supplications. Following is the list of best places and times to make duas (all references linked within):
8. In sickness/ pain/ oppression (during calamity)
4) Just Tahajjud it!
If you really want something and you haven’t prayed tahajjud, then do you really want it that much?
Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “Our Lord, the Blessed, the Superior, comes every night down on the nearest Heaven to us when the last third of the night remains, saying: “Is there anyone to invoke Me, so that I may respond to invocation? Is there anyone to ask Me, so that I may grant him his request? Is there anyone seeking My forgiveness, so that I may forgive him?” [Bukhari]
5) Istighfar (repentance)
“And said, ‘Ask forgiveness of your Lord. Indeed, He is ever a Perpetual Forgiver. He will send the sky upon you in showers. And give you increase in wealth and children and provide for you gardens and provide for you rivers.” [Quran; 71:10-12]
6) Give up a sin and do good instead
Begin supplication with the praise of Allah. Send peace and blessings upon Rasool Allah ﷺ.
Ibrahim bin Muhammad bin Sa`d narrated from his father, from Sa`d that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “The supplication of Dhun-Nun (Prophet Yunus) when he supplicated, while in the belly of the whale was: ‘There is none worthy of worship except You, Glory to You, Indeed, I have been of the transgressors. (Lā ilāha illā anta subḥānaka innī kuntu minaẓ-ẓālimīn)’ So indeed, no Muslim man supplicates with it for anything, ever, except Allah responds to him.” [Tirmidhi]
While reciting this ayah, think of at least one sin that you committed and are willing to give up for the sake of Allah.
For some people, the wordings of dua can make a huge difference. So if you feel awful and unproductive by dragging yourself through the guilt trip – by saying something like – ya Allah I’m sorry I didn’t pray. Instead, try making dua with the formation of words like – ya Allah I want to pray and I need Your help.
Regret sits on a fine line. As long as it encourages you to make a change, it’s good for you but if you think that shaitan will drag you into hopelessness due to the overwhelming amount of guilt, then try switching up the words you utter to yourself. And stick to what works for you. By the end of the day, the result we want to achieve is BETTERMENT.
7) Show gratitude
Be thankful for what you already have, no matter how meager it is, in order to receive more.
Allah says: “…If you give thanks, I will give you more….” [Qur’an 14:7]
If you want more wealth, give thanks for every dollar. If you need help in staying more grateful and positive (especially for the tiny things in your life that you usually take for granted), a gratitude journal catered for Muslims can be a great way to start this journey in shaa Allah.
When your dua is answered, say Alhamdulillah from the heart, make sujood, increase in your ibadah and decrease your disobedience. Show gratefulness through your actions and words both.
8) Be proactive and remember Allah in the times of ease as well
Along with prayers, make some effort as well. Do something about it. Do everything you can to make it possible. Show Allah you are working really hard. Consistent efforts combined with dua really does wonders.
The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “Whoever wishes that Allah would respond to him during hardship and grief, then let him supplicate plentifully when at ease.” [Tirmidhi]
Make a vision board (as suggested in Visionaire Online) and visualize the steps on how you hope your dua to be accepted. You could assign colors to your specific duas – something that you want to make over and over, so whenever you see those colors, it may remind you to make that dua.
9) Ask Allah by His Names and do not be hasty
Prophet (ﷺ) said: “One of you will be responded to, so long as he is not hasty, saying: ‘I supplicated, and I was not responded to.’” [TIRMIDHI]
Do you have a favourite name of Allah from the 99 names? If you feel lost as to how to make a dua with Allah’s name or attribute, then try this as an example:
I ask You for Your love and the love of those who love You, and for the action that will cause me to attain Your love so make Your love more beloved to me than myself and my beloved.
Rinse my soul of sins that hide beneath the skin – the sins that no one knows of, except You…Separate the layers around my bones and wash my heart from the evil that makes it dark.
Grant me mercy that I starve my soul of. You have more mercy in You than the sin in me so free my soul of self-limiting beliefs so I can feel as light as a feather.
Protect me from the perpetual civil war within me in which many souls are fighting to survive – torn between dunya and aakhirah, destroying each other in the process…
Colour me a purposeful self so I can comprehend the reason why am I here in this dunya and utilise this limited time in my hands for what yields forever…
Free me from the endless longing of human warmth, acceptance, and approval – so I can depend on no one but You, so I don’t chase after dunya and my heart long for you – even when I have everything from the dunya in my mortal hands.
Help me out of every constriction and reduction, obstruction and destruction, addiction and affliction. And help me hang onto the hope that the help is near when I rush through the process.
You’re Beautiful and You love beauty so beautify my soul that beautifies the vessel it’s kept in. Help me see the beauty in things when everything seems ugly.
You’re Gentle and Kind and you have put beauty in generosity, so when I lose my patience and I’m pushed to the edge of my kindness, pull me back and pour buckets of softness in my heart so it can pump with ease and let others breathe the breeze…
You’re closer to me than my jugular vein, but if I pull back and my heart disconnects, pump the blood through my veins so I can feel the pain – the pain of being far away from You and the pain of being so numb. The pain of apathy and the pain of a cold heart.
YA MUJEEB !
You respond whenever a servant calls upon You so please accept…accept…accept!
Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “It is necessary that you do not become hasty.” It was said: “What does being hasty mean, O Messenger of Allah?” He said: “When one says: ‘I supplicated to Allah but Allah did not answer me.'” [Ibn Majah]
10) Hope for positive results and do not give up
Ask and you shall receive. Have firm faith that your dua will be answered and your wish will definitely be granted. You have asked the King – for Whom, nothing is impossible. No matter, how big your need is, or how difficult you think your problem is, or how messy your situation is, it is a matter of Kun fayakun for Him.
Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) said: “A supplication should be made in full confidence and one should persistently express his desire (before Allah) in his supplication, for no bounty is too great for Allah to bestow (upon his slaves).” [Muslim]
If the dua leaves your lips without the feeling of excitement and hope of acceptance, then try tweaking your dua a little. Put anticipation in your dua. For eg: Instead of saying – “O Allah! Grant me, children”. Maybe you can ask “O Allah! Let me be a part of my Child’s wedding”. This may keep you more hopeful and excited every time you make this dua.
Don’t lower your standards, raise your DUA!
What is your experience with duas? What tips have worked for you? Do let us know in the comments below.
NEXT: All about Istikhara
Co-Author’s Bio: Rayeesa Tabassum is a Hyderabadi Muslimah residing in Jeddah, KSA. She loves reading, writing, public speaking, and homemaking. Her aim is to become an accomplished Muslim writer so that her writings can be a sadqah-e-jariyah for her. She blogs at https://reshuwrites.wordpress.com/