Friday, September 11, 2009

Etiquette of Making Dua'

Etiquette of Making  the Dua'

Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid

What is the etiquette of making Duā’ and what are the obligatory duties and Sunnahs thereof? How should it start and how should it end? Can we ask for worldly things before asking with regard to the Hereafter? And what about raising the hands when making Duā’, and how should it be done?

In the name of Allāh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful;
All the praise and Thanks are due to Allāh, the Lord of the al-ā’lamīn. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allāh, and that Muhammad, sallallāhu alayhi wa sallam, is His Messenger.

Allāh Subhānahu wa ta’ala loves to be asked in all aspect and Allāh dislike with those who does not ask of Him and but He encourages His slaves to ask of Him. Allāh says:

“And your Lord said: “Invoke Me [i.e. believe in My Oneness (Islamic Monotheism) and ask Me for anything] I will respond to your (invocation)”  [Ghafir, 40:60]

Duā’' is very significant in Islam, so much so that the Prophet (Sallallāhu `alaihi wa sallam) said: “Du’a is worship.” [Narrated by at-Tirmidzi, 3372; Abu Dawud, 1479; Ibn Majah, 3828: sahih ]

The Etiquette are as follows.

1. Tawhid in Allāh Divinity.

One should believe in Tawhid with regard to the divinity, Lordship, names and attributes of Allāh. His heart should be filled with Tawhid. In order for Allāh to respond to the Duā’, it is essential that the person should be responding to his Lord by obeying Him and not disobeying Him.

Allāh says: “And when My slaves ask you (O Muhammad) concerning Me, then (answer them), I am indeed near (to them by My Knowledge). I respond to the invocations of the supplicant when he calls on Me (without any mediator or intercessor). So let them obey Me and believe in Me, so that they may be led aright”  [Al-Baqarah, 2:186]

2. Sincerity towards Allāh Alone in Making Duā’.

Allāh says: “And they were commanded not, but that they should worship Allāh, and worship none but Him Alone (abstaining from ascribing partners to Him)” [Al-Bayyinah, 98:5]

Duā’' is worship, as the Prophet (Sallallāhu `alaihi wa sallam) said, so sincerity (ikhlas) is a condition of its being accepted.

3. We Should Ask of Allāh By His Most Beautiful Names.

Allāh  says: “And (all) the Most Beautiful Names belong to Allāh , so call on Him by them, and leave the company of those who belie or deny (or utter impious speech against) His Names” [Al-A’raf, 7:180]

4. Begin it with Praising Allāh.

We should praise Allāh as He deserves before we call upon Him, as reported by Fadalah ibn ‘Ubayd (radiallāhu’anhu) who said:

Whilst the Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu `alaihi wa sallam) was sitting, a man came in and prayed and said, “O Allāh, forgive me and have mercy on me.”
The Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu `alaihi wa sallam) said, “You have been too hasty, O worshipper. When you have prayed and are sitting, praise Allāh as He deserves to be praised, and send blessings upon me, then call upon Him.” [At-Tirmidzi (3476): sahih]

According to another version : “When one of you prays, let him start with praise of Allāh, then let him send blessings upon the Prophet (Sallallāhu `alaihi wa sallam), then let him ask whatever he likes after that.” Then another man prayed after that, and he praised Allāh and sent blessings upon the Prophet (Sallallāhu `alaihi wa sallam). The Prophet (Sallallāhu `alaihi wa sallam) said: “O worshipper, ask and you will be answered.” [At-Tirmidzi 3477: sahih]

5 . Sending Blessings upon the Prophet (Sallallāhu `alaihi wa sallam).

The Prophet (Sallallāhu `alaihi wa sallam) said: “Every du’a is kept back until you send blessings upon the Prophet (Sallallāhu `alaihi wa sallam).” [Narrated by Al-Tabarani in Al-Awsat, 1/220; classified as sahih]

6 . Facing towards the Qiblah.

‘Umar ibn al-Khattab (radiallāhu’anhu) said: "On the day of Badar, the Messenger of Allāh  (Sallallāhu `alaihi wa sallam) looked at the mushrikeen, who were one thousand strong, and his companions numbered three hundred and nineteen. Then the Prophet of Allāh (Sallallāhu `alaihi wa sallam) turned to face the qiblah, then he stretched forth his hands and started to cry out to his Lord: “O Allāh, grant me what You have promised me, O Allāh, give me what You have promised me. O Allāh, if this small band of Muslims perishes, You will not be worshipped on earth.” He kept on crying out to his Lord, stretching forth his hands, facing towards the qiblah, until his cloak fell from his shoulders…" [Muslim (1763)]

Al-Nawawi (rahimullah) said: "This shows that it is mustahabb to face towards the qiblah when making duā’, and to raise the hands" [Sharh Muslim]

7. Raising the hands.

Salman (radiallāhu’anhu) said: The Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu `alaihi wa sallam) said:

“Your Lord, may He be blessed and exalted, is Kind and Most Generous, and He is too kind to let His slave, if he raises his hands to Him, bring them back empty.”  [Abu Dawud (1488), Classified as sahih]

The palm of the hand should be raised heavenwards, in the manner of a humble beggar who hopes to be given something. It was narrated from Malik ibn Yassar (radiallāhu’anhu) that the Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu `alaihi wa sallam) said:

“When you ask of Allāh, ask of Him with the palms of your hands, not with the backs of them” [Abu Dawud (1486); Classified as sahih]

Should the hands be held together when raising them or should there be a gap between them?  Ibn ‘Uthaymeen stated in al-Sharh al-Mumti’ (4/25) that they should be held together. What he said is: “There is no basis in the Sunnah or in the words of the scholars for separating them and holding them far apart from one another”

8. Tawakal that Allāh Will Respond

Having certain faith that Allāh will respond, and focusing with proper presence of mind, because the Prophet (Sallallāhu `alaihi wa sallam) said:

“Call upon Allāh when you are certain of a response, and remember that Allāh  will not answer a du’a that comes from a negligent and heedless heart.”

[Narrated by Al-Tirmidzi, 3479; classified as hasan by Al-Albāni in Sahih Al-Tirmidzi, 2766.]

9. Asking Allāh frequently.

A person should ask his Lord for whatever he wants of the good things in this world and the Hereafter, and he should beseech Allāh  in Duā’, and not seek a hasty response, because the Prophet (Sallallāhu `alaihi wa sallam) said:

 “The slave will receive a response so long as his duā’ does not involve sin or severing of family ties, and so long as he is not hasty.” It was said, “What does being hasty mean?” He said: “When he says, ‘I made du’a and I made Duā’, and I have not seen any response,’ and he gets frustrated and stops making Duā’.”[Narrated by Al-Bukhāri, 6340; Muslim, 2735.]

10. To Be Firm in Making the Duā’.

He should be firm in his Duā’, because the Prophet (Sallallāhu `alaihi wa sallam) said:

“No one of you should say, ‘O Allāh, forgive me if You wish, O Allāh, have mercy on me if You wish’; he should be firm in his asking, for Allāh cannot be compelled.” [Narrated by Al-Bukhari, 6339; Muslim, 2679.]

11 . Beseeching, Humility, Hope and Fear.

Allāh says: “Invoke your Lord with humility and in secret”  [Al-A’raf, 7:55]

“Verily, they used to hasten on to do good deeds, and they used to call on Us with hope and fear, and used to humble themselves before Us”  
[Al-Anbiya’, 21:60]

“And remember your Lord within yourself, humbly and with fear and without loudness in words in the mornings and in the afternoons”  [Al-A’raf, 7:20]

12. Saying Duā’s Three Times.

‘Abdallāh ibn Mas’ud (radiallāhu’anhu) said: “Whilst the Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu `alaihi wa sallam) was praying at the Ka’abah, Abu Jahal and his companions were sitting nearby. They had slaughtered a camel the previous day, and Abu Jahal said: “Which of you will go and get the abdominal contents of the camel of Banu So and so and put it on the back of Muhammad when he prostrates?” The worst of the people went and got it, and when the Prophet (Sallallāhu `alaihi wa sallam) prostrated, he placed it between his shoulders. They started laughing, leaning against one another. I was standing there watching, and if I had had any power, I would have lifted it from the back of the Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu `alaihi wa sallam). The Prophet (Sallallāhu `alaihi wa sallam) remained in prostration, not lifting his head, until someone went and told Fatimah. She came with Juwayriyyah, and lifted it from him, and then she turned to them and rebuked them. When the Prophet (Sallallāhu `alaihi wa sallam) had finished his prayer, he raised his voice and prayed against them – and when he made du’a or asked of Allāh  he would repeat it three times – and he said: “O Allāh , punish Quraysh” three times. When they heard his voice, they stopped laughing and were afraid because of his duā’. Then he said, “O Allāh, punish Abu Jahal ibn Hisham, ‘Utbah ibn Rabī’ah, Shaybah ibn Rabī’ah, al-Walīd ibn ‘Uqbah, Umayyah ibn Khalaf and ‘Uqbah ibn Abu Mu’īt,” and he mentioned the seventh but I cannot remember who it was. By the One Who sent Muhammad (Sallallāhu `alaihi wa sallam) with the truth, I saw those whom he had named slain on the day of Badar, then they were dragged and thrown into the well, the well of Badar.   [Al-Bukhari (240) and Muslim (1794)]

13. Ensuring that one’s Food and Clothing is Halal.

Muslim (1015) narrated that Abu Hurayrah (radiallāhu’anhu) said: The Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu `alaihi wa sallam) said: “O people, Allāh is Good and does not accept anything but that which is good. Allāh enjoins upon the believers the same as He enjoined upon the Messengers. He says:

‘O (you) Messengers! Eat of the Tayyibāt [all kinds of Halal (lawful) foods which Allāh has made lawful (meat of slaughtered eatable animals, milk products, fats, vegetables, fruits)] and do righteous deeds. Verily, I am Well Acquainted with what you do’ [Al-Mu’minun, 23:51]

‘O You who believe (in the Oneness of Allāh  — Islamic Monotheism)! Eat of the lawful things that We have provided you with’ [Al-Baqārah, 2:172]

Then he mentioned a man who travels for a long distance and is disheveled and dusty, and he stretches forth his hands towards heaven saying, ‘O Lord, O Lord,’ but his food is haram, his drink is haram, his clothing is haram, he has been nourished with harām, so how can he be responded to?

Ibn Rajab (rahimullāh) said: "Ensuring that one’s food, drink and clothing are halāl, and that one is nourished with halal, is a means of having one’s duā’ answered"

14 . Saying the Duā’ Quietly.

Allāh says: “Invoke your Lord with humility and in secret” [Al-A’rāf 7:55] And Allāh praised His slave Zakariyyah (‘alaihis-salam) by saying: “When he called to his Lord (Allāh) a call in secret” [Maryam, 19:3]

[Excerpted from Fatwa No: 36902 published in Islam QA]

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