The Excellence and Benefits of Du’a

Du’a is the most noble act in the sight of Allah, all glory and praises be to Him. This is recognised in the hadith narrated by Abu Hurayrah in which the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

“There is nothing more noble in the sight of Allah than du’a” (Recorded in Ahmad)

This is because du’a shows our poverty and incapability to Allah. It is a manner of humiliating one’s self to Allah and acknowledging His power and capabilities. It is also noble because it is confirmed as an act of worship as was discussed in a previous post.

When we make du’a, we obey Allah in His order:

“And Call upon Him, making the religion Sincerely to Him” (Surah al-Araf:29)

“And your Lord has said: Make du’a to Me, I will respond to you.” (Surah Ghafir:60)

Therefore we will be rewarded if we make du’a to Allah because we have obeyed Allah’s command, even if our du’a is not responded to.

Allah is close to His servant when they makes du’a, as He states in the Qur’an:

“And when My servants ask you concerning Me, then (answer them), I am indeed near to them. I respond to the supplications of the supplicant when he calls on Me!” (Surah al-Baqarah:186)

The fact that Allah mentions du’a immediately after stating that He is close to them, shows us that this is one of the ways in which a person can come closer to Allah, and one of the ways in which Allah will come closer to Him.

In fact, were it not for du’a, Allah would not care about the creation. This alone should make us realise its importance. All praises and glory be to Allah who tells us:

“Say (O Muhammad): My Lord only pays attention to you because of your du’a to Him. But now you have indeed rejected (Him), so the (torment) will be yours permanently.”(Surah al-Furqan:77)

In his tafseer of this verse, Qurtubi records that it means that Allah did not create us because He had a need for us, He created us so that we would ask Him, and He could forgive us and give us what we ask for.

La hawla wa la quwwatta illah billah! What a truly amazing thought – Allah created us so that we ask of Him. Subhan’Allah. Let’s fulfill His command.

Allah is al-Barr, the Generous and al-Karim, the Kind. The concept of du’a proves the extreme generosity and infinite kindness of Allah, all praises and glory be to Him. As every single created being asks Allah for its needs day and night, Allah gives and gives and gives. He tells us:

“All that is in the Heavens and earth begs of Him (its needs); Everyday He has a matter to bring forth.” (Surah ar-Rahman:29)

When we ask of Allah, we are demonstrating our own humility before Him and freeing ourselves from arrogance. This is why Allah has stated:

“And your Lord has said: Make du’a to Me, I will respond to You. For whoever is (too) haughty (and arrogant) to worship Me will enter the Fire of Hell, in a state of humiliation.” (Surah Ghafir:60)

In fact, our du’a actually repels Allah’s anger. Abu Hurayrah narrated from the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him:

“Verily the person who does not ask Allah, Allah gets angry at him.” (Recorded in al-Tirmidhi)

It also repels misfortune and has the power to change a current calamity. The Prophet, peace be upon him stated:

“Caution will not benefit against predestination, but du’a benefits (matters) that have occurred and that are (yet) to occur. And indeed, du’a meets a calamity, and fights it until the Day of Judgement.” (Recorded in al-Tabarani)

No matter how cautious we are, we will never be able to save ourselves from Allah’s decree. The only way to repel our qadr is by resorting to du’a. So we should never give up hope of the mercy of Allah, no matter what has befallen us. We should always raise our hands to Allah to sincerely ask that our misfortune is lifted and removed.

Ibn al-Qayyim has mentioned that three possibilities with regards to du’a and Divine Decree. Firstly, it is possible that the du’a is stronger than the Decree, and thus, repels it permanently. Secondly, it is possibly that the du’a is weaker than the Decree, so the Decree occurs, but the du’a softens it a little bit. Thirdly, they could be of equal strength, so that each prevents the other from acting. Either way, our du’a is certainly worthwhile.

When a person realises that everything occurs by the Will and Power of Allah, they also realise that the best way to achieve their goal is to ask Allah. As such, we should make the best of plans to realise our goal, and then use our optimum means to achieve it – du’a. Know that verily, du’a is a characteristic of the true believer. Allah, all praises and glory be to Him, who describes some of His favoured servants as those who frequently makedu’a:

“Verily, they used to hasten to do good deeds, and they used to make du’a to Us with hope and fear, and used to humble themselves before Us.” (Surah al-Anbiya:90)

And Allah promises to answer our call! The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

“There is no person who asks Allah for anything except that Allah gives it to him, or keeps away from him a similar evil, as long as he does not ask for something evil or for breaking the ties of kinship.” At this, a person said to the Prophet, peace be upon him: ‘In that case, we will ask for plenty!’ The Prophet, peace be upon him, responded: ‘Allah is more plentiful!’” (Recorded in al-Tirmidhi)

This is clear proof that Allah has taken it upon himself to respond to the du’a of every person who asks Him, with the condition that the person who asks Him fulfils the appropriate conditions (more on these in coming posts inshaAllah).

Du’a is also a cause for victory over our enemies, and this is one of the reasons why thedu’a made on the battlefield between Muslims and non-Muslims is guaranteed an answer.  We see this in the Qur’an in example of Dawud:

“And when they (Talut and Dawud) advanced to meet Jaluth (Goliath), they prayed: ‘Our Lord! Pour forth on us patience, and make us victorious over the disbelieving people.’ So they defeated them by Allah’s permission.” (Surah al-Baqarah: 250-251)

It is also a weapon of the weak and wronged. How great is the mercy of Allah that he gives the weak a weapon against the tyrant! Du’a is a weapon that everyone can afford to possess, and it may well be the that the du’a of the poorest is the strongest in the sight of Allah.

Du’a is also a cure for all diseases both physical and spiritual, including desires and doubts. Verily, all the problems relating to the soul stem from these two types of disease – doubt and desire, and du’a is our weapon against them. When we make sincere du’a we will feel closer to our Creator and find a way out of the problems that are facing us. This knowledge in turn lifts our spirits and helps to make us more optimistic about our situation. In this way du’a lights up our path and helps us to exit darkness.

Ibn al-Qayyim said: “Du’a is of the most beneficial cures, and it is the enemy of all diseases. It fights them, and cures them, and prevents their occurrence, and causes them to be raised up or reduced after its occurence. It is the weapon of the believer.”

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