Allah says “When my servants ask you concerning me, (tell them) I am indeed close (to them). I listen to the prayer of every suppliant when he calls on me”. [Surah al-Baqarah/02, v:186]
Du‘ā or supplication or invocation, is an essential part of the faith, as all Muslims would agree. However, a large number of Muslims do not seem to realise the full significance of du‘ā and the necessity for a believer to call unto Allah as often as possible. Moreover the Prophet (Sallallaahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) defined du‘ā as worship, “Supplication (du‘ā) is worship (‘ibaadah)”. [Abu Dawood]
Supplication to Allah has great merit rather than a mere request from Allah. To supplicate to Allah and Allah alone is to recognise that only Allah can answer the du‘ās. All creatures rely and are totally dependent on their Creator.
Allah mentions in the Qur-aan, “O people! It is you who stand in need of Allah, but Allah is Rich (free of all wants and needs), worthy of all praise”. [Surah al-Faatir/35, v:15]
Rasoolullah (Sallallaahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) said: “Nothing is more honourable to Allah the Most High than du‘a”. [Sahih al-Jami’ no.5268]. He also said: “The most excellent worship is du‘a”. [Sahih al-Jami’ no. 1133].
It is easy to ask for what we want, why then is it so difficult for us to sit and make a sincere du‘ā that takes a little of our time. It is indeed foolish of us if we do not take advantage of this bounty. Imagine directly speaking to your Lord through salaam and du‘a! What could be greater? Rasoolullah (Sallallaahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) said: “The most incapable person is the one who does not make du‘a, and the most miserly person is the one who does not give salaam”. [Sahih al-Jami’ no. 1055]
Allah is definitely not in need of our supplications. But it is a sign of a proud slave to not ask of the King of kings. Why will we not ask when He is waiting for us? Allah mentions in the Qur-aan, “O mankind! It is you who stand in need of Allah, but Allah is Rich (Free of all wants and needs), Worthy of All Praise”. [Surah Faatir/35, v:15] Supplicating to Allah shows that we need Him and that He is as-Samad, free from all wants yet the entire creation is dependant on Him. This is indeed a sign of Allah’s greatness.
Some people say “How can I ask Allah for a new dress or a car?”. But if you cannot ask Allah, then who can you turn to?
Rasoolullah (Sallallaahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) said: “Ask Allah for everything, even the lace of your shoes. If Allah does not provide, it will never be available”. [Ibn as-Sunni, no. 349 – hasan. Supported by at-Tirmidhi 4/298 and others.] Let us not lose hope in asking Allah. Allah mentions in the Qur-aan “Do not lose hope in the mercy of Allah”. [Surah Zumar/39, v:53] and “And your Lord said: ‘Invoke Me, I will respond to your (supplication)’”. [Surah al-Ghaafir/40, v:60]
Is there anyone who met a king, and praised and glorified him, and then asked, yet the request was not granted? So would the King of the Heavens and the Earth, the One who is Most generous of all that is in the Heavens and Earth not grant you your request? Rasoolullah (Sallallaahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) said: “Verily your Lord is the One modest and Generous, and when His servant raises his hands to Him in supplication, He is diffident (in some wordings, shy or hesitant) from returning them empty”. [Ahmad, Abu Dawood and at-Tirmidhi – Hasan]
We hear people say “I ask, but Allah does not hear me”. This is despair and doubt. If we can just have a bit of patience and keep hope and faith alive, we will not doubt Allah, The Mighty, The Wise. Allah tells us that “When my servants ask you concerning me, (tell them) I am indeed close (to them). I listen to the prayer of every suppliant when he calls on me”. [Surah Baqarah/02, v:186] How can we doubt the words of Allah in which Allah when we know that Allah never breaks His promise. Allah will answer our prayers even if it is after some time.
Response to a du‘ā (supplication) may be granted in one of three forms. This is explained in the hadeeth narrated by ‘Ubaadah ibn Sawmit (RadiyAllaahu ‘anhu) who reported that Rasoolullah (Sallallaahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) said, “Whenever a Muslim supplicates to Allah, He grants his supplication or averts some kind of evil from him so long as he does not supplicate for something sinful or something that would cut off the ties of kinship”. Thereupon someone said: Then we shall supplicate plenty. Rasoolullah (Sallallaahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) said: Allah is more plentiful in responding.” [at-Tirmidhi, al–Hakim’s version adds: “…grants an equivalent reward for him”.]
A person should also not be hasty in his prayer being answered. Rasoolullah (Sallallaahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) warned us by saying, “Your supplication is answered as long as you are not hasty, he (the supplicant) says I have supplicated but was not granted (what I asked for)”. [al Bukhaari & Muslim].
Keep your livelihood pure, encourage good and prevent evil and In-shaa-Allah our du‘ās will be answered.