A short guide to Du'a (supplication) in Islam

“When my servants ask you concerning me, (tell them) I am indeed close (to them. I listen to the prayer of every supplicant when he calls me.” (Qur’an 2:186)

Du’a or supplication is a form of worship in Islam and one of the best actions done by a Muslim. It is beloved to Allah Subhanu Wa Ta’ala (SWT) (Glorified and Exalted is He).
There are some pre-conditions for Du’a to be accepted. They are:
1. To realise that only Allah SWT is able to hear and respond to Du’a.
2. To make Du’a towards Allah SWT only.
3. To make Du’a for things that are lawful and permissible.
4. To have an attentive heart during Du’a.
Abdullah ibn ‘Umar reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Hearts are like vessels, some more attentive and capacious than others. When you supplicate to Allah you should be certain of being answered, and know that Allah does not answer a supplication that comes from a careless and inattentive heart.” (Ahmad)

Recommended etiquettes of Du’a:
1. Praising Allah SWT. Then, sending peace and blessings upon the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Following this, ask for what you want.
2. Raising the hands up to shoulder level with palms facing upwards (Bukhari)
3. Facing the Qibla (towards Mecca) (Bukhari)
4. To expect the best from Allah SWT and that he will respond sooner or later.
Additional etiquettes it’s worth noting that are not as important as the previous four…
5. Be in a state of wudhu (purification)
6. Call upon Allah using His specific names and attributes
7. Repeat the Du’a three times (Bukhari)
8. To make Du’a when in ease as well as during difficulty
9. Make Du’a for all needs
10. Make Du’a for the hereafter as well as this life

Recommended times for Du’a:
1. In the last third of the night
2. Between the Adhan (call to prayer) and the Iqamah (second call of prayer) (Tirmidhi)
3. When prostrating (Muslim)
4. After the Asr prayer, just before sunset (Abu Dawud)
5. When rain falls (Abu Dawud)
6. Whilst fasting (Tirmidhi)
7. Whilst travelling (Abu Dawud)
8. When drinking Zam Zam Water (Ahmad)
Note: This is not an exhaustive list and there are many other times Allah SWT will accept Du’a.

Implications of making Du’a may lead to three main possibilities: (Ahmad)
1. The Du’a is responded to straightaway
2. The Du’a will avert an equal evil
3. The Du’a appears as reward for the Muslim in the hereafter

Important Points:
It’s important to remember that good deeds aid in one’s Du’a being responded to, while unlawful income can prevent Du’a being accepted.
The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) mentioned [the case] of a man who, having journeyed far, is dishevelled and dusty, and who spreads out his hands to the sky saying “O Lord! O Lord!,” while his food is haram (unlawful), his drink is haram, his clothing is haram, and he has been nourished with haram, so how can [his supplication] be answered?” (Muslim)
But, if we feel like our Du’a’s are not been answered, it’s important to remember that the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) advised it has been answered.
Finally, we should try to remember that difficult moments are tests from Allah SWT and that “Truly with hardship comes ease” [Qur’an, 94:6].
Further, remember that “Allah does not burden souls with more than they can manage” [Qur’an, 2:286]. Appreciate the blessings of Allah SWT upon you and your family, be grateful for them, and Allah will increase you, “If you are thankful, I will surely increase you” [Qur’an, 14:7].
And realise that when Allah puts a supplication on one’s tongue, it is a sign that He wants to give you that thing. So have high hopes, be certain of a response, and trust in Allah SWT.


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A Short Guide to Du’a (Supplication) in Islam

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