Worship is the essence of every religion. The believers offer prayers and supplications not only to fulfill their religious obligations but, at the same time, in a quest to reach out to their creator. Likewise, the Muslims also offer prayers but somewhat in a different way. It’s an integral part of their daily life pattern.
Per their faith, Muslims have to offer compulsory prayers (namaz) five times a day. Additionally, saying Duas frequently throughout the day and night is very common among Muslims. In Islam, various duas are specific for certain events and occasions, whereas many are for general purposes. For Muslims, Dua in itself is a type of worship.
What is a Dua?
Dua is an Arabic word that can be translated as “Invocation.” The other alternative may be “Prayers” or “Supplication”. Dua is a way of reaching out to Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى, seeking His guidance and help. Dua is a humble request to Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى seeking His mercy, guidance, and help. It is preferable to make our supplication by facing the Qibla.
To know the direction of Qibla, please read this article.
Dua can be categorized into different types, specifically for certain events or occasions, such as dua for traveling. The other type of dua is the one that Muslims recite for their overall well-being, prosperity, peace, and health. This can be referred to as general purpose dua, which can be offered anytime, anywhere. Another type of Dua is the one you often recite in the five compulsory prayers.
So many duas are available in the Quran, commonly referred to as “Quranic Duas.” Additionally, we have several duas that were taught directly by the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ to his companions and followers. Both these types are the most authentic and esteemed duas. You can find various such duas in different Hadith books.
How to Recite a Dua?
Generally, duas can be recited anytime during the day or night. You can offer a dua while you are at work, traveling, or relaxing at home. This means you don’t need any special preparation for making a general-purpose dua.
However, for making a formal dua, the scholars have suggested various etiquettes, as learned from Sunnah and Hadith. Let’s see what these are.
- First of all, make the intention. As said above, dua is a type of worship in itself. So, you need to make the intention, as you make at the start of any other worship, such as prayers. Just make up your mind about what you need to beg from Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى
- Make wudu. Though not compulsory, it is better to make wudu before you present yourself in front of Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى
- Face towards Qibla or the holy city of Mecca if you are in a far-off area.
- Raise your hands. This is a gesture of humbleness, which makes your dua more effective.
- Start your dua with praise to Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى followed by darood on Prophet Muhammad ﷺ.
- Say your dua in a low voice. Though most of the Duas are in Arabic, you may also say dua in your native language. But use respectful words and remain focused on reciting a dua.
- End your dua with praise to Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى and darood on Prophet Muhammad ﷺ.
- Use one or more Allah’s name سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى while making dua. Calling Him with one of such names makes your dua more respectful and effective.
How to Use Allah’s Names in Dua?
Using one or more of the names of Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى is a much recommended way of making a dua. As we know very well, there are 99 names of Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى. 180th verse of Surah Al Araf narrates as under:
وَلِلَّهِ الْأَسْمَاءُ الْحُسْنَىٰ فَادْعُوهُ بِهَا ۖ وَذَرُوا الَّذِينَ يُلْحِدُونَ فِي أَسْمَائِهِ ۚ سَيُجْزَوْنَ مَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ
“Allah has the most excellent names. So call on Him by His names and shun those who distort them. They shall soon be requited for their deeds.”
It reflects the importance of the Allah names. So, it is much better to call Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى with one of His names, most relevant to your dua. For example, one of the beautiful names of Allah is Ar-Razzak (ٱلْرَّزَّاقُ), which means “Provider.” So, if you are saying dua for more resources, you should call Him with this name.
But you need to call Him correctly. Replace “Al,” “Ar,” or “As” with “Ya.” So, in the above-referred example, you should call Him “Ya-Razzaq” while making a dua instead of “Ar-Razzaq.”
Hadith 6410 of Sahi Al-Bukhari:
حَدَّثَنَا عَلِيُّ بْنُ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ، حَدَّثَنَا سُفْيَانُ، قَالَ حَفِظْنَاهُ مِنْ أَبِي الزِّنَادِ عَنِ الأَعْرَجِ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، رِوَايَةً قَالَ ” لِلَّهِ تِسْعَةٌ وَتِسْعُونَ اسْمًا، مِائَةٌ إِلاَّ وَاحِدًا، لاَ يَحْفَظُهَا أَحَدٌ إِلاَّ دَخَلَ الْجَنَّةَ، وَهْوَ وَتْرٌ يُحِبُّ الْوَتْرَ ”
“Allah has ninety-nine Names, i.e., one hundred minus one, and whoever believes in their meanings and acts accordingly, will enter Paradise; and Allah is witr (one) and loves ‘the witr’ (i.e., odd numbers).”
So, start with praise to Allah followed by Darood on Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and say your dua by calling Him with one of his beautiful names that may be relevant to your dua. And end your dua with Darood on Prophet ﷺ. Remain humble, keep your voice low, and ask whatever you need.
Recite your dua with the firm belief that it will be heard and accepted. Hadith Number 3556 of Jami Al-Tirmidhi narrates
حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ بَشَّارٍ، حَدَّثَنَا ابْنُ أَبِي عَدِيٍّ، قَالَ أَنْبَأَنَا جَعْفَرُ بْنُ مَيْمُونٍ، صَاحِبُ الأَنْمَاطِ عَنْ أَبِي عُثْمَانَ النَّهْدِيِّ، عَنْ سَلْمَانَ الْفَارِسِيِّ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ” إِنَّ اللَّهَ حَيِيٌّ كَرِيمٌ يَسْتَحِي إِذَا رَفَعَ الرَّجُلُ إِلَيْهِ يَدَيْهِ أَنْ يَرُدَّهُمَا صِفْرًا خَائِبَتَيْنِ ” . قَالَ أَبُو عِيسَى هَذَا حَدِيثٌ حَسَنٌ غَرِيبٌ . وَرَوَاهُ بَعْضُهُمْ وَلَمْ يَرْفَعْهُ
Salman Al-Farsi narrated that the Prophet (ﷺ) said:
“Indeed, Allah, is Hayy, Generous, when a man raises his hands to Him, He feels too shy to return them to him empty and rejected.”
Dua is the essence of every worship; rather, it is a kind of worship. As Muslims, we are blessed enough to have so many Duas relevant to every aspect of our life and daily routine matters. We have specific duas for traveling, health, prosperity, wealth, marriage, etc. You think of anything and you will find a specific dua for that.