THE Holy Qur’an says, “And your Lord says: call on me; I will answer your prayers but those who are too arrogant to serve me will surely find themselves in Hell – in humiliation.” (40:60) and the Prophet (PBUH) says, “Dua is the essence of worship. It therefore follows that Dua is the noblest and greatest form of worship. It emerges from the inner depths of the heart, an impelling yearning and a silent yell, seeking Allah’s good pleasure. Dua is complete and full submission to the Creator – it is an acceptance by the supplicatory that he is in need of Allah SWT and that man alone cannot achieve anything, without seeing Dua as the essence of worship. In defining Dua, Ibn al Qayyum says, it is “asking what is of benefit to the person and asking the removal of what is harming him, or (asking) the repelling of it (before it afflects him).” It would tantamount to arrogance, if any form of worship is not concluded with Dua.
It must be remembered that Dua can only be made to Allah SWT; Dua to anyone else is pure shirk, which is neither forgivable nor pardonable. Therefore, Dua must exemplify in itself, utmost humility and the subservience of the one making the Dua. “Says (O Prophet (PBUH)); I make Dua only to my Lord (Allah Alone), and I associate none as partners along with him (20:25)” “Of the seven most oft repeated verses is the following verse, which every Muslim says, at least 20 times every day, “you alone do we worship, and you alone do we seek help from” (Surah Al Fatihah:5). This verse is a complete Dua, itself. A supplicatory affirms that he worships Allah alone and seeks his pleasure, for here and the Hereafter. Unfortunately, even having expressed atleast verbally 20 times during the day, we all look at others for the fulfillment of our mundane or even spiritual desires, from the creation. We all need to go back to ponder, so that we begin to practise and submit to what we say while reciting the verses of the Holy Quran.In following with the Prophet’s traditions a good Muslim seeks the bounties and blessings of this world and the world beyond! Asking for one and ignoring the other would not be within the confines of ‘bashariat’ or the middle and moderate path, which recognizes that as children of Adam, we are prone to committing sins and faults. Abu Ammar Yasir Qadhi, a Saudi Arabian writer says that the entire Dua of all of the creation centres around four pillars; firstly that good exists, secondly; good that is desired, thirdly; evil that exists and fourthly; evil that does not exist. The last verses of Surah Al-Imran contain the most comprehensive Dua that embodies all the four pillars. “Our Lord! Forgive our sins and remit us from our evil deeds and cause us to die in a state of righteousness. Our Lord! Grant us what you promised us through your messengers and do not disgrace us on the Day of Judgement, for you never break your promise” (Al Imran: 93-194). So the phase, “forgive us.” is a Dua that an existing evil be removed. And the phase, “Cause us to die.” Is a Dua asking that an existing good, that of the presence of Iman, continue and not be taken away until death. And the phase, “Grant us.”, is a Dua for a good that does not yet exist to be given. Lastly the phase, “do not disgrace.” Is a Dua to avert an evil that does not exist.
Narrated Abu Hurrah that the Prophet (PBUH) said: “There is nothing that is more noble in the sight of Allah than Dua”. In the armory of a true believer, Dua is powerful weapon, a cure of diseases, an assurance of receiving only that which is good, a source of optimism, and a dialogue with the creator and the most easy form of worship. One of the pre-requisite amongst the etiquette of Dua, that is common to all Muslims, is the raising of hands during Dua. The Prophet (PBUH) always raised his hand for Dua and this is stated in numerous ahadidth. It is narrated through Salman Al Farsi, (R.A.) that the Prophet (PBUH) said, “Indeed Allah is shy and beneficent. He is shy when his servant raises his hands to Him (in Dua) to return them empty, disappointed”. All praise be to Allah SWT that He feels shy when His servant raises his hands in supplication! While making the Dua, it is important that one’s palms face upwards and not the back of one’s hands. Malik Ibn Yasser narrated that the Prophet (PBUH) said, “If you ask Allah then ask Him with the palms of your hands outwards and not with the outward portion of the hands (i.i. with palms facing down). Putting the palms down is an act of arrogance.
In making Dua, be in a state of abolition, facing the Kiblah, with absolute humility, expecting the best from Allah, acknowledging one’s sins and imploring Him earnestly by mentioning His attributes and repeating Dua with faith and what would emerge is only the pleasure of Allah SWT. It must also be remembered that it is desirable that when making due, it is best to ask for own self, first. Dua is the heart of worship and its foundation. Dua is the most powerful weapon of a true behavior. In this Holy month of Ramazan, let us make a collective Dua for the good of each of us and for the well-being of this beautiful country that came into existence in this Holy month.
— The writer is a senior banker with interest in Religion.