Category Archives: Duaa

“And when My servants ask you, concerning Me – indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me [by obedience] and believe in Me that they may be [rightly] guided.” (02:186)

After Tasleem

tasbeeh

After ending the prayer, we are often in a rush to join the rat race of life, and get back to work, and the endless list of chores. But in our hurry we miss out on a great deal of blessings and opportunities that take no more than a few moments.

The Prophet  said: “The angels invoke blessings on any of you who remains in his prayer place as long as he does not invalidate his ablution, saying, ‘O Allaah, forgive him; O Allaah, have mercy on him.’” [Maalik, Al-Bukhaari and others]

We all are acquainted with the tasbeeh, and the regular duaa; ‘Allahumma antas salaam..’ and the rewards for saying such. But nonetheless here is a brief reminder;

Muslim narrated from Ka‘b ibn ‘Ujrah that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Dhikrs after the prayer, the one who says them or does them after each obligatory prayer will not be disappointed: thirty-three tasbeehahs, thirty-three tahmeedahs and thirty-four takbeerahs.”

Al-Mugheerah ibn Shu‘bah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) used to say, following every obligatory prayer: “Laa ilaaha ill-Allah wahdahu laa shareeka lah, lahu’l-mulk wa lahu’l-hamd wa huwa ‘ala kulli shay’in qadeer, Allaahumma laa maani’ lima a’tayta wa laa mu’ti lima mana’ta wa la yanfa’ dhaa’l-jadd minka al-jadd.” (There is no god except Allah alone with no partner or associate, His is the sovereignty and to Him be praise and He is able to do all things. O Allah, none can withhold what You give and none can give what You withhold, and no wealth or majesty can benefit anyone for from You is all wealth and majesty).” (Bukhari)

But how about the less common dhikhr? Let’s take the time to memorise these adhkaar so that we may reap the benefits in the hereafter;

Ibn ‘Umar said: Whoever says following every prayer and when he goes to bed, ‘Allahu akbar kabeera ‘adad ash-shaf‘i wa’l-witr, wa kalimaat Allah at-taammaati at-tayyibaati al-mubaarakaat (Allah is Most Great the number of the even and the odd, and the blessed, pure, perfect words of Allah)’ three times, and ‘Laa ilaaha ill-Allah (there is no god but Allah) the same number of times, they will be light  for him in his grave, and light on the jisr (bridge), and light on the siraat (bridge over Hell), until they admit him to Paradise, or until he enters Paradise.’

(Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah 29256, with a Sahih isnad)

Short and simple, easy to say and remember, but how many of us will make the effort? We seldom realise that the grave is a reality, and it is dark, and will be even more so for one who fails to enlighten it before death overtakes him. And how about the ‘Jisr’ and the ‘Siraat’? The Siraat as we know; it is thinner than a hair yet sharper than a blade. Some will be able to race across, their lights guiding them, and others will fall to the depths of hell. As for the jisr, some scholars say it is the siraat and others say it is the Qantara between hellfire and paradise on which muslims will retract their rights from each other if they were wronged. Nonetheless whichever of the two it is, we will need light to guide us across.

“On the Day you see the believing men and believing women, their light proceeding before them and on their right, [it will be said], “Your good tidings today are [of] gardens beneath which rivers flow, wherein you will abide eternally.” That is what is the great attainment. On the [same] Day the hypocrite men and hypocrite women will say to those who believed, “Wait for us that we may acquire some of your light.” It will be said, “Go back behind you and seek light.” And a wall will be placed between them with a door, its interior containing mercy, but on the outside of it is torment.” (Surah Hadid 57:12-13)

So let us learn this short duaa, and implement it, so that we will be amongst those believers who possess a light to guide them.

‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “There are two qualities, whoever adheres to them they will admit him to Paradise. They are simple but those who do them are few.” They said: What are they, O Messenger of Allah? He said: “To praise Allah, magnify Him and glorify Him following every obligatory prayer, ten times each; and when you go to bed, glorify Allah and magnify Him and praise Him one hundred times each. (That will be) two hundred and fifty on the tongue and two thousand five hundred in the Balance.

(Collected by Ahmad, It was classed as hasan by the commentators on al-Musnad.)

We know that praising Allah and glorifying Him holds immense weight in filling our scales, and it is beloved to Allah. So what further encouragement do we need to spare a few moments to praise Allah, thanking Him for His innumerable bounties that He has bestowed upon us? Paradise is waiting, its gates are calling, its scent is tempting…but what will we do to earn the paradise of our Lord?

Zainab Dowlut, AAT

Praise

alhamdulilah 3

If you could hear the pens of the angels as they write everything you did, how would you behave? How would feel, if you heard them writing down a deed you did, and classed it as a good deed. A surge of emotions would rush over you, washing over your entire being, and it would affect you to your core, just as when a wave washes over the beach, reaching deep beneath, and affecting even the tiniest particle of sand.

Now, on the same thought trail, it never ceases to amaze me that thirty angels rushed to write down the words uttered by one man in the spur of a moment. Perhaps you are unaware of the words I am referring to; nonetheless picture a scene in which thirty angels, who are perfect, sinless and in complete obedience to Allah, compete and race to note a few words; a small phrase, simply because of their happiness and the value it carries. The angels assigned to write this man’s deeds, did not simply write these words down. No. Rather, thirty angels, rushed to do so, they were eager, they hurried. I shall narrate to you the incident,

Abu Rifa’ bin Rafi Az-Zuraqi said, “one day we were praying behind the Prophet (peace be upon him). When he raised his head from bowing (ruku’) he said, ‘Sami’ Allahu liman hamidah.’ (Allah hears those who praise Him.) A man behind him said, ‘rabbana wa lakal hamd, hamdan katheeran tayyiban mubarakan feeh’ meaning, ‘O our Lord, all praises are for you, many good and blessed praises.’ When the Prophet completed the prayer, he asked, ‘Who said these words?’ The man replied, ‘I.’ The Prophet said, ‘I saw over thirty angels competing to write it first.” (Sahih Bukhari, Vol 1, Book 12, No 764)

ruku

The Prophet (peace be upon him, related to us about another similar situation. He (peace be upon him), said, “A servant of Allah once said ‘O Allah, Yours is the Hamd that is suitable for the grace of Your face and the greatness of Your supreme authority.’ The two angels were confused as to how to write these words. They ascended to Allah and said, ‘O our Lord! A servant has just uttered a statement and we are unsure of how to record it for him. Allah said, while having more knowledge in what His servant had said, ‘What did my servant say?’ They said, ‘He said, ‘O Allah, Yours is the Hamd that is suitable for the Grace of Your face and the greatness of Your supreme authority.’’ Allah said to them, ‘Write is as my servant has said it, until he meets Me, and then I shall reward him for it.’” (Ibn Majah 2:1249)

hamd

Amazing isn’t it? Wouldn’t you want the angels to do the same for you? Such short simple words, easy to remember, and pleasing to the Lord of the Worlds. Don’t you anticipate the reward of Allah, which is incomparable to anything you have ever seen, heard or experienced before and superior to it?

As human beings we love it when we are praised. We love it when others voice admiration of us, when they compliment us, we thrive on it. Now, for Allah is the highest and best of examples.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) is reported to have said, “Verily, your Lord likes Al-Hamd (praise).” (Collected by Ahmad and An-Nisa’i)

Many of us work hard in youth and old age to please our parents. To ensure they are happy, that they are content with what we do. If we see them sad, or unsmiling we will do everything in our power to make them smile, and will even ask what makes them frown. Their worries are our concerns. Their pains are our sufferings, because we love them, because of their care and devotion to us. We will go to the ends of the world to make our parents pleased. Shouldn’t this be even more so for our Rabb, who has taken care of each and every one of us, and not neglected us? And you know what, even our Rabb smiles, Glory be to Him!

When Ali was asked about ‘Alhamdulilah’ he said, “a statement that Allah liked for Himself, was pleased with for Himself, and He likes that it be repeated.” (At-Tabari 1:13, and mentioned in Tafseer Ibn Kathir, Abridged English Version, Volume 1)

Moreover, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “The best dhikr is ‘Laa ilaha illallah’ and the best supplication is ‘Alhamdulillah.” (At-Tirmidhi, An-Nisa’I and Ibn Majah)

Immerse yourself in praising Allah, for ‘hamd’ is a general statement of praise, signifying that all praise is for Allah, alone, not any of the objects worshipped instead of Him or besides Him. It is a praise that Allah has praised Himself with, indicating that we too should participate in His praise.

 

The Duaa of Yunus

dua of yunus as edit

“None has the right to be worshipped except You, glory be to You, verily I was amongst the wrong-doers.”

These short and few words have a hefty meaning. They saved Prophet Yunus (as) from imminent death, and relieved his distress.

The Prophet (Saw) said, “the invocation of my brother Dhun-Nun (The companion of the fish, i.e. Yunus) ‘None has the right to be worshipped except You, glory be to You, verily I was amongst the wrongdoers,’ none who is experiencing difficulty employs it except that Allah would relieve him of his difficulty.” (Tirmidhi and others)

The duaa is a powerful one, it encompasses both ‘duaa al Ibaadah’ and ‘duaa al-Mas alah’ (the supplication of worship and the supplication of request). It also combines tahleel (praising Allah) and tasbeeh (Glorifying Allah). Yunus (a.s) turned to Allah alone, and negated the worship of anything besides Allah. He affirmed the oneness of Allah, and his unique right to be worshipped, i.e. Tawheed Uloohiyyah. He singled out Allah, as the only one who could help him, the only one who could relieve his distress. He then exalted Allah (tasbeeh), through which he absolved Allah of any imperfection.  He also openly confessed his mistake, which was an indirect request for forgiveness.

The acknowledgement by Yunus (a.s) of his sin, was a comprehension that his sin caused the affliction of evil. As Allah says in the Quraan, “and whatever of misfortune befalls you, it is because of what your hands have earned.” (42:30) Yunus (a.s) wanted relief from his distress, and he realised the best way Allah would ease his situation was to seek forgiveness from what he done.

This supplication removes harm because, when one recites it, he places hope, fear and reliance on Allah alone. He acknowledges that Allah alone can remove harm and distress. “If Allah touches you with harm, none can remove it but Him. If He touches you with good, He has power over all things.” (06:17) In Allah alone we should trust to remove our difficulties. Moreover, sins are a cause for harm and affliction, thus forgiveness naturally is the remedy. The Prophet (Saw) said, “whoever frequently asks for forgiveness, Allah would appoint for him relief from every worry, a way out from every difficulty and provision coming from unimaginable sources.” (Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah and Ahmad) Ibn Taymiyyah explained regarding this duaa, “the testification to Tawheed opens the door to good, and asking for forgiveness closes the door to evil.”

In conclusion, the duaa of Prophet Yunus holds a high status, Allah mentioned it in the Quraan and the Prophet (Saw) recommended us to use it when in distress. It affirms Tawheed, glorifies Allah, admits to sin and seeks Allah’s forgiveness, in less than two lines. It is easy to memorise and will not take long to remember. I ask Allah to relieve all our distress and forgive our sins. Ameen.

Recommended Reading: The Relief From Distress: An explanation to the du’a of Prophet Yunus By Shaykul Islam Ibn Taymiyyah

Bibi Zainab Dowlut,

Editor-in-Chief, AAT

Duaa and Depression

duaa and depression(1)

Every year many people pass away due to depression. Depression and other mental illnesses affect muslims and non-muslims alike. However as muslims, Islam has given us solutions to every problem, a cure for every ailment and a relief from every distress. We shouldn’t alienate people who suffer from mental illnesses, and the stigma found in the west should not be found in our communities.

Many who die due to depression are celebrities and comedians. How can depression affect someone who is living the “dream life”  or one who lives to laugh?

Well, it is rather simple.

Allah says, “And the life of this world is nothing but play and amusement.” (06:32) This is for the disbeliever, who seeks to gain nothing out of this world, but enjoyment. They chase after their desires until there is nothing left for them. This world is a paradise for the disbeliever because they live to enjoy, as their saying goes, “You Only Live Once (YOLO).” They cherish every moment of fun, and want to make it last for ever. When they realise it will not last forever, and the fun is over, their lives do not have any meaning. And so begins the downhill ride into depression. The prophet (peace be upon him) said, “the world is a prison for the believer and a paradise for the disbeliever.”(Muslim) When the disbelievers arrive at the hereafter there will be no paradise for them, no more enjoyment. There will be nothing but torment and pain, as recompense for their denial of Allah. They don’t have anything to look forward to, nothing to keep them going; that’s why they suffer from depression. For the muslim on the other hand, this life is serious, because what we do here, determines how we will end up on the other side. Our life on this earth is seemingly a prison, because we do not live to do as we please, we restrain ourselves, and live by the rules ordained by Allah. This life is a stepping-stone to our hereafter, we appreciate every moment of our life as an opportunity to increase our ranks in the real paradise.

We are on this earth with a purpose, how do we have time to feel depression? If one obey the commands of Allah, and busies themselves with preparing for the hereafter, then depression cannot affect them to the extent that life loses it worth. When you have tasted the sweetness of imaan then nothing can break you. Nothing can hurt or harm you. Nothing can defeat you, because Allah is on your side. As a muslim, you have something to look forward to. Something to keep you busy. Something to make you happy.

Ibn Taymiyyah famously said, “indeed there is a paradise in this world, whoever does not enter it, will not enter the paradise of the hereafter.” This statement seems controversial to what the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said. However, what Ibn Taymiyyah was referring to as the paradise of this world which leads to the paradise of the hereafter is Imaan. The sweetness of imaan. It is this sweetness that you look forward to when you go to pray. It is what you yearn to taste when you fast. This sweetness is the pleasure of Allah, and it is the whole reason, we strive and struggle.

So, why talk about depression and duaa, if a muslim should not experience depression?

No one is perfect. Imaan fluctuates; it rises and falls. So perhaps in a state of low imaan a muslim may experience depression. Perhaps as a result of low imaan a person feels depression. or perhaps due to other factors, be they situational or otherwise a perhaps experiences this ‘dip.’

Nevertheless, whatever the cause of depression, anguish or anxiety, duaa is the solution. None else can relieve such stress except the One who gave it to you in the first place. Whenever a matter grieved the Prophet (peace be upon him), he would call out to Allah by saying, “O Ever-Living, O Sustainer and Protector of all that exists, by Your Mercy, I beg for Your aid.” (At-Tirmithi)

He would also say, “O Allah I am Your slave, son of Your male slave, son of Your female slave. My forehead is in Your hand (i.e. You have control over me). Your judgement upon me is assured, and Your decree concerning me is just. I ask You by every name that You have named Yourself with, revealed in Your Book, taught any one of Your creation, or kept unto Yourself in the knowledge of the unseen that is with You, to make the Quraan the spring of my heart, and the light of my chest, and the banisher of my sadness, and the reliever of my distress.” (Ahmad) This is a great duaa. However some of us read this duaa, and expect it to work, without once, reading the Quraan or pondering upon it! How is the Quraan to become a source of happiness if you do not read it? Or you do not know what it contains?! The contents of the Quraan makes you happy when in distress because it connects you to Allah. It is the words of your creator, and it brings you closer to Him.

At a time when the Prophet (Saw) was at an all-time low, when he had lost his supporter; his wife, and his protector; Abu-Talib, he (Saw) called out to Allah. He found hope and relief from his distress with His Lord.

“O Allah! To You alone I complain of my weaknesses, my scarcity of resources, and the humiliation I have been subjected to by people. O Most Merciful of those who show mercy! You are the Lord of the weak, and You are my Lord too. To whom have You entrusted me? To a distant person who receives me with hostility? Or to an enemy to whom You have granted authority over my affair? But as long as You are not angry with me, I do not care, except that Your favour is a more expansive relief to me. O seek refuge in the Light of Your Face by which all darkness is dispelled and every affair of this world and the next is set right, lest Your anger and displeasure descend upon me. Yours is the right to reproach until You are pleased. There is no power and no might except by You.”

The Prophet (saw) had every reason to break down; his entire city wanted to get rid of him. They wanted to harm him, they mocked him, they humiliated him in all sort of ways. Yet he turned sincerely to Allah, the One who is in control of the hearts. Notice how he focused on Allah’s pleasure. That was His only concern, and it should be ours too.

Islam is a complete way of life. From the moment we wake up in the morning to when we get back into bed in the evening, and everything in between. Islam covers it all. Islam is so comprehensive, it covers your dealings with people, your treatment of animals, your wealth, your trade, your property and even your health and hygiene. Islam deals with each area in depth. The subject of mental health is not alien, and the Prophet (Saw) taught us all about it. We should advise those who are suffering and look after them, for they are our brother or sister. It is easy to overcome depression, if you trust your affairs to Allah alone, who is Al-Jabbar, the Mender.

Bibi Zainab Dowlut,

Editor-in-Chief, AAT

Tawassul And Duaa

tawassulWe all want to earn Allah’s love, and to get closer to Him. Each individual has their own way of doing so, whether it be praying extra nawaafil, giving extra charity, keeping the tongue wet with thikr of Allah or, calling out to Allah in good times and in bad times. However, some people overstep the boundaries, and go overboard in their method of trying to get close to Allah. When seeking a means of nearness to Allah we must do so in accordance with the Sunnah.
Tawassul is to seek a means of nearness to Allah, by doing actions which are pleasing to Him. Notice that the actions have to be righteous and in accordance with the Sunnah, and thus they are pleasing to Allah. For an action to be ‘righteous’ in Islam it must fulfil two basic conditions; firstly that the individual performing the action has a sincere intention of pleasing Allah, and secondly that the action is in accordance with what Allah has prescribed and what the Prophet (Saw) has explained in his sunnah. To decide on your own method and ways which are not prescribed by the Shari’ah, is to innovate. The prophet (Saw) clearly told us, “Every innovation is misguidance, and every misguidance leads to the hellfire.” (Abu-Dawud, Tirmithi) To further emphasise this, he (Saw) also said, “Whoever performs an action not in accordance with this affair of ours, then it will be rejected.” (Muslim) It is therefore imperative that we follow the Sunnah in seeking a means of nearness to Allah.
We have been ordered to call upon Allah, to supplicate and invoke Him, “And your Lord said, “Call on Me, and I will respond,” (Surah Ghafir 40:60) There are three types of Tawassul which are permissible, which if we use when calling out to Allah He will certainly respond.
1) Tawassul by means of Allah’s perfect Names or Attributes: We can call on Allah using His names, or glorifying Him with His Attributes. Allah says, “And all the Most Beautiful Names belong to Allah, so call on Him by them.” (Surah Al-‘Araf 07:180) More evidence for this type of Tawassul can be found in the Sunnah; Anas (ra) reported that the Prophet (Saw) would supplicate, “O Ever-Living, O Sustainer and Protector of all that exists, by your Mercy, I beg for your aid.” (Tirmithi). I have only given one example, but often the Prophet (Saw) and the sahabahs would call on Allah by referring to His Names and Attributes.
2) Tawassul by means of a righteous deed: Allah says “Those who say, Our Lord! We have indeed believed, so forgive us our sins, and save us from the punishment of the fire.” (Aal Imran 03:06) They have sought tawassul through their sincere belief in Allah. I’m sure we all know the hadith of the three, who were trapped in a cave. They said “nothing can rescue you from this rock except that you supplicate to Allah, by mentioning righteous deeds you have done.” Each one supplicated Allah, mentioning a deed he had done sincerely for the pleasure of Allah until He (azza wa jal) moved the rock that obstructed the cave and relieved their distress. Each one of the men supplicated purely and sincerely to Allah, they mentioned righteous deeds they had done in times of ease hoping Allah would in return, ease their hardship. (Find the full hadith in Bukhari and Muslim)
3) Tawassul by the supplication of a righteous person: If a difficulty befalls a muslim, and he has been negligent with regards to Allah and His rights upon him, he is allowed to go to one who he deems righteous, god-fearing or knowledgeable about the deen. This practice is evident in the Sunnah and in the actions of the three best generations. On one occasion, a Bedouin asked the prophet (Saw) to supplicate for rain, and he (Saw) did so. Then it rained until it flooded madinah, then the Bedouin returned the following week, and asked the Prophet (Saw) to ask Allah to withhold the rain. So the Prophet (Saw) smiled and did so. (Find the full hadith in Bukhari) After the death of the prophet (Saw) Umar ibn Al Khattab would go to the uncle of the Prophet (Saw), Al-‘Abbas, and ask him to supplicate for rain. He used to say, “O Allah, we used to request our Prophet (Saw) to supplicate to You for rain, and You would bless us with rain. Now we ask the uncle of our Prophet (Saw) to supplicate to You, so grant us rain.” Sheikh Albani, explains the saying of Umar (ra) as follows, “What the saying of Umar means is: We used to go to our Prophet and ask him to supplicate for us, and draw nearer to Allah by means of his supplicating for us, and now that he has passed on to the company of the highest angels, and it is now not possible for him to supplicate for us, so we go to the uncle of our Prophet (Saw). Al-‘Abbas, and ask him to supplicate for us.”
Asking a righteous person to make duaa for you is allowed, their duaa perhaps has a greater chance of being accepted than yours because of a sin you committed. However, some people twist this type of tawassul, as being the status of a person, which has no basis in the Shari’ah. Shaikh Albani further explains with regards to the hadith of Umar mentioned above “it certainly does not mean that they used to supplicate saying, ‘O Allah by the status of your Prophet, grant us rain’ since this supplication is an innovation having no proof or basis in the Book or the Sunnah, and it was not done by a single of the Pious Predecessors.”
When doing Tawassul by means of a righteous person’s invocation, such a person must be alive, for if they are dead, then they cannot hear, let alone respond, or ask Allah on your behalf.
Tawassul is ammunition in the duaa, for it increases the chances of your duaa being accepted. However, it is a delicate issue, and if not adhered to correctly can cause one to fall into bid’ah (innovations) and in some cases even shirk. All-in-all tawassul is encouraged and prescribed, for us to get closer to Allah in our duaas.
Recommended reading: ‘Tawassul: Seeking a means of nearness to Allah –Its types and Rulings’ by Sheikh Muhammad Nasiruddin Albani
Editor-in-Chief, AAT,
Bibi Zainab Dowlut

Days for Duaa

days for duaa
So far in the series we have looked at duaa made at special times of the day, and duaa made by certain people. In this article we will look at duaas made on certain days, Inshallah.

 
Fridays, are special days for muslims, it is a recurring eid, during which we remember Allah and glorify Him. The Prophet (Saw) said about Fridays, “The best day on which the suns rises is Friday.” (Sunan An-Nisaa’I, Abu-Dawud and At-Tirmidhi) Furthermore, the Prophet (Saw) said, “On Friday, there is an hour when, if a muslim happens to pray at that time and asks Allah for something good, He will give it to Him.” (Bukhari and Muslim) There are differing opinions amongst the scholars regarding the timing of this blessed hour. Abi Burdah bin Abi Musa Al-‘Ashari said, Abdullah ibn Umar said to me; “Did you hear your father narrating from the Messenger of Allah concerning the (special) hour on Friday? I said, “Yes. I heard him say, I heard the Messenger of Allah say, ‘It is between the time when the imam sits down, and once the prayer is over.’” (Collected by Muslim). The second opinion is that this hour is after Asr; narrated Abu-Hurayrah and Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudri, the Prophet (Saw) said, “On Friday there is an hour when no muslim happens to ask Allah for good at that time but He will give it to him, and it is after Asr.” (Musnad Imam Ahmad) In a similar Hadith in Abu-Dawud the prophet (Saw) said, “…so seek it after Asr.” The second opinion is the stronger of the two, and is held by Abdullah ibn Salamah, Abu Hurayrah, Imam Ahmad and others. Nevertheless, whichever of these opinions you follow, increase your duaa during both these times, but do not distract yourself with duaa during the Khutbah. Rather, say ‘Ameen’ to the duaa of the imaam and whilst in your sujood make some personal duaa. By making duaa during both times, you increase your chances of catching the right hour!

 
Ramadaan is a month of mercy, and forgiveness. During the days of this month Allah frees so many of His believing slaves from hellfire and admits them to His Paradise. The Prophet (Saw) said, “When Ramadaan comes, the doors of heaven are opened and the doors of hellfire are closed.” (Bukhari) It is clear from this hadith, that duaa made during those twenty nine days or so are more likely to be accepted, as the gates of Paradise and mercy are open to receive us. What’s more, Ramadaan houses the most special night ever – Layla tul Qadr! Allah says “Layla tul Qadr, is better than a thousand months.”(Surah Qadr 97:3) That is approximately 83 years plus. Imagine, one night spent in worship may be better than your entire life! The barakah that floats around is immense. We just need to grab a hold of it by calling out to Allah, and asking Him alone.

 
The first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah are classed as the best days of the year. The Prophet (Saw) said, “there are no days during which good deeds are more beloved to Allah than these ten days.” (Bukhari) Remember Allah loves it when you call on Him, so pair it together, earn Allah’s love in two ways at once; firstly through a good deed, secondly by calling on Him.

 
But there is one day a year that tops the list. No other day comes close. On this day Shaytaan is humiliated, defeated and in anguish, because of the mercy that descends from Allah. In one narration the Prophet (Saw) said, out of his humiliation “he (Shaytaan) poured soil on his head, wishing for his own destruction, so I smiled at his grief.” (Ahmad).

This day is none other than the Day of Arafat. A day on which pilgrims gather to stand and seek forgiveness from their Lord. ‘Aishah narrated that the Prophet (Saw) said, “There is no day greater than the Day of Arafat in which Allah frees his slaves from Hellfire. Allah comes close to His slaves and boasts about them to the angels, then says, “I make you witness that I forgave them.” The angels then say, “O Allah so-and-so is overburdened with sins!” Allah replies “I forgave them all.” (Muslim) Being free from sins is what every muslim should crave. What better chance than on the Day of Arafat, to beg Allah, whilst obeying him, either through the rituals of hajj or fasting? Furthermore, the Prophet (Saw) said, “the best supplication is the supplication on the Day of Arafat.”(At-Tirmidhi) On this day, whether you are making hajj or not, increase in your duaa. Have Yaqeen and be sure that Allah will accept your duaa. This year, use the opportunity. The Day of Arafat is here; engage constantly in asking Allah for forgiveness.
So, as there are times and people whose duaa Allah has favoured, He has also favoured certain days. They may seem few in number, but their reward is great. We ask Allah to accept our supplications on these special days, and on every day throughout the year. We ask Allah to accept the duaa of the pilgrims standing on Arafat, we ask Him to forgive their sins, and grant them a pure hajj. Ameen.

 
Bibi Zainab Dowlut,
Editor-in-Chief, AAT

People and Duaa

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There are some people whom Allah has favoured, by always accepting their requests. In the hadith, the Prophet (Saw) said, “many a dishevelled one, covered in dust, clothed in old sheets, turned away from people’s doors; if he swears by Allah, certainly Allah will fulfil his words.”(At-Tabarani) Allah doesn’t judge a person by their looks, but rather by their hearts. Such a person who is apparently a reject in society, has such a strong connection with Allah that He (Azza wa Jal) fulfils their word and accepts their duaas.
One such man was Uwais Al Qarni. Uwais was praised by the Prophet (Saw), though they never met. He always strove to look after and please his mother and because of this, he sacrificed his chance to meet the Prophet. The Prophet (Saw) told Umar and Ali (ra), “if you can find him, then ask him to intercede and seek forgiveness for you. Then Allah will forgive you.” (Muslim) Uwais was not a man of high status in society, yet Allah accepted his duaa, because of his devotedness to Him, and his kindness towards his mother.
We can also take example from the story of Imam Ahmad and ‘the Baker.’ When the Baker took Imam Ahmad in for the night, Imam Ahmad found that he was constantly making Istighfaar whilst working. Imam Ahmad became intrigued by this and asked about it, to which the baker replied that it had become second nature to do so. Imam Ahmad further asked whether he had experienced any reward from this practice. The baker replied, “No duaa I made, except that it was answered…” Making istighfaar often, increases the chances of your duaas being accepted by Allah. Your sins may be an obstruction to the fulfilment of your duaa, therefore, by asking forgiveness you remove the barrier.
There are more people whose duaa is accepted by Allah. The Prophet (Saw) said, “Three supplications will not be rejected by Allah; the supplication of a parent for his child, the supplication of one who is fasting, and the supplication of a traveller.” (Al-Bayhaqi, At-Tirmithi) I’m sure many of us know the story of Sheikh Adel Al-Kalbani, whose mother prayed for him to become imam of the Haram. This is a position usually reserved for pure blooded Saudis, yet Allah answered her duaa, and her son (Sheikh Adel) was appointed Imam of the Grand Mosque. Duaa is such an important aspect of our life, and we should increase our supplications when we are in a position when it is more likely to be accepted. Whilst a person is fasting, they are striving to please Allah, they are abstaining from things merely for the sake of Allah, thus their duaa will not be rejected. As for one who travels, if he travels for a good purpose, such as to seek knowledge, his duaa is more likely to be accepted, but if he is travelling with the intention of committing sin, he should question his travel.
In another narration, the Prophet (Saw) said, “three men whose supplication is never rejected by Allah; the fasting person until he breaks his fast, the just ruler and one who is oppressed.” A person who is fasting has a great chance of their duaa being accepted, as mentioned earlier. A just ruler because he gives everyone their due rights, and governs by the laws of Allah. The oppressed are unjustly treated, and Allah hears the call of the distressed. Furthermore, the Prophet (Saw) told Muadh about the oppressed, “Beware of the supplication of the oppressed, for there is no veil between it and Allah.” (Bukhari and Muslim) The one who is suffering injustice, if he raises his hands to Allah to retain his rights, Allah will answer his invocation, and Allah is the Most Just.
In addition to all the above, the Prophet (Saw) told us that the duaa of visitors to the sick and visitors to the family of the deceased are more likely to be accepted, “When you visit the dead or the sick, then speak good, because the angels say ‘Ameen’ to whatever you say.” (Muslim) Angels are saying ‘Ameen,’ doesn’t this increase the chances of the duaa being accepted?
Moreover, making duaa for one who is absent as the Prophet (Saw) said, “there is no believing servant who supplicates for his brother in his absence, where the angels do not say, ‘the same be for you.’” (Muslim) So, make a good duaa for your ‘brother’ and you will get the same duaa from the angels.
Allah has made duaa so easy and advantageous to us. Duaa is a powerful tool we have been equipped with. Just as Allah has favoured some times over others, Allah has also favoured some people because of their devotedness and their condition. Remember Allah is Most Just and knows what is best for you. So, if you fall under any of these categories of people, increase in your duaa, and know that Allah will accept it.
Bibi Zainab Dowlut,
Editor-in-Chief, AAT

Times For Duaa

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When should I make my duaa? What is the best time for making duaa? At what time is my duaa more likely to be answered? These are just a few of the many questions plaguing people’s minds about the timing of making duaa.
To tell the truth, duaa can be made at any time of the day and night. However, there are some times which are better than others, during which your duaa is more likely to be accepted. Allah has favoured some times over others, so it is important that we take advantage of these times and increase in our supplications.
One of the best times is the last third of the night. The rest of the world is asleep and it is a private moment between you and your Lord. Allah says in the Quraan describing the righteous, “They used to sleep but little of the night, and in the hours of dawn, they seek forgiveness from their Lord…” (51:17-18) This illustrates that this is a time which righteous people choose to ask forgiveness, and it is accepted by Allah. In addition, we learn from the Hadith Qudsi, that Allah descends to the lowest heaven during this part of the night. The Prophet (Saw) told us, that Allah descends (in a manner that befits His Majesty) and says, “Who is calling Me, so that I may answer him? Who is asking, so that I may grant him? Who is seeking forgiveness, so that I may forgive him?” (Sahih Al-Bukhari and Muslim). This is an amazing opportunity, the Lord of all the Worlds is waiting for you to ask Him. He wants to answer you, He wants to give you, He wants to forgive you. What better opportunity?!
Some may find it difficult to wake up at this time; the sleep hangs over their eyes, and they simply cannot pull themselves out of bed. Though they are missing a great opportunity, there are other times during the day when duaa is readily accepted.
The time between athaan and iqamah, is another great chance, for the Prophet (saw) said; “Duaa is not rejected between the athaan and iqamah, so engage in duaa.” (Tirmidhi, Abu-Dawud) Use this time wisely, make a duaa that is on top of your list, as the time between athaan and iqamah is limited, and short.
For those of us in non-muslim countries, the athaan is not always audible, especially for women, who do not attend the mosque.Nonetheless, even if we miss this time, there are plenty more; Alhamdulilah.
Whilst making sujood, is a time during which your duaa has increased chances of being accepted. Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Prophet (Saw) said, “The closest any worshipper can be to his Lord, is while he is in prostration, so increase your duaa in it.” (Muslim, Abu-Dawud) The position of sujood is a comfortable one, so much so that some children fall asleep during it, and others with more creative imaginations do acrobats and roll-overs! Children must be taught that this is a valuable time, during which we are close to Allah.
I’m sure all of us have felt the pitter and patter of rain as it showers us and washes the earth. When it rains Allah is sending His blessings upon us, the Prophet (Saw) said, “two duaas are never returned; the duaa made when the prayer is being called and at the time of rainfall.” (Abu-Dawud, Tirmidhi)
So, there are plentiful opportunities when your duaa is most likely to be accepted. We just have to increase in our supplications and prioritise our duaas so that we can make the most of these special moments. May Allah accept all our duaas. Ameen.

 

Bibi Zainab Dowlut,

Editor-in-chief, AAT

Etiquettes of Making Duaa

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It seems so easy, perhaps a little too easy. Which makes us wonder, am I really doing it right? Am I asking in the right way?

As muslims being able to talk to Allah directly is a great honour; it is an immense blessing. We are able to talk to The Almighty, The All-Powerful! It is an amazing grace that we have been bestowed with. The truth of the matter is, is it really that easy; to be able to talk to the Greatest of all Kings, just like that?!

Well, yes and no. You can pour your heart out to him as you wish, with a million words. Or you can say just a word or two and He will understand it all. He knows the depths of our hearts, the complications of our situations and the causes of our sadness. He knows it all, inside out.

In the Quraan, Allah relates the story of Prophet Ayyub (as), who was afflicted with suffering on top of suffering. He lost all his wealth, all his children and even his health. Yet he made a very simple duaa. He had full trust in Allah, and he knew that Allah knew his distress more than he did. He simply said, “verily distress has seized me, and You are the Most Merciful, of all those who show mercy.” (21:83)

Similarly, Yunus (as); his people rejected him, and he was eventually thrown in the ocean, and then swallowed by a whale. Yet, his duaa was also very short. He said, “there is no God but You, Glory be to You, surely, I was among the wrongdoers.” (21:87)

The two above duaas are very short, yet very powerful, and Allah answered both their invocations. Prophet Ayyub (as) called on Allah by His attribute of being the Most Merciful. Prophet Yunus called on Allah, by associating none with Him.

Before making duaa, we should have complete belief in Allah. We should have utmost conviction in Tawheed, in all three aspects of it (Ruboobiyyah, uloohiyyah, and Asmaa was Sifaat). We should obey Allah in our lives, and ask only of Allah sincerely. It is recommended that a person faces the qiblah, as derived from various ahadith in which the Prophet (Saw) did so.

We should raise our hands when we make duaa, the Prophet (Saw) said, “Your Lord, may He be blessed and exalted is Kind and Most Generous, and He is too kind to let His slave, if he raises his hands to Him, bring them back empty.” (Saheeh Abi-Dawud) So, Allah will not return you with empty hands if you ask of Him.

The Prophet (Saw) gave us a formula for duaa, he (Saw) said, “When one of you prays, let him start with praise of Allah, then let him send blessing on the Prophet (Saw), then let him ask whatever he likes after that.” (Tirmidhi)

We should first praise Allah and glorify Him. Use His Names and Attributes, as He (azza wa jal) said, “And to Allah belong the most beautiful names, so invoke Him by them.” (Surah ‘Araf 7:180) By calling on Allah by His Names and Attributes we are in effect glorifying Him, as we are submitting to Him, and accepting Him as our Lord.

Then we should send blessings on the Prophet (Saw), because he told us, “every duaa is kept back, until you send blessings on the Prophet.” (At-Tabaraani in Al-Awsaat, Saheeh by Albani)

You may ask whatever you wish from Allah. He is the Bestower, the Granter, the Provider, and He is Capable of all things. When making duaa we should be humble, yet firm. We should believe that Allah will respond to us, because He is the All-Hearer, the Responder.

Making duaa is easy. We just have to follow the Sunnah, and not go beyond. May Allah accept our duaas, and guide us.

Bibi Zainab Dowlut,

Editor-in-Chief, AAT

Duaa: An intro

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Duaa has often been called the weapon of the believer, and by all means it truly is. It is the sharpest sword, the most accurate arrow which never misses its target. It is a great shield and protection from danger. It is a call we make to Allah, whether in secret or in public, in the bright of daylight or the darkness of the night.

However, many of us only use it as a last resort, something we turn to when all else fails, when in reality it should be our first port of call. Only when we understand Allah, how great He is, how He hears all, knows all and sees all, can we truly appreciate duaa.

Allah says in the Qur’an, “And when my servants ask You concerning Me, [tell them] indeed I am near, I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon me.” (Al-Baqarah 2:186) In this ayah Allah clearly tells us, He will respond. In another ayah, He reiterates the same concept; “Call on Me, and I will respond.” (Ghafir 40:60)

Despite these reassurances, sometimes we find our duaas are ‘unanswered.’ The truth is we are impatient. But then again, if our earnings are from impermissible sources, our food is that which is forbidden by Allah, our homes are from mortgages and ribaa (usury/interest), what else can we expect?!

Furthermore, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “the invocation of anyone of you is granted [by Allah] as long as he does not show impatience by saying, ‘I have invoked Allah but my request has not been answered.” (Bukhari and Muslim) Allah knows when it is best for us to be granted our request. He knows the future and we should have trust in Him, and leave it in His hands.

Maybe it is better for you that your duaa remains unanswered. We do not know what the future holds. “Perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you; and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you. Allah knows while you know not.” (Al-Baqarah 2:216)

Nonetheless, remember Allah answers our supplications in different ways. Abu Sa’eed al Khudri, narrated that the Prophet (saw) said in regards to our duaas being accepted by Allah, “He may accept his request, or assign its reward for him in the next world, or turn away from him an equivalent amount of evil.” (Ahmad) In reality, our duaas are always ‘accepted.’ We always get benefit from the duaa we make, though we don’t always appreciate it.

In addition, Allah the Exalted says, “I am as my Servant think I am,” (Bukhari and Muslim) we should think positively about Allah when making duaa, we know He is the greatest and is capable of all things. So do not doubt Him. Allah loves the one who calls on Him, illustrating humbleness to our Lord. “There is nothing more dear to Allah, than a servant making duaa to Him.” (Tirmidhi) In fact He gets angry when we do not call on Him, as the Prophet (Saw) said, “the person who does not ask from Allah, Allah becomes angry with Him.” (Tirmidhi and Ahmad) None of us want Allah to be angry with us. We are all working to attain the pleasure of Allah, and what simpler way to gain His pleasure than to take two minutes and ask Him! Plus you can ask for whatever you want; you are asking Allah the King of all Kings, the Owner of everything, the Bestower; so ask whatever you like, as many times as you like!

The Messenger said, “Duaa is worship,” (Abu Dawud, Riyad-us-Saliheen) How then, can we neglect it? How can we leave it last? It is almost as though we don’t believe in it, as though we think Allah doesn’t hear or respond! Truly, He is the One, who makes everything work, whether it is the pain killers, or the life support machine, or anything else in the universe.

“If you ask, ask Allah, and if you seek help, seek help from Allah.” (Tirmidhi and Ahmad)