Ibn Umar [RA] said, Allaah's Messenger [peaceblessings of Allaah be upon him] said:
"While persons were travelling, they were overtaken by rain and they took shelter in a cave in a mountain. A big rock fell from the mountain over the mouth of the cave and blockedit. They said to each other, 'Think of such good (righteous) deeds which you did for AIlaah's sake only, and invoke AIlaah by giving reference to those deeds so that Allaah may relieve you from your difficulty'
One of them said, 'O AIlaah! I had my parents who were very old and I had small children for whose sake I used to work as a shepherd. When I returned to them at night and milked (the sheep), I used to start giving the milk to my parents first before giving to my children. And one day I went far away in search of a grazing place (for my sheep), and didn't return home till late at night and found that my parents had slept. I milked (my livestock) as usual and brought the milk vessel and stood at their heads, and I disliked to wake them up from their sleep, and I also disliked to give the milk to my children before my parents though my children were crying (from hunger) at my feet. So this state of mine and theirs continued till the day dawned. (O AIlaah!) If you considered that I had done that only for seeking Your pleasure, then please let there be an opening through which we can see the sky, So, AIlaah made for them an opening through which they could see the sky.
Then the second person said, 'O AIlaah! I had a female cousin whom I loved as much as a passionate man loves a woman. I tried to seduce her but she refused till I paid her one-hundred Dinars. So I worked hard till I collected one hundred Dinars and went to her with that. But when I sat in between her legs (to have sexual intercourse with her), she said, 'O AIlaah’s slave! Be afraid of AIlaah! Do not deflower me except legally (by marriage contract).' So I left her. O AIlaah! If You considered that I had done that only for seeking Your pleasure then please let the rock move a little to have a (wider) opening. So AIlaah shifted that rock to make the opening wider for them.
And the last (third) person said, 'O AIlaah! I employed a labourerfor wages equal to a Faraq (a certain measure) of rice, and when he had finished his job he demanded his wages, but when I presented his due to him, he gave it up and refused to take it. Then I kept on sowing that rice for him (several times) till I managed to buy with the price of the yield, some cows and their shepherd. Later on the labourer came to me and said. '(O Allaah’s slave!) Be afraid of Allaah, and do not be unjust to me and give me my due. (I said (to him), Go and take those cows and their shepherd. “So he took them and went away. (So, O Allaah!) If You considered that I had done that for seeking Your pleasure, then please remove the remaining part of the rock. ‘And so Allaah released them (from their difficufty). "[Bukhari] .
One of the benefits that we can get from this storyis that all of us as human beings will find ourselves in situations where we would need help. The help that would need may come in different forms but the important thing is that we would need help. It is only Allaah that does not need the help of anyone one. Allaah says;
"O mankind! It is you who stand in need of Allaah. But Allaah is Rich [Free of all needs], Worthy of all praise." [Q 35: 15]
Who Do We Seek Help From? Generally, a Muslim should ask only Allaah for help and nobody else no matter how easy or difficult the problem is. In our daily prayers at least seventeen times we recite Surah al-Faatiha. In that surah there is a verse which we say:
"You [Alone] we worship, and You [Alone] we for ask help [for each and everything)" [Q 1: 5].
In this verse Allaah is making us to make a covenant with Him that as Muslims we would not ask anybody for help. Therefore a Muslim does not seek help from any other thing or being except Allaah.
From Human Beings?
However, when we say we are not supposed to seek help from any other being apart from Allaah, what is meant is that it is not permissible to ask any other being apart from Allaah to do things that are beyond their power. As an example, we cannot pray or supplicate to other beings while asking them to make us rich, make us pass exams, heal us from a sickness that we are suffering from etc. Making dua’ to these
means we are making them equals with Allaah. This is disbeliefin Islam! However, we can ask them to teach us a topic we do not understand or go to the doctor when we are sick. These are seeking of help that are permissible.
Importance of Dua'
It is compulsory to make dua’ to Allaah, as He said:
“And Your Lord said: Pray unto Me and I will hear your prayer. Indeed, those who my worship [i.e. do not invoke Me and do not believe in My Oneness, [Islamic Monotheism] they will surely enter Hell in Humiliation!" [Q 40:60] .
In this verse, Allaah commands us to supplicate to Him and also promise those who do not call on Him alone Hell-Fire because they are arrogant.
2.lt Is The Most Honourable Narrated Abu Hurayrah [RA]: The Prophet [peace and blessings of AlIaah be upon him] said;
"Nothing is more honourable in Allaah's sight than du'a"[Tirmidhi]
3.Allaah is Angry with Him!
Abu Hurayrah [RA] narrated that the Messenger of AlIaah [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] said;
"Allaah is angry with whoever does not ask Allaah [for his needs]" [Ahmad]
4. The Only One Who can Help Allaah says;
"Is not He [Allaah] [better than your gods] Who responds to the distressed one, when he calls on Him, and Who removes the evil, and makes you inheritors of the earth, generations after generations? Is there ilah [god] with Allaah? Little is that you rememberr' [Q 27: 62]
5. He is closest
"And when My Slaves ask you [0 Muhammad] concerning Me, then [answer them], I am close, I respond to the invocations of the supplicant when he calls on Me [without any mediator or intercessor}. So let them obey Me and believe in Me, so that they may be led aright. "[Q 2: 186]
These are some of the importance of making dua’ toAlaah alone as mentioned by Allaah and His Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him]
The Conditions For The Acceptance Seeking Allaah's help or making dua' has four conditions that must be fulfilled if we want Allaah to accept it.
1. For Allaah alone: The first condition that we must fulfil if want our dua' to be accepted is that our prayer should directed at Allaah alone. i.e. not praying to Allaah and at the same time praying to someone else. This can come in different ways such as bringing an intercessor e.g. a prophet, a saint, an angel, the dead etc. It can also be by supplicating to the thing directly thinking that the person can do that thing for us e.g. Prophet 'Eesa or Prophet Muhammad [peace be upon on them] or any other prophet or messenger of Allaah. This is associating partners with Allaah and therefore not permissible. Allaah says;
"Say [0 Muhammad}: My Lord has commanded justice and [said} that you should face Him only [i.e. Worship none but AIlaahand face the Qiblah, i.e. the Ka'bah at Makkahduring salaah} in each and every place of worship, in prayers and invoke Him only making your religion sincere to Him. As He brought you [into-being} in the beginning, so shall you be brought into being [on the Day ofResurrection] [Q 7: 29}
2. According to the way of the Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him]: This is important for all acts of worship and supplication is also an act of worship. The Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be pon him] said:
"Supplication (du'a') is itself the worship. (He then said:)
"And your Lord said: Call on Me, I will answer you" (Q 11 :60). [Abu Dawud]
3. Reliance on Allaah and certainty of acceptance: One of the greatest conditions for the acceptance of dua' is
the reliance on Allaah and believing that He has power over all things. Because He, the Exalted, says unto a thing 'Be!' and it comes into being. Allaah says:
"Verily! Our Word unto a thing when We intend it, is only that We say unto it, ‘Be’ and it is"[Q 16:40]
1. The presence of heart, humbleness and patience: When supplicating to Allaah we must make ourhearts present i.e. concentrates and not makeour hearts wander here and there. That is a sign of lack of seriousness on our part. Also, a Muslim is always humble when asking for something from Allaah. He does not command nor shout rather he is humble and hoping that Allaah would do whatever he wants. Allaah says;
"And seek help in patience and As- Salat [the prayer} ... [Q 2:45]
Allaah also says concerning Prophet Zakariyya [AS]; "And [remember} Zakariyya, when he cried to his Lord: O my Lord! Leave me no single [childless}, though you are the best of the inheritors. So Weanswered his call" and bestowed upon him Yahya, and cured his wife [to bear a child} for him. Verily, they used to hasten on to do good deeds, and they used to call onUs with hope and fear, and they used to humble themselves before us. [Q 21:89- 90].
The Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] said;
"Supplicate Allaah when you are assured of being answered, and know that Allaah does answer dua’ which comes from careless and inattentive heart "[Tirmidhi]
These are the four major conditions that should be fulfilled in order that our prayer would be accepted by Allaah.
What will make our prayer not to be accepted?
Generally Allaah accepts the supplication of a Muslim in as much as he fulfils the conditions that we have mentioned above but there are some things that we need to take care of which may serve as impediments to our prayer being answered. They are the following;
1. Haram eating, drinking, clothing and nourishing: Narrated Abu Hurayrah; Allaah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said:
"0 people, AIlaah is good and He, therefore, accepts only that which is good. And AIlaah commanded the believers as He commanded the Messengers by saying:
"0 Messengers, eat of the good things, and do good deeds; verily I am aware of what you do" (Q 24:51)
And He said:
'0 those who believe, eat of the good things that We gave you" (Q2:172).
He then made a mention of a person who travels widely, his hair disheveled and covered with dust. He lifts his hand towards the sky (and thus makes the supplication): "0 Lord, 0 Lord, "whereas his diet is unlawful, his drink is unlawful, and his clothes are unlawful and his nourishment is unlawful. How can then his supplication be accepted? [Muslim].
From this narration we can see that it is very important that we make our source of living from that which is permissible only in order that our supplications would be answered by Allaah.
2. Being Hasty and Abandoning dua': The Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] said;
"The dua' of anyone of you will be answered so long as he is not hasty and says, '1 have prayed and have not been answered" [Bukhari].
In another narration he said;
"The dua' of any worshipper will continue to be answered as long as he does not ask for a sin or breaking the ties of kinship, and as long as he is not hasty' [Bukhari]
It was said, '0 Messenger of Allaah! What doesit mean to be hasty? He said, 'I have prayed and have not been answered.”
3. Engaging in sinful acts: The Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] said; 'Any Muslim who makes a supplication containing nothing which is sinful or which involves breaking ties of relationship will be given for it by AIlaah, one of three things: He will give him swift answer, or store it up for him in the' next world, or turn away from him an equivalent amount of evil.' Those who heard it said, ‘we will make many supplications.' He replied,
'AIlaah is more ready to answer than you are to ask. '[Musnad Ahmad]
Times when dua' are answered
The Messenger of Allaah [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] told us that there are some specific times that when we supplicate to Allaah that He will answer our supplication and grant us our need. These are some of them;
1. Last third of the night:
Allaah's Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
"Our Lord, the Blessed, the Superior, comes every night down on the nearest Heaven to us when the last third of the night remains, saying: 'Is there anyone to invoke Me, so that I may respond to invocation? Is there anyone to ask Me, so that I may grant him his request? Is there anyone seeking My forgiveness, so that I may forgive him?' [Bukhari]
2. Between Adhan and Iqamah: The Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] said:
“The supplication made between adhan and the Iqamah is not rejected". [Tirmidhi]
3. A Particular Hour on Friday: "There is an hour [or a moment] of particular significance of Friday. If it happens that a Muslim is offering a prayer and invoking AIlaah for some good at that very moment, AIlaah will grant him his request. "[Bukhari]
This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited