And when My slaves ask you (O Muhammad) concerning Me then (answer them), I am indeed near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he call on me. So let them obey Me and believe in Me so that they may be led aright. [Al-Baqarah 186]
The word du’aa is the plural of da’wah and both come from da’aa which means to ask or to call. To call “to something” in this way is to encourage others to do it. The meaning of du’aa in Islam is: for the slave to call out to his Lord to care for him, have mercy on him and supply him with his needs and wants.
The reality of du’aa is to manifest one’s absolute poverty and powerlessness before Allah Most High and the affirmation that all power to bring about anything belongs exclusively to Allah Most High. It is a sign of true worship and it contains the meaning of praising and exalting Allah Most High and ascribing to Him the attributes of generosity and grace.
Types of du’aa mentioned in the Qur’an
1. Worship. Asking for something which only Allah can grant is an act of worship which can only be directed to Allah Most High. To address it to other than Allah is shirk.
And do not call besides Allah those who cannot benefit your and cannot harm you. (Yunus:106)
2. Seeking of Aid. Calling to one for aid can only be directed to Allah in issues where only He can respond. One can request aid from a present, living and capable individual and this is not shirk. However, to ask those incapable of helping (such as the deceased) or not present is to worship other than Allah Most High. Allah rejected the ability of anyone to help anyone else in disobedience to Him on Yaum Al-Qiyaamah in the following:
Call your witnesses beside Allah if your are indeed truthful. (Al-Baqarah:23)
3. Asking for something. Allah said:
Call to (ask) Me that I may respond to you. (Ghaafir:60)
4. Exalting of Allah and addressing one another. Allah said about the people of Paradise:
Their call therein is “Exalted are You, O Allah!” and their greeting therein is “Salaam”. (Yunus:10)
5. Allah calling us.
On the day when He calls you and you respond with His praise. (Al-Israa:52)
6. Calling to Allah in praise and supplication.
Say: Call “Allah” or call “Ar-Rahman”... Al-(Israa:110)
Those whose du’aa is answered by Allah
Allah and His Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) have mentioned various people/conditions under which Allah answers the du’aa of His slaves. Among them:
1. The one in desperate need.
2. The oppressed upon whom injustice is being inflicted
3. A parent who makes du’aa against their child
4. A just ruler
5. A righteous individual
6. The righteous son/daughter who prays for his parents
7. The fasting individual until they break their fast
8. Any Muslim who makes du’aa for another Muslim without their knowledge
9. Every Muslim as long as they are not asking for injustice or breaking of family ties.
10. The one making taubah (repentance) from sin
11. The traveller whose sustenance is from halaal
Prerequisites of du’aa
When calling to your Lord, be sure to be aware of the following requirements for making du’aa:
1. Sincerity of directing all of your worship to Allah alone
2. Obedience to Allah by fulfilling all obligations upon you and avoiding all that forbidden.
3. Avoiding all harmful consumption of food, clothing/jewellery and drink
4. Preceding the du’aa with a good deed
5. Purity (tahaara)
Some etiquette of du’aa
Also, pay close attention to the following etiquettes (aadaab) of supplicating Allah Most High:
1. Take advantage of the blessed times which Allah and His Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) have told us about such as the day of Arafat, all of Ramadan (especially the last ten), Jumu’ah and the time of tahajjud (after sleeping and before fajr), etc. Allah said:
And in the late night they seek forgiveness. (Adh-Dhaariyaat:18)
2. Take advantage of the special circumstances when du’aa especially encouraged such as when one is in prostration (sajdah), upon meeting the enemy army, when Allah send His mercy (e.g., rain) and between the adhaan and the iqaama. The Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said:
“The closest a slave ever is to his Lord is when he is in prostration, so make much supplication.” Muslim & others
3. Face the Qibla. Jaabir (radiallaahu ‘anhu) reports:
“The Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) came to the place of standing at Arafat, faced the Qibla and continued making du’aa until the sun set.” Muslim
4. Lowering the voice and keeping it “in between” neither complete silence nor completely out loud. Abu Musa Al-Ash’ariy reported that: We were approaching with Allah’s Messenger. When we came near Al-Madinah, he said “Allahu Akbar”. The people, too said “Allahu Akbar” and they raised their voices whereupon the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said:
“O people, verily the one whom you are calling is not deaf and is not absent. Verily, the one whom you are calling is between the necks of your mounts.” Al-Bukhari & Muslim
5. Humility, fear (of Allah and His punishment) and desire (for His mercy and His reward) when making du’aa. Allah said:
They used to race one another to good deeds and they would call to us in desire and in fear and they were humble before Us. (Al-Anbiyaa:90)
6. Be serious in what you ask for and certain of the ability and the promise of Allah to respond to your call. Do not put conditionals on what you ask for except for things like “if it is the best for me in this life and the hereafter in Your knowledge”, but not things like “if you wish”, etc. Allah does not respond to du’aa which is made “routinely” or frivolously without consciousness. The Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said:
“Call to Allah with certainty of being answered. And know that Allah does not respond to the du’aa from a heart which is forgetful or frivolous.” At-Tirmidhi
7. To be persistent, even insistent in du’aa and repeat it three times. Ibn Masood (radiallaahu ‘anhu) reported that: “When the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) made du’aa, he used to make it three times and when he asked, he asked three times.” – Muslim
8. To begin du’aa with the mention of Allah and invoking His blessing on the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) before asking for things and to close one’s du’aa with praise of Allah.
9. To repent from one sin’s and to undo any injustices done to others (including returning property improperly taken or undoing any other kind of harm) before turning to Allah in du’aa.
When we respond to Allah’s call to worship Him alone and to obey Him by performing our obligations and avoiding all the forbidden, Allah responds to this by granting us our du’aa. There can be nothing greater in this world than to have a du’aa which is answered by Allah Most High. Any nation which possesses many people who have this will succeed in this world and in the next. Allah will place in power over them those who fear and obey him and grant them victory over their enemies. The du’aa of Muslims for each other is more powerful than Muslims only making du’aa for themselves.
And your Lord said: Call to me that I may respond to you. Verily, those who are too arrogant to worship me will enter Hell-fire humiliated. (Ghaafir:60)
Oh Allah have mercy upon the Muslims who are suffering from attacks and oppression and living in fear, ameen.
Ways we can cope with our own illness
Always keep in mind that trials are inevitable and people deal with trials in a variety of ways. Allah Says (what means): “And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient, who, when disaster strikes them, say, ‘Indeed we belong to Allah, and indeed to Him we will return.’ Those are the ones upon whom are blessings from their Lord and mercy. And it is those who are the [rightly] guided.” [Qur’an 2:155-157]
Commenting on this verse, Ash-Sharabaasi, may Allah have mercy upon him, said: “You all are going to be tried with some kind of these trials. But you will be different in your attitude and responsibility towards these trials.”
Some people have patience and others have none. Some recover and others do not. Trials teach all of us, but only one group is deserving of the reward. “And give good tidings to the patient.” This suggests that since man must be subjected to trials, and since he is going to be afflicted by one form of a trial or another, it is then better for him not to become anxious.
Man is going to be tried whether he accepts this fact or not. Since he is going to receive a reward for the trial if he is patient, it is then better for him to be considered from this good group “And give good tidings to the patient.”
Don’t become pessimistic: Don’t shut your eyes only seeing the darkness of grief and worry. It will lead you into depression and isolation waiting for death to arrive, and that is a bleak existence for anyone, especially for someone who is faced with illness. Try not to allow grief and sadness overcome your heart or over burden your mind. Don’t give an opportunity for the devil to whisper to you and try to cause you mental distress that will only add to your pain and suffering. Al-Sa’adee said: “Don’t you know that weakness of the heart and its delusions are truly the incurable illness?”
The strength of the heart and its reliance upon Allah are the examples of strong men. How many hospitals are filled with patients suffering from delusions and paranoia? These delusions and anxieties affect even healthy people and will sometimes cause madness and mental problems.
Therefore, the health of the heart is the basis for the health of the body, and the disease of the heart is the true disease. Man may go through psychological instability where he finds the world a narrow place of distress. But, if the sick allow these thoughts to control their mind, it will add to their distress and their wish for death — possibly to the extent of contemplating suicide.
One may wish to die because of pressure and pain, but we must realise that an early end results in punishment within the grave. So, by living they are afforded more time to repent and turn back towards Allah, and that is surely better. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “No one among you should wish to die because of distress. But if he must do so, then he should say, ‘O Allah give me life as long as life is better for me, and cause me to die as long as death is better for me’.” [Al-Bukhari]
Look within yourself for the cause of your illness and treat it with lawful medical treatments. Don’t ignore your illness - seek medical attention right away. Doctors have only been able to make as many strides in medicine thus far because Allah has allowed them to do so. Every disease has a cure except death. Try to search out and find a righteous Muslim physician if possible.
You should question yourself and be fair, do not deceive yourself: If you are afflicted with a distress hardship, look first for the reasons and reprimand yourself. Allah Says (what means):
“What comes to you of good is from Allah, what comes to you of evil (O Man) is from yourself…” [Qur’an 4: 79]
“And whatever strikes you of disaster, it is what your hands have earned.” [Qur’an 42: 30]
When you are grieving and don’t know the reason behind it, then do no let grief find a way into your heart. Learn that Allah decrees everything and nothing that strikes you should have missed you; and nothing that has missed you, should have struck you. Beware of saying anything that may indicate irritation and dissatisfaction with Allah’s Decree, such as saying: “O Lord, why have you afflicted me with this?”
Be confident that Allah knows what is best for you: You should place your trust in Allah and must remember that you do not know the wisdom behind this trial, perhaps it will make you stronger and lead you on a path to a better life. We should never limit Allah’s wisdom to our comprehension level, because we will never be able to comprehend it — it is above our capability to understand .We should, however, know for a certainty that Allah does not intend harm because it is harmful. Harm with Allah is not intended for itself but for other things that may bring good.
Ibn Uthaymeen, may Allah have mercy upon him, said: “Allah doesn’t particularly intend harm for a person when He causes him to become ill. Allah intends for the disease to take place and the disease is what may harm man. But He did not intend harm for man. He intends for him only the good from it. Sometimes, the Divine Wisdom may be apparent to the sick, and sometimes it may not. As Allah has said (what means): “And fear a trial which will not strike those who have wronged among you exclusively, and know that Allah is severe in penalty.” [Qur’an 8:25]
Remember Allah and ask Him for forgiveness much: Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, said: “When Allah guides His servants to ask for forgiveness, He helps them to achieve what they request.” Allah has said (what means): “But Allah would not punish them while you are amongst them. And Allah would not punish them while they seek forgiveness.” [Qur’an 8:33]
Allah has told us that He would not punish someone who seeks forgiveness, because sincere forgiveness removes the sin that is the reason for the punishment. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “He who is constant in seeking forgiveness, Allah will make for him a way out of any distress, release from grief, and provide for him from where he does not expect it.” [Abu Daawood and Ibn Maajah]
So whoever believes in Allah alone and seeks forgiveness from Him, He will provide for him an appointed term, and whoever does good after that, He will increase him from His Grace.
Supplicate with a humble heart and a crying eye asking Allah to cure you: Try to take advantage of the time when supplications are more likely to be answered, praising Allah and calling upon Him with His Beautiful Names. It is also recommended to give something in charity from the best of your possessions before making your supplications. Understand and realise that illness is not the end of your life. If Allah has taken something from you, think of all the things that He has given you and all of the things that you still have.
A believer always strives for the pleasure of his Lord and does not stop because of disease or a trial. The best example is the example the scholar of this nation; Ibn ‘Abbaas, may Allah be pleased with him, when he lost his vision and said: “If Allah has taken from my eyes their light, it is in my tongue and heart that I will find the light. My heart is bright and my mind has no defects. And in my mouth there is a sharp, authentic sword.”
Guard the mandatory acts of worship (Faraa’id): do not neglect them to the best of your ability. If you have any questions, ask people of knowledge. Perform many good and righteous deeds as possible. If someone else can do them for you on your behalf, this is also acceptable. Beware of any practice that is not lawful, especially those against our faith, such as slaughtering animals to anything other than Allah, hanging charms, seeking refuge with jinn or going to sorcerers.
When you are physically able, try to occupy your time with beneficial things like reading. Find activities that you enjoy and that will distract you from your disease and worries.
Always remember that your faith can and does make miracles: Do not underestimate the effect of reliance upon Allah. There are many incidents that have been witnessed where the impossible becomes possible by the power of faith.
Although the cure for illness is out of our hands and is up to Allah alone, we can still do something to make a difference to those who are suffering. It is unfortunate that often times we belittle the impact we can have on others, especially to those who are ill. Just a smile or a funny story to make someone laugh and forget their worries for a moment is something that can be remembered for years — because it made an impact and it made a difference. How many times have we experienced the impact ourselves in our own lives when someone visited us or gave us a call - just at the time when we were at our lowest moment? Most of us will never forget that person who took the time to think about us, and we always remember them fondly because they — without realising it — helped to shine some light on our dark days.
Article source: http://www.islamweb.net/emainpage/
A healing for the heart
Allah Almighty Says in the Qur’an (what means): “We send down of the Qur’an that which is healing and mercy for the believers.” [Qur’an 17:82] And also (what means): “O mankind! There has come to you instruction from your Lord and healing for what is in the breasts and guidance and mercy for the believers.” [Qur’an 10:57]
It is narrated on the authority of An-Nu’maan Ibn Basheer may Allah be pleased with him who said : “I heard the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, say: “That which is lawful is plain and that which is unlawful is plain and between the two of them are doubtful matters about which not many people know. Thus, he who avoids doubtful matters clears himself in regard to his religion and his honor, but he who falls into doubtful matters falls into that which is unlawful, like the shepherd who pastures around a sanctuary, all but grazing therein. Truly, every king has a sanctuary, and truly Allah’s sanctuary is His prohibitions. Truly in the body there is a morsel of flesh which, if it be whole, all the body is whole and which, if it be diseased, all of it is diseased. Truly it is the heart.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
Diseases of the heart are a mixture of suspicions and lusts which can lead our souls into turmoil and despair. However, Allah Almighty has provided us with a special prescription that will cleanse and heal our diseased hearts: The Qur’an.
The Qur’an provides the healing for many types of ailments:
1. It contains proofs and clear evidences which separate right from wrong.
2. It adequately and clearly negates our doubts.
No book on this earth other than the Qur’an provides such comprehensive proofs and testimonies in relation to exalted matters of monotheism, confirmation of Allah’s attributes, the Day of Judgment, Prophethood and refutation of incongruous doctrines and degenerate opinions.
Although the Qur’an offers a genuine cure for the evils of suspicions and doubts, its benefit depends to a large extent on comprehending its essence and purpose. Those who are blessed with such faculties would have the ability to distinguish between right and wrong, as clearly and easily as they can distinguish between day and night.
They would know for certain that all other knowledge and concepts prevailing among people are either traditions or false presumptions; however fanciful and appealing they may appear, these would be unable to offer a substitute for the Truth or genuine matters as encapsulated in the Qur’an and would provide no benefit.
The Hadith (narration) of Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, compares the futility of such efforts to: “Inferior camel’s meat on top of a rough mountain, neither the hill is easy to climb nor the camel is healthy enough to get down the hill.” [Al-Bukhari]
In fact, the knowledge obtained by theologians could be found in the Qur’an with a much better elaboration and explanation, for the theologians are inclined to affectation, wordiness and perpetuating perplexity. They assume that their attitudes help in refuting suspicions and doubts, but contrary to their presumption, these suspicions and doubts are better served by their efforts. If healing and guidance, knowledge and certainty could not be obtained from the Qur’an and the teachings of Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam, it would be impossible to obtain them from the utterances of those perplexed sceptics.
The Qur’an draws its ability of healing the diseases of lusts by its wisdom and fair exhortation, through the renouncement of earthly pursuits and the pursuance of the Hereafter. It draws upon parables and narrations containing lessons to be pondered. If the heart assimilated these qualities, it would certainly be inclined towards good deeds and renounce the evil ones.
The Qur’an also eliminates spiritual diseases which corrupt our intentions and prompt us towards ill deeds; hence the heart heals and returns to its normal nature, where its facultative and self-acquired deeds excel. The body also returns to its normal functioning by rejecting whatever contradicts the right guidance, just like an infant who accepts nothing but milk. In this course of affairs, the heart feeds on faith and the Qur’an which provides it with reprimands, consolidation, support, gladness, joy and invigoration to establish its authority, as a body is nourished by what develops and strengthens it.
The heart and the body would not flourish without adhering to the Qur’an. Even if they attained some of the desired results from another source, the attainment would be very minor and would not serve the purpose and desired end result.
Article source: http://www.islamweb.net/emainpage/
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