“And when My slaves ask you (O Muhammad) concerning Me, then (answer them), I am indeed near (to them by My Knowledge). I respond to the supplications 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 a right.”(Quran 2:186)
The Holy month of Ramadhan is most sought after months in the Muslim Calendar. It is a month where, one can attain maximum benefit by engaging in acts of worship in this blessed month. One of the most highly recommended acts of worship (apart from fasting, of course) is Making Dua (Supplication). Although Dua should be made on a regular basis throughout the year, the Month of Ramadhan holds greater value than the rest of the months of the year.
What is Dua?
Dua – an Arabic word, made up of three small letters whose meanings are large and awe-inspiring. The Word Dua can be roughly translated to mean Supplication, which means “communicating with a deity”.
In Islam, the Arabic root meaning of Dua is to “Call Out” or “Summon“. Dua, is therefore seen as a conversation with God, our Creator, our Lord: the All Knowing, the All Seeing, the All Hearing. It is an uplifting, empowering, liberating and transforming act and is one of the most powerful and effective acts of worship a human being can engage in.
Dua has been called the weapon of the believer, and is critical in the submission to God and manifestation of a person’s need from God.
Dua and Prayer
For non-Muslims, the Dua or Supplication can be understood to mean Prayer. However, the Muslim Prayer is a physical form of Supplication which is performed as five daily prayers (Salat in Arabic). During their prayers, Muslims also Supplicate to God asking for forgiveness and to grant them a place in Heaven.
Dua is a way of connecting with God. It can be done at any place and anytime, day or night by simply raising your hands and asking for God’s help, mercy and forgiveness. It incorporates praise, thanksgiving, hope, calling on God to assist the needy and to fulfill requests. Dua can be made for yourself, your family, your friends, strangers, the less fortunate, the sick and for all of mankind. It can be used to seek the good in this word and the hereafter.
It is believed that when making Dua, one should not hold back, but ask God to grant the largest and smallest of requests.
And when My slaves ask you (O Muhammad) concerning Me, then (answer them), I am indeed near (to them by My Knowledge). I respond to the supplications 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 a right.”(Quran 2:186)
Benefits of Dua
Dua is not considered as obligatory as the five daily prayers. However, it is said that a prayer can never be complete without supplication. There are many benefits of making supplication. Supplication has been knows to change the destiny and decree of man, if asked with a firm heart and belief. It increases closeness to God and faith in God. For those who are distressed, it provides hope and relief and saves the supplicant from despair and isolation.
The Holy Quran is resplendent with verses encouraging believers to call on God. God asks us to lay our hopes, dreams, fears and uncertainties before Him and to be sure that He hears every word.
Dua in Ramadhan
The Holy Month of Ramadhan has been divided into three parts and has its own Supplications.
The first ten days reflect the mercy of Almighty Allah. The second ten days represent forgiveness of Almighty Allah, while the last ten days represent safety from the fire of Hell.
How to Supplicate for fulfillment of desires
While there is no clear-cut method of Supplication, it is said in order to have your Supplications fulfilled, always Supplicate from the depths of the heart, with firm belief in the fulfillment of one’s desires.
Here is a short parable to explain the above.
A King once came to a Holy Shrine. He met with several blind beggars outside who immediately accosted him and begged him for alms. Exasperated, the King retorted, “You are at the most Holiest of Shrines, why don’t they ask the Almighty to restore your sight?”, which one of the beggars responded , “We have spent all our lives here begging for his mercy, but we are not the likes of who God listens to”.
Angered by this response, the King drew out his sword, and warned the beggars, “I am going inside to worship. If by the time I come out and your eye-sight is not restored, all off you will be beheaded by this sword, so you better pray”.
After an infinite amount of time the King came out. All the beggars rushed to his feet praising him and thanking him. One of the beggars grabbed hold of his robe and said, “You are a pious man. We have been begging for our eye site to be restored for all these years, but our prayers went unanswered. Today you came and through you God has fulfilled our prayers. We can all see”.
The King replied, “It is not because of my piety or my prayers that your sight has been restored. But, all this time you were simply asking because you had to. Today, due to the fear of the sword, you asked from the depths of your heart. Don’t you know, that the prayer that has come from the depths of the heart is never turned away”.
The Intention of your Supplication
There was pious young man who was married to a pious lady. However they were inflicted with extreme poverty. Everyday the couple would pray to be alleviated from their state of destitution, but it seemed the more they prayed, the worst things got.This went on for some time.
One night, the husband had a dream. An angel appeared before him and informed him that God had decided to fulfill his supplication and elevate him from his poverty. From tomorrow he will see the mercy of his Lord. However, he would only enjoy this blessing for half of his remaining life, and he needed to decide if it would be the first half, or second half of his remaining.
The next morning, the husband discussed this with his wife and it was decided that there would be point in enjoying affluence in old age. It would be better during their youth so that they could travel and enjoy the pleasure money could bring them.
So he prayed to God, and from the next day onward, he started witnessing a increase in his livelihood, and before they knew it, they became one of the most affluent people in the town. The wife was generous enough to even share the wealth with the rest of the family who were less fortunate (Charity begins at home).
They were almost at the end of this period of grace, when one night, the same angel appeared to the man in the dream. The man was aware why the angel had come and offered his gratitude and thanks to God, and claimed that he was ready to let go of the blessing and return to the state of poverty.
Hearing this, the angel smiled and said, “When you were rich, you decided to share your wealth with the less fortunate, instead of hoarding it for yourself. This act of yours has greatly pleased God, and he has decided to continue to bless you with abundance until the end of your lives”.
So, when you do ask for you wishes, make sure you ask for something that you are willing to share with others.
When we make Dua, when we call upon God in our hour of need, or express our gratefulness, or for any other reason including simply to feel the comfort of being close to God, we must remember to examine our sincerity and to check our intention. Dua must be addressed to God Alone, who has no partners, sons, daughters or intermediaries, with the intention God, obey Him and trust Him completely.
When a person makes Dua God may give him what he asked for or He may divert a harm that is greater than the thing he asked for, or He may store up what he has asked for, for the Hereafter. Ask as though you are knocking on the door of a house. Keep knocking, for surely the door will be opened at some point. God has commanded us to call upon Him and He has promised to respond to our call.