Q. Scholars emphasize repeatedly that it is the duty of Muslims to make a lot of supplications for their oppressed brothers and sisters who are suffering from the wars and injustices against Muslims all over the world. So what is the significance of du`a, and what are its benefits and values?
A. Du`a is the spiritual weapon of a believer. It is the most special and nearest worship in the sight of Allah. By du`a a Muslim seeks victory from Allah, as du`a provides a Muslim with factors of true faith and links his heart with his Creator. It imbues his heart with hope and conviction in Allah’s Power and Might. Du`a is an integral part of a Muslim’s life, especially when he is faced with situations which seem to overwhelm and trap him.
Some people may argue that du`a has nothing to do with man’s fate, as it can’t protect him from his predestined misfortunes. But this is not true, because du`a itself is part of man’s fate; du`a is predestined as a means of deterring misfortunes and uplifting tribulation.
In this regard, we would like to cite for you the following fatwa issued by Dr. Husam al-Din Ibn Musa `Afana, Professor of Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence at Al-Quds University, in which he states the following:
“No one can deny that du`a is a very elevated worship. An-Nu`man Ibn Bashir radhiAllahu `anhu reported that the Prophet sallAllahu `alayhi wa sallam said,
“Du`a is the worship.”
(Reported by the four composers of As-Sunan; authenticated by At-Tirmidhi, and verified by An-Nawawi in his book of Al-Adhkar.)
Imam Ibn Al-`Arabi Al-Maliki said,
“The reason for calling du`a a worship is very explicit, as it is a confession of man’s helplessness and Allah’s Might and Power over all. Actually, this is the clearest manifestation of compliance with and submission to Allah.”
There are many ayaat in the Glorious Quran which encourage people to observe du`a. Those ayaat show how the Prophets and Messengers (peace be upon them all), as well as true believers used to implore Allah, Exalted and Blessed be He. Du`a is an aspect of the Prophet’s guidance which we should follow.
On the authority of Abi Bakrah radhiAllahu `anhu who said that the Prophet sallAllahu `alayhi wa sallam said,
“Whoever is overwhelmed by grief should say:
اللّهُـمَّ رَحْمَتَـكَ أَرْجـوفَلا تَكِلـني إِلى نَفْـسي طَـرْفَةَ عَـيْن، وَأَصْلِـحْ لي شَأْنـي كُلَّـه لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا أنْـت
‘O Allah! Have mercy on me. Do not leave me alone to myself even for the twinkling of an eye. Put all my affairs in order.
There is no god but You.’”
(Reported by Ahmad and Abu Dawud 4/324; verified by Al-Albani)
Fruits of Du`a
Du`a deters misfortune and gains Allah’s Mercy.
Imam Al-Ghazali comments on the issue of du`a and fate saying, “Some people may ask what is the benefit of du`a so long as there is no prevention of what is predestined. However, one of the requirements of destiny [Qadr]is to invoke Allah to deter some affliction. Supplication is a means of deterring affliction and gaining mercy, just as a shield is a means to protect one’s body from a sword and water is a means to cultivate. Just as a shield and a sword clash with each other, so do du`a and fate struggle to suspend each other.
Therefore, to believe in destiny does not mean to put your weapon aside. Allah Almighty says,
“Taking all precautions, and bearing arms.” (An-Nisa’: 102)
In the same way, (believing in destiny) does not mean to stop irrigating the land after sowing the seeds. If it is predestined for these seeds to grow before irrigation, then they will grow; if it is so not predestined, they will not grow. The relation of cause and effect is the first step in the course of destiny coming true in a twinkle of the eye or even faster. What is meant by fate is the gradual order of effect after cause, as estimated eternally. Allah has predestined good fate for specific reasons and predestined means of uplifting tribulation. So there is no contradiction between du`a and fate for people with sound mind.
On the authority of Asma’ Bint `Umais radhiAllahu `anha, who said: The Messenger of Allah sallAllahu `alayhi wa sallam said to me,
“Shall I teach you some words to say at times of trouble? (Say,)
‘Allah is my Lord (twice). I associate none with Him.’” [Al-Kahf:38]
Another narration states that this supplication should be uttered seven times. (Reported by Ahmad, Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah)
Du`a requires preoccupation with Allah Almighty, and this is the utmost worship.
The Prophet sallAllahu `alayhi wa sallam said, “Du`a is the essence of worship.” Man often remembers Allah and turns to Him with supplication when he is overwhelmed with a problem; Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala says,
“And when We bestow favor upon man, he turns away and distances himself; but when evil touches him, then he is full of extensive supplication.”
This means that the need and affliction makes man resort to du`a, and du`a turns his heart to Allah Almighty through submission and humbleness to Him. At this point, man remembers Allah with complete concentration, and this is actually the best manner for invocation. Hence we notice that tribulations befall Prophets (peace and blessings be upon them all) as well as righteous people. Allah’s trials are always as great as man’s sincerity in faith because want makes man feel a need for spiritual support symbolized in du`a. On the other hand, freedom of any need causes man to be arrogant and pompous, as Allah Almighty says,
“Nay, but verily man is rebellious that he thinks himself independent!”
At the end, there are some points of consideration in the shade of the status quo in the Muslim Ummah.
People must rely on Allah and leave their affairs in His Hands, as Allah honors whom He wills and humiliates whom He wills. A true believer must refrain from befriending the enemy or supporting them over the Muslims. Just thinking in this way marks lack of true faith.
A Muslim must have every confidence in Allah, Who promised to give victory to the believing Ummah over other nations, as He says,
Allah has written, “I will surely overcome, I and My messengers.” Indeed, Allah is Powerful and Exalted in Might. (Al-Mujadalah: 21)
Allah Almighty knows best.
Published with the permission of OnIslam.net (with slight modifications). We express our gratitude to them for allowing us to re-publish their work at our blog. May Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala bless them for this generosity.