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  • Why our Duas are not answered

  • Advantages of Dua

  • Caution

  • Admonition in case Duas are not answered  

Dua as recommended by Intellect

  Every sane person’s intellect requires that man should keep away from losses as much as possible.  Yet we know that living in this world is not devoid of afflictions or anxiety, for he may be afflicted with:
-Disease from within
-Tyranny from without
-Difficulty with job or business
-Annoyance by a neighbor
Even if none of these afflictions occurs, he may face them in future.  How can afflictions not occur while the world is replete with them, when it is a state of change, and no one is safe from hardships and afflictions.  Yet the difference is that these hardships have afflicted certain people and will afflict others in future.  Nevertheless human intellect accepts the existence and the necessity of removing both kinds of afflictions.  In this connection, Dua is something by which afflictions can be removed.  Therefore, it is wise to resort to Dua for removing our afflictions.
  The same meaning can be comprehended from the saying of Amiralmoamenin (A.S.) when the Imam says:
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5.  “A person who is not afflicted and is living a happy life but is not “safe form afflictions in the future should not have this impression that the afflicted person is more in need of Dua than he himself.”
  We can infer from this Hadith that every individual is in need of “Dua”, whether he is happy or afflicted.  The difference is that the former is in need of “Dua” for removing the affliction which has befallen him and the latter for keeping off the descent of it.
  In addition to this, “Dua” will serve to earn further benefits and to perpetuate the existing blessings too, for the Infallibles (A.S.) consider “Dua” as both a “weapon” and a “shield”.
The Holy Prophet of Islam (SAW) has said:
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6.  “Shall I introduce to you a weapon which will protect you both from the evils of enemies and increase your sustenance?  They said: Yes, O Messenger of Allah.  He said: Call your Lord day and night, for “Dua” is the weapon of a believer.”
Imam Ali (A.S.) says:

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7.  “Dua” is the shield of a believer.  If you keep on knocking the door of Divine Mercy, it will be opened to you.” 
  Imam Sadeq (A.S.) has said:

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8.  “Dua is more forceful than a sword.”
Imam Musa (A.S.) has said:

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9.  “Dua reverts both what has been destined and what has not been destined.”
The Imam also says:

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10.  “Recite “Dua”, for “Dua” and begging from god Almighty repels afflictions even if it has been destined.  If you ask God to revert it, He will certainly revert it.”
  Zarareh has quoted Imam Baqer (A.S.) as saying:

*    *

11.  “Shall I introduce to you something about which the Holy Prophet of Islam did not say Enshaallah (God willing)?  I said: Yes.  Then the Imam said it is “Dua” which reverts the divine destiny even if it is certain to happen.”
Imam Zeinolabedin (A.S.) says:

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12.  “Dua” and afflictions challenge each other until the day of Judgment, yet “Dua” comes out victoriously even if the afflictions are certain to happen.”
Imam Zainolabedin (A.S.) also says:

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13.   “Dua” removes both the present affliction and that which will come down later.”

  In view of these Hadiths and those which are not mentioned here due to the space of the book, we infer that afflictions can be repelled by “Dua” as recommended by the Infaillbles (A.S.)

Dua as Recommended by Quranic Verses & Hadiths

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“Say: my Lord would not care for you were it not for your prayer”   Furqan, verse 77
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“And your Lord says: call upon Me, I will answer you; surely those are too proud for My service shall soon enter hell abased.”  Moamin, verse 56
  In this Holy verse, God considers “Dua” as prayers, that is to say, if someone speaks to his Lord, he has performed prayer and those who do not pray are considered as unbelievers.
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“And call on Him fearing and hoping”   Araf, verse 56

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“And when My servants ask you concerning Me, then surely I am very near;  I answer the prayer of the supplicant when he calls on Me, so they should answer My call and believe in Me that they may walk in the right way.”    Baqarah, verse 186
  Imam Baqer (A.S.) says:

*     *
“Never get tired of “Dua”, for god has attached much value to it.”
Answering Bareed Ibne Moavieh’s question as to which was better, “Dua” or recitation of the Holy Quran?  The Imam said:
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14.  “Dua” is better, for God says: O Prophet, say: My Lord would not care for you were it not for your prayer.”
Imam Sadeq (A.S.) interpreting a Quranic verse has said
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15.  “Let My servants know that I have the power to grant My servants’ wishes.”
Imam Sadeq (A.S.) also says: 
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16.  “If a person desires something which pleases God too, it will be granted during his lifetime.”
The Holy Prophet of Islam (SAW) has said: 
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17.  “Whenever you recite “Dua”, have this impression that what you is at the door.”

* Why “Duas” are not answered?

  You may ask why the “Dua” of many people are not answered, something which is apparently inconsistent with the above-mentioned verses.  The Answer is that “Duas” are not answered when requirements of Dua have not been fulfilled.  Othman Ibne Saeed says a man came to Imam Sadeq (A.S.) saying: There are two Quranic verses which I have not comprehended properly.  Imam Sadeq (A.S.) said: What are those verses?  He said:  them first one is this:
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  “Call Me, I will answer you”, for although we offer our Duas but there is no answer.  Imam Sadeq said: Do you think God breaks His promise?  He said: No.  Imam Sadeq (A.S.) said: So why are our Duas not answered?  He said: I do not know.  Imam Sadeq said: But I will tell you why.
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18.  “Whoever obeys God’s order and offers his “Dua” properly, they will be answered.  I said: How should I pray?  The Imam said: First praise God Almighty, then remember Him and thank Him for His blessings.  After that, send greetings to the Holy Prophet and his progeny, then confess your sins and ask forgiveness for them.  That is the right way for “Dua”.
  Then, Imam Sadeq (A.S.) was asked about the second verse which the man had not comprehended:

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“And whatever thing you spend, He exceedeth it in reward, and He is the best of sustainers.”
  Saba, verse 39
  Imam Sadeq (A.S.) said: Do you think God breaks His promise?  I said: No.  The Imam said: Why does He not give reward then?  I said: I do not know.  The Imam said: if a person gains something lawfully, and he spends it in the right way, he will certainly receive its reward even if he spends a Dirham.
  It is impossible that a person begs something from God, which is advisable and God does not grant it.  Therefore a supplicant should always pray in this way:  O Lord, fulfill my desire if it is in my interest.  If delay in fulfilling a wish is advisable, then God will delay it. God Himself says:
*   *

“And if Allah should hasten the evil to men as they desire the hastening on of good, their doom should certainly have been decreed for them.”    Yunus, 11
  In the supplications of the Imam (A.S.) we read:
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19.  “O One whose will nothing can change.”
At times we desire something from whose evil we seek refuge with God later on and at other times we escape from something but later on we go after it.  In this connection, Imam Ali (A.S.) says:
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20.  “On many occasions man desires something but when his desire is fulfilled he wishes his desire had never been fulfilled.”
The gist of this matter has been expressed in the following Quranic verse:
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“It may be that you dislike a thing while it is good for you, and it may be that you love a thing while it is evil for you, and Allah knows, while you do not know.”    Baqarah, verse 216
  The main objective of Dua and its reward lies in its being a Divine Mercy and the fact that God’s Mercy precedes His wrath.  Therefore a Dua in which there is no good for the supplicant should not be answered.

Wrong articulation of Dua Imam Javad (A.S.) has said:
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21.  If two persons are of equal status in terms of piety and nobility, the one who is superior in good manners is more honorable to God.  The narrator says: I said: May my soul be sacrificed for you! The superiority of a person with good manners is known to people but how is it to God?  The Imam (A.S.) said the virtue is that he recites the Holy Quran as it has been revealed and avoids wrong articulation of Dua, for a Dua which is not articulated properly does not  ascend towards God.
In this relation, Imam Sadeq (A.S.) too says:
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22.  We are a people of eloquence.  Therefore, whenever you quotes us, do it properly.”
The question raised here is this: There are many persons whose Duas are not articulated properly yet they are answered, why is it so?  The answer is that God Almighty rewards the supplicant to the extent of his intention and not in accordance with the wrong articulation of Dua.
  This claim is supported by Sheikh Koleini in whose book “Kafi” polyquotes Imam Sadeq and the Holy Prophet of Islam (SAW) as saying:
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23.  “If a non-Arab muslim recites the Holy Quran in his own language, angels will take it up in its correct Arabic version.”
A Hadith on the authority of the Holy Prophet of Islam (SAW) says:
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24.  “Our deeds depend on our intention.”  or
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25.  “A believer’s intention is better than his deed.”     or
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26.  “God takes Bilal’s “seen” as “sheen” (the Holy prophet’s Muezzin, Bilal could not pronounce sheen (sh) he would say seen (s) instead).
A man came to Imam Ali  (A.S.) saying: O Ameeralmoamenin, a person is talking to Bilal but since Bilal can not pronounce the words properly, he is ridiculing Balal.  The Imam (A.S.) said:
*   *
27.  “O servant of Allah! the proper articulation of Dua is meant to purify our deeds.  Therefore, the beautiful words of one whose deeds is bad, will not avail him.  Hence, Bilal’s wrong articulation will not affect his praiseworthy deeds.”
From this Hadith, we infer that in the same way that words can be mispronounced, “deeds” too can be wrong and it is the wrong deeds which have bad effects and not the mispronunciation of words.  This was a Hadith related by Imam Javad (A.S.).  But the second Hadith is by Imam Sadeq (A.S.) who quotes the Holy Prophet of Islam (SAW) as saying:
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28.  “May God bless one who hears my words, learns them and quotes them as he has heard, for someone may be charged with knowledge but does not understand it deeply.”

With mispronunciation God’s commandments may be misinterpreted.

  For example, the Holy Prophet (SAW) was asked: suppose we sacrifice a camel, cow, or a sheep, then we find out that there is a young in the womb of the animal, can we eat from it.  The Prophet (SAW) said:
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29.  “Eat if you wish, for the slaughtering of the mother is the same as the slaughtering of the young.”
However a different reading would be “Eat if you wish for the slaughtering of young would be the same as the slaughtering of the mother.”
  That is to say if the young dies after the slaughtering of its mother and before it being slaughtered it is pure according to the first reading but impure according to the second reading.

* Advantages of Dua

  Dua has many advantages including:
a)  What is deemed advisable and God wishes to fulfill, will be fulfilled only after Dua.
Imam Sadeq’s advice to Meisar Ibne Abdulaziz refers to the same meaning when the Imam says:
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30.  “O Meisar!  call upon God and not say to yourself that the die is cast, for there is a rank with God man can not attain without asking for it.  If God’s servant closes his mouth and does not ask anything from Him, nothing will be given to him.  Therefore ask God for what you need so that He will give it to you.  O Meisar, whoever knock on a door and persists will be allowed in.”

  Amrobne Jamia too, has quoted the Imam as saying:
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31.  “Whoever does not ask for God’s special grace, will remain destitute.”
Imam Ali (A.S.) too has said:
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32.  “Never have this impression that God Almighty has opened the door of Dua but has closed the door of answering Dua.”
Imam Ali (A.S.) also says:
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33.  “If God gives someone the blessing of Dua, He will not deprive him of answer.”
Dua is the same as worshipping God.  Therefore God likes His servants to express their humility and need through it.  God Himself says:
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“And I have not created the Jinn and the men except that they should serve Me.”   Zariat, verse 56
  Etymologically, Ebadat (worshipping) means humility which is the best manifestation of servitude before God.  The Holy Prophet of Islam (SAW) says:
*   *
“Dua is the gist of worshipping.”
One of the exhortation of God to Jesus Christ (A.S.) is: 
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“O Jesus! humble your heat before Me and remember Me in private and let it be known to you that I become happy when you come towards Me with hope and fear.  Don’t you ever do it with a dead heart rather do it with a living heart.”
There is a Hadith which says:
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34.  “A believer’s Dua will increase his good deeds and rewards him in the Hereafter as his other good deeds are rewarded.”
If a Dua is sensible and it is advisable to be answered quickly, it will be answered.  But if it’s delay is advisable, then the answer will be delayed.  In this case the advantage of Dua is that the answer will be delayed.  In this case the advantage of Dua is that a person’s Dua is answered and he is rewarded for his patience.  If Dua is not sensible, rather it has evil consequence, the very Dua has a reward and it may keep off afflictions.  A Hadith by Abu Saeed Khedri quoting the Holy Prophet of Islam (SAW) supports it: 
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35.  “If a believer calls upon God and does not ask Him for cutting of family relations or a sinful deed, god Almighty will give him one of the three following virtues:
-Answers his Dua quickly
-Delays answering his Dua
-Repels from him an evil equal to what he has begged.
The companions said: O Messenger of Allah, therefore, we should increase our Duas.  The Holy Prophet (SAW) said:  God answers the Duas most frequently.  In a Hadith by Malik Ibne Anas, it has been mentioned that the Holy prophet for three times said: God answers our Duas most of the time.
  In this connection Imam Ali says:
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36.  “Sometimes God Almighty delays answering the Dua so as to give both a greater reward and a further blessing.
Sometimes delay in answering the Dua is due to the servant’s lofty position with God Almighty, for He likes to hear the voice of His servant.  In this connection Jaber Ibne Abdullah Ansari quotes the Holy Prophet of Islam (SAW) as saying:
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37.  “If a servant who is favored by God supplicates, God says to Gabriel: grant his request but delay it, for I like to hear his voice more and more but if someone, in disfavor with God, supplicates, God says to Gabriel: O Gabriel! Grant the request of My servant with haste, for I don’t like to hear his voice.”

* Advice

  You should know that If you request something from God and supplicate, you may or may not see the signs of answering.  If your request is granted do not ever think that you are pious, hence do not become proud, for you may be one of those whom God does not like and wishes to say to you on the day of Resurrection:  “Were you not among those who turned their back on Me but I granted your request?”
Therefore your duty is: to thank God for all the divine blessings and Grace and secondly to add your to good deeds and ask Him to make this haste in answering your Dua a source of His Blessings and Grace and to help you thank a blessing you did not deserve.
  Therefore you have two tasks before you.  First you should praise God, for granting your request might be the result of His favor, and secondly you should ask for forgiveness, for it might be the result of His wrath. 
  Even if your Dua is not answered, do not ever become disappointed, rather you should hope for more Grace, for it God does not answer your Dua, He probably likes to hear your voice. T
herefore your duty here is to persists in Dua, for it is through persistence that you are entitled to the reward of the Dua of the Innocent which reads:
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38.  “May God bless a man who requests something from god and persists in it.”
  Secondly you will be among God’s friends, for He Himself has suggested that He likes your voice therefore never stop calling upon Him.  Thirdly repetition of Dua may help it to be answered.  Nevertheless you must have fear from God and say to yourself: perhaps the reason my Dua is not answered is because of my sins, denying of people’s rights, negligence, hardheartedness, or because of lack of good intention towards God which do not allow my deeds to ascend to heavens.
  If this occurs, you will reach the position of “fear from God” and you have noticed that you are the blame, that you are a humble servant whose sins have kept him away from his Lord, whose lusts have deprived him of divine Mercy and have prevented him from joining followers of truth.
Nevertheless you should know that if you sit idle in this position of being aloof from your Lord and do not say anything, Satan will look for a chance to entrap you as a result of which you will be doomed to a chastisement.  Therefore, supplicate with a language of humility and say:
  My God! My Master! My Guardian! If my request is not in the interest of my faith and my life, make me pleased with Your decree.
  O God! You do not need me but I do need You.
  O God! I am Your servant and a servant should make request from his Lord.  Now that You do not receive me, to whom should I turn and to whom should I seek refuge.
  It would not be out of place to think of supplication of Imam Sajjad (A.S.) and to ponder it, since it strengthens hope in human beings:
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39.  MY God! By Your Glory, even if You put a chain round my neck, deprive me of Your pardon, disclose my disgrace before people, give order to put me into Fire, and make a separation between the righteous and me I will never lose my hope in You, nor will I expel from my heart the desire of seeking Your pardon and forgiveness, or expel from my heart Your Love.  I will never forget Your kindness and Your concealing of my defects.”
  With such supplication, increase your hope lest your fear overcomes it and leads you to despair, for only the erring ones despair of the Mercy of their Lord.
  In the meantime do not allow your hope to increase in a way that it leads to pride, for the Holy Prophet of Islam (SAW) has said:
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40.  “An intelligent person is one who abjects his carnal desires and endeavors for the Hereafter but a fool person is one who follows his carnal desires and at the same time asks forgiveness from God.
The Infallibles (A.S.) say:
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41.  “A believer has two wings, namely the wing of hope and the wing of fear.”

  Luqman in giving advice to his Son Naman says:

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“My dear son, if the breast of a believer is opened, you will see two illuminated strings in it, and if you pull them, none of them is even a bit longer than the other, they are the strings of hope and fear.”
It goes without saying that in the agony of death hope should overcome fear as recommended by the Infallibles (A.S.). 

*What should be done when Dua are not answered
  If our Duas are not answered quickly, we should be pleased with God’s decree and consider it as a blessing.  In this connection, the Holy Prophet of Islam (SAW) has said:
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43.  “Do not abhor God’s blessings nor ask for any things without giving it a thought.  If affliction befalls sustenance and life of any one of you, do not ever ask for a change, since a change might lead to death or destruction.  You should rather say:  O God, by the position of Mohammad (SAW) and his household, if there is a blessing in what has befallen me, make me patient and give me not only the power of forbearance, but make me pleased with it too.  Yet if there is blessing in something else, give that something to me.  At any rate, make me pleased with Your Decree, for praise is due only to You.”
The same meaning is conveyed by Imam Sadeq (A.S.) who says God Almighty gave the following revelation to prophet Moses (A.S.)

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44.  O Musa!  I have not created anyone more beloved than My believing servant.  Even when I afflict him or remove that affliction, it is certainly in his best interest, for I know his interest better.  Therefore, he should be patient during affliction and thankful during blessing so that I will rank him among the righteous ones and this is when he acts for My pleasure and obeys My decree.
  It has been reported on the authority of Imam Ali that God says:
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45.   “O My servants!  Obey My orders.  Do not ever wish to tell Me what your interest are, for I am not a miser and I know them better than you do.”
Then Holy Prophet of Islam (SAW) has said:
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46.  “O servants of God, you are as the sick and the Lord of the worlds as the Healer.  The interests of a sick person are in what the Healer prescribes and what is expedient for him and not in his desire or his improper requests.  Therefore submit to God’s decree that you may be successful.
  Imam Sadeq (A.S.) too says:
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47.  “I am surprised by the state of a muslim man, for any of God’s decrees about him is a blessing.  Whether he is torn into pieces with scissors or he is the master of east and west, it would be a blessing for him.”
It has been related on the authority of Imam Sadeq (A.S.) that God says:
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48.  “A servant of Mine who thinks I delay his subsistence (daily food) must beware My Wrath, for I may not open any door in this world for him.”
  One of the revelations sent to Prophet David (A.S.) is as follows:
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49.  “Whoever turns to Me and stops having hope in anyone but Me, I will be sufficient for him.  I will give to anyone who requests and answer anyone who calls upon Me.

* Hadiths on Dua

  There are many hadiths which recommend Dua but here we bring only a few examples:
Hanan Ibne Sodair says: I asked Imam Baqer (A.S.) which prayer is more virtuous?  The Imam said:
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50.  “Nothing is more praiseworthy to God than a servant’s requests and no one is more detested than one who refrains from obeying God and asking something from Him.”

  Zerareh quotes Imam Baqeer (A.S.) as saying:

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51.  “God says: those who refrain from worshipping Me will enter the Hell with disgrace.  Prayer, here, means Dua which is the best form of prayer.”

  Zerareh says I asked Imam Baqer about the meaning of the Quranic verse:

*   *
“Surely Ibrahim was very tender-hearted, forbearing.”
  The imam said tender hearted, here means one who frequently recites Dua.

  Ibne Ghaddah quotes Imam Sadeq (A.S.) as saying:
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52.  “Imam Ali says: The most praiseworthy deed on the earth to God is Dua, the best from of prayer is chastity.  Then Imam Sadeq said Imam Ali was a man of abundant Dua.
Quoting his father, Obeid Ibne Zarareh narrates that Imam Sadeq (A.S.) said:
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53.  “Dua is the same prayer that has been mentioned in the Quranic verse those who refrain from obeying Me.... call upon God and do not say the die is cast.”
Abdullah Ibne Meymoon Ghaddah quotes Imam Sadeq (A.S.) as saying:
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54.  “Dua brings answer with it in the same way that cloud brings rain.”  
Hesham Ibne Salem quoting Imam Sadeq (A.S.) says:
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55.  “Can you distinguish between long-term and short-term affliction?  They said no.  He said whenever one of you were inspired with Dua, know that the affliction will not last long.”
Abu Valad has quoted Imam Musa (A.S.) as saying:
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56.  “The affliction of a believer who succeeds in Dua will be soon removed whereas the affliction of a believer who stops Dua will last long.  Therefore whenever an affliction befalls you, supplicate to God.”
The Holy Prophet of Islam (SAW) has been quoted as saying:
*   *
57.  “Seek help from God when in need, seek refuge with Him during afflictions, supplicate, and call upon Him, for Dua is the gist of prayer.  No believer calls upon God unless his call is answered in the following ways:
-Either his request is granted in this world
-Or he will receive it in the Hereafter
-Or his sins will be concealed to the extent of his Dua, providing that he has not asked for a sinful act.”
The Holy Prophet of Islam(SAW) also says:
*   *
58.  “The weakest person is one who forgets Dua and the most mean person is one who is miser in greeting others.”
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59.  “Shall I introduce to you the most miser, the most sluggish, the most stealing person, the most oppressing and the most weak person?  They said: Yea, O Messenger of Allah.  He said:  The most miser person is one who visits a muslim but does not say Salam to him.  The most sluggish person is one who is in good health but does not praise God with his lips and tongue during leisure times.  The most stealing person is one who does not perform his prayer perfectly.  Such prayer is twisted and thrown at his face like an old piece of cloth.  The most wrong doing person is one before whom my name is said, but he does not send Allah’s greeting to me.  The weakest person is one who has forgotten Dua.”
The Holy Prophet (SAW) of God has been quoted as saying:
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60.  “The best prayer is Dua.  When God inspires someone with Dua, He opens the door of Mercy to him.  A man of Dua will never become wretched.”
  Moavieh Ibne Ammar says: I said to Imam Sadeq (A.S.): Two worshippers begin their prayer at the same time.  One of them recites more verses from the Holy Quran and the other has more Dua.  They complete their prayer at the same time.  Which one is more virtuous?
  The Imam (A.S.) said:
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61.  “Both are good and virtuous.”
  I said I know both are good but I would like to know which one is better?  He said:
*   *
  “Dua is better.  Have you not heard God saying:  Call upon Me; I will answer you.  I will make enter into the Hell with disgrace those who refrain from worshipping Me.
By God, Dua is as prayer.  By God Dua is as the most profound prayer.”
  Yaghoob Ibne Shuaib says I heard Imam Sadeq (A.S.) saying:
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62.  “God inspired Adam saying: I have collected everything for you in four words.  He said: My Lord!  What are those four words?  God said:  The first is due to Me, the second is due to you, the third is between you and Me, and the fourth is between you and people.
  Adam (A.S.) said:  My Lord, Make them clear for me .  God said: What is due to Me, is your being a servant of Me and not associate anything with Me.
  What is due to you is that I will reward your deeds with what you badly need.
And what concerns you and Me is that you recite Dua and I will answer you.  As for what concerns you and people, wish for others what you wish for yourself.
Mohammad Ibne Hassan saffar in his book of supplications quotes the Holy Prophet of Islam (SAW) as saying:
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63.  “Two persons whose deeds were the same entered paradise.  But one of  the two sees the other superior.  Hence, he says:  My Lord! we have done the same deeds.  What is his superior position for?  God said: He requested from Me but you did not.  Then the Holy Prophet of Islam (SAW) said: Request from God as much as you can, for your request is not great for God.”
In the same book, the Holy Prophet of Islam (SAW) has been quoted as saying:
*   *

64.  “Request from God so that He will grant it.  God bestowes blessings upon a group of His servants in return for their deeds and to another group in return for their sincere Dua.  Then He will gather both groups in paradise.  The first group will say:  Our Lord! We were men of good deeds and You granted our requests but how about these people?  God will say: These are My servants.  I gave you your rewards fully.  These people too requested from Me and I gave them a share of My abundant Grace and Mercy.  I will give to anyone I wish.”

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