An Article on Dua'a

A superior way of prayer and an easy method to achieve nearness to Allah is through supplication. The method of supplication, as prescribed by the Infallible Imams (a.s.), is that after offering the mandatory prayers, one must recite supplications depending on the time that can be taken out from the other duties.
The Creator of the Universe Himself says, “ Call Me ( through supplication) and I shall respond! Those who don’t believe in supplication are conceited people. Their place will be the Hell in the Hereafter. If man wants to call Allah and wishes the prayers to be answered, then he has to implicitly follow the Commandments of Allah.”
Supplication is petitioning Allah for fufillment of ones legitimate desires. It is therefore necessary that the supplicant should be conversant with the meaning of the prayer and the etiquette of reciting the prayer. He must recite the supplication with dedication of heart and his attitude should be equally submissive if not more than what he adopts for asking a favor from a fellow human being.
Salawatullahi alaihi was salawatu malaekatehi wa anbiaehi wa rusulehi wa jamie kalqehi ala Mohammadin wa aale Mohammedin wassalamu alaihi wa alaihim wa rehmatullahi wa barkatahu,
his sins would be obliterated and he would be as clean as he way at his birth.
Alhamdu lillahi rabil aalameena was salallahu Mohammedin wa ahl e baytehi
Although the Almighty has promised the creatures that their supplications would be answered, there are certain reasons for non-acceptance of some prayers.
Since He is Omnipotent and Omniscient, His will is dominant over all that happens. If the wishes of the people are in accord with His will, their prayers would most certainly be answered. For example, can a generous person, if asked, put a venomous snake in the hand of another person or give a bottle of poison that the other desires of consuming? The generous person knows the consequences of such actions and his denying acquiescence would be in the best interest of the prospective recipient. Similarly, some people pray to Allah for grant of such wishes that, if fulfilled, they might harmful for them. But these people are ignorant of the harmful consequences of what they wish to have. Allah is all-knowing and has the best interest of the creatures in view.. Someone might say, if Allah decides what is in the best interest of an individual, then what is the need of supplicating to Him. They think that we might as well leave everything to the wish of Allah.
The reply to such doubts is that there are three types of wishes of the people that come to the consideration of Allah:
1. There are certain wishes that are granted by Allah without ever asking for.
2. There are certain wishes that are not granted despite repeated supplications.
3. There are certain other wishes for granting of which one has to make supplications.
Since man, in most cases, cannot categorise the wishes, he has to pray and supplicate to Allah for fulfillment of all his desires and wishes. Men should know that supplication itself is a very superior prayer..
The other reason for supplication is that everything is governed by certain norms. For example, offering mandatory prayers is a means of ones salvation. True! But prayer too is subject to certain norms. If someone offers prayer without the mandatory ablution, his prayer would not be accepted although, as mentione earlier, prayer is a means of salvation of the person. Similarly for supplication there are certain norms to be observed. Unless a person supplicates with humility, tears (Giria), knowledge of Allah, regularity in prayers, abstention from bad deeds, fair means of sustenance, truthfulness in words and actions etc his wishes may not be granted. Therefore, for Allah to keep His promise to answer the prayers of his creatures, they have to abide by certain conditions.
The third reason is that Allah wants that the prayers are answered with some delay. Perhaps, immediate acceptance of the prayers of people is not in their best interests. Or perhaps Allah wants the creature to supplicate again, and again, in a tone of submission and capitulation so that his status in piety enhances. Certain other times the prayer is answered but there is delay in its taking effect. Hazrat Moosa (a.s.)’s prayer for the destruction of Pharoh tokk thirty years to fruition.
It is narrated through authentic sources that Ahmed bin Abi Nasr told to Imam Reza (a.s.) , “ O Imam! Several years passed that I have been supplicating, but my wish has not been granted till now. I am getting doubts in my mind because of this delay!”
The Imam (a.s.) said, “ O Ahmed! Keep your heart free of the Satanic doubts! It is the Satan who makes you doubt Allah’s Munificence. My ancestor, Imam Mohammed Baqir (a.s.), said,’ It is necessary for a momin to pray the same way during times of hardship as he does when times are good. When the wishes are granted, he should not stop supplication. He should not tire of supplicating. In the eyes of Allah, prayer has a superior status. It is necessary that you remain calm and patient in difficult times. Ask for legitimate things from Allah. Don’t delay helping your kith and kin. Abstain from people’s differences and fights. Remember! We Ahi al Bayt keep cordial relations even with those who mean harm to us. By Allah! We pray for their welfare too! You should know that if a rich person gives some help to a needy person, the recepient becomes hopeful of getting more help from him. When Allah grants bounties to a person, he should remember that in return Allah wants him to meet certain norms.
Imam Mohammed Baqir (a.s.) has said that the prayers of a momin are answered with some delay because Allah wants to hear His sincere creature again and again! The Imam (a.s.) asked a person if he would believ if he (the Imam) made a promise to him? The man said, “ O son of the Prophet (a.s.)! How could it be that I don’t believe you!” The Imam (a.s.) said, “ You are ready to trust the word of a creature like you, will you not believe in the promises that Allah has made to you?” Then the Imam (a.s.) added,” It is necessary that you believe in Allah’s promises. He has promised:
“Wa iza salaka ibadi anni fainni kharibun ujeebu daawat addaaee iza da aan”
O my friend! My creatures ask you questions about me; tell them I am near them I accept the prayer of one who prays
Then Allah says,” Don’t lose hope in Allah’s Mercies.” And said,” Allah promises you of great rewards and lots of bounties” It is imperative for you that you trust in Allah more than you can trust anyone else. When you have good thoughts in your heart, don’t give way to other doubts. Thus your sins will be pardoned.”
- The man replied,” I was offering my prayers to the Creator of the land and the skies.
- Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s.) asked, “ Where be your dwelling?
- The man pointed to a hill in reply.
- Hazrat Ibrahim(a.s. ) said, "I too wish to visit your abode."
- He replied, "There is a river enroute that you cannot cross."
- Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s.) asked, “ Then how do you go across?”
- He said,” I can walk on the water.”
- Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s.) said, “ Perhaps Allah might endow to me the capability to walk on the water.”
- Consequently both of them walked across the girth of the river.
- Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s.) asked,” Tell me which is the greatest of all days?
- The man said,” The Day of Reckoning!”
- Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s.) said,” Come! Let us both pray to Allah for Deliverance on that fateful day.”
- The pious man said,” Why do you make me a partner in your prayer? I have been supplicating for the last three years and my wish has not been granted so far!”
- Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s.) asked,” What is your wish?”
- The man said,” On day I found a handsome lad grazing a flock. I asked him who owned the flock. The lad replied that the owner was Ibrahim Khalil ar Rehman. I prayed to Allah that if He had a Khalil (friend) on the earth, then He must give me the honor of setting eye on that revered personality. .But my prayer has remained unanswered.”
- Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s.) said,” Your wish has been fulfilled. I am Ibrahim Khalil Allah! The reason for the delay in answering your prayers was that Allah appreciated the way you modulated your supplication and He wanted to hear you making the call again and again. .Your repeated supplication enhanced your status in the consideration of Allah.”
The fourth reason for Allah not answering the prayers of a supplicant is that the wish that granting the wish might be against the person’s own interest. Allah has the intention of rewarding him with something more useful. As, for example, someone approaches a generous person for a pecuniary help of a certain amount. The generous person, after due consideration, which might take some time, helps him with an amount ten times more than the man expected! Therefore it is not the rejection of the prayer but, in fact, it is an enhancement in the generosity.
There are several benefits accruing from prayer. All the time spent in preparing for the nearness to Allah and supplication is a part of one’s prayer.
Dear reader! You must have observed that Allah attracts the ignorant creatures towards Himself by making innumerable promises. This can be explained by the simile of a king making the hawk sit on his arm with affection to train it to hunt. He gives a variety of food to the bird to befriend it. When the hawk is fully trained, he lets it go hunting and to return and perch on his arm. Another example is of parents training and educating their children and, in the process, informing them the myriad uses of learning and skills. When the child is not attentive, they give him pretty dresses and other goodies to attract him towards learning. When the child gets motivated, he himself tries to excel in the skills that the parents wanted him to acquire. Then, whatever comes in the way, the child continues making progress. Similar is the disposition of man.
Man doesn’t understand the pleasures and the successes of the Hereafter. Therefore, the Almighty, with His kindness and indulgence invites men towards Himself thus:
“O my creatures! Come. Whatever you ask for, I shall give you! I have everything that can bring you closer to Me! They can thus accomplish their wants in the world and also in the Hereafter. What degree of Munificence that, notwithstanding the Omnipotence, I have, I am calling you closer to Me.. But the ignorant creatures are worrying futilely that their prayers have remained unanswered.!”
Therefore Allah says:
Innal insaana lerabbehi lakanoor
"Truly man manifests ungratefulness to his Creator"
Man wonders why his prayer remained unanswered. He doesn’t think that supplication is a part of the prayer required of him. When he made entreaty to Allah, he came closer to Him! He communicated his feelings and wishes to the Creator and the Sustainer! He heard Allah's ’labbaek (thy beck and call)! O supplicant! If you realize the true happiness of prayer and supplication, and the eyes of your heart fathom the mysteries of the attention Allah gives to your lamentations, you would sacrifice your own self not to talk of your mundane wishes! Imagine, a person gets the opportunity with a man in authority, say, a king! And that monarch looks with some attention at the visitor. In his wonderment the man might forget to make his submission to the worthy!
What a pity that when people supplicate before the Almighty Allah, they forget that they have an opportunity to address Allah who has the control of everything in the Universe.
Allah says,” O My creature! Pray and trust Me for your welfare!” And man in his ignorance behaves stubbornly. If he hadn’t a screen of negligence over his mind, he could understand the truth. Allah says,” O angels! Delay fulfilling his wishes! I like the voice in which he is supplicating. If man realizes this, he will submit himself totally to the wish of Allah and shun praying for mundane wishes.
Authentic sources quote that Imam Jafar e Sadiq (a.s.) has said,” There are three types of persons whose prayers are answered:
1. Those who go on the holy pilgrame of Haj, their prayers are answered. It is advisable that people at home are taken good care of...
2. Those who do Jehad in the way of Allah. His family and children must be provided support in his absence.
3. The prayers of the sick are also answered. People should, therefore take care of the sick and should not upset them in any way.
Imam Mohammed Baqir (a.s.) said that five prayers are such that Allah will certainly accept them:
1. Prayer by the Just Imam.
2. Prayer of the oppressed (mazloom).
3. The prayer of a pious son for his parents.
4. The prayer of pious parents for their son.
5. The prayer of a momin for his brothe momin in his absence.
- Imam Jafar e Sadiq (a.s.) has said,” Allah shall definitely accept six types of prayer:
1. Prayer of a pious father for his son.
2. Curse of a father for his disinherited (Aaq-shuda) son.
3. Curse of an oppressed person against a tyrant..
4. The prayer of one momin for another..
5. The prayer of an oppressed when he recieves a consideration from a cruel person..
6. Prayer for the pleasure of the Ahl al Bayt.
The Prophet of Allah (a.s.) says,” Beware of the curse of the oppressed.that it goes beyond the skies and Allah looks at him with kindness and says,’ Raise his prayer, I shall accept it!’”
The Prophet (a.s.) also said,” Prevent yourself from your father’s curse. It is sharper than the spear!”
“Innal hasanate yuzhibnal sayyiaat”
No doubt virtues obliterate the sins
Said “that the verse means that when a momin offers the namaz e shab, his sins committed during the day are obliterated.”