SUPPLICATION (DU’A) SOFTEN’S THE HEART

SUPPLICATION (DU’A) SOFTEN’S THE HEART

Allaah The Almighty made supplication to be an act of worship and an acceptable offering that brings the slave closer to Him. He commanded His slaves to resort to Him, so as to obtain a high rank and become closer to Him. Supplication was also commanded and made to be a means of expressing hope in His mercy, and all creatures resort to Allaah in times of need and depend on Him in times of disaster and catastrophe. The essence of supplication is for a person to show their need to Allaah The Almighty and to be freed from any independent power or strength, and to feel the humility of mankind before its Lord.

Supplication also includes praising Allaah and acknowledging His generosity and bounty; Allaah The Almighty Says (what means):

“And when My servants ask you, [O Muhammad (SAWS)], concerning Me – indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me.”
(Quran 2:186)

If a person contemplates the meaning of this ayat he will feel the highest degree of gentleness, transparency and intimacy. It is a ayat that pours out affection, intimacy, satisfaction, confidence and certainty within a believer’s heart. If softness of the heart was the only benefit of making supplication, then it would have been enough; Allaah The Almighty Says (what means):

“Then why, when Our punishment came to them, did they not humbly supplicate? But their hearts became hardened.”
(Quran 6:43)

Moreover the Prophet, SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam, said:

“Supplication is worship.”

Supplication is the most honorable act of worship in the sight of Allaah The Almighty, as the Prophet, SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam, said:

“There is nothing that is more honorable in the sight of Allaah than supplication.”

Allaah The Almighty promises that He will answer the believer’s supplication when He Says (what means):

“And your Lord says, “Call upon Me, I will respond to you.”
(Quran 40:60)

In a Hadeeth on the authority of Abu Sa‘eed Al-Khudri, RadiyAllahu Anhu, the Prophet, SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam, said:

“For a person who supplicates to Allaah for anything that does not include sin or the severing of kinship ties, Allaah will answer his supplication in one of three ways:
Either by responding to his supplication immediately, or
Saving its reward for him [in the Hereafter] or
Fending off some adversity or disaster that is equal to what he would have gained from his supplication.”

Upon hearing this, the Companions said:
‘O Messenger of Allaah, should we therefore supplicate abundantly?’

The Messenger of Allaah, SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam, replied:

“What Allaah has in response will always be more abundant.”

Thus ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattaab, RadiyAllahu Anhu, would say:
‘I do not worry about the answering of my supplication, but I worry about the supplication [itself]. A person who is given the supplication is given the response to it.”

THE MANNERS AND ETIQUETTES OF SUPPLICATION

There is no doubt that the supplication that is hoped will be answered is the one that fulfills the conditions and forms mentioned in the Sharee’ah. Some of these characteristics include:

- Utilizing the recommended times for supplication. A person should choose the noblest of times when his supplication is most likely to be answered. Recommended times of supplication include: the Day of ‘Arafah, the month of Ramadan, Fridays, and the last third of the night. Moreover, a person should seek the times and states when supplication is likely to be answered, such as the last part of the night when Allaah The Exalted descends[1]
during prostration,
when a person remembers Allaah before sleeping and if he gets up during the night,
during the Athaan (first call to prayer), between the Athaan and the Iqaamah (immediate call to prayer),
during rainfall,
when armies meet on the battlefield,
during the last hour of daytime on a Friday,
when a person supplicates in favor of his absent brother,
the supplication of the traveler and the oppressed,
the supplication of someone who is fasting,
the supplication of parents for their children, and
supplications made during Ramadan.

- Facing the Qiblah (Makkah), raising one’s hands, avoiding unnecessary rhyme and showing humbleness and submissiveness. Allaah The Almighty Says (what means):

“Call upon your Lord in humility and privately; indeed, He does not like transgressors.”
(Quran 7:55)

“Indeed, they used to hasten to good deeds and supplicate Us in hope and fear, and they were to Us humbly submissive.”
(Quran 21:90)

- Lowering the voice when supplicating. A low voice is more respectful and more suitable for expressing the glorification of Allaah The Almighty. Furthermore, a low voice increases a person’s humbleness and submissiveness before Allaah, and this is central to supplication. A person who is humble and submissive asks like a humble, needy person whose heart is broken and whose organs are submissive, and a loud voice is not appropriate for a state like this. Moreover, a quiet voice is likely to increase one’s sincerity and make the heart more attentive. It also denotes closeness to Allaah The Almighty, which is one of the wonderful secrets of supplication.

Therefore, Allaah The Almighty praised His slave Zakariyya (Zechariah)  in the Ayat (which means):

“When he called upon his Lord in a low voice.”
(Quran 19:3)

Using a low voice when supplicating is a means of protecting this incomparable and great favor from envy.

- Beginning the supplication by mentioning and praising Allaah and concluding it with asking Allaah to exalt the mention of the Messenger of Allaah, SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam, The Prophet, SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam, said:

“Every supplication is suspended until the supplicant calls for Allaah to exalt the mention of the Prophet.”

- Maintaining internal manners. Internal purification is one of the most important manners that a supplicant should observe. It is the main cause behind the answering of his supplication. Thus a supplicant must renew his repentance, give back rights to the wronged, purify his heart from envy and other diseases that present an obstacle between his heart and Allaah, and make sure that he is eating from lawfully earned sustenance.

- A person should be firm in his supplication and confident that Allaah will respond. The Prophet, SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam, said:

“Supplicate to Allaah and be confident of His response, and remember that Allaah will not answer a supplication that comes from a negligent and heedless heart.”

In another Hadeeth the Prophet, SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam, said:

“When one of you supplicates to Allaah, he should not say, ‘O Allaah, forgive me if You wish’; rather he should be firm and ask Him insistently as Allaah gives whatever He wants to give.”

The Prophet, SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam, also said:

“No one should say when supplicating to Allaah, ‘O Allaah, forgive me if You wish, O Allaah, have mercy upon me if You wish’; rather, he should be firm in his supplication, for Allaah cannot be compelled.”

The meaning being “firm in his supplication” is to ask for whatever he wants without making it contingent on the will of Allaah. A person should say, for example, ‘O Allaah, give me from Your bounty’, ‘O Allaah, forgive me.’ And so on.

Sufyaan ibn ‘Uyaynah  said:
‘One should not let his sins prevent him from supplicating to Allaah. Allaah The Almighty has answered the supplication of the most evil creature, the accursed Satan, and cursed indeed is he. Allaah Says (what means):

“He said, ‘My Lord, then Reprieve me until the Day they are resurrected.’ [Allaah] said, “So indeed, you are of those reprieved..”
(Quran 15:36-37)

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