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Etiquette of Du'a

  • Ask with absolute resolve, and believe with certainty that your du'a will be answered.

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    The Prophet () said: 'When one of you makes du'a he should not say, 'O Allah, forgive me if You wish, have mercy on me if you wish, give me provision if you wish,' but he should ask with resolve because he does what he likes; no one can force Him.' (Bukhari reported it).

    The Prophet () also said: 'Ask Allah () when you are sure of His response, and remember that Allah () does not accept the du'a of the unmindful and neglect heart.' (Declared Hasan by Sheikh Al-Albani in "Silsilah al-Ahadith Al-Sahihah" no 594)

  • Perseverance in making du'a
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    The Prophet () said: 'The servant's du'a will be answered provided he does not ask for what is sinful or for the breaking off of relations, and also if he does not show impatience.' He was asked, 'O Messenger of Allah, what is impatience?' And he replied, 'That the servant says: "I invoked, but I do not think it (my invocation) was answered", and he becomes disappointed and abandons du'a.' (Narrated by Muslim in his "Sahih" from Abu Hurairah).

  • Make du'a in every condition
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    The Messenger of Allah () said: 'The one who likes Allah to answer him at the time of adversity and hardship, then let him increase in making du'a in time of ease.' (Reported by al-Tirmidhi and al-Hakim who authenticated it. Agreed by al-Dhahabi. It is in "Sahih al-Jami" no 6166)

  • Du'a should not be made against family and property
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    Muslim reported in his "Sahih" from Jabir (radhiAllahu 'anhu) that the Prophet () said: 'Do not make du'a against yourself, nor make du'a against your children, nor your property, for your du'a may coincide with the time when Allah grants all supplication, and your du'a might be granted (and cause you harm).'

  • Du'a should not be directed to other than Allah
  • () alone (read more...)

    The prophet () said to ibn 'Abbas (radhiAllahu 'anhumaa): 'O young man, I am going to teach you some words: Be mindful of Allah, and He will be mindful of you. Be mindful of Allah, and you will find Him before you. When you ask, ask Allah. When you wish to seek help, seek help from Allah. Remember that if all the people come together to bring you benefit they cannot benefit you except what Allah has written. On the other hand, if they come together to cause (you) any harm they will not be able to do it except for what Allah has written. The pens have been laid aside, and the scrolls have dried.' (Narrated by al-Tirmidhi who declared it Hasan Sahih).

  • The supplicant should keep his voice between a whisper and speaking aloud
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    Allah Almighty says:


    (O mankind!) Call upon your Lord humbly and in secret. Lo! He loveth not aggressors. (7:55)

    The Prophet () said: 'Be kind to yourselves for you are not calling upon One who is deaf or absent. You are calling upon One who is All-Hearing and All-Seeing.' (Bukhari & Muslim reported it from Abu Musa).

  • Ask Allah () with His Beautiful Names
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    Allah the Exalted says:

    Allah's are the fairest names. Invoke Him by them. And leave the company of those who blaspheme His names. They will be requited what they do. (7:180)

    It is reported in an authentic tradition that the Prophet () heard a man saying in his prayer: 'O Allah, I am asking you. O Allah the Eternal Absolute, the One who begets not nor is begotten, and there is none like unto Him; forgive my sins for You are the most Forgiving and the most Merciful.' The Prophet () said, "He has been forgiven, he has been forgiven." (Abu Dawud, al-Nisa'i, Ahmad and ibn Khuzaimah. Authenticated by al-Hakim and agreed by al-Dhahabi. Sheikh al-Albani brings it in "Sifatus-Salatun-Nabi" and comments on it. In another incident the Prophet () also heard someone in his prayer saying: 'O Allah I ask You, for praise is due to You. There is none worthy of worship but You alone (without any partners), the Originator of the Heavens and the earth, full of Might and Glory, the living and Self-Subsisting Eternal. I am asking for Paradise, and seeking Your refuge from Hell.' The Prophet () said to his companions, "Do you know by what he asked?" They answered, 'Allah and His messenger know better.' He () said, "[By The One in whose hand is my soul], he has invoked Allah by His Supreme Name by which if He is invoked He grants, by which if He is asked He gives."

    (Reported by Abu Dawud, al-Nasa'i, Ahmad, al-Bukhari in "al-Adab al-Mufrad", al-Tabrani & ibn Mundah in "al-Tawhid" by Sahih chains of transmission.

  • Confession of sin
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    Shaddad bin Aws (radhiAllahu 'anhu) narrated that the Prophet () said, 'The supreme way of asking for forgiveness from Allah is to say: "O Allah, You are my Lord, there is none worthy of worship but You, You have created me, and I am Your servant. I am committed to my covenant and my promise to You as much as I can. I seek refuge with You from the evil I have done. I acknowledge before you all the Blessings You have bestowed upon me, and I confess to You all my sins. So grant forgiveness for no one can forgive sins except You." The Prophet () added, "If somebody says it during the day with firm faith in it, and dies on the same day before the evening he will be among the people of Paradise. And if someone says it at night with firm faith in it and dies before the morning, he will be among the people of Paradise."

    (Bukhari reported it)

  • Rhymed prose should be avoided in du'a
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    It is obvious from the report of Bukhari that ibn 'Abbass advised one of the Companions saying, 'Speak weekly to the people, if not then twice a week. If you want more, then three times. Do not bore the people by this Qur'an. I would not like to see you coming to the group engaged in conversation and interfering with it (the conversation) and starting to preach to them thus causing annoyance, but wait and listen. If they ask you then speak while they are interested. Note the rhymed du'a and avoid it because I found the Messenger of Allah () and his Companions doing it; that is avoiding the rhymed du'a.'

  • One should show humility, entreaty, desire and fear while making du'a
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    Allah The Exalted said:

    And do thou (O Muhammad) remember thy Lord within thyself humbly and with awe, below thy breath, at morn and evening. And be not thou of the neglectful. (7:205)

    He also said:

    Then We heard his prayer, and bestowed upon him John, and adjusted his wife (to bear a child) for him. Lo! they used to vie one with the other in good deeds, and they cried unto Us in longing and in fear, and were submissive unto Us. (21:90)

  • One should repent and try to make amends where one has wronged
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    Al-Bukhari and Muslim reported that the Messenger of Allah () said about the man who stretched his arms to the Heavens saying, 'O my Lord, O my Lord,' but his food is haraam (unlawful), his dress is haraam and he has been nourished from what is haraam, so how could his prayer be answered?

  • Du'a should be repeated three times as confirmed in the following hadith
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    Abdullah ibn Mas'ud narrated, "While the Messenger of Allah  () was praying near the ka'bah, a group of Quraysh were gathered in their meeting place. One of them spoke, 'Who can go to the place of the slaughtered camel of so-and-so family and fetch his droppings, its guts and its blood, then wait until he (the Prophet) bows in prostration then he puts the whole (thing) between his shoulder.' The most wretched of them arose (and brought the filth). When the Prophet () bowed in prostration, he put it between his shoulders. The Prophet () remained in prostration (as he could not rise) and they laughed and fell over each other from laughter. In the meantime someone went to Fatimah radi Allahu anha and told her. She came running. The Prophet () was still in prostration. She removed the filth from him, and turning around to them started swearing at those men. After completing his prayer, the Messenger of Allah () said, 'Destroy the Quraysh (he said it three times),' – it was his habit to repeat a dua three times, and when he asked for something he would do the same- 'O Allah, destroy Amr ibn Hisham, Utba bin Rabi'a, Shaybah bin Rabi'a, Al-Walid bin Utba, Umayya bin Khalaf, Uqba bin Abu Mu'ayt and Umara bin Al-Walid.'" Abdullah said, "By Allah I saw them slaughtered o¬n the day of Badr, and being dragged to be thrown in the well of Badr. Then the Messenger of Allah () said, 'O Allah, attend the people of the well with a curse.'"

  • Conveying the blessings of Allah () (salat) to the Prophet ()
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    This is a requirement for the acceptance of dua. The Prophet () said, 'Every dua is suspended until the blessing of Allah is conveyed upon the Prophet.' (Sahih Al-Jami #4399 vol. 4)

  • Facing the Qiblah while making du'a
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    Abu Hurairah radi Allahu anhu said, 'The Messenger of Allah () faced the Qibla and said, "O Allah guide Daws (Those to the right path).'" (Bukhari & Muslim). Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal rahimahullah and others hold this view. Ibn Taymiyyah has also endorsed it in his book "Al-Iqtida" pp. 175-181 while condemning the abominable innovations practiced at the grave of the Prophet (). He said, "We have mentioned the view of Ahmad and others that when a person comes to greet the Prophet and his two friends (Abu Bakr & Umar) then he wants to make dua he should turn away to face the Qiblah." Our Shaykh Al-Albani has also agreed with this view in his book "Ahkam Al-Jana'iz" pp. 221-222.

  • One should raise both hands
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    Al-Bukhari reported that Ibn Umar said, 'The Prophet () raised his hand and said, "O Allah, I declare my innocence of what Khalid has done.'" Al-Bukhari also reported in his "Sahih" from Abu Musa who said, 'The Prophet () made dua and he raised his hands until he saw the whiteness of his underarm.' ( Hafiz ibn Hajr said in "Fath Al-Bari" 11/120, "There are many traditions in favor of raising hands in dua. Al-Mundhari has collected them in a separate booklet, and Al-Nawawi has cited some of them in his books: "Al-Adhkar" and "Sharh Al-Muhadhdhah". Bukhari wrote a chapter about it in "Al-Adab Al-Mufrad".

  • One should have ablution*
  • * This is recommended (mustahab) and not compulsory (wajib). There are hadith reported by Muslim and others that the Messenger of Allah () used to remember Allah (swt) all the time. Thus it is permissible to supplicate even when one is need of an obligatory bath. (read more...)

    Abu Musa reported, 'When the Prophet () had finished from the battle of Hunayn he sent Abu 'Amir to lead an army to Atwas, and he sent me with him. Abu 'Amir was struck in his knee by an arrow which a man from Jusham had shot, and it lodged in his knee. I removed it, and water oozed out of it. He said, "O son of my brother, convey my greetings to the Prophet (), and request him to ask Allah's forgiveness for me." He survived for a short while then died. I returned and called on the Prophet () at his house, and found him lying in a bed made of the stalks of date palm leaves knitted with ropes and on it there was bedding. The strings of the bed had left their marks on his back and sides. I told him about our and Abu 'Amir's news, and his request (to tell him to ask Allah's forgiveness for him). The Prophet asked for water, performed ablution, and raised his hands saying, "O Allah forgive Your servant Abu 'Amir." I saw the whiteness of the Prophet's underarm. He continued, "O Allah make him on the Day of Resurrection superior to many of Your human creatures." I said, 'Would you ask Allah's forgiveness for me as well?' He said, "O Allah, forgive the sins of Abdullah ibn Qays and admit him to a nice entrance on the Day of Resurrection.'"

    (Al-Bukhari & Muslim reported it. The text is from "Sharh al-Sunnah" of al-Baghawi as authenticated by Sheikh Shu'aib Arna'ut [5/200-201])

    Hafiz ibn Hajr said in "Al-Fath" 8/35, "It is indicated in this report that performing ablution when making dua is desirable (mustahab)."



    Sources :

    (‘The Book of Du’a’ by Shaikh Hussain Al-‘Awaaishah. Published by Jam’iat Ihyaa’ Minhaaj Al-Sunnah p.11-21)