Post-Ramadan Teensie-Weensie Tip #3: Stop Duaing. Start Doing.
Erm, “duaing”, you ask? Surely that was a typo, right?
Nope. It’s a term that I invented (unless someone has already beaten me to it, of course).
What is “duaing” exactly?
Umm Muawiyah’s Dictionary of Self-Invented Words lists the definition as follows:
Duaing (pronounced doo-aa-ing): Repeatedly doing dua without bothering to follow through with any action that will result in getting the dua accepted.
N.B. This term does not refer to repeatedly doing dua without taking action in the cases where one is unable to take any action.
A few examples will help you understand further:
Example # 1:
Brother A does constant dua to get a job. Every day, he wakes up expecting the phone to ring with an interview call.
There’s just one problem. He doesn’t do anything except dua. He doesn’t send his CV to different companies, doesn’t sign up with any recruitment agencies, doesn’t ask people he knows for any information, doesn’t read the classifieds, etc.
He just does dua to get a job.
Example # 2:
Sister B does constant dua for her temper to cool down. She has serious issues with anger management. Every day, she wakes up expecting her temper to have miraculously gone away.
There’s just one problem. She doesn’t do anything except dua. She doesn’t attend any anger management courses, doesn’t see a counselor, doesn’t try to read up more about this issue, doesn’t try the shariah cures, doesn’t try to surround herself with people who will help her, etc.
She just does dua for her temper to go away.
Example # 3:
Sister C does constant dua to be a good muslim. She doesn’t pray, fast, give in charity or read Quran. She doesn’t wear hijab and she hangs out with all the wrong people. She constantly backbites about others.
Every day, she wakes up expecting to have turned into a really good muslim who prays all five prayers (along with the sunnan), fasts every Monday and Thursday, gives loads in charity, reads a few ajzaa of the Quran daily, wears the hijab (maybe even the abaya and the niqaab) and has wonderful religious friends of excellent character. Oh and she has the best tongue in the world, of course. Nothing but good comes out of it.
There’s just one problem. She doesn’t do anything except dua. She doesn’t start praying and doesn’t even set an alarm clock to remind her to pray.
She doesn’t even try fasting once a month and doesn’t even set an alarm clock to wake her up for suhoor.
She doesn’t start by giving a little bit in charity and doesn’t even make an effort to ask if there are any people in need.
She doesn’t read a few lines from the Quran daily and doesn’t even try to. She doesn’t even have a clue where her mushaf is.
She doesn’t make an effort to go to Islamic classes where she will be around righteous people. She doesn’t even make an effort to find out if there are any classes in her area.
She doesn’t go shopping to buy a hijab so that when she finally gets the courage to put it on, it’s right there in front of her.
She doesn’t make an effort to read about the sins of the tongue and doesn’t try to stop herself from socialising with the wrong people who will only aggravate her problem of backbiting.
All she does is dua, all the while waiting for it to finally fall into place.
Hmmm…..does that last one sound at all familiar?
Of course, it does. Let’s be very honest here. It describes us to some degree, doesn’t it?
We all expect to wake up one day with all the missing parts of the picture in place. We expect ourselves to have turned from zeroes into heroes (or zeroines* into heroines).
[*Yes, I invented another word. At this rate, I might even invent a new language.]
There’s just one problem. In many cases, all we do is dua without accompanying that dua with action!
Many people think that this is tawakkul (relying upon Allah). It is not.
Tawakkul is doing dua (because without it, you’ll never accomplish your task), taking the means (but not relying on them as Allah is the one who is meant to be relied upon) and then putting your trust in Allah.
Let me give you an example:
Suppose that you have a serious foot problem. You consistently do dua to Allah to help you cure this problem. At the same time, you also visit the doctor to find out what the issue is. You then follow his/her advice and take the required medication.
However, you do NOT rely on her. In your heart, you are certain that Allah is the one that will cure you, not the medicine nor the doctor. You know that they are simply means by which Allah will cure you.
So, what do we all do?
Okay, here goes:
1) Continue with the duas.
This is called “doing dua” not “duaing”.
Doing doesn’t mean that you stop the dua, rather it means that you don’t just stop at the duas. We need Allah’s help to make things easy for us which is why we have to do dua consistently.
2) Remember your dua list? Well, open it up.
Suppose you have the following things in there:
a) Pray at the earliest times every day (all five prayers)
b) Read one juz of Quran every day
c) Don’t scream at my children and my husband [For the man: Don’t scream at my children and my wife]
d) Wear hijab [For the man: Grow a beard]
e) Social work
f) Attend some Islamic classes
g) Get cured of my diabetes
[No, this is not my dua list, although it may have a few things in common.]
Okay, now you need to work on a plan that will allow you to accomplish these things. Remember, the dua is for the door to open, but you need to make an attempt to open the door. It’s not going to open on its own.
So, here’s what you could start with:
a) Buy one of those Fajr clocks or set an alarm to remind you to pray right after the adhan (Brothers, please pray in congregation in the masjid). Even if you don’t pray at the earliest time, you try to pray earlier every day until you reach your target.
b) Aim not to sleep until you have read at least one page of the Quran. Once you’re comfortable with that, increase the number to 2 pages and so on.
c) Try to read books on anger management and talk to your spouse about this issue (if you can. I know that not everybody is able to do this.) Try to keep your tongue soft with the remembrance of Allah.
If you end up screaming, do wudhu and apologise immediately. Aim to decrease the “temper tantrums” day by day.
d) Try to attend gatherings with righteous people who will encourage you to wear hijab (or for the brothers, grow a beard).
For the sisters: The next time you have a moment of “high iman”, take advantage of that and buy a hijab.
For the brothers: The next time you have a moment of “high iman”, take advantage of that and tell your parents/wife/siblings/children/whoever to hide your shaver.
e) Try to find out about any charity organisations in your area. If not, then perhaps you could start a little something on your own, where you aim to help one poor person a week. You could ask your family and friends to help out as well.
f) Try to find out about any Islamic classes in your area. If you have them around, then aim to start as soon as possible.
If not, then try to join some online classes.
[Note: Please make sure that you do istikhara before joining any Islamic classes. Just because someone says that they are Ahlus Sunnah, it does not mean that they are in fact Ahlus Sunnah.]
g) Try to find any cure for diabetes. Aim to at least keep it under control by not eating sugary items. You could also take black seed oil daily.
You will see, insha-Allah, that you will have accomplished something in your dua list.
3) What if you’re doing dua for something that you cannot take any action for?
Remember when Yunus (alaihissalam) was in the whale’s tummy? There was nothing he could do except dua.
If you look at the definition of duaing, then this doesn’t fall under it.
I hope that the whole thing didn’t confuse you.
So, one more time:
Stop Duaing. Start Doing (but keep doing dua).