بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
[Here’s Day 21.]
10. Many people don’t have a correct understanding of dua (supplication).
In this section, I’m not going to be focusing on the etiquettes of dua but rather some errors that people make with regards to dua. The reason for these errors is due to their lack of knowledge of Allah’s Names and Attributes and of His Rights.
a) Forgetting to do dua.
Unfortunately, this is a very, very, very common problem.
A couple of years ago, I had a Ramadan workshop and was talking about the importance of dua.
One of the sisters in attendance, came up to me at the end and told me that during the workshop, she realised that she hadn’t been doing dua. At all.
[Note: I do not teach anymore. I moved over to blogging.]
This was a bit shocking to me. How could people NOT do dua?
Subhan Allah, after that, I met so many people who had the same issue. Either they didn’t ask at all or they forget to do dua for things that they wanted!
One of my classmates was searching for a specific type of cat for her daughter and she was telling me the story. I asked her if she had done dua. No, she had forgotten.
Have you wanted something (halal) for a long time?
If the answer is yes, have you ever asked Allah for it? If you haven’t asked, then why not??
I repeat: ASK ALLAH.
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
[Here’s Day 18. That’s where I stopped last year. I’ll just continue using the same numbering system.]
Note: Last year I forgot to mention some of the sources that I’m using for this series. I’m using this book compiled from Tafsir As-Saadi, Shaikh ibn Uthaimeen’s explanation of Aqeedah Al-Waasitiyyah as well as my teacher Ustadh Aziz Farhan’s explanation of it (these are class notes so they are not publicly available), Fiqh Al-Asmaa was-Sifaat by Shaikh Abdur Razzaq Al-Abbaad, Sharh Asma Allah Al-Husna by Shaikh Saeed ibn Wahf Al-Qahtani (the author of the Fortress of the Muslim) as well as some other sources depending on the Names being discussed.
11. He is As-Samee (The All-Hearer), Al-Qareeb (the One who is close) and Al-Mujeeb (the One who answers). He is the One who has commanded us to supplicate to Him alone and loves that we do so.
As usual, let’s take this step by step:
1) He is As-Samee (the All-Hearer), whose Hearing is Perfect and encompasses all sounds and languages.
مَّن كَانَ يُرِيدُ ثَوَابَ الدُّنْيَا فَعِندَ اللَّـهِ ثَوَابُ الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَةِ ۚ وَكَانَ اللَّـهُ سَمِيعًا بَصِيرًا
“Whoever desires a reward in this life of the world, then with Allah (Alone and none else) is the reward of this worldly life and of the Hereafter. And Allah is Ever All-Hearer, All-Seer.” [Surah An-Nisaa (4) : 134]
فَإِنْ آمَنُوا بِمِثْلِ مَا آمَنتُم بِهِ فَقَدِ اهْتَدَوا ۖ وَّإِن تَوَلَّوْا فَإِنَّمَا هُمْ فِي شِقَاقٍ ۖ فَسَيَكْفِيكَهُمُ اللَّـهُ ۚ وَهُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ
“So if they believe in the like of that which you believe, then they are rightly guided, but if they turn away, then they are only in opposition. So Allah will suffice you against them. And He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower.” [Surah Al-Baqarah (2) : 137]
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
So, how can one jumpstart it?
Well, I thought of 6 ways – all of them being things which cause one’s iman (faith) to rise.
If the iman rises, then the deeds increase which in turn causes the iman to rise even further.
So, here’s what I would do to jumpstart things:
[Of course, there are other ways as well.]
1) Do istighfar (seeking forgiveness) and taubah (repentance)
There’s nothing like bad deeds to hold a person back.
And there’s nothing like repentance to get them going again.
2) Attend the circles of knowledge
This one is a real iman booster.
It’s not just the knowledge. It’s also the serene feeling that one gets in these circles. Also, this is where you meet righteous sisters – not in Deira City Centre*.
[*To non-UAEers: This is a positively horrid shopping mall.]
3) Dua (supplication)
Don’t ask Allah. BEG Him.
4) Read the books of tawheed (worshipping Allah alone)
Knowing Allah is the foundation of all good things. And the books of tawheed introduce us to Allah, His Majesty, His Name and His Attributes, His rights over us, etc.
If you want an iman boosting book, pick up a book on tawheed.
5) Think about death.
There’s nothing like death to get the blood rushing (no pun intended).
Just thinking of it should be enough for a person to rush to do good deeds.
6) Take a day off and focus exclusively on your ibaadah (worship)
Busy with lots of stuff? Try to take just ONE day off where you stay at home and essentially focus on your ibaadah.
It really makes a WORLD of difference.
For those who are always around people, if you can try to be alone for that day, then that would be better.
I’ve always noticed that when I have a quiet day to myself (or as much as I can manage, I suppose), I have time to reflect and think. I can also try to work out what to do next. It makes things so much easier.
So, those were my suggestions. What other ways would you recommend to jumpstart one’s Ramadan preparations?
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Ask for what, you say?
Paradise, of course.
من سأل الله الجنة ثلاث مرات قالت الجنة : اللهم أدخله الجنة ، ومن استجار من النار ثلاث مرات ، قالت النار : اللهم أجره من النار
Anas ibn Malik (radiallahu anhu) narrated that the Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Whoever asks for Paradise three times, Paradise says: “O Allah, admit him into Paradise,’ and whoever seeks refuge from the Fire three times, the Fire says: ‘O Allah, save him from the Fire”. [Sunan At-Tirmidhi, Hadeeth No. 2572. Graded ‘sahih” by Al-Albani in Sahih Sunan At-Tirmidhi, Hadeeth No. 2572.]
Let’s make this a daily habit, insha-Allah.
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.
[Yes, I’m back with my “tips”. Insha-Allah, I’ll try to bother encourage you on a regular basis with this tips.
Want the tips regularly? If so, then please say so.
I’ll also be starting a “Remember Ramadan” Series. That will be composed of longer articles. Who’s in? Let me know because it is somewhat depressing talking to myself.]
The title sounds familiar, you say? Of course, it does.
Back then, we did dua that we got to see Ramadan.
Now, we are going to do dua (for the next 6 months, insha-Allah) asking Allah to accept our Ramadan.
So, please add this to your dua list NOW.
Yes, this is a commonly doled out piece of advice.
So, what should you include in this dua list?
Short answer: Absolutely everything.
First, you need to start with the akhira (hereafter). Be ambitious and ask for the best.
Second, you need to write down all the halal dunya (worldly) things that you want. Why? Because Allah is the only one that can grant you these things. Don’t worry about how “little” it is. Just make sure that it is a halal thing and write it down.
[By the way, you’d be surprised at the amount of things that we want that we actually never ask Allah for. Write down the things that you’ve always wanted even if it was a childhood dream.]
Also, ask yourself: “Will this dunya thing help me in the hereafter?” If not, then why do you want it?
Third, remember all the people around you? Especially those that keep asking you to do dua for them? Write them down too. One’s parents come first obviously (but you do dua for them AFTER you’ve done dua for yourself).
Fourth, start asking. Try to observe the manners of dua.
Insha-Allah, I’ll write a short piece later on WHY we actually do dua because unfortunately many people are under the impression that it is their right to have their duas answered. Far from it.