For a number of years, my favorite du’a was the du’a of Prophet Zakariyyah, peace be upon him:
رَبِّ لَا تَذَرْنِى فَرْدًۭا وَأَنتَ خَيْرُ ٱلْوَٰرِثِينَ
“O my Lord do not leave me alone and You are the best of inheritors.” (21:89)
I was plagued with worry about ending up alone in this life. Subhanallah, every time I think of this du’a now it gives me a little giggle. After a few years of consistently, diligently making this du’a all through Ramadans, taraweeh prayers, fasting du’a and night prayers, the world changed in a way no one could have expected. It started with chat rooms and email, then messenger, Skype, and Facebook, followed soon after by Whatsapp, Instagram, and Twitter. For a decade or more now, I have found myself virtually surrounded with people near and far, and I am never left alone for a moment. This has its upside and downsides, but to me it is on a very large scale the answer to a very fervent du’a. I have not been alone for a moment for years on end!
Alhamdulillah, I am grateful that this du’a of mine – among others – was answered, but I’m also fully aware that I’m not so very special. Every one of us has the opportunity for an answered prayer, as Allah (swt) tells us:
وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِي عَنِّي فَإِنِّي قَرِيبٌ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ الدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِ فَلْيَسْتَجِيبُوا لِي وَلْيُؤْمِنُوا بِي لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْشُدُونَ
And when My servants ask you, concerning Me – indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me and believe in Me that they may be rightly guided. (2:186)
This verse comes immediately after the verse which makes fasting Ramadan an obligation. It is not by coincidence that these two verses are placed together, for Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him tells us that while fasting, and at the end of our fast, we have an answered du’a. With two weeks left of Ramadan, this is the time for us to intensify our du’a, speak to Allah (swt) and tell Him what we need, what we hope for, and ask His help in making those things come about.
This term I was registered in an eye-opening Ribaat course “The Forty Hadith of Imam Nawawi”, and in that class, Anse Rydanah shared some pointers with us on du’a, telling us that there are internal conditions and external conditions for it:
- Internal conditions for du’a:
- To trust and be confident that Allah (swt) will answer our du’a. Not a single believer makes a single du’a that is not answered. Sometimes the answer may be delayed, or may come in a different way than we expect, but it will be heard and it will be answered.
- To correct any injustices, transgressions, or aggressions we have done before asking Allah.
- To ensure that our earnings are halal, and the food we eat is halal.
- To avoid all actions that are prohibited so that we have a clean slate before asking Allah Most High.
- To bring your heart into the du’a, and insist upon it. Allah (swt) loves to hear us ask again and again, and the Prophet (s) was known to repeat his prayers three times at least, and repeat them again on different occasions. You can use the language that is comfortable to you, so that you can say your du’as in earnest and with heart.
- External conditions for du’a:
- in blessed places such as Mecca, Medina, etc.
- at blessed times such as Fridays, in sujud, right after prayer, during Ramadan, while fasting, the Day of Arafah, between adhan and iqamah, etc.
- during specific situations such as traveling, fasting, illness, being a victim of injustice, etc.
- with introductions of respect to Allah (swt), tasbeeh, and glorification
We are a faith of direct contact with our Creator, the Most High, who hears all and sees all. He is able to bring about any request we may have, solve any problem, bring to reality any future we can imagine for ourselves and more. Nothing is impossible for Him. We just need to ask.