Du’aa has played a huge part in my life. It’s been my ultimate weapon to fight the doubts, the fears, and the confusion amidst the tests of life. There’s been moments in my life, when I felt misunderstood, lost, and my thoughts were one big muddled up mess, yet, by pouring them out in sujood, to my Maker, the One who understood even my silence or my whispers, I felt rejuvenated and relieved. There’s been times in my life when I’ve been on a crossroad, not knowing which road to take, which decision to make; all the emotions were overwhelming, yet Du’aa helped me make the correct decision, as I was able to talk to Allah, ask Him, rely upon Him, and express my deepest, darkest thoughts and doubts to Him. There’s also times, when I could see no light at the end of the tunnel. Times when guilt crippled me, remorse paralyzed me, numbed me inwardly, yet somehow, He granted me the strength to muster up the courage to whisper, just whisper an external plea of help. A whisper that He heard, and so He came running to assist me, comfort me and grant me hope when I thought all hope was lost.
Du’aa is indeed a miracle. A gift bestowed upon mankind. A strong weapon of a believer to help Him fight the enemies within and the enemies outside.
When we hear the word, ‘Ramadhan’, we instantly think of the Qur’an. As much as Ramadhan is a month of Qur’an — since it was in this month that the revelation was given to the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wasallam) in the cave of Hira — it is also a month of Du’aa since that is the essence of worship. The Prophet (salallahu alayhi wasallam) himself said: “Du’aa is the of essence Ibaadah.”
Also, in the Qur’an, sandwiched between the ayah of Ramadhan and the ayah of fasting, is an ayah on Du’aa, (verses 185,6 and 7 in Surah Baqarah). Yes, right in between! What does this teach us? That Ramadhan is centered around the essence of Ibaadah; Du’aa. For every act of worship we perform is a reminder of our neediness towards Allah. And what do we do when we have a need? When we’re feeling the pangs of hunger? When someone has hurt us but we have to suppress our feelings and control are tongue as to not waste the reward of our fast? We turn to Allah. We ask Him. And that’s when we find contentment, reassurance and hope..
In this post, I want to give you an insight into the way I usually write-up my Du’aa list, in the hopes that you may also benefit and create your own Du’aa book, list — whatever you want to call it 🙂
So, here goes.
Firstly, you will need to gift yourself (or if you’re married then use your wifey tricks to get your husband to buy you one ;), a beautiful book or journal — preferably something that can slip into your jacket pocket or won’t take up ample room in your handbag. If you’re someone who isn’t a fan of books, then you can always use an online tool or mobile app. I recommend evernote, since you can use it both from your mobile and your computer/laptop.
The reason why I placed this as number one, when you’re most probably thinking it hasn’t anything to do with Du’aa, is because, I feel, many of us will invest money and time in buying cool stationary when we’re about to begin our school/uni year, but rarley give it a thought when it comes to anything spiritual or related. Rather, we’re okay to attend talks with scraps of paper that we found in the corridor on our way out because we were running later for the local masjid halaqah!
For me personally, every notebook I own, and especially my journal is a reflection of who I am and what I love. My personal journal, in which I write my dairy, is pink, flowery with lots of pearls and swirls. It is what I like. And it reflects my personality. Similarly, my Du’aa book reflects my love for Du’aa, how I find it such a beautiful gift from Allah, and thus I picked a mini, purple and gold notebook to store all those things I want to ask from Allah.
In short, it sets the mood and really makes you, (well, me for sure!) excited to jot down all my dreams and goals and transform them into beautiful Du’aas.
Secondly, categorize your Du’aa list. Now I don’t mean categorize them by color (though if you like your colorful Stabilo pens like me, then by all means — got for it!). But I mean by separating your Du’aas under the following sections:
In the dunya category, note down all those Du’aas pertaining to things you want in this world. For example, you long for a child, or to enter a particular study program, or to visit a particular place and be granted a job you desire. Remember, as long as what you are asking for is good and permissible, then don’t shy away from asking. The Prophet (salallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “Verily your Lord is Generous and Shy. If His servant raises his hands to Him (in supplication) He becomesshy to return them empty.” (Ahmad, Abu Dawood, Tirmidhi)
In the second category is, write down all those Du’aas related to the next life. Think and reflect on the Du’aas whilst you write them. Be specific if you want to, and remember Allah can give you anything, even that which is beyond your scope of imagination. Don’t write down that you only want Jannah but that you want to enter the highest stations of Jannah with your family and loved ones. Other Du’aas under this section include asking for protection from hellfire, intercession of Rasulullah (salallahu alayhi wasallam), the shade of Allah etc.
The third category is, others. It includes all the Du’aas for family, friends, shuyookh, people who have requested duaas, the oppressed and needy — they all go under this title. It is also a good habit to write down a person’s name every time they ask you to make Du’aa for them. That way, you are not saying yes and then forgetting about it, but you are showing that you care enough about the person to do what you can to remember to say a prayer for them.
Then comes, spirituality. This is to do with your heart. So istighfar, dhikr, asking Allah for guidance, for cleansing and purification, for steadfastness and the 3 i’s — ikhlaas, istiqaamah and ihsaan. It all falls under that category. Sometimes our hearts feel dirty and rusty and heavy and so we turn to Allah begging Him to cleanse us, to purify us and strengthen us. Asking Allah for pardon or for an increase in knowledge, or for the ability to memorise and ponder over His words, all comes under spirituality. It’s all those things you ask Allah for that are related to taking care of your Imaan and your heart.
Finally, the Superstars. This category involves you writing down your top 5 duaas, perhaps you can take one from each category, or write down something you really, really want at the point in your life. Maybe its a dream or goal. Write it down and next to it write the means you are taking to make it a reality — and then Du’aa like mad!
Hope, certainty and trust in Allah’s decree, are the three things that will push you to keep making that Du’aa.
Becuase you hope for something, you are certain that He will respond to your hopes and wishes and you trust that if He doesn’t grant you what you asked for, or wrote down, He will grant you better than it — something better for both your Dunya and Akhirah.
Seize the opportunities of getting your Du’aas answeted this Ramadhan, by creating a Du’aa list and noting down the times from the Sunnah where your Du’aa has a higher probability of being answered.
Amongst them are:
– After tashahhud
– Tahajjud: Last third of the night
– After you make Wudhu’
– Upon breaking your fast
– Anytime whilst fasting!
– Time of rainfall
– Between Adhaan and Iqaamah
– Sa’at al Istijabah: Last hour of ‘Asr on a Friday
And always remember, Du’aa is the essence of Ibaadah, it is your superpower and the most powerful weapon you carry. So use it.
“O my servants, were the first of you and last of you, the human of you and jinn of you to rise up in one place and make a request from me, and were I to give everyone what they requested, that would not decrease what I have anymore than a needle decreases the sea if put into it.” [Sahih Muslim]