2017 Theme: Duas of the Prophets and Believers from the Quran

Duas of the Prophets and Believers from the Quran

Excerpt from a paper by Dr Riza Mohammed for the British Academy of Quranic Studies (BAQS) in Manchester, United Kingdom.

The impulse to pray is among the most universal and innate of human behaviors – asking God to relieve, pardon, give, soothe, protect, guide, forgive, support, save and bless. Whether said in silence or uttered aloud, with others or alone, prayer has always been at the core of spiritual wellness-the lasting answer to an uncompromising condition of life.

The Quran presents a lucid, bold and moving account of “heroes of prayer” especially the prophets (including Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad may Allah bless them and grant them peace), as well as believing men and women, and angels. These duas and adhkar are presented in the context of their missions and circumstances and bear extraordinary relevance to our world and lives today.

Introducing Dua

Dua, supplicating to Allah, is `the spirit of worship.’ (Tirmidhi.) Indeed, it is a demand of Islam. The Prophet has exhorted us: `Allah is angry with him who does not ask [anything] from Him.’ (Tirmidhi)

Each of your duas must capture the spirit of your goals and ambitions. You must offer them with humility and sincerity. The Prophet Muhammad has taught us some of the most beautiful supplications – said in beautiful words, encapsulating beautiful ideas, through beautiful ways of asking. Reflect upon the following dua as an example:

I am Your servant, I am at Your door. I am a poor man; I am at Your door.

I am a helpless man, I am at Your door. I am a sinner, I am at Your door.

l am Your guest, You invited me to come, I am at Your door.

So have mercy on me.

There are many similar duas that move the heart and make tears flow from one’s eyes. Additionally, there are duas that were part of the Prophet’s daily routine: Prayers said while eating, drinking, sleeping, entering and leaving home. All of these duas must be memorized and utilized, for they remind us of Allah and His Omniscience. 

Etiquette of Dua

It is important for us to observe the etiquette of dua so that we may derive maximum benefit from them. These have been beautifully summarized by Imam al-Nawawi, where he lists ten prime conditions and dispositions that we should observe:

  1. Seek out the blessed times of Prayer: The Day of the Standing on the plain of Arafat [during Hajj]; the month of fasting [Ramadan]; Fridays [days of congregational prayers]; and during the night [especially the last third of it].
  2. Seek out the blessed moments for Prayer when the heart is receptive and tender: immediately after the five daily prescribed Prayers; between the call to Prayer (adhan) and the final call to Prayer (iqama); when breaking fast; while on the field of battle; when rainfall occurs; and when bowing down [sujud] in Prayer, for the Prophet said, `The worshipper is closest to his Lord while bowing down. So pray much then.’ (Muslim.)
  3. Face the direction of Makka and raise the hands [with palms spread upward] to the level of the shoulders.
  4. Voice supplications in a moderate tone that is neither too loud nor too soft.
  5. Prayers need not be said in a forced rhymed prose [an often natural form in Arabic].
  6. Implore God with humility and reverence.
  7. Be fervent in Prayer and optimistic of the answer. Sufyan ibn Uyayna stated: What a person knows of himself should never stop him from supplicating to God for He answered the most evil creatures, Iblis [Shaytan], when he said, `Give me respite until the Day they are resurrected. God said, You are of the respired ones.’ [al-Araf 7: 14.]
  8. Repeat requests, preferably three times, and don’t be impatient or despondent in waiting for an answer.
  9. Begin supplication with the mention of God [His Names, praises and attributes] before asking of Him, and entreat God to send His blessings and peace upon the Prophet.
  10. Strive for inner purity with repentance and sincere devotion.