Do you want to improve your life? Do you want to be a happier person? Do you want the satisfaction of knowing the future is going to be better than the past?
Of course you do. We all want better lives. And the great thing is, we Muslims have a “secret” weapon to get this improved life. You know what I’m going to say.
It’s dua. Yes, our duas (supplication) can impact our lives immediately. Why? Because it’s direct communication with our Lord, Allah the Mighty and Majestic. So if you’re not happy with the way things are going in your life, I encourage you to turn to dua.
However, simply begging Allah to “give me this” and “give me that” may seem futile if not done correctly. Therefore, I’d like to list a few tidbits and ideas that will improve the way you make dua, and bring you closer to Allah.
YOUR INTENTION MUST BE GOOD
While this may seem obvious, it may be worth noting that for our duas to be accepted, we should have good intentions. In other words, we shouldn’t make dua against someone else simply because they wronged us or have upset us.
We especially should be careful about making dua against our family members. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) has said in an authentic hadith that Allah answers our prayers so long as we do not seek to break family ties.
Sometimes our family angers us and make us want to do and say evil things. When these things happen, it is important that we have patience and not ask Allah to curse them or bring some punishment upon them. Perhaps if we are merciful and forgiving to our family, Allah may be merciful and forgiving to us.
We should also refrain from asking Allah for forbidden things. We should not make dua for alcohol, or pork, or illegal sexual intercourse. Once again, all of this may seem obvious, but I believe it’s important enough to mention anyway.
FOLLOW THE PROPHET’S ADVICE
Assuming that you’re asking for something good and halal (allowed in Islam), the next thing to keep in mind is to make dua the way the Prophet (peace be upon him) taught us how to make dua.
Please read this beautiful Hadith (tradition) from Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him):
The supplication of every one of His slaves will be granted so long as he does not get impatient and says “I supplicated my Lord again and again but I do not think my prayers will be answered.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
With this in mind, here is a short list of things you should make sure are in place when making dua:
1) Praise Allah – Whatever it is you want in life, you must still be thankful and grateful for what Allah has already given you. Allah rewards gratitude and punishes ingratitude. So before you before you begin asking Allah for a bunch of things, make sure you begin by thanking and praising Him.
2) Send Peace and Blessing upon the Messenger of Allah – After praising Allah, the next you should do is ask Allah to bless Prophet Muhammad. The Prophet was the best of creation. So ask Allah to bless him and earn a little rewards before asking for things for yourself.
3) Supplicate with emotion – Your duas shouldn’t be dry, formulaic, robotic acts of worship. Instead, ask Allah for what you want with determination, desire, and devotion. Pray to Allah with the earnestness He deserves. It’s even better if you can cry while making dua. And if you cannot cry, then make yourself cry.
4) Have patience – One thing that makes our duas get rejected by Allah is losing patience. A person may ask Allah for something, and they don’t get it in the timeframe they want. So they get impatient and say things like: “I made dua for this, and Allah did not give it to me.” This impatience makes us lose all the blessing of our dua.
5) Be specific – Don’t say things like “Oh Allah, you know what I want, please give it to me.” Allah IS all hearing and all knowing, but we should articulate the specific things we want Him to give us. Ask for it directly and don’t say things like “If You will” when speaking to Allah. He will do what He wills anyway. So speak with conviction and the expectation that Allah will answer you.
SOME FINAL TIPS
* There are many little things we can do to make our duas more impactful. Here are some brief pointers to keep in mind:
* Pray for your parents when you make dua.
* Pray for another Muslim in their absence without them knowing.
* Make wudu before making dua.
* Make dua when it’s raining.
* Make dua in the last moments of daylight on Fridays.
* Use authentic duas from the Quran and sunnah in Arabic (though it’s perfectly okay to make dua in your native tongue also).
* Call upon Allah using the word “Rabbee (My Lord).”
* Call upon Allah by His names (Ar-Rahman, Al-Ghafur, etc.)
* Ask Allah based upon some good deed you’ve done in the past.
In'sha'Allah, these ideas will help your duas become more meaningful and in turn, Allah will bless you with an improved life. May Allah accept all of your good supplications. Ameen!