Allah Ta’ala has clearly stated in the Qur’an the purpose of creating mankind:
وَمَا خَلَقْتُ الْجِنَّ وَالْإِنْسَ إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُونِ
“And I have not created the Jinn or the mankind except to worship Me”
[Surah adh-Dhariyaat – 51:56]
It is evident from this verse that the purpose of our creation was so that we could submit to Allah Ta’ala and worship Him in the many ways He has shown us.
The mercy of Allah is such that He made Islam a complete way of life for us and has made worshiping easy by creating Direct forms of worship and Indirect forms.
The earning of a livelihood, eating, family life and socialising are examples of our daily lifestyles, yet Allah has made it possible for these to be worships also. On the other hand, the five prayers, charity, fasting and pilgrimage are just a few examples of direct worship.
Nevertheless, there is an act of worship which has been proclaimed by our beloved Prophet صلي الله عليه و سلم to be the core and essence of worship. He صلي الله عليه و سلم has said:
الدعاء مخ العبادة
“Du’a is the essence of worship”
And in a Qur’anic verse Allah states:
فَادْعُوا اللَّهَ مُخْلِصِينَ لَهُ الدِّينَ
“So call upon Allah making your worship pure for Him”
[Surah Ghaafir – 40:14]
Du’a, which is known in the English language as supplication, is the core and essence of worship. In other words, it is the core and essence of the reason for which we were created. There are many qualities in supplicating to Allah and many rewards for it and therefore it has been held in such high rank in the religion of Islam. So much so, that a person who fails to supplicate to Allah becomes deserving of the anger of Allah. The Messenger of Allah صلي الله عليه و سلم said:
من لم يسئل الله يغضب عليه
“The person who does not ask from Allah (supplicates); Allah Ta’ala becomes angry with him”
It is apparent from just these two Ahadeeth that the status of supplication (Du’a) in Islam is exalted. It is an act which Allah loves and is the dearest act in his sight:
ليس شيء أكرم على الله تعالى من الدعاء
“There is nothing dearer to Allah Ta’ala than Du’a”
Therefore, the act of supplicating to Allah is an important one and one that requires much awareness. It is an act that contains the many qualities loved by Allah Ta’ala and therefore is dearest to him from all the other acts.
Du’a is an act where a servant turns towards his Lord, Allah, and begs Him for all his needs and also for the needs of others. It is an act within which the servant shows great humility, humbleness and need towards Allah Ta’ala. These qualities are also mentioned in the Qur’an in an extremely exquisite manner:
وَعِبَادُ الرَّحْمَنِ الَّذِينَ يَمْشُونَ عَلَى الْأَرْضِ هَوْنًا
وَإِذَا خَاطَبَهُمُ الْجَاهِلُونَ قَالُوا سَلَامًا
وَالَّذِينَ يَبِيتُونَ لِرَبِّهِمْ سُجَّدًا وَقِيَامًا
وَالَّذِينَ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا اصْرِفْ عَنَّا عَذَابَ جَهَنَّمَ إِنَّ عَذَابَهَا كَانَ غَرَامًا
“And the slaves of ‘The Most Merciful’ are those who walk upon the earth with humbleness. And those who spend their nights for their Lord in prostration and on their feet (in prayer). And those who say, ‘O our Lord! Turn away from us the punishment of Hell; indeed its punishment is torturous”
[Surah al-Furqan – 25:63-65]
In these final verses of Surah Furqan, Allah Ta’ala mentions the qualities of those of His creations which He personally classes as the “Servants of Rahmaan.”
If we pay special consideration to these verses then we can deduce that within each quality there is the quality of humbleness. In actual fact, when Allah say’s refers to these people as His slaves it shows the first signs of humbleness. The slave of any person is humble and submissive to Him. He does as He is told and is obedient towards His master. Similarly, walking upon the earth with humbleness reflects the same quality. Further on, Allah Ta’ala mentions that when ignorant people talk to them they say words of peace and walk away. This means that they are not arrogant or proud in replying back or making their point known. Instead they are humble enough to walk away and say words of peace.
In the next verse Allah mentions another quality of these special servants of His as being the ones who spend their nights in prostration and prayer. This is an indication of humbleness, where the servant worships Allah in the night where no one can see him and is humble towards Allah. However, despite this great worship they supplicate to Allah asking Him to save them from the fire of hell showing a great sign of humbleness, that despite their worship they are still humble and fear the hellfire.
These verses, and those that follow it, clearly indicate to us that Allah loves the quality of humbleness. So much so, that the Prophet صلي الله عليه و سلم has told us that whoever becomes humble for the sake of Allah Ta’ala then Allah will raise the rank and status of such a person and a person that adopts pride is a person who is trying to take the quality of Allah and for that Allah shall throw him in the hellfire.
This quality is mentioned in another verse that refers to supplicating to Him:
ادْعُوا رَبَّكُمْ تَضَرُّعًا وَخُفْيَةً إِنَّهُ لَا يُحِبُّ الْمُعْتَدِينَ
“Invoke your Lord with humility and in secret. He likes not the aggressors.”
[Surah al-A’raaf – 7:55]
Another quality which is loved by is that His servants are dependant towards Him. He loves that His servants turn towards Him and ask only from Him. Allah states:
يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ أَنتُمُ الْفُقَرَاء إِلَى اللَّهِ وَاللَّهُ هُوَ الْغَنِيُّ الْحَمِيدُ
“O people! You stand in need of Allah but Allah is free of all needs, worthy of all praise.”
[Surah al-Fatir – 35:15]
Besides these two qualities there are many other qualities that lie within supplicating to Allah.
Whilst supplicating the believer has faith in Allah although He has never seen Him. He also has the faith that it is Allah that provides and gives.
2. Belief (Tawakkul)
Different from having ‘faith’ in Allah, a believer has this understanding that He should only ask from Allah and it is only Allah that provides for Him.
وَادْعُوهُ مُخْلِصِينَ لَهُ الدِّينَ
“And invoke Him only making your religion sincere to Him”
[Surah al-A’raaf – 7:29]
During supplication a believer is in communication with Allah Ta’ala and Allah Ta’ala finds it a pleasure when His servants turn towards Him and ask from Him.
وَقَالَ رَبُّكُمُ ادْعُونِي أَسْتَجِبْ لَكُمْ إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَسْتَكْبِرُونَ عَنْ عِبَادَتِي سَيَدْخُلُونَ جَهَنَّمَ دَاخِرِينَ
“And your Lord said: “Invoke Me, I will respond to your invocation. Verily! Those who scorn My worship they will surely enter Hell in humiliation!”
[Surah Ghaafir – 40:60]
Allah loves those of His slaves that turn to Him with tears in their eyes and ask from Him in the humblest of manners. It is, as mentioned, a quality of His beloved servants.
5. Closeness to AllahAllah has stated:
وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِي عَنِّي فَإِنِّي قَرِيبٌ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ الدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِ فَلْيَسْتَجِيبُوا لِي وَلْيُؤْمِنُوا بِي لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْشُدُونَ
“And when My slaves ask you concerning Me, then I am indeed near to them. I respond to the invocations of the supplicant when he calls on Me. So let them obey Me and believe in Me, so that they may be led aright.”
[Surah al-Baqarah – 2:186]
In summary, Du’a (supplicating to Allah) is an act of worship that has been classed as the core of entire worship due to the many qualities it possesses. A person who supplicates to Allah in its true sense and method will become a close servant of Allah who will encompass the many characteristic Allah Ta’ala seeks in His slaves.
Du’a can be the weapon and strength of a Muslim or it can lead to His destruction. Allah loves those who turn to Him and ask from Him and is angered with those who turn away from Him.
There are many verses in the Qur’an as well as many Ahadeeth that refer to the act of supplicating to Allah and as to how Allah responds to the supplications of His slaves. These verses show us that at the time of supplication a servant is drawn close to Allah due to him communicating to Allah. And the one who remembers Him is remembered by Him.
May Allah give us all the true understanding of the status of Du’a and its importance in every Muslim’s life. May He give us the inclination to seek from Him alone and to seek from Him often. Aameen.