4 Powerful Ways to Enhance & Beautify Your Du’as
by Ammar Habib
It goes without saying that du’a (supplication) is one of the most integral components of Islam. Islam is based upon the idea of each individual having a direct relationship with Allah, and supplication is the means in which we communicate with Allah.
With that being said, there are some things taught to us by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and taught to us by Allah in the Qur’an which advise us on how we can help beautify our supplications. In other words, these are factors that can affect Allah’s response to our du’a. Let’s examine 4 simple and practical ways we can beautify our supplication:
1. Begin your supplication by praising Allah and sending blessings to the Prophets
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, “When any one of you supplicates (makes du’a), let him start by praising Allah, then let him send blessings upon the Prophet, then let him supplicate however he wishes.” (Tirmidhi, Abu Dawood).
When making supplication, many Muslims simply raise their hands and rattle off a list of things they want from Allah. I’ve certainly been guilty of this. However, we need to understand the appropriate method to begin our supplication.
We should start our supplication by praising Allah in general and then thanking him for one or two specific things. For instance, I might start my supplication by reciting Surah Fatiha, since that is a du’a in which we praise Allah, or I might start by reciting Ayatul Kursi. After that, I should thank Allah for a couple of specific blessings he’s given me today, such as a comfortable place to pray from or perhaps the meal I just finished. Next, the appropriate thing to do is to send our blessings to all the prophets, from Prophet Adam (AS) to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
The key point is that we should be thankful for what we have and for the guidance Allah has given us before asking for anything else. Afterall, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) taught us that thankfulness is half of faith.
Think of it this way. If a child wants to ask their parent for a slice of cake for dessert, there is a fifty-fifty chance the parent might say ‘no.’ However, if the child first thanks the parent for the delicious dinner they were served and then asks for the cake, the chances of the parents saying “yes” have increased.
We should supplicate to Allah in the same way. We should first show appreciation for what He has given us before asking for more. Therefore, it is important to start each supplication by praising Allah and then sending blessings to the prophets.
2. Make your supplication with full hope that it will be answered
Abu Huraira reported: Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, “Call upon Allah with certainty that he will answer you. Know that Allah will not answer the supplication of a heart that is negligent and distracted.” (Tirmidhi)
We need to have the right expectation when we think of Allah. Realize that Allah is not neutral in his attitude toward us. No, He is actually on our side and looking for a reason to bless us, not for a reason to punish us. Whenever we supplicate or ask Him for anything, we should have the full conscious expectation that He will accept our supplication.
Abu Hurayrah reported that the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “Allah says, ‘I am as My servant expects Me to be.’” (Bukhari)
The above quotation is the first sentence in a long hadith; however, just this sentence holds an ocean of knowledge. It shows us that we get from Allah what we expect. If I expect harshness from Allah, then that is what I’ll get. However, if I expect good things from Allah, if I have high hopes in His mercy, and if I have high hopes that he’ll accept my good deeds, multiply my reward, and accept my supplication, then that is what I will get, Insha’Allah. To put it plainly: our expectation affects what we receive from Allah.
We need to maintain humble yet positive expectations with Allah. Remember that the majority of Allah’s 99 names/attributes deal with His compassion, His love, and His mercy toward humanity while only a handful of His names/attributes describe His wrath. This shows that Allah’s mercy outweighs His anger. Allah is a benevolent Lord who wants the best for us, and our attitude toward Him should reflect this.
This does NOT mean that we become entitled or complacent. Instead, it means that we keep high hopes that Allah is always listening and will always do what is best for us. If we have the hopeful expectation that Allah will always be with us, then that is what we will get. However, if we have a negative attitude toward Allah and are convinced that He will never answer any of our supplications, then that is what we will get.
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3. Make supplication for others in their absence
Abu Darda reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “No Muslim servant supplicates for his brother behind his back but that the angel says: And for you the same.” (Muslim)
Abdullah ibn Amr reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “No supplication is quicker to be answered than a supplication on behalf of one absent.” (Tirmidhi)
Our supplication should be aimed at more than just ourselves. We should think of our family, neighbors, friends, and our local/global community. In fact, according to the two above hadiths, the supplication we make for others not only benefits the people we make du’a for, but it also benefits us immensely!
The first hadith shows us that when we make du’a for a person in their absence, then the angels make the exact same du’a for us. For example, if I ask for Allah to bestow His mercy on somebody, the angels will ask that Allah bestows His mercy on us. If I ask that my friend gets an increase in their provisions, then the angels will ask Allah to increase my provision as well. And what can be more noble than having the angels supplicate on our behalf?
The second hadith demonstrates that the quickest du’a to be answered is the du’a we make for a person in their absence. To put it metaphorically, this sort of supplication gets to skip the line and jump to the front of the queue! This happens because this type of du’a is an act of selfless love, and these sorts of acts are the dearest to Allah.
Therefore, when we make a supplication for somebody else, not only do we have angels making the same supplication for us, we also have the blessings of having the supplication receive a quick answer from Allah. So we are getting the best of both worlds!
4. Call Allah by his Names
The Qur’an says: “To Allah belongs the Most Beautiful Names, so call on Him by them.” (7:180)
As Muslims know, Allah has 99 names/attributes mentioned throughout the Qur’an. Each attribute has to do with a different aspect of Allah’s role in our lives and in the universe. When making a supplication to Allah, we should call Him by His name that relates to what we are asking for.
For example, if I’m asking for forgiveness, instead of saying:
“O Allah, forgive me for…”
I can instead say,
“O Allah, you are Al-Ghaffar (The Most-Forgiving) and Al-Ghaffur (The One Who Forgives repeatedly), so please forgive me for…”
In another example, if I’m asking for an increase in provisions, instead of saying:
“O Allah, help me find a better job.”
I can instead say,
“O Allah, you are Ar-Razzaq (The Provider/Sustainer), Al-Karim (The Bountiful), and Al Mughniy (The Enricher), so please bestow me with an increase in provision.”
Appealing to the attribute of Allah that relates to what we seek will Insha’Allah increase the chances of Allah’s response to our supplication.
I hope you found some value in these simple, yet important tips. I’d like to end by saying that anything good I said came from Allah. However, anything incorrect I said came from me, and I ask for your forgiveness if I said anything incorrectly.
Jazak Allah Khair!
Best selling Author
Ammar Habib is a bestselling and award-winning author based out of Lake Jackson,Texas. On the weekends, Ammar helps run an Islam 101 class at the River Oaks Islamic Center in Houston. He can be reached through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ammar’s website: ammarahsenhabib.com
Ammar’s blog: ammarhabibblog.wordpress.com/