Our aim at The Dua Journal is to empower women to create their most fulfilled lives and strengthen their relationship with Allah through dua. For many of us, however, raising our hands and talking to Allah doesn’t come naturally or easily. We share a couple of ideas to help you get started involving Allah in your everyday life with dua in our post 15 Prompts for when you don’t know what to say to Allah.
One of the most beautiful things about dua is that it is a form of worship that we can do anywhere, at any time. While there are no “set in stone” rules that we must follow when making dua, as there are with other forms of worship like salah, there are some etiquettes that we can follow to help ensure that our duas are accepted by Allah.
Many such etiquettes have been handed down to us through the sunnah and hadith of the Prophet, peace and blessings upon him. Today, we want to share five of the most fundamental etiquettes that you can implement when making dua, in order to increase the barakah and blessing in your supplications.
Check your intentions.
As with anything we do in Islam, our dua is judged first and foremost by our intentions.
Before you raise your hands to make your duas, take a minute to reflect on your intentions. Make the intention to ask only from Allah, the One who has the power to ease any of your burdens and grant any of your needs.
It is narrated in Jami’ at-Tirmidhi that the Prophet ﷺ said “The supplication is the essence of worship.” This is because when we make the intention to ask from Allah alone, we are fundamentally recognizing His Oneness and Power, and also recognizing our own need for Him.
Two etiquettes of making dua that increase its likelihood of acceptance are to be in a state of wudu when we supplicate and also to face the qiblah.
In our busy days, it often isn’t possible to take the time out to go make wudu and find the qiblah for a simple dua, but try to dedicate time to this practice as often as you can. Set aside a place in your house, perhaps the same place where you pray your salah, and schedule in a couple minutes each week/month/etc. to make wudu, sit there, quietly reflect, and make your dua. Make this a special time for self-care and spiritual development.
There are many different times throughout the day where your dua is readily accepted - before fajr prayer and after each of the obligatory prayers are times that you can fit easily into your schedule. Other times are when travelling, when it rains, and between the athan and iqamah if you are praying in congregation.
Begin and end with praise.
Begin your dua first with praising Allah and then by sending peace and blessings upon His messenger ﷺ. Then, make dua for yourself, dunya and akhira, for close family and friends, and then the ummah at large. Finish your dua by again sending peace and blessings on the Prophet ﷺ and praising and thanking Allah.
The Prophet ﷺ said, “When one of you [prays], then let him begin by expressing gratitude to Allah and praising Him. Then, let him send Salat upon the Prophet ﷺ, then let him supplicate after that, whatever he wishes.” [Jami’ at-Tirmidhi]
Allah accepts sincere praise and duas for the Prophet ﷺ, so if our personal duas are surrounded by these, in shaa Allah they will be accepted as well.
Be sincere, be focused.
The Prophet ﷺ also narrated that “Allah does not respond to a supplication from the heart of one heedless and occupied by play.” [Jami’ at-Tirmidhi]
When you raise your hands to make dua, whether you have fulfilled the other etiquettes or not, make sure you are making your dua sincerely from your heart, with concentration and focus.
Of course, you can use sunnah duas and gain the reward for using the words of our beloved Prophet ﷺ but if you have trouble focusing on these duas or struggle with the words, try making dua in your native language. Treat it as a conversation with Allah, where you are opening your heart in front of Him.
If you find yourself getting distracted often while making dua, consider different strategies that you can use to empty your mind of dunya affairs before you begin your dua. Write out a list of all that is on your mind to get it out of your head before you begin, or take a few moments to sit quietly and just let the thoughts simmer down as you prepare to make dua. If you find yourself drifting again and again take a pause, take a breathe, and remember your intentions and Who you are speaking to.
Have confidence in Allah.
The Prophet ﷺ narrated that Allah says, “I am as My servant thinks I am. I am with him when he makes mention of Me.” [40 Hadith Qudsi]
This is one of my favorite etiquettes of dua and one of the most beautiful.
When you raise your hands to make dua, supplicate with complete confidence in Allah, that He will answer your dua in the most beautiful way possible. Allah gave you the ability and the motivation to raise your hands and make that dua because he wants to answer it, and to think otherwise is to think badly of Allah.
Don’t dwell on the bigness or smallness of what you are asking. Instead, reflect on the Magnificence and the Mercy of the One you are asking from, and know that He hears you, He is there for you, and with Him, all things are possible in shaa Allah.