By Al-Amin Ciroma
(Published in LEADERSHIP Newspapers, May 1, 2009)
In one of his exalted traditions, the holy Prophet of Islam, Muhammad (S.A.W) called upon his Ummah (generation) to engage in prayers and supplications. For Du’as (supplications), according to the Allah’s messenger (may Allah be pleased with him and his purest progeny), are weapons of a mu’meen (believer).
The following are summary of philosophy behind prayers and Du’as:
•The Salat achieves acceptance if accompanied with du’as. Especially, the Tasbih el- Zahra is very beneficial.
•Presence of heart is essential for a Du’a, Recitations of mere words without the longing of the heart is insufficient. We have to be in a state of seeking/begging from the All powerful creator
•Du’a can be in any language BUT using those words used by his chosen servants have greater effect.
•Du’a with the references of HIS chosen people & recitation of Salwaatun-Nabiyyi before & After Du’a have greater effect.
•Some Du’as don't reach the level of acceptance due to our sins, especially, those where we have not given the rights of believers, cutting of relations with relatives, etc.
•We need to pray to HIM so that HE bestows on us a state where our hopes are ONLY from HIM 100% (Inqitah state, cut off form all other sources) This state is sought by the learned & pious.
•We need to ask from/remember HIM in every small / insignificant thing too & then HE will answer in our bigger crisis situation as well.
•Scientists acknowledge that Du’as have a positive impact on the well being of the individual (though Islam is not dependant upon certification of this from scientists)
•Du’as without action is inappropriate eg praying for Rizq (wealth) but without making any efforts in that direction will not produce results.
In some cases, there are those things which Allah (SWT) gives but AFTER a period of time (eg. Musa’s (as) Du’a to drown Fir’aun was answered after 30 years). or HE gives only if the asking is for x no of times, e.g. HE will give if asked for from HIM for say 25 times.
• Allah Ta’ala gives sometimes very quickly if He does NOT like the method used by seeker
•HE delays the giving if HE likes the voice/method of the seeker so that he continues to ask of HIM.
Sura No. 2 Baqarah, Ayat 216 says: “And it may be that you dislike a thing while it is good for you, and it may be that you love a thing while it is evil for you, and Allah knows, while you do not know.”
Allah (SWT) has hidden His Answering (your supplications) in Your prayers to Him so then do not consider any part of your prayers to Him as being insignificant as it is possible that within that prayer lies His Answering while you are not aware."
How many times we have called upon Allah (SWT), waiting patiently for an answer? We sit down to recite the extended supplications such as those in Sahifatul Sajjadiyah and the other beautiful pleas contained in Mafaatihul Jinaan thinking that the longer the prayer, the better chance that Allah (SWT) will accept it. We fail to realize that even one short Du’a of a few lines has as much a chance of being accepted by Allah (SWT) as the ‘longer’ Du’as. The key to acceptance of a Du’a of any length is to ensure that we have maintained the prerequisites of supplication mentioned in the Quran and Prophetic words of wisdom, and to pray with a pure intention.
If the prayer is fulfilled by Allah (SWT), we should realize that that is what was best for us in this life and the next; if it is deferred to the next world, then we need to accept that what we wanted may have been detrimental for our life in this world and more importantly, our status in the next life. We must accept that after all, Allah Ta’ala knows best.
A person may do what appears to the people to be good, but he may face an evil end. In this case Allah (swt) is not pleased with him. Another person may do what appears to the people to be evil, but he may face a good end. Then Allah (swt) will be pleased with him.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “By Him besides whom there is no god, one of you will act like the people of Paradise until between him and Paradise there remains but the distance of a cubit, when what is written overtakes him and he begins to act like the denizens of Hell and thus enters Hell. And another amongst will act in the way of the denizens of Hell, until there remains between him and Hell a distance of a cubit, then what is written overtakes him and then he begins to act like the people of Paradise and enters Paradise.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (3208) and Sahîh Muslim (2643)].
We cannot make any declaration about the fate of someone in particular. However, we hope for the person whom we see performing good deeds and obeying Allah (swt) that Allah (swt) is pleased with him. Likewise, we fear for the person whom we see committing evil deeds and acts disobedience that he is earning Allah (swt)’s displeasure.
It is worth saying that works alone are not sufficient to earn Allah (swt)’s pleasure. Works need to be accompanied by true belief and faith in Allah (swt). Allah (swt) says about the deeds of the unbelievers: “And We shall turn to whatever deeds they did (in the worldly life), and We shall make such deeds as floating dust scattered about.” [Sûrah al-Furqân: 23].
When the Prophet (peace be upon him) was asked about one of the polytheists who died on unbelief, whether or not his good deeds and the help he gave to poor and needy will be of any benefit to him before Allah (swt), he replied: “No. He had never said ‘Allah (swt) is my Lord’.”
A person should never be proud of his acts and think that Allah (swt) is pleased with him and has accepted his good deeds. Our deeds are assessed in the final outcome. The Pious Predecessors used to fear that Allah (swt) would be displeased with them and would not accept their good works. One of them said: “If Allah (swt) accepts my work, I would like to die, because Allah (swt) says: ‘Allah (swt) only accepts from those who guard (against evil)’.” (The verse he quoted was to Sûrah al-Mâ’idah: 27.) Likewise, we should not give a decision on behalf of Allah (swt) and decide for ourselves that Allah (swt) is displeased with a particular person or that He will not forgive that person.