Notes from an amazing lecture on dua and Talking to Allah by Shaykh Abdul Nasir Jangda. Really really beneficial reminders here and I highly recommend hearing the two part lecture in its entirety. To hear the actual lecture, you can find the first part here.
- Dua means to call out, to speak, to address. Supplication is a very big word.
- Tawba is a U-Turn.
- Talking to Allah gives someone the spiritual nourishment & emotional fortitude to do what is right & what is better.
- We don’t just need to study the seerah, we need to mine the seerah. The seerah is a goldmine, it’s a treasure chest.
- Abu Hurairah is the outcome of a dua the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, made 10 yrs earlier when he prayed for the guidance of the people of Daws.
- “Dua is something very real, very practical. It is a means to talk and communicate with Allah in whatever situation we’re dealing with.
- There are three main etiquettes of dua.
- The first one is to talk to Allah from your heart with sincerity. When you make dua to Allah, just be honest. Be sincere. Be real. Pour your heart out to Allah. Allah accepts dua from a heart that is attentive, that is open, that is turning to Allah. Allah does not accept a dua from a heart that is empty and disconnected.
- The second etiquette is to praise and glorify Allah. Show some appreciation and gratitude for the blessings we have. Start with basics – look around you. One powerful way to show gratitude is through Allah’s Names. Allah instructs us to use His Beautiful Names. Take a few moments to learn some names of Allah and what they mean. Whether stocks, sports stats, we have so much useless information in our heads. We can take a few moments to learn some Names of Allah. So the second step is to use the Names and Attributes of Allah to praise and glorify Him.
- Third step is to send peace and blessings on the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him. Ingratitude is a disease of the heart & it spreads. So it’s very important to show some appreciation for what the Prophet did. Look at how much the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him sacrificed for us.
- So to recap: be real, talk to Allah, praise and glorify Allah, and send blessings on the Prophet.
- The final point is to have no doubt, to be fully convinced that Allah will (not just He can) but that He will accept your dua. We have no doubt about that fact. Call out to Allah and be fully convinced that He will answer your prayer.
Things we do that disqualify our own prayer
1) Don’t become impatient.
- Don’t be skeptical, or cynical because you’re impatient with the process.
- Your dua is answered as long as you don’t become skeptical or cynical. You don’t affect Allah when you’re skeptical but when you say “I made dua and it wasn’t answered”, you lose hope yourself and eventually stop making dua. You lose motivation to make dua. So don’t disqualify your own dua and don’t remove dua from your own life by being too impatient.
2) Don’t ask for impermissible
- As long as a servant of Allah calls out to Allah, his/her prayer is answered, as long as not asking Allah for a sin. At a subtle level, not asking Allah to help us disobey Allah.
3) Don’t ask to sever family ties
- Allah continues to answer dua of a slave as long as he or she is making a dua that does not result in severing of family relationships.
4) Follow halal activity
- How can our duas ever get answered, when we knowingly engage in activity, means of earning that Allah and His Messenger have told us to stay away from?
Recap: Don’t be impatient, don’t make dua for the facilitation of sin, don’t make dua for severing of family ties. And finally, each of us need to take a look at how we live our life, especially how we earn our livelihood.
What is the outcome of our dua?
Whenever Muslim makes dua to Allah, is answered by Allah in one of three ways:
1) Allah gives to the person what they requested
2) That dua is forwarded to hereafter. And when a person gets to hereafter and sees what they got in the hereafter in exchange, as credit for duas they made for this life, they will wish none of his/her duas were answered in this life.
3) Allah removes some harm that we could have been afflicted with in exchange of dua. And He knows what is better for us.
The bottom line: All duas are accepted.
- There is an ayah of the Qur’an that is very central when it comes to the topic of dua. In Surah Baqarah:
- Other places Allah says, “if they ask you, then say..”, but in this ayah Allah uses past tense. This Implies that this is not a little technical issue. In other words, they need to be asking this, they should be asking this, they will be asking you this question.
- Here Allah says “I am close.”
- Doesn’t say, Kul, now you tell them… Allah is responding directly because this is so important. The foundation of our spirituality. So in other words, they should be asking you about Me, and when they do ask you, I am directly telling them that “I am close.”
- Close is a noun. It’s an Arabic way of saying always accessible, always available, always there.
- Allah explains: I’m only a dua away. That I always answer the dua of the one making dua when he makes dua. The call of the caller when he he or she calls out to me.
- Hear the redundancy, the repetition? Interesting right? The beauty of the Qur’an is that it says a lot in very little. It would have sufficed for Allah to say “I answer whenever someone calls out to me.”
- But listen even to the Arabic – 3 x repeating the word dua. Allah never repeats himself unnecessarily. He is repeating himself to emphasize a point.
- “I answer the dua, of the one making dua, when he or she making dua”. Meaning what? Meaning please make dua. He said the word dua three times trying to pound it in our heads: make dua, make dua, make dua.
- Realize Allah has now put the ball in our courts. He has said, I’m always available, I’m always accessible and I will always answer. Now it is our job. Now the ball is our courts.
- Will I make dua? That is all on me. Allah is always answering duas; He will always answer dua. But how much I make dua, when I make dua, for what I make dua, that’s on me. That is all on me. So Allah puts the ball in our courts, says you make dua.
- This is a bit of a discussion of the importance, the etiquettes, the role of dua in our lives. Now one of the very interesting things about dua is that there are duas in the Qur’an and there are duas that the Prophet taught us and these both are the most beautiful and powerful of duas, because these are the words of Allah and the words of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, and it doesn’t get better than that.
- Spirituality is very misunderstood today. It’s very abstract. It’s very theological. It’s a feel-good vibe. For that reason, it’s intimidating for people to grasp and spirituality feels impossible.
- But if we go back to the spirituality the Prophet peace and blessings be upon him taught us, there are two important words we need to remember. And that is: practical spirituality.
- Practical spirituality. Salah is practical spirituality. Dua is practical spirituality in a practical manner.
- The Prophet peace and blessings be upon him taught us little, little supplications that don’t make us depart from our everyday lives, that are integrated in the course of daily events. When you wake up in the morning, before walking into restroom, when exiting restroom, before you begin to eat, when you finish eating.. Practical spirituality. What makes it practical is when 1) when we know those duas, 2) when we understand what those duas mean, and 3) when we are able to connect and reflect on those duas. Able to spiritually reflect on those duas and what they are reminding us of and teaching us, and connecting us to Allah.
- Ex: dua for Exiting the restroom. Takes a second to say: Ghufranak. Means Total Forgiveness
- Superlative construction : means an abundance (Qu’ran is part of same type of word)
- Ka – 2nd person pronoun
- Sounds like an incomplete sentence. But here you’re begging Allah, I need your abundant forgiveness.
- What is the reflection? What does that teach me? Asking forgiveness when leaving restroom. What does that mean? When exiting restroom, have removed waste from the body which if it had stayed in the body would harm the person.
- So saying the dua, you have gratitude for the ability to remove waste, but also reflect on something even more serious – My sins. My transgressions. My disobedience. My violation of trust and blessings. The feeling of relief from cleansing the body reminds me to cleanse and remove from my heart my owns sins to feel the same spiritual relief.
- Imagine if we thought about that for a moment every time we went to the restroom. Imagine how connected you would feel. To be so conscious of your spiritual condition every single time you exit the restroom. Imagine how your perspective would change. That’s the practical role of dua in your life.