The Pre-Conditions of Dua
When My servants ask thee concerning Me, I am indeed close (to them). I listen to the prayer of every suppliant when he calleth on Me; Let them also, with a will, listen to My call, and believe in Me; That they may walk in the right way. [Surah Al-Baqarah: Ayah 186]
We know that Dua (supplication) is a type of worship, so it is essential to discuss the pre-conditions that are necessary if we wish for our Dua to be answered. Just like our Salat (prayer) will not be accepted until we perform the necessary pre-requisites, such as wudu (ablution), facing the Qiblah and covering the body. Likewise our dua will likely not be accepted until some pre-requisites are met.
Let’s see what Allah (SWT) tells us about Dua for surely “Allah’s promise is the truth, and whose word can be truer than Allah’s?” (4:122)
praying pray dua supplication to god allah
The Realisation that Only Allah Responds to Dua
“Who else is there that responds to the call of the one in distress when he calls out, and He removes evil from him, and makes you inheritors of the earth ? Is there any other God besides Allah? Little is it that you remember!” (27:62)
We must fully believe that only Allah (SWT) is capable of hearing our prayer, and only Allah (SWT) has the power to grant us what we desire.
Sincerity in Dua to Allah Alone
“Will you call upon other than Allah if you are truthful?” (6:40)
“Those whom you call besides Allah are slaves like yourselves” (7:194)
“And those who you ask besides Him can neither come to your aid, nor can they help themselves!” (7: 197)
After we realize that only Allah (SWT) can respond to our Dua, then it makes sense that we pray to Allah (SWT) alone. We must be careful only to ask Allah (SWT). Idols, the sun to trees, animals, men, pious people, prophets, or even angels have no power to grant any of our Dua’s.
Let’s see what Prophet Muhammad said about Dua in the authentic Hadiths. “And he speaks not of his own desire. It is but a revelation revealed to him.” (53:3-4)
The Presence of an Attentive Heart
Prophet Muhammad said “Make dua to Allah in a state that you are certain that your dua will be responded to, and know that Allah does not respond to a dua that originates from a negligent, inattentive heart” (Tirmidhi)
This shows that our Dua must be made with a mindful heart, such that we know exactly what we are asking for, and who we are asking from, for Allah (SWT) is the Lord of Honor!
Purity of One’s Sustenance
Prophet Muhammad said “Oh you who believe! Eat from the pure and good foods We have given you” Then the Prophet mentioned a traveler on a long journey, who is dishevelled and dusty, and he stretches forth his hands to the sky , saying “Oh my Lord! O my Lord!” - while his food is unlawful, his drink is unlawful, his clothing his unlawful, and he is nourished unlawfully; how can he be answered?” (Muslim, Ahmad)
Therefore, among the necessary conditions of our Dua to be accepted is the purity and lawfulness of our food.
Lack of Hastiness
Prophet Muhammad said “You will responded to as long as you are not hasty, meaning that a person says, ‘I have prayed and prayed and my prayer has not been answered!’” (Bukhari, Muslim)
This shows that Dua should be continuous, and that we should avoid giving up our Dua because it has not been responded to. For Allah (SWT) is The Wise and we know that no Dua is ever wasted! This does not mean however, that we cannot pray that our Dua be answered quickly, for it has been narrated that the Prophet prayed for rain and said “quickly, and not delayed..” (Ibn Majah)
The above are conditions that can aid us in getting our Dua responded to. The response of our Dua depends on the Will of Allah (SWT), and He responds to whom He pleases. Therefore it is possible that the Dua of a disbeliever who does not meet any of these conditions is responded to, and it is possible that a Muslim who fulfills all of these conditions is not responded to. However without a doubt, if we strive to fulfill and put into practice all of these factors we will have a much greater chance of our Dua being answered.
We also know that a Dua of a believer is never wasted. If our dua is not granted and we are patient then Allah (SWT) either turns away some evil that was going to inflict us, or Allah (SWT) reserves its rewards for the hereafter. On the day of judgement when we see the huge rewards we get for our Dua’s not being answered, we will wish none of our Dua’s got granted on earth! So even if our Dua in not answered in this life we should hope for its rewards in the next.
One of the main purposes of Dua is that we have an attentive heart towards Allah (SWT). That we turn to Him and acknowledge His Power. This however requires patience, purity and sincerity. We need to call out to Allah (SWT) with a sincere heart, for verily Allah (SWT) does not accept any Dua made from a neglectful heart. How sincere is our heart? Right now the choice is ours!
We ask Allah (SWT) the Most High, the All-Powerful, to teach us that which will benefit us, and to benefit us by that which we learn. May Allah (SWT) grant blessings and peace to our Prophet Muhammad and his family and companions.