‘Connect in your Duas’
A lot of us make Dua while we are heedless of what we are saying, we just repeat the same duas in the same order in the same tone and so we do not feel it when we say it, we just go on Auto-pilot mode. Only when there is a special need that we exert ourselves in focusing on asking Allah about that particular need.
We tend to look at the outward form of dua which, when compared to other’s acts of Ibadah (worship) is ‘less strenuous’ and ‘exertive’ in terms of time, place, language and physical exertion.
Know that Dua is the ultimate form of Abdiya (Bondsman-ship) in that it is an expression of one’s total dependence on Allah Almighty knowing that every single condition — good or bad, happy or sad, benefit or loss, wealth or poverty — is exclusively in the hands of Allah Almighty and that He alone is the ultimate Causer of causes. With Him are the keys to His unlimited and unending treasures.
Dua is that act which ‘connects’ the slave to his Master. The slave lifts his hands as begging bowls in an expression of begging as a beggar does. “O mankind! It is you who stand as beggars in your relation to Allah, and it is Allah Who is Free of all wants, Worthy of all praise”. (Qur’an, 35:15)
In all humility, with an attentive heart, having full hope in his Creator, Maker, Sustainer and Cherisher, one attracts the gaze of mercy of the Master Who feels shy in turning His slave away empty handed.
If it is not in the nature of a mother to turn her child away empty handed no matter how disobedient a child may be, how is it possible that the One who is the most merciful and who has placed mercy in the hearts of all mothers turns away His slave, empty handed? How is it possible for the One Who becomes angry when His slaves do not supplicate to Him not to be happy when they do?
Connect in your Dua
Going deeper into our spiritual state during salah requires that we have a presence of heart and are mindful of the words being said during the prayers. This has great rewards as is mentioned in many ahadeeth.
The whole point of Dua is that a person calls out with a sincere heart to his Creator. This sincerity cannot be achieved if one calls out heedlessly, without earnestness. The Prophet ﷺ said,
“Make dua to Allah in a state that you are certain that your dud will be responded to, and know that Allah does not respond to a dua that originates from a negligent, inattentive heart”. (Tirmidhi, Graded as Sahih by Albani)
This shows that the dua must be made with a mindful heart, such that one knows exactly what one is asking for, and remembers who he is asking, for he is asking the Lord of Honour. It does not befit, therefore, a servant to ask his Lord in a neglectful manner, such that he is not even aware of what he is saying, or using memorised sentences that he repeats over and over again without understanding these phrases and appreciating their meanings.
Al-Nawawi stated: “Know that the purpose of dua is that one has an attentive heart (towards Allah), as we have already mentioned, and the proofs for this are more than can be mentioned, and the knowledge of it is so apparent that it need not be discussed!”
We can find ways from the Quran & Sunnah to have a greater connection with Allah, these may vary from person to person, We list below some of the things that could help InShaAllah…
1.The love of Allah
Some people’s relationship with Allah is limited to following orders and leaving prohibitions, so that one does not enter hell. Of course, we must follow orders and leave prohibitions, but we need to add to fear and hope; it should also be done out of love for Allah. Allah says in the Qur’an: “… Allah will bring forth [in place of them] a people He will love and who will love Him.” (Qur’an, 5:54)
We often find that when a lover meets the beloved, hearts are stirred and there is warmth in that meeting. Yet when we converse with Allah in our Duas or Prayers, there is not even an ounce of this same feeling. Allah says in the Qur’an: “And (yet) among the people are those who take other than Allah as equals (to Him). They love them as they (should) love Allah. But those who believe are stronger in love for Allah.” (Qur’an, 2:165)
And those who believe are stronger in love for Allah. There should be a feeling of longing, and when we raise our hands to start the dua or prayer, warmth and love should fill our hearts because we are now conversing with Allah.
Ibn Al-Qayyim says: “Since ‘there is nothing like unto Him’ (Qur’an, 42:11), there is nothing like experiencing love for Him.”
If you feel this love for Him, it will be a feeling so intense, so sweet, that you would wish the prayer would never ever end.
Al-Hassan Al-Basri : “Oh Son of Adam, Love Allah! Allah will love you, and know that you will not love Allah until you love obeying Him”.
He also used to say, “He who knows Allah, loves Him.”
Causes of the love of Allah
The first cause is man’s love for himself and his drive to perfect his own creation. This leads directly to loving Allah because man’s very existence and attributes are but the gift of Allah whose grace and kindness have brought man from behind the curtain of non-existence into this visible world. Man’s preservation and eventual attainment of perfection are also entirely dependent upon Allah’s grace. It would indeed be a wonder if one should take refuge from the heat of the Sun under the shadow of a tree and not be grateful to the tree, without which there would be no shadow at all. On precisely the same way, were it not for Allah, man would have neither existence nor attributes at all.
The second cause of this love is that man loves his benefactor, and in truth, his only Benefactor is Allah, for whatever kindness man receives from fellow-creatures is due to the immediate instigation of Allah. Whatever the motive that may have prompted the kindness he receives from others, Allah is the One who set that motive to work.
The third cause of man’s love of Allah is his contemplation of the beautiful Attributes of Allah, His Power and Wisdom, of which human power and wisdom are but the feeblest reflections.
Signs of the love of Allah
When Allah Loves someone
Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “If Allah loves a person, He calls Gabriel, saying, ‘Allah loves so and so, O Gabriel love him’ So Gabriel would love him and then would make an announcement in the Heavens: ‘Allah has loved so and-so therefore you should love him also.’ So all the dwellers of the Heavens would love him, and then he is granted the pleasure of the people on the earth.” (Sahih Bukhari)
What Allaah has mentioned in the hadeeth qudsi of the great virtues of those whom He loves. It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah said: The Messenger of Allaah ﷺ said:
“Whosoever shows enmity to someone devoted to Me, I shall be at war with him. My servant draws not near to Me with anything more loved by Me than the religious duties I have enjoined upon him, and My servant continues to draw near to Me with supererogatory works so that I shall love him. When I love him I am his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes and his foot with which he walks. Were he to ask [something] of Me, I would surely give it to him, and were he to ask Me for refuge, I would surely grant him it. I do not hesitate about anything as much as I hesitate about [seizing] the soul of My faithful servant: he hates death and I hate hurting him.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 6502.
This hadeeth qudsi includes a number of benefits of Allaah’s love for His slave:
Unless we love Allah enough, we will not be able not connect, and hence we should work on our relation with Allah and that will make us better in all parts of Life and Ibadah not just Duas.
2. Count your Sins
Part of the etiquette of du a is to acknowledge one’s shortcomings and sins in front of one’s Creator This is also a means of properly worshipping Allah. When we count our sins in Dua, we are humbled and should feel scared, which automatically brings our focus to Allah and to ask of Him for forgiveness and His Mercy.
‘All ibn Abi Talib reported that the Prophet ﷺ said, “Verily, Allah likes a worshipper who says: ‘There is no one worthy of worship except You. I have wronged myself, so for- give my sins, for none forgives sins except You/ Allah says, ‘My servant knows that he has a Lord who forgives and punishes!'” (Ahmad, Abu Dawood, Tirmidi)
And Abu Hurayrah R.A. said: “The best dua is for a person to say: O Allah! You are my Lord, and I am your servant. I have wronged myself, and acknowledge my sins. O my Lord! Forgive me my sins, for You, and only You, are my Lord, and none forgives sins except You!”
3. Call Allah by His Names & Attributes relevant to your need
It is a sunnah to call Allah by His Names and attributes, and the best way to do it is to call Him by a name that is relevant to your need. Like for example when you are asking for increase Rizq, you say, O Allah You are Ar-Razzaq, You are the One who Provides to every living thing on this earth, I know and believe that only You can benefit me, You provide sustenance to the World, please increase my sustenance and make me thankful.
Or for example, when one is asking for forgiveness, one should use the Names that are appropriate to the concept of forgiveness, such as al-Tawwab (the One who continually accepts Repentance), al-Ghaffar (the One who continually Forgives), al-Rahim (the Ever-Merciful), and so forth.
This pattern is seen in Surah Fatiha,, where we Call on Allah by His names and attributes first, then we affirm that it is Only Him who can benefit us by saying “You we Worship and You we ask for Help” and then we ask for the most important Dua – “To guide us to the straight path” – and then we ask Him to keep us away from ways that He dislikes. So this is something we should follow in all our Duas.
May Allah make us amongst those who asks of Him in ways He Likes and is pleased with!