Dua (Arabic: دعاء) is a word that carries immense significance in Islam. Dua means prayer or supplication, request or pleading for assistance and forgiveness from Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى). Moreover, it can also be regarded as a form of worship and Dhikr (remembrance of Allah). Duas or prayers are an important aspect of a believer's life. It serves as a conversation a Muslim can have with their creator and ask for His mercy, forgiveness, and blessings. Since Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى) is the only one who can grant a believer what he wishes, turning to Him in time of need affirms a Muslim's belief in the oneness and supremacy of his Lord.

The Prophet (ﷺ) said: “Dua (supplication) is the essence of worship.” – Jami at Tirmidhi 3371

All Duas

167 Duas

The Essence of Dua

Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى) says in the Quran: “Call upon Me, I will respond to you. Surely those who are too proud to worship Me will enter Hell, fully humbled.” – Ghafir (40:60)

The above-mentioned verse from the Quran signifies the essence of Dua in Islam. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى) makes it clear to the believers that he will respond to them if they call upon Him (through worship and prayer). Since dua serves as a medium of communication between a believer and Allah, it is indeed an empowering and uplifting conversation a Muslim can have. A believer turns to his or her Lord for several reasons – may it be to seek relief from his sufferings and distresses, to beg for His forgiveness, or to seek His blessings and ask Him to grant him his wishes or desires.

The Prophet (ﷺ) has said: "There is nothing more honorable with Allah [Most High] than supplication." – Jami at-Tirmidhi 3370

How to Make Dua

Muslim spirituality places great importance on the concept of prayer. Early Muslims and the companions of the Prophet (ﷺ) made sure to record the prayers and supplications of the Prophet (ﷺ) himself and his family so that they could be passed down to the Muslim Ummah. These supplications were recorded, memorized, and even taught among Muslims.

Some of these renowned collections include Kitab-al-Adhkar by Imam Nawawi – a Sunni jurist and Hadith scholar, and al-Hisn al-Haseen by Imam al-Jazari. Muslims were keen to learn how Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) offered supplication to Allah and how they could follow his footsteps and pray similarly. Given below are the etiquettes of making dua from the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ):

Believe in Tawhid and the Finality of Risalat Muhammad (ﷺ)

It is essential for a person to believe in the oneness of Allah and to believe that He is the creator of the universe and that all Ibadah is reserved for Him alone. Moreover, it is also essential to believe in the finality of Risalat e Muhammad (ﷺ), i.e., that Muhammad (ﷺ) is Allah's last Prophet.

Be Sincere in Making Dua

Islamic history also teaches the believers to supplicate to Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى) with sincerity rather than deeming the act of prayer as a formalized ritual or duty. The dua a believer makes must be sincere and heartfelt, and the believer must also remain patient when he has requested his Lord for something (through a prayer). Concentrate fully on your connection with Allah, and remember He is the only one who can grant you your dua.

Abu Hurairah (رَضِيَ ٱللَّٰهُ عَنْهُ) reported: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, "The supplication of every one of you will be granted if he does not get impatient and say (for example): 'I supplicated my Rubb, but my prayer has not been granted' – Riyad as-Salihin 1499

Be In A State Of Wudhu (Ablution) & Face The Qibla (Optional)

Islam places great emphasis on purity and cleanliness; therefore, it is preferable that Muslims make wudu before offering dua. Moreover, facing the Qibla while making dua is another masnoon act that pleases Allah and increases the likelihood of your dua being accepted by the Almighty.

It has been narrated on the authority of `Umar B. al-Khattab, who said: When it was the day on which the Battle of Badr was fought, the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) cast a glance at the infidels, and they were one thousand while his own Companions were three hundred and nineteen. The Prophet (ﷺ) turned (his face) towards the Qibla. Then he stretched his hands and began his supplication to his Lord: "O Allah, accomplish for me what Thou hast promised to me. O Allah, bring about what Thou hast promised to me. O Allah, if this small band of Muslims is destroyed. Thou will not be worshipped on this earth." He continued his supplication to his Lord, stretching his hands, facing the Qibla…” Sahih Muslim 1763

Beseech Allah by His Names

When making a dua, use the Asma ul Husna or the 99 names of Allah. Start your prayer with Ya Rahman, Ya Karim, Ya Ghafoor, etc. Allah has informed us of this etiquette of dua Himself in the Quran.

Allah says, “وَلِلَّهِ الْأَسْمَاءُ الْحُسْنَىٰ فَادْعُوهُ بِهَا ۖ وَذَرُوا الَّذِينَ يُلْحِدُونَ فِي أَسْمَائِهِ ۚ سَيُجْزَوْنَ مَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ”

Allah has the most excellent names. So, call on Him by His names and shun those who distort them. They shall soon be requited for their deeds. - Al-A'raf (7:180)

Praise Allah and Send Blessings (Salat) On Prophet Muhammad

Start your Dua by praising Allah, thank Him for all the blessings He has bestowed upon you, and seek forgiveness for your sins. Next, send durood or salat on Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ). It is masnoon to recite durood before and after the subject of the dua.

Narrated Fudalah ibn Ubayd, The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ), heard a person supplicating during prayer. He did not mention the greatness of Allah, nor did he invoke blessings on the Prophet (ﷺ). The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: He made haste. He then called him and said either to him or to any other person: If any of you prays, he should mention the exaltation of his Lord in the beginning and praise Him; he should then invoke blessings on the Prophet (ﷺ); thereafter he should supplicate Allah for anything he wishes. Grade: Sahih (Al-Albani), Sunan Abi Dawud 1481

Raise Your Hand to Allah

When making dua, Muslims must join their hands and raise them both such that the palms of their hands are facing toward the heavens. This gesture shows humility and is a sign that we are asking Allah for His mercy and favor.

Salman Al-Farsi narrated that the Prophet (ﷺ) said:

"Indeed, Allah is Hayy, Generous, when a man raises his hands to Him, He feels too shy to return them to him empty and rejected." Jami` at-Tirmidhi 3556

Have Faith and Patience That Allah Will Accept Your Dua

The Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) stressed that one should have absolute faith in Allah’s ability to answer their duas. Moreover, Muslims should have patience when making dua; they should not become despondent and lose hope if their dua is not answered immediately. Allah tabarak wa ta'ala has promised to make the dua of His creation come true, but sometimes, Allah does not answer prayers immediately due to His knowledge, which is better and more vast than ours. Allah is omnipotent, and He knows the best time to answer dua and whether a dua should be accepted as it might not be something that is good for you long-term.

Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) as saying: The supplication of one of you is granted if he does not grow impatient and say- I supplicated my Lord, but it was not granted. - Sahih Muslim 2735 b

Make Dua Frequently & Firmly

Muslims should make dua frequently. One should ask Allah to bestow their favor and blessings upon them and even ask for specific hajaat repeatedly. There is no limit to making dua; in fact, it pleases Allah to see His abd, His servant, beseeching Him again and again. Secondly, be resolute in your prayer and ask what you want in clear and firm words.

Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) said, "None of you should say: 'O Allah, forgive me if You wish; O Allah, be merciful to me if You wish,' but he should always appeal to Allah with determination, for nobody can force Allah to do something against His Will." - Sahih al-Bukhari 6339

Recommended Times to Offer Duas

Although one can offer Dua wherever and whenever he wishes to, offering it during certain times of the day and night ensures maximum benefit, and Allah tabarak wa ta’ala may answer your prayers in the best manner possible.

During the Latter Part of the Night

Abu Hurrairah (رَضِيَ ٱللَّٰهُ عَنْهُ) reported Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) saying:

Our Lord, the Blessed, and the Exalted descends every night to the lowest heaven when one-third of the latter part of the night is left and says: Who supplicates Me so that I may answer him? Who asks Me so that I may give to him? Who asks Me forgiveness so that I may forgive him? – Sahih Muslim 758a

During Good Health and Easier Times

Abu Hurrairah (رَضِيَ ٱللَّٰهُ عَنْهُ) reported Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) saying:

Abu Huraira reported God’s messenger as saying, “If anyone finds pleasure in receiving an answer from God in times of difficulty, he should make many supplications when times are easy.” – Mishkat al-Masabih 2240

In the Last Hour of The Asr (Afternoon) Prayer on Friday

Jabir Ibn Abdullah (رَضِيَ ٱللَّٰهُ عَنْهُ) reported:

The Prophet (ﷺ) said: Friday is divided into twelve hours. Amongst them, there is an hour in which a Muslim does not ask Allah for anything, but He gives it to him. So, seek it in the last hour after the afternoon prayer. – Sunan Ibn Dawud 1048