Supplication or ‘Dua’ is an extremely important element within the practices of Islam. There are of course many forms of worship, both ritual and every day acts such as earning an honest living. Worship has conditions as in performing the ritual ablutions before the daily prayers or the set timings for starting and breaking of obligatory fasting. Supplication however is unique in that Allah(swt) has not set a single condition for its performance. Whether a person is sitting in the Masjid in the state of purity or otherwise the supplicant can simply speak to Allah(swt) and ask for their wishes.This ‘non condition’ applies generally for our personal dua’s but we must remember there are many set dua’s that we’ve been gifted by the Prophet(saaw) and the Holy Ahlul-Bayt(a.s), some of which do require wudhu (ablution) as a pre-condition, Dua Mash’lool (Supplication of the Lame Man) is one such example.
(2.186) And when My servants ask you concerning Me, then surely I am very near; I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he calls on Me, so they should answer My call and believe in Me that they may walk in the right way.
There are certain recommendations and etiquettes that if one can one should perform prior to supplicating be it a personal or prescribed supplication. One should recite the Salawaat at the start and end of the dua. “Alla Humma Salle Ala Muhammedin Wa Aale Muhammed” ‘O Allah (swt), Send Blessings on Muhammed and the family of Muhammed” As is the norm with virtually everything in Islam the Basmallah should also be recited prior to starting the dua. ‘Bismillah-ar-Rahman-ar-Raheem’. In the Name of Allah (swt), Most Gracious, Most Merciful. Allah (swt) has mentioned the importance of supplication and promised to respond to the supplicant. Regular supplication is a great way to keep our connection with Allah (swt) and at any time of day or night, it is also an opportunity for believers to speak to Allah (swt) in their own language. Unlike the daily prayers which are recited in Arabic, the supplication can be performed in any language and Insha-Allah, create a still closer bond in the supplicant’s heart towards Allah (swt). (40.60) And your Lord says: Call upon Me, I will answer you; surely those who are too proud for My service shall soon enter hell abased.
Another interesting point, imagine a man who is a grave digger by profession, if he raises his hands in supplication to Allah (swt) asking for an increase in his earnings, he is inadvertently asking for more people to die. The complexity of even this lesser world and all the connotations are vast, we as servants only live within the parameters set and can ask for anything, all requests should of course be for good things. The gravedigger by asking for extra sustenance has done nothing wrong, he has in fact done what was asked and turned to Allah (swt) for a need. This point should also remind us of the fact that we are tiny cogs within a gigantic system and only the Creator and Overseer of that system can deal with everything all at once as affirmed from this line from Dua Alqamah: O He whom intermingled voices of the countless callers (supplicants) do not stop from giving an answer to each and every one! We will end with a very short except from one of our most favourite dua’s, Dua Shabaniyyah, for an in depth understanding on all aspects of supplication and many beautiful duas please visit an excellent site www.duas.org
‘My Lord, look upon me as the person whom You called and he responded to You, whom You helped by using his services, and he obeyed You. You Near One, Who is not far from one who is away from You. You Munificent, who does not withhold His reward from one who hopes for it. My Lord, provide me with a heart, the passion of which may bring it near You, with a tongue the truth of which may be submitted to You, and with a vision the nature of which may bring it close to You ’