Dua or ‘supplication’ 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.A person who does not ask anything from Allah (swt) incurs the displeasure of Allah (swt). This is an act of false pride and worthy of punishment as it is only Allah (swt) who is Al-Ghani ‘The Self Sufficient’ and sustainer of all else. It is in fact recommended to ask Allah (swt) for something after every single prayer, whether big or small, for oneself or something for others.[7.55] Call on your Lord humbly and secretly; surely He does not love those who exceed the limits.[7.56] And do not make mischief in the earth after its reformation, and call on Him fearing and hoping; surely the mercy of Allah is nigh to those who do good (to others).Many times we supplicate and nothing seems to happen, some even become dejected and feel that Allah (swt) is not responding to them. This of course is not true, Allah (swt) hears and responds to all requests but not all requests are granted. Allah (swt) is the All-Knowing (Al-Alim) not anyone else, there may be occasions when we are pleading for something which if it was granted would cause us great harm, in fact if every single dua was granted then there would be chaos.An example is if we imagine a loving parent in their kitchen chopping vegetables for their evening meal, their young toddler comes into the kitchen and seeing the shiny knife in the hands of the parent puts his own hands forward insisting on being given the knife. Needless to say that this fervent request from the toddler will always be turned down, the child may shout, scream and cry and feel a sense of injustice at not being granted it’s wish. In the same way when we ask from Allah (swt) we are in effect like that toddler, sometimes asking for something which wasn’t granted and even feeling that we have been hard done by.Another way to understand dua better is imagine a person who may be ill and pleading for a quick recovery from the ailment, however it may be that a prolonged illness will create other factors or open other avenues in a person’s life that will be of immeasurable benefit and blessings. Therefore whatever we are asking for may be something we are convinced will be good for us, however the All-Knowing and Merciful Lord protects us even from ourselves as He (swt) knows what is right and wrong for us and always does the best by us.(4.40) Surely Allah (swt) does not do injustice to the weight of an atom, and if it is a good deed He multiplies it and gives from Himself a great reward.Each and every supplication is responded to and of course the request is recorded on the account of the supplicant, this form of worship is therefore full of blessings especially when we read this hadith which answers an important question:Imam Sadiq (as) said: "The Muslim believer whose calls were not answered by Allah (swt) in this world will wish that none of them would have been accepted when, in the Hereafter, he sees the abundance of rewards (given to him for them not being answered and suffering the troubles in the world)." Holy Prophet Mohammed (saaw):“Dua is the weapon of the believer, the pillar of faith, and the light of the heavens and the earth”.Imam Jafar Sadiq (a.s) Once said to Maysar, his companion : “O Maysar! Supplicate, and do not say the affair has been destined. Surely there are ranks with Allah (swt) which cannot be reached except through asking. If the servant closes his mouth and does not ask, he will not be given anything, so ask and you will get. O Maysar, the door that is knocked upon often is most likely to open”.Another extremely interesting point and example, 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 and sustenance, 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’.