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The Sunnah & Etiquettes of Making Dua

The Prophet S.A.W. said, “Dua is worship itself”. Then the Prophet S.A.W. recited this verse, ‘Your Lord says: “Call upon Me and I will respond to you. Verily, those who disdain My worship will enter Hell in humiliation” (Qur’an, 40:60). (Tirmidhi)

For us Muslims, dua is an essential action that we do everyday – consciously or unconsciously. But do you know that there are certain sunnahs or etiquette of preparing for dua, what your dua should include and what our attitude towards dua should be. 

Preparing for Dua

Making supplications or dua is an action that you can make at any point of time! You can call upon Allah S.W.T. anytime – you can make dua as soon as you wake up or before you fall asleep, in private or public, planned or as an instinctive reaction to a difficulty. 

Before you do this though, here are some etiquette (adab) to making dua which will mentally and spiritually prepare you for this act of worship to Allah S.W.T.! 

1. Perform wudu’ 

While it is not compulsory to take ablution before making dua, performing it is a way of purifying yourself and getting yourself in the right state of mind to speak to the Lord of the Worlds. 

Performing wudu has many benefits; expiating our sins, strengthening inner peace, gaining the blessings of Allah S.W.T. – just to name a few. Hence when we’re asking His favour, it’s ideal to be in the best state when we present ourselves to Allah the Almighty. 

2. Face the Qibla

According to a narration by Abdullah bin Zaid R.A., 

‘Allah’s Messenger S.A.W. went out to this Musalla (praying place) to offer the prayer of Istisqa (a prayer for rain). He invoked Allah for rain and then faced the Qiblah and turned his cloak inside out…’ (Bukhari)

While it’s not compulsory for us to face the Qibla when making supplications, it’s something that we can do before making dua. 

Making the Dua

3. Raising your hands in supplication

‘Indeed your Lord – Blessed and Almighty is He – is Shy and Most Generous. He is shy when His servant raises his hands to Him (in du’a) to turn them away empty’.

The Prophet, (Abu Dawud)

Raising your hands in dua is a sunnah with a beautiful meaning behind it. 

4. Having a sincere heart

When making dua, one’s heart needs to be connected to Allah S.W.T. A sincere heart will guide its owner to yearn for goodness and make everything a means to attain Allah’s S.W.T. pleasure. 

5. Start by glorifying Allah S.W.T. 

“The Messenger of Allah S.A.W. heard a man making aua in his prayer without glorifying Allah or sending blessings upon the Prophet S.A.W. The Messenger of Allah S.A.W. said, ‘This man is in a hurry.’ He called him and said to him or to someone else, ‘When anyone of you makes dua, let him start by glorifying his Lord and praising Him, then let him send blessings upon the Prophet S.A.W, then let him pray for whatever he wants.’” (At-Tirmidhi)

It is highly encouraged to start your supplication by glorifying the Lord Almighty and do not rush or haste your dua. When we ask from Allah S.W.T., we’re asking as servants of the Lord of the World, and a servant has no business making demands of their own Creator. 

6. Call upon Allah S.W.T. with utmost humility (with a low voice)

Abu Musa Al-Ash’ari R.A. said, ‘We were in the company of the Prophet S.A.W. on a journey, and whenever we ascended a high place, we used to say Takbir (in a loud voice). The Prophet S.A.W. said, “O people! Be kind to yourselves, for you are not calling upon a deaf or an absent one, but you are supplicating the All-Hearing, the All-Seeing”’. (Bukhari)

Allah S.W.T. is very close to us, even closer than our own jugular vein. And our Creator knows what’s in our hearts even before we make dua to Him. How wonderful is that? Our Creator, the Lord of the Worlds, knows our deepest thoughts and feelings and yet still gives us the opportunity to express ourselves to Him and makes us feel heard and valued when we supplicate to him. 

7. Have faith that your dua will be accepted

When making dua, do not be reluctant or shy to ask for anything. Allah S.W.T. loves for us to turn to Him, and He never tires of fulfilling our needs or granting us forgiveness. 

The Messenger of Allah S.A.W. said, ‘Ask Allah for His favour. Verily, Allah Almighty loves to be asked and among the best acts of worship is to wait in expectation of relief’. (At-Tirmidhi)

Most importantly – and sometimes we might be guilty of not doing this – put your trust in Allah S.W.T. and have certainty that He will answer your dua, in the best way possible. We should not question whether our duas will be answered, and that should not be a reason for us to not make supplication. Allah S.W.T. is the only One who knows what is best for us and what is not, while we do not know what’s truly best for us. Let this optimism inspire us to always, always ask Allah S.W.T. for anything and everything our hearts desire. 

May Allah S.W.T. accept your duas and ours as well, Aamiin!