Etiquettes of Dua (Supplications)

Eman Badawi and Erum Chisty 

Rasoolullah (p.b.u.h.) taught that every time you do Tasbeeh (praising Allah), a plant is being planted for you in Jannah. Rasoolullah (p.b.u.h.) said what means: “Dua is worship.” (Authentic Hadith)

There are five elements that cause the Dua to be answered:

I. A Reason related to the one making Dua, or a state in which he is in that makes his more likely to be answered (as mentioned in the Holy Quran and Sunnah), the examples include:
1) fasting person
2) traveler
3) one who is oppressed
4) a pious child who makes Dua for his parents

II. A Reason related to the Dua itself; meaning the etiquettes of Dua are adhered to so that the Dua may be perfected:
1) begin by praising Allah and sending prayers and blessings upon Rasoolullah (p.b.u.h.)
2) gain nearness to Allah through Tawassul, either by:
a. calling upon Allah by His names and attributes
b. calling upon Allah by one’s good deeds 
3) Be on Wudu (Ablution)
4) Face the Qiblah
5) Never ask for that which is Haram (such as breaking ties of kinship)
6) Ask about anything and everything you need and the best way is to generally ask for the good of Dunya (world ) and Akhirah (Hereafter)
7) Make your Dua contingent upon Allah’s knowledge (for examples say: Allah give me such-and-such “if it is good for me” because only He truly knows what is good for you.)
8) Insist for it, beg, stay determined to get it because you are fully dependent on Him
9) Don’t use “if you want/will to” because Allah does what he wants
10) Raise hands to shoulder level with palms facing towards the sky
11) Lower one’s gaze in humility and don’t look to the sky
12) Lower one’s voice in humility, don’t say it aloud
13) End your Dua with praise of Allah and prayers upon Rasoolullah (p.b.u.h.)
14) Be patient in waiting for the response:
Rasoolullah (p.b.u.h.) teaches us that whenever anyone makes Dua, he will be answered unless he says “Allah didn’t answer me.” And if he is not answered in this Dunya then either Allah will remove from him some harm in
this Dunya because of his Dua or he will save his reward for him on the Day of Judgment.

III. Special Times when Dua is most likely to be answered:
1) when it’s raining (rain is blessing from ALLAH)
2) Last 3rd of night esp. before Fajr; called Sahr
3) Between Athan/Azan and Iqamah
4) Standing at mount Arafat (part of Hajj)
5) During the Qoonoot of Taraweeh in Ramadan
6) Lailatul Qadr
7) Friday after Asr till Maghrib
8) When a fasting person breaks his fast
9) Before drinking Zam-Zam
10) Right after Salah (prayer)
11) In sujood (prostrations)
12) etc…

IV. That there be no obstacles for the Dua to be answered: This usually refers to one’s relationship with Allah. Does one truly feel dependant and humble in front of Allah? Does one truly believe that Allah has the power to do whatever He wishes? And most importantly, is this person so sinful, having no regard for Allah’s commands, yet he expects Allah to grant him what he wishes for? If one’s food, drink, and clothing are all from Haram sources, Allah would not honor such a person with a response as is mentioned in a Hadith.

NOTE: However, all humans are sinners, and they may, at any time choose to change and come back to Allah. True Tawbah (repentance) means that one’s Istighfar changed their heart and being. This is what all of us should seek. Allah accepts the repentance from his servants if they are sincere. Even if we have sinned so much, we must always call upon Allah, for we cannot live without His blessings and sustenance. In fact, not to make Dua is another sin which angers Allah. So if one fears that his Dua may not be answered because of sins, let him begin his Dua with Istighfar and its conditions of acceptance are the following:
1) immediately stop the sin and anything related to it
2) regret what you did sincerely
3) to promise never to return to that sin
If it is between you and another person, then also:
4) ask their forgiveness