REFLECTIONS

Website: www.ummah.com/reflections

Quarterly: Issue No 25

Muharram 1424

 

THE POWER OF DU’AA

 

Our du’aa can change our life, our outlook, and our fate.  It is the most powerful weapon of a believer.

 

Once Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) passed by a people who were suffering from some affliction. "Why don't they make du’aa (pray) to Allah for protection," he said. With all the sufferings and disasters Muslims are facing in various parts of the world, the question can be directed to all of us today.

It is not that we have forgotten du’aa completely, we do refer to it regularly. But, our ideas and practice regarding du’aa have become distorted. Often it is reduced to the level of a ritual. Generally it is considered when all our efforts have failed and an act of last resort. It is belittled through actions and sometimes even with words. Is it any wonder that today mostly a mention of du’aa is meant to indicate the hopelessness of a situation?  What a tragedy, for du’aa is the most potent weapon of a believer. It can change fate, while no action of ours ever can. It is the essence of ibaadah (worship). With it we can never fail; without it we can never succeed. In the proper scheme of things, du’aa should be the first and the last resort of the believer, with all his plans and actions coming in between them.

 

Du’aa is conversation with Allah, our Creator, our Lord and Master, the All Knowing, the All Powerful. This act in itself is of extraordinary significance. It is the most uplifting, liberating, empowering, and transforming conversation a person can ever have. We turn to Him because we know that He alone can lift our sufferings and solve our problems. We feel relieved after describing our difficulties to our Creator. We feel empowered after having communicated with the All Mighty. We sense His mercy all around us after talking to the Most Merciful. We get a new commitment to follow His path for that is the only path for success. We feel blessed with each such commitment.  In every difficulty our first action is du’aa, as is our last. We ask Allah to show us the way to handle that difficulty; we seek His help in following the path He shows to us; we seek His aid in making our efforts successful. When we fall sick, we know that we cannot find the right doctor without His Will; that the best doctor may not be able to diagnose our condition without His Command; that the best treatment plan will not succeed without His Permission. We make du’aa for all of these. We make du’aa before we seek medical help, while we are receiving it and after it has been delivered. The same is true of all other difficulties we may encounter.

 

Du’aa is the essence of ibaadah. A person engaged in du’aa affirms his belief in Tawheed (monotheism) and shuns belief in all other false gods. With each du’aa his belief in Allah grows. He beseeches Him, affirming his own powerlessness. A person seriously and sincerely engaged in du’aa understands exactly the relationship between himself and the Creator and affirms it through his actions. This is the real essence of worship. Additionally, such a person can never become arrogant or proud, a logical result of true worship.

Du’aa is our most powerful weapon in all struggles of life as well as in jihad on the battlefield. During the battle of Badr, Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) stood up all night in prayer seeking Allah's help in the battle between unequal armies that would follow the next day. In the decisive battles against the crusaders, Sultan Salahuddin Ayyubi was busy day and night. His days were devoted to Jihad. His nights were spent making du’aa, crying, seeking Allah's help. This has been the practice of all true mujaahideen.  We should make it a point to make du’aa for all things big and small. It is the beginning of wisdom to realise that big and small are arbitrary labels that are totally irrelevant in this context. Nothing is too big for Allah Whom we are asking from; nothing is too small for the one who is asking. We should ask as a beggar, as a destitute person, for that is what we in reality are in relationship to Allah. At the same time we should ask with great hope and conviction that our prayers will be granted. We should remember the Hadith: "There is nothing more dear to Allah than a servant making du’aa to Him." On the other hand, a prayer lacking concentration and conviction is no prayer at all.

 

We should make du’aa at all times, not only during times of distress. Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: "Whosoever desires that Allah answers his du’aa in unfavourable and difficult conditions, he should make plentiful du’aa in days of ease and comfort."  Also he said: "The person who does not ask from Allah, Allah becomes angry with him."  We should ask for all of our needs: those related to this world as well as those related to the Hereafter. Those who only concentrate on the former are, in effect, announcing that they don't care for their life in the permanent abode. They should blame no body but themselves for the total ruin in that world which the  Qur'an assures us about. Those who concentrate only on the latter are also showing lack of balance, for we need Allah's help to lead a good life here as well.  We should make du’aa not only for ourselves but also for our parents, brothers and sisters, spouses and children, relatives and friends, teachers and other benefactors,  destitute and struggling Muslims everywhere. We should pray for them for the good in this world as well as in the Hereafter. The Prophet said: “The du’aa of a Muslim for his brother (in Islam) in his absence is readily accepted. An angel is appointed to his side. Whenever he makes a beneficial du’aa for his brother the appointed angel says, Ameen. And may you also be blessed with the same.”

 

In the dark ages that we are living in today, everyday brings fresh news about atrocities committed against our brothers in Palestine, Kashmir, India, Afghanistan, Iraq, Chechnya, and the list goes on. And what do we do? We can continue to just feel frustrated and depressed. We can petition the determined perpetrators or a fictional "International Community". We can just forget all this and move on to some other subject. Or we can stand up before Allah and pray for His help, who alone can help. The du’aa can change our life, our outlook, and our fate.  It is the most powerful weapon, but it works only for those who try sincerely and seriously to use it.

 

ISLAMIC KNOWLEDGE

 

Let us not be misled by some ‘scholars’ who claim that there is no such thing as secular or Islamic knowledge. Islam gave Islamic training and education a special concern.  There is nothing strange about this, especially when the first five verses from the Qur'an that was revealed to our beloved prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) were from Surah Al-’Alaq (Chapter 96).  This mean that start reciting the Qur’an with the name of Allah, the One who created everything. Allah created human beings from a small amount of thickened blood. Mention the name of Allah who has no flaw. Allah got people to learn how to write with a pen. The first person to write with a pen was the Prophet Idris (alayhis salaam). Allah got people to learn things which they had not known such as writing, manufacturing and other things.  Also, our beloved Prophet told us in the Hadith that was narrated by Al-Bayhaqi that, seeking knowledge is required of every Muslim. There is another Hadith that was narrated by Tirmizi that a Muslim scholar who is obedient to Allah, has much higher rank than a lay obedient Muslim.

 

What we mean by knowledge here is the Islamic knowledge every Muslim is required to know which is called Fardul-‘Ayn.  This knowledge consists of learning what is Fard, and what is Haram. This kind of knowledge saves the human being in this life by protecting him against evil, and by preventing him from the torture of Fire of Hell in the Hereafter.

 

The first thing a person must learn is the proper belief in Allah and His prophets and messengers. Consequently, he must learn what are the appropriate attributes of Allah and what are not.  Likewise, he must learn the correct beliefs regarding  the prophets.  Moreover, he should learn what follows in this category of knowledge (Tawheed), besides other Fiqh matters, e.g. Tahaarah, Salaah, Zakaah, Sawm, Hajj etc.  Islam, therefore, was not the reason for underdevelopment in the Islamic countries, but the malicious conspiracies designed by the imperialistic invaders to dissipate the Islamic Ummah and rob from it its resources. They knew that the only way to dominate the Muslims was to distract them from their religion. They seeded and nourished the division among Muslims, they hired people to sabotage some important Islamic books by implanting in them things which agree with their beliefs, and by erasing what is essential in Muslim beliefs (aqaa’id).

 

They fought to keep our people ignorant of their religion, to open the door for spreading sins under the fake image of civilisation. They spread poisonous books of their own. They somehow succeeded, because some of our own deceived people helped them to do so. They inaugurated themselves as ‘scholars’. They called themselves the ‘renovators’ of this religion. They cheated some simple people with their beliefs.

 

However, the truth shows that they are satanic agents, inviting people who respond to them into the Hellfire. The other aspect that simplified their mission, was the foreign and missionary schools. They tried to dominate a large part of the Islamic countries, by furnishing deceiving educational programs.  In those programs, they altered the bright image of Islam, and they changed the personality of our children by stuffing their minds with either ridiculous behaviour, or with what can hurt their beliefs. They encouraged them to criticise Muslim ethics, morals, and traditions, while those blind parents were so happy that their children can speak a foreign language very well.

The children were trained to give their opinion, and say whatever was in their swollen heads. Unfortunately, too many empty minded supporters hailed this invasion against Islam as ‘progress’.  It should be known that the Islamic civilisation was at its peak when the Muslims were committed to their religion, when the right Islamic beliefs were taught in masjids and madrasas.

 

The only way to rescue ourselves from this pathetic situation is by enthusiastically learning our religious sciences that we desperately need. These kinds of sciences are the shields that protect us from all the covert and overt attempts to spoil our youngsters. We should open our hearts to each other and admit our weaknesses and learn what is required of us, treating each other by brotherhood and modesty, and by the determination to overcome that miserable situation, Allah willing, surely we will be winners.  While we are encouraging our brothers and sisters to learn the necessary Islamic knowledge, we are also asking them to acquire the beneficial universal sciences and technologies, and be the leaders in those fields in order to help our Ummah, and to face the ignorance which surround us.

 

So, what are the procedures that should be taken to rescue our Islamic societies, and to preserve our children from deviation? And what is the role and the duty of the parents to protect their children in all their life stages? The answer is to acquire Islamic knowledge and its applications from where it is taught with great sincerity.

 

Finally, we ask Allah to protect us from Kufr, hypocrisy, profanity, degeneration, and bad manners, bad deeds and evil desires.

 

DEFINITION OF IMAAN

 

The place (locus) of Imaan is in the heart, tongue and physical actions. Imaan does increase and decrease. Deeds form a part of Imaan. Some of these deeds are essentials, whilst others are required and yet others are recommended. This does not preclude the possibility that true believers commit sins. Such sins, even major sins, provided they are not Kufr and Shirk, do not take the person out of the fold of Islam. In the Hereafter, the sinners may be punished in the Hell-fire or be forgiven by Allah. However, all people who have even the slightest amount of Imaan in their hearts will eventually be rescued from Hell and made to enter Paradise. This is the belief that was passed from our beloved Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) to his Companions and subsequently to their followers. This is the view of the Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaa’ah, and is the only view that takes into consideration the different relevant pieces of evidences from the Quran and Sunnah.

The Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) has made it absolutely clear that a person is definitely not a mu'min (believer) if it is claimed that he believes in the Prophet but does not profess it with his tongue, even though he can, nor does he offer salaah, nor fasts, nor loves Allah and His Prophet, nor fears Allah. If he also hates the Prophet and fights against him (then he obviously cannot be called a believer).

 

He has also made it absolutely clear that our happiness and position in the hereafter depends upon our statement of the testimony of faith (Shahaadah) and our sincerely believing in Allah's Oneness and acting accordingly.

 

I request your humble du'aas.

 

Abdul Haq Abdul Kadir

Umhlanga Rocks, KZN

South Africa