Dua has the ability to change one’s destiny

Updated 21 February 2014
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Dua has the ability to change one’s destiny

AS human beings, our life in this world is characterized by fluctuating conditions making us happy and sad. No one experiences perpetual bliss or misery. Life by its very nature is a test.
Allah says: “He is the One that has created Life and Death in order to test who amongst you is best in conduct.” (Qur’an, 67:2)
Pleasant and favorable conditions demand us to be grateful and humble or adverse conditions require us to be patient and to seek Allah’s help.
As Believers we ought to believe that every condition is a manifestation of the Will of Allah. What has passed us was not meant to befall us and what has befallen us was not meant to pass us. Assistance comes with patience, relief after affliction and ease after difficulty (Tirmidhi). Our faith and belief is tested when we undergo difficulties and afflictions. These difficulties may be physical, emotional, financial and/or psychological. This is borne out by the following verse: “Verily We will test you with some fear, hunger, and loss of wealth, life or the fruits (of your labor.” (Qur’an, 2:155)
These adverse conditions may at times be upon an individual, a family, a community or upon a large section of the Ummah as is the current case of Palestine, Syria, Afghanistan and Myanmar. Muslims believe in Islam and making supplication or dua before Allah Almighty is what they consider as a weapon in their hands to solve their problems. Prayers or dua are panacea for the present problems facing the Ummah today. In Hadith we find that the Noble Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) came across a community of people going through a tribulation. He advised, “Why don’t they supplicate (make dua) to Allah for assistance?”
The problem with us is that dua for us has become a ritual and a final resort after all the options and the means have been exhausted. Dua, according to a Hadith, has the unique ability to change destiny (Tirmidhi).
All the Prophets (peace be upon them), as we find in Qur’an, resorted to supplications as their ultimate ‘weapon’ to solicit Allah’s help when all their efforts would fail while reforming nations in their respeoctive hostile environments.
A very poignant example of this is the incident of the Prophet Nuh (peace be upon him). Allah Almighty mentions the incident in the following words, “The people of Noah denied and they belied Our Servant and said, ‘He is a madman’ and threatened him. He therefore supplicated (through dua) to his Lord (saying), ‘I am overpowered! Assist me?’ We therefore opened the gates of Heaven, with water flowing furiously. (And) We caused springs to gush out from the earth, so that the two waters met in a quantity that had been destined.” (Qur’an, 54: 9-12)
The above verses in the original Arabic language are very powerful and conjure up an image of vast volumes of waters gushing forth profusely from both the earth and the skies until the earth was waterlogged. All those who had ridiculed the Messenger were drowned in that deluge. We can safely say that the Prophets (peace be upon them), in discharging their responsibility of calling toward the Creator, qualified for His assistance. And the action that motioned this assistance in favor of the Prophets (peace be upon them) was that of lifting their hands in dua.
At the time of the battle of Badr, with the future of Islam under threat, when a small ill equipped band of 313 Muslims faced an army of 1,000 well armed, the Noble Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) spent the entire night on the eve of the battle begging and supplicating unto Allah for His assistance and Allah Almighty the following day granted the greatest victory in the annals of Islamic history.
In another such incident, when Sultan Salah Al-din Ayyubi received news of the Crusader’s ships sailing toward them with reinforcements, he retired to the masjid and spent the night in prayer, beseeching and begging Allah Almighty’s assistance. In the morning prayer, he told a pious man, “Please make dua, so that the enemy ships left the shores carrying reinforcements.” The person replied, “Don’t fear, O Salah Al-Din. Verily the tears of the night have drowned the enemy ships.” A short while later news was received that the ships had sunk.
Such is the power of dua which has been rightfully referred to by scholars as the ‘weapon’ of a believer.
In a Hadith, it is mentioned that ‘Dua is the essence of worship.’ (Musnad Ahmed & Tirmidhi)
In fact in another Hadith it is mentioned that, ‘Dua is worship.’ (Sunan Abu Dawood) If one ponders and reflects on the above Hadith one will realize that they are very clear, definite and absolute statements. How is it that we give so little attention to that described as both the ‘essence’ of worship as well as worship itself?
The reason for this is because we tend to look at the outward form of dua which, when compared to other’s acts of Ibadah (worship) is ‘less strenuous’ and ‘exertive’ in terms of time, place, language and physical exertion. While there are conducive and opportune moments when duas are accepted in relation to the above there are no restrictions or specifications on the act of dua. Dua can be made at any time, in any place, in any language, when a woman is in her menses and also in a state of ceremonial impurity.
Dua is the ultimate form of Abdiya (Bondsman-ship) in that it is an expression of one’s total dependence on Allah Almighty knowing that every single condition — good or bad, happy or sad, benefit or loss, wealth or poverty — is exclusively in the hands of Allah Almighty and that He alone is the ultimate Causer of causes. With Him are the keys to His unlimited and unending treasures.
Dua is that act which ‘connects’ the slave to his Master. The slave lifts his hands as begging bowls in an expression of begging as a beggar does. “O mankind! It is you who stand as beggars in your relation to Allah, and it is Allah Who is Free of all wants, Worthy of all praise. (Qur’an, 35:15)
In all humility, with an attentive heart, having full hope in his Creator, Maker, Sustainer and Cherisher, one attracts the gaze of mercy of the Master Who feels shy in turning His slave away empty handed (Tirmidhi, Ahmed, Abu Dawood).
If it is not in the nature of a mother to turn her child away empty handed no matter how disobedient a child may be, how is it possible that the One who is the most merciful and who has placed mercy in the hearts of all mothers turns away His slave, empty handed? How is it possible for the One Who becomes angry when His slaves do not supplicate to Him not to be happy when they do? (Sunan Ibn Majah)
Continuously turning to Allah Almighty in dua is a sign of one’s conviction in Him and the more one turns to Him, the more one’s faith increases. Dua is a condition of the heart and conversation with one’s Maker in the language of one’s choice. A Hadith says, dua is a means of beseeching Allah Almighty for the fulfillment of all our needs no matter how mundane or insignificant as it may be; or significant as facing overwhelming odds in the battlefield (Tirmidhi).
In the vocabulary of Islam, there are no such words as impossible, unattainable and/or insurmountable. Dua in times of ease is gratifying and engenders humility while at the same time it serves as an assurance of our duas being accepted in times of difficulty, according to Tirmidhi.

n Courtesy of islam.ru/en



Dua in times of difficulty, accompanied by the shedding of tears is uplifting, invigorating, assuring, cleanses, refreshes and provides solace and relief to a broken heart.
In current times as individuals we are faced with so many tribulations and internationally, the Ummah, is faced with crises across the globe that, at times we cannot help but feel helpless, frustrated and depressed. In such times we have the choice of negotiating these hurdles all by ourselves or through voicing our dissent by petitioning the ‘powers’ that be or to utilize the most powerful ‘weapon’ at the disposal of every Believer — dua, and stand up before Allah Almighty and to petition Him for His help as He alone is the one who has power over everything and every situation.


The beauty of prayer in Islam

Updated 23 September 2016
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The beauty of prayer in Islam

GOING deeper into our spiritual state during prayers (salah) requires that we have a presence of heart and are mindful of the words being said during the prayers.
Our prayer will feel shorter, yet when we look at how much time we actually spent, we will think, “Did I just spend 10 minutes?” or even 15 and 20 minutes.
A person who began applying this said he wished the prayer would never end.
A feeling that Ibn Al-Qayyim describes as “what the competitors compete for… it is nourishment for the soul and the delight of the eyes,” and he also said, “If this feeling leaves the heart, it is as though it is a body with no soul.”

The love of Allah
Some people’s relationship with Allah is limited to following orders and leaving prohibitions, so that one does not enter hell. Of course, we must follow orders and leave prohibitions, but it needs to be done out of more than fear and hope; it should also be done out of love for Allah. Allah says in the Qur’an: “… Allah will bring forth [in place of them] a people He will love and who will love Him.” (Qur’an, 5:54)
We often find that when a lover meets the beloved, hearts are stirred and there is warmth in that meeting. Yet when we meet Allah, there is not even an ounce of this same feeling. Allah says in the Qur’an: “And (yet) among the people are those who take other than Allah as equals (to Him). They love them as they (should) love Allah. But those who believe are stronger in love for Allah.” (Qur’an, 2:165)
And those who believe are stronger in love for Allah. There should be a feeling of longing, and when we raise our hands to start the prayer, warmth and love should fill our hearts because we are now meeting with Allah. A dua of the Prophet (peace be upon him): “O Allah, I ask You for the longing to meet You” (An-Nisa’i, Al-Hakim)
Ibn Al-Qayyim says in his book Tareeq Al-Hijratain that Allah loves His Messengers and His believing servants, and they love Him and nothing is more beloved to them than Him. The love of one’s parents has a certain type of sweetness, as does the love of one’s children, but the love of Allah far supersedes any of that. The Prophet, peace be upon him, said: “Any person who combines these three qualities will experience the sweetness of faith: 1) that God and His messenger are dearer to him than anything else; 2) that his love of others is purely for God’s sake; and 3) that he hates to relapse into disbelief as much as he hates to be thrown in the fire.” (Bukhari)
Thus, the first thing he mentioned was: “… that God and His messenger are more beloved to him than anything else…”
Ibn Al-Qayyim says: “Since ‘there is nothing like unto Him’ (Qur’an, 42:11), there is nothing like experiencing love for Him.”
If you feel this love for Him, it will be a feeling so intense, so sweet, that you would wish the prayer would never ever end.
Do you truly want to feel this love? Then ask yourself: ‘why do you or should you love Allah?’
Know that you love people for one (or all, in varying degrees) of three reasons: For their beauty, because of their exalted character or/and because they have done good to you. And know that Allah combines all of these three to the utmost degree.

All-embracing beauty
We’ve all been touched by beauty. It is almost fitrah (natural disposition) to love what is beautiful. Ali ibn Abi Talib, may Allah be pleased with him, said about the Prophet, peace be upon him, that it was “as if the sun is shining from his face.” Jabir (may God be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allah was more handsome, beautiful, and radiant than the full moon” (Tirmidhi)
Allah made all His Prophets have a certain beauty so that people would have a natural inclination toward them.
And beauty is more than what is in the face, because beauty is in all of creation and somehow has the ability to take our breath away and give us peace simultaneously. The glimmer of the crescent moon on a calm night, the intensity of a waterfall as the water drops for thousands of feet, the sunset by the sea … certain scenes of natural unspoiled beauty stirs something in us. As Allah is the One Who made it beautiful, so what of Allah’s beauty?
Ibn Al-Qayyim said: “And it is enough to realize Allah’s Beauty when we know that every internal and external beauty in this life and the next are created by Him, so what of the beauty of their Creator?”
This fitrah for loving what is beautiful is because Allah is beautiful. One of His Names is Al-Jameel (the Most Beautiful). Ibn Al-Qayyim states that the beauty of Allah is something that a person cannot imagine and only He knows it. There is nothing of it in creation save for glimpses.
Ibn Al-Qayyim says if all of creation were the most beautiful they could be (so let’s imagine, ever single human being looked as beautiful as Yusuf, peace be upon him, and the whole world was like Paradise), and all of them combined from the beginning of time until the Day of Judgment, they would not even be like a ray in comparison to the sun when compared to Allah. Allah’s beauty is so intense that we will not even be able to take it in this life. In the Qur’an, Allah describes Musa’s (peace be upon him) request: “And when Moses arrived at Our appointed time and his Lord spoke to him, he said, ‘My Lord, show me (Yourself) that I may look at You.’ (Allah) said: ‘You will not see Me but look at the mountain; if it should remain in place, then you will see Me.’ But when his Lord appeared to the mountain He rendered it level, and Moses fell unconscious.” (Qur’an, 7:143)
Even the mountain could not bear the beauty of Allah and crumbled, and when Musa, peace be upon him, saw this (he did not even see Allah), he fell unconscious. This is why on the Day of Judgment it is Allah’s light that will shine on everything. We talk about breathtaking beauty, but we have yet to experience Allah’s beauty. While things in this world can be beautiful or majestic or if they combine both they are finite, true majesty and beauty are for Allah: “And there will remain the Face of your Lord, Owner of Majesty and Honor.” (Qur’an, 55:27)
Keeping all of this in mind, the Prophet, peace be upon him, said: “Allah directs His Face toward the face of His servant who is praying, as long as he does not turn away” (Tirmidhi).
Remember this in your prayer, and ask Allah to allow you the joy of seeing Him in Paradise.