Private Prayer – Du’a
Allah created man to be His vicegerent on earth and bestowed upon him ability to distinguish between right and wrong. He can achieve nothing but what he strives tor. It is stated in the Holy Quran that with every difficulty there is relief. According to Abdullah Yusuf Ali:
“Whatever difficulties or troubles are encountered by men, God always provides a solution, a way out, a relief, a way to lead to ease and happiness, if we follow His path and show our faith by patience and well-doing”.
Along with honest endeavour and effort man needs the help of his Creator in order to achieve his worldly goals. As such man turns to Allah, Who is the solver of all difficulties and asks for His help. Such supplication and invocation is called Du’a. The Holy Prophet PBUH is reported to have called Dua the kernel of worship and the weapon of a believer. According to Tirmizi, the Holy Prophet PBUH said that only Du’a can change Allah’s decree.
According to the Holy Quran, “And He (Allah) giveth you of all that ye ask for..” (14:34)
Abdullah Yusuf Ali says:
“Sincere and true prayer in faith is answered by God. Thus He gives us everything which a wise and Benevolent Providence can give.”
The Holy Prophet PBUH is reported to have said:
“Verily your Lord is ashamed (i.e., shy) of His servants when they raise up their hand to Him in supplication to return them empty.”
The Holy Quran, the final and complete revelation from Allah for the guidance of the whole of mankind and for all time, contains guidance for every stage of man’s life. It teaches man how to pray and the way to ask for Allah’s help, guidance, forgiveness and protection. The Holy Quran says:
“When My servants ask thee (the Holy Prophet) concerning Me, I am indeed close (to them): I listen to the prayer of every suppliant when he calleth on Me:
Let them also, with a will, listen to My call, and believe in Me, that they may walk in the right way. “(2: 186)
A commentator of the Holy Quran says:
“The God of Islam, never distant or remote, is the constant companion of His servants, their unfailing support, and infallible prop to those in need and distress Prayer is the strongest and most visible acknowledgement of God’s sovereignty and man’s utter dependence on Him.”
” Prayer is the highest medium in Islam, whereby man can enter into communion with God.”
In verse 60 of Surah Mu’min Allah says:
“And your Lord says: Call on Me: I will answer (your prayer)..” (40: 60)
The two verses of the Holy Quran quoted above teach us that Allah is close to us and listens to our prayers and answers them. Our prayers should, therefore be made to Allah with the fullest faith. They should be addressed only to Allah who alone is able to respond to all prayer and invocations. The Quran says: “For Him (alone) is prayer. “(13:14)
Invoking the assistance of angels, prophets or saints is strictly forbidden. We must call upon Allah with sincerity and humility. The Holy Prophet PBUH is reported have arged his followers to pray to Allah with full confidence in the acceptance of their supplications. Allah undoubtedly accepts one’s prayer and grants it in his own time in the manner or form that He considers best.
The Holy Quran says:
“When we bestow favours on man, he turns away and gets himself remote on in side (instead of coming to us): and when evil seizes him (he comes) full of prolonged prayer.” (41: 51)
In explanation of this verse Abdullah Yusuf Ali has pointed out:
“If they receive good they go further away from God, instead of coming nearer to Him. If they suffer ill, they call on God and offer prolonged prayers, but it is not sincere devotion and therefore worthless.”
Allah is Samad that is, Independent and Absolute and as such does not need our prayers. It is we who stand in need of Allah’s help, protection and guidance.
The Holy Quran says:
“My Lord it not uneasy because of you if ye call not on Him..” (25: 77)
According to Abdullah Yusuf Ali:
“God needs no praise, for He is above all praise, He needs no petition for He knows our needs better than we do ourselves; and His bounties are open without asking, to the righteous and the sinner alike. Prayer is for our own spiritual education, consolation and confirmation.”