The word “dua” refers to sincere and heartfelt supplication one makes to Allah. The dua can be for worldly matters like health, wealth, success and better livelihood. It can also be for spiritual matters like asking for forgiveness for sins, guidance on the right path and for Paradise in the Hereafter.
The dua is actually a testimony of fact that the Muslims consider Allah to be the Creator and Sustainer of the universe and believe that all the blessings come from Allah alone.
No matter how important or how trivial the need might be, supplicating to Allah shows that the Muslim believes that none on this Earth can withhold what Allah has ordained and no one can grant any such favors which Allah has not constituted in their destiny. Hence it is with this faith and acceptance that a Muslim supplicates to Allah.
Supplication to Allah must be made with complete humility and preferably in a state of physical purity. It is also better to face the Qibla (direction of the Holy Ka’aba towards which Muslims pray). The dua should be made with raised hands and fear of Allah in the heart. The supplication, whether it is for the person himself or for someone else, must be made with a sincere heart. It must not be invoked for sake of showing off or as a false exhibition of piety.
When a Muslim supplicates to Allah, he must begin by testifying to the fact that Allah alone is worthy of worship. He must also invoke peace and blessings of Allah upon his last Messenger, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). He should then give thanks for all the blessings Allah has already endowed upon him. Then he should sincerely ask for his lawful needs. The supplication should also be made by invoking Allah’s attributes and names like Ar-Rahmaan (the Most Gracious), Ar-Raheem (the Most Merciful), As-Salaam (the Source of Peace) and Al-Khaliq (the Creator).
A Muslim should also supplicate to Allah in times of ease and abundance, because dua is an expression of remembrance of Allah that is most liked by the Creator. During hardships, one usually invokes Allah for speedy resolution of his troubles, but when a Muslim remembers His Creator during times of happiness, Allah is most pleased with him.
Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:
“Remember Allah during times of ease and He will remember you during times of hardship.” Narrated by Ahmad.
Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said,
“The supplication of every one of you will be granted if he does not get impatient and say (for example): `I supplicated my Rubb but my prayer has not been granted’.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
This hadith shows one of the most important etiquettes of supplication to Allah. When a person is in need of something like happiness, success or wealth, one should continue asking Allah without ever thinking that, in spite of praying for a long time, his prayer has not been granted.
One should never allow frustration, arrogance or even doubt to overcome his mind. A Muslim must firmly believe that, if his prayer is not being answered immediately, then Allah might have a greater reward for him for his patience and forbearance.