Sunday, October 7, 2018

Du'ah: Role in Spiritual Life- II

Du'ah: The Instrumental Role

Alhamdulillah, Allah has given me the opportunity to continue the second part of my sermon on Duahs which I started on Friday 07 September 2018.

The duah (i.e. in this context, Invocation to Allah) is a way to obtain from Allah the Exalted One the prerogative (exclusive right, i.e. in a most humble way) that He hears and satisfies our needs in the broadest sense of the word. It is therefore a factor that can affect even our fate and change our destiny. Surely, Allah the Exalted is always “closer to man than the vein of his neck (jugular vein) as He explains in a Qur’anic verse (Qaf 50: 17).

Man, being always distracted and an easy prey for Satan, thus loses the advantage of this proximity with his Creator when he follows the deviating path, such path which is the complete opposite from that of Allah – God Almighty. But to overcome this distraction, the Islamic Sharia took special care to counter it (i.e. this gaps/ distraction/ spiritual weakness) through duah and then designated for the different times and circumstances of the life of the believer special duahs, so that he remains more often in conscious contact with Allah, The Exalted. For example, there is prescribed duah before going to bed and another one when waking up early in the morning. There is one duah at the beginning of every meal and another towards it end. There is a duah also before coming out /from the bathroom/ toilet, and a duah before leaving the house. And so many more. In short, one duah for each phase and situation of the life of man. But what is the best thing than to say BISMILLAH at any time, at the beginning of any activity!

Du'ah has intrinsic virtue 

While encouraging the believer to invoke Him out of reverential fear or out of respect or for his personal needs, Allah the Exalted asks him to invoke Him also with a religious spirit and in a disinterested manner as well (i.e. selfless and also even if he has derives no sweetness in prayer, to still strive praying and invoking Him as that he may derive pleasure in His worship, to feel the sweetness of prayer). Allah points out (i.e., condemns) those who are content to implore Him when they find themselves in trouble, but who forget Him as soon as His (Allah’s) help comes to get him out of these difficulties.

And when an adversity touches man, he invokes his Lord (Allah Alone), turning to Him in repentance; (but) thereafter when He grants him a favour from Him, he forgets that for which he was invoking earlier and he sets up rivals to Allah, in order to mislead others from His Path (while also leading himself astray).” (Az-Zumar, 39: 9).

Du'ah enhances fraternal bonds 

The Sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh) and the Hadiths have always called on Muslims to invoke Allah the Exalted not only for themselves, but also for their brothers and sisters of religion, so that they too may receive the divine grace and favours, not only for themselves, but also for their children, their parents, their blood relations, as well as relations formed through marriage, their neighbours/ fellow citizens, the Muslim community and the community of man as a whole. In doing so, Islam seeks to instill in each Muslim an intimate fraternal feeling that leads him to feel in an intimate way before Allah the Exalted the needs of his brothers and sisters before thinking of his own needs. This way of praying/ doing duahs for others - may allow the believer to transcend his ego and achieve absolute altruism that leads him to care for others more than he cares for himself.

The most touching example was that of the daughter of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh), Hazrat Fatima Al-Zahra (the Resplendent Lady) whose son, Imam Al-Hassan Ibn Ali said that she spent the night in the worship of God and to pray for believers, hardly asking anything for herself. When I asked her, ‘Why don’t you pray for yourself?’ She said, ‘The neighbour (i.e. Others) before one’s own self is pleasing to God.’

Why does Allah the Exalted ask the believer to pray for his brothers and sisters, for the dead, etc. when He can naturally come on His own to the help of people, without the intervention of another servant’s prayer?

Without doubt, Islam aims to develop in the believer the sense of values, a stronger and deeper sense of values, when it is born from the inside of man rather than when inculcated by sermons, which is therefore difficult to assimilate, because it comes from outside.

Du'ah and Striving: Complementary roles

Certainly, man must absolutely make the necessary effort to live, to work, to build a family, to bring up his children; in a word, to make life work here in the present life (on earth). The man must not then be confined to being passive, to have a wait-and-see frame of mind and total inaction by relying on Allah the Exalted to solve his problems through duahs only.

Man must be aware of his dependence on Allah the Exalted and must acknowledge his helplessness before the absolute power of Allah. This is the reason why man labours hard down here on earth and at the same time implores the Creator so that He satisfies his most immediate and most distant needs, his material and religious aspirations and especially to obtain his salvation in the present life on earth but much more in the afterlife.

What does the believer ask for in his duahs? All that he thinks that can help him live quietly and piously: his livelihood, good health, prosperity, good behaviour, and so on. And the believer is firm in his belief that Allah the Exalted will hear his calls and come to his rescue at the appropriate time.

Erroneous will be this conception of man that while remaining inactive in his life, he will be helped by Allah the Exalted in all his material and divine (i.e. spiritual) means. No, never is miracle divine and not human. Indeed, Allah the Exalted has put a cause to the origin of all things (cause and effect). Life, death, birth, health, disease, wealth, poverty, victory, defeat. Allah the Exalted always calls man to fight for the realization of good things while avoiding evil, but Allah the Exalted promises His protection to those who morning and evening ask Him through duahs.

Duah helps man to relieve himself of his problems, to get out of difficult situations. Let us reflect on this solemn moment when we are in full communication with Allah the Exalted in our duahs. Big or small, millionaire or a common man who is poor, employer or employee or unemployed, healthy or sick, married or not married, those with children or those who have no children, all of them, stand in ranks, shoulder to shoulder, during each Salat (prayer) in congregation and in prostration (Sajda) to invoke Allah (do duahs) for all humanity. What a beautiful scene/ picture this is! Where the believer, man or woman in front of his/ her Creator, with a child’s soul, a pure, simple, spontaneous, innocent soul, weeps, implores, complains, solicits and insists (seeking something from/ praying and glorifying Allah). He spares no effort to show the extent of his weakness, a weakness he accepts because it is the divine decision. The difficulties of life on earth will never end; also duahs help to relieve them somehow.

To conclude, the duah is a factor of the renewal of the strength of living in man (i.e. a boost of energy and willpower to encourage him to go on with life). The duah avoids the man / woman to sink in anguish, to choke under the burden of his/her problems and the pressure of his /her pride and to become a demoralized and complexed person. Faith in Allah The Exalted through the smallest duah we do makes us transform ourselves into a sincere believer.

So, believers (men and women), invoke Allah, beg Him with love and hope, for all your lawful, temporal and spiritual needs. Insha-Allah, Allah will come to your aid, hear your appeals and answer you (fulfill your needs and requests)! Ameen.

---Friday Sermon of 05 October 2018 (25 Muharram 1440 AH) delivered by Hadhrat Muhyi-ud-Din Al Khalifatullah Munir Ahmad Azim Saheb (atba) of Mauritius. 

To read the first part, click here.