How are the ways of saying prayers (making dua) in verses and hadiths?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Allah Almighty states the following in the Quran:

"When trouble toucheth a man, He crieth unto Us (in all postures)- lying down on his side, or sitting, or standing. But when We have solved his trouble, he passeth on his way as if he had never cried to Us for a trouble that touched him! thus do the deeds of transgressors seem fair in their eyes." (Yunus, 10/12)

Prayer is encouraged in verses and hadiths:

"And your Lord says: "Call on Me; I will answer your (Prayer)..." (al-Mu'min, 23/60)

The Prophet (pbuh) states the following:

"There is nothing more honorable than prayer (dua) in the eye of Allah." (Tirmidhi, Daawat, 1; Ibn Majah, Dua, 1)

Prayer is also regarded as worship. "Prayer (dua) is worship itself." (Tirmidhi, Tafsiru al-Baqara, 16)

The prayers of the previous prophets are mentioned in the Quran. It is possible to make dua with those effective prayers or as one feels in his heart. However, it is sunnah and better to make dua by saying the prayers reported from the Prophet  Muhammad (pbuh) related to certain deeds like while visiting graves, after eating, before going to toilet, while putting on a new garment and while starting a journey.

The person who makes dua should say it heartily, ask good things and try to make efforts to attain what he wants. He should show his sincerity in his prayer with his deeds.

For instance, if a person mentions being a sincere Muslim who obeys Allah's orders, he should try to be such a Muslim with his deeds. The following is stated in a hadith:

"Know it that Allah will not accept the prayer of a person who prays with a heedless heart." (Tirmidhi, Daawat, 64)

Doubtlessly, Allah knows what man feels in his heart and his needs. However, saying prayers by the tongue is effective in the education of man. Besides, prayer means fulfilling an order of Allah; it is regarded as worship. Allah Almighty teaches His slaves how to pray Him and informs us about the prayers of His messengers. Believers should view those prayers first and make dhikr by uttering those prayers. The one that teaches us what we do not know and what is best is Allah.

"... Our Lord! Condemn us not if we forget or fall into error..." (al-Baqara, 2/286)

The Prophet Ayyub (Job) prayed as follows:

"…Truly distress has seized me, but Thou art the Most Merciful of those that are merciful." (al-Anbiya, 21/83);

The Prophet Zakariyya (Zacharias) prayed as follows:

"...O my Lord! leave me not without offspring..." (al-Anbiya, 21/89);

The Prophet Adam prayed as follows:

"...Our Lord! We have wronged our own souls: If thou forgive us not and bestow not upon us Thy Mercy, we shall certainly be lost." (al-A'raf, 7/23)

The Prophet Yusuf (Joseph) prayed as follows:

"…Take Thou my soul (at death) as one submitting to Thy will (as a Muslim), and unite me with the righteous..." (Yusuf, 12/101)

The Prophet Yunus (Jonah) prayed as follows:

"…There is no god but Thou: glory to Thee: I was indeed wrong."

The following is stated in a hadith Imam Ahmad b. Hanbal reported from Abu Said al-Khudri:

"Prayer will definitely be answered and three things about a prayer (dua) will definitely take place: it will be accepted or it will be left to the hereafter or the sins of the person who says the prayer will be forgiven in proportion to his prayer."

When the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) saw the people who raised their voices while praying, he said,

"O people! Be careful! You are not supplicating one who is deaf and absent, but you are supplicating One Who is nearer to you than the neck of the animal you are riding."(1)

It is necessary to pray through the heart, silently and sincerely, without shouting:

"Call on your Lord with humility and in private: for Allah loveth not those who trespass beyond bounds." (al-A'raf, 7/55)

Prayers (duas) that are sunnah

Before sleep: "O Allah! I die and revive with Your name."

After waking up: "Praise be to Allah who gives us life after He has caused us to die and to Him is the return."

In the morning: "O Allah! We have entered the morning with Your help, reached the evening with Your help. We live with Your help and die with Your help. And to You do we return."

In the evening: "O Allah! I ask You well-being in this life and the hereafter. O Allah! I ask You for pardon and well-being in my religious and worldly affairs, and my family and my wealth. O Allah! Veil my weaknesses and set at ease my dismay. O Allah! Preserve me from the front and from behind and on my right and on my left and from above, and I take refuge in Your majesty lest I should be swallowed up by the earth."

While leaving home: "I trust in Allah with Allah's name. There is no power except His power."

After adhan: Repeating adhan and uttering salawat, and saying, "There is no god but Allah. He is One; He has no partners. Muhammad is His slave and Messenger. I am pleased with Allah as Lord, with Islam as the religion and Muhammad as the prophet."

(1) see Bukhari, Jihad, 131; Daawat, 51; Tawhid 9; Abu Dawud, Witr, 26; Ibn Hanbal, IV, 394, 402, 418; Muslim, Sahih IV, 2076.

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