Taken from ‘The Accepted Whispers (Munajat-e-Maqbul)’ of Mawlana Ashraf Ali Thanawi rahimahullah translated by Khalid Baig (hafidullah) (Open Mind Press)
“Call on your Lord humbly and secretly; surely He does not love those who exceed the limits.” (Al-A’raf, 7:55)
Abu Hurayrah radiallahu anhu narrates that the Prophet salalahu alayhi wa salam said: “Pray to Allah with the conviction that you will be answered and know that Allah does not answer a supplication that comes from a careless and inattentive heart.” (Sunan at-Tirmidhi)
Abu Hurayrah radiallahu anhu narrates that the Prophet salalahu alayih wa salam said: “Whoever likes that Allah answer his du’a’s in hard times and periods of worry, he should abundantly make du’a’s in good times.” (Sunan at-Tirmidhi)
1. Halal earnings and consumption are necessary for Du’a’s to be answered
Abu Hurayra radiallahu anhu narrates that the Prophet saalalahu alayhi wa salam said: “O people, Allah is pure and accepts only the pure offerings. He commanded the believers as he commanded the prophets. He said to the prophets: “O prophets, eat the pure things and perform righteous deeds. I am well aware of what you do.’ And He said: ‘O believers, eat from the pure things that we have provided to you.'” Then the Prophet salalahu alayhi wa salam mentioned a man who has come from a long journey and as a result he is disheveled and is covered with dust. “He prays: ‘O Lord, O Lord.’ But his food is haram (impermissible in Islamic Law), his drink is haram, his clothing is haram, and his body has been nurtured on haram. So how can his du’a’s be accepted?” (Sahih muslim)
2. Pray for yourself before praying for others
Ubay ibn Ka’b radiallahu anhu narrates that when Allah’s Messenger salalahu alayhi wa salam mentioned anyone and prayed for him, he began with himself (sunan at-Tirmidhi)
There is a great wisdom in this prophetic teaching. We are all in need of Allah’s mercy all the time. This practice will, insha Allah, ensure that our du’a’s to Allah for others do not lead us to think that we are superior to them.
3. Begin with Hamd and salat alan nabi (salalahu alayhi wa salam)
Fudalah ibn Ubayd radiallahu anhu narrates that the Prophet salalahu alayhi wa salam heard a person make du’a’ in his salat without saying hamd (praise of Allah) and without saying salat ‘alan nabi (sending salutations on the Prophet salalahu alayhi wa salam). So he said, “He made haste.” Then he called him and said to him or to someone else, “whenever any of you offers salat, then (before making du’a’) he should begin with hamd and thana’ for his Lord, then say salat alan Nabi,(salalahu alayhi wa salam) then he should make his du’a’.” (Sunan at-tirmidhi and sunan Abi Dawud)
While this hadith refers to the du’a’ with the salat, there is consensus of ‘ulama that hamd and salat alan nabi (salalahu alayhi wa salam) should be paid in the beginning and end of every du’a’ session, whether in salat or outside it.
4. End with Amin
Abu Zuhayr an-Numayri radiallahu anhu narrates: “One night we were out with the Prophet salalahu alayhi wa salam, when we passed by a man who was supplicating with great devotion and humility. The prophet salalahu alayhi wa salam stopped and listened to him. Then he said, ‘It will become incumbent if he seals it.’ A person asked ‘With what can he seal it?’ He said, by saying Amin. If he ends the du’a’ with Amin, then it will become incumbent.'”(Sunan abi Dawud)
5. Request others to pray for you
‘Umar ibn al-khattab radiallahu anhu narrates: “I asked the Prophet salalahu alayhi wa salam for permission to perform an ‘Umrah and he gave me permission saying, ‘Dear brother, include us in your supplication and do not forget us.’ This expression (‘dear brother’) that he said, I would not be willing to exchange it for the world.” (Sunan Abi Dawud and sunan at-tirmidhi)
Ukhayy is the diminutive form of akh. It means little brother and is used to express love. That is why Sayyidna Umar radiallahu anhu considered this expression from the Prophet’s salalahu alayhi wa salam mouth more valuable than the whole world. This hadith shows that we should request those visiting the holy places to make du’a’ for us. It also shows that we can request our juniors for du’a’s.