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3 unifying factors in the acceptance of Dua – lessons of Dua from 4 Prophets mentioned in Surah Ambiyaa.

Shakirah Hunter

Allah has made His promise so clear – “Call unto me and I will answer you”. We have total faith in these words and find ourselves focusing on this promise through times of difficulty and test. Allah draws our attention to the fact that He is the one who accepts the Dua of the person who is completely suppressed and finds no way out. People often ask for the right dua to recite or the manner to recite a dua that allows it to be accepted. And the usual reply is to ensure that your hands are raised, that you face the qibla and that your food is halaal with an abundance of Salawaat upon the Holy Prophet (s). All of these are incredibly important and have an important impact on our duas, yet there are a few qualities that Allah Ta’ala highlights in Surah Ambiyaa – the Surah of the Prophets.

There are four Prophets mentioned in this Surah, all with unique challenges and the manner that they have called out to Allah is a lesson to us all.

Calling out to Allah Ta’ala in times of worry

The first Prophet highlighted in the surah is Nuh (as). Allah Ta’ala references the way Allah answered his duas and prayers after immense test, mockery, and difficulty. Allah says Nuh (as) called out to us and We answered him, then we saved him and his family from the greatest of worry.

فَاسْتَجَبْنَا لَهُ فَنَجَّيْنَاهُ وَأَهْلَهُ مِنَ الْكَرْبِ الْعَظِيمِ

[سورة الأنبياء:76].

The manner of words that we use should always be to attribute Allah Ta’ala with the highest of praise.

Thereafter Allah speaks of the plight of Ayyub (as), he was afflicted with the test of a sickness that lasted for eighteen years to the extent that his closest ones deserted him and only his beloved wife remained.

إِذْ نَادَى رَبَّهُ

أَنِّي مَسَّنِيَ الضُّرُّ وَأَنتَ أَرْحَمُ الرَّاحِمِينَ

فَاسْتَجَبْنَا لَهُ فَكَشَفْنَا مَا بِهِ مِن ضُرٍّ وَآتَيْنَاهُ أَهْلَهُ وَمِثْلَهُم مَّعَهُمْ رَحْمَةً مِّنْ عِندِنَا

Allah draws our attention to the fact that Ayyub (as) called out to Allah in a manner that does not blame Allah for his weak condition – even though He is aware that it his condition is entirely from Allah – he does not attribute any blame to Allah Ta’ala. He says: “Harm has befallen me whilst You are the Most Merciful of those that show mercy” Subhaanallah in this moment of incredible test he still submits in completion to the total mercy of Allah, irrespective of his condition. And Allah responds so beautifully: “Then we answered him, and we removed whatever harm had befallen him and we gave him his family and everything else as a mercy from us”. He called to Allah with complete acceptance of His mercy and Allah answered his dua but gave him so much more, all as a special mercy from Him. 

Admittance of our weakness is key.

The third prophet highlighted is the Duaa of Zan Nun Yunus (as). We all know that he made a special dua in the belly of the whale – but it was the complete acceptance of his own wrong and his own inability that drew the mercy of Allah.  

لَّا إِلَهَ إِلَّا أَنتَ سُبْحَانَكَ إِنِّي كُنتُ مِنَ الظَّالِمِينَ ۝ فَاسْتَجَبْنَا لَهُ وَنَجَّيْنَاهُ مِنَ الْغَمِّ

[سورة الأنبياء:87، 88].

He said: There is no one except you Oh Allah, Glory be to You . Without a doubt I have been from the wronged ones.

And the last prophet highlighted is the Dua of Zakarriya (as). At a time of old age, incredible difficulty and infertility Allah answers his dua.

رَبِّ لَا تَذَرْنِي فَرْدًا وَأَنتَ خَيْرُ الْوَارِثِينَ ۝ فَاسْتَجَبْنَا لَهُ وَوَهَبْنَا لَهُ يَحْيَى وَأَصْلَحْنَا لَهُ زَوْجَهُ

[سورة الأنبياء:89، 90].

He so eloquently asks Allah Ta’ala : “oh my Rabb do not leave me alone whilst You are the Best of those who give”. And Allah responds: “Then We answered him, and We gave him Yahya….”

All four prophets experienced amazing difficulty that were answered in a manner that supersedes logic. What are the qualities that unify each of these Prophets in their duas?

  1. They were hasty in carrying out good actions.

إِنَّهُمْ كَانُوا يُسَارِعُونَ فِي الْخَيْرَاتِ

“They used to race towards the good deeds”

  1. They called out to Allah with hope and fear.

وَيَدْعُونَنَا رَغَبًا وَرَهَبًا

“They call Us with hope and fear”

  1. They were humble to Allah Ta’ala

وَكَانُوا لَنَا خَاشِعِينَ

“They were humble to Us”

These qualities create a relationship with Allah Ta’ala that fosters the acceptance of Duas, because there is a unique ‘iftiqaar’- showing our humility and humbleness. A complete acceptance that our weakness is what we place in front of Allah with a total acceptance of His Mercy and His ultimate Power.

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