Malik Rahman, Masood N. Khan, Taimur Tareen

Purpose of our dua was discussed at the Round Table. This discussion helped us understand that dua is actually an expression of resolution in front of the Almighty, to do one’s part to achieve whatever one is making dua for, while seeking His help in doing so. This is commensurate with the divine dictate in Qur’an:

لیس للا نسان الا ما سعی

There is nothing for man except what he strives for.

Dua is the mechanism we humans use in our attempt to communicate directly with God Almighty and uncharacteristically of other communications, it can be done in any language or no language at all since Allah is fully aware of what is in our hearts. Our Prophet is reported to have said “Du’a is the very essence of worship”. As we reflect upon his saying, it becomes very clear that our resolve to achieve the objectives that we set forth in our du’a, is the most important part of all our acts of worship as we put our full trust in Allah’s help in support of our efforts to achieve our goals.

As we connect with the Almighty, our resolve to do our part in achieving our goals will begin with the grateful realization that the Almighty has endowed us with many capabilities and resources to do our best and that we will sincerely utilize them to the maximum. In addition to our resolve, our du’a should also make us acknowledge our weaknesses and shortcomings i.e. the odds we will have to overcome in order to achieve our goals. This certainly would entail us to seek His help.

The famous poet Iqbal has said it in his verse:

تیری دعا سے قضا تو بدل نہیں سکتی ۔ مگر ہے اس سے یہ ممکن کہ تو بدل جاے

Your dua is not meant to change the course of destiny but it should make it possible to bring a change in you.

Dua is a very meaningful communication with the Almighty in which the focus is on three main components; a personal determination and resolve to exhaust our sincere efforts to achieve our desired righteous goals, a grateful realization that the Almighty has endowed us with capabilities and resources to do so and a humble confession of our weaknesses and shortcomings for which we need His help to enable us to overcome. Dua made in this way is truly meaningful as it originates with a resolve, is followed by best of efforts and gives us hope coming from reliance on His help.

All this is totally lost when we ritually make du’a with a sense that is commonly prevalent, that all we need to do is to utter the prescribed words of dua, (mostly in Arabic without comprehension of their meanings), or simply shout ‘Ameen’ behind somebody who is uttering those words for us. expecting the Almighty, in His infinite mercy and kindness, will grant us what we asked for, irrespective of our efforts.

Imagine the examples of a student wishing to score an A+ in his course through continuous du’a but without any effort in studying the subject matter, a political candidate depending upon his/ her du’a to win an election without a well run campaign, or an investor parroting a Quranic verse 700 times hoping to get high returns without researching stock portfolio. The end result will most probably be sheer disappointment for all of them simply because of their ignoring the Divine requirement of effort.

Dua is indeed an extremely personal experience. It connects us with the Almighty who knows what is in our hearts. Sincerity is therefore indispensable in du’a which is nothing but our own resolve, our endeavor and our reliance on His help to achieve our righteous goals.