Asalaamu alaykum, dear sister,
Thank you for sending your question to Ask About Islam.
It’s so good that you are seeking out ways to draw nearer and nearer to God.
Du’aa’ : Your Direct Line to Allah
Essentially, the question you’re asking is about du’aa’, or supplication, to Allah.
This means any communication, both verbal and non-verbal, that you initiate with God wherein you ask Him for something.
The key thing to keep in mind is that Allah loves to hear from us, and any attempt you make to appeal to Him is beloved to Him.
Is He [not best] who responds to the desperate one when he calls upon Him… (Qur’an, 27:62)
Allah knows your heart better than you know your own heart:
Indeed, they enfold ˹what is in˺ their hearts, ˹trying˺ to hide it from Him! But even when they cover themselves with their clothes, He knows what they conceal and what they reveal. Surely He knows best what is ˹hidden˺ in the heart. (Quran 11:5, The Clear Quran)
God promises to answer our prayers in one of three ways: giving us what we have asked, right then; delaying our request until a later time; or withholding some other hardship from hurting us that would have if we hadn’t made that du’aa’.
The Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, said,
Verily your Lord is Generous and Shy. If His servant raises his hands to Him (in supplication) He becomes shy to return them empty. (Ahmad, Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi)
How to Make Du’aa’
Du’aa’ can come from your own heart, the words of your heart, or it can be pre-written and widely shared du’aa’s.
Keep in mind that there are definitely some etiquettes involved in making du’aa‘, but these are merely suggestions on how to ensure that your du’aa’ is accepted by Allah.
By all means, express your heart to Allah at all times, in all circumstances! Don’t hesitate to call on Him because you may not have wudu or be in a “clean” place, or are stumbling over your words.
Allah has more power and majesty than any king on Earth, and yet He welcomes you to come to Him anytime, in any situation, formal or informal.
Look at the etiquettes of making du’aa’ as a sort of “garnishment” on your prayer, a way to present your offering to God in a way that He loves.
But never withhold connection with God from your heart just because you are not in a state to present it beautifully.
When to Make Du’aa’
As stated previously, you are very welcome to call to Allah from your heart or your lips for any reason at any time.
However, there are times when Allah tells us that He loves to answer our du’aa’s favorably.
According to br. Waleed Najmeddine, those times include:
- Upon waking from sleep
- Between the time of Adhan and Iqamah
- After making wudu’
- After saying “Allahu akbar” to start the Prayer (Takbirat Al-Ihram)
- In prostration (sujood)
- Before finishing the Prayer (after conveying blessings on the Prophet)
- After the Prayer (especially the compulsory Prayers)
- Fridays, especially between Asr and Maghrib Prayers
- The last third of the night before Fajr Prayer
- Ramadan: Before breaking the fasting, the last ten days, and the “Night of Power” (Laylat Al-Qadr)
- The first 10 days of Dhul Hijjah
- While drinking the water from the well of Zamzam
- And at times of adversity
Key Points on Difference Between Du’aa’ and Salat
One thing we’d like to point out is that there are some key differences between du’aa’ and Salat, or the ritual 5-times-daily prayers.
Salat has a fixed time, while you can pray, or make du’aa’ anytime you want!
Salat is a required act for all adult, sane, healthy Muslims, whereas there is no requirement to make extra du’aa’.
I hope this has answered your question.