Lecture 11 in the Ramadaan series:
DUA IN THE LIGHT OF QURAN & AHLUL BAIT (A.S)
Friday 17 May 2019 (11 Ramadaan 1440)
Ahlul Bait (a.s) Masjid, Ottery, Cape Town
Mowlana Syed Aftab Haider
Previously in this series, we discussed a number of conditions and manners of dua, according to the Holy Quran and the Ahlul Bait (a.s). This subject is so vast, and as a result we were not able to discuss every manner and condition mentioned in the Holy Quran and the teachings of the Ahlul Bait (a.s).
Dua in the Light of Quran & Ahlul Bait is a detailed subject, for which we have only brought the headlines to the different discussions. We have simply being scratching the surface and nothing more. Such is the vast nature of this subject.
In this discussion, we will focus on some examples of duas in the Holy Quran itself, and we will have some understanding of those duas and its key messages.
Duas in the Holy Quran are numerous, and almost every chapter of the Holy Quran has dua in some shape or form, be it commanding us to do dua, or narrating a dua from different Prophets (a.s). This clearly is again another very detailed discussion.
To give you an idea, I was able to count almost 20 duas in the Holy Quran from Nabi Ibrahim (a.s)! This shows how important dua is in the Holy Quran.
CATEGORIES OF DUAS IN THE HOLY QURAN
We can categorise duas in the Quran from different angles. For example, some duas in the Quran are for oneself, such as “Rabbanaghfirli”, “Rabbi anzilni”, “Rabbi irhamni”. Sometimes dua is also for others, and not only for oneself. An example is the dua for our parents in verse 24 of Surah Israa (chapter 17 of the Holy Quran):
رَبِّ ارْحَمْهُمَا كَمَا رَبَّيَانِي صَغِيرًا
“O my Lord! Have compassion on them, as they brought me up (when I was) little.”
Then, sometimes dua is not for me or others, but rather, it is for everyone. There are plenty of examples that fit this category.
This categorisation is very interesting and important, since it has indirect guidelines that:
- sometimes we are asking for ourselves in dua, and
- sometimes you have to raise above, and make dua for others, and
- sometimes you have to make dua for the whole Ummah
Another categorisation of duas can be based upon topics.
When we say that the Holy Quran expresses dua in the form of a command, it means that the method is prescribed upon Rasulullah (SAWA). Another category is where the Holy Quran narrates duas from the Prophets (a.s). Again, there are plenty examples of this.
The third category is where Allah (SWT) narrates the duas of pious people who have great levels of Taqwa. Examples of this category are Luqmaan, Mariam, Aasiya. Then, sometimes the Holy Quran goes to the extent of narrating the dua of the oppressed masses.
These are the broad categories, for which we will now delve deeper into examples of each.
DUA COMMANDED BY ALMIGHTY ALLAH (SWT) IN THE HOLY QURAN
What is interesting about this category is that you can call it the duas of Prophet Muhammad (SAWA), because the Holy Quran does not narrate duas from Rasulullah (SAWA), but rather, the Holy Quran narrates that Almighty Allah (SWT) commands Prophet Muhammad (SAWA).
وَقُلْ رَبِّ ارْحَمْهُمَا كَمَا رَبَّيَانِي صَغِيرًا
“And say: O my Lord! have compassion on them, as they brought me up (when I was) little.”
Verse 24 of Surah Israa (chapter 17 of the Holy Quran)
وَقُلْ رَبِّ أَدْخِلْنِي مُدْخَلَ صِدْقٍ وَأَخْرِجْنِي مُخْرَجَ صِدْقٍ وَاجْعَلْ لِي مِنْ لَدُنْكَ سُلْطَانًا نَصِيرًا
“And say: My Lord! make me to enter a goodly entering, and cause me to go forth a goodly going forth, and grant me from near Thee power to assist (me).”
Verse 80 of Surah Israa (chapter 17 of the Holy Quran)
وَقُلْ رَبِّ أَنْزِلْنِي مُنْزَلًا مُبَارَكًا وَأَنْتَ خَيْرُ الْمُنْزِلِينَ
“And say: O my Lord! cause me to disembark a blessed alighting, and Thou art the best to cause to alight.”
The list goes on and on of duas in the Holy Quran where Almighty Allah (SWT) commands Rasulullah (SAWA) directly.
DUAS OF THE PROPHETS (A.S) IN THE HOLY QURAN
When researching this specific category, I found that the Holy Quran lists duas from almost every Prophet mentioned by name in the Holy Quran, starting with the dua of Nabi Adam (a.s) and Howa, in verse 23 of Surah A’araaf (chapter 7 of the Holy Quran):
قَالَا رَبَّنَا ظَلَمْنَا أَنْفُسَنَا وَإِنْ لَمْ تَغْفِرْ لَنَا وَتَرْحَمْنَا لَنَكُونَنَّ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ
“They said: Our Lord! We have been unjust to ourselves, and if Thou forgive us not, and have (not) mercy on us, we shall certainly be of the losers.”
I also want to share the dua of Nabi Nooh (a.s), referenced from verse 117 and 118 of Surah Shua’araa (chapter 26 of the Holy Quran), together with verse 28 of Surah Nooh (chapter 71 of the Holy Quran):
قَالَ رَبِّ إِنَّ قَوْمِي كَذَّبُونِ
117. “He said: My Lord! Surely my people give me the lie!”
فَافْتَحْ بَيْنِي وَبَيْنَهُمْ فَتْحًا وَنَجِّنِي وَمَنْ مَعِيَ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ
118. “Therefore judge Thou between me and them with a (just) judgment, and deliver me and those who are with me of the believers.”
رَبِّ اغْفِرْ لِي وَلِوَالِدَيَّ وَلِمَنْ دَخَلَ بَيْتِيَ مُؤْمِنًا وَلِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتِ وَلَا تَزِدِ الظَّالِمِينَ إِلَّا تَبَارًا
28. “My Lord! Forgive me and my parents and him who enters my house believing, and the believing men and the believing women; and do not increase the unjust in aught but destruction!”
So, we see that different categories are altogether in this dua!
Then, if we study the numerous duas of Nabi Ibrahim (a.s) recorded in the Holy Quran! These duas give us an understanding of the important positions which Nabi Ibrahim (a.s) took at the different stages of his life. Examples are when Nabi Ibrahim (a.s):
- Stood in front of Nimrood,
- Broke the idols,
- Was thrown in the fire and the pristine form he came out of it,
- Migrated to Mecca and established his family there, and
- Raised the walls of the Ka’bah
We find dua at every critical juncture of the life of Nabi Ibrahim (a.s), which is itself a very interesting topic of discussion.
I will simply quote a most beautiful dua from Nabi Ibrahim (a.s), referenced from verse 4 and 5 of Surah Mumtahina (chapter 60 of the Holy Quran):
رَبَّنَا عَلَيْكَ تَوَكَّلْنَا وَإِلَيْكَ أَنَبْنَا وَإِلَيْكَ الْمَصِيرُ
4. “Our Lord! On Thee do we rely, and to Thee do we turn, and to Thee is the eventual coming.”
رَبَّنَا لَا تَجْعَلْنَا فِتْنَةً لِلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا وَاغْفِرْ لَنَا رَبَّنَا ۖ إِنَّكَ أَنْتَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ
5. “Our Lord! Do not make us a trial for those who disbelieve, and forgive us, our Lord! Surely Thou art the Mighty, the Wise.”
Nabi Ibrahim (a.s) is placing his full trust and destiny in Almighty Allah (SWT) alone.
The duas of Nabi Sulayman (a.s) is another great discussion, in verse 35 of Surah Saad (chapter 38 of the Holy Quran):
قَالَ رَبِّ اغْفِرْ لِي وَهَبْ لِي مُلْكًا لَا يَنْبَغِي لِأَحَدٍ مِنْ بَعْدِي ۖ إِنَّكَ أَنْتَ الْوَهَّابُ
“He said: My Lord! Do Thou forgive me and grant me a kingdom which is not fit for (being inherited by) anyone after me.”
This is a very interesting dua, where Nabi Sulayman (a.s) is asking for governance through a unique kingdom which nobody will deserve after him!
When reflecting on duas of Prophets (a.s) in the Holy Quran, it is impossible to omit the great duas of Nabi Yusuf (a.s). Those duas of Nabi Yusuf fits directly with what we have repeatedly mentioned through this series, namely, dua is a channel of communication between Almighty Allah (SWT) and His servants.
Nabi Yusuf (a.s) presents his case before Almighty Allah (SWT) and places his full dependence on Him alone, through all the difficult stages he faced until he eventually has power in his hands. He then makes the following mind-blowing dua, where he says that he is powerful because of Almighty Allah (SWT) being the master in this Dunya and Akhirah.
Then, in this same dua, where Nabi Yusuf (a.s) had all the power, he asks Almighty Allah (SWT) to grant him a death where he has surrendered to Allah (SWT) alone. Verse 101 of Surah Yusuf (chapter 12) explains:
رَبِّ قَدْ آتَيْتَنِي مِنَ الْمُلْكِ وَعَلَّمْتَنِي مِنْ تَأْوِيلِ الْأَحَادِيثِ ۚ فَاطِرَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ أَنْتَ وَلِيِّي فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَةِ ۖ تَوَفَّنِي مُسْلِمًا وَأَلْحِقْنِي بِالصَّالِحِينَ
“My Lord! Thou hast given me of the kingdom and taught me of the interpretation of sayings: Originator of the heavens and the earth! Thou art my guardian in this world and the hereafter; make me die a Muslim and join me with the good.”
Now let us discuss the duas of Nabi Moosa (a.s), who is the most mentioned Prophet in the Holy Quran. There are many, so I just chose one, namely, verse 16 of Surah Qasas (chapter 28):
قَالَ رَبِّ إِنِّي ظَلَمْتُ نَفْسِي فَاغْفِرْ لِي
“He said: My Lord! Surely I have done harm to myself, so do Thou protect me.”
We can continue on and on, since there are duas of Nabi Shuaib, Nabi Salleh, Nabi Ayoub, Nabi Zakariyya etc. Also, I did not even mention the duas of Nabi Eesa (a.s)! Such is the vastness of duas by the Prophets noted in the Holy Quran.
DUAS FROM ANGELS, PIOUS PEOPLE AND OPPRESSED IN THE HOLY QURAN
The Holy Quran then narrates the duas of angels, the pious people, and the oppressed. An example is verse 53 of Surah Aal-e-Imraan (chapter 3), made by the disciples of Nabi Eesa (a.s):
رَبَّنَا آمَنَّا بِمَا أَنْزَلْتَ وَاتَّبَعْنَا الرَّسُولَ فَاكْتُبْنَا مَعَ الشَّاهِدِينَ
“Our Lord! We believe in what Thou hast revealed and we follow the messenger, so write us down with those who bear witness.”
Another interesting example is from the people of the cave (Ashaabi Kahf), where they ask Allah (SWT) for mercy and then also growth and prosperity. Verse 10 of Surah Kahf (chapter 18) refers:
رَبَّنَا آتِنَا مِنْ لَدُنْكَ رَحْمَةً وَهَيِّئْ لَنَا مِنْ أَمْرِنَا رَشَدًا
“Our Lord! Grant us mercy from Thee, and provide for us a right course in our affair.”
Then of course, the most beautiful dua from Lady Aasiya (s.a) which explains her piety, in verse 11 of Surah Tahrim:
رَبِّ ابْنِ لِي عِنْدَكَ بَيْتًا فِي الْجَنَّةِ وَنَجِّنِي مِنْ فِرْعَوْنَ وَعَمَلِهِ وَنَجِّنِي مِنَ الْقَوْمِ الظَّالِمِينَ
“My Lord! Build for me a house with Thee in the garden and deliver me from Firon and his doing, and deliver me from the unjust people.”
This dua is so comprehensive by the wife of Fir’oun. She lives in the most luxurious palace with all the opulence at her disposal. Everything and everyone is at her beck and call. Amazingly, all of this means nothing to her, because what she is asking for is a house near Allah (SWT). This is what matters to Lady Aasiya (s.a).
She wants to be liberated from Fir’oun and all his evil actions, and the system of injustice and oppression.
Then, in verse 75 of Surah Nisaa (chapter 4 of the Holy Quran) we read about the dua of the oppressed:
رَبَّنَا أَخْرِجْنَا مِنْ هَٰذِهِ الْقَرْيَةِ الظَّالِمِ أَهْلُهَا وَاجْعَلْ لَنَا مِنْ لَدُنْكَ وَلِيًّا وَاجْعَلْ لَنَا مِنْ لَدُنْكَ نَصِيرًا
“Our Lord! Rescue us from this town, whose people are oppressors; and raise for us from thee one who will protect; and raise for us from thee one who will help!”
Then, the last verse of Surah Baqarah (chapter 2 of the Holy Quran) is another very comprehensive dua, which we often read:
رَبَّنَا لَا تُؤَاخِذْنَا إِنْ نَسِينَا أَوْ أَخْطَأْنَا ۚ رَبَّنَا وَلَا تَحْمِلْ عَلَيْنَا إِصْرًا كَمَا حَمَلْتَهُ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِنَا ۚ رَبَّنَا وَلَا تُحَمِّلْنَا مَا لَا طَاقَةَ لَنَا بِهِ ۖ وَاعْفُ عَنَّا وَاغْفِرْ لَنَا وَارْحَمْنَا ۚ أَنْتَ مَوْلَانَا فَانْصُرْنَا عَلَى الْقَوْمِ الْكَافِرِينَ
“Our Lord! Do not punish us if we forget or make a mistake; Our Lord! Do not lay on us a burden as Thou didst lay on those before us, Our Lord do not impose upon us that which we have not the strength to bear; and pardon us and grant us protection and have mercy on us, Thou art our Patron, so help us against the unbelieving people.”
Verses 146 – 148 of Surah Aal-Imraan (chapter 3 of the Holy Quran) express the dua of the pious people, which explains their status (in addition to being a dua):
وَكَأَيِّنْ مِنْ نَبِيٍّ قَاتَلَ مَعَهُ رِبِّيُّونَ كَثِيرٌ فَمَا وَهَنُوا لِمَا أَصَابَهُمْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ وَمَا ضَعُفُوا وَمَا اسْتَكَانُوا ۗ وَاللَّهُ يُحِبُّ الصَّابِرِينَ
146. “And how many a prophet has fought with whom were many worshippers of the Lord; so they did not become weak-hearted on account of what befell them in Allah’s way, nor did they weaken, nor did they abase themselves; and Allah loves the patient.”
وَمَا كَانَ قَوْلَهُمْ إِلَّا أَنْ قَالُوا رَبَّنَا اغْفِرْ لَنَا ذُنُوبَنَا وَإِسْرَافَنَا فِي أَمْرِنَا وَثَبِّتْ أَقْدَامَنَا وَانْصُرْنَا عَلَى الْقَوْمِ الْكَافِرِينَ
147. All that they said was: “Our Lord! Forgive us our sins and anything We may have done that transgressed our duty: Establish our feet firmly, and help us against those that resist Faith.”
فَآتَاهُمُ اللَّهُ ثَوَابَ الدُّنْيَا وَحُسْنَ ثَوَابِ الْآخِرَةِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ يُحِبُّ الْمُحْسِنِينَ
148. “And Allah gave them a reward in this world, and the excellent reward of the Hereafter. For Allah Loveth those who do good.”
This is another beautiful dua from the pious people, in verse 74 of Surah Furqaan (chapter 25 of the Holy Quran):
وَالَّذِينَ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا هَبْ لَنَا مِنْ أَزْوَاجِنَا وَذُرِّيَّاتِنَا قُرَّةَ أَعْيُنٍ وَاجْعَلْنَا لِلْمُتَّقِينَ إِمَامًا
And those who pray: “Our Lord! Grant unto us wives and offspring who will be the comfort of our eyes, and give us (the grace) to lead the righteous.”
SUBJECTS OF DUA IN THE HOLY QURAN
You will recall that we discussed the 4 elements of dua in lecture 4. These are:
- Da’aie – the one who is making dua ie. the beggar;
- Madou’we – who we are making dua to ie. who we are begging from;
- Dua – supplication ie. the begging itself
- Madou’we lah – what we are begging for
So, the focus of this discussion has been on duas in the Holy Quran, which Almighty Allah (SWT) has taught our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAWA), and narrated from other Prophets (a.s), angels, pious people, companions of the Prophets (a.s), and similarly, the oppresses people.
The following subjects of duas in the Holy Quran, as quoted from the many verses referenced above, form part of the 4th element, namely Madou’we lah. These subjects are as follows, and you will note that some of them are purely from an individual angle while others are for the whole Ummah:
- Ista’aza – it has a deep connection with dua and is seeking refuge in Almighty Allah (SWT) from Satan. This is one of the main subjects in Quranic duas, even from Prophets (a.s).
- Forgiveness of sins and shortcomings – another very common theme in the Quran.
- Victory over Kufr
- Tasbeeh/glorification of Almighty Allah (SWT) – many duas are itself Tasbeeh! Like the dua of Nabi Moosa (a.s), where he asks Allah (SWT) to be granted the capacity and power to do Tasbeeh!
- Company of righteous/pious – this is a repeated dua for Allah (SWT) to make us connected with the righteous/pious
- Paradise – the good of Akhirah is certainly highest on our list of duas
- Good for the world – it certainly is good to ask Allah (SWT) for the good of this world too! Verse 201 of Surah Baqarah refers (chapter 2 of the Holy Quran).
- Dua for parents/brothers – indeed, a very important subject in the Quran together with praying for our brothers in blood and in faith. An example is verse 24 of Surah Israa (chapter 17 of the Holy Quran).
- Dua for offspring – we prayer to Allah (SWT) to grant us offspring as a legacy. Verse 89 of Surah Anbiyaa refers (chapter 21 of the Holy Quran).
- Dua for the Ummah – those who establish salaah! Verse 40 of Surah Ibrahim refers (chapter 14 of the Holy Quran).
- Dua for leadership – the dua of Nabi Ibrahim (a.s) regarding leadership for his children refers ie. verse 124 of Surah Baqarah (chapter 2 of the Holy Quran).
- Dua for security – this is one of the important subjects of dua, to ask for peace and security. Referenced in the Quran is the dua of Nabi Ibrahim (a.s) for the peace and security in Mecca.
- Dua for increased knowledge – verse 114 of Surah Taha (chapter 20 of the Holy Quran).
- Dua for liberation from oppression
- Dua for divine help from Almighty Allah (SWT)
- Dua for guidance – Hidayah is another very important request which we need to beg from Almighty Allah (SWT).
- Dua for taufeeq – the opportunity to do something good and be successful in achieving something in life.
WANTING TO BE WITH THE AAQIBATU LIL MUTTAQEEN IS THE BEST DUA
This is part of a never ending list of subjects in the Holy Quran, which are guidelines in terms of what the Prophets (a.s) and the pious people asked from Almighty Allah (SWT) which should serve as an inspiration for us in terms of what we should ask for dunya and akhirah.
The best thing to ask, amongst others is to be with the “Aaqibatu lil Muttaqeen” ie. my destiny is to be with the pious people. I can achieve great heights and be very successful in life, but ultimately what really matters is my good deeds for the hereafter.
Therefore, the Ahlul Bait (a.s) taught us the dua whereby we ask Allah (SWT) for the last actions of our life to be the best of actions for our life. This final page in our book in this world is crucial.
These are some of subjects and headlines of duas in the Holy Quran.
Coming up in the final lecture of this series is a very important and interesting discussion about the ultimate purpose of dua.