I remember a cousin of mine once asked me a couple of questions about dua for the deceased after his father had passed away. He said that after his father’s death “how could reciting some duas elevate his status in the hereafter?”. He continued saying, “how can some words that I utter from my mouth have effect on what happens to my father in his grave?”. I remember being silent and utterly horrified at what I was hearing. I remember getting angry on the inside and my face heating up because his tirade of questions were questioning everything “I believed in”. There was no way I could have said anything to make him understand so I just stated some facts and ended the conversation as politely as I could. Later on my sister did the thoughtful thing and bought him a book that outlined the spiritual process that begins at the time of death and the Prophet’s advice on how the family should pray through supplication for the deceased. What was perturbing was not that a 40 year old man who came from a religious background would have so many questions and doubts. What worried me was that to him Duas had become ‘just some words!’.
Many of us have learnt duas by heart without really knowing the depth of those words or without realizing who taught them to us. Duas that heal the heart are not a mere utterance of words from the mouth, they are words that come from the soul. The soul that truly recognizes its Creator. When a loved one is in a situation of distress we start doing things in order to pray for them and ask for Allah’s mercy. First and foremost we need to turn to the Quran for guidance. Secondly we need to ask ourselves “What did the Prophet SAWS do in a similar situation?”. How often have we made a supplication from the depths of our hearts? How often have we made supplications from the Quran realizing that Allah, the Almighty, Himself taught us those very words? How many times do we make a supplication taught to us by the Prophet SAWS thinking that he spoke these words just as they have been recorded for you and I? How often have we had a candid one-on-one conversation with Allah in whatever language we speak comfortably? We are so lost in the words that we forget to mean what we say. The words from the Quran and the teachings of the Prophet SAWS are treasures for us. But they have to come from the heart.
For anyone who is in any kind of distress, please understand these supplications and then recite them from the bottom of your heart. This is what the Prophet SAWS did and so this is what we should do – not any thing else. He is the best role model for all Muslims so let’s understand his practices and follow them. Feel the power of the words to experience their effect.
O Allaah, I am Your servant, son of Your servant, son of Your maidservant, my forelock is in Your hand, Your command over me is forever executed and Your decree over me is just. I ask You by every name belonging to You which You name Yourself with, or revealed in Your Book, or You taught to any of Your creation, or You have preserved in the knowledge of the unseen with You, that You make the Qur’aan the life of my heart and the light of my breast, and a departure for my sorrow and a release for my anxiety.’
None has the right to be worshipped except Allaah Forbearing. None has the right to be worshipped except Allaah, Lord of the magnificent throne. None has the right to be worshipped except Allaah, Lord of the heavens, Lord of the Earth and Lord of the noble throne.’
‘O Allaah, it is Your mercy that I hope for, so do not leave me in charge of my affairs even for a blink of an eye and rectify for me all of my affairs. None has the right to be worshipped except You.
I pray that Allah eases the suffering of all Muslims in distress and makes these trials a means for forgiveness for them and their families. Aameen.