Published on 13 Oct 2012 | over 4 years ago
(Please recite Sura e Fatiha for the victims of Sialkot Masjid e Zainabia Bomb Blast, especially my father Murtaza Hussain Jaffery Shaheed)
In the terminology of Islam, duʿāʾ (Arabic: دعاء, plural: daʿawāt دعوات; also transliterated Doowa) literally meaning invocation, is an act of supplication. The term is derived from an Arabic word meaning to 'call out' or to 'summon', and Muslims regard this as a profound act of worship. This is when Muslim people from all over connect with God and ask him for forgiveness and favors. The Islamic prophet Muhammad is reported to have said "Dua is the very essence of worship," while one of God's commands expressed through the Qur'an is for them to call out to Him:
And your Lord says: "Call on Me; I will answer your (Prayer)!"
— Qur'an, sura 40 (Ghafir), ayat 60
There is a special emphasis on du'a in Muslim spirituality and early Muslims took great care to record the supplications of Muhammad and transmit them to subsequent generations. These traditions precipitated new genres of literature in which prophetic supplications were gathered together in single volumes that were memorized and taught. Collections such as Imam al-Nawawi's Kitab al-adhkar and Shams al-Din al-Jazari's al-Hisn al-Hasin exemplify this literary trend and gained significant currency among Muslim devotees keen to learn how Muhammad supplicated to God.
Imam Zain ul Abideen's Dua
Zayn al-Abidin conveyed his understanding of the relationship between human and God by the prayers and supplications that he offered God during his extensive nighttime vigils in the mosque of Muhammad in Medina. These prayers and supplications were written down and then disseminated by his sons and the subsequent generations. Among them is the Sahifa al-Sajjadiyya, which is known as the Psalms
" An extract of Dua Abu Hamza al-Thumali by Zayn al-Abidin:
All Praise is for Allah who treats me with clemency, just as if I have no sin. So my Lord is the most praised by me of all, and most worthy of my praise. O' Allah! I find the roads of wishes to You wide open, And the rivers of hope to You vast and running, And counting on Your bountifulness (in times of need) for those who wished You freely accessible, And the gates of prayer to those who are disparate, wide ajar, And I know that You are for those who ask You in the position of answer, And for those who are distressed, You are in a posture of rescue.
The term Tawassul means the seeking of God's help and response through something beloved to Him.
There are many ways of performing Tawassul, as mentioned in the Quran and Sunnah, one may make mention of the names and attributes of God (See 99 Names of Allah) or a good deed one has done, a blessed time such as Ramadhan. One could also ask someone alive to make du'a to God on one's behalf.
In Islam, to be hasty in du'a is said to be a cause of rejection of du'a. The concept of hastiness is described in the following hadith.
It was asked, "O Messenger of God?...What does it mean to be hasty?" Prophet Muhammad responded "A worshipper says, 'I have prayed and prayed , and I don't yet see that it will be accepted; so he gives up hope of being answered, and leaves du'a'.
Basically this means that a person makes du'a and it does not get answered right away so a person gives up and stops asking for it. The type of hastiness that is forbidden in Islam is that a person leaves du'a, thinking that God will not respond to it. In Islam, Muslims are instructed to not give up du'a because they do not see a response immediately. This can be supported by verses in the Quran and Hadiths. In Surah Al-Anbiya Verse 19 it says:
Unto Him belongeth whosoever is in the heavens and the earth. And those who dwell in His presence are not too proud to worship Him, nor do they weary; 
Muhammad is reported to have said: "You will be responded to as long as you are not hasty (meaning that you give up du'a)"
The word hasty is used because it means that a person is hasty in expecting a response.
In Islam, in order for a person's du'a to be accepted by God, it must be for something pure and good.