Du'a: Personal Supplication in Islam

In addition to formal prayers, Muslims "call upon" God throughout the day

Muslims Celebrate The Holy Day Of Nuzulul Qur'an
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What is Du'a?

In the Quran, Allah says:

"When My servants ask about Me, I am indeed close to them.  I listen to the prayer of every supplicant, when he calls on Me.  Let them also, with a will, listen to My call, and believe in Me, so that they may walk in the right way" (Qur'an 2:186).

The word du'a in Arabic means "calling" - the act of remembering Allah and calling upon Him.

Aside from the daily prayers, Muslims are encouraged to call upon Allah for forgiveness, guidance, and strength throughout the day.

  Muslims can make these personal supplications or prayers (du'a) in their own words, in any language, but there are also recommended examples from the Quran and Sunnah.  Some samples are found in the pages linked below.

Words of Du'a

Etiquette of Du'a

The Quran mentions that Muslims can call upon Allah while sitting, standing, or lying down on their sides (3:191 and others). However, when making du'a in earnest, it is recommended to be in a state of wudu, facing the Qiblah, and ideally while making sujood (prostration) in humility before Allah. Muslims may recite du'a before, during, or after formal prayers, or may recite them at various times throughout the day. Du'a are usually recited silently, within a person's own heart.

When making du'a, many Muslims raise their hands to their chests, palms facing the sky or towards their own face, as if their hands are open to receiving something.

This is a recommended option according to most schools of Islamic thought. Upon completion of the du'a, the worshiper may then wipe their hands over their faces and bodies. While this step is commonplace, at least one school of Islamic thought finds that it is not required nor recommended.

Du'a for Self and Others

It is perfectly acceptable for Muslims to "call upon" Allah for help in their own affairs, or to ask Allah to help guide, protect, help, or bless a friend, relative, stranger, community, or even all of humanity.

When Du'a is Accepted

As mentioned in the above verse, Allah is always close to us and hears our du'a. There are a few specific moments in life, when a Muslim's du'a are especially accepted. These appear in Islamic tradition:

  • While traveling
  • While sick or visiting the sick
  • Late at night (last third of the night)
  • While prostrating (sujood)
  • Between the adhan and the iqamah (start of prayer)
  • While experiencing injustice or oppression
  • When a parent is making du'a for a child
  • On the Day of Arafat
  • During Ramadan
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Huda. "Du'a: Personal Supplication in Islam." ThoughtCo, May. 3, 2017, thoughtco.com/dua-personal-supplication-in-islam-2003809. Huda. (2017, May 3). Du'a: Personal Supplication in Islam. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/dua-personal-supplication-in-islam-2003809 Huda. "Du'a: Personal Supplication in Islam." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/dua-personal-supplication-in-islam-2003809 (accessed December 11, 2017).