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In Islam, duʿāʾ (Arabic: دعاء  IPA: [duˈʕæːʔ], plural: ʾadʿiyah أدعية  [ʔædˈʕijæ]) is a prayer of invocation, supplication or request,[1][2] asking help or assistance from God.

Role in Islam

An Indonesian Muslim man doing dua

Muslims regard this as a profound act of worship. Muhammad is reported to have said, "Dua is itself a worship."[3][4]

There is a special emphasis on du'a in Muslim spirituality and early Muslims took great care to record the supplications of Muhammad and his family and transmit them to subsequent generations.[5] These traditions precipitated new genres of literature in which prophetic supplications were gathered together in single volumes that were memorized and taught.[6] Collections such as 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.[citation needed]

Du'a literature is not restricted to prophetic supplications; many later Muslim scholars and sages composed their own supplications, often in elaborate rhymes that would be recited by their disciples.[citation needed] Popular du'as would include Muhammad al-Jazuli's Dala'il al-Khayrat, which at its peak spread throughout the Muslim world, and Abul Hasan ash-Shadhili's Hizb al-Bahr which also had widespread appeal.[citation needed] Du'a literature reaches its most lyrical form in the Munajat, or 'whispered intimate prayers' such as those of Ibn Ata Allah. Among the Shia schools, the Al-Sahifa al-Sajjadiyya records du'as attributed to Ali and his grandson, Ali ibn Husayn Zayn al-Abidin.[citation needed]

Anas reported that Allah's Messenger visited a person from amongst the Muslims in order to inquire (about his health) who had grown feeble like the chicken. Allah's Messenger said: Did you supplicate for anything or beg of Him about that? He said: Yes. I used to utter (these words): Impose punishment upon me earlier in this world, what Thou art going to impose upon me in the Hereafter. Thereupon Allah's Messenger said: Hallowed be Allah, you have neither the power nor forbearance to take upon yourself (the burden of His Punishment). Why did you not say this: O Allah, grant us good in the world and good in the Hereafter, and save us from the torment of Fire. He (the Holy Prophet) made this supplication (for him) and he was all right.

Narrated Anas:
Allah's Apostle said," None of you should long for death because of a calamity that had befallen him, and if he cannot, but long for death, then he should say, 'O Allah! Let me live as long as life is better for me, and take my life if death is better for me.' "

A young Muslim supplicating after salah at the Great Mosque of Mecca, Saudi Arabia

Types and categories

Portrait of the Mughal Emperor Akbar invocation of a Dua prayer

Dua is essentially an expression of submission of faith to God and of one's neediness.[9]

Type I: Du'ā al-mas'alah (دُعَاءُ الْمَسْأَلَة du'ā'u 'l-mas'alah), or the 'du'a of asking.' This type of du'a is when one asks for the fulfillment of a need, or that some harm be removed from him/her. An example would be when a person asks, "O God! Grant me good in this world, and good in the next life!"[citation needed]

Type II: Du'ā al-'ibadah (دُعَاءُ الْعِبَادَة du'ā'u 'l-'ibādah), or the 'du'a of worship.' This type of du'a includes every single act of worship. Examples would include when a Muslim prays or gives zakāt or fasts.[citation needed]


Main article: Salah

See also: Holy Du'a

The salat is the obligatory prayer recited five times a day, as described in the Quran: "And establish regular prayers at the two ends of the day and at the approaches of the night: For those things, that are good remove those that are evil: Be that the word of remembrance to those who remember (their Lord):"[Quran 11:114] Salat is generally read in the Arabic language; however Imam Abu Hanifah, for whom the Hanafi school is named after, proclaimed that prayer could be said in any language unconditionally. His two students who created the school: Abu Yusuf and Muhammad al-Shaybani, however, did not agree and believed that prayers could only be done in languages other than Arabic if the supplicant can not speak Arabic. Some traditions hold that Abu Hanifa later agreed with them and changed his decision; however there has never been any evidence of this.[10] Hanbali theologian Ibn Taymiyah issued a fatwa proclaiming the same.[11] Until the 1950s, Ismailis from India and Pakistan performed the prayer in the language of the local Jama'at Khana.[12]

Common duas

  1. A person who recites from إِنَّ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ ("In the creation of the heavens and the earth") in Surah Al Imran till the end of the surah on any night or part of the night, will receive the reward of performing his Salaat for the whole night.[13]
  2. A person recites Surah Ya Sin early in the morning then his need for the day will be fulfilled.[14]
  3. Abdullah bin Masood narrates that Muhammad has stated that the person who recites the last two ayat of Surah Al-Baqara till the end, then these two ayats will be sufficient for him, i.e. God will protect him from all evil and ploys.[15]
  4. When retiring to sleep, make wudu, dust off the bed three times, lie on the right side, place the right hand under the head or cheeks and recite the following dua three times: اللَّهُمَّ بِاسْمِكَ أمُوتُ وَأَحْيَا ("In your name, O Allah, I die and I live")[16]
  5. A person who recites three times أَعُوذُ بِاللَّهِ السَّمِيعِ الْعَلِيمِ مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ الرَّجِيمِ ("I seek refuge in Allah, the All-Hearing and All Knowing from the accursed devil") in the morning the last three ayat of Surah Al-Hashr then God delegates 70,000 angels (malāʾikah) to send mercy onto him till the evening and if he dies that day, he will die as a martyr and if he recites these in the evening then God delegates 70,000 angels to send mercy onto him till the morning and if he dies that night, he dies as a martyr.[17]
  6. A Muslim servant recites رَضِيتُ بِاللَّهِ رَبَّاً وَبِالْإِسْلَامِ دِينَاً وَبِمُحَمَّدٍ نَبِيَّاً ("I am pleased with Allah as my Lord, and with Islam as my religion, and with Muhammad as my Prophet") three times every morning, then it becomes the responsibility of God to satisfy him on the Day of Qiyamah.[18]
  7. A person who has recited اللَّهُمَّ مَا أَصْبَحَ بِي مِنْ نِعْمَةٍ أَوْ بِأَحَدٍ مِنْ خَلْقِكَ فَمِنْكَ وَحْدَكَ لَا شَرِيكَ لَكَ فَلَكَ الْحَمْدُ وَلَكَ الشُّكْرُ ("O God, whatever favour has come to me or to any of Thy creatures in the morning, it comes from Thee alone who hast no partner, to whom be praise and thanksgiving") in the morning, he has pleased (praised, glorified) God for His favours of the morning, and if he has done so in the night, he has thanked God for His favours of the night.[19]
  8. If a person recites three ayat of Surah Ar-Rum and if he misses his normal recitation of the day, he will still be rewarded for it. This applies to the night as well.
  9. If a person retires to bed on the side and recites Surah Al-Fatiha and Surah Al-Ikhlas he is immune from everything besides death.
  10. Reciting Ayat-ul Kursi will cause the reciter to be protected throughout the night by the angels and Satan will not come near him.[20]
  11. When a person enters his bed (to sleep), an angel and a Shaitan surround him. The Shaitan whispers 'your awakening will end in evil' and the angel says' end in good". One sleeps after engaging in dhikr, the angels will protect him throughout the night. In order to gain the protection of the angels, it is encouraged to engage in dhikr and then sleep.
  12. A man dreamed of Muhammad several times. Each time he asked Muhammed for advice on being able to retain his faith. He was told by Muhammad to recite the following each day:

In the name of Allah the Beneficent the Merciful O Allah! O Allah! O Allah! The Security, the Security the Security from the vanishment of the faith. O the Eternally Known! O the Eternally Obliging and O the Guide of those gone astray, Thee alone do we worship and of Thee (only) do we seek help. May Allah's blessings be upon His best creation Mohammed and all his (pure) progeny.

— Book of 101 Dua's (Supplications)[21]

Zayn al-'Abidin's Dua

Ali ibn al-Husayn 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 Al-Masjid an-Nabawi (Mosque of the Prophet) in Medina. These prayers and supplications were written down and then disseminated by his sons and the subsequent generations. Among them is the Al-Sahifa al-Sajjadiyya, which is known as the Psalms of the Household of Muhammad.

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.

— An extract of the Dua of Abu Hamza al-Thumali by Ali ibn al-Husayn Zayn al-'Abidin[22]

The pre-conditions

In Islam there are nine pre-conditions that need to be present in order for a du'a to be accepted.[citation needed]

The first Mughal Emperor Babur and his Mughal Army perform a Dua prayer while saluting their standards.


In Islam, rules have been made to remember Allah. All Muslims follow those rules. It is necessary to be pure in order to remember God in Islam.[23] Every Muslim is required to offer prayers for 5 times, Allah is remembered through prayers. In Islam a Muslim prays to God alone.


In Islam, to be hasty in du'a is said to be a cause of rejection of du'a. 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 not to give up du'a because they do not see a response immediately.


In Islam, in order for a person's du'a to be accepted by God, it must be for something pure and reasonable.

Good intentions

In Islam it is imperative that a person making du'a have the best of intentions for whatever he or she is asking. An example would be if someone asks for an increase in wealth, they should intend with that increase in wealth to spend more on the poor and on their relatives.

Attentive heart

A Muslim is instructed to make du'a with an attentive heart. A Muslim should be aware of what he is saying and should believe in his or her heart that their du'a will be responded to by God.


It states in the Quran in sura Al-Baqara Verse 200:

When you have fulfilled your sacred rites, praise Allah as you used to praise your forefathers ˹before Islam˺, or even more passionately. There are some who say, “Our Lord! Grant us ˹Your bounties˺ in this world,” but they will have no share in the Hereafter.

Again and moreover Muhammad is reported to have said,

"O People! God is al-Tayyib (pure), and He only accepts that which is pure! God has commanded the Messengers, for He said, 'O Messengers! Eat from the pure foods, and do right.' Furthermore he said, 'O you who believe! Eat from the pure and good foods we have given you.' Then Prophet Hazrat Muhammad mentioned a traveller on a long journey, who is dishevelled and dusty, and he stretches forth his hands to the sky, saying, 'O my Lord! O my Lord!', While his food is unlawful, his drink is unlawful, his clothing is unlawful, and he is nourished unlawfully; how can he be answered?"[24]

In Shia Islam

An Iranian Shi'a Muslim praying and making Du'a on Laylat al-Qadr, 2008

Some Shia believe there are preliminaries for fulfillment of Dua.[25] According to Mutahhari,[who?] Dua is both premises and conclusion, both means and end.[26]

Other optional etiquette

There are various other optional techniques and etiquettes in the Quran and Sunnah for Du'a. Listed here are a limited few and just a fraction of the etiquettes of du'a that scholars have found in reference to in the Quran and Sunnah.

Raising one's hands

Main article: Raising hands in Dua

Raising one's hands is an encouraged option. There are many hadith that describe how Muhammad raised his hands during du'a. Some hadith describe him having raised his hands to or above head-level in dire circumstances. Many scholars agree that aside from times of exceptionally great need, Muhammad did not raise his hands above his head. Under any other conditions, a common practice is to raise the hands to shoulder-height with palms placed together.

Scholars however agree that there are two authentic ways of raising one's hands: when not in drastic conditions the palms of one's hands should be turned up facing the skies, whilst the back of one's hands are facing the ground, then the du'a can be "recited". One must also make sure to face the Qibla (direction of prayer), whilst making du'a.

The second way agreed upon by scholars is to have the palms facing one's face; once again one must face the Qibla, but this time the back of one's hands should also face the Qibla.

Evidence for facing the Qibla during du'a can be found in Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim

Abdullah ibn Zayd narrated:

'The Prophet left (Madinah) to this prayer, seeking rain. So he made a du'a, and asked for rain, then he faced the Qibla and turned his cloak inside-out'

— Sahih al-Bukhari #6343, Muslim No. 894 and others

Facing the Qiblah

Raising hands in Dua

The Qibla is the direction that Muslims face while performing salat.

There are also Sahih hadith which narrate that it is forbidden to lift one's eyes towards the sky in prayer.

Abu Huraira reported:

People should avoid lifting their eyes towards the sky while supplicating in prayer, otherwise their eyes can be snatched away.[27]

Wiping the face

Once the du'a has been completed, it is most common for the supplicant to wipe their face with their hands, and this act signals the end of the du'a.

Narrated Abdullah ibn Abbas:
The Prophet said:...
Supplicate Allah with the palms of your hands; do not supplicate Him with their backs upwards. When you finish supplication, wipe your faces with them.

Narrated Yazid ibn Sa'id al-Kindi:
When the Prophet made supplication (to Allah) he would raise his hands and wipe his face with his hands.

— Abu Dawood, Sunan Abu Dawood[29]

See also


  1. ^ John L. Esposito, ed. (2014). "Dua". The Oxford Dictionary of Islam. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Archived from the original on April 23, 2018.
  2. ^ Gardet, L. (2012). "Duʿāʾ". In P. Bearman; Th. Bianquis; C.E. Bosworth; E. van Donzel; W.P. Heinrichs (eds.). Encyclopaedia of Islam (2nd ed.). Brill. doi:10.1163/1573-3912_islam_COM_0195.
  3. ^ Riyad-us-Salihin: 1465, "".
  4. ^ Abu dawud 1479, Grade: Sahih (al-Albani), "".
  5. ^ Tillier, Mathieu (2022). Supplier Dieu dans l'Égypte toulounide : le florilège de l'invocation d'après Ḫālid b. Yazīd (IIIe/IXe siècle). Naïm Vanthieghem. Leiden. ISBN 978-90-04-52180-3. OCLC 1343008841.((cite book)): CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  6. ^ Tillier, Mathieu (2022). Supplier Dieu dans l'Égypte toulounide : le florilège de l'invocation d'après Ḫālid b. Yazīd (IIIe/IXe siècle). Naïm Vanthieghem. Leiden. ISBN 978-90-04-52180-3. OCLC 1343008841.((cite book)): CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  7. ^ Sahih Muslim, 35:6501
  8. ^ Sahih al-Bukhari, 8:75:362
  9. ^ Maulana, Imam; Fathima, Raisha; Nisa, Haiyun; Suryani Oktari, Rina (2022). "Islamic psycho-immunological approaches in increasing immunity during the COVID-19 pandemic". E3S Web of Conferences. 340: 05009. Bibcode:2022E3SWC.34005009M. doi:10.1051/e3sconf/202234005009. ISSN 2267-1242. S2CID 246310255.
  10. ^ Mahmasani, Subhi (1961). Falsafat Al-tashrī Fi Al-Islām: The Philosophy of Jurisprudence in Islam. p. 69. ISBN 967996406X. Retrieved 3 August 2019.
  11. ^ Abdul-Rahman, Muhammad (2007). Islam: Questions and Answers - the Heart Softeners, Part 1. MSA Publication Limited. p. 108.
  12. ^ Asani, A. S. (1987). "The khojahs of Indo-Pakistan: The quest for an Islamic identity". Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs. 8: 31–41. doi:10.1080/02666958708716015.
  13. ^ Mishkat al-Masabih 1196, Book 4, Hadith 612
  14. ^ Mishkat al-Masabih 2177, Book 8, Hadith 67
  15. ^ Sahih al-Bukhari 5009, Book 66, Hadith 31
  16. ^ Sahih al-Bukhari 7394, Book 97, Hadith 23
  17. ^ Mishkat al-Masabih 2157, Book 8, Hadith 47
  18. ^ Hisn al-Muslim 87
  19. ^ Mishkat al-Masabih 2407, Book 9, Hadith 177
  20. ^ Sahih al-Bukhari 5010, Book 66, Hadith 32
  21. ^ "Book of 101 Dua". Retrieved July 21, 2019.
  22. ^ "Dua'a AbuHamza Thumaly Alt". Retrieved July 21, 2019.
  23. ^ quran, wazifa. "quran". want my love back. danish. Retrieved 3 May 2020.
  24. ^ Hadith reported by Ahmad, Muslim, and al-Tirmidhi from Abu Hurayrah, as mentioned in sahih al-Jami #2744
  25. ^ Razi Shirazi. Some points on dua. 2016. Society for appreciation of cultural works and disgnitaries
  26. ^ "الدعاء - المطهري، الشيخ مرتضى - کتابخانه مدرسه فقاهت". Retrieved July 21, 2019.
  27. ^ Hadith reported by Abu Hurayrah and Jabir b. Samura, as mentioned in Sahih Muslim (Book of Prayer, chapter 24), No. 863 and No. 862
  28. ^ Sunan Abu Dawood, 8:1480
  29. ^ Sunan Abu Dawood, 8:1487