Adaab (respect, Etiquette, Rules) Of Duaa

If, despite your humble supplication, there is a delay in the materialisation of your duaa, do not despair of the acceptance of your duaa because Allah Ta’ala has undertaken to answer your call in something which He considers beneficial for you, not in something which you desire for yourself, and He grants when He wishes, not when you desire.

Many people contend that inspite of making abundant duaa, their prayers are not answered. Some who have inculcated in themselves a degree of piety usually say that their duaas are not accepted because of their sins. They believe sin to be an impediment to the acceptance of duaa. (Although sin is an obstacle for acceptance of duaa, it does not mean that a person’s perception of his duaa’s non-acceptance is due to sins. There is a difference between non-fulfilment and non-acceptance. While a duaa is accepted, its method of fulfilment and its time of fulfilment are by Allah’s choice – Translator.) Some Thaakireen too, are trapped in this waswasah (shaitaani thought). They feel that inspite of years of Mujaahadah and Thikr, their spiritual condition remains unchanged. They sincerely supplicate, but see no change in their moral or spiritual state. This attitude produces in them despair. The Shaikh (rahmatullah alayh) answers these misgivings by saying that if the duaa does not materialize inspite of sincere and humble supplication, it should not be interpreted as rejection by Allah Ta’ala.

Although Allah Ta’ala has promised to accept duaa, He has not promised to grant whatever is supplicated for. Our knowledge and intelligence are not adequate to always comprehend what is beneficial and harmful for us. Sometimes the object requested is not for our good. Allah Ta’ala is Most Merciful to us. He knows our needs more than what we do. He withholds the object we are supplicating for in view of it being harmful, in the same way as a wise and loving parent withholds a harmful object which the child obstinately cries for. Instead, something better and beneficial will be given. It will, therefore, not be proper to claim that the parent has rejected the request of the child.

The meaning of the Divine Promise of accepting duaa is that Allah Ta’ala will grant duaas and fulfil supplications according to His Wisdom and Choice. Sometimes the object requested is awarded and sometimes withheld. But, in lieu something better will be awarded either in this world or in the a khirat or some earthly disaster is averted in lieu. Also, sometimes the very object supplicated for is given, but at some time in the future. The reason for delaying fulfilment of the duaa is that in the Divine Wisdom the immediate awarding of the object requested is fraught with either Deeni or worldly harm.

The bandah should, therefore, refrain from employing his intelligence in issues which Allah Ta’ala decides. He should be constant in his supplication and not despair of acceptance.

If something which has been Divinely Promised fails to materialize at its promised appointed time, do not doubt the truth of the promise. Such doubt may blind your intelligence and extinguish the light of your heart.

Sometimes a Servant of Allah is informed inspirationally of the occurrence of a future event at a stipulated time. Such news may be transmitted to him by way of a dream, Ilhaam or the voice of an angel. (Ilhaam is a form of revelation which Auliya sometimes receive.) The information may be, for example, rainfall on a particular date or the ending of famine on a certain date, etc. If the appointed day arrives without the promise materializing, the bandah should not doubt the truth of the promise. It is quite probable that the materialisation of the prediction depends on some conditions which were absent on the stipulated day. Or, the Divine Intention was to test the bandah, hence the requisite conditions were not revealed to him.

Thus, the bandah should not commit the fatal error of doubting the truth of the Divine Promise, for doubting is a grave act of disrespect, ignorance and stupidity. It is also a sign of pride. Such an attitude will blind the intelligence because violation of the Divine Promise is impossible. Allah Ta’ala declares:

“Verily, Allah does not dishonour a promise.”

There is the grave danger of this disrespect extinguishing the light of the heart. Thus, his baatini treasure will be snatched away. At no stage should the bandah abandon respect and his state of slavery (bandagi).

The bandah should attribute all defects and vice to himself and believe that his insight and understanding are deficient.

The statement of the Shaikh (rahmatullah alayh) pertains to valid Kashf and Ilhaam, not to mere thoughts and imagination.

Supplicating for such needs for which Allah Ta’ala has undertaken the responsibility is to accuse Him of refraining from giving. Supplicating for Proximity is the sign of being far from Him. Supplicating for foreign things whether these pertain to worldly affairs or spiritual states, is on account of your audacity. Asking from anyone besides your True Master is because of your distance from Him.

At this juncture it is essential to understand a few important facts. One – It is of utmost importance for the Thaakir Saalik in whose heart Thikr has made some impression, that after rendering the Fardh and Waajib duties, he perpetually engrosses himself in thikr with his heart. He should eliminate all vestiges of wasaawis and keep the heart’s attention engrossed with Allah Ta’ala until he gains complete mastery of his heart.

Two – In a nutshell, Tasawwuf and Ma’rifat are Adab (Respect), hence the Auliya have said:

“The whole of Tasawwuf is Adab.”

Three – As long as nafsaani desires have not been eliminated and he has not annihilated his nafs, all his deeds, whether Duaa, Namaaz or Roza, will be contaminated by the nafs. Therefore, of great importance is the engrossment of the heart so that Thikr permeates the heart and nafsaani contamination is eliminated from A’maal-e-Saalihah. Ikhlaas will then be achieved.

Now understand the gist of the Shaikh’s statement. He is actually saying:

O Saalik! Your supplications are of four kinds. These four kinds of duaa are in conflict with the Adab of the Divine Court. (Adab also means dignity).

Firstly, is your duaa for such things regarding which He has undertaken the responsibility of giving, e.g. Rizq. Since your nafs is still alive, its interference will certainly be in this supplication. By implication it means: “If I ask, He (Allah) will give, otherwise perhaps not.” This is to accuse Allah of withholding. Also, the Saalik is doubting an issue (e.g. Rizq) on which there is yaqeen (absolute certitude). Your request, therefore, implies doubt and uncertainty, hence abstain from such a supplication. Apply yourself to your occupation, viz. Thikr. If you had been an a rif, your duaa would have been sincere and you would not have regarded your supplication to be a determinant. The aim of duaa then would not have been for the acquisition of the object requested because Allah Ta’ala has already promised to bestow it to you.

The a rif’s supplication is simply to profess his weakness, humility and dependence on Allah Ta’ala. Since you are not an a rif your supplication is not free of nafsaani contamination.

Secondly, you are supplicating for His Proximity (Qurb) and Perception (Mushaahadah). This is not in conformity with your rank because Qurb and Mushaahadah for you are actually involvement with your own state. When you concern yourself with the request for Qurb and Mushaahadah, then that Qurb and Mushaahadah which you had possessed, disappeared, hence, this duaa is not appropriate. You should not divert your attention for even a second from Allah Ta’ala.

Thirdly, supplicating for anything besides your True Master, whether it be a mundane need or a spiritual rank or state, is on account of your audacity because you profess to be a searcher of your Master, but seek for something other than Him. If you had any shame, you would not have asked him for anything. Rather, you would have fully remained in His Hudhoori (concentration).

Fourthly, to ask from anyone besides your Maula (Master) is because of your remoteness from Him. If you were near to Him, never would you ask from others.

The a rifeen believe that their supplication is by virtue of Allah’s aid. They do not attribute it to themselves. Hence, their duaa is for Allah with His aid.

O Saalik! Do not turn your attention to another besides your Gracious Master. Hopes cannot bypass the Gracious One.

An honourable person will place his needs in front of a gracious benefactor. He does not go for his needs to a dishonourable person. The Kareem-e-Haqeeqi (The True Gracious Benefactor) is none besides Allah Ta’ala. Kareem (Gracious) is a Being who forgives a criminal despite possessing the power of punishing him and when He promises, He honours it. When He gives, He gives more than expectation. Whoever comes within the confines of His refuge, He does not destroy him. He has no need for intercessors. These attributes par excellence exist in only Allah Ta’ala. Hence, the Shaikh (rahmatullah alayh) instructs the Saalik to direct his attention to only Allah Ta’ala for his needs, for everyone besides Him is dishonourable. The Saalik should fix his hopes on only the True and Gracious Benefactor and not attempt to bypass Him by asking others.

When asking for a need from someone, if reliance is on that person and Allah Ta’ala is forgotten, then such asking will be negatory of the rank of bandagi (being a slave of Allah). However, if the person is considered only as the external (zaahiri) or mundane means created by Allah Ta’ala, but complete reliance is on only Allah Ta’ala, then such asking will not be in conflict with bandagi.

Do not go to someone with any such need which Allah Ta’ala has imposed on you. How can someone attend to a need which Allah Ta’ala has placed on you? How can a person who is unable to fulfil his own needs attend to your needs?

O Saalik! Turn only to Allah Ta’ala for the fulfilment of any need or for the upliftment of a calamity which He has imposed on you. Direct your plea to Him, the King Who has afflicted you with the problem. The person besides Allah, to whom you are turning, is himself overwhelmed with needs and problems. If he had power, he would firstly have relieved himself of the problems besetting him. When a man lacks the capability of tending to his own needs and problems, how will he be able to ameliorate your condition? The solution is only to direct your case of need to your Maula-e-Haqeeqi.

Supplicating to your Master (Maula) is not a beautiful state. A beautiful state is that you are bestowed with Adab.

According to the Hadith Shareef, Duaa is the essence of Ibaadah. On account of having heard of this significance of Duaa, the Saalik who has as yet not attained freedom from his nafs, thinks that the maqsood (aim, object) is Duaa. In so doing, he errs.

As long as the reign of the nafs exists, there will be nafsaaniyat (contamination of the nafs) in even the Duaa. The nafs will supplicate for its desires and pleasures, and the attention of the heart will be on the need for which the supplication is being made, not on Allah Ta’ala. On the other hand, the Duaa of the a rifeen is undoubtedly the essence of their ibaadat because the purpose of their ibaadat is expression of their weakness and dependence on Allah Ta’ala.

The nafs of the a rif is annihilated and his gaze is perpetually on Allah Ta’ala, not on his Duaa which he makes on account of his bandagi and the Ruboobiyat (Godhood) of Allah Ta’ala.

Since the duaa of the non- a rif is for the sake of his nafs, the Shaikh (rahmatullah alayh) says that such a duaa does not reflect a beautiful state even though it is good (and permissible). A beautiful condition of the Saalik is Adab. The Adab for him is to resign himself to Allah Ta’ala in all his affairs, and engross himself in the remembrance and Mushaahadah of his Rabb.

There is nothing better than weakness and restlessness to draw you to your Gracious Benefactor and there is nothing better than lowliness and dependence of the heart to draw the favours of Allah to you.

O Saalik! Allah Ta’ala demands from you worship and that you remain His slave (i.e. in the state of Uboodiyat). The most perfect attributes of Uboodiyat are weakness and restlessness. There is nothing superior to your weakness and the restlessness of your heart in your yearning for Allah Ta’ala at all times. Your condition should be like that of a drowning man who sees no succour other than the help of Allah Ta’ala or like a man lost in a desolate wilderness with no one to show him the road. Just as the heart of this lost person will be engulfed with anxiety, and restlessness, so too should be the state of your heart in your yearning for Allah Ta’ala.

When your heart is overcome with the feeling of helplessness and dependence, the bounties of Allah Ta’ala will be showered on you. There is no better state for the attraction of Divine Favours, both Zaahiri and Baatini, than the sad and forlorn state of your heart.

Frequently the excellent state of Adab of the Aarifeen prevents them from supplicating to Allah Ta’ala. The complete reliance is on the eternal dispensation (Qismat) which has been decreed for them. Also, their total absorption in Thikr does not permit any time for supplicating.

The a rifeen are of a variety of dispositions. Some are overwhelmed by Tafweedh and Tasleem (i.e. they are completely resigned and contented with whatever their lots are). In this state their hearts are absolutely resigned to the eternal predestined Decree of Allah Ta’ala. Whatever has been predestined will come their way. In this condition or frame of heart they consider supplication to be in conflict with Adab (Respect for Allah Ta’ala) and negatory of their disposition (Shaan) of Resignation (to the Divine Will). Furthermore, their complete engrossment in Thikrullah does not allow them any time whatever for Duaa.

However, it will be evident that the best and most perfect state is the state which resembles the state of Rasulullah ( r ). The Shaan (disposition) of Rasulullah ( r ) was to make Duaa in every affair despite his Radha (state of being pleased with Allah Ta’ala) and Tasleem (Having resigned oneself to Allah Ta’ala) being the highest standard. Thus, the most perfect state is undoubtedly to verbally proclaim one’s weakness and dependency while the heart remains in the state of Radha in all matters.

Where forgetfulness (ghaflat) is possible, reminding when requesting will be proper. It will be proper to call to attention only such a person who is uncaring of the request of the supplicator. But both these states (forgetfulness and being uncaring) are impossible of Allah Ta’ala.

This is mentioned by way of proof for the earlier statement of the Shaikh (rahmatullah alayh). Some Ahl-e-Haal (Auliya in state of spiritual ecstasy) feel that abstention from Duaa is proper and Adab (Respect) because it appears as if one is reminding Allah Ta’ala of one’s needs or if one does not ask, He will not give. But, both these aspects are not possible in regard to the Divine Being because of reminding is proper only where the possibility of ghaflat exists. But Allah Ta’ala is a limul Ghaib Wash-Shahaadah (The Knower of the unseen and seen). There is no need to draw His attention to anything since He is neither forgetful nor unmindful of the one in need. He has already predestined everything for the bandah, while at the same time His boundless mercy engulfs all things whether someone asks or not. Such men (of high state of spiritual ecstasy) do not present their needs, etc. to Allah Ta’ala. They adopt silence and Radha since they regard asking to be in conflict with Adab for Allah Jalle Shaanuhu.

In most cases, the Aarif having set his sight on the eternal Will of Allah Ta’ala, feels ashamed to present his needs to Allah Ta’ala. When this is his condition, how is it possible for him to present his need to people?

Since it is a known fact that all things which happen are the manifestations of the Eternal Divine Will. Everything will necessarily happen in accordance with Allah’s Eternal Will. The a rif is, therefore, contented with these manifestations which were decreed in eternity. He, therefore, feels ashamed of presenting his needs in the Divine Court.

Such an a rif who feels ashamed of presenting his needs to even Allah Ta’ala, will to a greater degree refrain from asking people whom he knows are themselves paupers and helpless.

Do not think that there is a delay in the granting of forgiveness by your Maula (Master), but think that the concentration and attention of your nafs (towards Allah Ta’ala) are lax and deficient.

The nafs generally believes everyone else is like itself. Sometimes when the Saalik does not experience the effects of his abundance of riyaadhat and mujaahadah, then on account of the ignorance of the nafs he begins to think that he will not achieve any spiritual progress and the delay is from Allah’s side, Nauthubillah! The Shaikh (rahmatullah alayh) thus says that the Saalik should not think that there is a delay in the bestowal of Allah Ta’ala. Delay in giving is the act of a miser. This is not possible in regard to Allah Ta’ala.

The ocean of Divine Grace flows perpetually. The cause of the delay is because of the deficiency of the Saalik. The Saalik lacks in perfect concentration. His attention is not fully towards Allah Ta’ala. False images are being engraved in his mind, hence the delay. It is essential that he erases these images from his heart and applies his attention fully to Allah. He will then see Divine Forgiveness every moment.

Of all the things you request from your Maula, the most beautiful and best is the thing which He demands of you, viz., Istiqaamat (firmness, steadfastness) in Uboodiyat.

Man has been created for worship and obedience. The Qur’aan Majeed states:

“I have not created jinn and man except that they worship Me.”

Allah Ta’ala, therefore, demands from the bandah His Worship. Thus, the best thing which the Saalik can ask Allah, is steadfastness in worship and obedience. All other things, whether worldly or pertaining to the Deen are not the best because there is some desire and pleasure of the nafs in these things. But, worship and slavery (to Allah Ta’ala) do not give any pleasure to the nafs.

To ask for something which gives pleasure to the nafs, is in conflict with bandagi (one’s state of worship).

The purpose of Duaa and Ibaadat should not be acquisition of forgiveness and the bestowal of bounties because your intellect will then lack the ability of comprehending His wisdom and mysteries. Your Duaa and Ibaadat must be only to display your Ubodiyat and to maintain the rights of His Ruboobiyat.

O Saalik! Your objective of engrossment in Duaa and Ibaadat should not be the acquisition of some worldly or Deeni bounty. If this is your purpose, then you have failed to understand the essence and wisdom of Duaa. The purpose of your Duaa and Ibaadat should only be the demonstration of your state of slavery and worship and for the fulfilment of the Huqooq (Rights) of His Ruboobiyat. In fact, Allah Ta’ala has instructed the observance of Duaa and Ibaadat so that the bandah presents his appeal, dependency and supplication in His Court.

If this is the aim underlying Duaa, the bandah will never relent in making Duaa even if all his wishes are continuously being fulfilled because his maqsood (aim) is to display Allah’s Ruboobiyat and his own slavery. On the contrary, another man whose Duaa has been fulfilled, will cease to supplicate. His abstention from Duaa (on account of the fulfilment of his wishes) is abominable. By this attitude he implies his independence.

The true bandah is he who at all times proclaims his need for the bounties of Allah Ta’ala and for His Gaze of Rahmat.

How can your past supplication be the cause for His eternal bounties.

In the previous statement it was mentioned that it behoves the Mu’min to engage in Duaa for the sake of displaying his dependency on Allah Ta’ala, not for anything else. In the statement under discussion it is said that Duaa should not be regarded as the cause for acquisition (of the needs and wants). Whatever one will obtain has already been predestined in Eternity, while the Duaa for that object of need or desire came later. A later development cannot be a cause for an earlier existent. The Shaikh (rahmatullah alayh) therefore tells the Saalik to eliminate the idea of his Duaa being the cause of his needs being fulfilled.

In the next statement (mentioned hereunder), the Shaikh (rahmatullah alayh) draws the mind to the same issue, in a different style. The statement is also proof for the assertion which is made.

The eternal decree is extremely lofty. Cause and reason cannot be attributed to it.

O Saalik! How is it possible for you to regard your supplication as being the cause for His bestowals. The Shaan (Dignity) of the Divine Eternal decree is far above this idea. The eternal decrees are not in need of any causes and reasons. The acts of Khaaliq are far above such needs. There is, therefore, no cause or reason (sabab) for the bounties which He bestows to anyone. His bestowals were decreed in eternity while the request for it developed much later.

After having learnt this truth, it will be in conflict with the rank of bandagi (slavery) to abandon Duaa.


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