Supplication (Dua’a), one of the most preferred devotional acts
In its capacity as one of the most preferred devotional acts, supplication (dua’a) has been emphatically encouraged by the Holy Qur'an on more than one occasion, such as in the following verses: When My servants ask you concerning Me, then surely I am very near. I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he calls upon Me. So, they should answer My call and believe in Me that they may walk in the right way. (2:186)
Supplicate your Lord humbly and secretly. Surely, He does not love those who exceed the limits. (7:55)
Say: My Lord would not care for you were it not for your supplication, but you have indeed rejected the truth; so, that which shall cleave shall come. (25:77)
Your Lord says: Call upon Me, I will answer you. Surely, those who are too proud for My service shall soon enter hell abased. (40:60)
Moreover, the Holy Qur'an has quoted supplications from a number of prophets and righteous people who had to encounter critical situations. Due to their supplications, Almighty Allah saved them.
Supplication in its origin is a religious duty and true believers are required to pray to Almighty Allah and supplicate to Him generally, as is indicated and confirmed by the abovementioned Qur'anic verses and many traditions.
In his book of al-Kafi, Shaykh al-Kulayni has reported through a valid chain of authority that Sadir asked Imam Baqir (A.S), “Which devotional act is the best?”
The Imam (A.S) answered: In the sight of Almighty Allah, nothing is better than asking Him and imploring Him for what He has in possession. No one is more hateful in the sight of Him than one who is too arrogant to serve Him and to implore Him for what He has in possession.1
According to another validly reported tradition that is quoted by Shaykh al-Kulayni on the authority of Hammad ibn ‘Isa, Imam Sadiq (A.S) has said: Always pray to (Almighty Allah) and do not consider the matter to have ended, because supplication is surely worship. Almighty Allah says, “Surely, those who are too proud for My service shall soon enter hell abased. (40:60)”2
According to another validly reported tradition, Maysir ibn ‘Abd al-’Aziz has reported that Imam Sadiq (A.S) said to him: Always pray to (Almighty Allah) and do not consider the matter to have come to an end. There is a rank with Almighty Allah that cannot be attained except by imploring to Him. If a servant shuts his mouth and does not pray for anything, he will not be given anything. Therefore, always pray so that you will be given. Verily, a door that is always knocked will sooner or later be opened for the knocker.3
Other traditions have defined supplication as:
• The key to all mercies,
• The attainment of all requests,
• The armor of faithful believers,
• The essence of worship,
• The less the supplication, the more the tribulations,4
• The weapon of faithful believers,
• The pillar of religion,
• The defender against evil of enemies and tribulations before, when, and even after they befall, 5
• The remedy of all maladies.6
To be continued
By: Ayatullah Shaheed Seyyed Muhammad Baqir al-Hakim
1. - `Allamah al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar 90:294, H. 23.
2. - Seyyed al-Borujerdi, Jami` Ahadith al-Shi`ah 15:187, H. 1 & 4.
3. - Seyyed al-Borujerdi, Jami` Ahadith al-Shi`ah 15:188, H. 5.
4. - Seyyed al-Borujerdi, Jami` Ahadith al-Shi`ah 15:184, S. 1.
5. - Seyyed al-Borujerdi, Jami` Ahadith al-Shi`ah 15:201, S. 3.
6. - Seyyed al-Borujerdi, Jami` Ahadith al-Shi`ah 15:213, S.