|Posted on January 28, 2012 at 6:20 AM|
The topic of Duaa (the Arabic word for asking Allah for something or calling out) and its relationship to destiny (qadr) is a very important one, and one around which much confusion exists. Many people ask: “If everything has already been destined to occur, then of what use is duaa, as, if Allah has written what I want, I will get it without making duaa, and if it is not written for me, then I will never get it no matter how much duaa I make?
The response to this question lies in understanding that the outcome of anything is dependent on the performance of the efforts that are necessary to procure it. In other words, it has already been decreed, for example, that a seed will give fruit if planted, but this will not occur unless the farmer takes the appropriate efforts in irrigating the crop, maintaining it, protecting the seedling as it grows, and ensuring as much as he can that the factors are amenable for the plant to give fruit.
So even though a person believes in the Divine Decree, he must at the same time strive all he can to ensure that the desired goal occurs. So duaa is the means that one uses to achieve the desired goal that one has, and this means in no way contradicts the destiny that has been written for that person.
If someone were to ask: “How can duaa repel Divine Decree?” we would respond, “The fact that you may be ill has already been decreed by Allah for you, as has the fact that you will ask Allah to cure you of this illness (i.e. both the illness and your asking to cure the illness has been decreed).” In a similar manner, a person may be deprived of his sustenance that was decreed for him, since Allah’s eternal knowledge encompassed the fact that this person would perform a sinful deed that would cause the deprivation of his sustenance, All of this, then, is from the decree of Allah, all Glory and Praise be to Him”
Salman al-Farisi narrated that the prophet (peace be upon him) said:
“Nothing repels Divine Decree except dua, and nothing increase one’s life-span except good deeds” [Sahih Al Jami # 7687]
This Hadeeth informs us in no uncertain terms that the only way that we can repel some Divine Decree is through the means of du’a. So it is possible that some unpleasant matter has been preordained for us, but only if we do not make du’a to avert it from us. So if du’a is made, then this matter will not occur or be fulfilled whereas of a du’a is left, the misfortune will occur.
The same above hadeeth indicates that the performance of good deeds is a cause of increasing one’s life span, so if a person puts in the necessary effort, the results will be achieved, and this is also destined. So both the means to achieve a goal, and the fulfillment of the goal itself are already decreed.
Another narration in al-Tirmidhi also supports this, The prophet (peace be upon him) said:
“There is no Muslim on the face of the earth that asks Allah for anything except that Allah gives it to him, or averts from him a similar evil, as long as he does not ask for something evil or for breaking the ties of kinship” [Sahih al-Jami # 5637]
From this narration, the benefits of du’a are made clear, and its value its understood. For not only is a person rewarded for making a du’a, but it is also a cause of repelling an evil that was destined for him, and in obtaining the good that he was expecting.
Ibn Hajr, commenting on the benefits of du’a, said: “And the benefit of performing du’a is the attainment of reward by obeying the command (of Allah to make du’a), and also by the attainment of what is asked for, for there is a possibility that the request is dependent on the du’a, since Allah is the Creator of both the effort and result of the effort” [Fath al-Bari, 11/95]
Quoted with slight modifications from "Du'a the weapon of the believer" by Yasir Qadhi