In the Quran, Allah (swt) says, “O mankind! You are Fuqara (those in need).” We have many needs. We look at other people and are reminded of our own deprivations. Zakariya (as) looked at Mariam (as) and realised he has a need. He immediately turned to Allah (swt) in need.
All day long we remind ourselves of what is missing from our lives, yet when we get on the prayer mat we forget to ask. Allah (swt) did a great favour upon us by collecting the Duas of His beloved servants (as) and preserving them. The Companions (as) forwarded the kindness by recording the supplications of the Prophet (sa). These are the Duas for us to take inspiration from.
Let’s look at some of the Duas that the Prophets (as) made and we should too.
1. Protection from Shirk
Following people and keeping a tab on their lives might appear trifling. But when people become the sole focus of our lives – we live for them, we seek and cherish their praises – then certainly it is not a petty matter. We have fallen for Shirk. Allah (swt) should be the main focus of our lives. We should seek love and acknowledgement from Him. In the times of trials, we should remember He is the One to ask help from. Seeing our blessings, we should thank Him first and then the people. We need to learn about the different forms of Shirk and protect ourselves from falling for them.
Ibrahim (as) lost his family, his people and his town, but he did not associate anyone with Allah (swt). He asked Allah (swt) to protect him and his sons from worshipping idols. “And (remember) when Ibrahim (Abraham) said: O my Lord! Make this city (Makkah) one of peace and security, and keep me and my sons away from worshipping idols.” (Ibrahim 14:35)
2. Peace and Sustenance
Hearing the news of another bomb blast or another strike, one wonders how life will continue. How will the businesses function? Fearing for safety and sustenance leaves one anxious and disturbed. Nothing can be accomplished. Leaving his family in an uninhabited land, Ibrahim (as) asked Allah (swt) for peace, sustenance and warmth of the people. He knew they will need all these to survive their challenges. “O our Lord! I have made some of my offspring to dwell in an uncultivable valley by Your Sacred House (the Ka’bah at Makkah); in order, O our Lord, that they may perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat), so fill some hearts among men with love towards them, and (O Allah) provide them with fruits so that they may give thanks.” (Ibrahim 14:37)
3. Righteous Companions
A Hadeeth tells us that we will be resurrected with the people that we love. Who do we love? Yusuf (as) a righteous man himself, especially prayed to Allah (swt) to join him with the righteous in the hereafter. “My Lord! You have indeed bestowed on me of the sovereignty, and taught me the interpretation of dreams; The (only) Creator of the heavens and the earth! You are my Wali (Protector, Helper, Supporter, Guardian, etc.) in this world and in the Hereafter, cause me to die as a Muslim (the one submitting to Your Will), and join me with the righteous.” (Yusuf 12:101) Ask Allah (swt) to grant you righteous friends, righteous spouses, righteous children in this world and to raise you and your loved ones with the righteous, in the hereafter.
4. Protection from Zulm
Zulm is not giving someone his right. You take the telephone set off its stand and place it on the floor, you have done Zulm. We must ask Allah (swt) to not make of those who commit injustice or injustice is done to us. All the arguments of someone not giving us our right will just end.
5. Acceptance of Deeds
Upon doing a good deed we must remember Ibrahim’s (as) humility. Never should we be boastful. Ibrahim (as) was chosen by Allah (swt) to build His House, yet he feared acceptance. “And (remember) when Ibrahim (Abraham) and (his son) Isma’il (Ishmael) were raising the foundations of the House (the Ka’bah at Makkah), (saying), Our Lord! Accept (this service) from us. Verily! You are the All-Hearer, the All-Knower.”(Al-Baqarah 2:127)
Ask Allah (swt) to guide us to the deeds which are accepted and allow us to do them.