What Is Dua (Supplication) and How Do You Make Dua?

The closest translation we can get to the word ‘Dua’ is ‘supplication’. A person who makes dua is one who supplicates. In Arabic, this is derived from a word meaning ‘to call’ or ‘to call out’. In dua, we call out to God and pray to Him, ask from Him what we wish and what we need help with. Making dua is very powerful as we find out from many hadith:

Anas bin Malik narrated that Prophet SAW said: “The supplication is the essence of worship.”


And your Lord says, “Call upon Me; I will respond to you.” Surely those who are too proud to worship Me will enter Hell, fully humbled.”

Ghafir [40:60]

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Etiquettes of making dua

The list below will explain the etiquettes one must have when making dua.

  1. Humble yourself in front of Allah

Allah says in the Quran: Call upon your Lord humbly and secretly. Al-A’raf [7:55]

  1. Have firm conviction that Allah will answer your prayers

Abu Hurairah narrated that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:“Call upon Allah while being certain of being answered, and know that Allah does not respond to a supplication from the heart of one heedless and occupied by play.”

  1. Be persistent when you ask

Salman Al-Farsi narrated that the Prophet (ﷺ) said:“Indeed, Allah, is Hayy, Generous, when a man raises his hands to Him, He feels too shy to return them to him empty and rejected.”

  1. Do not be impatient

Abu Huraira reported that Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said:The supplication of every one of you is granted if he does not grow impatient and says: I supplicated but it was not granted.

Sahih Muslim
  1. Use duas from Quran and sunnah
dua in the quran
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  1. Stay away from sins and consuming haram

Nabi SAW talked about a person calling out to Allah: “O Lord! O Lord!,” while his food is haram (unlawful), his drink is haram, his clothing is haram, and he has been nourished with haram, so how can [his supplication] be answered? [Muslim]

  1. Make lots of dua in times of ease

Nabi SAW said: Remember Allah during time of ease and He will remember you during times of hardship.

  1. Make sure you have prepared properly (e.g wudhu, facing qiblah etc)
  2. Ask for anything and everything (as long as it’s lawful)
  3. Don’t think your dua has been rejected

Abu Sa’id al-Khudri reported that the Prophet SAW said, “No Muslim makes supplication – unless he is someone who has cut off his relatives – but that he is given one of three things: either his supplication is answered quickly, or it is stored up for him in the Next World, or an evil equal to it is averted from him.” It was said, “Then many supplications will be made.” He replied, “Allah has more still to give.”


Istikhara Dua – Translation and How to Perform

How do you make dua?

  • Start with praising Allah

Use words and phrases which Allah has praised Himself with, or Nabi SAW used, or the sahaba used.

  • Send durood/salawat (salutations) upon Prophet Muhammed SAW

It was narrated that ‘Asim bin ‘Ubaidullah said:“I heard ‘Abdullah bin ‘Amir bin Rabi’ah narrating from his father that the Prophet (ﷺ) said: “There is no Muslim who sends peace and blessings upon me, but the angels will send peace and blessings upon him as long as he sends peace and blessings upon me. So let a person do a little of that or a lot.”

Sunan Ibn Majah
  • Use the beautiful names of Allah
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Allah has the Most Beautiful Names. So call upon Him by them, and keep away from those who abuse His Names. [7:180]

  • Seek forgiveness

Anas (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “Allah, the Exalted, has said: ‘O son of Adam, I forgive you as long as you pray to Me and hope for My forgiveness, whatever sins you have committed. O son of ‘Adam, I do not care if your sins reach the height of the heaven, then you ask for my forgiveness, I would forgive you. O son of ‘Adam, if you come to Me with an earth load of sins, and meet Me associating nothing to Me, I would match it with an earth-load of forgiveness.”

  • Display your need of Allah with the utmost humility and desperation

“My Lord! I am truly in desperate need of whatever provision You may have in store for me.” [28:24]

person making dua

Can you make dua in English?

Outside of salah, you can make dua in any language and there are no restrictions like language barriers. However, in salah, you can only use duas from the Quran and Sunnah.

Occasions when your Duas are readily accepted

  • After the fardh (obligatory) prayers [Tirmidhi]
  • Between the adhan and iqamah [Tirmidhi]
  • In the last third part of the night [Bukhari]
  • Whilst in sajdah [Muslim]
  • Day of Arafah [Tirmidhi]
  • While fasting & when opening the fast [Tirmidhi]
  • During the last portion of the day of Jumuah [Abu Dawud]
  • When you’re sick or asking the sick to make dua for you [Ibn Majah]
  • When drinking zamzam water [Ibn Majah]
  • When it rains [Abu Dawud]
  • When travelling [Tirmidhi]
  • Praying for your absent brother [Muslim]
  • When oppressed [Bukhari]
  • When a parent makes dua for their child [Tirmidhi]
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The act of making dua is one of the most superior forms of worship in Islam. Many times Allah has commanded us to call upon Him and be humble in front of Him, and this is something which we are missing within our lives. Our problems, afflictions, illnesses and issues can all disappear if we put our hearts into dua and show our desperation.