Is du'a enough?
While walking yesterday, I was listening to the recording of an online class and my teacher mentioned something that made me want to stop walking and just cry out loud! It is something most of us already know but don’t take time to reflect upon. I was emotional because I was reminded of the sad truth: I really do have a long way to go…
She was talking about our relationship with Allah and how that relationship is a two-way one.
She said the relationship with Allah is a bilateral relationship, but it is initiated by the ‘abd (servant), aka, you and I. YOU have to take the first step towards Allah. I have to take the first step towards Allah. It made too much sense to me. I understood it a little bit more.
She gave examples from the Qur’an where Allah says
“So remember Me, I will remember you” [Qur’an 2:152]
“If you are grateful, I will surely increase you (in favor)”
As humans, we want so many things from Allah – contentment, finances, protection, happiness, better relationships… but there’s not much we do from our side to reach those things.
Most of us just make du’a and that’s about it. However, I feel there’s much more to it than just making du’a.
I’m not saying don’t make du’a. I can’t even say that because du’a has changed my life in so many ways, especially in terms of my yaqeen (certainty). So du’a is no doubt one of the most important things, but it’s not the only thing. It’s not the only step to take.
If du’a is the only step we take from our side, that’s similar to going in for an exam and telling the teacher “please give me all the answers, I want to ace this course”.
What happened to studying? What happened to trying? What happened to tying the camel?
We all have to have a core – the innermost part of us. And our core represents how strong our relationship with Allah is.
If we take that first step towards Him, again and again (study for the exam, try your best), our core will be stronger (ace the course – with flying colors). If we take only one step (“please give me the answers”), our core will be weak (fail the course).
Taking a step again and again means we won’t only make du’a for what we want, but we’ll also do the things that please Him – and stay away from things that displease Him.
Things that please Him could be praying on time, waking up for tahajjud, charity, shukr (gratitude), etc.
Things that displease Him could be gossiping, cheating, being careless with salah, etc.
It only makes sense that the more steps we take towards Him, the more steps He will take towards us.
And sometimes subhanAllah, the steps He takes towards us may not bring us something we can see physically – He may make us a little bit more patient, or He may make some ease in our affairs.
Just because we can’t physically see Allah’s provision in our lives does not mean it’s not there.
He has given us more than our basic needs and, most of all, He has given us islam even though most of us did not ask for it or go searching for it.
Our job now is to strive to reach ihsan which is the best of the levels that a muslim can reach.
Ihsan is to worship Allah as if we can see Him, and to know that if we can’t see Him, He can see us.
Ihsan is to do things beautifully, and to do more that what we’re required to do.
May Allah make us among the people of ihsan, who never get tired of turning and returning to Him, ameen!
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