By: Sr. Christine ElQadeh
In addition to the required five daily prayers in Islam, the act of offering up dua is very powerful and encouraged for Muslims to ask Allah for guidance, forgiveness and strength. In the Quran, Allah says, "When my servants ask about Me, I am indeed close to them. I listen to the prayer of every supplicant, when he calls on me. Let them also, with a will, listen to my call, and believe in me, so that they may walk in the right way" (Quran 2:186). The word dua in Arabic means "calling.” It is the act of remembering Allah and asking him for what is in your deepest heart’s desire. You can make dua for yourself as well as for others. Muslims can make dua in their own native tongue, and in their own words.
There are certain times dua is more likely to be accepted by Allah as mentioned by the Prophet. It is narrated by Sahel Ibn Sa'ad, that Prophet Mohamed said, “Two will not be rejected, Supplication when the Adhan (call of prayer) is being called, and at the time of the rain.” [Al-Hakim 2: 114, and Abu Dawud #2540, ibn Majah]
This is my story about how the miracle of dua and the forces of nature came together:
This past spring, we were excited to receive my parents from up North as house guests for my son's graduation. Suddenly my father fell ill and had to be hospitalized. His condition was not life-threatening, but he was looking at the possibility of surgery. At the age of 75, he was a very active man running road races, riding his bike and golfing. All the activities he enjoyed were abruptly halted.
After eight weeks of treatment, I had the opportunity to go visit my parents. It was hard to see my dad so down and depressed. All he enjoyed was taken away from him, and he had little hope left. I was there for a follow -up doctor's visit. He was going to find out if the treatments were working, or if he had to go the surgery route.
Mom and Dad left for the appointment early in the morning, and I found myself sitting home in the yard and offering up the most desperate, sincerest dua of my life for my dear father. As I was praying, a tiny brown spotted butterfly was fluttering around my face and wouldn't leave me alone. When I finished my dua, the fluttering butterfly flitted away across the yard and over the neighbor’s fence.
When Dad came home things looked good. We wouldn't know right away if he was going to be in the clear, but I noticed small improvements. I said, “Alhamdulillah” over and over as much as possible whenever I had time. Soon it started to rain heavily. I went outside. I looked up into the sky and again offered up my dua begging my father to be ok. Dad was doing better throughout the day, and his spirits were lifting. My dua was deep from within me and offered with all my heart. I was filled with gratitude. I repeated this powerful supplication over and over sitting in my parent’s backyard in the intermittent rain.
During a break in the summer shower, all of a sudden, the song birds started chirping in unison but in their different voices. Allah says in the Holy Quran, "Do they not see the birds suspended in mid-air up in the sky? Nothing holds them there except Allah. There are certainly Signs in that for people who have faith." (Surat an-Nahl: 79) The wind blew heavily from the East. It shook the water droplets from the rain off the leaves, and the birds continued to sing their song. I continued my supplication. It was then I felt in my heart peace and knowledge that "It was over." My dua was answered, and everything was going to be ok,in shaa Allah. As soon as I made that realization, thunder rumbled across the sky in one deep pulse as if to confirm that the mighty hand of Allah had intervened and gave my Dad the health I was praying for earlier in the day.
I looked up into the sky and again offered up my dua of gratitude and thanks. It was deep from within me, and I was filled with peace.
Two weeks had passed since that emotional day. I returned to my home in Florida and was sitting on my Lanai editing this essay and reflecting upon the miracle of my dua. All of a sudden, rain started softly falling from the sky. I looked up and saw two ruby red cardinals perched at the tip of the tallest oak tree in my yard. They were chirping merrily and danced through the branches. Soon the rain tapered off, and the chirping stopped; the birds were still perched side by side. I had been worried about my parents since my return. I saw these miraculous creatures as a sign to me that they have each other and, in shaa Allah, will have many more healthy years to live together and support one another. "Alhamdulillah"…