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The Meaning of Du'aa

2nd September 2014

The word "du'aa'" (دُعَاء‎) [plural: adʿiyah (أدْعِيَة)] is the verbal noun (masdar) of the verb "da'aa", which signifies 'to call out, to summon.' [1]

The word du'aa' is mentioned in the Qur'aan to signify a number of meanings, as the following verses show:

(1) Worship

"And do not call besides Allaah that which will not benefit you nor harm you..." (Soorah Yoonus, 10:106)

(2) The seeking of aid

"And call upon your witnesses besides Allaah..." (Sooratul Baqarah, 2:23)

(3) A request

"Call upon Me, I will respond to you..." (Soorah Ghaafir, 40:60)

(4) A call

"The day that you will be called..." (Sooratul Israa', 17:52)

(5) Praise

"Say, 'Call upon Allaah, or call upon ar-Rahmaan...'" (Sooratul Israa', 17:110)

(6) Speech

"Their speech therein will be: 'Glory be to You, O Allaah!'" (Soorah Yoonus, 10:10)

(7) A question

"Call on your Lord so that He can clarify to us what it is..." (Sooratul Baqarah, 2:68)

And other meanings besides these.

As for its Islamic meaning, various scholars have defined it in similar terms:

Al-Khattaabi رحمه الله said: "The meaning of du'aa' is the servant's asking his Lord for His Help, and asking His continued support. Its essence is that a person shows his neediness to Allaah سبحانه وتعالى, and frees himself from any power or ability to change (any matter by himself). This characteristic is the mark of servitude, and in it is the feeling of human submissiveness. Du'aa' also carries the meaning praising Allaah سبحانه وتعالى, and attributing to Him Generosity and Bouneousness." [2]

Imaam Ibn al-Qayyim رحمه الله defined it as, "Asking what is of benefit to the person, and asking the removal of what is harming him, or (asking) the repelling of it (before it afflicts him)." [3]

Another scholar wrote: "The appeal to Allaah, all Glory be to Him, of a request, by asking Him with desire for all good that is with Him, and to be submissive to Him in asking what is desired and in obtaining what is hoped for." [4] [5]


[1] Ibn Mandhoor, Lisaan al-Arab, 14/258. Also see Hans-Wher, p. 282

[2] Sha'n ad-Du'aa, p. 4

[3] Badaa'i al-Fawaa'id, 3/2

[4] This definition is taken from Kitaab ad-Du'aa' by Dr. Muhammad as-Sayed Tantaawi

[5] Dua: The Weapon of the Believer

posted by Seifeddine-M on 2nd September 2014 - 0 comments


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