Are My Supplications Insincere?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question: Every time I make dua for something I feel like I am not sincere enough. Would this be considered waswasa? Also, is there a specific dua you should make when you ask Allah (SWT) for something?

Answer: Assalamu alaykum sister,

Thank you for this excellent question.

Allah, Most High, says, “[O Prophet], if My servants ask you about Me, I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me.
So let them respond to Me in obedience, and believe in Me, so that they may be rightly guided.“ [Qur`an, 2:186]
The Prophet, may Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “Supplication is worship.” [Abu Dawud]

Supplication (du`a) is the door to your relationship with Allah. Thinking that you are not sincere is surely from the Devil (Shaytan) and you must ignore it. Allah is the only judge of your sincerity, and customarily a person who doesn’t think he is sincere, is in fact sincere. Beware of letting the Shaytan dissuade you from du`a. Your Lord, Most High, has proclaimed, “Call upon Me, I will respond to you. Surely those who are too proud to worship Me will enter Hell, fully humbled.” [Qur`an, 40:60]

I have heard from a scholar once that the whole point of performing the prayer is to make du’a at the end. When one raises up one’s hands, one’s inner secrets, feelings, thoughts, doubts, and aspirations come to the lips. Who better to tell them to then the Creator? He knows them all anyway! But, we ask Him because we are the ones who need it. Our love, trust, devotion, submission, gratitude, and contentment will flourish when we turn to Him in du`a. This direct and intimate discourse that we have with Allah can be disturbed or influenced by no one. It’s just you and your Lord, especially if it is in the depth of the night.

When you ask Allah for something, some basic etiquettes come to mind.

1) Have ritual purity (ablution)
2) Face the Qibla, cover your head
3) Begin by blessing the Prophet, and end with it
4) Thank Allah for his blessing and mention his favors on you
5) Ask him to forgive you for your sins, and proceed to ask what you wish
6) Pray for others because of the following hadith: The Prophet, may Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “There is no believing servant who supplicates for his brother behind his back (in his absence) that the Angels do not say: The same be for you too.“ [Muslim]

One of my teacher’s teachers had taught her not to bother making du’a for oneself, but instead, only for the ummah of Islam, because it would come back to one, in any case. One of the best du`as that was often recited by the Prophet, may Allah bless him and give him peace is, “O our Lord, grant us the best in this life and the best in the next life, and protect us from the punishment of the Fire. [Bukhari and Muslim]

Please see the following lecture on the subject. I have also linked a number of du’as and manners (adab) associated with du`a. Be sure to see them all.

Supplication is the Essence of Worship: The Reality and Proper Manners of Asking Allah (Dua)

Invocations and Supplications: A Comprehensive SeekersGuidance Reader
VIDEO: Three Manners of Supplication
Adab of Dua: Leave All Rhyme and Ask the Divine
Adab of Dua: The States That Can Change Fate
Adab of Dua: Are My Duas Being Answered?
Adab of Dua: Why Is My Dua Not Answered
Adab of Dua: Impermissible Duas
Adab of Dua: When Praying Is Haram

I pray that you take advantage of the very moment and supplicate. JazakAllah khayran.

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.