Why is Supplication (dua) Considered Worship in Islam?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question: As salamu alaikum,
Recently I came across this hadith: “Supplication is worship.”
Wat does ‘supplication is worship’ mean?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.

Why is Supplication considered to be Worship?

Nu’man ibn Bashir reported that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Supplication is worship itself.” [Abu Dawud & Tirmidhi]

Supplication as True Worship

Mulla Ali al-Qari explains in his Mirqat al-Mafatih, a commentary on Tabrizi’s Mishkat al-Masabih, “Namely, it is the true worship which merits the name “worship” because of its pointing to devotedness to Allah, and turning away from other than Him, such that he does not hope for nor fear except Him, while upholding the obligation of slavehood, acknowledging the right of Godhood, realizing the tremendous blessing of existence, seeking the help of assistance, in accordance with the thing desired, and felicitous success and facilitation.”

Supplication and taking the Means

Supplication is a manifestation of your slavehood to Allah, your poverty and empty-handedness before the All-Generous Giver, and a moment of utter humility clothed in an inability to effect any change in and of yourself. It is one of the greatest forms of worship.
However, this does not negate taking the means, whether by acting in a manner that is more likely to be pleasing to Allah, or by using an intermediary in the supplication as advised by the Holy Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) to the blind man, for instance.
See also: Tawassul: Supplicating Allah through an Intermediary and: Is It Permissible to Make Tawassul Through Awliya (Saints)? and: Struggling to Have Children: Ten Key Etiquettes of Du’a
And Allah alone gives success.
Tabraze Azam
Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.