When someone is faced with any challenge, he/ she will be told to “make dua”. No job? Make dua. No spouse? Make dua. Your business is failing? Make dua. Exam next week? Make dua. It’s as if we’re giving false hopes that a miracle would happen. And if nothing happens, we tell them “perhaps something better is in store for you, be patient”.
Just to be clear: I’m not underestimating the power of dua; what I’m challenging here is that sole reliance on dua to change a situation without taking any action towards achieving that dua:
•If you’re looking for a job, you need to update your CV, improve your skills, get in touch with your network, knock on doors, AND make dua.
•If you’re looking for a spouse, you need to take care of yourself, improve your profile, contact people who might know potential spouses, meet potential suitors, AND make dua.
•If your business is failing, you need to find the root cause, change your business model, hire/ fire staff, improve your management skills, AND make dua.
•If you have exams next week, you need to study, revise, take practice exams, AND make dua.
Do you see the point? Dua is not supposed to be a spiritual crutch. It does not replace hard work and productivity; it’s a spiritual booster that helps bring fruition and results to the actions you take in life.
This is how dua was understood by our Prophet and all previous prophets of Allah, who made dua after they exhausted all possible actions. Here are a few examples:
•Prophet Nuh (as) made dua after he tried calling his people for 950 years. •Prophet Ibrahim (as) made dua after taking his family to a barren land, and after building the Kaba. •Prophet Musa (as) made dua after escaping Pharaoh.
•Prophet Muhammad (s) made dua before the Battle of Badr after taking all military decisions and precautions needed to secure victory over the army of Quraysh.
This is when the power of dua is at its prime. Not sitting at home, pitying yourself on how difficult life is, and making dua, hoping for a miracle. Miracles happen for those who work hard and make dua. Always be like the farmer; whose role is to plough the earth, plant the seed, water the plants AND make dua that Allah sends forth beautiful rain and good weather for a good harvest. Don’t be the farmer who sits in his porch praying for good rain when he hasn’t even prepared the land for it!