Finding Comfort in Dua

No matter who we are or where we come from, I think it’s safe to say that the past year and a half has been extremely difficult to bear. With COVID-19, climate change and all the other calamities striking countries worldwide, it’s often hard to stay positive. As Muslims, we believe strongly in Allah (God) and that His plan is superior to our own, and honestly this belief is one of the main things that has gotten me through these last few months. The idea that Allah has masterfully created a path for each and every one of us gives me comfort despite all the despair I see in my life and on social media.

However, in times like these, it can be easy to doubt God’s plan. You might find yourself questioning why certain tragedies were meant to happen, and why so much suffering has been inflicted by a loving and merciful God.

If you ever question why something is happening, remember that it comes from a place of pride. By questioning, we are assuming that we could even understand or conceptualize God’s plan, which in fact we can’t. The amount of complexity that Allah has created in this world, and the beautiful Earth He has created is far more than we could ever understand. I mean, think about it: scientists discover new things about the Earth and surrounding galaxies every day, and they fully admit that there is so much that is still unknown to them. All of this beauty was created and planned so carefully by Allah, and the extent to which He plans is so much more than the human brain can process.

So if God has a plan, and we cannot see the full perspective of it, how do we cope with the tragedy and loss of the world that we see everyday? How do we understand, empathize and continue to grow as people? And if everything is planned already, why hope and dream for things?

The answer to all those questions is simple: dua. Our prayers have so much power that we don’t even realize it sometimes. In addition to whatever action we can take to spread awareness and aid to those in need, we also should be in a constant state of prayer for ourselves, our families, the ummah, and the world. Although we can’t see it, Allah is listening to us, and he is factoring our duas into his plan. Our sincere pleas to Him make a tangible difference, even if we can’t see it directly. Additionally, making dua takes away any anxiety we’re feeling, because we’re submitting to a higher power.

If you haven’t made sincere dua (prayer) in a while, ask yourself why. No matter who you are, there is so much to ask for, and our time to ask is limited by our time on this Earth. It can be hard to humble ourselves and surrender complete control to our Lord, but at the end of the day it will give you a sense of fulfillment you didn’t realize you were missing.

If you’re having a hard time knowing what to ask for, start with the simple, small things: ask Allah to help you get through the day, ask Him for good weather, ask Him to help you get to work on time when you’re stuck in traffic. Slowly but surely, you will be able to ask Him for more important things: for yourself and others around you. And while you may not see results right away, you will see yourself being guided in the right direction, even if it was a different one than you were expecting.

It can be hard sometimes when we see things happening around us, and we feel helpless. But Allah has given us such a beautiful outlet to take away our worries and anxieties and to sincerely ask for ourselves, our loved ones, and the people suffering in the world. In times like these, it’s important to take advantage of the power of dua. As long as you speak humbly from your heart, it doesn’t matter what language you speak or where you’re from, Allah (swt) is always, always listening.

Note: One of my favorite book of duas is the Prayers of the Pious by Omar Suleiman, it provides many duas in Arabic and English along with an explanation for each one. You can find the book here.

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