By Ahmarin Zahid
So you’re exhausted by what the world demands of you. Maybe you’re a teenager scrambling to prepare for your entry test, F.Sc exam or A-level exam; or a newlywed who has to cater to the needs of his/her new family; or a young parent who has to balance a new set of responsibilities. Maybe your nafs (self) gets in the way of productive usage of what free time you have. After all, you need time to unwind, right? You feel tired, burdened by the seemingly insurmountable distance between you and your worship.
Oh! If only there was an easier way!
What if I told you there was- As easy as the sudden flick of your hand as you brush aside your hair? Or the quick glance you give the clock to read the time? Instant, effortless yet effective and full of barakah (blessings). Sprinkling your entire day (and by extension your life) with little dollops of noor (light). It’s as if Allah SWT knew of our burdens and tailor-made a solution for our weary souls.
Ready? Here it is: “THE DAILY DUAS”
Scientists say that the best way to incorporate a habit is to attach it to something that is routine. So by appointing a dua for each daily habit Allah (SWT) made our lives that much easier. Imagine something as trivial as changing your clothes can be made into worship by the utterance of a few words and a slight adjustment of intention.
And what better time to sow a new habit than during the blessed month of Ramadan?
Imagine waking up and the first words to leave your lips are:
الحَمْدُ لِلهِ الَّذِي أَحْيَانَا بَعْدَ مَا أَمَاتَنَا وَإِلَيْهِ النُّشُورُ
‘All praise be to Allah, who gave us life after killing us (sleep is a form of death) and to Him will we be raised and returned’ (Muslim 2711)
When you sleep you are cut from the world. Its comings and goings no longer concern you. You are helpless to protect yourself from any harm, neither could you go to your family’s aid if they need you. You are dead to the world unless Allah (SWT) allows your soul to return to your body. Allah (SWT) does this for you every single day of your life without your even asking. So it’s only befitting we thank Him for His gift of a new life.
Next you stand in front of the mirror to get ready and you say:
اَللَّهُمَّ كَمَا أَحْسَنْتَ خَلْقِي فَحَسِّنْ خُلُقِي
“O Allah, just as You have made my external features beautiful, make my character beautiful as well” (EDITOR’S NOTE: this dua can be said at any time, and not specifically when standing in front of the mirror) (Ahmad, Ibn Habban (1999))
In a single sentence Allah (SWT) reminds you that HE created you and you are as He intended- beautiful; as well as the fact that beautifying your character should be your main goal. And for that you make a quick dua before your day has even properly begun!
You say salam (Islamic greeting) to your family and leave the house for work, university or a religious class. As you exit the door you say:
بِسْمِ اللَّهِ تَوَكَّلْتُ عَلَى اللَّهِ وَلَا حَوْلَ وَلَا قُوَّةَ إِلَّا بِاللَّهِ
“In Allah’s Name I begin with, I place my (full) trust in Allah and there is no Might and Power except with Allah.” (Sunan Abi Dawood – da’eef/weak)
Now you consciously acknowledge that it is Allah (SWT) who manages your well being. Thus you are confident that your affairs are well handled by Allah.
Within the short period of 30-40 minutes you have remembered Allah, praised Him, and made dua to Him for your character and well-being. All by short duas that takes less than 1 minute total. As you expand your dua list and add more duas, the amount of reward you can earn is endless!
Ramadan is a month of change. Allah (SWT) has made it easier for us to inculcate new habits by chaining the devils. So sow the seed of dua now and reap its rewards for the rest of your life.