Praise be to Allaah.
We use the word du’aa’
(invocation) to refer to two things:
for asking, which means seeking that which will benefit, or asking to ward off that which will cause harm, by asking Allaah
for that which will benefit in this world and in the Hereafter, and to ward off that which will cause harm in this world and
in the Hereafter,
Such as du’aa’ for
forgiveness, mercy, guidance, help, to attain Paradise, to be saved from Hell, for Allaah to grant good things in this world
and in the Hereafter and so on.
for worship, which means that the person is worshipping Allaah by any of the types of worship, in the heart or physically
or financially, such as fearing Allaah, loving Him, hoping for His mercy, putting one’s trust in Him, praying, fasting,
doing Hajj, reading Qur’aan, reciting tasbeeh and dhikr, giving zakaah and charity, jihad for the sake of Allaah, calling
people to Allaah, enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil, and so on.
Everyone who does any of these
acts of worship is calling upon Allaah.
See: al-Qawl al-Mufeed (1/264)
and Tasheeh al-Du’aa’ (p. 15-21).
Usually when the word du’aa’
appears in verses of the Qur’aan, it refers to both meanings, because they are interconnected. So everyone who asks
of Allaah verbally is worshipping Him, because du’aa’ is worship, and every worshipper who prays to Allaah, fasts
or does Hajj is doing that hoping for reward from Allaah and to attain Paradise and to be saved from punishment.
Shaykh ‘Abd al-Rahmaan
al-Sa’di (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
Everything in the Qur’aan
that enjoins du’aa’ and forbids du’aa’ to or calling upon anyone other than Allaah, and praises those
who say du’aa’ or call upon Him, includes the du’aa’ of asking and the du’aa’ of worship.
Al-Qawaa’id al-Hisaan (no.
One of the two types of du’aa’
may be more apparent than the other in some verses.
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah
(may Allaah have mercy on him) said concerning the verse (interpretation of the meaning): “Invoke your Lord with humility
and in secret. He likes not the aggressors. 56. And do not do mischief on the earth, after it has been set in order, and invoke
Him with fear and hope. Surely, Allaah’s Mercy is (ever) near unto the good‑doers” [al-A’raaf 7:55-56]:
These two verses include the
etiquette of two types of du’aa’: the du’aa’ of worship and the du’aa’ of asking. Du’aa’
in the Qur’aan may refer to either of these types, or it may refer to both, because they are interconnected. Du’aa’
of asking means seeking that which will benefit the supplicant, and asking to be spared that which will harm him, and for
it to be warded off. So he asks for benefit and for harm to be warded off, and that is du’aa’ of asking. And the
du’aa’ that is offered with hope and fear is the du’aa’ of worship. Therefore it is known that both
types are interconnected. Every du’aa’ of worship implies du’aa’ of asking, and every du’aa’
of asking implies du’aa’ of worship.
Based on this, the words (interpretation
of the meaning): “And when My slaves ask you (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه
وسلم) concerning Me, then (answer them), I am indeed near (to them by My Knowledge). I respond to
the invocations of the supplicant when he calls on Me (without any mediator or intercessor)” [al-Baqarah 2:186] include
both types of du’aa’, and it is in terms of both that the verse is to be understood. It was said: I will give
to him when he asks of Me, and it was said: I will reward him if he worships Me. Both are interconnected.
This does not come under the
heading of using a common word in both of its meanings, or of using a word in a real and metaphorical sense, rather it is
using it in its real sense which includes both things.
Think about it, because it is
a matter that is of great benefit, but it is rarely paid attention to. Most verses of the Qur’aan point to both meanings
and more, and it is of this type.
For example, Allaah says (interpretation
of the meaning):
“Say (O Muhammad صلى
الله عليه وسلم to the disbelievers): My Lord pays
attention to you only because of your invocation to Him”
i.e., because of your du’aa’
to Him. And it was said: (it means) because of His call to you to worship Him.
Based on that, what is meant
is both types of du’aa’, of which is the du’aa’ of worship is more apparent, i.e., He would not have
paid attention to you were it not that you put your hope in Him. Worship of Him implies asking of Him, so both types are included.
And Allaah says (interpretation
of the meaning):
“And your Lord said: Invoke
Me [i.e. believe in My Oneness (Islamic Monotheism) and ask Me for anything] I will respond to your (invocation)”
The word du’aa’ here
includes both types, although du’aa’ of worship is more apparent, hence it is followed by the words (interpretation
of the meaning): “Verily, those who scorn My worship [i.e. do not invoke Me, and do not believe in My Oneness, (Islamic
Monotheism)] they will surely enter Hell in humiliation!”. So the word du’aa’ in this verse may be interpreted
in both senses.
Al-Tirmidhi narrated that al-Nu’maan
ibn Basheer (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon
him) say on the minbar: “Du’aa’ is worship.” Then he recited the verse (interpretation of the meaning):
“And your Lord said: Invoke Me [i.e. believe in My Oneness (Islamic Monotheism) and ask Me for anything] I will respond
to your (invocation)…”. Al-Tirmidhi said: a saheeh hasan hadeeth.
With regard to the verses (interpretation
of the meaning):
“Verily, those on whom
you call besides Allaah, cannot create (even) a fly, even though they combine together for the purpose…”
“They (all those who worship
others than Allaah) invoke nothing but female deities besides Him (Allaah) …”
“And those whom they used
to invoke before (in this world) shall disappear from them…”
everything that is mentioned
in them is the du’aa’ or invocation of the mushrikeen to their idols. What is meant is the du’aa’
of worship which includes the du’aa’ of asking, although the meaning of du’aa’ of worship is more
The words (interpretation of
the meaning): “so invoke Him making your worship pure for Him Alone (by worshipping Him Alone, and none else”
[Ghaafir 40:65] refer to the du’aa’ of worship. What is meant is: Worship Him alone and make your worship sincerely
for Him alone, and do not worship anyone else along with Him.
With regard to the words of Ibraaheem
(peace be upon him) in the verse (interpretation of the meaning): “ ‘Verily, my Lord is indeed the All‑Hearer
of invocations’” [Ibraaheem 14:39], what is meant by hearing here is hearing in a specific sense, which is the
hearing of response and acceptance, not hearing in the general sense, because Allaah hears all that can be heard. As that
is the case, du’aa’ here means the du’aa’ of worship and the du’aa’ of requesting, and
the Lord’s hearing of it means that He rewards the praise and answers the request, so He hears both.
With regard to the words of Zakariya
(peace be upon him) in the verse (interpretation of the meaning): “ ‘and I have never been unblest in my
invocation to You, O my Lord’” [Maryam 19:4], it was said that what is meant is the du’aa’ of asking,
meaning: You always answered me and never rejected me or deprived me. So he is seeking to draw closer to Allaah, may
He be glorified and exalted, by means of His previous answers and kindness. This is clear in this case.
With regard to the words of Allaah
(interpretation of the meaning):
“Say (O Muhammad): Invoke
Allaah or invoke the Most Gracious (Allaah)…” [al-Isra’ 17:110],
The well known view is that this
is the du’aa’ of asking, and this is the reason for revelation. They said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of
Allaah be upon him) used to call upon his Lord, sometimes saying Ya Allaah and sometimes saying Ya Rahmaan, so the mushrikeen
thought that he was calling upon two gods, so Allaah revealed this verse.
With regard to the verse (interpretation
of the meaning): “Verily, We used to invoke Him (Alone and none else) before. Verily, He is Al‑Barr (the Most
Subtle, Kind, Courteous, and Generous), the Most Merciful” [al-Toor 52:28], this is the du’aa’ of worship
which includes asking with hope and fear. What it means is: we used to devote our worship sincerely to Him alone, and thus
they deserved that Allaah should save them from the punishment of Hell, not just because of asking, which is something that
is shared in common between those who are saved and those who are not, because everyone who is in heaven and on earth asks
for that. “never shall we call upon any ilaah (god) other than Him” [al-Kahf 18:14] i.e., we will never worship
anyone other than Him. Similarly Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “Will you call upon Ba‘l (a well-known
idol of his nation whom they used to worship) and forsake the Best of creators?” [al-Saffaat 37:125].
With regard to the words (interpretation
of the meaning): “And it will be said (to them): ‘Call upon your (so‑called) partners (of Allaah)’,
and they will call upon them…” [al-Qasas 28:64], this is du’aa’ of asking. Allaah will rebuke and
humiliate them on the Day of Resurrection, by showing them that their partners (whom they ascribed to Allaah) will not answer
their du’aa’s or supplications. But it does not mean worship them. It is similar to the verse in which Allaah
says (interpretation of the meaning): “And (remember) the Day He will say: ‘Call those (so‑called) partners
of Mine whom you pretended.’ Then they will cry unto them, but they will not answer them” [al-Kahf 18:52]. End
Majmoo’ Fataawa Ibn Taymiyah
See other examples in Badaa’i’
al-Fawaa’id by Ibn al-Qayyim (3/513-527).
And Allaah knows best.