The secret to making du’a is to display one’s utter need of Allah, with utmost humility, desperation and dependence.
Our beloved Messenger ﷺ was the perfect embodiment of this servitude. After years of struggle conveying the message of His Lord, the whole of the Arabian Peninsula comes under his control and finally accepts his message. Yet gathered on the plains of ‘Arafah, as their leader, we do not witness parades or displays of pomp. Instead, we see the words of a true slave. He raises His blessed hands to the Lord of the heavens and the earth and says:
“O Allah, You hear my speech…I am the desperate and needy one, the one who is seeking Your help and protection, fearful and scared, one who confesses and acknowledge his sins. I beg You – the begging of a destitute; I humbly implore You – the imploring of a humiliated sinner. I invoke You – the invoking of the fearful afflicted person, whose neck is bowed down before You, whose eyes have overflowed with tears for You, whose body is humbled before You, and who has completely abased Himself to You…” (Ṭabarānī)
At his highest point of victory, we witness nothing but humility and turning to Allah in desperate need.
Another example is from the great Prophet Musa (‘alayhis-salām), who is fleeing one of history’s greatest tyrants. He is forced into exile to Madyan where he is left penniless, scared, hungry and alone; a foreigner in a strange land. Instead of wallowing in self-pity, we see his chivalry as he helps two young women to water their animals. He then withdraws into the shade and turns to The One Free of all need and begs:
“My Lord, I am in dire need of whatever good thing You may send me.” (28:24)
Break Down In Utter Desperation
Breaking down in utter desperation and begging Allah is how we should make du‘ā’ on a daily basis, as though our lives depended on it and we could not survive without it. The person who is in his home living comfortably is no less in need of His Lord than the person who is clinging on to a piece of wood in the middle of the ocean trying to save himself from drowning. The Almighty reminds us: “People! It is you who stand in need of Allah, whereas He Alone is Free of all needs, worthy of all praise.” (35:15)
Remember that you are weak and, even if you are strong now, there was a time when you could not walk. Your parents had to feed you, clothe you and bathe you. And there will come a time in the last stages of your life where you will be weak again. And then a time will come where the people will wash your body; and you will be left completely alone, inside the ground and left to the mercy of Your Lord.
We are weak and in need of Allah for everything. We cannot do without Him for the blink of an eye. So let us beg Allah whole-heartedly and sincerely; and we will surely witness the gifts from al-Wahhab (The Ever-Giving) shower into our lives.