Salaam and welcome back! (knew you couldn't keep away :p)
Good news..we have started a new chapter. Bad news..there is none!
August 7th - Chapter 4: The Pre-Conditions of Du'a
Just like a person's salat will not be accepted if he performs the necessary pre-requisites,likewise a person's du'a will likely not be accepted until thes pre-requisites are met.(However it is possible that a du'a is accepted even if some conditions have not been met as the response of a du'a depends on the Will of Allah, and He responds to whom He pleases. Therefore it is also possible that that a muslim who fulfills all these conditions is not responded to, but the person who strives to do so, will have a greater chance of their du'a being answered)
1. The Realisation that Only Allah Responds to Du'a
This is the essence of tawhid al-i'tiqadi or the tawhid of one's belief. A person must believe that only Allah is capable of hearing his prayer and granting him what he desires.
2. Sincerity in Du'a to Allah alone
This is the essence of tawhid al-amali or the tawhid of one's actions
3. To perform Tawassul Properly
Tawassul is performed bt mentioning Allah's Names and Attributes, or by mentioning a good deed that a person has done, or by asking a living pious person to make du'a on his behalf.
4. Lack of Hastiness
To be hasty in one's prayer is a cause of rejection of the du'a. Abu Hurayrah narrated that the prophet(saw) said: "The du'a of any worshipper will continue to to be responded to, as long as he does not ask for a sin or breaking the ties of kinship, and as long as he is not hasty." He(saw) was asked what does it mean to be hasty? He(saw) responded: " A worshipper says 'I have prayed and prayed, and I don't see that it will be accepted' so he gives up hope of being answered, and leaves du'a."
A person should avoid giving up du'a just because it has not been responded to. This does not mean that a person should not pray that his du'a be answered quickly, for it has been authentically narrated that the prophet(saw) prayed for rain and said: "..quickly,a and not delayed.."
5. Du'a for Things that are Good
As mentioned earlier, a du'a will be responded to as long as it does not ask for a sin or the breaking the ties of kinship
6.To Have Good Intentions
Abdullah ibn Amr narrates that the prophet(saw) used to say this du'a when visiting the sick: " O Allah! Cure your servant so-and-so, for he will then inflict a wound on an enemy, or walk for your sake to the prayer" So the purpose for which the cure is asked is so that the sick person my aid the religion once he is cured. So have the best of intentions when asking for your du'a.
7. The Presence of an Attentive heart
The prophet(saw) said: " Make du'a to Allah in a state that you are certain that your du'a will be responded to, and know that Allah does not respond to a du'a that originates from a negligent, inattentive heart."
One should not be in a state where he does not know what he is saying or using memorised sentences that he keeps repeating without understanding and appreciation of them.
8. Purity of One's Sustenance
The prophet(saw)mentioned a traveller(to the sahaba) on a long journey, who is dishevelled and dusty, and he stretches forth his hands to the sky, saying, "O my Lord! O my Lord!"-while bis food is unlawful, his drink is unlawful, his clothing is unlawful, and he is nourished unlawfully; how can he be answered?
Therefore among the necessary conditions for any du'a to be accepted is the purity and lawfulness of ones' food.
9.Prayer Upon the Prophet
A statement of the prophet(saw) in which he said: "Every du'a is covered until(the person) prays upon the prophet(saw). Covering of the du'a means that it is not raised up to Allah until the person accompanies it with the prayer upon the prophet. (Note: It is not a necessary condition to pray upon the prophet(saw) during every du'a but it is recommended as this hadith narrates: "There is no worshipper who prays upon me once, except that Allah prays upon him ten times!")
10.That the Du'a does not Interfere with Something Important
So, when one hears the call to prayer, one must respond to it and not use the excuse that he is making du'a. Likewisem if a person makes du'a and his parents call for him, responding to one's parents takes precedence.