The answer is there…on our shelves. You know, that big Mafatih al-Jinan or Sahifa Sajjadiyah with pages and pages of Arabic, or transliterated into English. With supplications for every day, every month, every date on the Islamic calendar, how can we go wrong?
With so many struggles in our lives, be it in our homes, our communities, or just even within ourselves, one starts to get restless, and some, unfortunately, get hopeless.
We all are familiar with the verse from the Holy Qu'ran, "Call on Me, I will answer." These are the words of Allah Almighty. Why do we let them pass us by? Maybe it's the simplicity of the statement. In today's world, we are so used to hidden messages, and the "what's the catch?" temperament, that when we hear, or read such a simple statement, it blows our mind.
We are buried in problems, some financial and some mental, etc. It is in our nature to try and create plans and solutions that we can act upon to solve our problems. In no way should we stop our problem solving, but we should not forget the blessing that Allah has given us that is Du'a (supplication). We have focused too much on tangible changes, or solutions, that we pay no heed to how much help we can get just from asking the One who knows us inside and out.
Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (peace be upon him) is narrated to have said in Lantern of the Path: "Observe the courtesy of supplication. Consider the One on whom you call, how you call on Him and why you call; affirm the immensity and magnificence of Allah. Look with your heart at how He knows what is in your conscience, how He sees your secret being and whatever has occurred and will occur in it, both true and false."
Do we ever sit back and think about the magnificence of Allah? If you think about it, when we don't ask from Him, we are underestimating His Power! Islam tells us to always have the remembrance of Allah, as He is constantly remembering us.
When I was younger, I would always remember thinking how Allah could remember and take care of ALL of his creatures simultaneously? It's unfathomable for a child. But as we get older, we are introduced more on how we can get closer to Allah. A few things that come to mind are Du'a Tawassul, Du'a Kumayl, and the countless blessings in Imam Sajjad's Psalms of Islam. Just looking through the table of contents of Imam Sajjad's prayer manual, one is put to awe, a prayer for seeking good outcomes, when sick, when doing worrisome tasks, rain for a drought, etc. We have no excuse!
In Du'a Kumayl, Imam Ali (peace be upon him) recites: "For You have demanded Your servants to worship You, ordered them to call upon You, and assured them of Your fulfillment of their requests."
It's a win-win situation! All we have to do is ask! Reciting Du'a involves invoking Allah with His names, calling upon Him with sincerity, and taking full benefit of this wonderful opportunity he has given us!
Sometimes when we begin to get hopeless, we need to look at all of our options.
In a financial rut? Sure you can borrow money, get another job, or things of that like, but don't forget to take some extra time out to ask Allah to provide his Rizq, sustenance, when you need it.
Prayer is essentially all we have. If we look at those who do not have material things, what else do they have? They have Du'a. Invoking Allah is the best act and most beneficial for His servants. Let us never underestimate the power of Du'a!