Answered by Shaykh Farid Dingle
Question: Assalamu alaykum
My friend and I often debate on the correct way to make dua. I am of the opinion that if you want something then you must ask Allah for it and Allah decides whether it is good for you or not and will grant it if it is beneficial. He is of the opinion that we should not ask Allah for what we want. Rather we should ask for Allah’s blessings and for what is best for us. Who is correct?
Answer: Assalamu alaykum wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh,
From what I understand from my teachers, you should ask Allah for everything you want and need, even if it be paltry, so as to train your heart to turn to Him, but at the same time you shouldn’t try to limit His mercy and generosity by tying your heart to one particular outcome. For example, if someone in your family is chronically ill, you should ask Allah to cure them while accepting in your heart the fact that Allah may choose them to die; similarly, if you are about to miss a plane, you should ask Allah to enable you to catch it, again, while accepting in your heart the possibility that you miss it.
So you are both right to a great extent, and it is just a subtlety of juggling the difference of what you do with tongue and what you do with your heart.
The prayer of Seeking Good (Istikhara) is a good example of how these can be joined.
And Allah knows best.
[Shaykh] Farid Dingle
Shaykh Farid Dingle grew up in a convert family in Herefordshire, UK. In 2007, he moved to Jordan to pursue traditional studies. Shaykh Farid continues to live in Amman, Jordan with his wife and kids. In addition to continuing his studies he teaches Arabic and several of the Islamic sciences.
Shaykh Farid began his journey in sacred knowledge with intensives in the UK and Jordan (2004) in Shafi’i fiqh and Arabic. After years of studying Arabic grammar, Shafi’i fiqh, hadith, legal methodology (usul al-fiqh) and tafsir, Sh. Farid began specializing in Arabic language and literature. Sh. Farid studied Pre-Islamic poetry, Umayyad, Abbasid, Fatimid, and Andalusian literature. He holds a BA in Arabic Language and Literature and continues exploring the language of the Islamic tradition.
In addition to his interest in the Arabic language Shaykh Farid actively researches matters related to jurisprudence (fiqh) which he studied with Shaykh Hamza Karamali, Shaykh Ahmad Hasanat, and continues with Shaykh Amjad Rasheed.