(This is) a mention of the mercy of your Lord to His servant Zakariyah.
When he called to his Lord a private call (ie. Supplication)
He said, “My Lord, indeed my bones have weakened, and my head has filled with white and never have I been in my supplication to You, my Lord, unhappy (ie. disappointed).
And indeed, I fear the successors after me, and my wife is barren, so give me from Yourself an heir
Who will inherit me and inherit from the family of Yaqoob. And make him, my Lord, pleasing (to You).
(He was told), “O Zakariyah, indeed We give glad tidings to you of a boy whose name will be Yahya. We have not assigned to any before (this) name.”
As I was studying Surah Maryam we studied the dua of Zakariyah and derived many lessons about making dua through the way he made dua.
The dua of the prophet Zakariyah is so amazing and we can learn so many things from him about how to make dua to Allah. Making dua to Allah is so important. So much so that the prophet (saw) said that dua is worship. Allah knows what is in our hearts so some wonder why it’s actually necessary to make dua to Allah. But it is necessary, it’s necessary because it makes our relationship with Allah strong. We should aquaint ourselves with talking to Him.
Zakariyah made dua to Allah for a child when he spoke to Maryam about the food she had in her room. When she said Allah answers all duas, he immediately went to supplicate to Allah.
So the first thing we can learn from his dua is that we need to have sincerity when making dua. He spoke to Allah directly and in private which shows us that making dua is a deep and personal relationship with Allah. So we should also personalise our relationship with Allah as there is no-one in between us and Allah. He did not start making dua loudly for other people to hear. He made dua silently and it shows that making dua silently is more beloved to Allah. This shows our sincerity and tawakkul that Allah can hear us and we trust Him to answer our dua. It prevents us from showing off by making others hear our dua and it allows us to keep our dua personal with us and Allah.
The second thing we learn from his dua is that we need to have certainty in the presence of Allah that He will answer our duas. In his dua he mentions both his internal weakness and external weakness. He says to Allah that You know everything about me, inside and out. We know that Zakariyah is a very old man and his wife is unable to have children so then why would he ask for a child? Why doesn’t he just ask for another prophet to come? Wouldn’t that be more reasonable? But what we learn is that Zakariyah knows that Allah is generous so we should ask for more and He will grant it. Through this we also Learn good adab when making dua, we should be confident in our dua and not despair. He says that Allah has never disappointed him in answering his dua. So we should also have that certainty that Allah will always answer our duas.
The third thing we learn is that we need to mention our complete dependence on Allah. That we cannot do anything without the help of Allah. The fourth thing we learn is that we should call like we really need Him. We shouldn’t feel like our dua is in any way helping Allah. Allah doesn’t need our duas, we need Him. The duas are for our benefit not for His. The more we make dua the more we should humble ourselves. Being arrogant while making dua will not benefit us at all, we can’t do anything without the help of Allah so how can we be arrogant? Allah even tells us to make dua to Him. We call out to Him, completely dependant on Him and He will respond to our call.
And your Lord says, “Call upon me and I will respond to you.” Quran (40:60)
When we look at the dua of Zakariyah, it’s amazing that he spends so long just praising Allah. Saying how he is completely depending on His Lord to grant his dua. He shows how he is the one in need of Allah that without the help of Allah there is no way that he will be able to have a child.
The last thing we learn from his dua is that we should have good expectations of Allah. When we make dua we should be confident that Allah will answer our duas. We should never think that even though I’ve made dua to Allah, He won’t answer it or grant me what I am asking for. Zakariyah at this time was really old, in his nineties, but he still asked for a child with confidence that Allah will give it to him. We learn that straight away he is granted a child, and Allah even honours him by naming the child a name that has never been given before. We should never give up hope in our duas being answered.
The prophet (saw) said: you will be responded to as long as you are not hasty, meaning that (a person) says, “I have prayed and prayed and prayer has not been answered” Bukhari
We should be determined in our duas being answered because Allah can do whatever He wills, nothing is difficult for Him.
The prophet (saw) said: When one of you makes dua then let him be firm and determined in his dua and let him not say, “O Allah if you will then please forgive me” for there is no-one who can force Allah to do nothing. Bukhari
So when we make dua we should keep these things in mind as the dua of Zakariyah was so special to Allah that He honoured Zakariyah by teaching us all this dua by putting it in the Quran. We can extract so many lessons from his dua and we should utilise them to maximise our duas. So by doing these things we can ensure our duas are answered.