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Out of curiosity, how true is it the statement that "dua is not always about the fulfillment of our wishes, but the joy in always praying (asking about a need) with all our heart to the Lord of the worlds" ?

I don't quite remember who said this. But eventhough the phrase sounds kinda beautiful, is there any Quranic verses to back this up? Also does anyone knows from who this quote is?

To me the phrase above, rather the essence of it, can be interpreted in different ways, like for example what would "joy" mean in this context? Is this similar to the "joy" that appears when we are always asking for "forgiveness" from Allah?

To help clarify, I can identity at least 3 possible different sources where the "joy" in this context might come from:

1) When we do an activity with all our heart, focus and mind (lets say painting for example) we might get so focus while doing it that nothing else distracts us from it, AS IF we are really "enjoying" it. That's why some painters like to say that painting is like a form of meditation to them, because they become so focus when they paint. The concept could also be applied to dua as well. This is one type of "joy" that I know.

2) Another source of "joy" is the joy that appears when you realize that you were able to bring "yourself" (your ego) to follow the command of Allah SWT (which is in this case: to turn to Him for your needs) by asking for His help and protection with all your heart and soul. When you realize this, that you were still able to bring yourself to patiently endure your hope & dreams by asking dua to Him while still believing that He might one day answer your dua, you feel gladness and joy that you were still able to believe in Him.

3) The third source of "joy" related to this is the joy that appears when, eventhough Allah SWT still haven't fullfilled your particular exact Dua, He still gives and increases you in blessings from where you did NOT expect Before (meaning the blessings might or may not be related to your dua but you were still given them anyways) which when you are given (the blessings), it increases you in some form of benefit which you would still want eventhough previously you never even though about asking for it. Thus making you happy because it still benefited you in a way (otherwise it wouldn't be called "blessings"). Even if it is not what you "were" hoping for, you still find it beneficial for you ( you still want it). Thus creating "joys" from many directions while still patiently waiting for the reply of your actual dua, making it a somewhat less painful ...and perhaps a more enjoyful "journey" towards an even more enjoyful "end".

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It is true and if you ask the mystics or the perfect examples of Islamic worship, they would tell you that they desire dua and acts of worship in general mostly for their intrinsic value, as they invoke Divine mercy (رحمة) and result in purification (صفاء) of the soul, which in turn brings about joy (بهجة) and tranquility (اطمینان). In other words, what is desired in acts of worship are inner psychic qualities (کیفیات نفسانیة) which are readily realized once in prayer, not achievements in the external world.

So it is comparable to your painting example. Your second example though implies a degree of hardship involved in kinda compelling your ego to worship, implying that there's some resistance not full desire. And in the third example there is still some second thought and not instant satisfaction.

But that's not what drives the most pious and spiritual in their acts of worship. It is quoted in al-Amali of Sheikh Saduq from Jafar us-Sadiq, a knowledgeable scholar and a very pious descendant of the Prophet who has said:

قَالَ الصَّادِقُ جَعْفَرُ بْنُ مُحَمَّدٍ ع إِنَّ النَّاسَ يَعْبُدُونَ اللَّهَ عَزَّ وَ جَلَّ عَلَى ثَلَاثَةِ أَوْجُهٍ فَطَبَقَةٌ يَعْبُدُونَهُ رَغْبَةً فِي ثَوَابِهِ فَتِلْكَ عِبَادَةُ الْحُرَصَاءِ وَ هُوَ الطَّمَعُ وَ آخَرُونَ يَعْبُدُونَهُ خَوْفاً مِنَ النَّارِ فَتِلْكَ عِبَادَةُ الْعَبِيدِ وَ هِيَ رَهْبَةٌ وَ لَكِنِّي أَعْبُدُهُ حُبّاً لَهُ عَزَّ وَ جَلَّ فَتِلْكَ عِبَادَةُ الْكِرَامِ وَ...

People who worship Allah the Honorable and the Majestic are of three kinds: a group worship Him for the desire of rewards and this is the worship of the greedy, and this is greed. Another group worship Him due to fear of Fire, and this is the worship of the slaves, and this is fright. But I worship Him for my love for Him, the Honorable and the Majestic, and this is the worship of the honorable, and this is confidence...

This approach to worship doesn't rule out the first two classes but is highlighting a higher motivation in very pious believers. Worshiping Allah out of love is reflected in supplications made by many spiritual masters, indeed. As probably the most impressive example, I want to quote from Ali ibn al-Hussain, another descendant of Prophet of Islam (pbuh) who is reputed as Sajjad (one who prostrates a lot) and Zain ul-Abiddin (the ornament of worshipers) due to his lifelong dedication to worship. These are taken from a series of supplications known as Munajat Khams-i Ashar (the Fifteen Supplications).

The first from a supplication titled, Munjat ul-Muhibbin, the Supplication of the Lovers:

اِلهی مَنْ ذَاالَّذی ذاقَ حَلاوَةَ مَحَبَّتِک فَرامَ مِنْک بَدَلاً، وَ مَنْ ذَاالَّذی اَنِسَ بِقُرْبِک فَابْتَغی عَنْک حِوَلاً، اِلهی فَاجْعَلْنا مِمَّنِ اصْطَفَیتَهُ لِقُرْبِک وَ وِلایتِک، وَ اَخْلَصْتَهُ لِوُدِّک وَ مَحَبَّتِک، وَ شَوَّقْتَهُ اِلی لِقآئِک،... یا مُنی قُلُوبِ الْمُشْتاقینَ وَ یا غایةَ امالِ الْمُحِبّینَ، اَسْئَلُک حُبَّک وَحُبَّ مَنْ یحِبُّک وَحُبَّ کلِّ عَمَلٍ یوصِلُنی اِلی قُرْبِک،... یا اَرْحَمَ الرَّاحِمینَ.

Oh my deity! Who would taste the sweetness of Your love but seek an alternative to You; and who would become genial in Your proximity but turn away from You?! Oh my deity! Make us one of those You have chosen for Your proximity and love; and one of those You have purified; and one of those You have made passionate about Your meeting;... Oh, You, the desire of the hearts of the passionate, and the end of the wishes of the lovers; I ask for Your love and love of he who loves You, and love of every deed that leads me to Your proximity...Oh the most merciful of the merciful.

And from the Supplication of the Desirous :

فَاَنْتَ لا غَيْرُكَ مُرادى‏، وَ لَكَ‏ لا لِسِواكَ سَهَرى‏ وَ سُهارى‏، وَ لِقآؤُكَ قُرَّةُ عَيْنى‏، وَ وَصْلُكَ مُنى‏ نَفْسى‏، وَ اِلَيْكَ شَوْقى‏، وَ فى‏ مَحَبَّتِكَ وَلَهى‏، وَ اِلى‏ هَواكَ صَبابَتى‏، وَ رِضاكَ بُغْيَتى‏، وَ رُؤْيَتُكَ حاجَتى‏، وَ جِوارُكَ طَلَبى‏، وَ قُرْبُكَ غايَةُ سُؤْلى‏، وَ فى‏ مُناجاتِكَ رَوْحى‏ وَ راحَتى‏،

[O, Allah]... You and nobody else is my desire; and for You is my sleeplessness and night-time wake; and Your meeting is the brightness of my eyes; union with You is my wish; and towards You is my passion; and in Your love I am enthralled; and for Your air is my longing; and Your satisfaction is my wish; and seeing You is my request; and Your neighborhood is my want; and Your proximity is my ultimate demand; and in supplication for You is my entertainment and comfort...

As you see in these supplications, there's no talk of worldly and even next-worldly requests, even though there are instances in which the masters do make such wishes. But these examples indicate a form of worship which is like talking to your beloved and enjoying the conversation and having no request other just continuing the conversation! So the prayer and acts of worship in general can be ends for themselves not means to an end!

  • @Tomsofty33, I thought I should have specified this. All of these i.e. dua, supplication and prayer are forms of worship. So what is true of worship is true for all. The first narration is about worship in general and the supplications exemplify worship based on pure love. – infatuated Aug 22 at 2:38
  • So based on the above point, it would be desire to all forms of worship -- in your case the dua. – infatuated Aug 22 at 2:39
  • Ok "Your second example though implies a degree of hardship involved in kinda compelling your ego to worship, implying that there's some resistance not full desire" here are you also implying that in the correct way of supplication there should be zero degree of hardship / resistance in yourself when you are supplicating with all your heart? – Tomsofty33 Aug 22 at 5:43
  • @Tomsofty33, It is great if one can supplicate with all heart, but many things may preclude it. Sometimes persistence in worship may soften the heart. In mysticism, spiritual progress is divided into four steps. It starts with cleansing the heart from vice by full adherence to Sharia until the self is fully subdued and inner barriers all removed to enable wholehearted worship. – infatuated Aug 22 at 7:37
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    ...Thank you...... – Tomsofty33 Aug 22 at 10:37

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