Solat is a beautiful act of worship that strengthens the spiritual connection between a servant and our Lord. It is an act of submission to Allah s.w.t, where the believer puts our total unconditional faith in Him s.w.t.
In the Quran, Allah s.w.t. says:
إِنَّنِىٓ أَنَا ٱللَّهُ لَآ إِلَـٰهَ إِلَّآ أَنَا۠ فَٱعْبُدْنِى وَأَقِمِ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ لِذِكْرِىٓ
“Verily I am Allah; there is no God except Me, therefore worship Me, and perform prayer to remember Me.”
(Surah Taha, verse 14)
One of the best times to pray to Allah s.w.t. is after performing our obligatory prayers. Whenever possible, we should take the time to reflect on, contemplate and utter our needs before Allah s.w.t.
The companions reported many instances where the Prophet encouraged and offered his companions Dua to be invoked after the prayers. Allah s.w.t. says in the Quran:
وَقَالَ رَبُّكُمُ ادْعُونِي أَسْتَجِبْ لَكُمْ
“And your Lord says: "Call on Me; I will answer your (Prayer)”
(Surah Ghafir, 40:60)
Here are some of the duas that we can recite after praying:
لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللهُ وَحْدَهُ لَا شَرِيكَ لَهُ، لَهُ الْمُلْكُ وَلَهُ الْحَمْدُ، وَهُوَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيءٍ قًدِيرٌ. اَللَّهُمَّ لَا مَانِعَ لِمَا أَعْطَيتَ، وَلَا مُعْطِيَ لِمَا مَنَعْتَ، وَلَا يَنْفَعُ ذَا الْجَدِّ مِنْكَ الْجَدُّ
Lā ilāha illallāhu wahdahu lā syarika lahu, lahul-mulku wa lahul-hamdu, wa Huwa 'alā kulli shay-in Qadir. Allāhumma lā māni'a limā a'tayta, wa lā mu'tiya limā mana'ta, wa lā yanfa'u zal-jaddi minkal-jaddu.
There is no true god except Allah. He is One and He has no partner with Him, His is the sovereignty and His is the praise, and He is Omnipotent. O Allah! None can deny that which You bestow and none can bestow that which You hold back, and the greatness of the great will be of no avail to them against You.
(Sahih Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
A companion, Al-Mughirah Ibn Shu’bah r.a, reported that the Prophet s.a.w. used to recite this Dua after every prayer. It is also a good reminder for us that before we make our Dua to ask Allah for our needs, we should start with words of praise and recentre ourselves by recognising our need for The Highest and Absolute.
اللَّهُمَّ أَنْتَ السَّلاَمُ وَمِنْكَ السَّلاَمُ، تَبَارَكْتَ يَا ذَا الْجَلاَلِ وَالإِكْرَامِ
Allāhumma Antas-Salām wa minkas-salām. Tabārakta yā Zal-jalāli wal- ikrām.
O Allah, You are As-Salam (Peace), From You is all peace, blessed are You O Possessor of majesty and honour.
Thawban, one of the companions r.a, reported that the Prophet s.a.w. would recite the istighfar (seeking forgiveness) three times before reciting this Dua after every prayer.
اللَّهُـمَّ أَعِـنِّي عَلـَى ذِكْـرِكَ وَشُكْـرِكَ وَحُسْـنِ عِبَـادَتِـكَ
Allāhumma a’innī ’alā zikrika wa syukrika wa ḥusni ‘ibādatik
O Allah, help me to remember You, expressing gratitude towards You, and to worship You in the best manner.
(Sunan Abi Daud)
This is one of the Dua that the Prophet s.a.w. encouraged to read after our prayers. In fact, its significance can be seen when the Prophet himself told his beloved companion, Muaz Ibn Jabal r.a. to never leave this Dua after prayer, as a sign of his love for Muaz.
Being able to feel grateful is a gift and we should be grateful for this feeling. It calls us to make Dua for gratefulness, in hopes that Allah increases His grace upon us because of our gratitude.
يَا مُقَلِّبَ الْقُلُوبِ ثَبِّتْ قَلْبِي عَلَى دِينِكَ
Yā Muqallibal-qulūbi, thabbit qalbī 'alā dīnik.
O Controller of the hearts, make my heart steadfast in Your religion.
Many of the companions, including the mothers of the believers, Aisyah and Ummu Salamah r.a. reported that the Prophet s.a.w. used to recite this Dua abundantly. This reveals to us the importance of this Dua in our lives.
When the Prophet was asked why, he replied that the heart is between the fingers of his Lord. This is a figurative way to explain that the heart can change at any point in time. Allah can deviate hearts or reaffirm them with steadfastness and conviction. This is why it is important to always pray that Allah strengthens our heart with conviction and not let us go astray.
اللَّهُمَّ إنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِن عَذَابِ جَهَنَّمَ، وَمِنْ عَذَابِ القَبْرِ، وَمِنْ فِتْنَةِ المَحْيَا وَالْمَمَاتِ، وَمِنْ شَرِّ فِتْنَةِ المَسِيحِ الدَّجَّالِ
Allāhumma inni a'ūzu bika min 'azābi jahannam, wa min 'azābil-qabr, wa min fitnatil-mahyā wal-mamāt, wa min syarri fitnatil-masīhil-dajjāl.
O Allah, I seek refuge with You from the torment of Hell, and I seek refuge with You from the torment of the grave, and (I seek refuge with You) from the trials of life and death, and (I see refuge with you) from the evil of tribulation of Masih Ad-Dajjal (antichrist)
As much as we recite our Dua to ask Allah of our needs, we are also encouraged to seek refuge from that which we want to avoid or be protected from. This Dua comprises four things that the Prophet encouraged us to seek refuge from.
The Prophet mentioned in this hadith that when we have finished performing the tasyahhud and before giving the salam, we may recite this Dua. We can also recite this Dua after the prayer itself.
اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي ظَلَمْتُ نَفْسِي ظُلْمًا كَثِيرًا وَلاَ يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ إِلاَّ أَنْتَ فَاغْفِرْ لِي مَغْفِرَةً مِنْ عِنْدِكَ وَارْحَمْنِي إِنَّكَ أَنْتَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ
Allāhumma inni zalamtu nafsī zulman kathīran, wa lā yaghfiruz-zunūba illā Anta, faghfirlī maghfiratan min 'indika warhamnī, innaka Antal-Ghafūrur-Rahīm
O Allah, I have wronged myself greatly and no one forgives sins but You, so grant me forgiveness from You and have mercy on me, for You are the Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
Abu Bakr As-Siddiq r.a. once asked the Prophet s.a.w. to teach him a Dua to recite in prayer. The Prophet s.a.w. then taught his beloved companion this Dua.
We can learn so much from this Dua. It starts with acknowledging our shortcomings and deficiency before humbly asking Allah s.w.t. for all that is good. This Dua ends with praising Allah s.w.t. with His beautiful divine names.
رَّبِّ ارْحَمْهُمَا كَمَا رَبَّيَانِي صَغِيرًا
Rabbir-hamhumā kamā rabbayāni sagheerā
“My Lord! Be merciful to them as they raised me when I was young.”
(Surah Al-Isra’ 17:24)
It is also important that we continue to include Dua for our parents especially in blessed times such as the times after prayer. In a hadith, the Prophet s.a.w. attributed the quality of a child praying for his/her parents to be virtuous.
إذا مات ابن آدم انقطع عمله إلا من ثلاث: صدقة جارية ،أو علم ينتفع به، أو ولد صالح يدعو له
“When a son of Adam (human) dies, his deeds will cease except for three: ceaseless charity, knowledge that is benefitted (by others), or a virtuous descendant who prays for him”
In fact, it is even better if we could include others, our loved ones, those who have asked us to make Dua for them and all believers in our Dua.
رَبَّنَآ ءَاتِنَا فِى ٱلدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةًۭ وَفِى ٱلْأخِرَةِ حَسَنَةًۭ وَقِنَا عَذَابَ ٱلنَّارِ
“Our Lord! Grant us the good of this world and the Hereafter, and protect us from the torment of the Fire”
(Surah Al-Baqarah, 2:201)
If we’re unsure of what to pray, this is another Dua that is encouraged to be recited. This Dua comprises all that is good in this world and the Hereafter.
There are many other Duas or forms of Zikir that we may recite after prayers, such as the Ayatul-Kursi and many more. In conclusion, we may recite any heartfelt Dua from the depths of our heart, in any language that we know, by uttering profoundly or silently between the lips.
These Duas as taught by the Prophet s.a.w. teaches us what are the best things to pray for. Although we may have a long wishlist of what to ask in Dua, we can learn so much from the Prophet s.a.w, the chosen one who is given revelation and wisdom.
May Allah s.w.t. guide us to all that which pleases Him and accept all our prayers.
And Allah knows best.