Duas for Distress: Allah’s help in challenging times

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The severe impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has had a worrying effect on the mental health of millions of people around the world. Levels of anxiety, fear, and isolation caused by social distancing restrictions have increased and there is now greater uncertainty and emotional distress as the world struggles to bring the virus under control and find solutions.

Everything in our lives that the Almighty decides for us is perfect and balanced. The wisdom behind why we are tested with hardship is known by Allah SWT and sometimes it’s disclosed to us if we have the knowledge. 

As believers and especially when we become knowledgeable about our deen, we begin to understand that whatever Allah SWT chooses for us, is the best. We recognize that everything good and bad, pleasing and displeasing, and all of life is a test. Therefore we should never lose hope because of the hardships we face. 

We need to accept that these trials are either:

  • An expiation for our sins.
  • A means of raising our status in the sight of our Lord.
  • It can be a form of spiritual elevation.
  • A means of attaining closeness to Allah SWT.
  • It may be needed for us to grow as human beings. 

The scholars of the Islamic tradition have mentioned that our trials encompass a few key elements:

  • They are filled with subtle blessings that we do not perceive, but are nevertheless there.
  • We should put our trust in Allah SWT and accept His decree while fully striving to alleviate our difficult situation.
  • We should focus on being content with Allah’s Qadr by seeking His reward and remaining steadfast in our faith. 
  • They are a way of reminding ourselves that our situation could always be so much worse. 
  • We need to remember that tribulations and sufferings in this world pale compared to eternity and what will befall us after death. 
  • Sometimes, the suffering in this world can be a guide of how little we will be able to bear the sufferings of the next world.

During times of hardship and suffering, it is important that we humbly beg Allah for His comfort and protection. Allah, the Mighty and Majestic, says:

فَلَوْلَا إِذْ جَاءَهُم بَأْسُنَا تَضَرَّعُوا وَلَٰكِن قَسَتْ قُلُوبُهُمْ وَزَيَّنَ لَهُمُ الشَّيْطَانُ مَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ

“If only, when Our calamity came upon them, they humbled themselves. But their hearts hardened, and Shaytan made their deeds appear good to them” [Qur’an 6:43]

The importance of supplication to Allah cannot be overstated. 

The great Imam Ibn al-Qayyim said, “Duʿāʾ is one of the most beneficial remedies. It is the enemy of calamity; it repels it, cures it, prevents its occurrence, and alleviates it or reduces it if it befalls [one]. It is the weapon of the believer.”

As Muslims, we have been blessed with powerful and effective Duas that not only can eradicate our stress and anxiety, but also help us draw closer to Allah (swt). 

Here are five short, but impactful Duas that you can recite daily to help you keep calm and find solace during these testing times:

1. Dua to remove anxiety 

حَسْبِيَ اللَّهُ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا هُوَ عَلَيْهِ تَوَكَّلْتُ وَهُوَ رَبُّ الْعَرْشِ الْعَظِيمِ (سَبْعَ مَرَّاتٍ

Ḥasbiya Allāhu lā ilāha illā huwa ʿalayhi tawakkaltu wa-huwa rabbu al-ʿarshi al-ʿaẓīm.

Translation: Allah is enough for me. There is no true god but Him, in Him I put my trust, and He is the Lord of the Great Throne. (Repeat seven times.) [Abū Dāwūd]

This supplication appears in the Qur’an. Allah, the Almighty, says,  If they turn away, say, “Allah is enough for me. There is no true god but Him, in Him I put my trust, and He is the Lord of the Great Throne.

This duʿāʾ is a reminder that everything in creation is under Allah’s control. Our belief in Him and His divine decree has the ability to soothe our hearts. Once we have put forth the effort for our desired results, we no longer have to worry. The outcome is in the Hands of the Lord of “the Great Throne” and the Throne is the greatest of all creations.

2. Dua to safeguard from anxiety and depression

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ الْهَمِّ وَالْحُزْنِ وَالْعَجْزِ وَالْكَسَلِ وَالْبُخْلِ وَالْجُبْنِ وَضَلَعِ الدَّيْنِ وَغَلَبَةِ الرِّجَالِ

Allahumma inni a’udhu bika minal-hammi wal-Ḥuzni wal-’ajazi wal-kasli wal-bukhli wal-jubni wa ḍala’id-dayni wa ghalabatir-rijal.

“O Allah, I take refuge in You from anxiety and sorrow, weakness and laziness, miserliness and cowardice, the burden of debts and from being overpowered by men.” (Al-Bukhari)

This supplication is especially important during turbulent times of widespread economic instability, public health crises, and general apprehension about what the future holds. A believer can draw on their faith to prevent panic and maintain hope, finding solace in this prophetic prayer. He or she knows that whoever seeks refuge in Allah is safeguarded by the Most Merciful Protector and Wise Overseer.

3. Dua when distressed

اللَّهُمَّ رَحْمَتَكَ أَرْجُو فَلَا تَكِلْنِي إِلَى نَفْسِي طَرْفَةَ عَيْنٍ وَأَصْلِحْ لِي شَأْنِي كُلَّهُ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَا أَنْتَ

Allahumma rahmataka arju fala takilni ila nafsi tarfata ‘aynin wa aslih li sha’ni kullahu la ilaha ila anta

“O Allah, I hope for Your mercy. Do not leave me to myself even for a blink of an eye. Correct all of my affairs for me. There is none worthy of worship except You.”

This dua is one of the supplications of the distressed. The Prophet ﷺ advised his daughter, Fatima R.A to say it in the morning and evening. 

You are asking Allah SWT not to leave you to yourself because when you put your trust in Him, your affairs will be okay. You may misjudge, be led by your desires, or lack wisdom, so you ask the One who constantly manages the affairs of the world not to leave you to yourself.

If you are in distress, you should be hopeful of Allah’s Mercy and expect that He will take care of all your problems. Knowing that in itself brings me relief immediately – what’s better than that?

4. Dua for protection from illnesses

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الْبَرَصِ وَالْجُنُونِ وَالْجُذَامِ وَمِنْ وَسَيِّيءِ الأَسْقَامِ

Allāhumma innī aʿūdhu bika min al-baraṣi wa-al-junūni wa-al-judhāmi wa-min sayyiʾi al-asqām

Oh Allah! I seek refuge in you from vitiligo, madness, leprosy, and evil diseases. [Abū Dāwūd and al-Nasaʾī]

Anas ibn Mālik (ra), who served the Prophet ﷺ in Madīnah for ten years, said that Allah’s Messenger would frequently say this prayer.

Preserving one’s mental health is so important that it is one of the five higher objectives of the sharīʿah. This duʿāʾ mentions protection from “madness” or severe mental illness. The last phrase in this duʿāʾ is “evil diseases.” This refers to diseases that most find extremely hard to bear. They are usually chronic or have long-term devastating effects. When we make this duʿāʾ, it will protect us, in shāʾ Allah, from all of these diseases. We should do our best to say this prayer frequently, as our Prophet ﷺ did.

5. Dua for well-being and divine protection

((اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ الْعَافِيَةَ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالآخِرَةِ اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ الْعَفْوَ وَالْعَافِيَةَ فِي دِينِي وَدُنْيَاىَ وَأَهْلِي وَمَالِي اللَّهُمَّ اسْتُرْ عَوْرَاتِي وَآمِنْ رَوْعَاتِي اللَّهُمَّ احْفَظْنِي مِنْ بَيْنِ يَدَىَّ وَمِنْ خَلْفِي وَعَنْ يَمِينِي وَعَنْ شِمَالِي وَمِنْ فَوْقِي وَأَعُوذُ بِعَظَمَتِكَ أَنْ أُغْتَالَ مِنْ تَحْتِي)).

Allāhumma innī asʾaluka al-ʿāfiyah fī al-dunyá wa-al-ākhirah allāhumma innī asʾaluka al-ʿafwah wa-al-ʿāfiyah fī dīnī wa-dunyāya wa-ahlī wa-mālī allāhumma ustur ʿawrātī wa-āmin rawʿātī allāhumma iḥfaẓnī min bayni yadayya wa-min khalfī wa-ʿan yamīnī wa-ʿan shimālī wa-min fawqī wa-aʿūdhu bi-ʿaẓamatika an ughtāla min taḥtī.

Translation: O Allah, I ask You for well-being in this world and the Hereafter. O Allah, I ask You for pardon and well-being in my religion, my worldly affairs, my family and my property. O Allah, conceal my faults and keep me safe from what I fear. O Allah, guard me from in front of me and behind me, on my right and on my left, and from above me. And I seek refuge in Your Magnificence from being swallowed up from beneath me. [Abū Dāwud and Ibn Mājah]

The Prophet ﷺ consistently made this supplication every morning and every evening. Ibn ʿUmar (ra) said, “Allah’s Messenger never failed to say these prayers when he reached the evening and [then again] when he reached the morning.”

In this duʿāʾ, the Prophet ﷺ asked for well-being (ʿāfiyah), which means to be free of illnesses and afflictions. ʿĀfiyah is much more than physical health. It includes spiritual, emotional, and social dimensions of well-being. ʿĀfiyah is so important that the Prophet ﷺ asked for it twice in this duʿāʾ.


Calling upon Allah is one of the greatest ways that you can strengthen your bond with Him. So come back to this article periodically to remind yourself of the meanings of these du’ās. Memorize them and teach them to your friends and family. Always know that when you ask Allah for anything, He is Near.

As Allah tells us in the Qur’an: 

‏وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِى عَنِّى فَإِنِّى قَرِيبٌ ۖ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ ٱلدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِ ۖ فَلْيَسْتَجِيبُوا۟ لِى وَلْيُؤْمِنُوا۟ بِى لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْشُدُونَ ‎

“If My slaves ask you about Me, I am Near. I answer the call of the caller when he calls on Me.” [Quran, 2:186]

The MWA is also here to support the community in these challenging times. Please get in touch with us via info@mwa.org.au or 02 9750 6916.

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