اَلدُّعَاءُ مُخُّ الْعِبَادَةِ (رواه الترمذي)
“Duaa is the essence of ibaadah”.
This hadith explains quite clearly that the essence of all acts of worship is calling upon Allah ﷻ. Anything we do that is within the realms of the Shari’ah should be accompanied with a calling out to Allah ﷻ. That calling out, that duaa, can be to ask Allah ta’ala to accept our worship, to provide us with help, or simply to just praise Him.
In order to succeed, we must remember to keep Allah ta’ala as the reason for all our actions. This will keep us in a constant state of ibaadah and dhikr that is mindful and not merely rituals we perform as an inconvenience, or words we say as a distraction.
دعاء (du’aa) comes from the root دعا (daa’a) which means “to call out, to summon, to call or send for someone, to appeal to someone for something or to do something”. Duaa, while commonly translated as “prayer” or “supplication”, is to call upon Allah ta’ala for any reason.
عبادة (‘ibaadah) comes from the root عبد and it means “to serve, worship, adore, venerate, idolize, deify”. Ibaadah is therefore an act of worship or devotion, especially when it comes to follow the commands of Allah ta’ala.