View Full Version : Make Du'a or do Du'a?

Ahmad H
10-15-2013, 01:49 AM
Salaams everyone,

This is one thing I've wondered about for a very long time, and it bothers me often. I hope to get a good answer from everyone here which will satisfy my curiosity.

I noticed that people say "make du'a". But I often wondered, "make" doesn't make sense. (no pun intended) Think about it. You DO du'a, you don't MAKE a du'a. Du'a is an action, because it is a verb itself. We do it, it is not a noun because isn't tangible. Therefore, because "make" is used for tangible things, much less prayers, then how is it that it makes sense to say "make du'a"?

I honestly believe it is bad grammar and it sounds odd when you've lived in North America all of your life, like I have. No one makes dua', they "do" du'a, because you say things. We Muslims make nothing in a du'a, except the phrases about things we need or want from Allah. In fact, all praises are normally statements by the Holy Prophet (saw). We don't "make" up any statements, except for what we want. Yet still, nothing is "made", we "do" it.

I hope I am making some sense here. This issue has really bothered me for years. Can anyone explain why they use this term "make du'a" rather than "do du'a"? Any way I look at it, it just sounds like a misuse of English grammar. Is there an expression in Arabic which has been translated literally to English I don't know of, or what?

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10-17-2013, 11:47 AM
A very fine point indeed, make or do...

Now that you have asked, I reckon it is neither. You neither make nor do dua. You just dua. As you said, it is a verb (at least I agree with you that it is a verb although I may well be wrong). So if we were to substitute the dua for another word with say talk, you will say I talk or I run, you would not say I make talk/run or I do talk/run (as it means something else).

For example, 'Everyday I dua that Allah forgives the sins of my parents and show me the path of the guided'.. I don't see where the need is to put either 'make' or 'do'.

Hope this makes sense.

Peace :shade:

10-17-2013, 12:50 PM
Originally Posted by greenhill
For example, 'Everyday I dua
Then it's becomes "Setiap hari aku doa ...." in Malay.

Isn't the right words is "Setiap hari aku berdoa ..." (Everyday I do dua)?.

The right word is "do dua", but if I usualy write "make dua" because I follow the habit of people here. :D

sister herb
10-17-2013, 01:19 PM
I don´t understand English as well as someone whom it is mother tongue. I just think that when I make something I at the same time do what I make.

In my language "minä teen duaa" = I make/do dua.

I should need here now teacher of English to explain whats different by words make and do...

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10-17-2013, 01:45 PM
That's the beauty of language. We try to find similarities to make it easier but the structure and grammar can be distinctively different. The problem here technically is that we are importing a word which has its own grammatical laws into another language. I don't understand arabic grammar to talk about dua. So I take it in English. Malay would be later perhaps.. :p

Dua is 'pray', for simplicity's sake.

I pray.
I do pray or I do prayers
I will pray
I always pray
Do pray

I make prayers
I will make a prayer

I prayed

I will take dua as a substitute for pray meaning similar to 'beg' for His favour as oppose to solat, which is also pray.

Then it becomes

I pray - I dua
I do pray - I do dua
I will pray - I will dua
I always pray - I always dua
Do pray - do dua (ie please dua)

Make prayer bit becomes harder to explain in English but in Malay it is close to what bro Ardianto says, berdua or buat dua untuk...

Then in the past tense it should be - I duad ...?

So really, you cannot really fit languages together and expect perfect grammatical sense. I still believe it should be without 'do' or 'make'. I do run and I run has slight difference in meaning and putting 'make' really translates to a different meaning.

The problem becomes very real when we have an Arabic word put into English and constructed using Malay grammar. :DBut this is an international forum where if we can be technically precise then great! But if not, try and get your message across anyway. We will try to understand. If not we will ask!

Peace bro Ardianto

sister herb
10-17-2013, 02:15 PM
Hmmm... In my language verbs do and make means same.

Verb is "tehdä"


There is no verb to "dua" if not "tehdä pyyntörukous".

And who cares? Allah understans us by every languages as He sees our mind and the deepest calls in our heats.


10-17-2013, 03:06 PM
As-salaamu 3laikum, I would think it more likely that people started saying 'make du3a' for purely euphonic reasons- 'make du3a' is easier to pronounce and sounds nicer than 'do du3a'. As was pointed out, many other languages do not have the distinction between 'make' and 'do', so this is just a peculiarity of English that is probably not worth obsessing over. There are figurative uses of 'make' which don't fit into the definition you gave (make a mistake, make time for something etc.) - the choice between 'do' and 'make' is not based on grammar. We often have this problem when trying to translate from Arabic to English - think of the variety of terms people use about salaah - read, perform, pray etc. This is because there is no equivalent in English for the words we need to use. In my opinion we should spend less time worrying about the 'best' translation into English and spend more time learning the Arabic verbs and incorporating them into our conversation. We Muslims already use many Arabic words in our English conversation - why not take it a step further and start incorporating verbs too? We could use this thread to contribute the verbs in Arabic if anyone knows them in sha Allah.

10-17-2013, 03:26 PM
Salaam tearose,

Thanks, no I am not worrying :D, just answering a question...something light and not a heavy subject just to while away the time.;D

11-01-2013, 05:20 PM
Originally Posted by ardianto
The right word is "do dua",
Okay, okay, I am wrong.

We can say "make dua" too if what we mean is arrange the words for dua.

That's why in my latest post I wrote "make dua". :)

Ahmad H
11-03-2013, 04:13 PM
Jazakallah for all the responses. I like how everyone managed to keep this a light topic.

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