In Islam, duʿāʾ (Arabic: دُعَاء, plural: ʾadʿiyah أدْعِيَة), literally meaning "invocation", is an act of supplication. The term is derived from an Arabic word meaning to 'call out' or to 'summon', and Muslims regard this as a profound act of worship.
It is better to do Du'a after each prayer as there are specific Du'a after Dhuhr prayer and after Assr prayer and after Maghrib prayer and after Isha prayer. You can also do Du'a after completing joined prayers if you wish.
Tawassul is a matter which has been misunderstood by many Muslims now a days under the Wahabi propaganda which wrongly claimed it as a type of worship to other than Allah. Wahabi sect claims following Tawheed but their books prove that they do not understand the real meaning of Tawheed in Quran and authentic Hadeeth. That is why they accuse other Muslims to be Mushrik just because they don't follow the Wahabi misunderstanding of Tawheed.
'Tawassul is seeking the help of the most humble servants of Allah to get our needs. We believe that they (The Prophet and Ahlul Bayt (AS) are Servants of Allah and only do what Allah wants. There is no question at all of Shirk because Shirk means to believe that there is a partner or helper etc to Allah.
Addressing the Prophet is absolutely right as he himself taught Muslims to address him in Tawassul as it has been narrated in Sunni and Shia books in the famous Hadeeth of the blind حديث الأعمى which is narrated by Othman Ibn Hunaif that a blind person requested the Prophet to help him get back his eye sight. The Prophet told him to tolerate but he said : I can not tolerate. The Prophet advised him to perform Wudhu and pray two Rak'ats of Salah and say in the last Sajda: O Allah, I seek from You by Your Prophet, the Prophet of mercy. O Muhammad; I am seeking from Allah through you to grant me my need.
'The blind did what the Prophet taught him and got back his eye sight. The Hadeeth is narrated in al-Tareekh al-Kabeer by al-Bukhari, and Tirmithi and Ibn Maajah and Nasaa'ee and al-Bayhaqi and Abu Na'eem in Ma'rufat al- Sahabah, and al-Tabaraani and Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani and al-Soyooti and many other well known Sunni scholars.
'We can address the Prophet (SAWA) and Ahlul Bayt (AS) directly knowing that they only do what Allah wants, as well as addressing Allah directly with the Waseela Bihaqqi of Ahlul Bayt (AS). Both are good.
There are many Du'as for increasing the memory e.g.
1. Repeating Salawaat (ALLAHUMMA SALLI 'ALA MUHAMMAD WA AALI MUHAMMAD) as it is mentioned in many Hadeeths.
2. Repeating (LA HAWAL WALA QOWWAT ELLA BILLAH) as it is narrated from Imam Musa AL-Kadhim (AS).
3. Reciting this Du'a after obligatory Prayers ( SUBHANA MANLANYA'TADI 'ALA AHLI MAMLAKATIH, SUBHANA MANLA YA'KHOTHU AHLAL ARDHI BI ALWAAN AL ATHAAB, SUBHANAL RA'OOF AL RAHEEM, ALLAHUMMA EJ'AL LI FI QALBI NOORAN WA BASARAN WA FAHMAN WA 'ELMAN INNAKA 'ALA KULLI SHAY'IN QADEER.
سبحان ٬من لا يعتدي على أهل مملكته
سبحان ٬من لا يأخذ أهل الأرض بألوان العذاب
سبحان الرؤوف الرحيم
اللهم اجعل لى في قلبي نورا وبصرا وفهما وعلما
إنك على كل شيء قدير
If you want a short Du'a for better memory, you can recite: ALLAHUMA EJ'AL LI FI QALBI NOORAN WA BASARAN WA FAHMAN WA 'ELMA INNAKA 'ALANKULLI SHAY'IN QADEER.
Yes it is not only allowed but also recommended to feed people and gift the reward to the soul of the deceased. The Prophet (SAWA) himself used to feed on behalf on deceased Muslims as you can find it is Sunni and Shia books.
'Reciting Du;a is always recommended as well.
1. Islamic amulets must be authentic , means taken from Quran and the Prophet (SAWA) and Ahlul Bayt (AS). With out authenticity confirmed by trusted qualifies scholars, we can not call any amulet as Islamic amulet. Some people make their own fabricated amulets and claim it Islamic. Muslims need to be careful.
2. No doubt that having authentic Islamic amulets either by wearing or carrying or keeping at home or place of work is very useful and beneficial. Quranic verses tell us how the amulets are useful. The dress of Prophet Yousuf (AS), the remaining items from Aal Musa and Aal Haroon, the recitations of Jesus on the dead reviving him and on the seriously incurable illnesses resulting in cure, are just few examples.
3. Carrying Du'a Jawshan as a necklace is very useful as well as reading it.
Reciting the Du'a with sincere heart and attention has great benefits.
There is a supplication from Imam Zayn al-'Abidin (a) related to ill health.
His Supplication when Sick or Visited by Distress or an Affliction
1- O God, to Thee belongs praise
for the good health of my body
which lets me move about,
and to Thee belongs praise,
for the ailments
which Thou causest to arise in my flesh!
2- For I know not, my God,
which of the two states deserves more my thanking Thee
and which of the two times is more worthy for my praise of Thee:
3- the time of health,
within which Thou makest me delight in the agreeable things of Thy provision,
through which Thou givest me the joy to seek
the means to Thy good pleasure and bounty,
and by which Thou strengthenest me
for the acts of obedience
which Thou hast given me success to accomplish;
4- or the time of illness
through which Thou puttest me to the test
and bestowest upon me favours:
lightening of the offenses
that weigh down my back,
purification of the evil deeds
into which I have plunged,
incitement to reach for repentance,
reminder of the erasure of misdeeds through ancient favour;
5- and, through all that, what the two writers write for me:
which no heart had thought,
no tongue had uttered,
and no limb had undertaken,
rather, as Thy bestowal of bounty upon me
and the beneficence of Thy benefaction toward me.1
6- O God,
bless Muhammad and his Household,
make me love what Thou hast approved for me,
make easy for me what Thou hast sent down upon me,
purify me of the defilement of what I have sent ahead,
erase the evil of what I have done beforehand,
let me find the sweetness of well-being,
let me taste the coolness of safety,
and appoint for me
a way out from my illness to Thy pardon,
transformation of my infirmity into Thy forbearance,
escape from my distress to Thy refreshment,
and safety from this hardship in Thy relief!
7- Thou art gratuitously bountiful in beneficence,
ever gracious in kindness,
the Generous, the Giver,
Possessor of majesty and munificence!
It's greatly noble that they are very good people, and for sure their nurturing contributed to your personality as well.
As you know, religion and becoming religious is a choice that must come from within. Even as Muslims, we always pray to Almighty God to keep us "guided" on the right path. Hidayah, or guidance is in the hands of the Almighty. If your grandparents, or anyone else around you has a potential that Allah ta'ala sees in them, then they will be guided to the light of Iman. If they do not "convert" to Islam, it does not mean they are evil, but just that hidayah is with the Almighty.
The best thing you can do is set yourself with high standards in your conduct, in your ambitions in life, and show those around you how a true Muslim should be.
That itself is a great form of conveying the message of Islam, and then it is up to them to investigate, or ask questions, and so on.
If you see that your grandparents are interested, or have questions, discuss what you know with them. However, never allow it to become an argument, or upset them, as they are your grandparents.
In any case, always do dua for yourself, your parents, your grandparents, your siblings and everyone else, that God showers them with His compassion and Mercy. Ask the Almighty to enlighten your hearts, and ask Him for guidance.
You can also do tawassul to Ahlul Bayt (a.s.), to give you the strength you need, and introduce them to Ahlul Bayt (a.s.), in a positive manner. You dont know what the outcome will be, but at least they will think positive of your religion, and understand you more.
With prayers for your success.
No one seeks or supplicates for evil, knowing that it is from evil, but many human beings seek and supplicate and try to get something which is in fact bad and evils for them but they do not know that at that time. That is why we read in the next sentence in the same verse : Human being is hasty.
Hasty desires are bad and can lead man to evil with out his knowledge. Man needs to think properly before seeking anything and ponder on the possible sequences. A narration from Imam Jafar Al-Sadiq (AS) says: "Distinguish the way which saves you from the way which destroys you, so that you should never seek what can destroy you thinking that is will save you. Allah (SWT) says: Man seeks evil as he seeks good, and the man is hasty." Tafseer Al-Amthal, V. 8, P.418.
Yes, it is allowed.
Allah (SWT) has promised in Quran to respond to the Du'a (supplication) and there is no Du'a with out response. (Your Lord said: Seek from me, I will respond to you) وقال ربكم ادعوني أستجب لكم(Sura 40, verse 60).
We do not know how and when the respond will come. Allah (SWT) knows the best time and best way to respond to any Du'a. Our expectations are according to what we know, but Allah (SWT) knows everything and He is The Most Merciful, The Absolute Wise, so we should leave it to Him. Our mercy on the oppressed can never be more than Allah's mercy on them. He will definitely compensate them in the best way in the best time.
The main things one should consider in looking for a spouse is religiosity and good manners. However there is no problem in preferring a specific type or also marrying someone if you like their culture.
Let's say for example that a woman wanted a Persian looking husband and liked Persian culture; this preference wouldn't be an issue as long as she pursued this in a halal manner.
So you may make dua for a religious spouse who fits your personal preferences.
May Allah grant you success