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Some people make a great deal of du’aa’ but receive no answer

Question: 42935

What is the reason for the delay in response to du’aa’? Some people make du’aa’ but they do not get any response; they ask for a long time but do not see it having any effect, so you find the Shaytaan starting to whisper to such people and making them think badly of their Lord.

Praise be to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah and his family.


The one to whom that happens should believe that there is a
reason and great wisdom behind the delay in the response. Allaah, may He be
glorified, is the Sovereign of all and none can put back His bounty or
overturn His ruling or object to His giving or His withholding, if He gives
by His bounty or withholds by His justice. We are His slaves and He does
with us whatever He will. 

“And your Lord creates whatsoever He wills and chooses, no
choice have they (in any matter)”

[al-Qasas 28:68]

How can a slave fall short in honouring his master’s rights
and then demand his rights in full? 

It is His right to be obeyed and not disobeyed, to be
remembered and not forgotten, to be thanked and not to be shown ingratitude.
If you look at yourself and how you are carrying out your duties, you would
think very little of yourself and you would feel humility and would realize
there can be no salvation except by His forgiveness and mercy. So look at
yourself as being a slave, for Allaah is the Creator and Controller. 


Allaah has great wisdom and He does not give or withhold
except for a reason. You may look at something and think that it is good but
by His wisdom He does not decree it. A doctor may do things which appear to
be painful but they are in the patient’s best interests. And for Allaah is
the highest description. (cf. al-Nahl 16:60). 


Attainting the thing asked for may cause hardship to the one
who is asking. It was narrated from one of the salaf that he used to ask
Allaah to let him go out on a military campaign, but a voice called out to
him: “If you go on a military campaign you will be taken prisoner, and if
you are taken prisoner, you will become a Christian.” Sayd al-Khaatir,

Ibn al-Qayyim said: Whatever Allaah has decreed for His
believing slave is a blessing even if that is in the form of withholding; it
is a favour even if that is in the form of a trial, and the calamity decreed
by him is fair even if it us painful. Madaarij al-Saalikeen, 4/215. 

No one knows how his affairs will end up. He may ask for
something which leads to bad consequences, and may even harm him. The
Controller knows best what is in his best interests. “and it may be that
you dislike a thing which is good for you” [al-Baqarah 2:216]. One of
the meanings of this verse is that we should not wish that the decree of our
Lord was different or ask Him for things of which we have no knowledge, for
perhaps that may harm us without us knowing. So we should not choose
anything different than what our Lord has chosen for us, rather we should
ask Him for a good end in what He has chosen for us, for there is nothing
more beneficial for us than that. 


What Allaah chooses for His slave is better for him that what
he chooses for himself. Allaah is more merciful towards His slaves than they
themselves or their mothers are. If something happens to them that they
dislike, that is better for them than if it did not happen, so His decree is
all kindness and mercy. If the slave submits to Allaah and has certain faith
that all dominion belongs to Allaah and all things are under His command,
and that He is more merciful to him than he is himself, then he will find
peace of mind regardless of whether his need is met or not. 

See Madaarij al-Saalikeen, 2/215 


The response may be delayed because the person himself has
done something which is an impediment to receiving a response or a cause of
delay. Perhaps there is something haraam in his food, or perhaps there was
some negligence in his heart at the time when he made the du’aa’, or perhaps
he had committed a sin, as a consequence of which his du’aa’ was not
answered. So when the response to the du’aa’ is delayed, this may prompt the
person to check on himself and examine how he stands before his Lord, so
that he will take stock of himself and repent; if the answer to his prayer
came sooner, perhaps he would become heedless and think that he was doing
fine, then he would develop a sense of self-admiration that may lead to his

Delay or withholding of a response may be because Allaah
wants to delay the reward for him until the Day of Resurrection, or Allaah
wants to divert an equivalent evil from him, but he does not realize that. 

Whatever the case, the fruits of du’aa’ are guaranteed, even
if you do not see the response with your own eyes. So think well of your
Lord and say: Perhaps He has answered me in a way that I do not know. It is
narrated in a saheeh report that the Prophet (peace and blessings of
Allaah be upon him) said: “There is no Muslim who does not offer any du’aa’
in which there is no sin or severing of family ties but Allaah will give him
one of three things in return: either He will answer his du’aa’ sooner, or
he will store it up for him in the Hereafter, or He will divert an
equivalent evil away from him because of it.” They said: “We will say a lot
of du’aa’.” He said: “Allaah is more generous.” Narrated by Ahmad, 10749.
al-Albaani said in Saheeh al-Targheeb wa’l-Tarheeb: it is hasan

In conclusion, there are many reasons why a du’aa’ may not be
answered or the answer may be delayed; we must ponder this and not stop
making du’aa’, for du’aa’ will always be of benefit. 

And Allaah knows best.


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