Short Answer: You asked Allah for something. But the question is: Do you know for sure that this thing will be good for you in the future? The Prophet taught us the consultation prayer (salatul istikhara) to help us answer this question. And remember that when you consult Allah, then this means you trust Him and you ask Him to do what He thinks is best for you, and not what you think is best. Allah has also provided answers to our most essential questions in the Quran.
Salam alaykum (peace be upon you) Alexander,
Thank you so much for sending your questions.
We hope that we can provide you with answers that put your mind and heart to ease, insha’Allah.
The Best Way to Ask About the Unseen
First of all, when you have a personal question about the unseen- like we all do – the best thing surely is to consult The Knower of the unseen who has full knowledge of the past, present and future of everything, Allah Almighty.
The dua in it says:
(O Allah, I consult You through Your Knowledge, and I seek strength through Your Power, and ask of Your Great Bounty; for You are Capable whereas I am not and You know and I do not, and You are the Knower of hidden things.
O Allah, if You know that this matter (and name it) is good for me in respect of my Deen, my livelihood and the consequences of my affairs, (or he said), the sooner or the later of my affairs then ordain it for me, make it easy for me, and bless it for me.
But if You know this matter (and name it) to be bad for my Deen, my livelihood or the consequences of my affairs, (or he said) the sooner or the later of my affairs then turn it away from me, and turn me away from it, and grant me power to do good whatever it may be, and cause me to be contented with it).
And let the supplicant specify the object.” [Al-Bukhari]
This is such a beautiful and powerful prayer and supplication to make.
Do You Know For Sure?
You asked Allah for something. But the question is: Do you know for sure that this thing will be good for you in the future?
We can never be sure. Sometimes what we wish for now, we regret later.
So, through this prayer, you consult Allah given His Supreme Knowledge and you trust Him.
You ask Him that if what you wish for is good for you in the future in your religion, livelihood and afterlife, that He facilitates it for you.
But if it is harmful for you in your religion, livelihood or afterlife that he would keep it away from you and keep you away from it and give you something better and make you pleased with it.
About Allah and Answering Our Wishes and Dua
Allah hears all our prayers and responds to them in the way that is best for us.
There are 3 ways in which Allah answers one’s prayer:
1- He responds to the dua directly or soon enough (and we all have duas that were responded to quite soon).
2- He delays the response to when the time is best for us to have it. You’ll find throughout the Quran that Allah responded to even impossible duas of Prophets after years, but the time of the answer was the best for them.
3- He knows that this thing isn’t good for us, so He – on account of our dua-, grants us something much bigger, better and eternal in the Hereafter.
Is My Wish Really Good For Me?
We need to make sure that what we ask for is not actually unlawful, sinful or harmful.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) says:
“The supplication of a slave continues to be granted as long as he does not supplicate for a sinful thing or for something that would cut off the ties of kinship and he does not grow impatient.
” It was said: “O Messenger of Allah! What does growing impatient mean?”
He (peace be upon him) said, “It is one’s saying: ‘I supplicated again and again but I do not think that my prayer will be answered.’ Then he becomes frustrated (in such circumstances) and gives up supplication altogether.” [Sahih Muslim]
We also have to ask ourselves: are we here on earth to get all our wishes answered, or are we here for a greater purpose that determines our eternal place in the Hereafter?
This world is but a test for us, and the Hereafter is the place where we will get all our wishes immediately and eternally.
So we have to continue to prove our faith here and succeed in our test, this is our number one goal.
“[He] who created death and life to test you [as to] which of you is best in deed — and He is the Exalted in Might, the Forgiving –“[Quran 67: 2]
This brings us to another essential point.
The Quran and Answering One’s Questions
Allah Almighty has already provided answers to our most essential questions in the Quran.
He has already spoken to us, we don’t need another prophet or messenger as you were thinking.
“This [Quran] is a clear statement to [all] the people and a guidance and instruction for those conscious of Allah.” (Quran 3: 138)
If we are closely engaged in studying the Quran and the Seerah, we will be in a good position to find answers, relief and resolutions to most, if not all, our quests.
Additionally, Allah is closely guiding all those who seek Him. Maybe you ask Allah, and He inspires you to send a question here that gives you the response you need.
Maybe you find several posts online about your issue that speak directly to you, maybe you meet a knowledgeable/trustworthy person who shares with you something that is exactly the answer to your question, maybe you sit peacefully and reflect and then things become clearer for you…
“And how many a sign within the heavens and earth do they pass over while they, therefrom, are turning away.” (Quran 12: 105)
So pay attention to the signs. Allah knows your surroundings and knows how to reach you. If you ask Him, He will give you answers that you can easily find.
The Test of Faith and Trust in Allah
Most importantly, the issue is not about waiting to know whether Allah agrees or not.
Allah will not prevent something good from His slaves unnecessarily; Allah is The Most caring for His slaves.
The issue is: when you consult Allah, then this means you trust Him and you ask Him to do what He thinks is best for you, and not what you think is best.
If you simply ask Allah to grant you your wishes, it is as if you’re saying, “O Allah, I know everything and I know what’s right for me, I’m not consulting you; I’m demanding you to do what I want”—of course this isn’t right.
Prayer and consultation is about humility, faith and trust in Allah that He knows better than us and being at peace with this fact, and with His Wisdom and direction He leads us to.
I hope this helps answer your question.
Salam and please keep in touch.
(From Ask About Islam archives)
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