Salam Dear Sister,
Thank you so much for this precious question and for contacting Ask About Islam.
There is no contradiction at all. We should always ask Allah Almighty for everything that we need.
Allah Wants Us To Ask Him
As a matter of fact, Allah Almighty ordered us to ask of Him.
He Almighty says:
And your Lord says, “Call upon Me; I will respond to you…” (Quran 40:60)
Also one hadith of the Prophet (peace be upon him) mentions:
Let one of you ask his Lord for his every need, even until he asks Him for the strap of his sandal when it breaks. [Jami` at-Tirmidhi]
And the Prophet said:
Verily supplication is worship. [At-Tirmidhi]
So asking from Allah is something that is required from us.
And we know that the Prophet (peace be upon him) taught us to ask Allah Almighty for all goodness in this life and the next.
It was narrated from ‘Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) that The Messenger of Allah taught her this supplication:
(O Allah, I ask You for all that is good, in this world and in the Hereafter, what I know and what I do not know. O Allah, I seek refuge with You from all evil, in this world and in the Hereafter, what I know and what I do not know. O Allah, I ask You for the good that Your slave and Prophet has asked You for, and I seek refuge with You from the evil from which Your slave and Prophet sought refuge. O Allah, I ask You for Paradise and for that which brings one closer to it, in word and deed, and I seek refuge in You from Hell and from that which brings one closer to it, in word and deed. And I ask You to make every decree that You decree concerning me good). [Sunan Ibn Majah]
So there is nothing wrong with asking for all that is good and pure in this life and the next.
What we need to pay attention to, however, is our attitude.
Have an Attitude of Gratitude
If your question indicates that we take the blessings that Allah has already given us for granted or as if they’re not worth it and we only love and appreciate Allah if He gives us more, then this is an attitude that we need to fix.
Allah has already given us a lot…
And He gave you from all you asked of Him. And if you should count the favor of Allah, you could not enumerate them. Indeed, mankind is [generally] most unjust and ungrateful. (Quran 14: 34)
We should always count the favors of Allah upon us and thank Him for them always and show Him due gratitude.
At the same time, if there is something that we need, then we can ask Allah for it and be patient in du`aa’, for it is Allah who decides when it’s best to give us what we want.
We should not be displeased with Allah over some things that we still don’t have; we have already received a lot from Allah.
Simply look at the foods and drinks He gave us. He gave us the ability to see, hear, feel, walk, talk, and think.
Look at all the beautiful things we saw and the beautiful, kind people we met, our families that show us love, the ability to learn about Allah and communicate with Him.
Allah has already blessed and given us so much and we should always remember that and be pleased with Him for better and for worse.
The right attitude when wanting something is to be grateful to Allah, ask Him for more, but be patient and persistent in du`aa’; we shouldn’t grow impatient for not receiving something immediately.
This is what Zechariah (peace be upon him) did.
He kept asking Allah to grant him a child. Even though he grew really old and his wife was barren, he didn’t give up on asking Allah for what he wants.
He said, “My Lord, indeed my bones have weakened, and my head has filled with white, and never have I been in my supplication to You, my Lord, unhappy. And indeed, I fear the successors after me, and my wife has been barren, so give me from Yourself an heir. Who will inherit me and inherit from the family of Jacob. And make him, my Lord, pleasing [to You]. (Quran 19: 2-6)
He displayed the right attitude when he said “… and never have I been in my supplication to You, my Lord, unhappy.”
And Allah gave him what he asked for despite the fact that it was nearly impossible.
So, to sum up, we should be happy with Allah and with the ability to make du`aa’ to Allah.
Simultaneously, we need to remember that life is not only about the material gains that we will get from Him; it is about communicating with Him, needing Him, and building a relationship with Him where He teaches us the essential life lessons that we were created to learn.
This is the greatest gift: to build a true and sincere relationship with Allah and have true faith in Him.
I hope this helps answer your question.
Salam and please keep in touch.
(From Ask About Islam’s archives)