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Why Pray or Make Du’aa’ If It’s Not Answered?

24 July, 2022
Q As-salam alaikum scholars! I have a question about prayer. If we believe in Allah and pray to him to help us do something like get a perfect score on a test, then why would it be necessary to even study? Also, how come when we call upon Allah at times like if we are tired and ask for energy and happiness, we do not receive it in the time we require? Some Muslims say that if Allah does not want what you are praying for to happen, he will not grant it. But then, if Allah wouldn't grant something whether you prayed for it or not, what is the point of praying anyway? Many people get what they want without praying and without faith, but those that do pray and have faith sometimes do not get what they want. I hope you understand what I am asking and can help clear these problems up for me. Thank you so much. May Allah reward you for your kindness.


Short Answer:

  • Your prayers are being answered, just maybe not in the way you ask, or when you want them to be. 
  • “If it is not answered in this world, it will be counted as rewards for you in the Hereafter when you will be in need of every single reward you can get, as we all will.” 
  • Allah is very near to us. He knows our innermost feelings. He loves to answer our prayers.
  • If our prayers are not being answered in the way we want, when we want, it may be because we are allowing forbidden things into our lives.
  • But, it may also be because we’re not working on our end to use the means available to us.

Asalamu Alaikum, Ahmed,

Thank you for contacting About Islam with your question.

Let me clarify that Allah Almighty commands us in the Quran to supplicate (make du’aa’- the kind of prayer you are asking about) to Him:

If My servants ask you about Me, I am near. I respond to those who call Me, so let them respond to Me, and believe in Me, so that they may be guided. (Quran 2:186)

This verse makes it clear that Allah is very close to us. He has knowledge of everything.

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He knows our needs, feelings, thoughts, etc. He knows what we utter and what we conceal.

Allah is al-Mujeeb

As for Allah’s answering our supplication, we have to keep in mind that Allah Almighty promised to answer our prayers.

One of the beautiful names of Allah is al-Mujeeb (the one who answers our prayers).

So, we have to have firm belief in that divine name and attribute of Allah.

Allah, al-Mujeeb, responds to supplications in a number of ways:

  1. Allah will respond to our supplications immediately
  2. Allah will ward off some evil from us because of the supplication
  3. Allah will make something good easy for us to attain because of it
  4. Allah will save it with Him for us on the Day of Resurrection when we will be in the most need of it.

Why du’aa’ might not be answered

If there is a certain supplication that is not answered, it is because we have done something wrong.

For example, consuming unlawful food is a reason for our supplications to be rejected. One should repent to Allah and give up all sins.

Allah says in the Quran:

I said, “Ask forgiveness of your Lord: He is ever forgiving. He will send down abundant rain from the sky for you; He will give you wealth and sons; He will provide you with gardens and rivers.” (Quran 71:10-13)

If we ask Allah Almighty for something that is unlawful, such as breaking family ties, our supplication will not be answered.

The Prophet (PBUH) is reported to have said:

A person’s supplication will continue to be answered so long as he does not pray for something sinful or for the breaking of family ties. (Muslim)

One’s supplication will not be answered if he hastens for it. The Prophet (PBUH) said:

The supplication of any one of you will be answered so long as he is not impatient and says, ‘I made supplication, but it was not answered’. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

One’s supplication will not be answered if he makes the answer conditional. For example, do not supplicate and say if Allah cures my illness, I will give to charity.

Make du’aa’ AND seek the means

We also have to remember that there is a difference between making dua to Allah and doing what is needed.

For example, to pass a test, you have to study hard and do all assignments. You have to seek the means and work within the system that Allah Almighty has created.

You cannot not say: I will pray to Allah to help me pass that test and therefore I do not have to study.

This is called tawakul not tawakkul

Tawakkul is to do your best and leave the result to Allah. 

Tawakul is to neglect the things needed from you and say that Allah will help you out.

Everyone must seek the means to get what they want. Allah expects us to seek the means within the patters that he has created. 

Why disbelievers get their needs and wants

As for those who get the things they need and want without making du’aa’, this is part of Allah’s wisdom.

When Allah wants to bring you closer to Him, He asks you to make du’aa’ to hear your voice and listen to your words, to draw you nearer to Him.

If one gets the things he wants without having faith in Allah Almighty, it is because these are worldly affairs.

In the Hereafter, those people will get nothing because they did not believe in Allah in the first place.

[…] There are some who pray, ‘Our Lord, give us good in this world,’ and they will have no share in the Hereafter. (Quran 2:201)

Answering the disbelievers’ supplication is part of His mercy which encompasses everything.

Your Prayer Will Be Answered… Eventually

Du’aa’ is a form of worship for which there is a great reward beyond even having the du’aa’ answered.

So, when you make du’aa’, you will feel closer to Allah, have your du’aa’ answered, and you are rewarded for making du’aa’.

To sum up, I highly advised you to act upon Allah’s command to make lots of du’aa’ to Him. Be sure that your du’aa’ will be answered.

If it is not answered in this world, it will be counted as rewards for you in the Hereafter when you will be in need of every single reward you can get, as we all will.

Be one of those who would say:

‘Our Lord, give us good in this world and in the Hereafter, and protect us from the torment of the Fire.’ (Quran 2:202)

And Allah knows best.

I hope this helps.

Salam and please keep in touch.

(From Ask About Islam archives)

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