In today’s world, things have become fast paced and convenient. We expect our items ordered on Amazon to be here in 2 days, our menu order to be served within minutes and we grow impatient waiting for a text response to a message sent 2 minutes earlier.
This type of lifestyle can increase productivity, but it also reduces our patience and can lead to selfishness if not kept in moderation.
Sometimes we tend to deal with Allah in that impatient way, wanting whatever we ask Him for with no delay and we get frustrated if we don’t get it thinking that Allah is not answering our dua.
However, our dua is always answered, provided that it was made with sincerity, patience and faith.
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 (PBUH) 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. [Muslim]
Patience and Sincerity in Duaa
Patience and sincerity are reoccurring themes within the Quran and Sunnah. Patience benefits you socially, professionally and spiritually. Sincerity relates to your intentions and integrity, it is from your heart. It is not enough to make dua simply to check the box that it was done, it should have sincere intentions with faith in the answer from Allah (SWT). We can look to the example of the prophet (PBUH), who would repeat his dua multiple times with strong intent and without rushing.
Exercises to Increase Patience
Stop your negative thought patterns by reminding yourself whatever is the will of Allah (SWT) will happen and it will be in the time He chooses.
• Grow a plant.
It takes time to blossom and you must remain consistent or it will wither.
• Make dua for patience when you are struggling, He is As-Sabur (the timeless, the patient)
• Read a book.
Once you have finished that book, read another one. Books require patience. Patience and perseverance is a personality skill which you can strengthen over time.
“And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient.” [Quran: 2:155]
Bad Things Happening to Good People
Some struggle with the idea that good people are enduring hardships despite the dua they made. We must remember this life is a test and the prophets were tested more than anyone else. Hardships become blessings when we alter our perspective, remembering that our focus is supposed to be the afterlife and the hardships here can equal rewards there.
We are given free will, this means good and evil will be present in this world. Just as we cannot force religion upon people, we cannot force good choices or we are taking away free will. What is most important is not what happens to us, but how we react to that negativity. Our dua for people suffering or for ourselves may have already been answered, but you might not see that answer or understand it.
Gratefulness for Your Blessings
Taking the time to be grateful for all of the blessings you have instead of focusing on the things you don’t have will increase your gratitude and improve your overall mood. Being grateful is more than just saying Alhamdulillah, it means truly feeling what that means. Allah loves us more than we can understand. Allah wants us to make dua and continuously turn back to Him. He wants you to keep supplicating because making dua is an act of worship in itself.
“So remember Me; I will remember you. And be grateful to Me and do not deny Me.” [Quran 2:152]
Exercises to Increase Gratitude
• Make dua for others alongside your dua for yourself.
• Sit down and say Alhamdulillah 33 times,for each of those, think about something you are grateful for. You might say Alhamdulillah and be thinking about your child’s health, the food in your fridge or for being able to hear Quran recitation as not everyone can hear. Do this practice at least once per day.
Ultimately, if you feel that Allah(SWT) is not answering your dua, we have to remember only He is Al-Aleem (the All Knowing, Omniscient). Allah knows what is in our hearts better than we do. He knows what is truly best for us and may want us to ask multiple times as a form of discipline and worship. We have to rely on our faith and put full trust into the will of Allah.
Only He has ultimate knowledge and power, whatever happens we must strive to see the blessings in His will and feel gratitude for them, even hardships.
Our duas are answered in one of three ways; yes, yes but not yet, no I have something better planned for you. We are not able to comprehend the larger picture at play here, but we do know that everything has a purpose and Allah is Al-Khabeer (the All Aware). Your dua may be answered in a way that you don’t understand, or a better plan might already be unfolding.
If you lean upon your faith, trusting in Allah ﷻ to answer your dua then there is no need to worry about it or feel anxiety.
“If Allah should aid you, no one can overcome you; but if He should forsake you, who is there that can aid you after Him? And upon Allah let the believers rely.” [Quran 3:160]
First published: November 2018