3 Lessons from Prophet Zechariah (PBUH) to Get Duaa Accepted

Duaa is a great blessing and a divine gift from Allah the All-Merciful. He commanded us to make duaa and committed Himself to answer it for us.

  {And your Lord says, “Call upon Me; I will respond to you.} (Ghafir 40:60)

Some say that duaa is the weapon of the faithful; meaning, it is very effective and decisive.

However, there are conditions that make your duaa more eligible for Allah’s response; the following verse mentions a few:

{And [mention] Zechariah, when he called to his Lord, “My Lord, do not leave me alone [with no heir], while you are the best of inheritors.”

So We responded to him, and We gave to him John, and amended for him his wife. Indeed, they used to hasten to good deeds and supplicate Us in hope and fear, and they were to Us humbly submissive.} (Al-Anbiya’ 21:89-90)

Why did Allah accept Zechariah’s duaa?

The answer to this question constitutes three points mentioned in the verse above. Let’s touch upon them one by one.

They used to hasten to good deeds

Hastening to good deeds was one of the traits of Zechariah (peace and blessings be upon him) and his household. The word ‘hasten’ reflects their quickness in doing what is good and acceptable.

Many of us are good people with pure hearts who like to do well; however, we are procrastinators who delay and put things off. But the Prophetic command is that we should hasten to good deeds and seize all opportunities before it is too late or before being occupied with other things.

They used to supplicate to Allah in hope and fear

Zechariah and his household were eager to supplicate to Allah, Glory be His, at all times, moments of joy, sadness, hope, or fear.

Abu Hurairah narrated:

The Messenger of Allah said: “Whoever wishes that Allah would respond to him during hardship and grief, then let him supplicate plentifully when at ease” (At-Tirmidhi and Al-Hakim –Al-Hakim deemed this hadith authentic).

They were humbly submissive to Allah

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Submission is a state of the heart which is reflected on one’s limbs as well as actions. 

Let’s get the most comprehensive definition of khushu` or submission from the Qur’an that says;

{And seek help through patience and prayer, and indeed, it is difficult except for the humbly submissive [to Allah ] Who are certain that they will meet their Lord and that they will return to Him.} (Al-Baqarah 2:45-46)

The Quran defines the humbly submissive to Allah as those who are certain to meet Him in the Hereafter and that they will return to Him after their demise.

Khushu represents any psychological state that leads its owner to observe piety, and recall fear of Allah at all times. Khushu is not just for prayer; it should be the trait of the faithful at all times and in all conditions.

All these characteristics show the type of life Prophet Zechariah led; He always acknowledged Allah. And in return, Allah, the Almighty never let him down. He fulfilled his wish, blessed him with a son, Yahiya (John), and amended his wife for him.

What do we mean by “acknowledge Allah”?

In a Prophetic hadith, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said,

Be mindful of Allah, and you will find Him in front of you. Recognize and acknowledge Allah in times of ease and prosperity, and He will remember you in times of adversity” (40 Hadith of Nawawi 19).

To “acknowledge Allah” means you should try to please Him and draw nearer to Him, thank Him for His gifts and grace, be patient in times of affliction, and observe sincerity at all times be they good or bad.

This is what happened to the three people who sought shelter in a cave and because of their good deeds, Allah saved them by moving the huge rock that blocked the cave’s entrance.

Similarly, Allah tells us in the Qur’an about what happened to Prophet Jonah (Yunus) when he found himself in the belly of a whale.

{And had he not been of those who exalt Allah, He would have remained inside its belly until the Day they are resurrected.} (Al-Saffat 73:143-144)

Therefore, if you recognize Allah in times of prosperity and welfare, He will guide you through during the times of hardship and difficulty. That’s for sure!

This is unlike Pharaoh (Fir`aun) who denied Allah and denied faith in Him in times of ease. So, Allah did not save him when he was about to drown, even though he verbally declared his faith in Him. The Qur’an tells us;

{And We took the Children of Israel across the sea, and Pharaoh and his soldiers pursued them in tyranny and enmity until, when drowning overtook him, he said,

“I believe that there is no deity except that in whom the Children of Israel believe, and I am of the Muslims.”

Now? And you had disobeyed [Him] before and were of the corrupters?

So today We will save you in body that you may be to those who succeed you a sign. And indeed, many among the people, of Our signs, are heedless.} (Yunus 10:90-92)

The Quran tells us that Allah saved Pharaoh’s body to be a sign for those who succeeded him; meaning us. Sadly, many of us are heedless to these lessons despite them being very precise and clearly stated in the Quran!