Few things affect a person’s faith like making duas without seeing the answer that you want, and at the time that you want it.
For many of us, we struggle to articulate our needs to Allah (ta’ala) in the first place. And after making requests to Him, you wait for the response. When the response doesn’t seem to come immediately, we begin to despair.
You ask yourself if Allah (ta’ala) does not love you or listen to you. And it discourages you from making duas.
But before you give in to despair, you should remember the words of the Messenger of Allah (SAW):
“The supplication of the servant is granted in case he does not supplicate for sin or for severing the ties of blood, or he does not become impatient. It was said: Allah’s Messenger, what does:” If he does not grow impatient” imply? He said: That he should say like this: I supplicated and I supplicated but I did not find it being responded. and then he becomes frustrated and abandons supplication.” (Muslim
Even though it may look to us at that time as if Allah (ta’ala) is not listening to us, we know that this is not the case.
So, what do we do to help ourselves hold on firmly to our reliance on Him that He will answer us?
Believe that Your Dua Was Answered
The fact that the job that you prayed for didn’t magically show up in your email inbox ten two hours after you prayed for it does not mean that Allah (ta’ala) didn’t answer your prayers. And the fact that you were passed on at the interview stage when you are suitably qualified for the job also does not mean that your dua failed.
As Muslims, we believe that Allah (ta’ala) listens to, and is aware of everything we say and do. So, if you have asked Him for something, then you believe that He heard you.
If what you asked for didn’t happen, then the words of this hadith gives us a reason to believe that our duas are accepted.
Yahya related to me from Malik that Zayd ibn Aslam used to say, “No-one makes a dua without one of three things happening. Either it is answered, or it is stored up for him, or wrong actions are atoned for by it.” (Muwatta Imam Malik)
All these three scenarios are a favor for every Muslim. It means that even if you didn’t get the exact thing that you wanted, you know that you got something good in return. We can’t know whether whatever we prayed for is good for us, so we have to trust that the outcome of our dua is whatever Allah (ta’ala) knows that is best for us.
Continue to Make Dua
Usually, our first instinct when we have a series of seemingly unanswered duas is to stop praying. You may still be offering your daily salahs, but you will no longer feel the need to ask Allah (ta’ala) for anything because you already assumed that He doesn’t listen to you.
This is a trick from Shaytaan and there is no better time to increase in making dua than when you feel yourself not believing in the power of dua.
The Prophet said: “There is nothing more honorable with Allah [Most High] than supplication.” (Tirmidhi)
There is power in making dua. It brings us closer to Allah (ta’ala) and it is an act of worship. Even if you can’t see the response now, trust Him and continue to show Him that you love to make dua to Him.
Prophet Ibraheem (AS) spent several years making dua for a child, and Allah (ta’ala) granted him in his old age. This was the story of many of the Prophets and Messengers too. They had something or the other that they made dua for and which took some time to happen.
Waiting for the response to your dua is a test of patience. It is a test of tawakkul and sabr. When we are faced with this test, we should remember that of Allah (ta’ala) has decreed something to happen to/for us in this life or the next, it will come to pass. This should be the motivation for us to be patient when waiting for the response to our dua.
Abu Huraira reported that Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said: “The supplication of every one of you is granted if he does not grow impatient and says: I supplicated but it was not granted.” (Muslim)
The response to our dua may come immediately and it may come several years after. It may come at a time when we were no longer expecting but still in need of it. Even if the response never came in the way that we wanted it to, we should be patient in the hope that Allah (ta’ala) has answered it in a way that will be more pleasing to us when we know.
Seek Beneficial Times for Dua
There is no time that a Muslim cannot make dua to Allah (ta’ala). You don’t have to be in a special place, wear special clothes or even have an ablution. We make dua as it comes to our hearts.
But even with that, there are so many times that several ahadith tell us that duas are answered. We should try to catch these times and maximize them by making sincere dua.
The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) was asked: “At what time does the supplication find the greatest response?” He (ﷺ) replied, “A supplication made during the middle of the last part of the night and after the conclusion of the obligatory prayers.” (Riyad us-Saliheen)
Apart from these, there is also the last hour after Asr salah on Fridays, during rainfalls, between the adhan and iqama of every salah, etc. all of these are times that we should take advantage of when making dua.
We can’t say that our duas are not being answered when we are not actually sincere when making the dua. You ask for something with half a mind that Allah (ta’ala) may not do it for you, or asking when you are not sure you really want that thing.
When we make dua, we make it sincerely and wholeheartedly. We don’t second-guess the power of our Rabb or preempt His denial of our dua. We make dua knowing that He is As-Sami’ and He hears all that we say.
Many times, your faith and reliance upon Allah (ta’ala) may get shaken when you don’t see a response to your duas. Do not despair. Know that He (ta’ala) disposes of our affairs in ways that are absolutely perfect for us.
Related Video: Keep Making Dua! Allah will listen to you!