Oct 17, 2012

Why Doesn't ALLAH Answer My Prayers and What Can I Do About It?

Author: Maryam Ladha

First of all, I just want to point out, a lot of people go through this situation, and there's nothing unusual about it. It’s just one of those things, sometimes when we feel like our prayers aren't getting answered, we start to lose faith and we start to lose hope, and we find ourselves becoming distant from Allah and from our religion. So don't worry, you're not alone. A lot of people have been in this situation, but when they understand more about their situation and their religion, they find their faith increasing again, and Insha’Allah you will reach that point as well.

Having said that, I just want to point out a few things. You may think that Allah giving you a ‘silent treatment’ to hurt you as we give others when we get angry, that's true, but not always. A lot of times, people give others the silent treatment to test their love, loyalty, and sincerity. for example, if a girl is annoyed at her husband or something, she might give him the silent treatment to see HOW MUCH he loves her and HOW MUCH he will keep trying to talk to her and get her to answer him. If he really loved her, nothing would stop him or make him give up, he would keep on talking to her, keep on messaging her, keep on trying to get her attention, until eventually, she will give in and she will be happy, knowing that her husband really does love her. He could easily have said to her, 'okay fine, you don't want to speak to me, fine I won't speak to you either' but if he TRULY loved her, he would never say that. This is the example of how Allah is with His slaves. sometimes, He might not answer our prayers straight away, sometimes we might feel like He's giving us the 'silent treatment', but remember, it's not because He's trying to hurt us, it's because He's testing our love for Him, our sincerity, our loyalty, our faith and it's up to us to show Him how much we love Him and how much we'll do for Him. And we have to keep on calling to him, with full faith, knowing that He will respond, because He is Al-Mujeeb, the one who responds and inshaAllah before we know it, we will see our prayers being answered, and we will realize that yes, Allah IS there for me, Allah HAS heard my prayers, Allah IS looking out for me. and when we reach that stage, we will realize that our faith has become so strong that nothing can shake it. InshaAllah we will all reach that level of faith one day.

Another point I want to mention - a lot of times, when a little child asks us for something, for example a sweet, we don't give it straight away Right? A lot of times, we make the child repeat what he/she wants SO MANY TIMES, until we finally give it. But why do we do this? Why do we make the child ask so many times? Why do we make the child say please so many times? Why don't we just give it the first time the child asks? it's because we love the child so much, and we find it SO CUTE to hear the child ask over and over again, with his/her innocent little voice and we just want to keep hearing the voice over and over again, because it makes us smile each time... right? Well again, that's exactly how it is with us and Allah. Allah loves us so much, He wants us to keep on calling to Him, keep on asking Him, keep on begging Him the more we ask, the happier He gets And eventually Insha’Allah He'll give us what we're asking for and if He doesn't, then it doesn't mean that our prayers aren't being answered. This brings me to my next point.

What does it actually mean by 'prayers being answered'? Does it mean that we get exactly what we ask for? Does our Mum always give us exactly what we want, and when we want it? Or does she sometimes make us wait a while and maybe sometimes, she doesn't even give us what we want, why? Does it mean she's not answering our prayers? Or does it mean that she doesn't love us or want us to be happy? No, of course not. Our mothers know what's best for us, and what's not good for us. sometimes we want something because we think it'll be so good for us, but we don't end up getting it... and we realize later that we didn't get it because it would have been harmful to us. let me give you an example. A little child might see a lighter in a shop and think it's a really cool toy. The child will ask his/her mother/father to buy it for them. She might keep on asking, because she REALLY wants that lighter! She thinks it's really cool how the flame comes up But the parents don't buy it for her. They know she really wants it, but still, they don't give it to her. They know she'll get upset, but they stay firm and they don't give it to her, why not? Because they know that it is harmful for her. She (the child) doesn't know that though, does she? Because she's too young to understand the harms of it. But her parents are much wiser, much more knowledgeable, much more experienced, and they know that it is a safety hazard. And because they don't want her to get hurt, they don't buy it for her. So to make her happy, they buy her a different toy instead. She didn't get what she wanted, but she got another toy instead. Or maybe, instead of buying her another toy, they decided to put some money aside for her and give it to her when she's older, so she could do what she pleases with it. They didn't give her what she wanted, but they didn't ignore her either. They gave her something else instead.
This is the case with our Creator. When we ask Him for something, He doesn't always give us what we want, when we want it, because He is Al-'Aleem (the All-Knowing), He knows things that we don't know. He can see the bigger picture of things. He knows what's good for us, and He also knows what's not good for us. Sometimes we want something, but Allah doesn't give it to us because He knows it will be harmful for our Iman, or it will be harmful for us in another way.
There's a hadith in which it is mentioned, to the nearest meaning, that no prayer of a Muslim goes unanswered. one of three things happens:

1) The person gets what they want.
2) A calamity is removed from that person's life instead.
3) The du'aa is saved as a treasure in the hereafter.

And it is mentioned that when the people see all the treasures stored up for them in the Hereafter, because of the Du'aas that were not answered in this world, they will wish that not a SINGLE du'aa of theirs was answered.

Anyway, back to the point. So not a single prayer of a Muslim goes unanswered. Either Allah will give us what we want, or He'll remove a calamity from our path instead, or He'll save it for us in Jannah. Whatever the outcome, we're not at a loss, because He knows what's best for us.

I just want to mention a few Quranic verses and ahadeeth to end off what i'm trying to say.

Allah says in Surah Baqarah, Ayat 216: But perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you; and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you. And Allah Knows, while you know not (2:216)

And Allah also says in another verse of the same Surah: “And when My servants ask you, [O Muhammad], concerning Me - indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me [by obedience] and believe in Me that they may be [rightly] guided” (2:186) Allah Himself says that He will answer the invocations of His servants! So how can we say that Allah does not answer our prayers?

And yet another verse of the Quran, in Surah Mu'min, says: “And your Lord says, "Call upon Me; I will respond to you." (40:60)

it is also mentioned in a hadeeth in Sahih Bukhari 8:352 "Allah's Apostle said, "The invocation of anyone of you is granted (by Allah) if he does not show impatience by saying, "I invoked Allah but my request has not been granted." So we must always be patient and put our trust in Allah, and have hope that our prayers will be answered.

One final point i want to mention - often times, our prayers are not answered because we are engaged in sin and haram acts. a hadeeth in Sahih Muslim explains this quite clearly: "Then [the Messenger] mentioned a man who had traveled for a long time. Unkempt and covered in dust, he raised his hands to the heavens (and cried): 'O my Lord! O my Lord!' His food was unlawful, his drink was unlawful, his clothing was unlawful, and what he had provided to sustain himself with was also unlawful. How could his invocation be accepted?" " This hadeeth shows us that if we are engaged in haraam actions, we cannot expect Allah to answer our prayers.

For example, if I’m always disrespecting my parents, disobeying them, fighting with them, etc... and then I ask them for something, would they give it to me? No, they probably wouldn't. They would probably say 'maybe you should learn how to treat your parents before demanding things from them.' well then, that's exactly how it is with Allah as well. Yes, He is All-Forgiving and All-Merciful, He is the All-Hearing and All-Seeing, He is the one who responds to our prayers, but we must also do our part. With any relationship, it has to work both ways, and this is also the case with the relationship between Allah and His slaves.
 There's a lot more that can be said, but at the end of it, remember, life is a test, as it is often mentioned in the Quran, and as the saying goes, 'When you are going through something hard and wonder where God is, remember the teacher is always quiet during a test.'

So to conclude, just have faith, and remember, Allah is as we think of Him. if we think He'll answer our prayers, and we have faith in that, then He will... and if we think that He won't answer our prayers and that there's no point asking, then He won't. Insha’Allah I hope that this helped you and it increases your faith again.

Please forgive me for anything wrong I may have said, as that was not my intention at all. All good is from Allah, and whatever mistakes were made were from myself and Shaytaan.
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