Sometimes we pray for something, but apparently, our Duas do not reach Allah Almighty or remain unanswered. As a result, we get depressed, and we begin to think that, “Why are our Duas unanswered?”. But one should remember that Allah loves those who ask Him in need.
The Prophet (P.B.U.H) said:
“There is nothing dearer to Allah than Dua” [Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, no. 2684]
In another Hadith, the Prophet (P.B.U.H) said:
“Whoever does not ask of Allah, He becomes angry with him.” [Narrated al-Tirmidhi, no. 2686].
Some manners and conditions must be kept in mind while making dua to prevent it from being unanswered.
Supplication is not taken up if made to someone other than Allah Almighty. One should call upon no one except Allah. The Prophet (P.B.U.H) said:
“If you ask, then ask of Allah, and if you seek help, then seek the help of Allah.” [Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 2516]
Hasten to repent and seek forgiveness before making Dua. Our sins might be the major reason why our Dua’s are unanswered. Allah Says:
“Ask forgiveness from your Lord, verily, He is Oft-Forgiving; He will send rain to you in abundance, And give you increase in wealth and children, and bestow on you gardens and bestow on you rivers.” [Nooh 71:10-12]
Prophet Muhammad Said About Duas:
Be specific and have faith in Allah Almighty that He will surely grant us what we pray for. That includes thinking positively of Allah. In a Hadith, The Prophet (P.B.U.H) said
“Allah, may He be exalted, says: ‘I am as My slave thinks I am.’” [Narrated by al-Bukhari, 7405; Muslim, 4675]
Abu Hurayrah (R.A) reports that Prophet (P.B.U.H) said:
“Make Dua to Allah when you are certain of a response.” [Narrated by al-Tirmidhi]
“Invoke your Lord with humility and in secret. He likes not the aggressors” [al-A’raaf 7:55]
Repeating a Dua Up To Three Times Is Preferable:
Ibn Masood (R.A) narrated that the Prophet (P.B.U.H) liked to make a Du’aa’ three times. Ask for forgiveness three times. [Narrated by Abu Dawood and al-Nasaa’i].
If we remember Allah at times of ease, He will surely remember us during Hardship. In a Hadith narrated by Ahmad, The Prophet (P.B.U.H) said:
“Remember Allah during times of ease and He will remember you during times of hardship.” [Narrated by Ahmad]
Do not look for a speedy response. Abu Hurayrah (R.A) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (P.B.U.H) said:
“(The Dua) of any one of you will be answered so long as he is not hasty in seeking a response and does not say, ‘I prayed but I have not had a response.’” [Narrated by al-Bukhari, 5981; Muslim, 2735]
Suppose we do not get a quick response to our Duas. Still, we are ought to Pray because the Dua can have three types of responses.
Abu Saeed (R.A) narrates that the Prophet (P.B.U.H) said:
“There is no Muslim who does not offer any Dua in which there is no sin or severing of family ties but Allah will give him one of three things in return: either He will answer his Dua sooner, or he will store it up for him in the Hereafter, or He will divert an equivalent evil away from him because of it.” They said: “We will say a lot of Dua.” The Prophet (P.B.U.H) said: “Allah is more generous.” [Narrated by Ahmad, 10749]
How should We Make Duas:
One should praise and glorify Allah in Duas and send Blessing upon the Prophet (P.B.U.H):
Faddaalah ibn Ubayd (R.A) narrates that The Prophet (P.B.U.H) heard a man making Dua after his prayer, but he did not send blessings upon the Prophet (P.B.U.H). The Prophet (P.B.U.H) said: “This man is in a hurry.”Then he called him and said to him:
“When anyone of you has finished praying (and makes Dua), let him start by praising Allah, then let him send blessings upon the Prophet (P.B.U.H), then after that let him ask for whatever he wants.” [Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 2765]
Praying for Allah’s mercy instead of Punishment. When the Messenger of Allah (P.B.U.H) saw a sick Muslim man, who was feeble like a chicken. The Messenger of Allah said to him:
“Did you pray for anything or ask for it?” He said: Yes, I used to say: O Allah, whatever punishment You would give me in the Hereafter, bring it forward in this world. The Messenger of Allah (P.B.U.H) said: “Subhaan Allaah! You cannot bear it. Why didn’t you say, O Allah, give us good in this world and good in the Hereafter and save us from the torment of the Fire?” Then he prayed to Allah for him, and He healed him. [Narrated by Muslim 2688]
Make Dua in a Proper Manner:
Because when a person makes Dua which is against shariah or prays for something sinful; his supplication is not responded. Abu Hurayrah (R.A) narrates that The Messenger of Allah (P.B.U.H) said:
“A person’s Dua will continue to be answered so long as he does not pray for something sinful or for the breaking of family ties.”Narrated by Muslim
Don’t wish for death because of a calamity that has befallen a person. In the Hadeeth it says:
“No one of you should wish for death because of some harm that has befallen him. If he must wish for it, then let him say: ‘O Allah, keep me alive so long as living is good for me, and cause me to die when death is good for me.’” [Narrated by al-Bukhari, 6531; Muslim,2680]
In the Hadeeth it is narrated that Khabbaab (R.A) said:
“Were it not that the Messenger of Allah (P.B.U.H) forbade us to pray for death, I would have prayed for it” [Narrated by al-Bukhari, 6350; Muslim, 2681].
Prophet Zakariya (peace be upon him) prayed for offspring when he was an old man and his wife was barren :
“O, my Lord! Grant me from You, a good offspring. You are indeed the All-Hearer of an invocation” [Aal ‘Imraan 3:38].
Allah Answered His Prayer:
“Then the angels called him, while he was standing in prayer in Al-Mihrab (a praying place or a private room), (saying): “Allah gives you glad tidings of Yahya” [Aal ‘Imraan 3:39].
So do not despair of the help of Allah or think that the Mercy of Allah is limited.
Be specific and use concise words instead of overstepping the mark in making Dua. Narrated from Abd-Allaah ibn Mughaffal (R.A) that he heard his son say:
“O Allah, I ask You for the white palace on the right side of Paradise if I enter it.” He said: “O my son, ask Allah for Paradise and seek refuge with Allah from the Fire, for I heard the Messenger of Allah (P.B.U.H) say: ‘Among this Ummah will be people who overstep the mark in purifying themselves and in making Dua” [Narrated by Abu Dawood, 690]
Major reasons for Unanswered Dua:
One of the major reasons for the unanswered dua is consuming Haraam wealth. Abu Hurayrah (R.A) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (P.B.U.H) said:
“O people, Allah is Good and only accepts that which is good. Allah commanded the pious to follow the same commandments as He gave to the Messengers. Then he mentioned a man who has traveled on a long journey and is disheveled and covered with dust; he stretches forth his hands to the heaven, (saying) “O Lord, O Lord”, but his food is haraam, his drink is haraam, all his nourishment is haraam, so how can he dua be accepted?” [Narrated by Muslim]
The man described by the Prophet (P.B.U.H) had some of the characteristics which help Duas to be answered. He was traveling, and he needed Allah, but the fact that he consumed haraam wealth prevented his Dua from being answered
Making the Dua Conditional:
Such as saying, “O Allah, forgive me if You will” or “O Allah, have mercy upon me if You will.” The person who makes Dua has to be resolute in his supplication, striving hard and earnestly repeating his Dua. The Prophet (P.B.U.H) said:
“Let not any one of you say, ‘O Allah, forgive me if You will, O Allah, have mercy on me if You will.’ Let him be resolute in the matter, whilst knowing that no one can compel Allah to do anything.” [Narrated by al-Bukhari and Muslim]
It was said to Ibraaheem ibn Adham: Why is it that we supplicate and receive no response?
He said because you know Allah, but you do not obey Him, and you know the Messenger, but you do not follow his Sunnah, and you know the Qur’an still, you do not follow it, and you eat from the blessings of Allah, but you do not give thanks for them, and you know Paradise. Still, you do not seek it, and you know Hell, but you do not flee from it, and you know Satan. Nevertheless, you do not fight him somewhat. You agree with him, and you know death, but you do not prepare for it, and you have buried the dead, but you do not learn a lesson from that, and you ignore your faults and are preoccupied with other people’s responsibilities.
Tafseer al-Qurtubi (2/312).
These are the mistakes we commonly make in dua. May Allah guide us to the straight path and accept our Duas.