Allah (SWT) says: “And when my slaves ask you (O Muhammad) concerning Me, then (answer them) I am indeed near. I respond to the invocations of the supplicant when he calls on Me. So let them obey Me and believe in Me, so that they may be led aright.” (2: 186)
And He, in His infinite Mercy, also says: “Who else is there that responds to the call of the one in distress when he calls out, and He removes evil from him? ...Is there any other God besides Allah? Little is it that you remember!” (27:62)
With such statements from Allah in the Quran why is it then that people think that their dua has not been heard? Why do people become angry and frustrated that nothing seems to be happening, after they have made dua countless times? Why do people find themselves losing hope and faith in their Creator (SWT)? Know, Muslim brothers and sisters, that every supplication, even if it be small, will reach Allah (SWT). One should not consider it improper to make dua for things they may consider to be insignificant, because by Allah (SWT), even such things which are significant, great and valuable to us, are insignificant in His Gaze- this doesnt make sense can we ask muslimah what she intended by this?.
We tend to think that our dua is accepted if we receive exactly what we ask for and when we do not receive what we asked for we feel like our dua has been rejected. In reality, there are various ways in which our dua can be considered “accepted”. The Prophet (SAW) said: “Any Muslim who makes a supplication containing nothing that is sinful and nothing that involves breaking ties of blood relationships, will be given for it by Allah one of these three things: He may accept his request, or assign its reward for him in the next world, or turn away from him an equivalent amount of evil.”
What we need to keep in mind however, is that Allah (SWT) does not answer dua in some circumstances:
Praying to other than Allah (SWT):
Allah (SWT) said: “And the places of worship are for Allah (alone): So invoke not anyone along with Allah (72:18). He (SWT) also says, “So invoke not with Allah another god lest you should be among those who receive punishment.” (26:213)
Hastiness in Dua:
Subhanallah! We make dua and expect it to be answered the next morning, at the latest. We should be patient when making dua to be answered. The Prophet (SAW) said: “Your supplication will be answered if you are not impatient, and if you do not say, ‘I supplicated but my supplication was not heard.’” (Malik)
The Prophet (SAW) said: “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 (SAW) 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.”
This shows that Dua should be continuous, and that we should avoid giving up our Dua because it has not been responded to at a time that we see fit. For Allah (SWT) is The Wise and we know that no Dua is ever wasted! This does not mean however, that we cannot pray that our Dua be answered quickly, for it has been narrated that the Prophet prayed for rain and said "quickly, and not delayed." (Ibn Majah)
Supplication involving cutting of the ties of kinship:
See previous hadith
Impurity of one’s sustenance:
Allah (SWT) said: “O you who believe! Eat of the good things that We have provided for you…” (2:172). It is important that one’s income be lawful and free from interest as the Prophet (SAW) said, “Make wholesome your earning, Allah will accept your Dua.” . The Prophet (SAW) made mention of a person who travels widely, his hair dishevelled, and covered with dust. “He lifts his hands and makes supplication, ‘O Lord, O Lord,’ but his diet is unlawful, his drink is unlawful, and his clothes are unlawful, and his nourishment is unlawful. How then can his supplication be accepted?” (Muslim and Ahmad)
Not being assertive on what he asks for:
Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said, “None of you should say, ‘O Allah, forgive me if You wish, (or) O Allah, have mercy on me if you wish.’ Rather you should be firm in your request, for (Allah does whatever He wishes) and no one can force Him to do otherwise.”
Neither enjoins good nor forbids evil:
The Prophet (SAW) said, “By Him in Whose Hand my life is, you either enjoin good and forbid evil, or Allah will certainly soon send His punishment to you. Then you will make supplication and it will not be accepted.” (At-Tirmidhi)
Not praying with humility and submissiveness:
Allah (SWT) said: “So call you upon (or invoke) Allah with sincere devotion to Him (Alone)…” (40:14) The Prophet (SAW) said, “Make dua to Allah in a state that you are certain that your dua will be responded to, and know that Allah does not respond to a dua that originates from a negligent, inattentive heart” (Tirmidhi). It is the one who prays with no humility and submissiveness, whose heart is negligent and inattentive.
Striving actively to change oneself first:
Allah (SWT) said: “…Verily, Allah will not change the (good) conditions of a people as long as they do not change their state (of goodness) themselves (by committing sins and by being ungrateful and disobedient to Allah)” (13:11) So the next time you think that your dua hasn’t been answered and you want to give up think again and keep trying because Allah is always near.
“And Your Lord said: Call on Me, I will answer you” (40:60)