October 11th, 2011

Why Aren’t My Prayers Being Answered?

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Written by: moeadra
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 Why Aren't My Prayers Being Answered?
Question: Why aren’t my prayers being answered?
Answer: May Allah reward you for asking such an honest question, and may He guide us towards the truth. Ameen.
I think what happens in this type of situation is that we mix up our means and our ends. When we make du`a’ for a good husband, for example, is that strong marriage a means or an end? I think many people take it as an end, which explains much of the disillusionment and disappointment that often follows (ironically in both cases: whether we get it or we don’t). Like everything in this dunya, marriage is only a means – a means to reach Allah. So if we pray for it and we don’t get it, perhaps Allah has chosen another means for us – perhaps through hardship, the purification it may cause and the sabr it builds, to bring us to that end: Allah. It may be, as only Allah knows best, that had He given us that amazing husband we made du`a’ for, it would have made us heedless and therefore not achieve our end at all.
Instead of seeing it like this, however, I think the problem is we are seeing things as just the opposite. The dunya (that great job, certain type of spouse, having a child, school, career, etc) is our end and *Allah* is the means that we use to get there. We use that means, through making du`a’, to achieve our end (whatever it is that we’re making du`a’ for), and then get disappointed when our means (Allah) didn’t come through for us. We throw our hands up in the air and say our du`a’ are not being answered. Our means just isn’t coming through for us!
But, Allah isn’t a means. He is the end. The ultimate objective of even du`a’ itself is to build our connection to Allah. Through du`a’ we become closer to Him. So, I think the problem is that our focus is wrong. That’s why I love the du`a’ of istikhara so much. It’s just perfect because it acknowledges that Allah only knows best, and then asks for Him to bring what is best and take away what is not best. The focus of that du`a’ is not that which you are asking for. The focus is what is best in this life and next.
This is not to say that we cannot make du`a’ for things specifically that we want. On the contrary. Allah loves for us to ask of Him. But it means that once we ask, do our part to the utmost, and put our trust in Allah, we are pleased with what Allah chooses for us. And we realize that Allah answers all du`a’ – but not always in the form we expect. And that is simply because our knowledge is limited, and His is unlimited. In His infinite knowledge He may send us what He knows to be better for us in achieving the ultimate end: the pleasure of Allah (swt).
Wa Allahu `alam (and Allah knows best).



  1. Ali

    Sometimes the dua that we utter from our tongues doesn’t match the dua that is in our heart. What do I mean by that? Say you are running late for work one morning and you make dua to Allah to allow you to get to work on time. Why do you want to get to work on time? Because you don’t want to get your boss mad. Why don’t you want to get your boss mad? So that he doesn’t fire you. Why don’t you want to get fired? Because if you get fired, then you won’t have a means to support yourself or your family. So what is the real worry that the person is praying to Allah about? Being able to support his family.

    Why do i mention this? Because Allah (SWT) accepts and answers the dua of the heart. The dua that you may utter after salah may not be matching the dua which is in your heart. So as Muslims, we need to strive to match what is in our heart with what is in our tongue and vice versa.

    And if it is not answered in this world, know that Allah (SWT) will answer it in the next, in a form that is a thousand times better than what you would have received in the dunya. Either that or your dua will serve as a road block for calamities which are supposed to befall on you.

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  2. Nur

    Assalam. Sukran for providing right perspective for dua of a Muslim. When we ask for something, we should pray to Allah to accept our prayer if it is ultimately good for us. If we don’t get that thing, then instead of being frustrated, we should believe that it is for our good as Allah knows the best. Jazak Allah Khairan.

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  3. Adam

    I recently converted and, while I’ve learned to say my prayers in Arabic, I cannot make general supplications (du`a’) in Arabic when I prostrate. Is it Islamically acceptable to say those supplications in English?

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  4. Omar

    Salam brother Adam,

    I would like to welcome you to Islam, and I pray that Allah will bless you and guide you to be a source of blessings and goodness for others.

    The position of the Maliki school is that it is permissible for one to supplicate during his prayers in a language other than Arabic. This was noted by a great scholar named al-Dasuqi who said, “It is permissible for one who is not fluent in Arabic to supplicate during prayers in a different language” (Hashiyyah al-Dusuqi ‘ala al-Sharh al-Kabir, vol. 4, pg. 451).

    And Allah knows best.

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  5. Muslema


    If the worshipper can say du’aa’ well in Arabic, it is not permissible for him to make du’aa’ in any other language.

    But if the worshipper is unable to make du’aa’ in Arabic, there is no reason why he should not make du’aa’ in his own language, so long as he starts learning Arabic in the meantime.

    With regard to making du’aa’ in languages other than Arabic outside of prayer, there is nothing wrong with that, especially if that will make the worshipper more focused in his du’aa’.

    Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said:

    It is permissible to make du’aa’ in Arabic and in languages other than Arabic. Allaah knows the intention of the supplicant and what he wants, no matter what language he speaks, because He hears all the voices in all different languages, asking for all kinds of needs.

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