Almighty Allah has blessed His mankind with unlimited and everlasting gifts, dua or supplication is one of them. Unlike other ibadahs, dua has no specific terms and conditions except sincerity and purity. It is a direct link to Allah, the Lord of all the things. It is an expression of gratitude and thankfulness to Allah, every wise person knows the power of prayers. The word dua means ask, demand, cry, call out to pray which is why Allah mentioned in Quran that,
“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.” (Surah Baqra, verse 186)
Almighty Allah has promised the creatures that their supplications would be answered but in some circumstances, no matter how long you make duas to Allah for some specific purpose, you beg and plead but your prayers remain unanswered. Allah is Sami ul Baseer, He is listening to all us but what gets wrong in acceptance of our dua?
According to some Quranic verses and hadiths, these are the reasons which might be holding up your duas.
1. Making Dua in a Hurry
The Prophet heard a man supplicating in his Salat but he did not send Salat upon the Prophet (PBUH), so the Prophet (PBUH) said: “This one has rushed”. Then he called him and said to him, or to someone other than him: “When one of you performs Salat, then let him begin by expressing gratitude to Allah and praising Him. Then, let him send Salat upon the Prophet (PBUH), then let him supplicate after that, whatever he wishes”.
2. Living on Unlawful Earnings
The Holy Prophet (PBUH) said: “The prayer of those who live on unlawful earnings is like constructing castles on sand.” (Bihar al-Anwar, Volume 84)
3. Treating Prayer Lightly
Holy Prophet (PBUH) said, “That which lies between faith and disbelief is the negligence of prayer”. (Nahj al Fasahah, 1098)
4. Lack of Sincerity
It has been mentioned in Quran that,
So invoke Allah, [being] sincere to Him in religion, although the disbelievers dislike it. (Surah Ghafir, verse 14)
5. You Start Thinking That Your Prayers Won’t Get Answered
It is narrated through authentic sources that someone told to Hazrat Ali that, “Several years passed that I have been supplicating, but my wish has not been granted till now. I am getting doubts in my mind because of this delay!”.
He replied: O man! Keep your heart free of the Satanic doubts! It is the Satan who makes you doubt Allah’s Munificence. It is necessary for a momin to pray the same way during times of hardship as he does when times are good. When the wishes are granted, he should not stop supplication. He should not tire of supplicating. In the eyes of Allah, prayer has a superior status. It is necessary that you remain calm and patient in difficult times.
6. Neither Enjoining Good nor Leaving Evil
The Prophet (PBUH) 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”. (Tirmidhi, 193)
In the end, I want to quote this beautiful hadith of Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) about unheard prayers.
“Any Muslim who makes a supplication containing nothing which is sinful, or which involves breaking ties of relationship, will be given for it by Allah one of three things: He will give him swift answer, or store it up for him in the next world, or turn away from him an equivalent amount of evil.” (Al- Tirmidhi, hadith 2557)