The above question is wrong because every prayer is answered but it is answered by God in His way and by His criteria.
Every du’a (prayer or supplication) is heard and answered by God but du’a has conditions that you must fulfil and criteria that God uses when responding:
- You have to be sincere in your asking. You cannot expect a response when you don’t understand a word of what you are saying or even believe in asking God in the first place. If you ask, only ask God. Make du’a directly to God, you don’t need intermediaries in Islam.
- You have to be ethical in what you are asking. You cannot ask for things that violate the moral and ethical parameters of Islam. You cannot ask for someone else’s destruction when he or she is innocent, you cannot ask for God to feed your greed, ego or blameworthy desires.
- You have to be honest when asking. When you ask God you need to make sure you are honest and authentic about why you are asking, what you are asking and how you are asking.
- You have to pray consciously and mindfully. If you simply raise your hands after every prayer because the imam at your mosque is doing it and you simply say Ameen like a sheep and or if you pray or utter words that you do not understand, why would your prayer be answered? Ask consciously, be present when you are asking and mean every word that you utter.
- You have to promise to do everything in your power to make things happen from your side and God will do His part. If you sit on your backside and do nothing, you can pray all you like, nothing will happen.
- You have to be willing to submit to God and abide by his guidance wholly and wholeheartedly. If you want to benefit from your prayer that you are directing to God then you have to take his suggestions for success in this life and the next. You cannot make du’a and at the same time disobey God.
- God will answer prayers in the way He sees them fit, suitable and beneficial. You may think something is good for you but because you do not have the whole picture and have no knowledge about the future, it could be bad for you but you are unaware. And there could be something that you consider bad for you but because of your limited knowledge and experience, you do not know it is actually good for you. God knows and using his universal and infinite knowledge He grants only what is good for you.
- God will never defy His universal “justice and fairness” criteria to grant you your wishes. What you want may harm someone else. What you want may be unfair to someone else. What you want may cause great damage to the environment, animals and plants. God will only grant your prayer when it is fair and just for all.
Sadly, some Muslims pray but they do very little to make things happen. They pray but half-heartedly they ask God and ask others too. Muslims pray but don’t believe in their own prayers, it has become a ritual, part of a dogma that follows and a culture they mimic. Muslims pray but do opposite of what God requires of them.
You cannot expect God to answer your prayers while you refuse to take God’s advice or guidance wholeheartedly. Why should God give you what you want?
By Ajmal Masroor
Ajmal Masroor is a Bangladeshi-born British Imam, broadcaster and politician, author and public speaker. He is well known for being a television presenter on political discussions and on Muslim channels. He is currently working as a Relationship Counsellor and Mediator at Barefoot Institute. You can buy his books about marriage here: https://barefootinstitute.com/bookstore/
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