Why some supplications are not answered by God

Hassan T Bwambale

First of all, it should be well-understood that supplication to Allah (to Whom belongs all might and majesty) is an act of worship. Whether you are given what you invoked Him for or not, you will be rewarded. An-Nu’man Bin Basheer (Prophet Muhammad’s companion) narrated that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said what can be translated as, “Supplication is worship.”

Then he (the Prophet) quoted a verse from the Noble Quran: “And your Lord said, ‘Call upon Me, I will answer you. Indeed, those who disdain My worship will enter Hell, humiliated.'” (Ghafir 40:60) (This Hadeeth was rated by Al-Albani as authentic in Saheeh At-Tirmidhi # 3, 247) It is a matter of grave concern if someone invokes God earnestly and doesn’t get his supplication answered.
Abu Hurairah (RA) said, “Among the supplications of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is: ‘O Allah, I seek refuge with You from knowledge that is not beneficial, a supplication that is not heard, from a heart that is not humble, and from a soul that is not satisfied.'” (Muslim # 2, 722) The following are some of the reasons some people’s supplications are not answered by God Almighty:
(A) Earning money illicitly by which one feeds himself and his family: Abu Huraira (RA) narrated that he Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said what can be translated as: “O people, Allah is Good and doesn’t accept except what is good. Moreover, Allah commanded the believers with what He commanded the Messengers, saying, ‘O Messengers, eat of that which is good and wholesome, and do righteous deeds. Indeed, I am all-aware of all that you do” (Al-Mouminoon 23: 51).

He also said, ‘O you who believe, eat of the good and wholesome (foods) which We have provided for you’ (Al-Baqarah 2: 172). After that, the Prophet (PBUH) mentioned a person who travels widely, his hair disheveled and covered with dust. He lifts his hands towards the sky supplicating, ‘O Lord, O Lord,’ yet his food is unlawful, his drink is unlawful, his clothes are unlawful and he was nourished with what is unlawful, how then can his supplication be accepted?” (Saheeh Muslim # 1, 015)

(B) Supplicating for something that Allah (SWT) prohibited: Abu Saeed Al-Khudrey (RA) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said what can be translated as: “Anyone who calls upon Allah with a supplication, as long as he doesn’t ask for something sinful or to sever ties of kinship, God grants it to him in one of three ways: either He will hasten to answer his supplication, or He will grant him the like of it of good, or He will turn away from him the like of it of evil.” Someone said, “O Messenger of Allah, and if we increase (our supplication)?” He replied, “(With) Allah is more.” (Al-Abani rated it as Saheeh in Sharh At-Tahawiya # 462)

(C) Overindulgence: We are also encouraged to maintain and develop a devout frame of mind in that we don’t over-indulge in something that is permissible to the extent that we ignore acts of worship. Umar bin Al-Khattab (RA) said, “With devotion that prevents one from what Allah prohibited, Allah (SWT) will accept one’s supplication and glorification.” (See Ja’miul-UloumWal-Hikam 1/258)

(D) Supplicating to Allah (SWT) only when in adversity: An Arab poet said: “We invoke our Lord whenever suffering from calamities, but forget Him when relieved.” Allah (SWT) tells us what can be translated as: “And hasten to ‘attain’ forgiveness from your Lord – and a Garden ‘in Paradise,’ whose breadth is ‘as’ the heavens and the earth, prepared ‘only’ for the God-fearing. The ones who spend ‘in charity’, in ‘times’ of prosperity and adversity ‘alike.'” (A’l-Imraan 3: 133 – 134)

Courtesy of the TIES Center: the TIES Center aims at empower Kuwait’s expats through social and educational services that promote a positive and productive role in society, and to facilitate opportunities for intra- and interfaith interactions that promote social solidarity. For more information, please call 25231015/6 or e-mail: [email protected]

By Hassan T Bwambale

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