Prayers: With hope that wishes are fulfilled

Q497 :We wonder at times whether our prayers will ever be answered. We may face a problem, endure an illness, contend with difficulty or suffer an injustice. We take whatever measures available to us to overcome the problem, correct the injustice or get proper medical treatment. But that may not be sufficient. We realize that we need help which often cannot be given by any human being. That help could come only from Allah. Hence, we turn to Him with our supplication, hoping that our wishes are soon fulfilled. At times, we experience the fulfillment of our prayers coming straight-away. Often we feel it slow-coming. This makes us wonder whether Allah has accepted our prayer and will grant us what we have requested of Him. Hence the question is asked: What is the factor which guarantees that prayers are answered?

A497 : There is a simple formula. A person who puts a request to Allah should first of all be sincere in his attitude. He should purify himself physically and mentally which means that he should repent of his sins. It is unthinkable that a person indulges in sin and at the same time requests Allah to grant his wishes, some of which are purely materialistic. He simply does not show any regrets that he has exceeded the limits set by Allah. How does such a person expect Allah will answer his prayers, when he does not expect the same treatment by his fellow human beings. If he has offended someone, he knows that he cannot ask that person a favor. Yet, he expects favors from Allah when he persists in offending Him! The first pre-requisite for answering our supplication by Allah is repentance and seeking Allah's forgiveness. This repentance should be sincere, not a mere verbal statement which we repeat like parrots without putting any thought into it. The second requirement is that one should not be hasty. We should not precipitate Allah's actions. He answers our prayers in His own good time, but always in the way and at the time which is best for us. Indeed, we must not entertain any thought that our prayers may not be answered. Abu Hurairah quotes Allah's Messenger as saying: "The supplication of any one of you is answered as long as he is not hasty, saying: I have prayed Allah and my prayers were not answered." (Related by Al-Bukhari, Muslim and others). In this Hadith the Prophet advises us against giving up or thinking that our prayers may remain unanswered. A person may get disenchanted and stop praying Allah. If he does this, his attitude is interpreted as one who considers his supplication as a favor or he may imply that he has done enough supplication to warrant being answered. This suggests, by inference, that he considers Allah's favors unforthcoming, while he should realize that Allah can answer any supplication and can easily grant every single one of His servants all that he or she asks for.

Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )