Why Is My Dua Not Granted?


I am aware that upon doing dua, one should persist and not become impatient saying, “I did dua but it was not answered.”However, one thing that has confused me is how a dua done at time when it is stated that dua is readily granted appears not to have been granted.


In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

Making du῾ā is from amongst the shortest and fastest routes that leads one to Allah Ta῾ālā.  Du῾ā is a display of humility and humbleness.  The slave of Allah testifies his weakness and surrenders his affairs to His Master.  To understand the reality of du῾ā, ponder over the following ahādith:

The Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam) said,

 “Du῾ā is the essence of worship.”[i](Sunan Tirmidhi hadith no.3371)

In a nut (e.g. almond) that which is within the shell is the main part and is really sought by the person who eats it. This part is valuable. Likewise, the core of all worship is submission.  Du῾ā from beginning till end is submission.  In comparison to other forms of worship, in du῾ā the aspect of humility, meekness and dependence upon Almighty Allah is most fervently.

Allah the Almighty appreciates His slaves begging Him and seeking His mercy. The Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam) said,

“There is nothing nobler in the sight of Allah than Du῾ā.”[ii] (Sunan Tirmidhi hadith no.3370)

Let alone appreciating, Allah Ta῾ālā is displeased when His slave does not turn to him.

The Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam) said, “Whoever does not ask Allah, Allah becomes displeased with him.”[iii] (Sunan Tirmidhi hadith no.3373)

Such is the mercy of Allah that He appreciates His servants beseeching Him and He gets displeased when His servants do not turn to Him.  Allah Ta῾ālā addresses us personally ordering us to call upon Him:

“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.” [iv](Qur῾ān 2:186)

The Qur῾ān and Ahādith demonstrate the fact that Allah Ta῾ālā wants us to turn to Him in every affair of our life. Allah promises himself to respond in the above quoted verse.  Allah Ta῾ālā is self sufficient and the Provider.  He gives like no other.  By Him giving, His treasures do not diminish.  Allah Ta῾ālā is ever ready to respond to His slaves.  Consider the following verse how Allah responds:

هُوَ الَّذِي خَلَقَكُمْ مِنْ نَفْسٍ وَاحِدَةٍ وَجَعَلَ مِنْهَا زَوْجَهَا لِيَسْكُنَ إِلَيْهَا فَلَمَّا تَغَشَّاهَا حَمَلَتْ حَمْلًا خَفِيفًا فَمَرَّتْ بِهِ فَلَمَّا أَثْقَلَتْ دَعَوَا اللَّهَ رَبَّهُمَا لَئِنْ آتَيْتَنَا صَالِحًا لَنَكُونَنَّ مِنَ الشَّاكِرِينَ (189) فَلَمَّا آتَاهُمَا صَالِحًا جَعَلَا لَهُ شُرَكَاءَ فِيمَا آتَاهُمَا فَتَعَالَى اللَّهُ عَمَّا يُشْرِكُونَ (190) (سورة الاعراف)

“It is He Who created you from a single person, and made his mate of like nature, in order that he might dwell with her (in love). When they are united, she bears a light burden and carries it about (unnoticed). When she grows heavy, they both pray to Allah their Lord, (saying): “If You should give us a good [child], we will surely be among the grateful.

But when He gives them a good [child], they ascribe partners to Him concerning that which He has given them. Exalted is Allah above what they associate with Him.”

Despite the resulting disobedience from the parents, Allah Ta῾ālā still grants them a good and healthy child. Likewise, in the following verse, Allah Ta῾ālā responds to those who use Him for protection in sea and then forget Him when He brings them back to land.  Allah Ta῾ālā still responds to them.

هُوَ الَّذِي يُسَيِّرُكُمْ فِي الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ حَتَّى إِذَا كُنْتُمْ فِي الْفُلْكِ وَجَرَيْنَ بِهِمْ بِرِيحٍ طَيِّبَةٍ وَفَرِحُوا بِهَا جَاءَتْهَا رِيحٌ عَاصِفٌ وَجَاءَهُمُ الْمَوْجُ مِنْ كُلِّ مَكَانٍ وَظَنُّوا أَنَّهُمْ أُحِيطَ بِهِمْ دَعَوُا اللَّهَ مُخْلِصِينَ لَهُ الدِّينَ لَئِنْ أَنْجَيْتَنَا مِنْ هَذِهِ لَنَكُونَنَّ مِنَ الشَّاكِرِينَ (22) فَلَمَّا أَنْجَاهُمْ إِذَا هُمْ يَبْغُونَ فِي الْأَرْضِ بِغَيْرِ الْحَقِّ يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّمَا بَغْيُكُمْ عَلَى أَنْفُسِكُمْ مَتَاعَ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا ثُمَّ إِلَيْنَا مَرْجِعُكُمْ فَنُنَبِّئُكُمْ بِمَا كُنْتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ (23)(يونس)

“It is Him who enables you to travel through land and sea, till when you are in the ships and they sail with them with a favourable wind, and they are glad therein, then comes a stormy wind and the waves come to them from all sides, and they think that they are encircled therein, they invoke Allah, making their Faith pure for Him Alone, saying: “If You (Allah) deliver us from this, we shall truly be of the grateful.

But when He saves them, at once they commit injustice upon the earth without right. O mankind, your injustice is only against yourselves, [being merely] the enjoyment of worldly life. Then to Us is your return, and We will inform you of what you used to do.” (Qur῾ān 10:23)

du῾ā being accepted does not refer to you being granted what you asked for.  The scope of an accepted du῾ā is broader than that.  The Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam) said,

“There is no Muslim who supplicates to Allah Almighty with a supplication which is free from anything wrong and asking for severance from his kin, without Allah granting one of three things: He readily grants him what he is asking for, or the like of it is stored for him as a reward in the hereafter, or He will turn away the like of it in evil from him.   A man of the people said, “We do it a great deal.” He said, “Allah has more (than you could ever ask for).”[v] (Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaiba hadīth no.29170)

At times what we ask for may not be beneficial for us.  We are not aware of the consequences of our choices.  Some decisions we make can have an adverse effect on our lives.  Allah knows the favourable and unfavourable.  It is His sheer mercy that He does not give us what we are asking for. At times an impending calamity is about to befall us which could cripple us.  It is from the vast mercy of Allah that He does not give us what we are asking for but instead he averts the affliction which is on the verge of grasping us.

To secure anything in this world we have to follow procedures and protocols.  To be successful in a job interview, one has to present himself at the right time, be in the correct dress code, speak in acceptable manner and display a convincing attitude.  Likewise in du῾ā, one must follow the protocols and procedures to have his du῾ā accepted.

The Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam) said,

“The slave continues to be answered, provided he does not pray for a wrong action or severance of kin, as long as he does not become over-impatient.” It was said, “Messenger of Allah, what is over-impatience?” He said, “He says, ‘I prayed and I prayed and I did not find Him answering me,’ so he stops short at that and ceases making supplication.”[vi] (Muslim hadith no.2735)

Imam Ghazāli (rahimahullah) mentions the following ten etiquettes for the acceptance of du῾ā:

1)     Making abundant du῾ā in sacred and special times of acceptance.  For example, on the day of ῾ArafahJumu῾ah, in Ramadhān and in the last portion of the nights etc.

2)     To make du῾ā in specific states.  There are certain circumstances in which du῾ās are readily accepted.  Such as in the state of prostration, at the confrontation of two armies, at the time of rain, before and after salāh etc.

3)     To face the qiblah, raise the hands and wipe the hands over the face upon completing the du῾ā.

4)     To have the voice lowered.

5)     To invoke Allah Ta῾ālā through words and sentences which the Prophet (salallhu alaihi wasllam) taught us.  It is undesirable to put a lot of effort to make our own rhymes and rhythms in du῾ā.

6)     To display humblesness externally and have the heart submit totally.

7)     To have a firm conviction that Allah Ta῾ālā will accept the du῾ā.  One should have full hope that Allah most definitely will respond to his/her prayer.

8)     To persist in du῾ā and repeat each invocation at least three times.

9)     To commence the du῾ā with the praise of Almighty Allah, sending blessings upon the Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam) and to conclude the du῾ā with the praise of Allah and blessings upon the Prophet.

10) One must make sure he has sought the forgiveness of Allah and sincerely repented before asking Allah from His bounties.

If one has oppressed anybody or hurt anyone, the oppressed person’s forgiveness must be sought immediately. Tawbah (repentance) is only valid when those whom we have wronged have pardoned us.[vii]

In conclusion, one’s du῾ā being accepted does not necessarily mean being given what was asked for.  If a du῾ā is accepted, we could receive what was asked for, or an impending calamity can be averted, or the du῾ā can be reserved for us in the hereafter as reward.

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

[i]  عنْ أَنَسِ بْنِ مَالِكٍ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ: «الدُّعَاءُ مُخُّ العِبَادَةِ» (سنن الترمذي رقم الحديث 3371)

[ii]  عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ: «لَيْسَ شَيْءٌ أَكْرَمَ عَلَى اللَّهِ تَعَالَى مِنَ الدُّعَاءِ» (سنن الترمذي رقم الحديث 3370)

[iii]  عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: «إِنَّهُ مَنْ لَمْ يَسْأَلِ اللَّهَ يَغْضَبْ عَلَيْهِ»(سنن الترمذي رقم الحديث 3373)

[iv]  وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِي عَنِّي فَإِنِّي قَرِيبٌ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ الدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِ فَلْيَسْتَجِيبُوا لِي وَلْيُؤْمِنُوا بِي لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْشُدُونَ (سورة البقرة 186)

[v]  قَالَ أَبُو سَعِيدٍ: قَالَ نَبِيُّ اللَّهِ: ” مَا مِنْ مُسْلِمٍ يَدْعُو بِدَعْوَةٍ لَيْسَ فِيهَا إِثْمٌ، وَلَا قَطِيعَةُ رَحِمٍ، إِلَّا أَعْطَاهُ اللَّهُ بِهَا إِحْدَى ثَلَاثٍ: إِمَّا أَنْ يُعَجِّلَ لَهُ دَعْوَتَهُ، وَإِمَّا يَدَّخِرَهَا لَهُ فِي الْآخِرَةِ، وَإِمَّا أَنْ يَكْشِفَ عَنْهُ السُّوءَ بِمِثْلِهَا “، قَالُوا: إِذًا نُكْثِرُ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ قَالَ: «اللَّهُ أَكْثَرُ» (مصنف ابن أبي شيبة رقم الحديث 29170)

[vi]  عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ أَنَّهُ قَالَ: «لَا يَزَالُ يُسْتَجَابُ لِلْعَبْدِ، مَا لَمْ يَدْعُ بِإِثْمٍ أَوْ قَطِيعَةِ رَحِمٍ، مَا لَمْ يَسْتَعْجِلْ» قِيلَ: يَا رَسُولَ اللهِ مَا الِاسْتِعْجَالُ؟ قَالَ: يَقُولُ: «قَدْ دَعَوْتُ وَقَدْ دَعَوْتُ، فَلَمْ أَرَ يَسْتَجِيبُ لِي، فَيَسْتَحْسِرُ عِنْدَ ذَلِكَ وَيَدَعُ الدُّعَاءَ» (صحيح مسلم رقم الحديث 2735)

[vii]  وقال الإِمام أبو حامد الغزالي في ” الإِحياء “: آدابُ الدعاء عشرة: الأول: أن يترصَّدَ الأزمان الشريفة، كيوم عَرَفَة، وشهر رمضان، ويوم الجمعة، والثلث الأخير من الليل، ووقت الأسحار.

الثاني: أن يغتنمَ الأحوالَ الشريفة، كحالة السجود، والتقاء الجيوش، ونزول الغيث، وإقامة الصلاة، وبعدَها.

قلتُ: وحالة رقّة القلب.

الثالث: استقبالُ القبلة، ورفعُ اليدين، ويمسحُ بهما وجهه في آخره.

الرابع: خفضُ الصوت بين المخافتة والجهر.

الخامس: أن لا يتكلَّف السجعَ، وقد فسَّر به الاعتداء في الدعاء، والأولى أن يقتصر على الدعوات المأثورة، فما كل أحد يُحسن الدعاءَ، فيخاف عليه الاعتداء.

وقال بعضهم: ادعُ بلسان الذلّة والافتقار، لا بلسان الفصاحة والانطلاق، ويُقال: إن العلماء والأبدال لا يزيدون في الدعاء على سبع كلمات، ويشهد له ما ذكره الله سبحانه وتعالى في آخر سورة البقرة (رَبَّنا لا تُؤَاخِذْنا … ) إلى آخرها [البقرة: 286] لم يخبر سبحانه في موضع عن أدعية عباده بأكثر من ذلك.

قلتُ: ومثلهُ قولُ الله سبحانه وتعالى في سورة إبراهيم (صلى الله عليه وسلم) : (وَإِذْ قالَ إِبْرَاهِيمُ: رَبِّ اجْعَلْ هَذَا البَلَدَ آمِناً..) إلى آخره [إبراهيم: 35] .

قلتُ: والمختار الذي عليه جماهير العلماء أنه لا حجرَ في ذلك، ولا تُكرهُ الزيادةُ على السبع، بل يُستحبّ الإِكثارُ من الدعاء مطلقاً.

السادس: التضرّعُ والخشوعُ والرهبة، قال الله تعالى: (إنَّهُمْ كانُوا يُسارِعُونَ في الخَيْرَاتِ وَيَدْعُونَنا رَغَباً وَرَهَباً وكانُوا لَنا خاشِعِينَ) [الأنبياء: 90] وقال تعالى: (ادْعُوا رَبَّكُمْ تَضَرُّعاً وخفية) [الأعراف: 55] .

السابع: أن يجزمَ بالطلب، ويُوقن بالإِجابة، ويصدقَ رجاءه فيها، ودلائلُه كثيرةٌ مشهورة.

قال سفيان بن عُيينة رحمه الله: لا يمنعنّ أحدَكم من الدعاء ما يعلمُه من نفسه، فإن الله تعالى أجاب شرّ المخلوقين إبليس، إذ قال: رب أنْظِرْنِي إلى يَوْمِ يُبْعَثُونَ قالَ إِنَّكَ منَ المُنْظَرِينَ) [الأعراف: 14 – 15] .

الثامن: أن يُلحّ في الدعاء ويكرّره ثلاثا، ولا يستبطئ الإِجابة.

التاسع: أن يفتتح الدعاء بذكر الله تعالى.

قلتُ: وبالصلاة على رسول الله (صلى الله عليه وسلم) بعد الحمد لله تعالى والثناء عليه، ويختمه بذلك كله أيضاً.

العاشر: وهو أهمّها والأصل في الإِجابة، وهو التوبةُ، وردُّ المظالم، والإِقبال على الله تعالى. (الأذكار 556-558 دار ابن كثير)


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