The importance of the doaa (supplication)
O, people: fear Allaah, exalted be He, and know that Du’aa’ is the most superior form of worship. the Prophet (pbuh) said: “Du’aa’ is worship", then he recited the saying of Allaah, the Almighty which means: “And your Lord says: Call on Me; I will answer your (prayers); verily those who are too arrogant to worship Me will surely enter hell abased”. (Ghaafir: 60) (Abu Daawood & Tirmithi).
Allaah the Almighty ordered us in so many Qur'aanic verses to make Du’aa’. He promised to respond and praised His prophets and messengers when He said which means: “They were ever quick in doing in good works, they used to call on Us in yearning and awe, and humble themselves before Us” (Al-Anbiyaa': 90).
Also Allaah said : “And when My slaves ask you (O Muhammad SAW) concerning Me, then (answer them), I am indeed near (to them by My Knowledge). I respond to the invocations of the supplicant when he calls on Me (without any mediator or intercessor)”. (Al-Baqarah: 186).
Allaah said: “Or, who listens to the distressed (soul) when he calls on Him, and who relieves his suffering?”. (An -Naml: 62)
Allaah said in a Hadeeth Qudsi: “O My servants, all of you are astray except for those I have guided. So seek guidance of Me and I shall guide you. O My servants, all of you, are hungry except for those I have fed, so seek food of Me and I shall feed you. O, My servants, you commit sin by night and by day and I forgive all sins, so seek forgiveness from Me and I shall forgive you.” (Muslim). O servants of Allaah, supplicate to Him and know that there are specific conditions which must be fulfilled in order to have one’s supplications accepted. Allaah has promised to answer supplications, and Allaah never breaks His promise.
But verily the reasons for the rejection of Du’aa’ pertains only to the servant himself, and some of the reasons are as follows:
1. The Du’aa’ may not be answered if the servant is disobeying or ignoring Allaah’s commands and obligations upon him, committing sins and doing what has been forbidden. Allaah said which means: Now (you believe) while you refused to believe before and you were one of the (evil-doers, corrupters).” (Yoonus: 91).
2. Another cause among the main reasons for unaccepted Du’aa’ is the use of unlawful food, drink and clothing. It was reported that the Prophet (pbuh) mentioned (the case of) a man who, traveled around, disheveled and dusty and who spread out his hands to the heavens saying "O Lord! O Lord!", while his food is unlawful, his drink is unlawful, his clothing is unlawful and he is nourished unlawfully. So how can he be answered?” (Muslim). In the above mentioned Hadeeth, the Prophet (pbuh) indicates that the enjoyment of unlawful food, drink or clothing is the greatest reason preventing the acceptance of Du’aa’. It was mentioned in a Hadeeth: “Make your food good (lawful), then your Du’aa’ will be answered.” O people, be aware of yourselves and reconsider the sources your livelihood, food and drink so Allaah may answer your Du’aa’ and invocations.
3. Also, among the reasons of the non-acceptance of Du’aa’ is insincerity in supplication: Allaah said which means: “Call ye then, upon Allaah with sincere devotion to Him” (Ghaafir: 14). And He said which means: “So invoke not anyone along with Allaah” (Al-Jinn: 18). It was reported in a Hadeeth that the Prophet (pbuh) said: “Get to know Allaah (adhere to his commands) in prosperity and He will know you (help you) in adversity”. This means that if the servant fears Allaah, does not overstep His boundaries, and performs his duties in times of prosperity, this all leads him to know Allaah and establish a special relationship with his Lord. Because of this, Allaah knows him in adversity, considers his obedience in times of prosperity, and then relieves him from calamity.
In a Hadeeth Qudsi Allaah said which means: “...My servant continues to come nearer to Me through voluntary deeds until I love him, and when I love him, I become his ears with which he hears; I become his sight with which he sees; I become his hands with which he strikes; I become his legs with which he strides. If he asks Me, I shall surely grant his request. If he seeks My refuge, I shall protect him…. " (Bukhaari).
Allah said : “When My servants ask thee concerning Me, I am indeed close (to them). I respond to the prayer of every suppliant when he calleth on Me” (Al-Baqarah: 186). In addition, He said which means: “And your Lord says: Call on Me, I will answer your (prayers)” (Ghaafir: 60). Furthermore, you have to beware of those polytheistic and heretical supplications that are widespread in the current times.
4. To supplicate with a heedless heart is another reason for one's Du’aa’ not being accepted. the Prophet (pbuh) said: “Supplicate Allaah and bear in mind that He will surely answer you, and be aware that Allaah never answers the supplication of someone who is heedless”.
5. Negligence in advocating good actions and forbidding evil acts is surely one of the causes of the unacceptance of Du’aa’. the Prophet (pbuh) said: “By Him in Whose hands my soul lies, you should enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong, otherwise He (Allaah) will descend punishment upon you, and then you will ask Him but your supplications will never be answered.” (Tirmithi) He also said: “Du’aa' surely has benefit according to what has already taken place and what has not, so you (servants of Allaah) must continue supplicating Allaah” (Haakem).