Why our du'aa go unanswered?---A common perception and thought
A common perception and thought that generally passes a Muslims mind - Why are our duas so ineffective? Is there a deficiency in the manner that we ask? Why is it that certain people who live very carefree lives, openly violate the Shari'ah and propagate un-Islamic values seem to live very comfortably? They seem to be blessed with everything that they ask for and have no real cry or pressing need. On the other hand, there are some who are particular with their Deen, regular with their salaah and conduct themselves in a pious an righteous manner, yet they seem to be plagued by worries and difficulties. This situation seems to be very perplexing to many and it is appropriate that we examine the true nature and purpose of dua and the various benefits that Allah has placed in this great ibadah (act of virtue).
Firstly, the apparent acceptance of a person's du'aa is by no means any proof that this person is accepted or beloved by Allah. Similarly, the apparent non-acceptance of a person's du'aa is no indication of a person's rejection or non-acceptance by Allah. Instead, the matter can very much be the opposite, whereby at times a person who is truly beloved and accepted in the eyes of Allah seems to have his du'aas apparently rejected all the time. On the other hand, a person who maybe despised in the sight of Allah finds his du'aas being promptly and regularly accepted.
Sheikh Tajuddeen Ibne Ata Iskandari rahmatullaahi alayhi has recorded a Hadith in his book; the effective meaning of which is, a certain person lifts his hand in du'aa, Allah instructs the angels to fulfill his need immediately, because I dislike him raising his hand in du'aa. Another person raises his hand in du'aa, Allah instructs the angels to procrastinate in fulfilling his need, because him raising his hands before me is beloved to me and I look forward to his pleading and requests.
Secondly, for a person to be given the ability to make du'aa is a great blessing in itself. A person who raises his hand in du'aa before Allah Ta'aalaa should never be concerned whether the du'aa will be accepted or not. A person should have complete conviction that whatever du'aa is made will definitely be accepted in the court of Allah. It is mentioned in a Hadith recorded by Abu Daawood, Tirmizi, Ibne Maajah and Mustadrak Haakim that, Allah is extremely kind, One who gives without asking, Allah is extremely modest and shy, when His servants spread their hands before Him, He feels shy to refuse or reject their requests.
Thirdly, it is a failure and deficiency on our path that, if we receive exactly that which we ask Allah for, then we consider our du'aa to be accepted. If we do not acquire exactly what we ask for, then we consider our du'aa unaccepted. In reality, there are various ways in which a du'aa can be considered accepted. Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam said, when a servant makes du'aa to Allah, then through the barkat and blessing of this du'aa Allah Ta'aalaa certainly grants him one of three things, either that he gets exactly what he requested for, or his du'aa is reserved for a bounty and reward which will manifest in the hereafter, or a calamity is removed from his path.
Either way, we find that a person's du'aa is certainly heard and answered; however the outward appearance of its acceptance may differ. It is therefore our bounding duty to continue begging from Allah for our needs with firm conviction that Allah will favor a person with his mercy. To become despondent and neglectful over du'aa not being accepted is indicative of our naivety and short-sightedness.
It has been recorded in yet another Hadith, that a person should not become hasty and wrestles regarding acceptance of his du'aa. It was asked that what be meant by hastiness? The reply was, a person believes that after making fervent du'aa, there is no response; therefore I might as well leave out making du'aa. In this way he stops asking from Allah.