The Disillusioned Du’aa: When Hardships Blind Our Answers

Du’aa (supplication) is an incredible power many of us have been conditioned to practice. When in doubt, we are told to make du’aa. When we need something, we make du’aa. When we are faced with a life decision, we make du’aa. We make du’aa over and over again, consistently praying for guidance and ease. Life’s stresses and despairs force us to turn to the only One who truly does understand us.  Who else understands the tiny complex bits of our souls we are too afraid or ashamed to share other than the One who created us? We say we need Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). We repeatedly gloat about the amount of times we’ve supplicated and begged for a response. But what happens when we raise our hands for an answer to only receive it back empty?

Patience is beautiful; attaining it is exceptionally painful. Living in a world full of fast-paced chases and short-lived emotions, our happiness relies on instant gratification of the desires we think we deserve. We remind ourselves of the pains and obstacles we’ve been through, convincing ourselves we are worth of a response. Don’t I pray, ya Allah? But I gave charity? Aren’t you the Most Merciful? We begin to question our intentions and reevaluate our actions. Surely, God is the Most Merciful, right?

Right.  But are we the Most Grateful? Of course not.

Human beings are such intriguing creatures. If our du’aas are not responded in a clearcut matter within an expected time period, we begin to panic. But when life is at its highest peak and we are comfortable, the anxiety is gone. Why pray when we have everything we need?  And as the imperfect creatures we are, we fall into the fallacy of forgetting.

And so, Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) said:

“وَإِنْ تَعُدُّوا نِعْمَتَ اللَّهِ لَا تُحْصُوهَا”

“…And if you would count the blessings of Allah you would not be able to count them…” [Qur’an 14:34]

And we cannot. We thank Allah for the obvious: our health, family, wealth, and other tangible items. Rarely do we remember the little things: our mental state, the ability to attain a cup of coffee, a heart to love, and a hand to hold. Are these things included? Remembering the blessings bestowed upon us is one way of the many ways of maintaining patience. It is through understanding that Allah loves those who are patient and that He tests those He loves. Allah does not test us in spite of us, rather to be reminded.

Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) says:

“ومن يتق الله يجعل له مخرجاً، ويرزقه من حيث لا يحتسب”

“…And whoever fears Allah—He will make for him a way out / And will provide for him from where he does not expect.” [Qur’an 65:2-3]

Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) also says:

“وإذا سألك عبادي عني فإني قريب أجيب دعوة الداع إذا دعان”

“And when My servants ask you, [O Muhammad], concerning Me—indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of every supplicant when he calls upon Me…” [Qur’an 2:186]

It has been said the answers of our prayers normally fall within the following three categories: Yes, not now, or here’s something better.  Just like our du’aas, Allah’s responses come in all shapes and sizes. Whether you’re desperately praying on a bus, crying in the middle of the night, or reflecting after a prayer, Allah is Near. He always is.

So the next time you are supplicating for guidance, remember the answer will come if it hasn’t already. Perhaps if we truly knew how many times God has saved us from something we’ve wanted that would have only ended up hurting us, we would supplicate more often with increased confidence and decreased frustration.

“وَعَسَىٰ أَن تَكْرَهُوا شَيْئًا وَهُوَ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ وَعَسَىٰ أَن تُحِبُّوا شَيْئًا وَهُوَ شَرٌّ لَّكُمْ وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ وَأَنتُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُونَ”

“And it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know.” [Qur’an 2:216]

Since we do not know, is it then our right to truly be angry? If we cannot see what is to come in the next hour, how can we trust our limited capacities with our fate when the One who is the All-Knowing and the Best of Planners is on our side? We should ask ourselves, how can we despair?

It is time to rest aside the worries that fill our minds during the late hours of the nights, our heavy hearts we fill with burdens rather than comfort, and our tired eyes that have become tunneled to seek an end rather than means. Du’aa is a form of worship, but with worship comes faith. It is okay to feel sad, but know everything is perfectly planned by only He who is capable of seeking out what is best for us.

And may Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) fill our thoughts with comfort, our hearts with ease and open our eyes to an enlightened path to attaining serene patience and faith-filled confidence in our du’aas and decisions. Ameen.

Featured image found here


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