I recently saw a post on facebook by someone who had very eloquently stated her struggles with dua/praying for something. What she said really struck a chord with me. She had been praying for something from Allah but was self defeating about it. She was praying for it but thinking that she wouldn’t get it or by not getting it, Allah was testing her. She wasn’t really sure in her heart that she would get it. She then had an epiphany and remembered a hadith where Allah the Most High says “I am as my servant thinks I am…” Many scholars have explained this hadith with the point that we must be optimistic that Allah is hearing our duas and pleas and they will be answered. However, the they will be answered may not be the way we envisioned it to be.
I then went to jumuah the next day and the khateeb mentioned some beautiful points about dua. We must make dua with confidence that they will be answered. Did Allah not grant shaytan’s dua to misguide mankind until the Day of Judgment? Even shaytan’s dua was answered so even if we feel we have too many sins, we can still ask. However, we should still worry that we have sinned or that what we are asking for may not be right for us. We should make sure that we are continually performing good deeds as that will help our case with Allah. We should make dua from our heart but also make the effort to achieve our goals to the best of our capabilities. We should not pray for something haram. We should pray continuously but not make it routine where it is coming from our lips but our minds are elsewhere. Most important is not to be impatient and think it’s not being answered and then stop making the dua. It may not happen in this dunya but a better reward may be waiting in the akhirah. Dua is not like a vending machine where it is dispensed automatically. As a parent, we do not want to give candy to a child every time they ask for it, so it is a similar situation. Maybe you are not ready for that job or that company will go bankrupt or the job would have kept you away from salah or family. We must believe that Allah knows what is best for us.
One of the Prophet’s (SAW) favorite duas was Rabbana atina fid- dunya hasanatan wa fil ‘akhirati hasanatan waqina ‘adhaban-nar
“Our Lord, Grant us good in this world and good in the Hereafter, and save us from the chastisement of the Fire” (2:201)