Why Our Duas Go "Unanswered"
Extracted from the writings of Hazrat Maulana Yusuf Ludhianwi (rahimahullah)

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 Shariah and propagate unislamic 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 dua is by no means any proof that this person is accepted or beloved by Allah. Similarly, the apparent non-acceptance of a person's dua 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 duas apparently rejected all the time. On the other hand, a person who maybe despised in the sight of Allah finds his duas being promptly and regularly accepted.

Sheikh Tajuddeen Ibn Ata Iskandari (rahimahullah) has recorded a hadith in his book; the effective meaning of which is, a certain person lifts his hand in dua, Allah instructs the angels to fulfil his need immediately, because I dislike him raising his hand in dua. Another person raises his hand in dua, 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 dua is a great blessing in itself. A person who raises his hand in dua before Allah Ta'ala should never be concerned whether the dua will be accepted or not. A person should have complete conviction that whatever dua is made will definitely be accepted in the court of Allah. It is mentioned in a Hadith recorded by Abu Dawood, Tirmizi, Ibn Majah 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 dua to be accepted. If we do not acquire exactly what we ask for, then we consider our dua unaccepted. In reality, there are various ways in which a dua can be considered accepted. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said, when a servant makes dua to Allah, then through the barkat and blessing of this dua Allah Ta'ala certainly grants him one of three things, either that he gets exactly what he requested for, or his dua 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 dua 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 favour a person with His mercy. To become despondent and neglectful over dua 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 wrestless regarding acceptance of his dua. It was asked that what be meant by hastiness? The reply was, a person believes that after making fervent dua, there is no response; therefore I might as well leave out making dua. In this way he stops asking from Allah.