Are the good prayers we say for the hereafter definitely accepted? They say Allah answers all prayers of His slaves and that if his prayer is good for him, He gives it in the world or gives what he wishes in Paradise.

Details of the Question
They say Allah answers all prayers of His slaves and that if his prayer is good for him, He gives it in the world or gives what he wishes in Paradise. If our prayer is to attain guidance or to keep away from sins and to be among the slaves that He loves and since this is something really good for us, will Allah answer this prayer, which we say heartily?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

As long as we are aware that we are slaves, there is no limit to what we can ask from Allah. The Prophet (pbuh) asked the highest stations from Allah.

For, Allah likes it when people want something from Him and likes giving people what they want. (1) Therefore, the Prophet warned his Companions and ummah about praying to Allah and asking from Him; he said we could ask from Him a lot. Besides, he says that Allah, who is lofty and absolutely rich, gets angry with those who do not want from him. (2) He himself asked from Allah the best of what can be wanted and the most valuable ones.

For instance, he wanted “Maqam al-Mahmud”; then, he wanted “to intercede” for his ummah on the Day of Judgment. He wanted the accompaniment of Jibril when he died. He also gave us several clues about what we can ask from Allah. One of them is as follows: 

“Ask all of your needs from your Lord, even your shoelaces that are torn.” (3)

In that case, we should want everything for our world and hereafter by leaving aside thoughts like the following: “What should we want from Allah? What should we not want? What will be appropriate? What will not be appropriate” However, we should ask sincerely; sincerity is necessary in all prayers and deeds of worship. Yes, if a person wants something from Allah, He will give him whatever he wants; He will not deprive him of what he wants.

Nothing is difficult for Allah; He will answer our prayers and meet our deeds if He is pleased with us and accepts us. We should ask everything “only from Him”, whether small or big, important or unimportant. For, everything is present in His treasury if we ask from Him and know how to ask.

Badiuzzaman Said Nursi expresses this issue as follows:  

“If you say:  We frequently offer supplications, but they are not accepted. But the verse is general, it states that every supplication is answered.”

“To answer is one thing, to accept is something quite different. Every supplication is answered, but its being accepted and exactly what was sought being given is dependent on Almighty Allah’s wisdom. For example, if a sick child calls the doctor, saying: “Doctor! Doctor!”, and he replies: “Here I am, what do you want?”, and the child says: “Give me that medicine!”, the doctor will either give him exactly what he asks for or something better and more beneficial for him. Or knowing that medicine is harmful for his illness, he will give him nothing. Thus, since Almighty Allah is all-present and all-seeing, He responds to the supplications of His servants. Through His presence and response, He transforms the desolation of loneliness and solitude into familiarity. But He does this, not in accordance with man’s capricious and importunate demands, but in accordance with the requirements of dominical wisdom; He gives either what is sought or what is better than it, or He gives nothing at all.” (4)

Besides, there are hadiths regarding the issue. In a hadith narrated by Abu Hurayra, the Prophet (pbuh) says,

“The invocation of anyone of you is granted by Allah if he does not show impatience by saying, "I invoked Allah but my request has not been granted." (5)

Another narration by Muslim is as follows:

“The prayer of a slave is accepted unless he demands sins or wants to sever of the ties of kinship.”

The following is stated in a narration by Tirmidhi:

“There is not a man who calls upon Allah with a supplication, except that he is answered. Either it shall be granted to him in the world, or reserved for him in the Hereafter, or, his sins shall be expiated for it according to the extent that he supplicated - as long as he does not supplicate for some sin, or for the severing of the ties of kinship, and he does not become hasty.” (6)

As it is understood from the hadith, the prayer of a person is accepted unless he wants sins and haram things.

Footnotes:

(1) Tirmidhi, Daawat 126 (3566).
(2) Tirmidhi, Daawat 3, (3370); Ibn Majah, Dua 1, (3827).
(3) Tirmidhi, Daawat 149, (3607, 3608).
(4) İman ve Küfür Muvazeneleri 102.
(5) Bukhari, Daawat, 22.
(6) Tirmidhi, Daawat 145

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