What are the things that are necessary to pay attention while making dua (saying prayers)? One of my relatives said we should ask anything from our Lord unless it is haram. Do you think it is true? Is it permissible to make dua like that?

The Details of the Question
When I prayed my Lord, I did not ask any worldly things like having a house, a car, etc. because I thought it would be disrespect to my Lord. However, one of my relatives said it was permissible to ask a house or a car. He even said, “Pray to Allah to give you a larger house.” He said we should ask anything from our Lord unless it is haram. Why should we not ask for comfort in the world? Do you think it is true? Is it permissible to make dua like that?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Dua is a deed of worshipping. Our main principle in duas should be worshipping. Otherwise, it is wrong to see dua as something that should be accepted and as a petition of needs.

Sometimes, we make dua for something. However, this thing is not accepted apparently. Nevertheless, we should not give up making dua. If we get what we want and Allah Almighty accepts our dua, it will be wonderful. However, if it is not accepted apparently, we should not say, “my prayer was not accepted”. On the contrary, we should say, “Allah accepted my prayer for my hereafter or for something better in the world.”

We should think this dua was not in vain and that we will receive its reward in the hereafter since it is worshipping instead of giving up dua. On the contrary, we should try to make dua more.

Allah Almighty states the following in the Quran

“Call on Me; I will answer your (Prayer).” (al-Mu’min, 40/60)

There is no limitation in the verse and it shows that all kinds of duas can be made. Anything can be asked as long as it is halal.

Acting upon this verse, some people say, “Since Allah says, ‘call on me; I will accept your prayer’, why are some of our prayers not accepted though we pray a lot?” Our scholars unanimously say that Allah says, “I will answer”, not “I will accept.” When you go to see a doctor and say to him, “O doctor’ Give me this medicine”, the doctor will definitely answer you. However, if what you want is useless or harmful to you, he will give you a better medicine.

Similarly, Allah Almighty, who has absolute wisdom, answers us and our prayers. However, it is based on His wisdom whether to accept our prayers or not; therefore, He sometimes gives the same thing as we want and sometimes a better one; He sometimes does not give anything knowing that it is harmful to us.

There are some issues that we need to be careful about while praying (making dua):

First of all, the dua should be something that is acceptable. Then, it should be made by a sincere and sinless mouth. If it is possible, it should be made when one has wudu and with halal food. Duas are especially accepted when they are made in mosques, holy times, especially in the month of Ramadan and holy nights like the Night of Power and the Night of Barat, after prayers, especially after the morning prayer based on divine wisdom and mercy. The more one moves away from these conditions, the less the effect the dua will have.

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