Why are prayers for Palestine not accepted?

The Details of the Question

- If our prayers are not accepted, have they not achieved their purpose?
- Will you explain the relationship between prayer and qadar (destiny)?
- We have been aware of Israel’s torture of Palestinians since 2008. In the face of these tortures and deaths, which have increased year by year, we in the Islamic world have increased our prayers for Palestine every day. In every prayer, our imams ask Allah for help. There is also a separate section in all prayers for the welfare and peace of the entire Islamic world. Despite all this, the torture of our Palestinian brothers and sisters, who are a Muslim community, by the Jews was going on until yesterday, though it was not reflected in the media very much, until the reconciliation. My question splits into two at this point:
1) Would it have turned out the same way without all these prayers?
-  In other words, the tortures continue; would they have happened again if there had been no prayers?
- Does this result show that all the prayers did not achieve their purpose?
- Or why did the result of all the prayers delay so long?
2) I do not mean to question, but why does Allah allow this to happen even though He is aware of all that is going on?
-  On the one side are the believers whom He loves and whom He has heralded with victory in His sublime word, and on the other side are the Jews who believe that they are the chosen ones.

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

1) The answer to the question, “Would it have turned out the same way without all these prayers?” is not something that people know for sure. It is not possible for us to know for sure how it would have happened. The fact that so many and continuous prayers are said is definitely an important factor in the acceptance of the prayers.

Accordingly, it can be said that if it were not for these prayers about Palestine, perhaps the suffering would have been much worse.

- The current situation does not mean that the prayers are not accepted:

 “What would my Lord care for you if not for your supplication?” (al-Furqan, 25/77)

As it is stated in the verse above, prayer (supplication) is a sign of servitude, a sign of worship, service to God. The main result of worship is in the hereafter. The benefits in the world are divine grace.

Since prayer is a deed of worship, we do not know whether a dua (supplication) is accepted or not just as we do not know whether a deed of worship such as salah (prayer) is accepted or not.  

- Moreover, the acceptability of worship and prayer (dua) - along with some other conditions of acceptance - is proportional to whether the worshipper is an acceptable person in the sight of Allah or not.

It is an undeniable fact that today’s Muslims do not have the power and strength, technique and technology, which are regarded as actual prayer, that they mix halal with haram and that they disrespect and disobey Allah all the time.

We should not expect the prayers uttered by those disobedient mouths to be accepted. If they are accepted, it is a grace of Allah; if not, it is a manifestation of divine justice. This fact, expressed in the maxim “One misfortune is better than a thousand pieces of advice”, seems to be an important reason for the decision to continue the misfortune.

- As Badiuzzaman Said Nursi states, the acceptance of the prayers we make verbally is in two ways: Either the same thing we desire is granted, or it is granted in a better way.

For example, someone asks for a son and Almighty God bestows a daughter like Mary. One should not say, ‘his supplication was not accepted’, but ‘it was accepted in a better way’. Sometimes a person utters prayers for his own happiness in this world, and it is accepted for the hereafter. It cannot be said: ‘His prayer was rejected,’ but ‘It was accepted in a more beneficial form.’ Since Almighty God is All-Wise, we seek from Him and He responds to us. However, He deals with us according to His wisdom. A sick person should not cast aspersions on the wisdom of his doctor. If he asks for honey and the expert doctor gives him quinine, he cannot say: ‘The doctor did not listen to me.’ Rather, the doctor listened to his sighs and moans; he heard them and responded to them. He provided better than what was asked for.” (see Mektubat, p. 301)

Also, supplication is a form of worship and recognition of man’s servitude to God. The fruits of this pertain to the hereafter. The aims pertaining to this world are the times of a particular sort of supplication and worship.”

“For example, the prayers and supplications for rain are a form of worship. Drought is the time for such worship. Worship and supplications of this sort are not in order to bring rain. If they are performed with that intention alone they are not worthy of acceptance, for they are not sincere worship.”

“Sunset is the time of the evening prayers. And eclipses of the sun and moon are the times of two particular prayers known as salat al-kusuf and salat al-khusuf. That is to say, with the veiling of the two luminous signs of the night and day, God’s tremendousness is proclaimed, so Almighty God calls his servants to a sort of worship at those times. The prayers are not so that the sun and moon will be revealed (whose appearance and how long the eclipses will continue have anyway been reckoned by astronomers). (See Sözler, Yirmi Üçüncü Söz, Birinci Mebhas)

2) Allah is definitely aware of everything. However, Allah evaluates the test He has prepared for people not according to His all-encompassing eternal knowledge, but according to the state of the deeds that people do with their own free will because this is a requirement for the fairness of the test.

In that case, Allah permits the deeds that enable people to win the test just as He permits the deeds that make people lose it. If Allah held the murderer or the thief by the hand, or put a lock on the mouths of people who gossip, backbite, and encourage mischief, then the test would have no losers and it would cease to be a test.

Thus, it is a requirement of justice that those who do good deeds be given the opportunity as well as those who do bad deeds.

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