Why does Allah not accept all our requests?

The Details of the Question

We know this statement and similar ones: “If He had not wanted to give, He would not have given wanting.”
- According to those statements, He wants us to ask Him....
- Why does Allah answer our prayers in different ways though He wants us to pray?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Prayer (dua) is a deed of worship. The first reward of prayer is that a person feels his weakness and turns to a being who has power and strength. Thus, he feels that he is not an unattended and desolate person, that his weakness and poverty are not a reason for humiliation and insult, but that his weakness and poverty bring him closer to Allah. Man feels the idea, “I have a Lord who knows me better than me and who has mercy on me” whenever he prays.

Since God Almighty wants a person to feel his weakness and beg Him, we can ask Allah for all kinds of legitimate and positive things that we cannot reach according to the statement, “If He had not wanted to give, He would not have given wanting”. However, if we want those wishes to be transformed into worship, we are to correct our intentions. In other words, it is necessary to have the intention of helping the poor and serving the religion of Islam while asking for wealth and property so that our prayer will be a deed of worship, whether our wishes come true or not. Prayer is not done only with the tongue. However, the most effective prayer is the prayer based on working, which we call actual prayer.

The fact that our Prophet (pbuh) did not want worldly things does not mean that they are bad because there are also his prayers in which he wants his ummah not to experience financial difficulties. Besides, a Muslim needs to abandon worldly things with his heart, not with his deeds. That is, we need to work hard and earn money. We need to rise to high positions but we should not place them in our hearts. Our hearts should be filled with the love of the hereafter, together with Allah. Otherwise - God forbid - if we put the world in our hearts and attach importance to wealth, the things we earn will distance us from Allah.

- Is dua (prayer, supplication) a deed of worship?

The Lord of the Realms arranged the sky and the earth for man. He starts the Quran, which He sent down to show humans and jinn the correct way, the true path, with the verse “Praise be to Allah, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the worlds”. God Almighty informs His servants that He is Rahman (Most Compassionate) and Rahim (Most Merciful) and that He is the master of the Day of Judgment; then, He virtually makes man speak: “Thee do we worship, and Thine aid we seek.” Thus, He declares that the real purpose of the arrangement of the realms is worshipping, begging and asking for help. He allocates the remaining part of the chapter to supplication...

As it is known, man’s worldly life is based on two principles: Obtaining benefits and banishing harmful things. Spiritual life is like that too. It also has its benefits and harms. It also has friends and enemies. It can also be fine and get ill. It also eats, drinks, grows; gets ill and dies...

We see those two principles, namely, the issue of obtaining benefits and banishing harmful things in the last part of the chapter in a wonderful way.

By saying “Guide us to sirat al-mustaqim”, that is, to the path of the prophets, the veracious people, the martyrs and the righteous,” we express the greatest need of our spirits through prayer. And we take refuge in our Lord again as if the glitters of this happy day were sighted on the horizon and the danger of their disappearance occurred by saying, “Not to the way of those and who go not astray and incur Your wrath...”

There is worship, taking refuge and prayer (dua) in the creation of man... And man was created extremely poor and weak so that he could easily reach that great honor.

“Your essential nature is kneaded out of fault, deficiency, poverty, and impotence, and like the relative degree of darkness and obscurity shows the brightness of light, with regard to opposites, you act as a mirror through them to the perfection, beauty, power, and mercy of the Beauteous Creator.” (see Sözler, Yirmi Dördüncü Söz)

Man is weak. As Nursi states it in a nice way, a microbe that cannot be seen with the naked eye and can only be seen after being magnified so many times knocks man down and kills him.

Man is helpless. He is not strong enough to meet any of his needs on his own. He needs soil for vegetables and trees for fruits. He is incapable of making either of them. He needs the sunrise and the sunset. Both are beyond his power. He needs his blood to be cleaned and his cells to be changed. They do not occur with his power and strength.

And man is infinitely poor. Nothing is his own wealth and property. Everything, from his eyes to his ears, from his teeth to his nails, is entrusted to him. The wisdom behind the human nature being kneaded out of weakness, helplessness and poverty, is that he can be a bright mirror for the Divine Names.

The eye is in need of the sun and is incapable of bringing it. Allah accepts the prayer of this small piece of oil with the tongue of disposition and sends the sun to help. We also need Paradise, eternal life and divine consent... And it is not likely for us to attain them with our partial power and faint worship...

Prayer (salah), fasting and other deeds of worship are all duas. Allah, who makes the eyes meet the sun, can take us to Paradise as long as our prayers are accepted...

Man, who is not capable of anything and is in need of everything, knocks on the door of prayer (dua); similarly, he asks for help from his Lord and takes refuge in Him against his endless enemies, whom he is too weak to get rid of.

The chapters of the Quran, which begin with praising the Lord of the realms end with taking refuge in Allah, who is “Rabbulfalaq” and ”Rabbunnas”... If you want to catch a flying fly, it will flee from your evil and take refuge in a secluded corner of the room. However, if the air in which it flies becomes an enemy of it, where can it flee? There is only one thing left for it to do: to take refuge in the Creator of air.

Similarly, we seek refuge in Allah, who is Rabbulfalaq and Rabbunnas, from the evil of all creatures, from the evil of our souls, which can be deceived by the devil, and the evil of other people.

There is a nice and detailed prayer (dua) topic in Risale-i Nur Collection. A lesson of reality from it:

“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.” (see Sözler, Yirmi Üçüncü Söz)

The following is stated in Imam Rabbani’s Mektûbat: “Worship consists of humility and broken heart.” One of the best moments when man feels his weakness and humility and turns toward his Lord with a broken heart is the moment of dua.   

When man prays to Allah, he obeys the order in the chapter of al-A’raf: “Call on your Lord with humility and in private...” (al-A’raf, 7/55) He takes refuge in Him, asks from Him and prays for forgiveness. This state is a form of worship and will bear its fruit in the hereafter. There is also the issue of the realization of the desired things in the world. We do not worship for them; they are only a means of worship. And those moments of need are times of dua. At that time, man understands his poverty and weakness better, and with the understanding that only Rabbul-alamin is capable of fulfilling them, he opens his hands in His presence and begs Him.

The highest and most sublime degree of wanting is to ask Him for Him... To ask for His consent. To seek closeness to Him. To want to attain perfection in belief in Him, in loving Him, and in fearing Him. “...For without doubt in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find satisfaction.” (ar-Rad, 13/28)” Listening to the deep message given in the verse above and asking Him to remember Him. With the awareness that He is closer to us than we are, to want to feel His closeness in our hearts and hence to be with Him.

The soul intervenes even in dua. And it makes the servant who begs Him in His presence heedless of Him in a sense. And instead of asking for Him, it tells the heart to be engaged in the blessings of the world.

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