How Dua Works
Will your prayers be answered?
We always make dua hoping our beseech to be answered to Allah. There are two kinds of duas - one for preserving happiness and one for removal of calamity. But I and you cannot use our duas as a test whether Allah is happy with us or not. There are people who were and are great in character, belief and actions and yet they have faced the greatest of trials by the one who they worship - Allah.
Before I begin my article I need you readers to know that getting your duas answered has nothing to do with whether Allah is happy with you or not.
Maryam (AS) was one of the blessed souls whose prayers were answered immediately. Whatever she wanted, she just prayed 2 rakah and her prayers were answered. She used to receive food miraculously. Because of this she had developed a strong connection and reliance with Allah (SWT). But off lately, her prayers were not getting answered. So she resorted to even more stringent worship of Allah. She cries, begs and asks Allah for help. But nothing was of help; things were just getting worse day by day. She thought to herself that maybe she is no longer in the good books of her Creator.
Do you think that she was not pious enough to get her prayers answered? History as well as verses of the Quran are in praise of the nobility of character of this great religious lady. Prophet Nuh(AS) was a great messenger and a loving father figure. Still Allah did not answer his call of his family accepting Islam. Was there any flaws on the part of Nuh(AS) that his family went astray in spite of his repeated duas for his family to Allah?
All of us go through difficult times because Allah knows what is better for you. That better could be in life, or that better thing could be when you meet Allah after death. Because if we keep investigating the reason of each and every problems in life we will only get more and more frustrated. What did Yusuf(AS), as a child, did to deserve to be thrown in the well? What sin did his father commit to be separated from his child of such a tender age? but it was in Allah's master plan that this all was destined to happen. Had not Yusuf (AS) not been kidnapped and thrown in the well; he would not have been picked up by the people of caravan, nor would had he been transported to Egypt, nor would he put behind bars for the crime he didn't commit, nor would he interpret the dreams of the king and nor would the lives of all the people be saved because of Yusuf (AS) ability to interpret dream of the king, which alerted the oncoming calamity of that time.
This is the ultimate plan of Allah! We humans with our extremely limited thought process cannot possibly decipher Allah's plan of working with our lives. So Islam gave us a beautiful way of asking and beseeching Allah's help and mercy in the way of dua. Dua is a powerful tool of the believer to grant him the patience and maturity to handle life's situations with the full conviction that Allah is the best of planners and He has planned the best for the believer.
Our duas are means by which we connect to Allah. It is not the means by which this world can become heaven.
Then What Exactly is the Purpose of Dua?
This world is and will be with trials an tribulations - always. Does that mean that Allah is not concerned with our duas and requests? Before we reach any conclusion we should remember that dua is a means of connection with our creator; not the means to create heaven for everyone of us in this world. Sometimes the difficulties we all face is actually a small price to pay for a lot of goodness to come; either in this world or in the next or both.
The story of Maryam (AS) is the best example of the way Allah answers prayers in His own way. The mother of Maryam (AS) expected a male child to be offered as a sacrifice to the worship of Allah in the house of Allah. Maryam (AS) was special in many ways. Allah would intervene in smallest of affairs like giving food from the sky; something which we have to get up to get it. Such a lady was informed by the angels of Allah that she was going to be a mother; even though no non-related male had seen her! In spite of her high status, no amount of dua would have saved her from the humiliation that she had to go through to bear a child out of wed lock. She was so grieved that she wished she died in labor as an easy escape from the humiliation that she knows she will go through once she bears that child that Allah decreed for her. But this did not mean that Allah was angry or displeased with her. It was the decree which had to be gone through. Allah chose her inspite of she being the one whose prayers were always and immediately answered.
Allah still honors you in spite of people humiliating you.
If you go by what Allah says, Maryam (AS) was the most humiliated person; and if you go by what Allah says Maryam (AS) was the most honored person.
So remember this next time you think Allah has forsaken you and your duas!