Prayer in the Qur’an


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Being concerned that a prayer will not be answered

As a result of the inculcations we are subjected to throughout our lives, we come to disregard the incredible miracles taking place in the flow of life. In time, many people come to believe that events on earth occur coincidentally or randomly. In actuality, most of these people do not deny Allah's existence or at least, renounce it outright. Yet they assume that the universe operates in a fashion independent of Allah, that Allah does not intervene in the course of mundane affairs, or that He intervenes once in a while through "miracles." This person, who fails to regard Allah in a manner due Him, also fails to grasp that Allah answers prayers. Even if he prays, he harbors doubts that Allah will answer.

However, a believer is certain that Allah hears her when she prays and answers her in one way or another, for she is aware that events take place not casually but in compliance with a destiny preordained by Allah. For this reason, she never feels concerned that her prayer will remain unanswered. Allah answers heartfelt prayers. As Allah states:

If My servants ask you about Me, I am near. I answer the call of the caller when he calls on Me. They should therefore respond to Me and believe in Me so that hopefully they will be rightly guided. (Surat al-Baqara: 186)

Other verses read, "... He Who responds to the oppressed when they call on Him..." (Surat an-Naml: 61). This verse reinforces the fact that Allah answers all sincere prayers.

Consequently, one must supplicate with a firm assurance of Allah's help. The contrary, that is, having doubts about whether Allah will answer one's call, is from the outset an attitude converse to the Qur'anic rationale. Our Prophet's (saas) hadith "one should beg one's Lord with a will and full devotion, for there is nothing in the eye of Allah which He cannot grant." (Muslim) also points to that fact.

For this reason, the two basic attributes of a supplicant are sincerity and trust in Allah. Allah wants His servants to be near to Him; He answers those calls His servants make with a sincere heart. For Allah, Who created humankind from a single drop of water, and the universe from nothing, it is very easy to answer prayer. One needs only to turn to Allah with an unswerving faith and patience.

The greatest mistake people make about prayers is to cease praying because of the concern that the prayer won't be answered. This is, in many ways, a flawed, and even ignorant, attitude. We must first make it clear that the answer of a prayer is not necessarily the "exact answer" one expects. As stated above, one may ask for something that is detrimental. This verse makes this point clear: "Man prays for evil just as he prays for good. Man is prone to be impetuous." (Surat al-Isra: 11)

The reason a person may not receive an answer straight after their prayers or may receive an answer in a different form, is a test from Allah. Allah may well give those blessings at the end of a certain period for a particular purpose, to put His servants' patience to test, for instance, or to make them attain a more perfected faith.

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