Friday, May 21, 2010

Not losing hope in the Dua’s that we make...

One of the common complaints of many of us Muslims is that when we make Dua, we don’t see its immediate effects. As a result, we get disheartened and lose hope in the effectiveness and powers of our Dua. The post below highlights a passage written by Ibn Al-Jawzi (may Allah have mercy on him) where he discusses this topic.
For those of us who don’t know, Abu’l-Faraj ibn al-Jawzi (508 AH – 597 AH) is known to be one of the most prolific authors in Islamic history. According to a research conducted on the extent of his research works, the number of Ibn al-Jawzi’s books is more than 376 texts. Some even say that he is the author of more than 700 works.
About the matter of Dua’s not being answered. Ibn al-Jawzi in one of his books commented the following:
I think part of the test is when a believer supplicates and receives no response, and he repeats the dua for a long time and sees no sign of a response. He should realize that this is a test and needs patience.
What a person experiences of waswaas (whispers from shaytan) when the response is delayed is a sickness which needs medicine – I have experienced this myself. A calamity befell me and I supplicated and did not see any response, and Iblees started to lay his traps. Sometimes he said: The generosity (ofAllah) is abundant and He is not miserly, so why is there a delay?
I said to him: Be gone, O cursed one, for I have no need of anyone to argue my case and I do not want you as a supporter!
Then I told myself: Beware of going along with his whispers, for if there was no other reason for the delay except that Allah is testing you to see whether you will fight the enemy, that is sufficient wisdom.
My soul (nafs) said: How could you explain the delay in the response of Allah to your prayers for relief from this calamity?
I said: It is proven with evidence that Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, is the Sovereign, and the Sovereign may withhold or give, so there is no point in objecting to Him.
The wisdom behind that is proven in definitive evidence. I may think that something is good, but wisdom does not dictate it, but the reason for that may be hidden, just as a doctor may do things that appear outwardly to be harmful, intending some good purpose thereby. Perhaps this is something of that nature.
There may be an interest to be served by delay, and haste may be harmful. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “A person will be fine so long as he does not become impatient and says, ‘I prayed but I did not receive any answer.’”
The response may be withheld because of some fault in you. Perhaps there was something dubious in what you ate or your heart was heedless at the time when you said the dua, or your punishment is being increased by means of your need being withheld, because of some sin from which you have not repented sincerely. So look for some of these reasons, so that you might achieve your aim.
You should examine the intention behind this request, because attaining it may lead to more sin, or prevent you from doing some good, so withholding it is better.
Perhaps losing what you have missed out on will cause you to turn to Allah and getting it will distract you from Him. This is obvious, based on the fact that were it not for this calamity you would not have turned to Him, because the real calamity is what distracts you from Him, but what makes you stand before Him is good for you and is in your best interests.
If you ponder these things you will focus on what is more beneficial for you, such as correcting a mistake or seeking forgiveness or standing before Allah and beseeching Him, and forget about what you have missed out on.
End quote. Source: Sayd al-Khaatir (59-60). (This publication is in three volumes containing aphorisms and wise counsels)
About the issue of Dua’s being accepted, the following two sayings by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) are also very noteworthy:
It was narrated that Faddalah ibn ‘Ubayd said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) heard a man making dua after his prayer, but he did not send blessings upon the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “This man is in a hurry.” Then he called him and said to him or to someone else: “When any one of you has finished praying (and makes dua), let him start by praising Allah, then let him send blessings upon the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), then after that let him ask for whatever he wants.” Al-Albani said: it is a saheeh hadeeth. (Saheeh Sunan al-Tirmidhi, 2765.
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The slave will receive a response so long as his dua does not involve sin or severing of family ties, and so long as he is not hasty.” It was said, “What does being hasty mean?” He said: “When he says, ‘I made dua and I made dua, and I have not seen any response,’ and he gets frustrated and stops making dua.” Narrated by al-Bukahari, 6340; Muslim, 2735.
— Finally, for those of us who have abandoned the practice of Dua, we may be missing something quite important. Wishing is not the same thing as making a Dua. We may keep wishing our wishes but we have a better chance of seeing them materialized when we actually make the effort to enter the state of Dua and asking Him what we want.

Monitoring Our Tank of Faith!

Saw this in an email and thought it was worthwhile sharing!

Monitoring our tank of faith!

These days I have been listening to a series of lectures based on the
topic of how to become an excellent teacher of Quran. Surprisingly I
have learned things which I had not even expected. For example, the
concept that external problems or hurdles are not the real obstacle in
the way of success… Rather it is our sins which have the most damaging
effect on our lives. This reminded me of the countless times I have
told others that I could not do such and such thing or could not
complete the target I had in mind because of this problem or that
hurdle… sometimes blaming people, other times crying over health
problems… always a string of excuses which are nothing more than that…
excuses! Because If I had truly wanted to do something and sincerely
asked Allah, then why would he not let me do things which I want to do
only for his sake? Surely there must be something wrong inside my own

I remember a few years ago I had gone to visit my parents. The next
morning there was no water in the taps… very strange!!! Because the
night before they had got the water tank refilled… so where did those
gallons of water disappear? Plumbers were called and they began
digging to find the leakage… the whole house was in an uproar, with
people coming in and out… nothing else could be done because
everything depends on water. Finally the broken pipe was discovered
and repaired, the tank was filled again and life restored back to

But when the same story happens with our tank of faith and knowledge;
it never becomes an issue of concern. We fill our hearts and minds
with the knowledge of Quran and Hadith… but the next day when we face
any situation and open the tap, nothing comes out… no patience, no
gratitude, no kindness with others… where did all the knowledge go? No
body is worried… no one tries to find the leakage of the heart…

But we must realize that just as life stops if there is no water,
similarly the soul dies if there is no faith… our very survival
depends on it… so if the knowledge is not coming out in deeds then it
means that there is some serious leakage problem. For me it remained a
mystery for many years but Alhamdulillah I just found out that every
sin for which we do not feel guilty nor do taubah nor correct it… then
it creates a crack in our heart from where faith keeps dripping out
and we don’t even realize it. So whenever we feel lack of motivation,
lack of energy, then immediately we should pray to Allah to show us
where we went wrong and then honestly and sincerely ask Allah for
forgiveness. So as to mend the crack and ensure that our tank of faith
remains full.

May Allah protect us from our self conceit and give us insight with
which we might realize our mistakes and correct our ways. Because no
one else can do it for us. Each one of us has to be responsible for
his own life.