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HomeCritical QuestionsWhy Are Some Prayers Not Accepted?

Why Are Some Prayers Not Accepted?

According to Islam, praying is an act of worship. It means that the servant knows his weakness and accepts the greatness of his creator. The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing be upon him) drew attention to the importance of prayer and used the phrase ” Supplication is the essence of worship.“.[1]

In the Qur’an, Allah states that he responds to prayers saying, “Pray to Me and I will answer you.”[2] In this verse, what is meant by an answer does not necessarily mean that He will fulfill whatever your request is. While a person makes Dua (prayer), he also worships and gains rewards. This shows that even if the prayer is not answered in this world, it will be answered in the hereafter.

Sometimes a person may insist on getting something that is not proper for him. As a result, it may happen something which is not good for him. This situation is expressed as follows in verse 216 of the chapter of Al-Baqarah:” Perhaps you dislike something which is good for you and like something which is bad for you. Allah knows and you do not know.”Bediuzaman Said Nursi, one of the Islamic scholars, explained the reason why sometimes just some of our prayers are  accepted with the following example; If a patient persistently asks a doctor for a medicine that will harm him or her, the doctor will not give that medicine to that person. Because he knows that the cure of that patient is with another medicine. Likewise, the one who created man and knows him knows better than himself what is better and useful for him.[3]

A person who prays experiences a sense of spiritual satisfaction. Because expressing one’s heart to a creator[4] who is closest to him and knows even what he is going through makes one feel that he is not alone. There is no need for a time or place to pray, Dua(prayer) can be made to Allah anytime, anywhere. However, in many hadiths, there are recommended times for the prayer to be accepted[5], and it is also stated that prayers made in different situations such as the prayer of the father for the his child, the prayer of the Muslim for the Muslim, and the prayer of the traveler are more acceptanced.[6]

Worldly life is based on borders. There is a limit to what the eye can see; the eye can’t see through the wall. There is a limit to the ear’s hearing; cannot hear sound of all frequencies. According to Islam, heaven is the place where all these limits are lifted and things that seem impossible for this world become possible. Therefore, it is impossible to fulfill every wish of all people living in the world at the same time, as desired. Doing so will prevent confusion and negativities.

[1] At-Tirmidhi, Chapter on Supplication, 1
[2] Gafir, 60
[3] Bediuzaman Said Nursi, 23rd word, 5th point
[4] Al-Kahf, 16-17; Al-Baqarah, 186
[5] Like the prayer between the adhan and the iqama (Al-Jami’ as-Saghir)
[6] Al-Jami’ as-Saghir


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