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How to get your Prayers Answered
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 05 - 02 - 2016

In the hour of need, who better to turn to than Allah, the Lord of the worlds, our Creator and Sustainer?
So many times in our lives, we have fervently called upon Allah, our cheeks hot from tears streaming down, feeling desperation but also trusting that He will answer our prayers. I'm sure all readers can relate.
It was Ramadan; I was pregnant with my second child. When my first child was born I had been in labor for seventeen hours; it had been a traumatic ordeal. So during my second pregnancy, I remember performing the late night prayers almost every night of Ramadan. My back ached, my feet were swollen, and my eyelids were heavy from exhaustion, but I persisted in staying up at night and making supplication. If I prayed sincerely enough for an easy and quick childbirth, I believed Allah would accept my supplication. When the baby was ready to be born, and labor pains intensified, we went to the hospital at 7 o'clock in the morning, and a pink, beautiful baby girl was born at 8 o'clock; only one hour later. Allah had answered my prayers! When making duaa, no mediator or intercessor is necessary; you supplicate directly to Allah.
There are certain etiquettes and proper manners to keep in mind when making duaa to Allah.
* Start your supplication by glorifying Allah, and thanking Allah for all of the blessings He has bestowed upon you. Call upon Allah and mention His Beautiful Names and Attributes. Start your supplication and again end it with sending peace and blessings upon Prophet Muhammad.
* Face the direction of the Qiblah when making duaa.
* Raising one's hands, the Prophet (peace be upon him) was seen raising his hands when he made duaa.
* It is not a requirement, but it is recommended that one makes wudu (ablution).
* When asking Allah, make sure that you are in a state of heightened awareness; be present in mind and heart. Be confident that Allah will either grant you what you asked for, or He may give you something else, or He may repel evil away from you, or He may withhold it and give you rewards in the Hereafter. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "Ask Allah with certainty that He will answer your prayers, and know that Allah will not accept the supplication from an absent heart". (At-Tirmidhi.)
* Avoid being hasty and impatient. Do not stop making duaa. Aisha, the wife of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, "No believer makes duaa and it is wasted. Either it is granted here in this world or deposited for him in the Hereafter as long as he does not get frustrated."
* Remember Allah, mention His Names, and make duaa to Him, in times of difficulty, and also in times of ease.
* Repeat your supplication three times; this shows a sense of urgency and humility towards Allah. In the literature on the life of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), in several situations he (peace be upon him) repeated the same duaa to Allah three times.
* Your supplication should be audible, meaning your voice is not too low or too loud.
* Say "ameen". When you hear someone saying duaa, say, "ameen", which means "Oh Allah! Please accept this duaa."
* Failing to perform the obligatory acts of worship in Islam, may be a reason for our supplication to be rejected. For example, if I miss fajr prayer every morning, there is a big chance that my duaa will not be answered.
* When you ask, ask Allah alone. When facing problems, pray and supplicate to Allah. There is no use in constantly complaining to everyone about your problems. Talk to an experienced and trustworthy person about your problem to ask for advice, but try not to become a chronic complainer. First of all, complaining does not solve your problem, it is a form of showing ingratitude to Allah for all the things in your life that are going right, and it gives off negative energy to those around you. Rather, you should passionately pray to Allah for a positive outcome from whatever difficulty you may be facing.
* Do not make duaa for harm to befall you, your children, family, friends, or anyone else for that matter. For example, if you and a colleague are competing for a position, you should not pray that your colleague fails. Instead, pray that Allah grants you success and khair (good). A Muslim never wishes inflictions on other people.
* Do not make duaa for something that is illogical or unreasonable, that is just bad conduct with Allah, for example, supplicating for Allah to revive a dead loved one, or asking Allah for you to travel in time, or other illogical things.
* Do not make duaa for something impermissible in Islam or sinful. There are many examples: asking Allah that you get an alcoholic beverage to drink, to help you steal, or any other forbidden act. It was narrated from Abu Saeed that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "There is no Muslim who does not offer any duaa in which there is no sin or severing of family ties but Allah will give him one of three things in return: either He will answer his duaa sooner, or he will store it up for him in the Hereafter, or He will divert an equivalent evil away from him because of it." The companions said, "We will say a lot of duaa." The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "Allah is more generous." (Ahmad)
* It is recommended that when you make duaa for something that you need or want for this world, to not forget to make duaa for the Hereafter, to ask for Paradise, to meet the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his companions in Paradise, and for protection from Hellfire. The most duaa that the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to repeat was, "O Allah, our Lord! Give us that which is good in this life, that which is good in the Hereafter and save us from the torment of the Fire."
* Make duaa for your loved ones and for your brothers and sisters in Islam. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "Whenever you make a supplication for another believer and he is not present, an angel will say ‘and same to you.'"

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