Hadith 10: Unlawful Sustenance

On the authority of Abu Huraira who said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “Verily Allah, the Exalted, is pure and accepts only that which is pure. Allah has commanded the believers to do that which He has commanded the Messengers. The Exalted has said, ‘O Messengers! Eat of the good things and do right.’ And the Exalted also said, ‘O believers! Eat of the good things that we have provided for you.’” Then he [the Prophet peace be upon him] mentioned a man who after a long journey is disheveled and dust coloured. “[The man] stretches his hands out toward the sky and says, ‘O Lord, O Lord,’ while his food is unlawful, his drink is unlawful, his clothing unlawful and his nourishment is unlawful. How is he to be answered [in such a state]?” (Recorded in Sahih Muslim)

“…while his food is unlawful, his drink is unlawful, his clothing unlawful and his nourishment is unlawful. How is he to be answered [in such a state]?” 

Allah (swt), in His infinite His Grace and Mercy, has revealed to His Prophet (s) factors which facilitate His (swt) answering of dua, as well as factors which can inhibit His (swt)answering of dua. This part of the hadith shows us some of the things we need to be careful about if we want Allah to answer our dua.

The Prophet (s) clearly states in this hadith that the man’s food, drink, clothing and nourishment were unlawful, and for these reasons Allah (swt) may not respond to his supplication, even though he was a traveller in need calling out to his Lord. This shows us that how we live, what we eat and drink and how we clothe ourselves are of fundamental importance to our relationship with our Allah (swt).

If our lives are filled with forbidden things, how can we expect Allah to respond when we ask of Him (swt)? If we do not respond to Allah’s call, how can we expect Him (swt) to respond to our call when we need Him (swt)? Allah says in the Qur’an:

“And when My servants ask you (O Muhammad) concerning Me, then that I am indeed near. I respond to the invocations of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. Therefore, let them respond to Me [My commands] and believe in Me that they may be rightly guided.” (Surah al-Baqarah:186)

It is recorded by Ibn Rajab in his work Jaami, that one of the companions of the Prophet (s) said of dua, “Do not be surprised that the response is slow in coming as you have blocked its road due to your sins.”

Ask yourself if you can think of anything that you may be doing that is blocking your dua from being answered, for we are more in need of the answer to our prayers than we are of anything else in this dunya.

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