One of the greatest test and trials that a Muslim might be afflicted with is their du’a is not answered. This is why the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, would pray to Allah that his du’a would always be responded to. He would supplicate:
“O Allah! I seek refuge from your knowledge that is without benefit, and from a heart that does not become fearful, and from a soul that is never satisfied, and from a du’a that is not responded to!” (Recorded in Muslim)
SubhanAllah what a beautiful du’a!
One of the things that prevents our du’a from being answered is unlawful sustenance. Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Prophet, 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)
This hadith, which you can find a full commentary on here, informs us that unlawful sustenance the greatest causes for one’s du’a not to be responded to. We can see in this example that so many other things are in place for this man’s du’a to be responded to – he was a traveller in a foreign land, he was making tawassul with one of Allah’s most comprehensive names ‘ar-Rabb, he repeated his du’a and emphasised that he was in need of Allah’s help – and yet, his du’a was not responded to.
In fact, the Prophet, peace be upon him, emphasises the point by saying, ‘How can he be answered?‘ implying that the sin of haram sustenance is so great that there is no point in him even hoping that his du’a would answered.
So it is essential, if we want our du’a to be responded to, that we ensure that we sustain ourselves with money that is pure, and not gained from unlawful means (i.e. interest, alcohol, deceit etc) and that we eat only of what is tayyib, or pure and good.
It is recorded that Sa’d ibn Abi Waqas, one of the Prophet’s Companions was once asked, “Why is it that your du’as are responded to, amongst all of the Companions?’ He replied, ‘I do not raise to my mouth a morsel except that I know where it came from and where it came out of.”
Let’s ask ourselves, is there anything that is blocking our du’a from being responded to?