Your Dua To Become A Hafiz Isn't Being Left Unanswered

Almost everyone wants to know a du'ā' (a supplication) that will help them memorise the Qur'ān quickly and easily. On the other hand, we have those that are making du'ā' but feel like they are going unanswered. They feel various emotions and struggle to understand what's happening - to the point that they even begin to leave prayer and interaction with the Qur'ān completely.

This article is about these people.

Those that feel like Allāh is not answering them. Those that feel that their memorisation of the Qur'ān (Hifz) is not going the way they want it.

I want to remind you of why you should never give up your pursuit of memorising the Qur'ān or any good endeavour.

What is the meaning of du'ā' (supplication)?

Everything begins with a definition. Supplication is something that has been described as the weapon of a believer and the essence of worship. It is a command of Allāh (40:60) and His Messenger (ﷺ). The dua is an action that is beloved to Him and His servants. It is something for Allāh alone. It is one of the precious tools available to a believer.

The word du'ā' can mean different things.

Linguistically it can mean to invoke or to call, or pray. We find that the word is used in the Qur'ān in one of three ways: (1) to invite or to call (da'wah), (2) to pray, supplicate, or invoke (Iltijā'), and (3) worship [in reference to idolators] ('Ibādah).

To make du'ā' is to seek to call Allāh (ﷻ) for what He knows is better. It is a way for us to communicate and help deal with things in our worldly life and hereafter. We can ask about everything:

عَنْ أَنَسٍ قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ لِيَسْأَلْ أَحَدُكُمْ رَبَّهُ حَاجَتَهُ كُلَّهَا حَتَّى يَسْأَلَ شِسْعَ نَعْلِهِ إِذَا انْقَطَعَ

Anas ibn Mālik reported: The Messenger of Allāh (ﷺ) said, “Let one of you ask his Rabb for his needs, all of them, even for a shoestring when his breaks.” (Sunan al-Tirmidhī)

The Prophet (ﷺ) has taught us many supplications and the ways of getting them accepted. But what happens? We think we know better and we grow impatient and full of negative emotions.

I remember a young brother always reaching out to me who was memorising the Qur'ān but he wanted to find a way to memorise really fast. He would mention that he makes dua but nothing happens. He wanted to know all the times and ways for his dua to be accepted. He tried different methods but he is still in the same situation. Despite me telling him that he needed patience and a long-term mindset, he kept complaining. It was only through experience that he finally realised that I was right. The problem wasn't in dua and its acceptance. The problem was his attitude and mindset.

You should never say: "Allāh doesn't accept my du'ā'"

Allāh (ﷻ) says in the Qur'ān very clearly that He is near and that He answers the call of His slave whenever he calls onto Him (al-Baqarah).

The Prophet (ﷺ) has taught us that our dua are answered.

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ يُسْتَجَابُ لِأَحَدِكُمْ مَا لَمْ يَعْجَلْ يَقُولُ دَعَوْتُ فَلَمْ يُسْتَجَبْ لِي

Abu Huraira (Allāh be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allāh (ﷺ) said, “Every one of you will have his supplications answered, as long as he is not impatient and he says: I have supplicated but I was not answered.” (al-Bukhārī and Muslim)

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ يُسْتَجَابُ لِأَحَدِكُمْ مَا لَمْ يَعْجَلْ يَقُولُ دَعَوْتُ فَلَمْ يُسْتَجَبْ لِي

Anas ibn Mālik (Allāh be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allāh (ﷺ) said, “The servant will continue to be upon goodness as long as he is not impatient.” They said, “O Messenger of Allāh (ﷺ), how is he impatient?” The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “He says: I have supplicated to my Lord and He did not answer me.” (Musnad Aḥmad)

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ لَا يَزَالُ يُسْتَجَابُ لِلْعَبْدِ مَا لَمْ يَدْعُ بِإِثْمٍ أَوْ قَطِيعَةِ رَحِمٍ مَا لَمْ يَسْتَعْجِلْ قِيلَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ مَا الِاسْتِعْجَالُ قَالَ يَقُولُ قَدْ دَعَوْتُ وَقَدْ دَعَوْتُ فَلَمْ أَرَ يَسْتَجِيبُ لِي فَيَسْتَحْسِرُ عِنْدَ ذَلِكَ وَيَدَعُ الدُّعَاءَ

Abu Huraira (Allāh be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allāh (ﷺ) said, “The servant will continue to have his supplications answered as long as he does not ask for a sin or cutting family ties, and he is not impatient.” They said, “O Messenger of Allāh (ﷺ), what is its impatience?” The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “He says: I have supplicated again and again, but I have not seen an answer. He becomes frustrated with that and gives up supplicating.” (Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim)

What do we see here?

We see that if you complain that Allāh does not answer, you're going against the Qur'ān and Hadīth. Yet He always answers those that are sincere, heartfelt, pure, and patient and keep it halāl.

We see that this impatience is a reflection of our own weakness and ego. It is evidence of our own self-worth, our own whims and desires, and our own thought processes. This has direct implications on what our belief about Allāh (ﷻ) is.

Is He, Allāh (ﷻ), just someone you reach out to in time of need and urgency, with your own demands? And then when you get what you need, His (ﷻ) services are no longer required? No.

You have to be careful, your opinion of Allāh (ﷻ) has an immense impact. As I mentioned when discussing the Law of Attraction Allāh (ﷻ) says: "I am just as My slave thinks I am, (i.e. I am able to do for him what he thinks I can do for him)" [al-Bukhārī]

Why is it that the impatient are not answered?

Let's say I am your work colleague and we are part of the same team. I start to demand from you that you immediately answer my phone calls. Whenever you don't answer, I get angry. I get upset and annoyed. On the other, one of our other team members displays more belief, good opinion, patience and understanding when communicating with you. He/she understands that you can't always answer immediately. Sometimes you need to delay things and sometimes you are busy. You can't always get what you want.

Who do you think you will respond to?

Likewise, we can't dictate to Allāh (ﷻ) that we get something immediately. There's an Adab (etiquette) that is required as part of our supplications. To display negativity after making dua is like saying that Allāh (ﷻ) does not know what is right for you. It is like saying Allāh (ﷻ) accepts what is not right for you and only you know what is right for you. It's declaring a weakness with Allāh (ﷻ) when He is free from every weakness.

You deprive only yourself when you react negatively and you display an arrogance that is displeasing to Allāh (ﷻ).

If feel your dua is not being answered, it doesn't mean you stop asking

Never stop asking. The reality is that Allāh (ﷻ) is always answering you. Even those that Allāh (ﷻ) and His Messenger (ﷺ) have explicitly named as those whose dua will not be accepted (in certain time and place) are listened to and answered in life.

Not asking is the position you do not ever want to be in. To be deprived of the ability to ask from Allāh (ﷻ) is almost curse-like. Allāh (ﷻ) says the wrongdoers are those who do not return to Allāh [i.e. make repentance] (49:11). It is a sin (dhulm) to not make repentance which goes side by side with asking for forgiveness (istighfār). What do you think would be the case if you stop asking completely? You're depriving yourself of so much!

Ibn Atā' illāh says: "Any time that Allāh allows your tongue to move, then know that He wants to give you something." (Hikam)

In other words, it is a blessing, a favour and an honour that you are able to ask. There are so many people that I have come across that do not even raise their hands. They can't make dua. They struggle to do so mentally. We pray that Allāh (ﷻ) grants them the ability to ask once again and grant them repentance before they die (say Āmīn).

'Umar ibn al-Khattāb (Allāh be pleased with him) said, "When I make supplication, I only concern myself with the ability to ask, not the answer."

Abu Hurairah (May Allāh be pleased with him) said, "I'm not worried about being deprived of an answer. I'm only worried about being deprived of being able to ask."

Again, don't stop asking.

Your dua is always answered in one of three ways

عَنْ أَبِي سَعِيدٍ أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ مَا مِنْ مُسْلِمٍ يَدْعُو بِدَعْوَةٍ لَيْسَ فِيهَا إِثْمٌ وَلَا قَطِيعَةُ رَحِمٍ إِلَّا أَعْطَاهُ اللَّهُ بِهَا إِحْدَى ثَلَاثٍ إِمَّا أَنْ تُعَجَّلَ لَهُ دَعْوَتُهُ وَإِمَّا أَنْ يَدَّخِرَهَا لَهُ فِي الْآخِرَةِ وَإِمَّا أَنْ يَصْرِفَ عَنْهُ مِنْ السُّوءِ مِثْلَهَا قَالُوا إِذًا نُكْثِرُ قَالَ اللَّهُ أَكْثَرُ

Abú Sa’īd al-Khudrī reported: The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “There is no Muslim who calls upon Allāh, without sin or cutting family ties in it, but that Allāh will give him one of three answers: He will quickly fulfil his supplication, He will store it for him in the Hereafter, or He will divert an evil from him similar to it.” They said, “In that case, we will ask for more.” The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Allāh has even more". (Musnad Aḥmad)

This is incredible. You can be given in an instant, it can be stored for you in the Hereafter or harm will be removed from you.

There are lessons in this. It is the power of dua. You should be sincere, you should be fulfilling your rights to Allāh (ﷻ) [not asking for and doing acts of disobedience] and fulfilling the rights of mankind [not cutting ties and violating others' rights].

What does this mean?

When you make du'ā' for your Hifz, and you're working hard to memorise every day. You're fighting against sin and struggling to keep things together with all of the annoying family members. But you also feel like you're not being granted your wish know that you are being granted your wish.

You may complete your Hifz but at a later point in life, or may not complete your Hifz in this world but it may be stored for you in the next. You might be spending time with the Qur'ān during the hours of the day as a means of harm being diverted away from you. You could be spending that time in what is prohibited. You are also engaging with memorisation meaning that Allāh has already facilitated it for you.

There is so much wisdom and things at play that we do not realise.

I remember when I was memorising the Qur'ān during the early years and I would think about how slow I was in my progress. I would see others memorise and move ahead of me. But I would also hear about other young boys that started memorising because they saw me reciting or that they heard about me memorising. Due to my actions, others started to follow in good. They completed memorisation before I did. Your actions leave ripple effects.

Your task is to keep going no matter what comes.

There are hidden pearls of wisdom in the affairs of Allāh

Things can be the other way around too. You can start Hifz and then life hits you. You might become ill and no longer able to memorise as you once did. You might be handed more responsibilities in life and you struggle to find the time you once had. It can reach a point of no return. Despite wanting the Qur'ān, walking the path and praying for it. Life just hits you and puts all those plans to bed.

There's a narration where 'Abdullāh Ibn Mas'ūd says:

إن العبد ليهم بالأمر من التجارة والإمارة حتى ييسر له، فينظر الله إليه، فيقول للملائكة: اصرفوه عنه، فإنه إن يسرته له أدخلته النار، فيصرفه الله عنه، فيظل يتطير بقوله: سبني فلان، وأهانني فلان، وما هو إلا فضل الله عز جل

A slave of Allāh will pursue (be concerned with) a matter concerning trade or leadership until it has been facilitated for him (made easy). Then Allāh looks at him and says: "Divert it (take it) away from him! Because if I facilitate this for him, I will put him into Hellfire. So Allāh will divert him from it. So, (the slave) will keep on saying: so and so cursed me, so and so insulted me (so and so got this and I didn't). Yet it was nothing but the Grace of Allāh. (Ibn Qayyim)

So let's say you've made dua for Hifz, and you're on the path of getting there but then, all of a sudden something hits you and your time is taken up by something else (just like Ibn Mas'úd describes). You might be like this slave that begins to say things. So and so has cursed me, so and so became a Hāfiz and I didn't, so and so got what they wished for. What's wrong with me? Is Allāh (ﷻ) unhappy with me? Did Allāh (ﷻ) consider me unworthy? Did Allāh do such and such? No. You are worthy in the right time and place as Allāh (ﷻ) knows best. The whole time this happened, it was nothing but the blessing of Allāh (ﷻ) upon you.

There's a story of a sister that began to memorise the Qur'ān and began to devote so much time to it that she neglected her children. They became distant and one day she realised when she saw her young daughter complaining and full of sadness that her mother had grown distant from her. That day she realised she wasn't doing things the right way. My point is that sometimes we can do something that is inherently good but our approach to it is inherently bad. While pursuing it we can get carried away and forget our own responsibilities and the rights of others.

There's brother Muhammad who began memorising the Qur'ān when he was young but he struggled his way to memorise half of the Qur'ān over several years. During that time, he experienced so many different emotions and pain. Eventually, life got in the way. He stopped memorising. He went to university and he started learning different subjects. It has been 17 years since he stopped memorising and a total of 24 years of trying to memorise but he's still stuck trying to regain what he once memorised. He has lived in sadness during this period and is constantly reflective on what could and should have been. It is enough time (24 years) to have memorised the Qur'ān yet he has never stopped trying. During this entire period, he has learnt so much about himself, his wrongdoings, his addictions, and things that need to change. He recently started memorising again and is sharing his weekly journey with us in the weekly newsletter. Perhaps, all these years Allāh (ﷻ) has protected him from something and perhaps Allāh (ﷻ) has only opened the path for him after undergoing years of making him ready for the task.

Ibn Jawzī mentions a powerful narration from at-Tabarānī (Mu'jam al-Kabīr) as reported by Anas:

عن النبي (صلى الله عليه وسلم): يقول الله عز وجل: إن من عبادي من لا يصلح إيمانه إلا بالفقر وإن بسطت عليه أفسده ذلك , و إن من عبادي من لا يصلح إيمانه إلا بالغني ولو أفقرته لأفسده ذلك, و إن من عبادي من لا يصلح إيمانه إلا بالصحة ولو أسقمته لأفسده ذلك, و إن من عبادي من لا يصلح إيمانه إلا بالسقم ولو أصححته لأفسده ذلك. و إن من عبادي من يطلب بابا من العبادة, فأكفه عنه, لكيلا يدخله العجب, إني أدبر عبادي بعلمي بما في قلوبهم, إني عليم خبير

The Prophet (ﷺ) said: “Allāh said, “Verily, from amongst My slaves is he whose faith cannot be rectified except by being inflicted with poverty, and were I to enrich him, it would surely corrupt him. Verily, from amongst My slaves is he whose faith cannot be rectified except by wealth and affluence, and were I to deprive him, it would surely corrupt him. Verily, from amongst My slaves is he whose faith cannot be rectified except by good health, and were I to make him sick, it would surely corrupt him. Verily, from amongst My slaves is he whose faith cannot be rectified except by disease and illness, and were I to make him healthy, it would surely corrupt him. Verily, from amongst My slaves is he who seeks worship by a certain act but I prevent that from him so that conceit (proudness) does not enter his heart. Certainly, I run the affairs of My slaves by My Knowledge of what is in their hearts. Certainly, I am the All-Knower, All-Aware’.” (a weak chain reported by various Imam including Tabarānī and Ibn Rajab).

There is wisdom in this to learn from. It is Allāh (ﷻ) that grants and it is He who deprives. We think something is good for us but in reality, it may not be. We may think something is bad for us, but in reality, it may not be.

When you make dua you are calling Him with certainty that He listens. You are calling onto him with certainty that He answers, but you are also calling onto Him that He knows what's best for you. That by asking Him will open the doors in this world or the next.

Allāh will never leave you empty handed if you ask Him

وَعَنْ سَلْمَانَ ‏- رضى الله عنه ‏- قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اَللَّهِ ‏- صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏-{ إِنَّ رَبَّكُمْ حَيِيٌّ كَرِيمٌ, يَسْتَحِي مِنْ عَبْدِهِ إِذَا رَفَعَ إِلَيْهِ يَدَيْهِ أَنْ يَرُدَّهُمَا صِفَرًا } أَخْرَجَهُ اَلْأَرْبَعَةُ إِلَّا النَّسَائِيَّ, وَصَحَّحَهُ اَلْحَاكِمُ .

Salman (May Allāh be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “Your Rabb is Modest and Generous, and would never turn the hands of a slave without gain when he raises them to Him (in supplication).” (Related by the four lmams except for An-Nasā’ī)

‎قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم : إن الله رحيم حيي كريم يستحي من عبده أن يرفع إليه يديه ثم لا يضع فيهما خيرا

The Messenger of Allāh (ﷺ) said: “Indeed, Allāh (ﷻ) is Most Merciful, Shy, Generous, He is Shy of His slave that he raises his hands to Him then He does not place anything of Khayr (goodness) in them.” (Mukhtaṣar Ṣaḥīḥ al-Jāmi’ aṣ-Ṣagheer)

This is the opinion you have of Allāh (ﷻ). Look at His love. Look at His Shyness. Yet we want to dictate to Him?

Every dua is taken seriously in His court, especially when you ask of anything that good.

The benefits of du'ā' are numerous

From amongst the manners of dua is to:

  1. face the Qiblah
  2. raise the hands
  3. be humble
  4. have humility
  5. be sincere
  6. have patience
  7. have faith
  8. recite the praises of Allāh (ﷻ) as you start
  9. send prayers and blessings upon the Messenger of Allāh (ﷺ) at the start and end
  10. repeat them three times
  11. recall good deeds

All of these things are rewardable in themselves.

The words of praise, the salawāt, the patience, etc in dua are rewarded. You earn rewards and sins are forgiven. The praise and salutations (hamd, tahlīl and salwāt) will always be stored for you in the hereafter and wipe out sin but the request (dua) you make is distributed between this life and the next.

All the dua's will prove to become helpful in the next world. You can have thousands of others praying for you and even they will appear for you in the hereafter. We simply deposit our dua in this world and will see its treasures in the next world.

Allāh is the One Who never fails to hear you. Never fails to answer you. Never fails to reward you in ways you can never imagine.

Never give up. Always make du'a.

Always make the efforts alongside it.

May Allāh grant you his Book with ease and success.

And remember me in your supplications too.

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