More about duas
Imam Ibn Al-Jawzi said, “I was once in a situation of distress, so I regularly made dua to Allah to relieve me from my distress and to bless me with relief and freedom, yet the response seemed to be postponed. So my soul started getting agitated and restless. I told it, ‘Woe to thee! Consider your situation. Are you the one who is a maid servant or are you the queen? Are you the one who is controlled or are you the controller? Do you not know that this world is a place of trials and tests? And if you ask for something and it is not given to you, and you are impatient at this, then where is the test? After all, are not trials and tests merely the opposite of our own desires and goals? If only you were to understand this responsibility, then that which is difficult will appear easy for you and the unbearable will become light.’ After my soul pondered over this, it quited down a bit.
“I then told it, ‘I also have a second answer, and that is that you are asking Allah your wishes and desires but are neglecting to ask yourself what you are obliged to do, and this is the essence of ignorance. For it is appropriate that you do the opposite. You are the servant and the intelligent servant strives to fulfill the rights of the master, knowing that it is not obligatory upon the master to grant every desire to the servant.’ After I told it this, my soul achieved more peace.
“I then told it, ‘I have yet a third response, and that is that you have delayed the response, as you yourself have blocked its path with sins. So if only you were to open the path the response would be hastened. Do you not know that the cause of peace is taqwa? Have you not heard the statement of Allah, Whoever fears Allah, Allah will provide for him an escape, and he will provide for him from sources that he did not expect. Have you not understood that the opposite also applies? (If you are immersed in sins, your match will be made more difficult.)’
“My soul then realized the truth and became content. I then said, ‘I have yet a fourth response, and that is that you are asking for something the consequences of which you yourself do not know and might be harmful for you. In fact, your example is like that of a child stricken with fever and asking for sweets. The one in charge of you is more aware of what is better for you than you yourself. Has not Allah said in the Quran, And it is possible that you hate something and yet it is for your own good.’ After the truth became clear to my soul, it settled in its contentment.
“I then said, ‘I have a final, fifth response, and that is that this wish of yours will decrease your reward with Allah and lower your status. Therefore, the prevention of the response is actually the increasement of your good. If only you were to ask what benefits your hereafter, it would be better for you. Understand, therefore, all that I have told you.’ “
(Also taken from Dua: Weapon of the Believer by Sheikh Yasir Qadhi.)
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