Priority: b, Quality: c

Fulfillment of Supplications

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Is He who answers the call of the distressed [person] when he invokes Him and removes his distress...? Qur'an 27:62
Prayer
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Fulfillment of supplications means answering and accepting the requests of the servants by God. Fulfillment of the supplications is a promise that God gave to His servants in some verses of the Qur'an. Verses and hadiths mention some conditions for the fulfillment of supplications such as the consistency of the tongue and the heart upon supplication, disregarding and giving up hope in anything or anyone other than God and knowing God. Religious sources mentioned some actions such as sins and abandoning enjoining of good and forbidding of the wrong among the obstacles to the fulfillment of supplications.

Fulfillment of supplications would be delayed due to some wise reasons such as lack of servants' benefits in certain situations. In hadiths, parents' prayers for their children, supplication of the oppressed against the oppressor, supplication of a just leader for his people and the supplication of a believer for his believer in faith are mentioned among supplications which would not be rejected.

Divine Promise

Fulfillment of supplication means accepting and answering requests[1] and the promise which God has given to His servants in several verses of the Qur'an.[2] "Mujīb" meaning "answering the requests of servants" is one of the Names of God.[3] With regards to all these verses, exegetes mentioned the following points:

  • Fulfillment of supplication when all its conditions are provided and without its obstacles is among God's definite precedents.[4]
  • Sometimes, fulfillment of supplication is delayed due to some benefits and wise reasons.[5]
  • The promise of the fulfillment of supplication should not replace human's efforts for achieving his goals and leading to abandoning apparent means and interrupting the normal way of life.[6]
  • Fulfillment of supplications is a part of human's life.[7]

Means and Conditions

Fulfillment of supplications in verses and hadiths requires observation of some conditions and preparation of their causes. Consistency of the tongue and the heart upon supplication, giving up hope in anything or anyone other than God and making supplication while knowing God, having humility before God, accompanying supplication with righteous deeds, making supplication in the gathering of believers, making supplication together with repentance,[8] and making supplication together with entreaty to the Ahl al-Bayt (a)[9] are mentioned among the conditions and means of the fulfillment of the supplication.

  • Consistency of the tongue and the heart: In verse 186 of Qur'an 2, God mentioned the fulfillment of servants' supplications, a definite issue provided that they call God with true supplication.[Note 1] In the commentary of this verse, 'Allama Tabataba'i interpreted "true supplication" as calling God with the heart and the tongue at the same time.[10] Imam Ali (a) too prohibited to make supplication while the heart is negligent, and said that God does not answer a supplication made with negligence.[11]
  • Giving up hope in anyone or anything other than God: Detaching from apparent and imaginary means and calling God sincerely are among the conditions of the fulfillment of supplication, because in verse 186 of Qur'an 2, God depended the request of servants only to Himself.[12]
  • Humility: The verse 55 of Qur'an 7 asks believers to supplicate their Lord, beseechingly and with humility [Note 2] Imam al-Sadiq (a) too considered one of the times supplications would be answered, when the person stands before God with teary eyes, trembling body and broken heart.[13]
  • Accompanying supplication with righteous deeds: for the fulfillment of the supplications, performing righteous deeds and especially giving to charity is emphasized.[14] In verse 26 of Qur'an 42, those who have faith and do righteous deeds are given promise to receive answer for their requests.[Note 3]
  • To make supplication in congregation of believers: attending the gathering of believers and making supplications together with them is among the important causes of the fulfillment of supplications. In a hadith from Imam al-Sadiq (a), it is mentioned that there is no congregation of forty believers who supplicate to God and God reject their supplication. Upon problems, Imam (a) himself too gathered his family and children and made supplication and they said Amen.[15]

Obstacles

Your Lord has said, ‘Call Me, and I will hear you!’ Indeed those who are disdainful of My worship will enter hell in utter humiliation. Qur'an 40: 60

Even with the promise of fulfillment of supplications God has given His servants in some verses of the Qur'an, sometimes with calling God, one's supplications are not answered. When referring to verses and hadiths, obstacles to the fulfillment of supplications can be learned. Sins, daily bread obtained in a forbidden or doubtful way, betrayal, doubting in the wilaya of the Ahl al-Bayt (a), abandoning the enjoining good and forbidding the wrong,[16] oppression,[17] disobedience to parents and cutting off blood relationships,[18] breaking promises,[19] talebearing[20] and treating prayer lightly[21] are among obstacles of the fulfillment of supplications.

  • Sins: In a hadith from Imam al-Baqir (a), sins are mentioned among the most important causes for a person's deprivation of the fulfillment of supplications.[22] Imam al-Sajjad (a) too, mentioned bad intention, meanness, hypocrisy toward the rights of brothers on faith, postponing obligatory prayers after their times, disobedience to parents using foul language and not giving to charity among the sins which create obstacles to the fulfillment of supplications.[23] In Kumayl supplication, Imam 'Ali (a) too asked God to forgive the sins which block supplications and their fulfillment.[24]
  • Daily bread obtained in a forbidden way: In hadiths, one of the obstacles to the fulfillment of supplications is forbidden acquisition and eating what is acquired in a forbidden way, which would block the fulfillment of supplication for forty days.[25] In a hadith from God, the fulfillment of all servants' supplications are promised except the one who acquires in a forbidden way.[26]
  • Supplicating only in hardships: one of the obstacles to the fulfillment of supplication is making supplication only in hardships and troubles. According to hadiths, a person who wants his supplication fulfilled in hardships, should not forget God and supplication when he is at ease and in comfort.[27]
  • Doubting in wilayah of the Ahl al-Bayt (a): according to a hadith, if a person has doubt in his heart about wilaya of the Ahl al-Bayt (a), his supplications will not be fulfilled even if he is making supplication all his life.[28]
  • Betrayal and loyalty: In his answer to a person who asked why his supplication was not fulfilled, Imam Ali (a) mentioned betrayal and disloyalty of people's hearts in eight places. Knowing God and not doing justice toward His rights, believing in the Prophet (s) but not following his conduct, recitation of the Qur'an but not acting according to it, fearing the hell in speech but going toward it in action, having desire in going to the paradise in speech but distancing it in action, eating the blessings of God but showing ingratitude to Him, seeing the defects of people but not seeing the defects of oneself and enmity with Satan in speech but befriending him in action are the betrayals of the heart which Imam Ali (a) mentioned as the obstacles to the fulfillment of supplication.[29]

Wise Reasons behind Delays in the Fulfillment of Supplications

Many a time, despite the readiness of the conditions and the means of the fulfillment of supplications and the absence of its obstacles, the fulfillment of servants' supplications are postponed. In the Qur'an and hadiths, some reasons including the absence of servants' benefits [in early fulfillment of supplications] and receiving greater rewards for the delay in the fulfillment of supplications are mentioned.

  • Absence of servants' benefits in the early fulfillment of supplications: Sometimes, a person makes a supplication to God which is not to his benefit and God postpones it or does not fulfill it. In the verse 216 of Qur'an 2, Muslims are addressed in this way,
"Yet it may be that you dislike something while it is good for you, and it may be that you love something while it is bad for you, and Allah knows and you do not know." (Qur'an 2:216).
  • In this regard, Imam 'Ali (a) too told his son, Imam al-Hasan (a), "there would be so many things you want, but destruction of your world and your religion is in them."[30]
  • In his letter to Imam al-Hasan (a), Imam 'Ali (a) mentioned three wise reasons for the delay in the fulfillment of the supplication and asked his son not to lose his hope in the supplication; because
  1. sometimes, there is a problem in the intention of the person;
  2. sometimes, God wants to give the person a greater reward;
  3. and sometimes, God is going to give His servant a better thing some time later.

These are the three reasons Imam 'Ali (a) mentioned about the reasons of delay in the fulfillment of supplications.[31]

Mustajab al-Da'wa

Mustajab al-da'wa is a person whose supplications are definitely answered or fulfilled. In hadiths, some people are introduced among those whose supplications would not be rejected. Supplications of the parents for their children, the oppressed against the oppressor, the person who goes to Al-'Umra al-Mufrada, the person who fasts, a just Imam and leader for his people and a believer for his brother in faith are among the supplications which are considered to be definitely fulfilled.[32]

In a hadith from Imam al-Hasan (a), it is mentioned, "if a person is careful about his heart, so that what is not consented by God does not enter it, I guarantee that he will be mustajab al-da'wa."[33]

Notes

  1. Ibn Manẓūr, Lisān al-ʿArab, under the word «جوب»
  2. Qurʾān, 2:186; 40:60; 42:26.
  3. Ibn Manẓūr, Lisān al-ʿArab, under the word «جوب»
  4. Ṭabāṭabāyī, al-Mīzān, vol. 2, p. 32.
  5. Qurāʾatī, Tafsīr-i nūr, vol. 1, p. 289.
  6. Makārim Shīrāzī, Tafsīr-i nimūna, vol. 1, p. 647.
  7. Ṭabāṭabāyī, al-Mīzān, vol. 2, p. 31.
  8. Kulaynī, al-Kāfī, vol. 2, p. 486.
  9. Majlisī, Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 91, p. 21.
  10. Ṭabāṭabāyī, al-Mīzān, vol. 2, p. 33.
  11. Kulaynī, al-Kāfī, vol. 2, p. 473.
  12. Ṭabāṭabāyī, al-Mīzān, vol. 2, p. 33; Fakhr al-Rāzī, Mafātīḥ al-ghayb, vol. 5, p. 262.
  13. Ḥurr al-ʿĀmilī, Wasāʾil al-Shīʿa, vol. 7, p. 73.
  14. Ḥurr al-ʿĀmilī, Wasāʾil al-Shīʿa, vol. 4, p. 165; Ḥarrānī, Tuḥaf al-ʿuqūl, p. 111.
  15. Kulaynī, al-Kāfī, vol. 2, p. 487.
  16. Majlisī, Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 90, p. 378.
  17. Kulaynī, al-Kāfī, vol. 2, p. 334.
  18. Kulaynī, al-Kāfī, vol. 2, p. 486; Ḥalwānī, Nazhat al-nāẓir, p. 37.
  19. Majlisī, Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 93, p. 368.
  20. Majlisī, Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 75, p. 268.
  21. Majlisī, Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 83, p. 21.
  22. Kulaynī, al-Kāfī, vol. 2, p. 271.
  23. Ṣadūq, Maʿānī l-akhbār, p. 271.
  24. Ṭūsī, Miṣbāḥ al-mutahajjid, p. 844.
  25. Majlisī, Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 90, p. 358, 373.
  26. Ibn Fahd al-Ḥillī, ʿUddat al-dāʿī, p. 139.
  27. Ḥurr al-ʿĀmilī, Wasāʾil al-Shīʿa, vol. 7, p. 40.
  28. Kulaynī, al-Kāfī, vol. 2, p. 401.
  29. Majlisī, Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 90, p. 376-377.
  30. Nahj al-balāgha, p. 399.
  31. Nahj al-balāgha, p. 399.
  32. Kulaynī, al-Kāfī, vol. 2, p. 510; Majlisī, Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 90, p. 356; vol. 93, p. 256.
  33. Kulaynī, al-Kāfī, vol. 2, p. 62.
  1. When My servants ask you about Me, [tell them that] I am indeed nearmost. I answer the supplicant's call when he calls Me. So let them respond to Me, and let them have faith in Me, so that they may fare rightly.
  2. Supplicate your Lord, beseechingly and secretly. Indeed, He does not like the transgressors.
  3. He answers [the supplications of] those who have faith and do righteous deeds and enhances them out of His grace.

References

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  • Ḥarrānī, Ḥasan b. ʿAlī al-. Tuḥaf al-ʿuqūl. Edited by ʿAlī Akbar Ghaffārī. Qom: Daftar-i Nashr-i Islāmī, 1404 AH.
  • Ḥurr al-ʿĀmilī, Muḥammad b. al-Ḥasan al-. Wasāʾil al-Shīʿa. Qom: Muʾassisat Āl al-Bayt, 1409 AH.
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  • Ṣadūq, Muḥammad b. ʿAlī al-. Maʿānī l-akhbār. Edited by ʿAlī Akbar Ghaffārī. Qom: Daftar-i Intishārāt-i Islāmī, 1403 AH.
  • Ṭabāṭabāyī, Muḥammad Ḥusayn. Al-Mīzān fī tafsīr al-Qurʾān. Beirut: Muʾassisat al-Aʿlamī li-l-Maṭbūʿāt, 1390 AH.
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