You’d often come across people who when they meet you say desperately, “please make dua for me”. Being a Muslim, this is a very common occurrence. Everyone is always in need of something and everyone wants their needs to be fulfilled, their problems to be solved, their supplications to be answered.
Some people are a little more far-sighted, they don’t just ask you to supplicate for them and let it be rather they want to know the ways or means through which supplications are accepted. If you are one of those people who want to know the secret recipe of acceptance of prayers, then go through the following story:
Sahih Bukhari, 3465:
Narrated Ibn `Umar:
Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “Once three persons (from the previous nations) were traveling, and suddenly it started raining and they took shelter in a cave. The entrance of the cave got closed while they were inside. They said to each other, ‘O you! Nothing can save you except the truth, so each of you should ask Allah’s Help by referring to such a deed as he thinks he did sincerely (i.e. just for gaining Allah’s Pleasure).’ So one of them said, ‘O Allah! You know that I had a laborer who worked for me for one Faraq (i.e. three Sas) of rice, but he departed, leaving it (i.e. his wages). I sowed that Faraq of rice and with its yield I bought cows (for him). Later on when he came to me asking for his wages, I said (to him), ‘Go to those cows and drive them away.’ He said to me, ‘But you have to pay me only a Faraq of rice,’ I said to him, ‘Go to those cows and take them, for they are the product of that Faraq (of rice).’ So he drove them. O Allah! If you consider that I did that for fear of You, then please remove the rock.’ The rock shifted a bit from the mouth of the cave. The second one said, ‘O Allah, You know that I had old parents whom I used to provide with the milk of my sheep every night. One night I was delayed and when I came, they had slept, while my wife and children were crying with hunger. I used not to let them (i.e. my family) drink unless my parents had drunk first. So I disliked to wake them up and also disliked that they should sleep without drinking it, I kept on waiting (for them to wake) till it dawned. O Allah! If You consider that I did that for fear of you, then please remove the rock.’ So the rock shifted and they could see the sky through it. The (third) one said, ‘O Allah! You know that I had a cousin (i.e. my paternal uncle’s daughter) who was most beloved to me and I sought to seduce her, but she refused, unless I paid her one-hundred Dinars (i.e. gold pieces). So I collected the amount and brought it to her, and she allowed me to sleep with her. But when I sat between her legs, she said, ‘Be afraid of Allah, and do not deflower me but legally. ‘I got up and left the hundred Dinars (for her). O Allah! If You consider that I did that for fear of you than please remove the rock. So Allah saved them and they came out (of the cave).”
Many of us might have read or heard this story in our childhood but did you ever notice how deep it is? This story tells us that one of the ways through which we can make sure that our dua is accepted is doing good deeds with sincerity. Yes, this is it!
If you do good deeds, Allah will be pleased with you and will answer your prayers. Even when you want something from humans, what do you do? You make them happy. You want a favour from someone, say, you want permission from your mother to go somewhere. What do you do? You clean your room and cupboards because you know it will please her and she just might give you permission. But this is the Creator we’re talking about. Not humans. He has no comparison with His creation. He is extremely merciful and always listening to us. Only we need to take the first step. Do things that please Him instead of just talking about it here and there. Good deeds are a means of earning blessings anyway.
Also, note the sincerity in the actions of these three people. All the things that they did weren’t very big or famous or done for the sake of people. No one applauded them for these deeds. They were everyday situations. And yet it is in everyday situations that we slip. We lose the little opportunities that come our way, thinking we’ll do the big stuff one day inshaAllah. But it is those little things that are actually more difficult to do, they require us to get out of our comfort zones ever so often and to make the right decision so many times a day. It is those little things that carry great khayr (good). Because no one is there to see you doing them, it’s a test if you’d do it or not because that would be really for Allah.
So if you have any problem in life, think, do I have any hidden good deeds in store that I can use in my dua and ask Him to grant me what I need?
May Allah make us of those who are given opportunities to do good, who recognize them and avail them only to seek Allah’s pleasure. Ameen.