By Umm Ibrahim
“Verily your Lord is Generous and Shy. If His servant raises his hands to Him (in supplication) He becomes shy to return them empty” (Ahmad, Abu Dawood, Tirmidhi)
Two Ramadans back, someone advised me to make a Dua List for Ramadan. Always a fan of making lists, I sat down and began to casually list all the small and big things I wanted in the Dunya and Akhirah. I had thought the list would probably contain 15-20 things. But when the list was complete, it reached almost 200!
The list then stayed with me at the time of iftar and suhoor, and particularly in the last ten nights.
This year, I dug out my Dua List from last Ramadan and went through it. And it opened my eyes.
There were duas that He had accepted and I had totally forgotten about them! I had begged for stuff; He had granted it. But when I got it, I had turned away and conveniently forgotten to say as much as Thankyou. The gifts had distracted me from the Giver Himself.
Even more heartbreaking was the realization that I had asked for seemingly impossible things, (I still remember hesitating whether to include them in the list or not, because they did seem quite unlikely) yet He had subtly created the opportunities and circumstances for them to happen. I had then conveniently attributed it all to my own intelligence and abilities.
In the list, in my own handwriting, were also other duas which I had desperately asked for. He had NOT granted them. And today, in hindsight, I could see the absurdity of some of them, and the danger that lie in others. I could see the bigger picture, and that made me grateful that He cared enough to not let me play with fire even when I begged for it. How beautiful and true are the words of Ibn al-Qayyim:
“Had Allah lifted the veil for his slave and shown him how He handles his affairs for him,
and how Allah is more keen for the benefit of the slave than his own self,
his heart would have melted out of the love for Allah
and would have been torn to pieces out of thankfulness to Allah.
Therefore if the pains of this world tire you, do not grieve.
For it may be that Allah wishes to hear your voice by way of dua.
So pour out your desires in prostration
and forget about it and know;
that verily Allah does not forget it.”
Then there are also other duas that we make- duas about the akhirah. We will never know whether they have been accepted or not until the day we die and meet Him. So, we will keep asking Him; we will keep knocking at His Door and begging for His Mercy and Forgiveness, with our hearts between hope and fear.