A person once mentioned to Hazrat Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi (rahmatullahi ‘alaih), “Hazrat, I do not feel motivated to make du’aa.”

Hazrat Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) replied:

The reason for a person not feeling enthusiasm and motivation for making du‘aa is that he does not immediately see the effect of his du‘aa. For example, if a person makes du‘aa for wealth and immediately receives some money, or he makes du‘aa for an apple and it immediately falls into his lap, then due to him seeing his du‘aa have an instant effect, you will see him become very enthusiastic and motivated to make du‘aa.

The lack of motivation to make du‘aa is normally because a person feels that he will not gain or receive anything through making du‘aa, and feeling in this way is a sign of being deprived.

Hence, at the time of making du‘aa, one should have the conviction that Allah Ta‘ala will certainly accept his du‘aa and bless him. Accepting his du‘aa and blessing him means that Allah Ta‘ala will turn His special favour towards him. Receiving the special favour of Allah Ta‘ala does not necessarily mean that one will receive the thing that he had made du‘aa for. Rather, one may receive that or something far greater. Consider the example of a beggar who asks someone for a few coins, and in exchange, the person gives him gold coins instead of the few coppers that he had requested. If the beggar does not understand the value of the gold coins, he will feel to himself that his request was not answered. Little does he realize that he has received something far more valuable and superior than what he had asked for. Similarly, at times, a servant seeks wealth from Allah Ta‘ala, but Allah Ta‘ala does not give him the wealth (as it may not be good for him at that time). Rather, Allah Ta‘ala blesses him with the taufeeq of performing two rakaats of nafl salaah through which he gains the special mercy of Allah Ta‘ala. It will be the folly of the person to consider himself deprived on account of not receiving the wealth that he had asked for. (Malfoozaat Hakeemul Ummat 3/72)