Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch
Why does Allah not accept my prayers when I pray for myself, but He accepts them when I pray for others?
In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate.
I’m sorry to hear that you are going through such difficulty, and pray that Allah gives you ease and relief.
Having Good Opinions When Supplicating
Allah Most High says, “I am as My slave thinks of me, and I am with them whenever they remember Me…” [Ibn Hibban]
Part of the etiquette of praying to Allah Most High is to have a good opinion of Allah.
The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Call upon Allah whilst you are certain of (His) response. And know that Allah does not respond to the supplication (that comes) from a heedless distracted heart.” [Tirmidhi]
From this narration, two principles are clear. (1) Having a good opinion that Allah Most High will respond to one’s prayers. And (2) that praying to Allah Most High should be done with proper etiquette.
The following link will help further explain the Etiquettes of Supplication: The Reality and Etiquettes of Supplication: A Reader.
Supplicating for Oneself and Others
It is a good habit to include others in your supplications. Thus when supplicating for yourself, include others as well. Allah Most High says, “…and seek forgiveness for your falling short, and for the believing men and women…” [Quran, 47:19]
How Allah Accepts Supplications
Allah Most High says, “Call upon me, and I will answer you…” [Quaan, 40:60]
Thus anyone who supplicates to Allah with a sincere present heart, upholding the etiquettes of supplicating – especially related to the consumption of illicit wealth – their prayers will be answered.
However, Allah Most High accepts prayers in different ways. The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “No Muslim makes a supplication which does not entail any sin or breaking of family ties – except that Allah will give them, by means of it, one of three: Either what they asked for will be hastened for them, (or) Allah will keep (the reward of it) for them in the Hereafter, or He will divert from them some evil equivalent to it.” They said, “Then we will make abundant supplication.” He (may Allah bless him and give him peace) replied, “Allah has much more to give.” [Ahmad]
Knowing That Allah Knows What Is Best for Us
Even though we may really want what we supplicate for, Allah (Most High) knows what is ultimately best for us in this World and the Next. For that reason, we should be content with what Allah Most High decrees for us.
Allah Most High says, “…but perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you; and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you. And Allah Knows, while you know not.” [Quran, 2:216]
Hope this helps
Allah knows best
[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Shaykh Yusuf Weltch teaches Arabic, Islamic law, and spirituality. After accepting Islam in 2008, he completed four years at the Darul Uloom Seminary in New York, where he studied Arabic and the traditional sciences.
He then traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he studied for three years in Dar al-Mustafa under some of the most outstanding scholars of our time, including Habib Umar Bin Hafiz, Habib Kadhim al-Saqqaf, and Shaykh Umar al-Khatib.
In Tarim, Shaykh Yusuf completed the memorization of the Quran and studied beliefs, legal methodology, hadith methodology, Quranic exegesis, Islamic history, and several texts on spirituality. He joined the SeekersGuidance faculty in the summer of 2019.