There are certain factors that assist a person's duaa being accepted by Allaah, These factors are explicitly mentioned in the texts of the Qur'an and Sunnah as being factors that guarantee, or greatly increase, the chances that one's duaa are accepted.
The first of those factors is sincerity. There is no doubt that this is the single greatest factor which aids a person's duaa in being answered. The more sincere a person is white making duaa, the greater are his chances of response. Ponder over the story of Yunus (alayhis salaam) and the whale, the Companion of the Fish', as he is referred to in the Qur'an. He was thrown overboard, and then swallowed by a whale, only to be taken to the very depths of the ocean. Darkness covered with darkness - the darkness of the whale's belly, along with the darkness of the sea, along with the darkness of the night! But he did not despair, and instead called out, with a pure sincerity the like of which we cannot even imagine. Allaah says:
"Then he cried out from the darkness: Verily, there is no deity worthy of worship except You, You are glorified and above all deficiencies! Verily I was of the wrongdoers.” (Q21 [Anbiyaa]:87)
So what was the response from Him who heard him from the depths of the ocean, inside the whale's stomach?
"So we responded to his call, and saved him from the distress (that he was in). And likewise do We save the believers." (Q21 [Anbiyaa]:88)
So the One Who responded to the Companion of the Fish is the same One that responds when we call out to Him, but where is our sincerity in comparison to that of Yunus (alayhi salaam). Allaah says:
"And make duaa to Him, sincerely, to Him is the religion." (Q7 [A'raf]:29)
Ibn Aqil alHambali (RAH) wrote:
"It is said a d’uaa is never responded to quickly except for a person who is sincere, or one who has been wronged." (AI-Hamad)
This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited