Through our lives our imaan rises and drops, that's absolutely normal, its human. When our imaan is at a low it's natural to feel hopeless and helpless, to sometimes feel like everyone else's lives are great, they seem to have it all figured out, they don't have the struggles you have and look like they're living the life you prayed for.
During these times you may feel like you are constantly making du'a and being patient but your du'as are not being answered, you're not seeing the results you hoped you would. You question your faith and wonder why Allah has deserted you.
I want you to remember you are not alone, there are plenty of people who feel this way at some point in their lives. But there are things you can do to help you understand the situation you are in and help to bring you out of this feeling of despair.
So why does it seem like your du'as are not getting answered and what are some practical steps you can take to increase your imaan and become more patient with Allah's will?
He is saving you from harm
Your du'a might not be answered because the thing you are making du'a for may be actually bad for you. Allah knows what we do not know. For example you might be making du'a to marry a person you like but Allah may know that this person will not be good for you in the future. He is saving you from something that may cause you harm in the long run.
You might be looking to get into something that is prohibited in Islam, like dealing with interest, or gaining haraam income. If He isn't saving you from something practical in this life then He is saving you from sin and the consequences in the afterlife.
If Allah is not answering your du'a straight away, keep making the du'a and don't give up, if it is good for you He will grant you it at the right time in life.
Last year I nearly bought a house with my husband, it was an hour away from both of our work places and we would have poured our life savings into it. Things came up and the sale didn't go through. I was actually pleased because I had found out I was pregnant during this time. We would have no money left for a baby and we would have been so far away from family.
The timing just was not right and Allah saved me from something that may have caused me harm in the future.
He is replacing what you've lost with something better
When you're in the situation you might feel really hopeless. You may question why Allah is putting you through this situation. For example you may have just lost your job, or not got the job you prayed so hard for after the interview.
Keep your head high and say Alhamdulillah, Allah may be planning to give you something better than what you just lost.
How to increase your patience
Always remember that everything happens for a reason and Allah will never burden a soul with more than it can bear. You are strong enough to get through the situation you're in which is why you have been given this struggle in your life.
Remember that we plan and Allah plans, Allah is the best of planners. There have been many times in my life where I've been disappointed in something, many months or years down the line I look at it in hindsight and can see exactly why something happened the way it did.
Try to increase your imaan by reciting more Quran and trying to have more concentration in your prayers, make your du'as sincere and heartfelt, don't ever think that your du'a is too big or too small. If you truly believe Allah is the most powerful and everything is in His hands He can answer anything you make du'a for.
Give more in charity. Charity is something that is selfless and never negatively impacts you. Try to increase in the amount you give to charity and carry out more charitable deeds. I've always found that I get more when I give more. This is a good way of also reminding you of everything you have been blessed with. When we look at those less fortunate than us, it puts life into perspective.
Make a list of all the things that have gone well in your life, all the positive things, all the things you're grateful for and make a du'a of gratitude to thank Allah for all the good in your life.
How to ensure your du'as are accepted
Try to stop all the haram and disliked things in Islam. Repent and sincerely make the intention to not commit that sin.
Make your du'as heartfelt and sincere. Ask Allah with all your heart fully believing that He will answer your du'a.
Increase in good deeds.
Ask Allah with all His glorious names and attributes.
Make good du'as for other people and the angels will make du'a for the same thing for you.
Make du'a in times of ease and plenty. Make du'a when things are going well, think of Allah when everything is easy and He will remember you in times of hardship.
In this holy month of Ramadan I pray that all our du'as are accepted and Allah gives us the strength to get through any trials that come our way.