Reflection No. 202 on Q 19:4 – Answering of Prayers

 وَلَمْ أَكُنْ بِدُعَائِكَ رَبِّ شَقِيًّا
Walam akun bi-du‘ā’ika Rabbi shaqiyya
My Lord, I have never been disappointed in my prayers to You
(Sūratu Maryam, No.19, Āyat 4)

The above verse is part of the prayer of Nabī Zakariyyā when he asks Allah to grant him a child. He says he is old and feeble but he has never been disappointed in his supplication to Allah. His prayers are sent with the seal of certainty, a firm belief that God will listen and answer.

The word shaqiyyah has been translated in different ways: disappointed, unsuccessful, unblessed. All signify the same thing. Nabī Zakariyyā had firm faith that his prayer will not be rejected. He had never been disappointed in the past and he knows he will not be turned away now. Now that he was old and feeble it was less likely that Allah would let him down. According to Tafsīr-e Namune, the word ‘shaqiyyah’ could also mean pain and grief. The supplications of Zechariah never resulted in pain and grief as he was answered quickly.

Part of the etiquette of Du‘ā is to have faith that it will be answered. Almighty Allah has promised that He will respond to the supplicant. And your Lord says: Call upon Me, I will answer you. (Q 40:60)  The Holy Prophet (s) when talking about this verse says: Whenever Allah would raise a Prophet He would tell him, if something grieves you then call upon Me, I will answer you. And He has given this [similar privilege] to my Ummah when He says, Call upon Me, I will answer you (MH, H. 5574). Imam al-Sādiq (a) says: When you supplicate then assume that what you asked for is at the door (MH, H. 5655)

When a believer prays to God and firmly believes that he will be heard it results in the following:
1) Allah is pleased with such trust in Him.
2) Allah fulfills the expectation and trust of His servant.
3) It eases anxiety and soothes fears of the supplicant.
4) It brings hope in life.
5) The supplicant is motivated to pray often and persistently.
The positive impact of such a prayer can transform life in many ways. To expect an answer is to get an answer, that is the secret of success.

Recite this verse when you supplicate to God and have faith that He will answer. Remember Nabī Zakariyyā’s firm conviction and follow in his footsteps. You will be answered just as he was.

Āyatullāh Nāsir Makārim Shirāzī (ed.),Tafsīre Namune;
Muhammadī Rayshahrī, Mizānul Hikmah.