why does Allah delay answering our supplications?

A Muslim pilgrim prays at the top of Mount Noor in Mecca, during the annual pilgrimage (Haj) December 4, 2008. The pilgrims will visit the Hera cave in Mount Noor, where Muslims believe Prophet Mohammad received the first words of the Koran through Gabriel. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah (SAUDI ARABIA)

Imam Sadeq (peace be upon him) is narrated to have said: “A slave (of God) will supplicate and Allah will tell the two angels ‘I have answered his call, however do not fulfill his need (yet) for I love to hear his voice.’ Another slave of God will supplicate and Allah will say (addressing the angels) ‘fulfill his need, for I hate to hear his voice.’”

(Note: if your supplication is answered right away it doesn’t necessarily mean Allah hates your voice (the narration is not implying that), however bear in mind that if your supplication has not been answered yet, it is very probable that God loves your voice)

Ishaaq son of Ammar asks Imam Sadeq (peace be upon him): “Will God answer one’s supplication but delay the fulfillment of his need?” The Imam answered: “yes, the fulfillment of his need might be delayed for twenty years”. (Source: alKafi volume 2,
باب من ابطأت عليه الاجابة [the chapter concerning delay in answering one’s supplication]).

We learn from such narrations that one should not despair when his supplication seems to remain unanswered; on the contrary one should keep on supplicating whether he is going through ease or hardship!

Peace be upon the father of knowledge, the poisoned Imam Jaafar Sadeq (peace be upon him)

By Sheikh Hammam Nasserdeen