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Things which may prevent du’aa’ from being answered include:
 
1. When the du’aa’ is weak in itself, because it involves something inappropriate, or involves bad manners towards Allaah, may He be exalted, or it …is inappropriate, which means asking Allaah for something which it is not permitted to ask.
 
2. When the person who is making du’aa’ is weak in himself, because he is faint-hearted in his turning towards Allaah. This may be either because of bad manners towards Allaah, may He be exalted – such as raising his voice in du’aa’ or making du’aa’ in the manner of one who thinks he has no need of Allaah; or because he pays too much attention to the wording and tries to come up with unnecessarily ornate phrases, without paying attention to the meaning; or because he tries too hard to weep or shout without really feeling it, or he goes to extremes in that.
 
3. The reason why his du’aa’ is not answered may be because he has done something that Allaah has forbidden, such as having haraam wealth – whether it be food or drink or clothing or accommodation or transportation, or he has taken a haraam job, or the stain of sin is still in his heart, or he is following bid’ah (innovation) in religion, or his heart has been overtaken by negligence. 
 
4. Consuming haraam wealth. This is one of the major reasons why du’aa’s are not answered. Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “O people, Allaah is Good and only accepts that which is good. Allaah commanded the pious to follow the same commandments as He gave to the Messengers.
 
5. Trying to hasten the response. Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The du’aa’ of any one of you will be answered so long as he is not impatient and says, ‘I made du’aa’ but it was not answered.’” Narrated by al-Bukhaari and Muslim.
 
6. Making the du’aa’ conditional, such as saying, “O Allaah, forgive me if You will” or “O Allaah, have mercy upon me if You will.” The person who makes du’aa’ has to be resolute in his supplication, striving hard and earnestly repeating his du’aa’. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Let not any one of you say, ‘O Allaah, forgive me if You will, O Allaah, have mercy on me if You will.’ Let him be resolute in the matter, whilst knowing that no one can compel Allaah to do anything.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari and Muslim.
In order for du’aa’s to be answered, it is not essential to adhere to all of these points and be free of all that could prevent one’s du’aa’s from being answered. That is something which happens very rarely. But one has to try hard and strive towards achieving this.