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Is It Really Impossible to Achieve One’s Goal by Doing the Haram?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Seekersguidance.org

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaykum

In the tafsir of surah yusuf the sheikh said the brothers wanted something (their fathers love) but they tried to achieve this by doing haram (kidnapping yusuf) from this story we learn that when you want something but you try to make it happen by doing haram Allah will not allow you to achieve your goal. Does it mean that every single time anybody in the world does haram to get what they want Allah will not allow their wish to come true?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.

Yes, the general case is that​ abstaining from the unlawful ​​is a condition for supplications to be answered. [Ibn Hajar al-Haytami, al-Fath al-Mubin bi Sharh al-Arba`in]​

The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said,”Allah the Almighty is Good and accepts only that which is good. And verily Allah has commanded the believers to do that which He has commanded the Messengers. So the Almighty has said: “O (you) Messengers! Eat of the tayyibat [all kinds of halal (legal) foods], and perform righteous deeds.” [23:51] and the Almighty has said: “O you who believe! Eat of the lawful things that We have provided you.” [2:172]” Then he (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) mentioned [the case] of a man who, having journeyed far, is dishevelled and dusty, and who spreads out his hands to the sky saying “O Lord! O Lord!,” while his food is haram (unlawful), his drink is haram, his clothing is haram, and he has been nourished with haram, so how can [his supplication] be answered? [Muslim]

However, ​as the scholars point out, ​this doesn’t negate the possibility of supplications being answered whilst a person is engrossed in the impermissible​ and unlawful​​.​​ Even though such a person is not fit to have their supplication answered, Allah answers it out of His Infinite Largesse and Gentle Kindness. [Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalani, Sharh al-Arba`in al-Nawawiyya]

Moreover, Ibn `Allan notes that it has been said that supplication has two wings: eating the lawful and speaking the truth. [Ibn `Allan, Dalil al-Falihin li Turuq Riyad al-Salihin]​

Please also see: Struggling to Have Children: Ten Key Etiquettes of Du’a​ and: Why Doesn’t Allah Answer My Supplications?​

And Allah alone gives success.


Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

This answer was collected from Seekersguidance.org. It’s an online learning platform overseen by Sheikh Faraz Rabbani. All courses are free. They also have in-person classes in Canada.