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Salam,

Allah and the Prophet saw always talk about how important it is for us to make dua and ask for anything that we want. But at the same time, we are told that we can’t ask for something and not do anything to achieve it. If we don’t put in the work, we won’t be helped. However, I was wondering: when we had an opportunity to work but didn’t, and are now cornered and helpless, can we expect Allah to help even when we did not help ourselves? Does Allah help for these situations, or is it as is known, we don’t get help if we don’t help ourselves as well?

  • when you stand up from 'ruku' in salat, what do you say? 'Samir Allahu men Hamide', which translates to 'Allah hears those who praise him'. Allah hears you in your salat and he hears your dua and he is Al Rahman, most beneficent. As long as the dua is not requesting something that will cause shirk or distract you from Allah, the dua is acceptable and InshAllah, with Allah's discretion will be fulfilled. Iman, salat, zeka, sawm (fasting), is how you 'help yourself'. – 0tyranny 0poverty May 2 '18 at 13:24
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No one knows for sure what Allah does and how dua works. Although the age of miracles is gone, some very rare times, they do occur, but we cannot rely on it.
The default situation is working and struggling to help oneself. Dua can put barakah (blessings) in the work you're doing, can make you do it faster, or smarter, or more efficient, but dua will not do your work on your behalf.

A hadith by the prophet (peace be upon him) says if the day of judgment comes, and you have a seed in your hand, plant the seed; meaning you are not responsible for the results of your work, it's Allah's job; your job is to struggle and work.
A motto Turks use a lot, roughly translates into:
Struggle is our (duty). Triumph/victory is Allah's.

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