Is a sinner who is constant in observing prayer and Remembrance of Allaah considered to be protected?

Is a person who reads the Remembrance of Allaah of the morning and evening, as well as the supplications prior to sleep, and other types, and he also prays his dawn prayer on time, protected although he is a sinner, or he commits some sins?

Whoever recites the daily Remembrance of Allaah will receive a great reward. Reciting these supplications grants the person protection from calamities and problems. There is no doubt that Remembrance of Allaah, in the morning and evening, and before sleeping, and other supplications, are a cause of protection, and in a like manner,

“Anyone who prays the morning prayer is in the Trust of Allaah!” (Muslim 657)

The causes will have effect as long as there are no obstacles preventing its effects, and there is no doubt that sins are obstacles which prevent the effects from happening. These obstacles can come about via forgetfulness, and if a person remembers and reads them, this is by Allaah’s Will. He will get it and there are no obstacles, and no one can block the Will of Allaah from occurring. These causes can be things such as making supplications and consequently getting rewarded for it. The person will be rewarded for such action and it will be written in his record of good deeds. Let us not forget that the Messenger of Allaah ﷺ despite being the most vigilant in remembering Allaah was afflicted with black magic (Bukhaary 3175). It cannot be said that he left daily supplications and that is why he was afflicted. Rather, the benefit of it is known by Allaah. This is despite the Prophet ﷺ being the most vigilant in doing Remembrance of Allaah. He is the teacher and the conveyor of Allaah’s Message. It should not be thought that he left out anything from being conveyed to his followers. The Prophet ﷺ may have forgotten some things, but that was to prove that he was human after all and, therefore, he could be afflicted with what all humans experience, such as when he overslept for his dawn prayer. This happened so that he may teach people what to do when this occurs to them. This does not have any effect on him being the perfect human being. In any case, like what we said, Remembrance of Allaah and daily supplications are means of protection from supernatural harm so long as there are no obstacles. However, it should be noted that bad things happen to the righteous despite the fact that they observe their Remembrances and daily supplications. For them, they will receive a great reward on the Day of Judgment more than what they were promised in this life. The questioner asked, ‘Will he receive protection even though he is a sinner?’ This is so because there is no doubt that sins are the greatest obstacles such as the case of the man mentioned in the hadeeth who makes supplication,

A man who makes a long journey, is disheveled and dusty, raises his hands to the sky, exclaiming, ‘My Lord! My Lord!,’ but his food is prohibited, his drink is prohibited, his clothes are prohibited and he has been nourished with prohibited food, so how can his supplication be accepted?’ (Muslim 1015)

This man is doing all the things required to get his supplication accepted. He was on a long journey, and being on a journey is hoped to be a cause for supplication to be accepted. He is tired and disheveled and dusty. He is broken and humbled before Allaah, but despite his heart being humbled, he stretches his hands, raises his hands in supplications, all of which are causes for supplication to be accepted. He would exclaim, ‘My Lord! My Lord!’ which is a cause for supplications to be accepted even to the extent that some scholars have said, if a person says, ‘My Lord! My Lord!’ five times, his supplication would be accepted, like it is mentioned at the end of Soorah Aaly ‘Imraan, ‘My Lord! My Lord! My Lord!’ Also, Allaah says,

(فَٱسۡتَجَابَ لَهُمۡ رَبُّهُمۡ)
… and their Lord responded to them.” (Aaly ‘Imraan 195)

Some scholars have said that repeating the words ‘My Lord!’ five times is a cause for supplications to be accepted. Thus, this man is dishevelled, dusty, and on a long journey. He raises his hands to the sky and says, ‘My Lord!,’ all of which are causes for supplications being accepted. However, there are obstacles for them to be accepted: his food was prohibited, his drink was prohibited, and he was nourished with the prohibited.

“… so how can his supplication be accepted?”

Rather he is far, but why does Allaah say,

(وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِي عَنِّي فَإِنِّي قَرِيبٌۖ أُجِيبُ دَعۡوَةَ ٱلدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِۖ)
… and when My slaves ask you concerning Me, indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me.” (Al-Baqarah 186)

How can someone be removed from this closeness? It is possible if there is an obstacle. Thus, when there is an obstacle, the person’s supplications become less likely to being accepted. This is because these transgressions are obstacles. It is recorded that the Prophet ﷺ said,

Make sure what you eat is permissible and your supplications will be accepted!””
(Al-Mu’jam Al-Awssatt by ATt-Ttabaraany 6495)

Therefore, if a person wants the means for his supplications being accepted, he should avoid committing sins which are the reason for of being deprived of many good things such as knowledge, good deeds, and many other things, and this can lead to happiness in a person’s life.