A Time to Pray and A Time to Act

Apr 3, 2005

Will Your Car Work that Way?

76. Praying, whether for your own personal benefit or for improvement in your community and society, without suitable action to accompany, precede or follow your prayer, is like sitting around and praying for your car to start – all by itself, without your opening the car door, inserting the key in the ignition and turning it.

77. It is like praying for your groceries to arrive from the store and stock up in your pantry – all by themselves, without your lifting a finger.

78. It is like praying for your children to show up at school on time, day after day, without your ever having to wake them up, wash them, dress them, feed them and drive them to school.

79. It is like praying for your kids to pass the final exams with flying colors without your ever helping them, preparing them, comforting them, encouraging them, getting them a tutor, making sure they have all the books they need or doing any of the million things responsible parents do to help their kids – kids who are in deep, deep trouble in every single one of their subjects.

80. In all these instances, you are either out of your mind or joking. Similarly, those individuals and communities who only pray and do nothing practical to help themselves and to improve their community and society, are also either out of their mind or joking.

81. At the same time, they are also guilty of the most serious kind of blasphemy of God Almighty.

82. Allah’s Deen – God Almighty’s law in this world – is action. That is the law of nature. That is how God Almighty designed his world: to be a world of cause and effect. In this world, as you sow, so shall you reap.

83. That means you first do all in your power to make all the good things happen and then you throw yourself at God Almighty’s mercy, begging and crying and praying to him to make those things happen.

Don’t Forget to Tie the Camel

84. God’s law – and his way, his Deen – in this world is tying the camel first.

85. A man came to the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, and asked: “Should I tie my camel or should I just leave it and trust in God?”

The Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, replied: “First tie your camel and then trust in God.”

86. Therefore, if the question is should we act or pray, the answer is we must do both. We must pray as well as act. Because it is based on our actions that God answers our prayers.

Are You Praying to the Right God?

87. And then there is this all-important question of who are you praying to. In other words, what kind of a God do you have? Are you sure you are praying to the right God?

88. That is, who really is your God? Is he God, the Almighty, the one and only, the creator, the nourisher, the cherisher, the sustainer of this world and of all the other worlds that we know nothing about?

89. Or have you found a way to insert little pet gods of your own choice and making between you and him?

90. One reason why our prayers do not get answered is because we are praying to the wrong gods. We are knocking at the wrong doors.

91. You do not get a brand new wedding dress out of a vending machine, do you? Nor do you get a fully prepared five-course gourmet meal out of a Ramen noodle packet.

92. The fact is there is only one God – God the Almighty; the maker and master of the worlds; God of Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad; and God of all the prophets of God everywhere (may God bless them all).

93. God of the Old Testament; God of the New Testament; and God of the Qur’an.

94. That is the only God we must worship and pray to.

95. Praying to the pantheon of deities we set up in the exercise of our freedom of worship, belief and conscience does not change reality. It only makes things worse for us. It does not alter the fact that God is one and only one. And he alone deserves to be worshipped and prayed to.

96. God gave us the freedom of choice, and of worship, so that we will use it to recognize him and to come to him freely and of our own accord and free will. He did not give that freedom to us to use it to worship a donkey or a mouse or a munchkin or a hobgoblin or a bicycle tire.

97. Therefore, praying to our favorite donkey or mouse or munchkin god is not going to get the job done. It is not going to get our prayers answered.

98. What is more, it is blasphemy. It is an affront to God. And it is every reason why God should not accept our prayers, and instead put his curse upon us.

Life Means Responsibility and Action

99. Life as it is ordained by God Almighty for us on earth is responsibility and action both for ourselves and for others.

100. Our prayers, thus, must be backed up by an appropriate action plan. And that action plan has several components to it.

101. The first component of our action plan is people. That means the first thing we as a people need to do is to put the right people in power at all levels in our communities and societies and in our clubs and organizations.

102. The second thing we need to do is to hold those in power accountable and make sure they do their job.

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