A Time to Pray and A Time to Act

Apr 3, 2005

Short-Term and Long-Term Solutions

175. Some of the solutions to the crime situation in our society are short-term solutions, while some others are more long-term solutions.

176. An effective police force and a cooperative citizenry generally take care of the short-term solutions to the crime situation.

177. Sustained education and serious social reform may be needed to address the crime and other problems on a long-term basis.

178. That means if we are serious about finding long-term solutions to crime and lawlessness in our society, we need to work tirelessly to reduce poverty in our society.

179. We also need to educate the poor and teach them the skills they need to survive succeed and advance in society.

180. And to improve their condition and provide them help, counseling and support at a number of different levels.

181. And to give them hope and opportunity for a better life and better future.

182. That also means we need to work equally tirelessly to improve the social, political, cultural, religious, economic and racial aspects of our life in our society.

183. Thus, we need to do all sorts of practical things at the personal, social, political, economic and cultural levels, if our prayers are to work and produce the results we want of them.

184. Prayers are thus not a substitute for action. They are not a substitute for individual action. And they are not a substitute for more macro action at the level of the society and its institutions, structures and organizations.

185. Prayers certainly are not a license for inaction. They are not an invitation for us to sit around and complain and do nothing.

186. To pray and not to back up our prayers with appropriate personal and social action is like playing tennis without a racket or playing cricket or baseball without a bat.

187. It is like driving a car without wheels and without an engine.

188. It is like swimming with your hands and feet tied.

189. It is not that God cannot still give you the things you are praying for. He surely can – and often does.

190. But it is just that you are not doing the things he asked you to do. You are being rude, arrogant, foolish and disobedient. You are defying his commands.

191. You are not backing up your prayers with appropriate action at your own individual level as well as at broader community and societal levels.

192. You simply are not being a good slave of God Almighty, who is your true maker and master, and who is also the maker and master of all the worlds.

193. So, instead of doing the simple things he asked you to do, and often doing the opposite of what he asked you to do, you run off to him at every opportunity you get and start laying out demands on him.

Don’t Order God, Beg Him!

194. In addition, you sometimes talk to him as if you are ordering him around and telling him what to do and not begging him and pleading with him.

195. And then you are so quick to complain when you think he has not done what you told him to do.

196. At every opportunity, you run off to complain about him – who has given you everything you have – to those who have given you nothing and who have absolutely no power to give you anything.

197. And then some of you are even so rude, foolish, arrogant and audacious as to run around cursing him and saying the nastiest things about him when you in your mind do not get your wish and your way.

198. But in spite of all these things, do prayers work?

199. Yes, they do, absolutely, positively.

200. Will your prayers work then?

201. Yes, they will, absolutely, positively – God willing.

God’s Doors Are Always Open

202. For, no one is barred from coming to God and talking to him – directly and without an intercessor or an intermediary.

203. God Almighty’s doors are open to everyone all the time.

204. That is one of the greatest contributions of Islam to human liberty and dignity and to human civilization and culture in general.

205. For, Islam removes all barriers between God and human beings and puts human beings – all human beings, among them the worst sinners and offenders – directly in touch with God Almighty.

206. Naturally, the first thing sinners and offenders would talk to God about are their sins and their offenses. They would apologize and repent for their million omissions and commissions. They would beg him to forgive their sins.

207. They would then pledge not to repeat those sins and offenses in future.

208. They would then lay out before him their needs and requirements. They would beg and plead and beg and plead and beg and plead some more.

Here Is What to Do!

209. Here is some of what such people would do – people who are really serious about having God Almighty listen to their prayers and supplications:

a. Turn to God Almighty and to him alone and leave the baggage behind.

b. Take a good look at your life, inside and out – the condition of your body as well as your mind and soul. Clean them up.

c. Repent of whatever you have been doing overtly – all the Haram and forbidden stuff – including the eating of pig, consumption of alcohol and engaging in backbiting and illicit sex.

d. Repent of whatever you have been piling up inside of you – all that jealousy, envy, greed, hate, malice, self-centeredness and contempt for others that you have raked up over the years.

e. Take every individual and organized collective action allowed by law to set right the conditions in your own community and in the society at large.

f. Use your powers of speaking, writing and persuasion to change what you believe must be changed in your community and your society.

g. Should you be entirely and utterly incapable of acting at either of those fronts, then sit down and shed copious tears, in the silence of your own heart, at the terrible mess you see around you and at your own helplessness in doing anything about it.

h. And in doing so, consciously and deliberately reject and resent in your heart the mess that you see around you and distance yourself from it – in your mind, in your thoughts and beliefs, in your feelings and emotions, and in your actions and behavior.

i. Now then is the time for you to pray. And here is how you do it.

Pour Out Your Pain to God!

j. Turn to God Almighty and pour out your pain to him. Tell him how much you hurt – and he knows.

k. Tell him how helpless you are to do anything – and he knows.

l. Tell him how you are sorry for all the things you did in the past that you should not have done – and he knows.

m. Tell him how you are now ready to turn a new page – and he knows.

n. And then beg him to show mercy.

o. And do so with hot, burning tears flowing down your cheeks and your chest.

p. Cry. Cry. Cry some more. Let your heart break into a billion bits and burst out through your eyes.

Sob like a Baby!

q. Sob like a baby. And beg some more.

r. Don’t order him, as if you were the master. Instead, beg him like the slave you are.

s. Let your tears, your tone of voice, your body posture, all show and speak that you indeed are looking and acting like a beggar.

t. And then wait, like a beggar, with uplifted hands and wide parted mouth, with teeth showing, face contorted and body atremble.

u. Wait in abject humility and surrender before someone who has all the power, of which you have not an iota.

Act like the Slave You Are!

v. Act like the slave that you really are. In front of the master that he really is. The real and only master there ever was or is. The real and only master and God a human being should ever have.

w. And then look out. Maybe those raindrops are the sky showering blessings upon you, giving you the good news. Maybe your voice has been heard.

x. Maybe the One, the Only One, up above in the sky, liked your style, your language, your utter humility, your abject surrender, your pathetic pleading. And then his ever-flowing mercy came to the fore and said: Let this slave of mine have what he or she wants.

y. You have won the day. Your petition is granted. Your prayer is accepted.

z. Now get up and allow yourself a smile fit for the most abject of slaves in front of the most powerful of all masters on how you caught the crumb he threw in your direction.

Go Out and Change the World!

aa. Get out and get busy changing the world of the master for the better – the plantation earth that he created for you to work and to enjoy and to be accountable for.

bb. Get busy doing the job you should have been doing all along.

The job for the doing of which he created you in the first place.

cc. The job for the not doing of which he punished you by not listening to your prayers earlier.

dd. And at the same time get busy cleaning your own personal life of all the mess that should not have been there in the first place.

ee. Do everything in your power to make sure you do not burn the bridges you have just built to your master or blow the break you have just received from him.

Rejoice!

ff. Rejoice! For, you are now a man or woman of God. God now is on your side. And you are on God’s side.

gg. You have become God’s instrument in this world. He is now the eyes with which you see – so make sure you see no evil.

hh. He is now the ears with which you hear – so make sure you hear no evil.

ii. He is now the hand with which you hold – so make sure your hands touch nothing that he made unlawful.

jj. He is now the feet with which you walk – so make sure your feet do not take you where he would not like to see you.

kk. You are now in God’s protection and Satan is sorely disappointed in you.

ll. You are now dead to the world, and the world is dead to you, as you are no longer its slave or a prisoner of its seductions and charms.

Living with God

mm. But in reality you live on in God. And you will live on even after you die. And the world will find life through you.

nn. Now when you speak, you will speak with the voice of God.

oo. Now when you pray, the heavens and earth will rush to do your bidding. From now on, as you say, so shall it be.

pp. For, you are now on God’s side and God Almighty is now on your side.

qq. So, do prayers work? Yes, prayers work! Absolutely, positively! Indeed they do!

rr. Do they work for everyone? Yes, they do.

Call Me and I Shall Respond, Says God in the Qur’an

ss. That is God Almighty’s promise in the Qur’an. “Call me and I shall respond!” That is what he says in the Qur’an.

tt. Here is also what he says in the Qur’an: I am close enough to hear your supplications

uu. Think of me and I shall think of you, he says in the Qur’an.

Talk about Me and I Shall Talk about You, Says God in the Qur’an

vv. Talk about me and I shall talk about you, he says in the Qur’an.

ww. So, let us all clean up our act and call him.

xx. Let us all shape up and think and talk about him.

yy. And let us all turn to him in supplication – for ourselves, for our parents, for our families, for our teachers, for our neighbors, for our benefactors, for all those who have done us a good turn, for our communities and for our societies.

zz. And for the whole world – a wretched, miserable, misguided world, so hell-bent on running away from his mercy and on destroying itself in every pernicious, perfidious, wicked, ingrate, atrocious and insane way it can lay its hands on.

aaa. At the same time, let us also do what he put us on earth to do in the first place: To act to make this world and this earth a better place for all!

bbb. To be the managers, guardians and custodians of our earthly abode.

ccc. In his name and using his laws and guidance.

ddd. And using the teachings of his prophets Abraham, Moses, Jesus and, finally, Muhammad – May Almighty Allah bless them all.

And while you are at it, please do not forget me, my parents, my teachers and my ancestors in your prayers.

Thank you and God bless you.

Yours prayerfully,

Dr. Pasha, Ph.D.

P.S. Do bear in mind that our manuscripts are mostly drafts in need of further research and revision which we are often unable to undertake or complete due to time and resource constraints.

END

(Revised)

© 2005 Syed Husain Pasha

Dr. Pasha is an educator and scholar of exceptional 
talent, training and experience. He can be reached at DrSyedPasha [at] 
AOL [dot] com or www.IslamicSolutions.com.

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