Continued from last week
Let me now remind us of probably and unarguably one of the most sacred duties and obligations we have to our children. I preface that with the testimony of a sister who had all along been in agony that her children were all neglectful of their daily prayers.
She complained to her friend who had had a similar problem before but had got lucky sequel to the supplication she used to offer long before she got married. The latter called her friend’s attention to the supplication which is in Quran 14:40.
Here the Almighty teaches to us to supplicate as follows: “O my Lord! Make me one who performs As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat), and (also) from my offspring, our Lord! And accept my invocation”. By His will, soon after our sister began to recite the verse in Arabic, her children began to find their paths to their Creator. When this story or rather testimony was shared with me, I remember that most of us usually have to remind our children and wards about their prayers before they rise up to perform same. We agonize whenever we have to remind them that ‘it is time for Salat’. But let us constantly keep this in mind that remembrance of the Almighty is not a given; it is a blessing which He alone grants.
Thus dear Sister, begin to offer this supplication for yourself and children too. This is because there is no way we can know the worth of our supplications; nobody knows what his prayers weighs. Remember this uncanny story.
A poorly dressed and completely dejected Muslim lady once walked into a grocery store. She approached the owner of the store in a most humble manner and asked if he would let her charge a few groceries. She told the grocery owner that her husband was very ill and that they had seven children all of whom were in dire need of food and assistance. The grocer scoffed at her and requested that she left his store.
But her dire situation would not allow her to just walk away without putting in more efforts. She then said: “Please, sir! I will bring you the money just as soon as I can.” But the grocer told her he could not give her credit, as she did not have a charge account at his store. Standing beside the counter was a customer who overheard the conversation between the two. The customer walked forward and told the grocer that he would stand as surety for whatever the woman needed for her family. The grocer then said in a very reluctant voice: “Do you have a grocery list?” The Muslim lady replied: “Yes sir”. The grocer then said: “OK put your grocery list on the scales and whatever your grocery list weighs, I will give you that amount in groceries.” The woman hesitated a moment with a bowed head and then reached into her purse and took out a piece of paper and scribbled something on it. She then laid the piece of paper on the scale carefully with her head still bowed.
The grocer and the customer were completely surprised when the scales went down and stayed down. The grocer, staring at the scales, turned slowly to the customer and said begrudgingly, “I can’t believe this.” The customer smiled and the grocer started putting the groceries on the other side of the scales. The scale did not come up and he, therefore, continued to put more and more groceries on them until the scales would hold no more.
Eventually, the grocer stood up and grabbed the piece of paper from the scales and looked at it. Lo and behold, the list contained no list at all. Rather it contained a prayer, which read: “Ya Allah (SWT), you know my needs and I am leaving this in your hands.”
The grocer gave her the groceries that he had gathered and stood in stunned silence. The Muslim lady thanked him and left the store. Thereafter, the customer handed a fifty-dollar bill to the grocer and said: “It was worth every penny of it.”
Brethren, only the Almighty knows how much a prayer weighs. But the constant challenge is our lack of patience and perseverance. Consider the following story.
It is said that a small town that had historically been “dry,” (no alcohol sold) until a local businessman decided to build a tavern. A group of believers in God were concerned. They, therefore, organized a special prayer in which they asked Almighty God to intervene. It happened that shortly thereafter lightning struck the tavern and it burned to the ground. The owner of the tavern, therefore, sued the believers, claiming that the prayers of the congregation were responsible for the destruction of his tavern. Ironically, the believers decided to hire a lawyer to argue in court that they were not responsible.
The presiding judge, after his initial review of the case, stated that “No matter how this case comes out, one thing is clear. The tavern owner believes in prayer and the believers do not.”
Brethren, never under-estimate the power of prayer.