CREDOS : Unheard prayers — II

Hesham A Hassaballa

The above exchange in my head was born out of the fact that I am a human being, subject to all of the weaknesses of the human condition. The Quran told me that this is in my nature: “Now, as for man, when his Lord trieth him, giving him honour and gifts, then saith he, ‘My Lord hath honoured me.’ But when He trieth him, restricting his subsistence for him, then saith he (in despair), ‘My Lord hath humiliated me!’” (89:15-16). Now, thank God I did not say God has humiliated me. Also, thank God, I did not point an angry finger at the Lord and proceed to disobey His commands. To do so would be horribly ungrateful. How many blessings has the Lord bestowed upon me? They are innumerable. I do not want to be among those who “worship God, as it were, on the verge,” as the Quran says, “if good befalls them, they are, therewith, well content; but if a trial comes to them, they turn on their faces” (22:11). When the answer to my prayer eluded me, I simply put my head down in acceptance, still sad, and said, “All praise is due to God. God has decreed thus, and He does what He wills.”

The truth is, the Lord neither abandoned nor humiliated me. According to the Prophet, when someone calls on God, one of three things happen: (1) it is immediately answered (and I do not have a shortage of those prayers, thank God); (2) the answer to the prayer is deferred to Judgement Day, when the supplicant will be rewarded; (3) the prayer will block a calamity that is to befall that person. Thus, in my case, either something bad was going to happen to me, but my unanswered prayer blocked it, or the Lord is saving the answer to that prayer for Judgment Day. —