By Usama Abdullahi
I came across a post from a supposedly intelligent person in which he foolishly stated that prayer is worthless and doesn’t count. What surprises me more is that he’s a practising Sufi Muslim. It’s hard to believe that Sufism teaches people to utter things or act contrary to the teachings of Islam. Even though I’m neither a pro-Sufism nor share similar ideologies with any of them, I still don’t think Sufism teaches people to behave and write irrationally as that self-deluded person.
He believes that being realistic or pragmatic is the only solution to the everyday security challenges troubling this country. While I agree with him that being practical is one of the surest ways that could help bring such age-long challenges into a state of discontinuity, yet, on the other hand, I disagree with him that our prayers are usually obsolete and worthless. Perhaps unknown to him, prayer is but a spiritual tool that fends, heals and grants the guided people some peace of mind.
Prayer is a beautiful and easiest way of expressing our deeply felt gratitude to God for his mercies upon our dear lives. It describes how thankful, devoted and religious we are towards our creator. The problem with that person is that he’s shifted his focus on God and thinks that his so-called realistic mind provides him with the answers to all the lingering security threats we are experiencing in this country. Well, that’s the biggest blunder one could ever make.
When we stray or rather deviate from the right course, our minds often tell us things differently. Our minds would make us feel liberal and lure us into acting in the wrong way. Sometimes it makes us view things narrowly, which is not how they seem in reality. It simply corrupts and deceives us. The manner we reason speaks volumes about how we often tend to foresee the future.
As humans, we are capable of being wrong at any time. But it is funnily unrealistic to believe that your ideology is always appropriate and should be followed. Over the years, I have come to terms with the belief that one with higher academic qualifications doesn’t mean they are the most knowledgeable among people. I respect people’s opinions, but only when they appear rational. Abusive and persuasive views are sure to be avoided because they can instigate hostile disagreement among people like this.
I don’t see prayer as a worthless thing. Even if I feel it doesn’t count, I will keep on praying. Indeed, I believe in the miracle of prayers. I know God answers prayer. He has told us in the Holy book that we should supplicate and call on him whenever we get into trouble or need something. My or your prayers might be delayed but not rejected. When this happens, the Holy book always reminds us to be patient because patience pays.
And prayer is also an act of worship. Moreover, it shows the level of one’s faith in God. I know we cannot pray all of our problems away without being pragmatic in confronting and dealing with them. Yet that shouldn’t give us the green light to decidedly underestimate the power of prayer, for it’s a natural remedy on its own.
Prayer saved Prophet Isa (Jesus) from the brink of crucifixion. Prayer protected Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) and his companions against their ruthless foes. Prayer saved Prophet Abraham when thrown into the fire by his people and prayer attracted God’s sympathy and mercy over Prophet Yunusa (Jonah) when he got drown and swallowed by a whale. Despite going through hell, Yunusa still prayed to God and was happily rescued afterwards. So, how would you expect me to buy into your notion that prayer is worthless?
Usama Abdullahi wrote from Abuja, Nigeria. He can be reached via email@example.com.