I am a firm believer in the power of prayer. I am also a firm believer in this quote, “Whenever you do not understand what’s happening in your life, just close your eyes, take a deep breath and say, ‘Ya Allah, I know this is your plan, just help me through it.’” I’m always praying for something. Usually wanting something or not wanting something to happen. Scholars say that when we are making dua, we are directly speaking with Allah swt, meaning prayer is a direct link between our Creator and us, his creation. He and us. He and me. Just the two of us. There is no reason for anyone to go in between us and pray for us, while we sit back and relax. I remember listing to a lecture by Mufti Menk. He was talking about how his little daughter would beg and beg for something she wanted. He had said that that was how we were supposed to pray. Allah is the one and only one who can either give us what we want, or not give us what we don’t want. Mufti Mehnk said to pray like you were a toddler; when they really want something, they cry, they are asking (or screaming in a toddler’s case) with all their heart. All because they really, really, want it. We should try to pray with our heart and mind together. With kids always calling for us, and chores to be done, sometimes our prayers and duas are just said automatically, with no feeling. We need to take a few minutes for ourselves. This will take time.
From my past experiences, I have learned a few things. There was once something that I didn’t want to happen. Everyone else was happy with it, but i had a tornado running inside me. I prayed and prayed for Allah swt to put it in everyones hearts that this wasn’t a good decision. I think weeks went by like this. Then one day, I felt I was being greedy and started praying that if this was good for me, to put it in my heart, and if this was bad for me, to put it in my parents heart. This went on for a few more weeks. Then one day, I just prayed for everything to go smoothly. I can honestly say, that that particular day, my heart felt at ease. I came to realize this was what was meant to be for me. I’ll share with you something. At that moment, when i cam to that realization, my brain was still screaming, “NO!, NO!” but my heart was saying, “be happy, this is good for you.” An ayah from the Quran comes to mind here. I can’t recall which one, but I remember a bit about the translation. It went something like this: Listen to your heart. It speaks subtly, softly. Your heart tells you what I want for you. It always will lead you to the right path. My path. Your heart is not influenced by anything, but me. Listen to it. Your brain is always influenced by society, culture, peer pressure. It will scream at you and confuse you. Your heart will not.
The thing is, one doesn’t usually pay much attention to the heart tugging at you to make a certain decision. We usually ignore it, for a while at times. It’s not easy, but we just have to be patient and one day, we will hear what Allah swt wants. We will feel it. It’s like weight being lifted from your shoulders. Sometimes it will be what you were praying for all along. And sometimes, it will be what you were praying to not happen. That’s my case 90% of the time. So far, whatever I was praying for was not meant to be for me. I guess I don’t know what is good for me yet. But it’s okay. I am learning over time. Allah swt knows what is good for me, so I’m in good hands.
Pray with your herat. Pray for it whenever it pops in your head. Just pray, say a few words to Him, it will bring some relief to your heart. Things will fall into place, and your heart will be at ease, and your brain will eventually stop screaming at your for thinking the worst.
What is best will always happen. We just need to be open to it and we will understand it and be okay with it. Inshallah.
By Maasi Saba