The Nature of God

I Answer the Prayer of the Supplicant when he Prays to Me

58 The Review of Religions – November 2005 This article is about the graciousacceptance of my prayers relating to the miraculous recovery of my father-in-law from a major illness. It is a testament to the beauty and power of prayer; that blessed mercy which Allah has bestowed on mankind. It should be noted that I am by no means suggesting that my father- in-law was cured from what I did, as I was only one of many who performed such pious deeds as fasting, praying and giving alms. All the fasting, the alms and the prayers throughout the night that I did; none of these can equal the prayers that Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih V offered for my father- i n – l a w. Recently my father- i n – l a w, Mansur ul haq Khan Sahib was rushed to the Accident and Emerg e n c y, Hillingdon Hospital, with a severe a l l e rgic reaction to a neurofen tablet taken the night before. As the days passed the reaction got worse and moved from a normal allerg i c reaction to Steven Johnson Syndrome, a severe allergy caused by an immune deficiency. Several times during the first two weeks when he was in Intensive Care on a ventilator (life support machine) we were warned that he was on the balance of life and death; that only time would tell which side he would fall. Everyday, a new hurdle came along which seemed to tip him towards the latter. However, by the Power and Grace of Allah, it has been overturned and he has been granted an almost full r e c o v e r y. A l h a m d u l i l l a h. (All praise belongs to Allah.) I was at work on 6th May 2005 when my wife informed me that I Answer the Prayer of the Supplicant when he By Harris Maguire – London UK Prays to Me 59The Review of Religions – November 2005 her father had been rushed to Accident & Emergency with severe rashes all over the body, swelling of the lips and a very high temperature. The next day I began fasting by way of beseeching Allah to save my father-in-law, as I had found in the past great blessings from fasting in the hope of winning Allah’s favour of acceptance of my prayer. During that first week, I took time off work and from midnight till dawn when my fast would begin I would offer n a w a f i l ( v o l u n t a r y prayers) one after the other. During my prayers I asked so many things of Allah, everything I could think of covering every possible situation. How I thought of all these things I am not too sure, how I had the energy and willpower to continue to pray for three hours each night I am uncertain but of course when people you care deeply for are unwell your life changes and so does the way you act. I knew that Allah is the best H e a l e r, that to Him do we belong and to Him do we return. I knew that only He could restore my f a t h e r- i n – l a w ’s health. Looking through the B u k h a r i c o m p i l a t i o n of Traditions of the Holy P r o p h e t( s a ) for an appropriate d u ’ a (supplication) to use, I found the following which felt very apt. Hadhrat Ay e s h a( r a ) relates that whenever Allah’s Messenger( s a ) paid a visit to a patient or a patient was brought to him, he used to invoke Allah with these words: ‘O Allah, Lord of mankind, take away the illness. Cure him as You are the One Who c u res. There is no cure but Yours, a cure that leaves no d i s e a s e . ’ ( B u k h a r i ) I also read another Tr a d i t i o n wherein Hadhrat Abu Hurairah( r a ) narrates that the Holy Prophet( s a ) said, ‘There is no disease that Allah has sent down except that He also has sent down its cure.’(Bukhari) On the 8th May, I got the call while at home that they had to perform a surgical procedure on my father-in-law which involved I ANSWER THE PRAYER OF THE SUPPLICANT WHEN HE PRAYS TO ME 60 The Review of Religions – November 2005 inserting a tube down his throat into his lungs to clear them out. This was quite risky because if performed under general anaesthetic there could be possible brain damage and otherwise it would be very painful if performed without anaesthesia. I prayed for Allah to guide the doctors to make the right decision. I also prayed for Allah to give them knowledge of the human body as He created man and is All- Knowing. I asked that the procedure be done so easily that even the doctors would be amazed and asked that father would have the strength from Allah to bear whatever burden he had to do. Later I got the phone call from my wife to say everything had gone well, that my father-in-law had been extremely helpful and a very good patient. They managed to put the tube through the nose as the mouth was too swollen to do it that w a y. I was totally amazed and immediately offered prayers of thanksgiving. Everything I had spoken to Allah about and asked of Him seemed to have been granted. It was a truly amazing feeling. But we were informed that an electrocardiogram had been done prior to this procedure which revealed that he had had a mild heart attack as there was some damage to his heart. As he already suffers from angina due to two narrowing arteries, this was another blow and yet another complication. I was looking for further supplications to make which I found in the book Welcome to Ahmadiyya, the true Islam by Dr. Karimullah Zirvi in the form of the Istikharah prayer – a prayer of the Holy Prophet(sa) when in need of Divine guidance. I performed two raka’ats of prayer and said the du’a in English, as my Arabic is quiet poor due to my inability to learn languages well. I did read the phonetic verse as best I could, hoping that Allah would see my intention and the fact that I was an English convert who had not beent taught Arabic as a child. I went to sleep that night and did indeed get a response from Allah in the form of a dream. I saw my father-in-law come home well and he sat by me on the bed and told me that he had become a Sufi Ahmadi Muslim. I ANSWER THE PRAYER OF THE SUPPLICANT WHEN HE PRAYS TO ME 61The Review of Religions – November 2005 He explained to me his reason which was that an Iranian doctor had cured him of his disease. As the days went by father seemed to get worse and worse and it looked out of place to even mention this dream to anyone as it seemed so unrealistic that he could walk home whilst seeing him in the Intensive Care Unit wired to all those machines and tubes, in pain and unable to talk or unable to breathe properly. I found the following tradition narrated by Hadhrat Anas bin M a l i k( r a ) in which Holy Prophet( s a ) is reported to have said: ‘None of you should wish for death because of a calamity befalling him but if he has to wish for death, he should say: “O Allah! Keep me alive as long as life is better for me and let me die if death is better for m e . ” ’ (Bukhari) I said a prayer for my father- i n – l a w along these lines adding that if his time is set then let it come quickly otherwise give him a speedy r e c o v e r y. The next day he was a lot better and was in better spirits. Again it seemed that my prayers had been answered. On the 20th of May my father-in- law was finally moved from Hillingdon to Mount Vernon, a specialist hospital in burn victims. So when he was moved there we had hoped that now all would be cleared up. The next day he had four angina attacks, which Mount Vernon was unable to treat so that he had to be rushed back to Hillingdon via ambulance. I prayed for him and his heart condition and for Allah to safeguard him and kept repeating, as I always did in every raka’at of every prayer, the du’a asking for Allah to remove the ailment completely. Also at hospital and at home I would read the Holy Q u r’an from Surah Ya Sin (Chapter 36) onwards which was very apt to the situation and brought hope and understanding to this situation. The next day his angina attack had ceased and on 24th May he was moved back to Mount Vernon and I ANSWER THE PRAYER OF THE SUPPLICANT WHEN HE PRAYS TO ME 62 The Review of Religions – November 2005 there he made great recovery from his skin damage. It is amazing to think that he lost 60% of his skin and did not get any infection and has survived this ordeal. We were surprised when, within a week, they said he could go home. All praise belongs to Allah, Lord of all the Worlds. This is proof of the amazing blessings in following Allah’s ways – fasting, giving alms and especially prayer – because for my f a t h e r-in-law to survive all the health problems he experienced day after day to me is nothing short of miraculous. I kept asking in my prayer based on what I believe I heard Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih IV(ru) say in a Question and Answer Session that converts should ask in their prayer for Allah to show them signs. I kept asking for Allah to show me, as a convert, a sign of His Power, to show all, how much can be done through prayer and fasting. I am amazed how much I have witnessed with my own eyes. As it says in the Holy Qur’an: And when My servants ask thee about Me, say, I am near. I answer the prayer of the supplicant when he prays to Me. So they should hearken to Me and believe in Me, that they may follow the right way. (Ch.2:V.187) I chose the line, I answer the prayer of the supplicant when he prays to Me, from the verse of the Holy Qur’an above as the title of this article because it is all about the acceptance of prayers. My heart cries from immense love that Allah shows to mankind when all man has to do is follow His simple and beneficial teachings. May Allah keep us all in the right path with sincere and constant prayers at all times as prescribed by Allah Himself and forgive us our faults. Ameen. I ANSWER THE PRAYER OF THE SUPPLICANT WHEN HE PRAYS TO ME 63The Review of Religions – November 2005 Advertise your business in The Review of Religions and see sales scale to new heights. Existing adverts can be placed and sponsorship on regular features is available in this longest running worldwide Muslim monthly magazine in the English language. 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