Ramadan 2021- Juz 16 - the impossible prayer
“Zachariah called to his Lord secretly, pleading: ‘ Lord, my bones have weakened and my hair is ashen grey, but never, Lord, have I ever prayed to You in vain: I fear [what] my kinsmen [will do] when I am gone, for my wife is barren, so grant me a successor—a gift from You—to be my heir and the heir of the family of Jacob. Lord, make him well pleasing [to You].’ - Surah Mariam ayat 4-6 (19:4-6)
It seems like an impossible prayer, a wish, a foregone dream. It is answered.
He is old, to the extent he is described as frail and grey. His wife similarly is beyond child-bearing age. But without doubt Zachariah prays for a son, as he knows his prayers will be answered.
We’re reminded that success is only granted from Allah. Just because we do something doesn’t mean we will have the outcome we imagine. During Ramadan, we don’t eat or drink all day, and yet through Allah’s mercy we may not even feel hungry at all. On the flip side how often throughout the rest of the year do we eat a huge meal and we still feel hungry afterwards?
In Islamic theology we have three states of dua (prayers) being answered:
- It will be accepted.
- Some equivalent harm will be warded away from us.
- He will save the dua for us and grant it as a blessing in the next life.
It may sound tautological but Allah knows when things are best for us. We have certainty he hears us and that every dua, if we are sincere, is accepted.
If we’re seeking goodness sincerely, it may not come in the form we’re seeking, at the time, or in the manner we’re expecting but Allah will open doors for us and take us where we need to go. Even if it’s not where we thought we wanted to go, or how we expected. We’ll get there in the end.