Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Prayed as First Aid

Hoping is almost like praying.

I was trying to explain the difference to my son.  I felt I knew the difference.  However, like most important subjects in life, I realized how little I knew when I tried to be a wise parental figure.

Alhumdulillah.  It really got me to thinking.

I came up with an analogy to help me figure it out.  Islam is full of analogies, since it's very hard to grasp new truth without anchoring it in our own reality.

When I took First Aid training, I was taught that that it isn't really that effective to yell, "CALL 911 !"  That call for help, though others hear it, doesn't seem meant for any specific person.  Human nature makes us all assume that someone else will soon be stepping in.

In order to truly get the help we need in an emergency, we need to stop, direct our plea to a specific person and call out their name, "Seif!  CALL 911 !"  That (imaginary for analogy purposes) person feels that it is a special request meant for them alone.  Their role is to listen, to understand, and to aid.

So, back to hoping versus praying.

Hoping is that shout out to the masses.  Hoping is being indirect and non-specific.  It is less focused and less likely to succeed.

Praying is specifically to God.  It is a a moment in which we realize that only Allah is the administrator of our affairs.  God is the only one we need and the only one we need to address.  It feels direct, purposeful and the most we could ever ask for assistance. 

Next time you need something, remember to pray and not just to hope.

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