(Copied and Pasted from my previous site)
When I was 11, my Aunt passed away from cancer. They had two daughters, who at the time were three almost 4 and 7 almost 8.
It happens. Death. It’s a part of our life. We will all die.
The reason I am bringing up this story is the process before my aunt’s death. I come from a large extended family and we all live near each other. We all would get together and pray nearly every week. I was taught more than several different duas and methods that if I enacted/recited, Allah would make all my wishes come true if they were of good pure intention. I wasn’t the only one, my entire large family was taught this dua. So we used it to ask for my aunt’s cure from cancer, and prolonged life.
We would all pray to Allah, crying together for my aunt’s healing. We could not stand the thought of her two daughters growing up without a mother so we would pray profusely. I was a good 11 year old Muslim boy, praying 5 times, pleading with Allah each and every time and doing all of the different methods each and every time. Praying took up a large chunk of my time then.
1-2 years passed by as we watched her physically and emotionally deteriorate from a beautiful woman to her final stages: just bones and skin. We watched her lose her hair, lose sleep, lose weight. We watched her basic bodily functions to become difficult etc. There was no healing process.
I saw, as my cousins’ mother withered away: A young woman full of life and ambition, just snatched from us.
But we had held on hope. We trusted in Allah. If you pray to him dearly, he will listen right?
No. She withered away and died.
I remember hearing the news one day after getting into my dad’s car after school. He told my cousins and I the news. My first thoughts were: well we all prayed so my father was kidding. He looked at me seriously and said “I wouldn’t joke about death.”
During the entire funeral process, obviously everybody was sad and surrounding my cousins, her young daughters, with sympathy and support. I remember being in a state of shock, thinking to myself “but we all prayed.”
My cousins’ childhoods were met with challenges. Their father yearned for a motherly figure for them so he remarried, and that step mother has caused them nothing but trouble and drama in their every day lives, leading to instability in the home environment of children.
More than a decade later: around 2013-present, I examined this part of our lives more honestly.
So when my loved ones would preach to me about praying to Allah about my problems, the conversation goes like this:
Loved one (LO): You’re feeling depressed? You should pray to Allah he will solve all your problems just trust him.
Me: No. I prayed to Allah for Aunt before she died. We all did. We even did things that would apparently get us access to guaranteed outcomes of prayers. She still died.
LO: Well look at how long she lived. She lived for two years which was way past her expected life according to doctors. Every time doctors would say she has two weeks to live she’d surpass that. Allah did meet us halfway there.
Me: I asked for her to be cured, not for her life to be prolonged, but for longer life and BETTER health.
LO: well look, Allah has his plans of how to go about doing things. Maybe something better happened that we’re not aware of because of her death.
Me: She died. She died. SHE DIED. Her two daughters live the rest of their lives without a functional home, that’s definitely good.
LO: Don’t doubt Allah, he only wants good for us and does things for good reasons.
You see the talking points here? If Allah grants our wish, YAY! If Allah denies our wish, well he has better plans. They never hold their God that they believe exist accountable for bad things in their life and the greater world. Things like child molestation which is provoked by Shaytan, who God created, aren’t ever traced back to Allah but to Shaytan, bad people etc. It’s like he can’t do any wrong even though he created EVERYTHING including suffering, shaytan, etc.
I prayed endlessly. We all did. What did the God I believed in at the time do? Nothing. Because I wasn’t doing shit. I just prayed, nobody was listening, so I and a large group of people (my family) really wasted our time by talking into the air. Imagine we had utilized that time to fund raise for better treatment? Or utilized that time for other forms of productivity?
My cousins, who were then 3/4 and 7/8, would pray endlessly while they saw their mother suffer with their own eyes. Their grandmother would tell them “hurry pray! Your mom needs your prayers.” And these beautiful innocent children trusted Allah with their mother.
Only to see their blind trust not to be met, and still told to place value in him.
Prayer is nothing but a delusion embraced by people in order to cope with tragic realities they have no control over.