Have you ever said a prayer?
It doesn’t really matter if you believe in a God or not. At some point, you must have said a prayer, any prayer. It wouldn’t have had to be a solemn request to a God or an expression of faith to a supreme being. Perhaps, you spoke to yourself about the need for there to be a positive change. Perhaps, you spoke to your neighbour about the state of affairs in our country. At some point, you felt the need to express yourself with absolute hope and a sense of anticipation.
That’s a prayer.
Yes, a prayer need not necessarily be ritualistic or expressed in houses of worship. Your subconscious tends to articulate a prayer whenever you express your deepest desires. It follows, that what you say to others could affect an outcome just as much as a prayer said in the house of God could. Assuming you believe this to be true, you probably also believe, that the act of praying has its virtues and could manipulate the outcome of an event.
And that’s anticipation.
At some point, you’re likely to have anticipated an outcome that suited your innermost desires. The act of anticipating itself involves a thought process that hinges a lot on your state of mind. For instance, if you were to pray with anticipation that Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak goes to jail, you’re either a pessimist or one who harbours ill feelings towards him.
With that kind of negativity, one would imagine that God would ignore you or ‘pretend’ He didn’t hear you. But that is not quite the case. In Islam, it is believed that Allah will respond to each and every prayer by granting us opportunities to discover ourselves.
Yes, it’s all about opportunity.
God does not make a bag of gold appear in front of you if you were to pray to Him for gold. He will, however, grant you the opportunity to get that gold or to decide if you need it. Perhaps he gets you into a car accident just to let you know how much your family loves you. Perhaps, he knows that by giving you gold, you’d become a horrible man and abandon your responsibilities as husband and dad.
Then again, He may just show you the way to a riverbed glittering with all the gold you could possibly need. In Christianity, they say that “God works his miracles in wondrous ways.” He always makes it plain and simple for you to see that He will never abandon you. But whether or not you see this depends a lot on your state of mind. If you’re the kind of guy who wants Najib jailed, you’d probably think He abandoned you should you get yourself into a car crash.
Yes, God does work in wondrous ways.
When He caused UMNO to suffer defeat during the 14th general election (GE14), He did not seek to humiliate its leaders but to present them opportunities to realise their weaknesses. Perhaps He knew that a victory would have fortified their egos and turned them into despotic freaks. Perhaps He wanted them to realise that they were overly condescending and out of sync with the people. Had UMNO won, I do not think I would have resonated with its leaders and may even have ditched the party altogether.
But I’ve changed.
I have, because the defeat presented me an opportunity to realise my shortcomings. Today, I see UMNO to be a grouping of individuals who need help realising that there is opportunity. As long as I do not help them realise this, I would have failed in my mission to unite the Malays and to uphold the sanctity of Islam at the vanguard of national politics. I do not have much time in this world and am determined to succeed in my mission.
Yes, contrary to what the pessimist thinks, I do what I do with faith that God granted me the opportunity to guide mankind towards the path of clearer waters.