We should always be thoughtful about what we pray and wish for in life, because God is aware of all our acts, listens to all our prayers and rewards us at the right time, says MAMTA SEHGAL

An old acquaintance of the prophet Muhammad was ill. Unable to eat, he had lost a great deal of weight and felt weak. When the prophet heard about his old friend’s plight, he paid him a visit. As he walked into the sick man’s room, he realised that his days were numbered. But the old man was so thrilled and grateful to see the prophet sitting beside him that he felt like he’d been gifted with a new lease of life.

”My illness has brought me this unbelievable fortune!’’ he uttered feebly. ‘’The prophet himself has come to pay me a visit! What an auspicious morning,” he said, smiling.

The prophet smiled back at his friend and patted him gently on his shoulder. His friend held his hand, tenderly.

Mamta Sehgal

”How grateful I am for all my pains and aches, for they have brought the prophet to my side! God has bestowed me my wish in my old age,” he said, his eyes flooded with tears of joy.

“He has given me such a backache that I can’t sleep at night from the pain, but there is no torture; it’s in fact my treasure. My prayers have been answered before my death.’’

The prophet was puzzled when he heard the old man praying for pain.

He said, “My friend, you have been praying erroneously. You may have thought that you are asking God for sweet kindness, but, in fact, your wrong words have brought you much misfortune. It sounds like, instead of a healthy life, you have been begging for affliction.”

The old man said, “I felt guilty for many sins I had committed and was frightened of God’s punishment. I prayed that He would inflict all the tortures of hell upon me while I’m still alive, so that I can pass into the next world in peace. Now I am afflicted with such pain and suffering.’’

The prophet looked at the man with great sorrow, and said: `”Be aware, and never again repeat such a prayer. When you pray to God, ask for an easier life to endure, not one that’s more difficult than you can bear. Ask God for only goodness in this life, and in the next! Ask that your path cross through gardens with lush flowers, guiding your way back to Allah, who should be your ultimate destination.’’

So, always be thoughtful of what you pray and wish for in life, because contrary to our belief, God is aware of all our acts, listens to all our prayers and rewards us at the right time and occasion. Sadly, our adverse and negative contemplations at every moment send wrong signals to the Power above and He fulfills what we wish for.

Unknowingly there is always a huge contrariness in what we wish and what we desire. As a result of our negative outlook, our wishes are totally opposite to our desires and God fulfills what we wish for, and we get into a labyrinth of problems as a result of our own doings.

To a large extent, leading a peaceful and a joyful life is in our own hands. It just calls for a prudent way of life.

A fashion academician and author of two books, ‘The Perennial Journey’ and ‘Rooh-e-Rumi, Mamta’, Mamta Sehgal is a regular columnist with leading dailies. She has spent over 20 years teaching, mentoring and partnering with leading academic institutions.  Now a full-time social entrepreneur, she and a friend have spearheaded ‘Joy Story Foundation’, a social venture.

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