“OLIVER: Mr. Bumble, sir, I want some more.
OLIVER holds out his bowl.
BUMBLE: (angrily) Did you just say "more?"! (yelling) If I give you more, then all of the other orphans will want more, too. And that's a waste of money. I don't get a lot of money for you from the government, you know. You are getting out of here right now!”
Oliver Twist, -Charles Dickens.
This is the famous line from the story about an orphan boy named Oliver Twist. I remember reading the book when I was smaller. That book invoked so much emotion in me that I was fuming mad at the injustice treatment suffered by Oliver.
The book to me, portrays the reality of life. More often than not, when we ask something from another human being, chances are, we will get turned down. Not everyone has a charitable bone in them and not everyone is willing to give away their belongings freely without conditions.
Let me ask you a question. Say for example you are eating in a restaurant and a boy dress in rags comes up to you asking for donation. Would give the boy money or would you chase him away in irritation, for disturbing your meal? As human, we tend to feel attach to worldly things and have difficulty to let it go for any reason, whether good or bad.
It is also because we are humans, we are ashamed or afraid to ask for help from others, when we need it, for fear of rejection or feeling humiliated.
There is only one source that we can ask for anything and everything without fear or shame, and, more often than not, our requests are fulfilled. We ask from God Al Mighty. Have you ever realise that whatever we ask for in our prayers or supplications, God gives. He may not give it immediately but eventually we would get it. Sometimes, He gives us more than what we asked for. There are also instances where we don’t get want we want but He replaces it with something or someone better. I remember praying to God when I was younger, for Him to give me a prince charming to marry. God didn’t give me prince charming but He gave me someone better. Alhamdulillah.
No matter what our condition is, whether we have been good or bad, pious or tyrant, kind or stingy, when we call upon Him, He will always respond. The Wise Owl once told me, “ sister, you can ask anything from Allah SWT but it is up to Him to decide what to give you and when. Even if you ask for something bad, He might grant your wish but you will be accountable for the bad wish in the Hereafter. Therefore, be very careful of what you wish for. You must turn to Allah SWT and ask from Him. If you don’t ask, He will be angry and would think that you are too arrogant to ask from Him. God loves it when His servants ask from Him and He will never get tired of you asking for the same things, countless times.”
“And your Lord says: "Call on Me; I will answer your (Prayer): but those who are too arrogant to serve Me will surely find themselves in Hell - in humiliation!".” - Quran Ghafir 40:60
“The Prophet ﷺ said: “How many a seemingly disheveled, dusty, negligible person, but if he would swear to God, He would respond to him.” (Tirmidhi)
SubhanAllah! The Wise Owl is right. God has never forsake us and has never let us down or disappoint us. Even when we were neglectful of our prayers or have not been a faithful servant of His, He still responds to our call. Then a thought crossed my mind. Have I thanked Him enough? How many of my waking hours are devoted to Him? How many hours do I prostrate (sujud) and lower myself before Him? Let us do a simple math calculation. We have 5 daily prayers in a day. We sujud 34 times in a day, provided we perform the 5 daily prayers! Say for example, every sujud is 30 seconds so one day we only sujud 1020 seconds = 17 minutes !
Out of 24 hours or 1440 minutes in a day, we only sujud 17 minutes and that is only 1.2% of our daily lives for Allah SWT. Ok, if we throw in all other sunnah prayers, say for example, another 34 sujud, then total duration of sujud is 34 minutes in a day!
I ask myself, even if I prostrate 34 minutes in a day to God Al Mighty, is it enough? What do I do with the rest of the 1406 minutes in a day? Can I say that I’m a thankful and grateful servant, for failing to spend even 1 hour with Him? I think NOT!! Geez!!! That thought really freaked me out!! I do not want to be an ungrateful servant. I want to be closer to Him.
“Prophet SAW said, The closest that a servant is to his Lord is when he is in prostration.” (Muslim)
“Prophet SAW said, Prostrate much because there is no Muslim that prostrates to God except that God raises him one degree in Paradise by it and forgives for him a sin.” (Ahmad)
I also remember one of the hadith that the Wise Owl related to me years back.
“I was with Allah’s Messenger ﷺ one night and I brought him water and what he required.
He said to me: ‘Ask [anything you like].’
I said: ‘I ask your company in Paradise.’
He said: ‘Anything else besides it?’
I said: ‘That is all (that I require).’
He said: ‘Then help me to achieve this for you by devoting yourself often to prostration.’” (Muslim)
I also would like to be amongst the Prophet Muhammad SAW’s chosen people in the Hereafter and not be amongst those who fallen to disgrace.
“Prophet SAW said, My ummah on that day will surely have bright faces because of sujood, and bright arms and feet because of ablution.” (Ahmad)
To perform sujud is also one of the ways to defeat satan.
“Satan goes into seclusion and weeps and says: “Woe unto me, the son of Adam was commanded to prostrate, and he prostrated and Paradise was entitled to him and I was commanded to prostrate, but I refused and am doomed to Hell.” (Muslim)
I think I need to overhaul my schedule and fit in as many sujud as possible. I’m not sure how much is enough but I sincerely hope that if I try but I could not get as much as I hope to, I would still be rewarded for effort. Ameen….