In all religion and faiths, prayers (dua) are part of essential practices to communicate with God. I understood its profound meaning around twenty years ago when an inventor and researcher from the United States Dr Azher Siddiqui visited my office at the Punjab University in Lahore along with a friend. He discussed his success in the chemical treatment of computer chips which enables them to work even in hot weather. He got a patent in the United States and started getting a significant amount as royalty from computer companies. Then, he began research on a medical system, a combination of all the techniques but free from the side effects of medicines. When he was leaving my office after an hour, he asked me about the discipline of my department. I told him that it was the Department of Mass Communication. He pressed my hand, fixed his eyes on my face, and whispered: “The most refined communication is prayer which gives you access to the Supreme Authority.”
He left after saying that, but I kept thinking about it for many days, and many incidents came to my mind. Many people think that it is only prayer of the religious and poise people that is effective and accepted. But many ‘sinful’ and ‘ordinary’ people like me tell how their prayer is accepted on different occasions and how they were bestowed because of the prayer. This is the reality that our straightforwardness, honesty, determination, and hard work give us confidence in achieving our targets. Satanic forces are always working around us, sometimes, they cause us to lose our confidence in honest work, and sometimes they hinder our way and dodge us. They work in the garb of humans around us, and their cheating, instigating, and dogging detracts us from character and material benefits. With a simple, neat, and clean mind, we keep on deciding our future and our determination carves the way for our success.
When I came to Lahore in 1967, the city’s hazardous traffic and noisy environment bothered me. After completing my education, I wished that I should find a city like Lahore with ample opportunities for jobs but with a green and calm environment like a village. I got a lecturer’s job at the Punjab University’s New Campus, the biggest green and pollution-free zone in Lahore. Sometimes, you wish to have something, and it is there miraculously. But when it happens, you never know that your wish will be materialized within seconds. I experienced it four times in my life. Two times in Pakistan and twice in the United States of America. In Pakistan, it happened during the early 1970s when my family resided at Chohan Road in Lahore. These were the early days of my university service, and my salary was only five hundred rupees a month. One day, I was sitting on the prayer-mat after Asar’s prayer, and I was think about arranging Rs 325 to pay someone.
In my bank account, there were some Rs1300 – first installment of my University Town plot. If I draw this Rs 325 from the bank, where will I arrange the money to pay the installment? I felt depressed and thought that this money should come to me from another source. At that very moment, one of my friends Sheikh Abdul Sattar returned me some money that he borrowed from me three years back. At the same residence, a similar thing occurred again. There was a very brilliant boy in our class during my school days. His name was Nazeer Ahmed. He got the first position in our annual exams during the sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, and tenth classes. Again, I was sitting on the prayer-mat after the prayer when I thought about Nazeer Ahmed. His father was a laborer in a market where he used to load-unload goods on trucks.
After toping the school in the board’s exam, no one could advise Nazeer Ahmed properly for further education or help him financially for further studies. I was very sorry about him. After the matric exam, I knew that he got a private job with a very meager salary. At that moment, I thought God knew better where he would be at that time. Then I wished that I should meet him somewhere. This was the moment when there was a noise at the doorbell. I opened the door and found Nazeer Ahmed standing there in front of me. After around 10 years, I took a step back because of this ‘mysterious’ meeting. Nazeer Ahmed was himself perplexed on this strange reception of mine. I told him that I had wished that there should be some meeting with you just a moment before, and you are here. So, please come in if you are not a ‘ghost’.
On these remarks, he laughed a lot, and then after having lunch and tea together, we talked about so many friends and the hard times both of us had faced during last many years. In 1987, I was in Iowa City of the United States for studies. Again, I was in Virginia when I was there with my friends on a three-month tour. In Iowa City, after completing my MS in Development Support Communication, I was preparing for my back-to-home journey. I wanted to dispose of my car. An American came to me to buy this car. I gave him keys of my car for trial, but he disappeared with the car. I registered a theft report against the unknown person. I was thinking that I had spent two best years in the United States and tried to live like a good Muslim and excellent Pakistani citizen; I haven’t even spoken a lie during this stay.
I was much cooperative with fellow students and had done many good things; I thought if I didn’t do anything bad here and had not cheated any person, I will get what I am deserving. Walking on the footpath, I looked at my car parked on the roadside. The second time, I experienced it in Petersburg, Virginia, when I walked seven miles on foot. I was coming from the library to my residence in the city’s suburbs. After covering around six miles, I wished that I had walked such a long distance now; God should give me some dollars. Soon after my wish, I saw a currency note of twenty dollars on roadside. I lifted it with a lot of thanks. Now, I am thinking my wishes were just part of routine life. Emerging randomly, these wishes were fulfilled spontaneously. Basically, there was no reason and logic behind my wishes. All of these occurred when I was engaged in prayers. It happens with almost everyone at some special time, but we ignore such things by taking them just as a coincidence. We ignore great opportunities to peep into the invisible universe’s realities around us.