Sunday, August 06, 2006

The Empty Chair

A man's daughter had asked the local moulana to come and pray with her sickly father. When the moulana arrived he found the man lying in bed with his head propped up on two pillows. An empty chair sat beside his bed. The moulana assumed that the old fellow had been informed of his visit.

"I guess you were expecting me", he said.

"No, who are you?" asked the father.

The moulana told him his name and then remarked, "I saw the empty chair and I figured you knew I was going to show up,"

"Oh yeah, the chair," said the bedridden man. "Would you mind closing the door?"

Puzzled, the moulana shut the door. "I have never told anyone this, not even my daughter," said the man. "But all of my life I have never known how to pray. At Mosque I used to hear the Imam talk about prayer, but it went right over my head. I abandoned any attempt at prayer," the old man continued, "until one day, four years ago, my best friend said to me: 'Yusuf, prayer is just a simple matter of having a conversation with Allah. Here is what I suggest: sit down in a chair, place an empty chair in front of you, and in faith speak to Allah on the chair. It's not spooky because the Almighty promises, I will be with you always. Then just speak to him in the same way you're doing with me right now." So, I tried it and I've liked it so much that I do it a couple of hours every day. I'm careful though If my daughter saw me talking to an empty chair, she'd either have a nervous breakdown or send me off to the funny farm."

The Moulana was deeply moved by the story and encouraged the old man to continue on the journey. Then he prayed with him, anointed him with oil, and returned to the Mosque. Two nights later the daughter called to tell the Moulana that her daddy had died that afternoon.
"Did he die in peace?" he asked.

"Yes, when I left the house about two o'clock, he called me over to his bedside, told me he loved me and kissed me on the cheek. When I got back from the store an hour later, I found him dead. But there was something strange about his death. Apparently, just before Daddy died, he leaned over and rested his head on the chair beside the bed. What do you make of that?"

The Moulana wiped a tear from his eye and said, "I wish we could all go like that."

Prayer is one of the best free gifts we receive.
I asked Allah for water, He gave me an ocean.
I asked Allah for a flower, He gave me a garden.
I asked Allah for a friend, He gave me all of YOU...
If Allah brings you to it, He will bring you through it.
Happy moments, praise Allah.
Difficult moments, seek Allah
Quiet moments, worship Allah.
Painful moments, trust Allah.
Every moment,
Thank Allah.


The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'What an extraordinary thing the business of the believer is! All of it is good for him. And that only applies to the believer. If good fortune is his lot, he is grateful and it is good for him. If something harmful happens to him, he is steadfast and that is good for him too.'" [Muslim]

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