Ahmad: A grandfather's dream

Syed Sajid Ahmad

My father handed me my grandfather’s letter. He had written that he had seen a dream about my score in the eighth-grade competitive examination, but he forgot the position of the zero as he woke up from his dream. He saw that my score was 701 or 710. As a 14-year-old boy, I anxiously waited for the result and when it came the score was exactly 710, the larger of the two numbers. My score with my name was scribed on the school honor roll board, as no one else in the school scored as high.

Since my childhood I have seen prayers answered. Each incident has strengthened my faith that there certainly is a being who not only listens to our prayers, but when he desires, he also lets us know the results of our prayers in advance. And many times he informs us of pending incidents even without our asking.

This is the message in Holy Quran that follows the verse requiring Muslims to fast during the month of Ramadan. “And when My servants ask thee about Me, say: ‘I am near. I answer the prayer of the supplicant when he prays to Me. So, they should hearken to Me and believe in Me, that they may follow the right way.’" (2:186/187)

Islam obligates Muslims with spiritual exercises similar to previous faiths but with greater rigor and discipline. Fasting and other spiritual exercises enhance a person’s physical, social and spiritual life and prepare him to be an active, sensitive and contributing member of the society. Offering five daily prayers at their prescheduled times after washing oneself and proceeding to the mosque and seeing neighbors five times a day throughout one’s life contributes to one’s punctuality, interaction with society and sense of his surroundings. Fasting for a whole month in Ramadan every year is a strenuous exercise, but likewise carries physical, social and spiritual benefits. The verse above tells us that the greatest benefit of these exercises is that they bring man closer to God so that man develops a relationship with God and man gets to know God in this world before meeting him in the next.

Quran further says, “… Who answers the distressed person when he calls upon Him, and removes the evil, and makes you successors in the earth? ...” (27:62/63) “… Who delivers you from the calamities of the land and the sea, when you call upon Him in humility and in secret, saying, ‘If He deliver us from this, we will surely be of those who are grateful?’ (6:63/64)”


Quran repeats the promise, “Pray unto Me; I will answer your prayer…” (40:60/61)

Putting his dream in writing shows how convinced my grandfather was that it will come true. Such conviction can only come after a large number of experiences. During the decades since, I continue to appreciate the value of his dream. His dream chalked out the road map for a lifetime quest of a seeker, one bow at a time.

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