Common Word, Common Lord

In the Name of God: The Extremely and Eternally Loving and Caring

NY Daily News said, "God Isn't Fixing This"

NY Daily News said, “God Isn’t Fixing This”










In the wake of the horrific shooting and apparent terror attack in San Bernardino, California, the NY Daily News raised eyebrows with their headline saying, “God Isn’t Fixing This.”

And on the cover, it showed pictures of the tweets of various politicians who called for prayers of the victims of the massacre. I, too, added my prayers for the victims as well.

Yet, leaving aside the accusation by some politicians and religious leaders that the NY Daily News is somehow “prayer shaming,” I think there is a larger point that has been missed.

As a person of faith, I believe wholeheartedly in prayer. I do it every day: both ritually and non-ritually. It is my opportunity to talk to God, all day and every day. It is incredibly powerful and comforting. It helps me feel and live the presence of God in my daily life.

At the same time, however, prayer alone is not enough. It is not enough that I pray for “a lot of money” but then refuse to get out of bed and go to work. It makes no sense to pray to God for “protection” but then not lock the door to the house or car. Yes, we should pray to God for the victims of gun violence all over our country (and world), but we must also act – in numerous ways – to help prevent such tragedies from happening again.

I think this is what the NY Daily News was trying to say, and I agree.

Make no mistake about it: God can fix the problems of the world; in the blink of an eye. But, He wants us to strive and work to fix those problems, and at that moment, we should ask for His help and guidance and strength. Many of the problems of our world are by our own hands, and thus it is up to us – with God’s help – to do what we can to alleviate those problems. The Qur’an tells us so:

Corruption has appeared on land and in the sea as an outcome of what the people’s hands have wrought: and so He will let them taste [the evil of] some of their doings, so that they might return [to the right path] (30:41)

In another passage of the Qur’an, it says:

…Verily, God does not change the condition of a people until they change their inner selves… (13:11)

We have to work to fix our world; we have to pick up the gauntlet thrown down by God to make our world better; we have to struggle – to do jihad – to rid our world of the evils which plague it.

And that “we” is any number of groups: we Americans must enact common sense rules to prevent guns from getting into the hands of mentally ill or radicalized violent extremists; we Muslims must never cease countering the satanic, toxic narrative of the savages who commit horrific violence in the name of our preccious faith; we citizens of the world must come together to solve the growing number of threats that endanger us all.

We have to get up and do it, and as we do the hard work necessary, we should look to the sky and turn our hands up – in complete humility – to the Lord our God and ask for His help and guidance. This is the way of the Prophets, such as Jesus Christ (pbuh), whose birth Christians the world over are celebrating later this month.

Jesus could have asked God to fulfill his mission for him, which God could do straightaway. But, Jesus did not do that. He struggled, he worked, he preached, he hit the streets of Galilee and Jerusalem, all the while praying to God for help and strength. The same was true for the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), whose birthday we Muslims will also celebrate later this month.

As a believer, I know that God can “fix this”; He can fix anything. But, He wants us – all of us, regardless of race, creed, culture, or status – to work together to do good on this earth, and when we do so and ask for His help, He will come to our aid like only He can.

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