God says in our Book: “Call upon Me. I will answer.”
Yet, week after week, our young imam stands before his congregation, petitioning us to call upon other than God for help in our daily lives.
However, although yesterday he likened it to calling the police in an emergency, he is not talking about calling your handyman mate to come over to fix a leaking tap.
He’s talking about calling upon great men, pious sages and erudite scholars of the past — all of them deceased, their record closed — beseeching them to answer your prayer on behalf of the Creator of a universe at least 14 billion years old and of every single atom within it.
At this point, half of my learned friends will lambast me, brandishing that big stick of theirs: “This is the belief of ahlus sunnah wal jamaah!” Repent, brother!
Well it’s an understanding, not a belief, but fine. I accept there is an argument based on certain texts. But the One who created all things says, “Call upon Me. I will answer.” You have that direct line.
Even if we could judge all men’s hearts sound, no righteous servant of God will ever be close to Him by as much as a quark. Our Book, if we care to read it, makes this patently clear.
If the imam wishes to argue his case, week after week without pause, so be it. But if I were him, I’d remind my congregation of what is better than that.
Whoever you are, whatever you’ve done, however you’ve lived your life, no matter how many sins you’ve committed, no matter how lowly or insignificant you believe you are, the One who created the expansive universe — far too vast to be comprehended by man — asks you to turn back to Him alone, promising to respond.
“Call upon Me,” says the One to whom none compare, “I will answer.”