By Mohammad Shakir
The past week has seen faith and prayer become involved with the cure and prevention of HIV once again.
In London, Manchester and Glasgow, members of an evangelical church died after taking advice from their pastor to stop taking HIV medication and put their belief in God to heal them.
This reminds me of a parable that I once heard:
Once upon a time there was a man that lived by the river. He heard a radio report that the river was going to rush up and flood the town. The report said that the whole town should evacuate immediately. But the man said, “I’m religious, I pray. God loves me. God will save me.”
But the waters began to rise. A man in a rowing boat came along and he shouted. ‘Hey! Hey you! You up there. The town is flooding. I can take you to safety.’ But the man shouted back: “I’m religious, I pray. God loves me. God will save me.”
A helicopter came hovering overhead. A guy with a megaphone shouted. ‘Hey! You there! The town is fully flooded. Let me drop down a ladder and I will help you to safety.’ But the men shouted back that he was religious, that he prayed, that God loved him and that God would take him to safety.
The man then drowned. When he got to the pearly gates of St Peter, he demanded an audience with God. ‘Lord,’ he said, ‘I’m a religious man, I pray. I thought you loved me. Why did this happen?’ God said, ‘I sent you a radio report, a helicopter, and a guy in a rowing boat. What on earth are you doing here?’
We have been blessed by God, the wonders of science and medical advancements which help our health every day. As a Muslim I believe that God has given me my health and the means to maintain my health. Much like the radio report, row boat and helicopter; HIV medication should be seen as blessing from God – an answer to the prayers of those living with HIV.
There is an old saying: “The Lord works in mysterious ways.” A Muslim believes in pre destination – which God has already decided what our fate will be. Regardless of what our situation is whether it is medical, financial or personal – we should to what we have in front of us and use our means to the best of our ability.