Can the prayer of a Christian be accepted?

Details of the Question

- There is a man called Dr. Soares. He has been praying for people for 40 years on TV and has become a means of curing ill people. He preaches Christianity and the Gospel.
- Unfortunately, there are some Muslims who believe in him. How can we inform the Muslims about him?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

The question “Can the prayer of a Christian be accepted?” is related to a very important issue of kalam:

Allah is the Lord of every creature that He created –whether a Christian, a Jew, or a person of another faith, whether he/she knows Him consciously or is heedless about Him – therefore, He answers the prayers of all of His slaves who turn toward him with a sincere heart. It is possible to understand the statement “Call on Me; I will answer your (Prayer)” included in verse 60 of the chapter of al-Mumin in that sense.

When and how Allah will respond to the prayers of His servants who pray to Him is something we cannot know. Sometimes He responds instantly and sometimes He delays it. Sometimes He responds and gives exactly what is requested and He sometimes responds by changing what is requested. For, only Allah knows what is good; His slaves cannot know it. That is the general rule regarding the issue.

Allah, who has created His creatures, has guaranteed sustenance for them. That is, Allah does not leave any living thing without sustenance; He sends them their sustenance somehow. Allah, who has bestowed the most vital needs of His servants, will definitely meet the other needs of His servants. That is the case of those who turn toward Him and pray to Him when they need something. Everything is a slave of Allah and everything needs Allah. Nothing is independent of Allah.

However, Allah’s creatures who have consciousness and responsibility are obliged to know what their Lord wants from them and are obliged to act accordingly. Allah sent prophets and books to this end. Allah showed His slaves the way to live in peaceful terms with the universe and called it the straight path (sirat mustaqim). It is necessary for the beings who are conscious and have responsibility to live in the straight path that Allah showed and in accordance with Islam, the true religion that Allah sent.

Those who live in the way that Islam shows will leave this world by passing this worldly test.

Those who do not live in the way that Islam shows will leave this world by losing this worldly test.

 In addition, all kinds of things that happen to us in this world are a means of testing for us because nothing can happen without Allah's knowledge and permission.

As for the issue of the non-Muslim called Dr. Soares being a means of curing ill people by praying:  

Do we know from whom this person asks for help when he prays? Does he pray to Allah, the Creator of the earth and the sky, to give cure to people or does he pray to something that he attributes power, other than Allah? This issue is important.

If he prays to Allah and if he does it with a sincere heart, some of his prayers may be accepted. Some people may have been healed with his prayer. After all, we know and accept that those cures come from Allah. We do not attribute any sanctity to Dr. Soares. Besides, it does not matter whether Soares is Muslim or non-Muslim in this case. The only qualification is whether he prays with a sincere heart or not. His prayer may have been accepted in some cases when he was not sincere. We cannot know about it because it is a test for him.

If he prays to anything to which he attributes holiness other than Allah and his prayer is accepted, it is Allah, the Lord of the realms, who allows his prayer to be realized. Since there is no being other than Allah who has power, there is no other authority that can realize his prayer. That is the truth. We must be aware and conscious of this fact. We hope that our explanations so far have been understood well.

After these points are accepted, the issue can be explained as follows:

Why does Allah help His slaves who pray to beings other than Him and who ask help from them, in other words, who commit polytheism? Why does He accept their prayers? That is the essence of the issue.

Can we determine how Allah will behave in any issue? Allah is the one “who does whatever He wishes”. He will do whatever He wishes in the way that He wishes. What is good and right is what Allah does. We have to think like that as the believers who believe in the Quran and Islam.

This issue and similar ones are a test for people, believers and non-believers. Likewise, similar issues are narrated a lot in the Quran. We learn from the Quran that all kinds of polytheists worshipped all kinds of idols except Allah and asked help from them throughout history but that they still continued to eat, drink and live on earth. After all, it is Allah who gives their sustenance and meets their needs.

Thus, that is the Sunnah of Allah. Allah does not abandon His creatures. Allah knows well how His Lordship is. What His slaves needs to do is to act like His slaves and to worship Him.

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