(An email Ive received in Dec 2009 from a dear brother of mine in regards to the situation in Gaza.).
Insha Allah, my dear brothers and sisters you are all well. Not a day passes during which I don't think of you all. May Allah (swt) grant us all firmness in iman, during these times.
Subhan Allah, with all that is happening to our brothers and sisters in Gaza, some of us may be asking "what can I do to help?". Is it by way of protests, sending aid, making dua etc?
I have been fortunate to be in the company of the 'ulama and saliheen and so I will attempt, in my broken English, to summarise their advice to the Muslim ummah. I have selected some quotes of Habib Omar, said during an address while we were with him in the valley of the Prophet Hud (as), a couple of weeks back, and also a quote or two from Habib Hussein, taken from a class he gave recently.
Habib Omar, may Allah preserve him, no doubt acknowledged that the Jews just continue doing what they do, as they have been for centuries - nothing new and we shouldnt be surprised. The surprise is not in how the non-Muslims treat us. The surprise is how the Muslims have changed over time and how they have become distant from their Creator. He goes on to say, the Allah of today is the same Allah that has saved and destroyed many nations of old. He is the same Allah who destroyed Fir'awn, 'Ad and Thamud, and the nation of Nuh (as) etc. He is the same Allah who saved Musa (as) and his people from Fir'awn, He is the same Allah who gave victory to the Prophet Hud (as), He is the same Allah who gave victory to the Prophet Nuh (as) after he raised his hands to Allah (swt) as per Surat al-Qamar, Ayat 9 to 11:
كَذَّبَتْ قَبْلَهُمْ قَوْمُ نُوحٍ فَكَذَّبُوا عَبْدَنَا وَقَالُوا مَجْنُونٌ وَازْدُجِرَ
Before them the People of Nuh rejected (their messenger): they rejected Our servant, and said, "Here is one possessed!", and he was driven out.
فَدَعَا رَبَّهُ أَنِّي مَغْلُوبٌ فَانتَصِرْ
Then he (Nuh) called on his Lord: "I am surely defeated: send your Victory"
فَفَتَحْنَا أَبْوَابَ السَّمَاء بِمَاء مُّنْهَمِرٍ
So We opened the gates of heaven, with water pouring forth.
Habib Omar explained to us, in the most eloquent manner, with force and conviction, in the three dimensional, eternal language of Arabic, that the fault lies with the Muslim ummah. He questioned, who of us is sincere in their dua to Allah (swt)? He questioned who of us gets up in the middle of the night and calls upon his Creator as was the regular practice of the sahabah, of the tabieen, and many of the glorious empires of Islam where even the common man got up in the middle of the night to weep before his Lord.
Habib Hussein put it another way. If the thousands of protestors around the world, screaming and shouting at the unsympathetic governments were to redirect their efforts towards calling upon Allah (swt) this would be far more effective and beneficial. Why? Allah (swt) teaches us in Surat Al-Muminun, Ayah 76:
وَلَقَدْ أَخَذْنَاهُم بِالْعَذَابِ فَمَا اسْتَكَانُوا لِرَبِّهِمْ وَمَا يَتَضَرَّعُونَ
We inflicted Punishment on them, but they humbled not themselves to their Lord, nor do they submissively entreat (Him)!
Habib Hussein explains the tafsir behind this ayah. Any time a people have had some form of punishment inflicted on them, two things are required:
Tamaskan in the ayah, the word اسْتَكَانُو is used. The root word is miskeen. Allah requires that we be in the state of a broken human being, brought to his knees in humility before Him. This is the first condition.
Tadaraan in the ayah, the word يَتَضَرَّعُونَ is used. This is a form of dua. There are two types of dua. Firstly, there is the dua that we normally make everyday, possibly in a low voice, or in public such as at the end of a prayer etc. The second form of dua is that which Allah (swt) refers to in this Ayah. This dua is literally crying out loud, screaming out to Allah (swt), begging Him for help. Many of the ummah perform the first type of dua. Few perform the second dua. Perhaps none of us in the West have seen the second form of dua.
The scary part is that if we are not in these two states ie, being in a humble, sorry state before Allah and then calling upon Him in a sorrowful state, He will bring us to our knees through His creation. For far too long as an ummah in the modern times, we have been too arrogant to bring our selves to our knees before Allah (swt) in a sincerely humble state. So we are being forced to right now. How many of us have received text messages from someone who doesnt normally pray or make dua, requesting you to make dua, read surat Yasin for our Palestinian brethren or stay up in the middle of the night praying.
If the half a million protestors were to just get up in the middle of the night, pray two rakat and then throw themselves before Allah (swt) tadaraan this would be better for the Muslim ummah and more effective as we will be addressing our issues to the One who is the Most Merciful and sympathetic to our situation.
Do not misunderstand this advice. The Jews and other kuffar complicit in the murders of innocent men, women and children will be brought to justice by Allah (swt). The focal point here is what is our duty as Muslims now, in these unforgiving times, where the fitan increase by the minute. The archetypes of the eras of old are all lessons for us on how to deal with these situations. Remember, its the same Allah then as is now.
Habib Hussein also mentioned how some Muslims have chosen to boycott Israeli products. If it is known that certain businesses openly and actively support the war on the Muslims then this is ok. However to boycott Jewish products altogether is not a tool to victory. It was known that Rasul Allah (saws) openly made trade with the Jews, and even those Jews who were his enemies. Even at the time of his passing he had some of his goods with them and they with him (May the Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him, his family and companions).
Rather than boycott the products we should be boycotting the thoughts and ideologies that are invading our homes, through the television, the internet and other media. Why isnt anyone declaring war on the intellectual warfare that is being waged against our Muslim women, children, youths and men. That is the deadliest war.
As for what is happening in Gaza, Rasul Allah (saws) made dua that the majority of his ummah be shuhadah (martyrs). Remember : our dead are in Jannah, their dead are in Jahannam. He also opened our eyes to another scenario. What if both sides were Muslims attacking each other? The outcome would be that the killer and the killed would both be sent to Jahannam.
So lets not despair from the mercy of Allah. We need to look at the situation through the eyes of the arifin (the knowers of Allah). These are all events unfolding in the greater plan of Allah (swt). Sure, what is happening is gruesome and makes us all cry for our dead, due to the injustice that is occurring. Rasul Allah (saws) says whoever sleeps at night, and does not care about the affairs of the Muslims, is not from us.
We grieve over the injustice. Yet, let our actions and reactions be directed by the nur al ilahi (Divine Light) and the nur khayr khalqillah (The Light of the Best of Creation). This can only be done by taking advice from the heirs of the Prophets, the true ulama.
The real tools for victory are the following:
Turning back to the One who can give victory in an instant. As Allah (swt) uses the phrase in the Quran : just like the blinking of an eye.
Make a sincere tawbah to Allah (swt) and make a promise from this day on to reject all actions against the rida (acceptance) of Allah (swt) and His Prophet (saws) and promise to try to be a better Muslim each day by advancing yourself in your akhlaq and knowledge;
Being pure and sincere in your dua, by acknowledging in your heart to Allah that you are in need of Him and that you are nothing;
Being sincere and focussed in our salat;
Being in regular company of the true ulama and taking on their advice
Increasing our ibadat. The time has come to move on from being minimalists. Those of us just performing Faraid need to step up a notch and start performing Nawafil.
Start getting up in the middle of the night and call upon the Most Merciful.
Try to minimise our interaction with those who dont carry La ilaha ila Allah in their heart. Limit it to what is necessary for dawah and daily business interaction. Start putting up barriers around your heart and only let in that which is loved by Allah and His Prophet (saws). Do the same in your homes. Protect your children and spouses from thoughts not originating from the Divine source. If your children go to public schools and spouses work in environments where Muslims are the minority then the following points become crucial;
Daily, read a portion of the Quran and ponder its meaning
Daily, create a circle of knowledge in the home where the seerah, shamail, ahadith and personality of the Prophet Muhammad (saws) are studied;
Fill your homes with the practice of the sunnah of the beloved Prophet (saws);
Increase your dhikr by reciting regularly and daily : lailaha ila Allah, salawat on the Prophet Muhammad (saws),
Daily make a sincere tawbah to Allah.
Daily give a form of sadaqah to advance the Deen of Allah (swt).
Once a month, or once a year or once in your life do something that benefits the Ummah of the Prophet Muhammad (saws). This is what really makes Rasul Allah (saws) happy. He (saws) says the deeds of my ummah and shown to me. Right now both the good and bad deeds of the ummah are shown to our beloved Nabi(saws).
Be an ambassador to Rasul Allah (saws) by living his character.
Seek knowledge from the traditional mashayikh and avoid fringe groups who end up withering away just like todays fad.
Be a teacher of Quran, Seerah, Sunnah or other Islamic sciences and help spread the truth.
Be a forgiving servant of your fellow Muslim brethren and assume they are better than you.
I hope this puts things in perspective and allows us to be a little more focussed in our direction. By performing the above, insha Allah we will be working toward being an ummah, loved by Allah so that once we raise our hands and ask for the victory, He sends down angels from the Heavens to stand by our side.
Your faqir brother........