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Palestine: A Quranic Lens

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#1 [Permalink] Posted on 4th December 2023 09:02
Why Is Allah Allowing This to Happen to The Palestinians?

Watching the events of the last few weeks unfolding has been very painful. Each day brings a new horror, an unimaginable atrocity.

What is happening today is not new. When we reflect on the sīrah, we find that our beloved Prophet ﷺ and the Companions (radiy Allāhu ʿanhum) also faced similar situations. However, in those difficult times, it was the Qur’ān that anchored them.

It is essential that in these critical times, we recite and reflect on the Qur’ān to understand how Allah (ʿazza wa jall) strengthened them through His words. We must prioritise our daily wird of the Qur’ān. Amidst the pain and hurt, there has never been a better time to contextualise, strengthen our īmān, and find solace and direction in the words of our Lord.

The Qur’ān is constant, perfect and timeless. Developing a Qur’ānic lens, and viewing everything around us from the perspective of revelation, will provide us with the answers and solutions to our problems.

One question which some people ask is: “Why is Allah allowing this to happen?” Others may ask, “Why can’t Allah just stop all of this?”

There is No Jannah Without Tests
The above questions often stem from a limited understanding of the meaning of life. ‘Why did Allah create us? What is my role here? What is your role here?’ — these are some of the most fundamental questions that need to be internalised before the question of ‘evil’ can be answered.

We are here in this world to worship Allah, to seek His pleasure and Paradise. This world is dar al-balā: the place of tests and trials. The next life is dar al-jazā: the place of recompense. This life is not Jannah. In this life you will be tested. And everybody’s test will be different. Allah will test those who He loves the most.

Allah (ʿazza wa jall) says,

أَمْ حَسِبْتُمْ أَن تَدْخُلُوا الْجَنَّةَ وَلَمَّا يَأْتِكُم مَّثَلُ الَّذِيْنَ خَلَوْا مِنْ قَبْلِكُمْ ۖ مَّسَّتْهُمُ الْبَأْسَآءُ وَالضَّرَّآءُ وَزُلْزِلُوْا حَتَّىٰ يَقُولَ الرَّسُوْلُ وَالَّذِيْنَ آمَنُوا مَعَهُ مَتَىٰ نَصْرُ اللّٰہِ ۗ أَلَآ إِنَّ نَصْرَ اللّٰہِ قَرِيْبٌ
“Do you think you will be admitted into Paradise without being tested like those before you? They were afflicted with suffering and adversity and were so (violently) shaken that (even) the Messenger and the believers with him cried out, “When will Allah’s help come?” Indeed, Allah’s help is near” (2:214).

Jannah is not cheap. Jannah has to be earned. Jannah requires ṣabr. Jannah requires sacrifice. In this āyah we see that believers before us were tested so severely that even the Messengers would cry out ‘When will Allah’s help arrive?’ This is the path of the Prophets and all great people: the path of difficulties, perseverance and courage for the sake of Allah.

Khabbāb b. al-Aratt (raḍiy Allāhu ʿanhu) said, “We complained to the Messenger of Allah ﷺ whilst he was resting his head on his cloak, in the shade of the Kaʿbah. We asked him: ‘Will you not seek help for us? Will you not supplicate to Allah for us?’

He ﷺ replied, ‘Among those who came before you, a man would be seized and held in a pit dug for him in the ground. Then a saw would be brought, and he would be sawed into two halves from his head. His flesh would be torn away from his bones with iron combs — none of this would turn him away from his religion.

By Allah, He will make this matter (i.e. Islam) prevail until the traveller will walk from Sanaʿa to Hadramaut fearing none except Allah, (nor will he fear) the wolf in regards to his sheep — but you are hasty (i.e. be patient)’” (Bukhārī).

In the above āyah Allah (ʿazza wa jall) mentions that they were “(violently) shaken.” This indicates that in order for victory to come, the tests before it will be very severe.

We should always view life and everything that happens around us from an ākhirah-centric lens. The ākhirah (hereafter) is eternal and infinite. This life is nothing in comparison to the hereafter. So when it feels like the world is collapsing on your shoulders and you can’t bear it anymore, think of the greater picture: this world is nothing. The ākhirah is everything.

Great Tests For Great People
Allah (ʿazza wa jall) says,

وَلَنَبْلُوَنَّكُمْ بِشَيْءٍ مِّنَ الْخَوْفِ وَالْجُوْعِ وَنَقْصٍ مِّنَ الْأَمْوَالِ وَالْأَنْفُسِ وَالثَّمَرَاتِ ۗ وَبَشِّرِ الصَّابِرِيْنَ . الَّذِيْنَ إِذَآ أَصَابَتْهُم مُّصِيْبَةٌ قَالُوْٓا إِنَّا لِلّٰهِ وَإِنَّآ إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُوْنَ . اُولٰٓئِكَ عَلَيْهِمْ صَلَوَاتٌ مِّنْ رَّبِّهِمْ وَرَحْمَةٌ ۖ وَاُولٰٓئِكَ هُمُ الْمُهْتَدُوْنَ
“We will surely test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives, and fruits, but give glad tidings to the patient, those who, when afflicted by calamity, say, ‘Indeed, to Allah we belong and to Him we will return.’ They are the ones who will receive Allah’s blessings and mercy, and it is they who are rightly guided” (2:155-7).

When Allah (ʿazza wa jall) tests you, this does not mean that He doesn’t love you or that He has abandoned you. On the contrary, the more Allah loves you, the more He will test you. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “Indeed with greater trials come greater rewards. Indeed, when Allah loves a people, He tests them: whoever is content will (attain Allah’s) pleasure, and whoever is angry will (attain Allah’s) wrath” (Tirmidhī).

This is why when the Prophet ﷺ was asked about who is tested the most, he ﷺ replied, “The Prophets, followed by those who resemble them the most, and then followed by those who resemble them the most. A person is tested according to his religious commitment. If he is strong in his religion, his test will be greater. And if his commitment to his religion is fragile, he will be tested accordingly. A person continues to be tested until he ends up walking on the earth without a single sin to his name” (Tirmidhī).

Unfailing Life Patterns
Allah (ʿazza wa jall) says,

قَدْ خَلَتْ مِنْ قَبْلِكُمْ سُنَنٌ فَسِيْرُوْا فِي الْأَرْضِ فَانْظُرُوْا كَيْفَ كَانَ عَاقِبَةُ الْمُكَذِّبِيْنَ
“Similar situations came to pass before you, so travel throughout the land and see what was the fate of those who denied the truth” (3:137).

The sunan of Allah are the universal established laws of Allah that govern the universe and are applicable to all times and places.

It is essential that we learn about these sunan so that we understand what Allah ﷻ requires from us, and how He wants us to perceive events unfolding around us.

If we understand these sunan, we won’t lose our faith. We will view the state of the Ummah from the lens that Allah requires us to do so. And we will learn how to live our lives and respond in the best way possible.

Amongst these sunan are that: there will always be a struggle between the truth and falsehood. This conflict is not new. Allah will always raise those who confront and resist evil. Sometimes the evil ones will gain ascendancy, other times the people of good will triumph — but at the end, the outcome will always be for the righteous.

Another sunnah is that Allah does not punish the evildoers immediately. He gives them respite, but their eventual outcome and punishment will be severe. Sometimes we may feel disheartened when we see the worst tyrants, and from the outset it appears that they died without being punished in the world. However, “Your Lord never forgets” (19:64), and the punishment of such people in their graves and in Hell-fire will be immensely severe.

The Hypocrites Are Exposed & The Believers Are Purified
Allah (ʿazza wa jall) says,

إِنْ يَّمْسَسْكُمْ قَرْحٌ فَقَدْ مَسَّ الْقَوْمَ قَرْحٌ مِّثْلُهُ ، وَتِلْكَ الْأَيَّامُ نُدَاوِلُهَا بَيْنَ النَّاسِ، وَلِيَعْلَمَ اللّٰهُ الَّذِيْنَ اٰمَنُوْا وَيَتَّخِذَ مِنْكُمْ شُهَدَآءَ ، وَاللّٰهُ لَا يُحِبُّ الظَّالِمِيْنَ . وَلِيُمَحِّصَ اللّٰهُ الَّذِيْنَ اٰمَنُوْا وَيَمْحَقَ الْكَافِرِيْنَ

“If you have suffered injuries, they suffered similarly. We alternate these days (of victory and defeat) among people so that Allah may reveal the (true) believers, choose martyrs from among you —and Allah does not like the wrongdoers— and so that Allah may purify those who believe and destroy the disbelievers” (3:140-141).

Often we see a difficulty but we don’t see the wisdom behind it. These āyāt were revealed after a very painful time for the Muslims: the Battle of Uḥud. Allah (ʿazza wa jall) tells us about the wisdoms behind these tests. Tests are like a sieve: they make apparent who the true believer is and who the hypocrite is.

In another āyah, Allah (ʿazza wa jall) mentions, “So what you suffered on the day the two armies met was by the will of Allah, so that He might distinguish the believers, and expose the hypocrites…” (3:166-7).

In this war, the true colours of people have been revealed: how willing people are to speak the truth and where people’s allegiances lie.

Similarly Allah (ʿazza wa jall) says, “so that Allah may purify those who believe”. In other words, trials and difficulties purify the believers from their sins. Thus, these difficulties are actually blessings in disguise, especially as they cause many others to return back to Allah.

Allah is The Most Wise
Allah (ʿazza wa jall) says,

عَالِمُ الْغَيْبِ وَالشَّهَادَةِ ۚ وَهُوَ الْحَكِيْمُ الْخَبِيْرُ
“He knows the seen and the unseen. And He is the All-Wise, All-Aware” (6:73).

Allah is al-Ḥakīm and His wisdom is perfect. There are so many wisdoms that we can’t even perceive. These are just some of the many wisdoms which we have to come to know of:

The true colours of those who cry ‘freedom/liberalism/feminism/human rights’ are being exposed.
The crisis has brought about unity amongst the believers.
The imān of so many in the Ummah has been revived. So many people have repented and turned to Allah.

Allah ﷻ created us to worship Him, and show our humility to Him. One of the best ways to do this is to turn to Him and make duʿā’. The entire Ummah has turned to Allah in heartfelt duʿā’ over the past few weeks.

Many people have been inspired to serve the dīn of Allah.

Many non-Muslims are inspired by the courage and resilience of the Palestinians and want to know about the source of their faith; and some have also accepted Islam.

The next article will inshaAllah explore some more Qur’ānic āyat which will highlight how Allah protects His special servants.

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#2 [Permalink] Posted on 4th December 2023 09:03
Allah Is With Them

Sometimes, we may watch the news and feel very despondent. We may feel like the oppressors are getting away with their crimes. At times like these, we must remind ourselves of the perfect knowledge of Allah.

Allah ﷻ says,

وَلَا تَحْسَبَنَّ اللّٰهَ غَافِلًا عَمَّا يَعْمَلُ الظّٰلِمُوْنَ . اِنَّمَا يُؤَخِّرُهُمْ لِيَوْمٍ تَشْخَصُ فِيْهِ الْاَبْصَارُ
“Do not ever think that Allah is unaware of what the oppressors do. He only postpones them until a Day when the eyes will stare (in horror)” (14:42).

Allah’s knowledge captures every detail of every event and every being – over all of which He has complete power. Every action of His is perfect because of His all-encompassing wisdom.

Allah knows, sees, hears and records everything. From His forbearance, however, He delays the punishment of the evildoers. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “Allah gives respite to the oppressor, but once He seizes him, He will not let him escape.” Then he ﷺ recited:

وَكَذٰلِكَ أَخْذُ رَبِّكَ إِذَآ أَخَذَ الْقُرَىٰ وَهِيَ ظَالِمَةٌ ، إِنَّ أَخْذَهُٓ أَلِيْمٌ شَدِيْدٌ
‘Such is the grip of your Lord when He seizes the societies entrenched in wrongdoing. Indeed, His grip is painful and severe’ (11:102)” (Bukhārī).

Whilst the evildoers may think that they can escape Allah’s punishment, Allah delays their punishment, so that it can be increased. Allah ﷻ says,

وَلَا يَحْسَبَنَّ الَّذِيْنَ كَفَرُوْٓا اَنَّمَا نُمْلِْى لَهُمْ خَيْرٌ لِّاَنْفُسِهِمْ ، اِنَّمَا نُمْلِىْ لَهُمْ لِيَزْدَادُوْٓا اِثْمًا​ ، وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ مُّهِيْنٌ
“Those who disbelieve should not think that the respite We give them is good for them. In fact, We give them respite only that they may increase in sin, and for them there is a humiliating punishment” (3:178).

Thus, we must be certain that Allah will humiliate and punish these evil tyrants — if not in this world, then most certainly in the Hereafter where they will roast in the Hellfire eternally; with no one to save them: no weapons, no superpowers, no money. And we must be certain that their torment in the Hell-fire will be very severe. Allah ﷻ says, “…As for the disbelievers, garments of Fire will be tailored for them and boiling water will be poured over their heads, whereby everything in their bellies, as well as the skins, will be melted. And awaiting them are hooked rods of iron. Whenever they try to escape from Hell—out of anguish—they will be forced back into it, (and will be told), ‘Taste the torment of burning!’” (22:19-22).

Allah Is Helping His Servants
Even if the world may have abandoned the Palestinians, Allah ﷻ has not abandoned them. Allah is with His servants: those who are patiently steadfast, firm in their belief, and striving to please Him.

The maʿiyyah (companionship) of Allah manifests in many ways. One way in which Allah sends His help is through His angels, who strengthen the hearts of the believers and reassure them. Allah says,

إِذْ يُوحِيْ رَبُّكَ إِلَى الْمَلَآئِكَةِ أَنِّيْ مَعَكُمْ فَثَبِّتُوا الَّذِيْنَ آمَنُوْا ۚ سَأُلْقِيْ فِيْ قُلُوْبِ الَّذِيْنَ كَفَرُوْا الرُّعْبَ
“When your Lord revealed to the angels, ‘I am with you. So make the believers stand firm. I shall put terror into the hearts of the disbelievers…’” (8:12).

We have witnessed so many incidents which clearly display to us how Allah is helping these special people and granting them strength.

How is their īmān so strong and firm despite the horrific atrocities carried out against them? A small thing happens to us, and we feel like the world has turned upside down. And our īmān is shaken. Contrast this with how firm they are in their īmān.

Allah ﷻ says,

هُوَ الَّذِىْٓ أَنْزَلَ السَّكِيْنَةَ فِىْ قُلُوْبِ الْمُؤْمِنِيْنَ لِيَزْدَادُوْٓا إِيْمٰنًا مَّعَ إِيْمٰنِهِمْ ، وَ لِلّٰهِ جُنُوْدُ السَّمٰوٰتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَكَانَ اللّٰهُ عَلِيْمًا حَكِيْمًا
“He is the One who sent down tranquillity (sakīnah) upon the hearts of the believers so that they may increase even more in their īmān. To Allah Alone belong the forces of the heavens and the earth. And Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise” (48:4).

Sakīnah is tranquillity, serenity, and peace of mind. Sakīnah generates trust, comfort, dignity and a deep acceptance of Allah’s will. Once sakīnah enters the heart, it makes the servant steadfast and strengthens his resolve, so that he may obey Allah’s commands in these difficult times, and thereby increase his īmān.

Despite the terrible atrocities committed against them, we have seen the people of Palestine repeatedly thanking and praising Allah. This can only be a gift from Allah the Most Exalted, who sends down sakīnah and strengthens the heart of His special servants.

Allah Is The Best Protector
Allah is the Best Protector and Guardian of His servants. Allah (ʿazza wa jall) says,

أَلَيْسَ اللّٰهُ بِكَافٍ عَبْدَهُ ، وَيُخَوِّفُوْنَكَ بِالَّذِيْنَ مِنْ دُوْنِهِ ، وَمَنْ يُّضْلِلِ اللّٰهُ فَمَا لَهُ مِنْ هَادٍ . وَمَنْ يَّهْدِ اللّٰهُ فَمَا لَه مِنْ مُّضِلٍّ، أَلَيْسَ اللّٰهُ بِعَزِيْزٍ ذِي انْتِقَامٍ
“Is Allah not sufficient for His servant? Yet they threaten you with those (they worship) besides Him! Whoever Allah leaves to stray will be left with no guide. And whoever Allah guides, none can lead astray. Is Allah not Almighty, capable of retribution?“ (39:36-37).

The Prophet ﷺ and the Companions (radiy Allāhu ʿanhum) had just returned from the Battle of Uḥud. It had been a testing battle in which the initial happiness of victory quickly turned to sadness. 70 companions lost their lives, many more were injured, and rumours spread that the Prophet ﷺ had been killed.

Amidst this pain and exhaustion, the Companions (radiy Allāhu ʿanhum) were asked by the Messenger of Allah ﷺ to join him in battle again the next day. The hypocrites, as usual, tried to discourage them and said to them, “Your enemies have mobilised their forces against you, so fear them!” (3:173).

But the believers were not fazed. On the contrary, Allah ﷻ says, it “increased them in īmān, and they replied,

حَسْبُنَا اللّٰهُ وَنِعْمَ الْوَكِيْلُ
Allah is sufficient for us and He is the best Protector” (3:173).

Throughout this war, we have repeatedly seen the people of Gaza repeating this powerful dhikr: حَسْبُنَا اللّٰهُ وَنِعْمَ الْوَكِيْلُ. Similarly, we have seen how the hypocrites, as always, have been busy trying to discourage the believers. And as the āyah mentions, this has not fazed the true believers in Gaza — instead, their steadfastness and īmān has inspired millions across the world.

Allah Is the Protective Ally
اللّٰهُ وَلِيُّ الَّذِيْنَ آمَنُوا ، يُخْرِجُهُمْ مِّنَ الظُّلُمَاتِ إِلَى النُّوْرِ
“Allah is the Ally of those who believe: He brings them out of the depths of darkness into the light…” (2:257).

Allah is the Protective Master (al-Mawlā) and Ally (al-Waliyy) of the believers. During the Battle of Uḥud, Abū Sufyān provoked the Muslims by calling upon the Makkan deity, saying, “Rise and prevail, Hubal.” The Prophet ﷺ urged the Companions to answer him. They asked him ﷺ, “What shall we say? He ﷺ replied, “Say, ‘الله أعلى وأجَلُّ’ ‘Allah is Higher and More Exalted.’” Abū Sufyān retorted, “We have al-ʿUzzā and you do not.” The Prophet ﷺ said, “Say to him: ‘الله مولانا ’ ولا مولَى لَكُم ‘Allah is our Protective Master, and you have none.’”

Abū Sufyān said, “Today avenges the day of Badr, and victory in war goes by turns.” ʿUmar (raḍiy Allāhu ʿanhu) answered him, saying, “We are not equal. Our dead go to Paradise, and your dead go to Hell” (Aḥmad).

Each and every believing soul is precious in the sight of Allah. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “The destruction of the entire world means less to Allah than the unlawful murder of one believer. And if all the inhabitants of the skies and the earth were to participate in the blood of a believer, Allah would certainly admit them all into Hell-fire” (Bayhaqī).

Every Muslim soul who has been martyred in Gaza holds great value in the sight of Allah. Every person matters. Their brutal murder may be insignificant to many in the world, but to Allah, each soul is precious.

Allah Is the Giver of Victory
Allah ﷻ has promised to help His believing servants. He ﷻ says,

وَكَانَ حَقًّا عَلَيْنَا نَصْرُ الْمُؤْمِنِيْنَ
“…For it is Our duty to help the believers” (30:47).

He also says,

إِنَّا لَنَنْصُرُ رُسُلَنَا وَالَّذِيْنَ آمَنُوْا فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَيَوْمَ يَقُوْمُ الْأَشْهَادُ .‏ يَوْمَ لَا يَنْفَعُ الظَّالِمِيْنَ مَعْذِرَتُهُمْ وَلَهُمُ اللَّعْنَةُ وَلَهُمْ سُوْٓءُ الدَّارِ
“We certainly help Our messengers and the believers, in this worldly life and on the Day the witnesses will stand (to give their testimony). The Day the wrongdoers’ excuses will be of no benefit to them. They will be condemned, and will have the worst of homes” (40:51-2).

One of the sunan of Allah is that the disbelievers will turn their backs and they will have no one to support them. Allah says,

وَلَوْ قَاتَلَكُمُ الَّذِيْنَ كَفَرُوْا لَوَلَّوُا الْأَدْبَارَ ثُمَّ لَا يَجِدُوْنَ وَلِيًّا وَّلَا نَصِيرًا . سُنَّةَ اللّٰهِ الَّتِيْ قَدْ خَلَتْ مِنْ قَبْلُ ۖ وَلَنْ تَجِدَ لِسُنَّةِ اللّٰهِ تَبْدِيْلًا

“If the disbelievers were to fight you, they would certainly flee. Then they would never find any protector or helper. (This is) the consistent practice (sunnah) of Allah. And you will never find any change in Allah’s consistent practice” (48:22-3).

We must have complete certainty (yaqīn) in Allah’s promise, even if all of the disbelievers unite to fight the believers. Allah ﷻ says,

أَمْ يَقُوْلُوْنَ نَحْنُ جَمِيْعٌ مُّنتَصِرٌ . سَيُهْزَمُ الْجَمْعُ وَيُوَلُّوْنَ الدُّبُرَ
“Do they perhaps say, ‘We are a great army and we shall be victorious’? Soon their united front will be defeated and all of them will turn their backs” (54:44-45).

And ultimately, their eventual outcome will be Hell-fire, as Allah says:

قُلْ لِّلَّذِيْنَ كَفَرُوْا سَتُغْلَبُوْنَ وَتُحْشَرُوْنَ إِلَىٰ جَهَنَّمَ ، وَبِئْسَ الْمِهَادُ
“Say to the disbelievers: Soon you will be overpowered and gathered into Hell—what a foul place to rest!” (3:12).

Some may wonder that if Allah promises help and victory to the believers, then why is it that today we see thousands killed, imprisoned, tortured, and driven out of their homes? Similarly, in the above āyah, Allah promised His help to the Messengers. Why is it then that many Messengers were killed and persecuted?

We often perceive victory in limited terms. But victory can take many different forms. And the greatest victory is the triumph of īmān. This is evident in the story of the young boy and the People of the Trench. The boy was killed by the King. From the outset, this may appear to be defeat. However, this was a victory unlike any other. His temporary life in this world may have ended, but he attained the noble status of martyrdom. And his blood ignited the faith of thousands. The entire nation of the King spontaneously cried out, “We have believed in the Lord of the boy.” History has shown that there are many martyrs who achieved through martyrdom what they could never have achieved in life had they lived a thousand years.

It may seem that the help of Allah is taking its time in coming. Allah, however, is al-Ḥakīm: the All-Wise. He fulfils His promise according to the timeframe that He chooses, and His timing is the best. The Ummah of Muḥammad ﷺ may sometimes be defeated in some battles, but ultimately they will always be victorious. From the time of the Prophet ﷺ up until today, the Ummah has faced many enemies and multiple superpowers. And yet, today Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world.

When the Tartars swept over the Muslim lands killing millions and causing catastrophic destruction, it was feared that the light of Islam may be extinguished. Today, however, the Tartars no longer exist. But Islam remains. This is because Allah has taken it upon Himself to preserve His dīn, until the final hour comes and there will be no one left on the earth to say Lā ilāha illa Allah.

We ask Allah al-ʿAzīz (The Exalted in Might) to honour and grant victory to the Ummah of Muḥammad ﷺ.
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#3 [Permalink] Posted on 12th December 2023 12:44

Allah’s Unlimited Rewards

(12/11/23)

In the last two months, we have seen a staggering number of deaths. Over 18,000 innocent Palestinians have been killed, from which 7,800 have been children. With at least 8,000 people still missing or feared buried under the rubble, the actual death toll could be far higher. More than 50,000 people have been wounded, many with life-changing injuries. And the vast majority of Gaza’s 2.3 million residents have already been forced from their homes, many having to flee several times.

In moments like these, we are reminded of Allah’s promise for such people. Allah ﷻ says:
فَاسْتَجَابَ لَهُمْ رَبُّهُمْ أَنِّيْ لَآ أُضِيْعُ عَمَلَ عَامِلٍ مِّنْكُمْ مِّنْ ذَكَرٍ أَوْ أُنْثَىٰ ، بَعْضُكُمْ مِّنْ بَّعْضٍ ، فَالَّذِيْنَ هَاجَرُوْا وَأُخْرِجُوْا مِنْ دِيَارِهِمْ وَأُوْذُوْا فِيْ سَبِيْلِيْ وَقَاتَلُوْا وَقُتِلُوْا لَأُكَفِّرَنَّ عَنْهُمْ سَيِّئَاتِهِمْ وَلَأُدْخِلَنَّهُمْ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِيْ مِنْ تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ ، ثَوَابًا مِّنْ عِنْدِ اللّٰهِ ، وَاللّٰهُ عِنْدَه حُسْنُ الثَّوَابِ

So their Lord responded to them: “I will never deny any of you, whether male or female, the reward of your deeds; each of you is from the other. Those who migrated and were expelled from their homes, who were persecuted for My sake, who fought, and were killed—I will certainly forgive their sins and admit them into Gardens under which rivers flow, as a reward from Allah. And with Allah is the finest reward!” (3:195).

In this āyah, Allah ﷻ is promising the believers that their efforts and actions for His sake will never be wasted. He will forgive their sins, admit them into Paradise, and grant them the best rewards.
They Are In The Best Ribat

A few verses later, Allah ﷻ says,
يـٰٓأَيُّهَا الَّذِيْنَ اٰمَنُوْا اصْبِرُوْا وَصَابِرُوْا وَرَابِطُوْا ، وَاتَّقُوا اللّٰهَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ

“Believers! Patiently endure, persevere, guard the frontiers, and be mindful of Allah, so you may be successful” (3:200).

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “The best and most virtuous of your ribāṭ is ‘Asqalān” (Ṭabarānī). Ribāṭ in the path of Allah means guarding the Muslim frontiers from its enemies and thwarting any attempts to invade the Muslim lands. It is one of the most virtuous deeds. The Prophet ﷺ said, “Doing ribāṭ for one day in the path of Allah is better than the world and what it contains” (Bukhārī).

ʿAsqalān is a famous historical sea-port in Palestine, about 20 km from Gaza. Today, all the people living in Gaza are in ribāṭ. The blessed al-Masjid Al-Aqsa is protected because of these honourable people and their sacrifices. Despite being besieged for 17 years, they’ve stoutly remained on this blessed frontline defending Al-Aqsa.
Sabr: An Unlimited Reward

We have seen unparalleled examples of ṣabr (patience, steadfastness and perseverance) over the past two months. We have watched videos which have brought to life the stories of the Prophets (ʿalayhimus-salām) who underwent numerous difficulties — persecution, the death and brutal murder of loved ones, severe illnesses, forced migration, economic deprivation — and yet they responded with great resolve and patience.

We read about the immense perseverance and courage of the Companions of the Prophet ﷺ, and today the Palestinians have shown us practically what this looked like.

The reward of ṣabr is unlimited, and we hope that the people of the blessed lands will be rewarded in this manner for their ṣabr. Allah ﷻ says,
إِنَّمَّا يُوَفَّى ٱلصَّٰبِرُوْنَ أَجْرَهُمْ بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ

“Certainly, those who observe patience will be given their reward in full without measure” (39:10).

Ṣabr is the path to attaining Allah’s forgiveness, mercy, guidance and love. It is the secret to worldly and eternal success. In the Qur’ān, Allah informs us that He is with the ṣabirīn (the patient) i.e. ṣabr leads to one enjoying the special companionship (maʿiyyah) of Allah. This special ‘companionship’ results in Allah loving you, protecting you, supporting you and drawing you close to Him.

Ṣabr is a special gift from Allah. Al-Ḥasan al-Baṣrī (raḥimahullāh) said, “Patience is a marvellous treasure. Allah only gifts it to those who are precious to Him.”

We pray that with their first dip into Paradise —as taught to us by our beloved Prophet ﷺ — these special people will forget the torture, oppression and difficulties they underwent in this world; and the angels will welcome them from every door and congratulate them, saying:
سَلامٌ عَلَيْكُمْ بِمَا صَبَرْتُمْ فَنِعْمَ عُقْبَى الدَّارِ

“Peace be upon you for your perseverance. How excellent is the ultimate abode!” (13:24).
The Lofty Status of the Martyrs

In the last two months, over 18,000 innocent Muslims have been martyred. And the number is likely to be higher. These people may be mere numbers to many around the world — however, each one of these special believers is known to Allah. He ﷻ wrote a heroic story for every one of them, and He will reward each one with unimaginable rewards.

Allah ﷻ says,
وَلَا تَحْسَبَنَّ الَّذِيْنَ قُتِلُوْا فِيْ سَبِيْلِ اللّٰهِ أَمْوَاتًا ۚ بَلْ أَحْيَآءٌ عِنْدَ رَبِّهِمْ يُرْزَقُوْنَ فَرِحِيْنَ بِمَآ اٰتَاهُمُ اللّٰهُ مِنْ فَضْلِهِ ، وَيَسْتَبْشِرُوْنَ بِالَّذِيْنَ لَمْ يَلْحَقُوْا بِهِمْ مِّنْ خَلْفِهِمْ ، أَلَّا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا هُمْ يَحْزَنُوْنَ يَسْتَبْشِرُوْنَ بِنِعْمَةٍ مِّنَ اللّٰهِ وَفَضْلٍ، وَّأَنَّ اللّٰهَ لَا يُضِيْعُ أَجْرَ الْمُؤْمِنِيْنَ

“Never think of those martyred in the cause of Allah as dead. In fact, they are alive with their Lord, well provided for — rejoicing in Allah’s bounties and being delighted for those yet to join them. There will be no fear for them, nor will they grieve. They are joyful for receiving Allah’s grace and bounty, and that Allah will not let the reward of the believers go to waste” (3:169-171).

When the Companions (radiy Allāhu ʿanhum) were martyred in the Battle of Uḥud, Allah placed their souls inside green birds. They would roam around in Jannah, drinking from its rivers, eating from its fruits, and returning to rest in golden lamps in the shade of Allah’s Throne. When they saw how Allah honoured them, they wished for their brothers in the world to know, so Allah revealed the above āyah and delivered their message to us.

In this āyah, Allah tells us that the martyrs are ‘alive with their Lord’ (ʿinda Rabbihim). They are near Him and enjoy a very lofty status. They are from the muqarrabūn, those drawn close to Him: enjoying the blessings and delights of Paradise.

Martyrs are not washed or prepared for burial, but buried in the clothes they happen to be wearing, because they are considered clean and pure, and because in reality they are not dead. They continue to live, enjoying the hospitality of their Lord, relishing His company and boundless rewards. Likewise, the martyr is not just alive, but his pure blood also gives life to and revives the dead Ummah.

Reflect: Read the above three verses again and think of how Allah describes the status of the martyrs. How many descriptions can you find?

The martyrs are the only ones who will wish to be returned to the world. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “No one who enters Paradise would like to return to the world, even if he could have everything on earth — except for the martyr. He will wish to return to the world and be killed ten more times due to the honour and reward he receives” (Bukhārī). Despite having seen the pleasures of Paradise, they will wish to return to the world and be martyred again, for the sake of Allah. Imagine the bliss they must have experienced when being martyred!

The martyrs are chosen by Allah. Shahādah is a gift: it is the best death. Allah ﷻ says, “We alternate these days (of victory and defeat) among people so that Allah may reveal the (true) believers, choose martyrs from among you” (3:140). Their deaths were not random. Each and every martyr has been chosen by Allah ﷻ so that they can be rewarded with the best of rewards.

The martyr does not feel the pain of death. When we watch the news, we feel devastated by the brutal murder of our innocent brothers and sisters. We should feel comforted by the words of the Prophet ﷺ who said, “The martyr does not feel the pain of being killed except as one of you feels the pinch of an insect bite” (Tirmidhī).

With the first drop of the martyr’s blood, all his sins are forgiven, and he is saved from the trials and questioning of the grave. When the Companions (radiy Allāhu ʿanhum) asked the Prophet ﷺ the reason for this, he said, “The flash of the swords on top of his head was sufficient as a trial” (Nasā’ī). In other words, the questioning in the grave is to determine whether the person was a true believer. The martyr is not in need of this, as his staying firm in the face of enemies already determined his true status. If īmān was not firmly planted in his heart, he would have fled.
The steadfastness and perseverance of our brothers and sisters in Palestine under the constant bombardment is sufficient proof of their īmān and their being protected from the trials of the grave, bi’idhnillah.
The Reward of Those Injured

Over 50,000 people have been injured in these heartbreaking months. Many of these injuries are life-altering. Imagine as a young child, losing both of your legs. And then, upon waking, you learn that both your parents were killed. The emotional and physical anguish would be beyond words.

Doctors have been forced to operate on patients without anaesthesia. Imagine having your limbs amputated without anaesthesia or morphine!

Similarly, there are thousands of serious cases suffering from burn or trauma wounds. Doctors are reporting that there are injuries which they have never seen before.

As believers, we must be certain that Allah ﷻ sees every wound, and hears every cry of pain. We must be certain that Allah will generously reward these special people for enduring great difficulties for His sake. On the Day of Judgement, people will come in different states: some will be deaf, dumb, blind and dragged on their faces. Those were wounded in His path, however, will have their own badge of honour. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “By The One in whose Hands my soul is! Whoever is wounded in the path of Allah — and Allah is Most Aware of who is wounded in His path — will come on the Day of Judgement with his wound having the colour of blood but the scent of musk” (Bukhārī). The wounds of the wounded will testify for the person on the Day of Judgement, and make him stand out amongst the creation of Allah.
The Children & Their Parents

It is heartbreaking to see that over 7,000 children have been killed in two months. However, as believers, we can find comfort that these special children are now under the best care:

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “The children of the believers reside in a mountain in Paradise, and are taken care of by Ibrāhīm (ʿalayhis-salām) and Sārah (ʿalayhas-salām), until he will return them to their parents on the Day of Judgement” (Aḥmad).

Not only are they in Paradise, but they will also take their parents with them into Paradise. The Prophet ﷺ said: It will be said to them, “Enter Paradise.” They will say, “Not until our parents enter.” So it will be said, “Enter Paradise, you and your parents!” (Nasā’ī). In another ḥadth the Prophet ﷺ consoled the Companion whose child had passed away, and he said to him: “Which would you like better, to enjoy his company all your life, or to come to any of the gates of Paradise on the Day of Judgement, and find that he arrived there before you, and he is opening the gate for you?’” (Nasā’ī).

Losing a child is one of the most painful experiences a person can undergo. But the reward of staying patient over it is immense. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “When a servant’s child dies, Allah says to His angels, “Did you take the soul of My servant’s child?” They say, “Yes.” So He ﷻ says, “Did you take the soul of the fruit of his heart?” They say, “Yes.” So he ﷻ says, “What did My servant say?” They say, “He praised You and said: ‘To Allah we belong and to Allah we return.’” So Allah says, “Build a house for My servant in Paradise and name it the House of Praise” (Bukhārī).

May Allah al-Shakūr (The Most Appreciative) reward the people of Palestine with the best of rewards, in this world and in the hereafter.

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#4 [Permalink] Posted on 18th December 2023 20:45
Help The People of Palestine
It’s easy to feel helpless and weak watching the genocide unfold in Gaza. Some of the crimes are so horrific in their intent and outcome, that they almost paralyse the believer. However, this is from the traps of shayṭān and his allies, whose aim is to cause despondency and despair amongst the believers.

Allah ﷻ has given each one of us the means to aid our Palestinian brothers and sisters and enact positive change. Here are some of the ways we can do this:
1. Duʿa
وَقَالَ رَبُّكُمُ ادْعُوْنِيْٓ أَسْتَجِبْ لَكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ الَّذِيْنَ يَسْتَكْبِرُوْنَ عَنْ عِبَادَتِيْ سَيَدْخُلُوْنَ جَهَنَّمَ دَاخِرِيْنَ

“And your Lord said: ‘Call upon Me; I will respond to you.’” (40:60)

Each and every one of us holds a very powerful weapon: duʿā’. We should never underestimate the power and strength of duʿā’. The Prophet ﷺ said, “The most incapable person is the one who fails to make duʿā’” (Ibn Ḥibbān).

Raise your hands and continue to make sincere and heartfelt du‘ā’, especially at times in which du‘ā’ is more readily accepted (e.g. between the adhān and iqāmah, at the end of ṣalāh). Make heartfelt duʿā’ in sajdah, especially in the last third of the night. Let Allah hear the desperation in your voice, and let Him see your tears. In order for your duʿās to be accepted, stop sinning and accompany your duʿās with good deeds. Strengthen your īmān in Allah ﷻ and have yaqīn that He will accept your duʿā’.

“Yaqīn is that you ask Allah for something, despite everything around you indicating that it won’t happen. But you are completely certain and sure in your heart that Allah will accept your duʿā.” – ʿUmar al-Mukhtār (raḥimahullāh)

2. Stop Sinning & Return To Allah

Allah ﷻ says,
إِنَّ اللّٰهَ لَا يُغَيِّرُ مَا بِقَوْمٍ حَتَّىٰ يُغَيِّرُوْا مَا بِأَنفُسِهِمْ

“…Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves…” (13:11).

Our sins are the greatest barrier to the Ummah’s victory. Just as collective obedience leads to victory and dominance, collective disobedience leads to subjugation, hardships and loss.

“The most disastrous thing to do is to commit sins in times of trials & difficulties.” – Nuʿmān b. al-Bashīr (raḍiy Allāhu ʿanhu)

Since the war in Gaza began, we must ask ourselves: Has my life changed? Have I given up major sins? Have I stopped following individuals on social media who corrode my īmān? Have I stopped watching content that pulls me far away from Allah ﷻ? Have I stopped my ribā transactions?

In these times of trials, we must thoroughly review our lives and stop sinning. We must be especially careful of social media and not publicising our sins, since these are the ones that will not be forgiven by Allah. Let us strive to make sincere repentance and continuously seek His forgiveness, particularly in the darkness of the night. Let us always be mindful that our sins delay victory.

Let us pray every single farḍ ṣalāh on time. Let us pray in the masjid, including Fajr. Let us ensure we have paid our zakāh, and that we are being honest in our dealings. Let us not disobey our parents, or hurt our spouses and children. Let us purify our hearts from evil. Let us act, dress, talk, and eat like true Muslims.
3. Salah

Allah ﷻ says,
وَاسْتَعِينُوْا بِالصَّبْرِ وَالصَّلَاةِ وَإِنَّهَا لَكَبِيْرَةٌ إِلَّا عَلَى الْخَاشِعِيْنَ. الَّذِيْنَ يَظُنُّوْنَ أَنَّهُمْ مُّلَاقُوْا رَبِّهِمْ وَأَنَّهُمْ إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُوْنَ

“And seek help through patience and ṣalāh, and indeed, it is difficult except for those are humbly submissive (to Allah); those who are certain that they will meet their Lord and that they will return to Him” (2:45-6).

When victory seems far and matters become really tough, many tend to lose heart and give up. To avoid this state of despair, Allah ﷻ provides us with an inexhaustible source of strength and energy: ṣabr and ṣalāh. Together they combine to infuse the heart with confidence and equip the believer with tranquillity and inner peace.

Ṣalāh is the direct link between the servant — an insignificant weak human being — and his Master, the Most Powerful. By attaching yourself to the Source of strength (Allah al-Qawiyy), you replenish your own strength and energy. Ṣalāh is the key to Allah’s unlimited treasures: it removes doubts from the heart and replaces it with īmān in Allah. It brings peace to the mind, as you disconnect from the worries of the world and place them at the door of your Master. This is why “Whenever anything distressed the Prophet ﷺ, he would pray” (Abū Dāwūd). Turning to prayer at times of difficulty was also the practice of the previous Prophets (Aḥmad). We should follow in their footsteps and hold on tight to the compulsory and voluntary prayers. Let us find strength, solace and serenity in conversing directly with the Lord of the worlds in ṣalāh; and let us ask Him for all our needs, especially in sajdah.
4. Be Sincere

Feel the pain of your brothers and sisters around the world. Ask Allah ﷻ to forgive you for not doing enough to help them. Be true and sincere in your concern for them, so that Allah will reward you for your sincerity, even if you are not physically able to help them.

There were some companions who did not have the means to join the Prophet ﷺ in the Battle of Tabūk. They did not feel happy at being ‘saved’ from participating in such a difficult and testing time. Rather they were deeply upset. Allah ﷻ praised them saying:

“But there is no blame attached to the weak, the sick, and those who have no means to spend, provided they are true to Allah and His Messenger – there is no reason to reproach those who do good: Allah is All-Forgiving, Most Merciful. And there is no blame attached to those who came to you [Prophet] for riding animals and to whom you said, ‘I cannot find a mount for you’: they turned away with their eyes overflowing with tears of grief that they had nothing they could contribute” (9:91-92).

It was their deep sincerity and strong conviction in Allah ﷻ which gained them this accolade. Thus, when the Prophet ﷺ was returning from Tabūk, he told his companions, “Certainly there are a group of people in Madinah who, each time you crossed a valley or travelled a path, they shared the reward with you. A legitimate excuse held them back” (Ibn Mājah). Allah al-Shakūr (The Most Appreciative) rewarded them for their genuine intention, and He recorded their truthfulness with Him, to be read till the end of times.

We cannot claim to feel sincere pain for our brothers and sisters if we continue to live as usual. Our hearts should share their deep pain, and shame us into abandoning the luxuries of this vanishing world and our consumerist lifestyles. Our goal can no longer simply be to accumulate the riches of the dunyā, be it clothes, cars, beautiful homes, the latest gadgets, or luxurious holidays. We have to live for something far greater.
5. Donate

Allah ﷻ says,
وَأَنْفِقُوْا فِيْ سَبِيْلِ اللّٰهِ وَلَا تُلْقُوْا بِأَيْدِيْكُمْ إِلَى التَّهْلُكَةِ ۛ وَأَحْسِنُوْا ۛ إِنَّ اللّٰهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُحْسِنِيْنَ

“Spend in the cause of Allah and do not let your own hands throw you into destruction (by withholding). And do good, for Allah certainly loves the good-doers” (2:195).

While we indulge in an array of foods, our brothers and sisters in Gaza are starving. Whilst we live in comfortable homes, their homes have been reduced to rubble. Whilst we enjoy hot water from taps, they are forced to perform tayammum and share one bathroom between hundreds of people.

One of the easiest ways in which we can help our brothers and sisters in Palestine is to donate generously. We should give as much as we can, and even when the war finishes bi-idhnillah, we should continue giving so that Gaza can be re-built, even better than what it previously was inshaAllah.
6. Be Brave & Strong

Allah ﷻ says,
أَتَخْشَوْنَهُمْ ۚ فَاللّٰهُ أَحَقُّ أَنْ تَخْشَوْهُ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ مُّؤْمِنِيْنَ

“…Do you fear them? Allah is more deserving of your fear, if you are (true) believers” (9:13).

Let us be strong and brave. Let us only fear Allah, the Lord of the heavens and the earth. We are people of Lā ḥawla wa lā quwwata illā billāh. Nothing can go from one state to another, except by the will and permission of Allah. Allah is in control: if He decrees for something to happen, and the whole decides otherwise — it will happen. And if He decrees for something to not happen, and the whole world tries to make it happen — it will not happen. There is no power that can defeat Allah. He is al-Qahhār, The All-Dominant, The Supreme.

Let us emancipate ourselves from the shackles of colonialism and imperialism. Let us rid ourselves from the materialism, liberalism and hedonism that we are constantly bombarded with. Let us become mentally and physically strong.

We must refuse humiliation. Let us be confident in our identity. Let us find ʿizzah (honour) in our din, in the Qur’ān, and in the Sunnah. We have the best way of life: Islam. We have the best human being as our role model: the Prophet of Allah ﷺ. And most importantly —so long as we obey Him — we have Allah ﷻ, the Lord of the heavens and the earth on our side.

Let us not feel scared of what others say about us; or that if we speak the truth, we may lose our jobs. Let us support our organisations and community leaders who are facing repercussions for saying the truth. Let us offer them financial, moral and physical support.
7. Do Whatever You Can To Help

Allah ﷻ says,
يـٰٓأَيُّهَا الَّذِيْنَ آمَنُوْٓا إِنْ تَنْصُرُوا اللّٰهَ يَنْصُرْكُمْ وَيُثَبِّتْ أَقْدَامَكُمْ

“Believers! If you help the dīn of Allah, He will help you and make you stand firm” (47:7).

In this āyah, Allah is instructing us to establish His dīn, do daʿwah, and strive in His Path. As believers, we should be committed to cultivating good in people and in society; and to end evil, injustice and corruption.

If we help the dīn of Allah, Allah ﷻ will help us. We cannot sit and slavishly follow the way of the corrupt disbelievers and then expect the help of Allah to arrive.

Let us ask ourselves: What have I done to strengthen and serve the din of Allah? What is my project for the Ummah? How am I going to become a strong believer? How am I going to ensure that my family are strong believers? How am I going to spread the word of Allah on His earth?

We should do whatever good we can. We cannot let Shayṭān make us think “What difference is this going to make?”

In addition to the above actions, here are some more actions that we can take:

– Raise Awareness & Learn: Educate yourself and talk to your friends, family and children. Talk to your neighbours and colleagues. Learn about the history and the virtues of al-Masjid al-Aqṣā and the blessed land. If you are an educator, educate your students. Facilitate and deliver ḥalaqahs, events, workshops, storytime and activities for children. Spread the truth on social media and through any other platforms that you may have.

– Boycott: Continue boycotting and don’t stop once the hype dies down.

– Use political means such as attending protests, signing petitions, and lobbying politicians.

Instead of thinking we live in depressing times, we should recognize that Allah ﷻ has placed us in an era with tremendous opportunities to serve His dīn; those courageous enough to do so will be rewarded immensely. The Prophet ﷺ said, “Indeed, ahead of you are days of perseverance (ṣabr), in which perseverance will be like grasping a hot coal. The one who does good deeds in these days will have the reward of fifty men whose actions are like yours” (Tirmidhī).

Every minute we have is a valuable gift from Him. Will we squander it, or will we make the best use of it to spread His Word on His earth?

lifewithallah
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