The Prophet ﷺ said, “No tiredness, exhaustion, worry, grief, distress or harm befalls a believer in this world, not even a thorn that pricks him, but Allah expiates some of his sins thereby.” [Bukhari]
The Prophet ﷺ said, “Whoever is killed protecting his property is a martyr. Whoever is killed protecting his religion is a martyr. Whoever is killed protecting his life is a martyr. Whoever is killed protecting his family is a martyr.” [Tirmidhi]
The Prophet ﷺ said, “The martyr does not feel the pain of being killed except as one of you feels a bite or pinch.” [Tirmidhi]
Be it Palestine, Yemen, Syria, Kashmir, China, Myanmar, and so many other places around the world where the Muslims are in trouble, there is only so much we can do after giving in charity. Isn't it? No. There are two very important things that we can still do and that is what this article will focus on:
- Rectifying Our Affairs and Leaving all that which Angers Allah
Sheikh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah رحمه الله said, “And likewise al Sham (The Levant) was at the beginning of Islam in a state of happiness in regards to its worldly life and its religion. Then tribulations occurred and sovereignty slipped from their hands. Then the hypocrites, heretics, and the Crusaders, with their transgressions, dominated over them and they conquered Bait ul Maqdis (Jerusalem) and Qabr al Khaleel (Hebron's Tomb) and turn the buildings that were there into churches. Then the Muslims rectified their religion, so Allah honoured them and aided them over their enemies, when they obeyed Allah and His Messenger ﷺ and followed what was sent down onto them from their Lord.
The obedience of Allah and His Messenger is the center of happiness, and happiness revolves around it.” [Majmuʾ al-Fatawa]
Those in suffering, Allah will Answer them irrespective of us. The Prophet ﷺ said, “Beware the supplication of the oppressed, for there is no veil between it and Allah.” [Agreed Upon]
Dua is extremely easy to do and in reality is the biggest help that we can send for our brothers and sisters. Call upon Allah and pleading in the Court of the King of Kings. Sheikhul Islam Ibn Taymiyyah رحمه الله stated, "The sincere hearts of Muslims and their righteous supplications are an invincible army with steadfast troops, who never falter." [Majmu' al-Fatawa]
So many times we’ve heard dua referred to as the weapon of the believer. Dua plays a major role in the life of the Muslim in regards to his relationship with Allah. When the servant makes dua it affirms that he trusts, relies and is in need of the Most High’s Assistance. Ali رضي الله عنه narrated the Prophet ﷺ said, "The Dua is the weapon of the believer, a pillar of the religion and a light for the Heavens and the Earth."
Imam Ibn al-Qayyim رحمه الله said, “Dua is one of the most beneficial remedies. It is the enemy of calamity. It removes it, cures it, prevents its occurrence, and reduces it if it befalls (a person). It is the weapon of the believer.”
Dua & Qunut an-Nazilah
It is from the Sunnah to make this dua during calamities, natural disasters, for Muslims who come under enemy attack, or any similar disaster or calamity that causes harm to the Ummah. This dua is called Qunut an-Nazilah. Our duas are the least of our exertions, yet they are the greatest of aides.
When the 70 sahaba of the Prophet ﷺ were deceived, betrayed, and murdered at the well of Ma'una, the Prophet ﷺ said Al-Qunut for one month in the morning prayers. He ﷺ would call upon Allah against all those who were involved in the murder of the sahaba. [Bukhari]
It is reported that Abu Bakar as-Siddiq رضي الله عنه would recite Qunut during the war with the false Prophet, Musailamah al-Kazzab, and the war with the People of the Book. [Mirqat al-Mafatih]
How Is Qunut an-Nazilah Done?
1. It is made by raising the hands in the last rakʿah after getting up from rukuh in each of the five obligatory prayers. If it is done before the rukuh, then that is also acceptable.
2. It is made in every prayer loudly, whether you are praying in the congregation or alone.
3. Dua should be made asking for protection for the Muslims and inflicting harm on the enemy.
4. This should continue for as long as the aggression against the Muslims lasts.
5. Any wording of the dua can be used based on the situation at hand. Imam al-Nawawi رحمه الله said, "The correct view which was stated definitively by the majority of scholars is that there are no specific words, rather any dua may be said.” [al-Majmu']
It is narrated that Umar al-Faruq رضي الله عنه would recite the Qunut an-Nazilah during the war with the Christians:
اللَّهُمَّ إِنَّا نَسْتَعِينُكَ وَنَسْتَغْفِرُكَ وَنُثْنِي عَلَيْكَ وَلا نَكْفُرُكَ ، وَنُؤْمِنُ بِكَ وَنَخْلَعُ وَنَتْرُكُ مَنْ يَفْجُرُكَ ، اللَّهُمَّ إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ ، وَلَكَ نُصَلِّي وَنَسْجُدُ ، وَإِلَيْكَ نَسْعَى وَنَحْفِدُ ، وَنَرْجُو رَحْمَتَكَ وَنَخَافُ عَذَابَكَ إِنَّ عَذَابَكَ بِالْكُفَّارِ مُلْحَقٌ ، اللَّهُمَّ عَذِّبِ الْكَفَرَةَ ، وَأَلْقِ فِي قُلُوبِهِمُ الرُّعْبَ ، وَخَالِفْ بَيْنَ كَلِمِهِمْ ، وَأَنْزِلْ عَلَيْهِمْ رِجْسَكَ وَعَذَابَكَ ، اللَّهُمَّ عَذِّبْ كَفَرَةَ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ الَّذِينَ يَصُدُّونَ عَنْ سَبِيلِكِ وَيُكَذِّبُونَ رُسُلَكَ وَيُقَاتِلُونَ أَوْلِيَاءَكَ ، اللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتِ ، وَالْمُسْلِمِينَ وَالْمُسْلِمَاتِ ، وَأَصْلِحْ ذَاتَ بَيْنِهِمْ وَأَلِّفْ بَيْنَ قُلُوبِهِمْ ، وَاجْعَلْ فِي قُلُوبِهِمُ الإِيمَانَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ ، وَثَبِّتْهُمْ عَلَى مِلَّةِ رَسُولِكَ ، وَأَوْزِعْهُمْ أَنْ يُوفُوا بِعَهْدِكَ الَّذِي عَاهَدْتَهُمْ عَلَيْهِ ، وَانْصُرْهُمْ عَلَى عَدُوِّكَ وَعَدُوِّهِمْ ، إِلَهَ الْحَقِّ وَاجْعَلْنَا مِنْهُمْ
“O Allah, we ask for your help and forgiveness, we praise you and ask you to protect us from disbelief, give us firm faith in you, protect us from ever leaving you and disobedience. O our Lord that we prostrate ourselves to, pray and obey, only towards you we are headed, we hope for your blessings and fear your punishments. O Allah, indeed your punishments are for those who disbelieve, then punish the disbelievers with fear and disarray in their hearts. Curse them and punish them; the disbelievers from among the people of the book who obstruct your road and deny your messengers, murder the prophets. O Allah, forgive the believers, strengthen their unity and place in their hearts; belief and wisdom, maintain their faith in the religion of your messenger, and bless them with steadfastness in their belief in your promise and help them against your enemies. O the All True Rabb, make us from among those you help.”
As for general duas, there are 3 things I have always felt make our dua more powerful:
1. Calling Allah by His beautiful names and attributes. Especially those names of Allah that concur with your need. So like for Rizq you call onto Ar-Razzaq etc
2. Sending salawat upon His Messenger ﷺ at the start, in the middle and at the end of your dua. Package your dua with as much salawat as possible. Think of it like guards who safeguard your dua till it reaches the court of Allah.
3. Never make a dua that is bereft of including a plea of forgiveness for your parents. Their importance and station is immense in the eyes of Allah.
Learn more about making dua here:
Rectify These Things Immediately
Along with this, we should also immediately:
- Increase in our dhikr and istighfar.
- Make sure our daily prayers are on time.
- Renew your relationship with the Word of Allah, the Quran even if it is a page a day.
- Stand in tahajjud and call upon Allah in the last third of the night
- Leave off dealing with riba and other haram actions
- Monitor our actions and weed out anything that is haram or disliked by Allah.
- Increase in charity and helping the needy and poor around us.
- Maintain our family ties.
The Prophet ﷺ said, “Allah continues to fulfill the needs of the servant as long as he fulfills the needs of his brother.” [al-Mu'jam al-Kabir]
- Most importantly humble ourselves in our obedience to Allah Alone.
We see the enemies of Islam coming together as one and pushing harder against the Muslims. Even though the times have changed and new Pharaohs emerged, Allah will always split the way forward and grant victory to the believers who remain steadfast, have tawakkul in Him, and adhere to the Sunnah of His Messenger.
وَمَن يَتَوَلَّ ٱللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُۥ وَٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ فَإِنَّ حِزْبَ ٱللَّهِ هُمُ ٱلْغَـٰلِبُونَ
And whoever is an ally of Allah and His Messenger and those who have believed - indeed, the party of Allah - they will be the predominant. [Surah al-Ma'idah, 56]
The Sahaba left everything they had and followed their Prophet ﷺ just like Bani Israel followed Musa عليه السلام. What separates the two groups and their imminent success/destruction was their adherence to the command of their Prophet.
Another important point, if not the most important point is to realise is that Aid is from Allah Alone. We see posts talking about how Muslims today don't have the likes of King Faisal, Salahuddin al-Ayyubi, Nur al-Din Zenghi, Khalid ibn al-Walid, Umar ibn al-Khattab etc around us and that is why we are in this condition. This is a core issue with our thinking that in reality is a domino effect of why we are not producing the likes of these men. How? All these luminaries are the result of a tarbiyah that was fostered on the love of Allah and the Sunnah. We need Allah Alone in the equation and then the means will follow. One of the primary reasons that Umar ibn al-Khattab removed the legendary Khalid ibn al-Waleed as the general of the Muslim armies was because many people had started to believe that they were winning just because Khalid was among them. We are focusing on the means and forgetting the real cause that enabled and allowed their victories in the first place. We need to turn back to Allah now!
Riba Is Blocking Our Duas
We did our duas, we gave in charity, we pushed the people in power to take action and much more. But on the other hand, are we doing something because of which our duas might not be getting answered?
Imam Ibn al-Qayyim رحمه الله said, "The acts of making dua and seeking refuge in Allah function like a weapon. As is well-known, a weapon is only as good as the person who is using it. It is not merely the matter of how sharp it is. If the weapon is free of faults, the arm of its user is strong, and there are no other impediments, then one can effectively vanquish the enemy. But if any of these three features is lacking, then the effect will be deficient correspondingly." [al-Daa wal-Dawaa]
In another place he said, “And such is dua, for it is one of the strongest factors that repels evil, and brings about desired good. However, it is possible that its effects are not seen, either because of a weakness in the dua — for example, the du’a is not beloved to Allah, since it contains in it transgression, or because of a weakness in the heart of the one making du’a. So the heart does not turn to Allah, and unify its energy in asking for it while it makes the du’a, so it is like a very weak bow, from which the arrow leaves with weakness.
Another cause for which the du’a is not answered is the presence of a preventing factor, such as eating haram sustenance, or being unjust, or there being a layer of filth due to sins over the heart, or that the heart has been overtaken by play and heedlessness."
One of the biggest hurdles that lie in our way is our society drowning in riba and debt. Why is this an issue? This is an issue because other matters like becoming lax in our prayers, avoiding lies and backbiting, and other sins are something at an individual level that we can work on rectifying. Riba on the other hand is something that is affecting us at a community level. This is why it is the core focus of our article today. Such is the extent of the damage of riba that one way or the other it is touching our lives and this is extremely dangerous.
فَإِن لَّمْ تَفْعَلُوا۟ فَأْذَنُوا۟ بِحَرْبٍۢ مِّنَ ٱللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِۦ ۖ وَإِن تُبْتُمْ فَلَكُمْ رُءُوسُ أَمْوَٰلِكُمْ لَا تَظْلِمُونَ وَلَا تُظْلَمُونَ
But if you do not (give up Riba), then be informed of the declaration of war from Allah and His Messenger (against you). But if you repent, you may have your principal - [thus] you do no wrong, nor are you wronged. [Surah al-Baqarah, 279]
So severe is this warning that any other warning of such degree of severity does not appear anywhere in the Quran in relation to any other sin, no matter how great, except kufr (disbelief), of course.
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “Allah has cursed the one who consumes riba, the one who gives it, the one who witnesses over it, and the one who writes down the transaction.” [Muslim]
We want Allah to help us when so much of what we do has been cursed and Allah and His Messenger are already against us because of our dealings with Riba?
Narrated Abdullah ibn Umar رضي الله عنه, "I heard the Messenger of Allah ﷺ say, 'When you enter into the Inah transaction, hold onto the tails of oxen, are pleased with agriculture, and give up conducting jihad - Allah will make disgrace prevail over you, and will not withdraw it until you return to your original religion. [Abu Dawud]
Inah transaction refers to a form of riba. Being over-engrossed in the dunya, chasing vanity and luxuries, making money by engaging in dubious or even riba transactions, and abandoning our obligations towards Allah is something very common. How is that affecting us and our societies?
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “Soon the nations will be summoned to you just like one is invited to a feast.” It was said, “Will we be few in that day?” The Prophet said, “No, rather you will be many in that day, but you will be scum like such flowing down a torrent. Allah will remove your esteem from the chests of your enemies, and Allah will insert feebleness in your own hearts.” It was said, “O Messenger of Allah, what is this feebleness?” The Prophet said, “Love for the worldly life and hatred of death.” [Abu Dawud]
In the Musnad of Imam Ahmad we find a chilling narration - The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ), said, “A time will come upon people when they will consume riba.” They said to him, “Is that all of the people?” The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Whoever does not take from it will be afflicted by its dust.”
The ramifications of this hadith is what always jolts me awake. In the Sahih of Imam Muslim, we have a narration where the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) mentioned (the case) of a man who, having journeyed far, is disheveled and dusty, and who spreads out his hands to the sky saying “O Lord! O Lord!,” while his food is haram (unlawful), his drink is haram, his clothing is haram, and he has been nourished with haram, so how can (his supplication) be answered? [Muslim]
One of our teachers while explaining the ayah said:
وَاتَّقُوا النَّارَ الَّتِي أُعِدَّتْ لِلْكَافِرِينَ
And fear the Fire, which has been prepared for the disbelievers. [Surah Aal Imran, 131]
In this ayah those who deal with usury (riba) are threatened with Hell Fire which is prepared for the disbelievers. Therefore it is known from this that devouring of "usury" can lead to the extent of disbelief. Imam Abu Hanifa has said that this is the toughest of the Quranic ayat with reference to the believers, who if they do not give up usury are promised fire that has been prepared specifically for the disbelievers.
Riba In The Small Things
Here I want to look at just one small example to showcase just how common some actions have become in our society that are actually stepping stones to riba, if not riba already.
وَمَآ ءَاتَيْتُم مِّن رِّبًۭا لِّيَرْبُوَا۟ فِىٓ أَمْوَٰلِ ٱلنَّاسِ فَلَا يَرْبُوا۟ عِندَ ٱللَّهِ ۖ وَمَآ ءَاتَيْتُم مِّن زَكَوٰةٍۢ تُرِيدُونَ وَجْهَ ٱللَّهِ فَأُو۟لَـٰٓئِكَ هُمُ ٱلْمُضْعِفُونَ
And whatever you give for interest to increase within the wealth of people will not increase with Allah. But what you give in zakah, desiring the Face of Allah - it is they whose reward will be multiplied [Surah ar-Rum, 39]
This is one of the early ayat that came down about Riba in Makkah. It can be said that the aim was to lay the foundation and prompt the people into thinking of an interest-free system. Allah brings two opposites in this ayah with zakat being mentioned. It is as though zakat is shown as the antidote to riba. On one side where riba is oppressing the society, zakat is empowering and uplifting the society.
Some of the scholars of tafseer like Ibn Abbas, Mujahid, Qatadah, Ikrimah, and ash-Sha'bi say that riba here refers to gifts and this is what really blew my mind. Mufti Shafi Uthmani رحمه الله highlights the issue of gifts we see so commonly across the Desi subcontinent and might even take extremely lightly.
He says, "This ayah is meant to correct an evil custom which is common in close relatives and the families at large. When people extend a gift or a present to relatives, especially at the time of marriages, they make a note of the amount they have given, in the hope that they will get back an equal amount in return when it is their turn, rather a little more.... Whoever gives out money in the hope that it will bring back something more, then it is not worthy of reward in the sight of Allah. The Qur'an has referred to it as riba, alluding that it is as bad as usury or interest." [Ma'ariful Quran]
Our Sheikh Dr. Ibrahim Nuhu حفظه الله said, "If you take a loan from somebody:
1. If they expect the loan to be returned and another fee or penalty is paid or is part of the agreement - This is Haram and a form of Riba.
2. If they expect to be given some kind of gifts etc even though nothing of such is mentioned in the agreement - This is Haram and could fall into Riba.
3. If the person doesn't expect anything at all in return except the money he lent in the first place - Giving such a person gifts or an increase in its likes etc is not only allowed but also praised in the Shariah. It encourages them to give more, increases love, strengthens relations between people, and more.
Principle: Any loan that generates a benefit, then that benefit is riba. [Sharh Bulugh al-Maram, IIUM]
Look at the enemies of Islam coming together and financing their wars with riba and debt. Wallah the only thing coming to mind are the Battles of Uhud and Ahzab from the Seerah. How the Quraysh and the Confederate armies kept financing their wars with riba money and they looked like they were the biggest power in Arabia. Riba is one of the only things Allah has directly declared war upon in the Quran. When their very foundations are evil and shaky, they won't last long. It's just a matter of time.
Speaking of Confederates and awe at the size of the army, I want us to reflect on another incident that highlights the dangers of inferiority complex. At the advent of the coming of our Prophet Muhammad ﷺ no other Prophet was alive on the face of the Earth, yet the remnants of the Shariah established previously by a few Prophets remained. The Shariah of Prophets Ibrahim and Ismail عليه السلام which included rites of Hajj, calling upon Allah etc remained, but slowly got heavily distorted.
A man from Makkah, Amr Ibn Luhay travelled to Nabataea in Northern Arabia aka Shaam and saw the grandeur that surrounded this idol called Hubal. The people worshiping it were powerful figures of authority, really successful in terms of both their economic and military might in the region. In a case of inferiority complex and wanting to bring this 'glory/advancement' to his tribe he assumed that they must be correct since they are so powerful. He pays a heavy sum for the idol and brings it back into the courtyard of the Haram in Makkah.
This was a respected man, a leader of his tribe whom the people loved. That is why when he brought a 'new idea', people followed him. Between Luhay and Ismail عليه السلام, there have been at least 2000 years without any Prophet or guidance. Ignorance prevailed and people started to deviate from the Shariah of Ismail and Ibrahim عليه السلام.
Because if you aren't in touch with something for over a period of time it'll eventually fade and wither away. Since the people were ignorant of the teachings of the purity and strength of their Shariah they very easily fell for the bling bling faith of the 'most powerful nation' and rejected the past. When they opened their doors to the acceptance of Shirk, then like dominoes, it lead to opening more doors to acceptance of innovation and evil practices of the disbelievers.
Later they even had the audacity to claim they were following Prophet Ibrahim عليه السلام but in reality they were following nothing more than their desires and the religion of their forefathers under a religious pretentious mask. Anything sound familiar if we compare it to our 1445 AH/ 2023 story today?
What Role Do I Play Here?
You might be thinking - What do I have to do with this? A lot actually. One person can be the make it or break it deal.
Allah tells us,
ظَهَرَ الْفَسَادُ فِي الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ بِمَا كَسَبَتْ أَيْدِي النَّاسِ لِيُذِيقَهُم بَعْضَ الَّذِي عَمِلُوا لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْجِعُونَ
“Corruption has appeared on land and in the sea, due to what the hands of people have earned. This is so that He may make them taste a part of that which they have done, and that they may possibly return.” [Surah ar-Rum, 41]
Ibn Umar رضي الله عنه narrated that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ once turned to his Companions and said,
“O Muhajirun, there are five things which you will be tested with. And I seek refuge with Allah that you live to see them. If immorality appears among people to the extent that they commit it openly, plagues and diseases that were never known by their predecessors will spread among them. Should they cheat in weights and measures, they will be stricken with famine, severe disasters, and the oppression of their rulers. If they withhold the Zakat for their wealth, rain will be withheld from the sky. Were it not for the animals, they would not receive any rain at all. They do not break their covenant with Allah and His Messenger, except that Allah will enable their enemies to overpower them and take from that which is in their hands. Unless their leaders rule according to the Book of Allāh and seek success only from that which He has revealed, Allah will cause them to fight with one another.” [Ibn Majah]
Let's look at an interesting yet extremely insightful incident.
Imam Ibn Qudamah رحمه الله narrates a story where there was once a great drought that afflicted Prophet Musa عليه السلام and his people. This is most probably an Israeliyat narration.
It is said that when Prophet Musa عليه السلام was wandering in the desert with Bani Israel, they were affected by a severe drought. They raised their hands to the heavens, asking Allah to shower them with rain. To the immense surprise of Prophet Musa and all those around him, the few scattered clouds in the sky vanished, the heat became severe, and the drought actually worsened. It was then revealed to Prophet Musa that amongst the people there was a sinner who had defied Allah for over forty years of his life. Allah told Prophet Musa:
“Let him remove himself from the congregation, and only then shall I shower you all with rain.”
So Prophet Musa عليه السلام turned to the masses and informed them of what he had heard.
He said, “There is a person among us who has disobeyed Allah for forty years. Let him leave the congregation, and only then shall we be rescued from the drought.”
The blameworthy man stood there, looking left and right. He was expecting someone else to come forward, but no one did. Sweat dripped from his brow when it dawned upon him that he was the one being warned against. The man was well aware that if he remained in the congregation, everyone would perish from thirst. At the same time, he knew that if he stepped forward, he would be disgraced for all of eternity. To escape this dilemma, he raised his hands with a type of sincerity that he had never felt before. All of this happened while tears streamed down from his cheeks.
He exclaimed in dua, “O Allah, have mercy on me!” He continued his invocation by saying, “Hide my faults, O Allah! Please pardon me, O Allah!”
Suddenly, the clouds covered the sky, and rain poured down. All of this happened just as Prophet Musa عليه السلام and Bani Israel were waiting for the sinner to come forward. Then Prophet Musa asked Allah, " O Allah, You blessed us with rain, even though the sinner did not come forward!” Allah responded in a majestic manner, which was befitting of His Might, Mercy, and Wisdom: “O Musa, I blessed all of Bani Israel with water for the repentance of that exact person.”
Prophet Musa عليه السلام exclaimed, “Show him to me, O Allah!” He made this request because he wanted to know the identity of this blessed man. Allah replied, “O Musa, I covered his faults for forty years. Do you think that after his repentance I shall expose him?” [Kitab al-Tawwabin]
This is one of the reasons why the people of knowledge always talks about repentance and fixing our affairs if we want Allah to Help us. There are tens of ayat and ahadith that teach us just this. Imam Ibn alQayyim said, "The ill effects of the sinner fall upon those around him, as well as animals. As a result of this, they are touched by harm." [al-Jawab al-Kafi]
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “The parable of the believers in their affection, mercy, and compassion for each other is that of a body. When any limb aches, the whole body reacts with sleeplessness and fever.” and in another narration he said, “Verily, the believers are like bricks of a building, each part strengthening the other,” and the Prophet clasped his fingers together. [Agreed Upon]
Riba is weakening and destroying our societies. It keeps the poor as poor and even pushes the middle class into poverty in an ever-growing debt cycle whilst the rich increase their wealth without creating any extra value. Riba is like a mirage. You think you are getting more money but in reality there is no barakah in it and like termites it is destroying you financially and also spiritually.
Isn't it high time that we wake up and atleast try fixing our affairs and showing that we are putting in an effort to make a change against our dealings with Riba? The impact might not be seen immediately, it will take loads of work, and many around us won't be happy, but Allah Sees our intentions.
Why Does Allah Allow Evil To Happen?
This is a very common question that comes up when we talk about wars, disasters and calamities. Especially when children and innocent lives are lost.
Evil could be described as the absence of good. We could define good and evil on a surface level as:
Good: That which agrees with human nature such that it causes happiness and pleasure.
Evil: That which conflicts with human nature such that it causes harm and displeasure.
“Evil” is usually understood in this context as either moral evil or natural evil. Moral evil refers to the misuse of free will by moral agents. This is the evil caused by humans in our context. Natural evil, on the other hand, refers to the occurrences of evil brought about by natural laws and processes such as natural disasters.
It needs to be understood without doubt that - Allah is the only Creator of all things and He created that which is good as well as that which is bad because Allah does what He Wills. Allah cannot be questioned for what He does.
ٱللَّهُ خَلِقُ كُلِّ شَىْءٍۢ ۖ وَهُوَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَىْءٍۢ وَكِيلٌۭ
Allah is the Creator of all things, and He is, over all things, Disposer of affairs. [Surah az-Zumar, 62]
From a good adab towards Allah is that we do not say that Allah created crime and sinning. We say that Allah created the will and ability for the creation that indulges in this evil.
ٱلَّذِى خَلَقَنِى فَهُوَ يَهْدِينِ
وَٱلَّذِى هُوَ يُطْعِمُنِى وَيَسْقِينِ
وَإِذَا مَرِضْتُ فَهُوَ يَشْفِينِ
وَٱلَّذِى يُمِيتُنِى ثُمَّ يُحْيِينِ
(It is Allah) Who created me, and He (it is who) guides me. And it is He who feeds me and gives me drink. And when I am ill, it is He who cures me. And who will cause me to die and then bring me to life. [Surah ash-Shu’ara, 78-81]
Learn from the adab of Prophet Ibrahim عليه السلام. He attributed all the naturally occurring phenomena to Allah. Even though Allah created illness as a test, out of adab, Prophet Ibrahim did not directly attribute it to Allah by saying that Allah is the one who makes him ill. Rather, with grace and adab, he did not mention and attribute that to Allah.
أَيْنَمَا تَكُونُوا۟ يُدْرِككُّمُ ٱلْمَوْتُ وَلَوْ كُنتُمْ فِى بُرُوجٍۢ مُّشَيَّدَةٍۢ ۗ وَإِن تُصِبْهُمْ حَسَنَةٌۭ يَقُولُوا۟ هَذِهِۦ مِنْ عِندِ ٱللَّهِ ۖ وَإِن تُصِبْهُمْ سَيِّئَةٌۭ يَقُولُوا۟ هَذِهِۦ مِنْ عِندِكَ ۚ قُلْ كُلٌّۭ مِّنْ عِندِ ٱللَّهِ ۖ فَمَالِ هَٓؤُلَآءِ ٱلْقَوْمِ لَا يَكَادُونَ يَفْقَهُونَ حَدِيثًۭا
مَّآ أَصَابَكَ مِنْ حَسَنَةٍۢ فَمِنَ ٱللَّهِ ۖ وَمَآ أَصَابَكَ مِن سَيِّئَةٍۢ فَمِن نَّفْسِكَ ۚ وَأَرْسَلْنَكَ لِلنَّاسِ رَسُولًۭا ۚ وَكَفَىٰ بِٱللَّهِ شَهِيدًۭا
Wherever you may be, death will overtake you, even if you should be within towers of lofty construction. But if good comes to them, they say, "This is from Allah "; and if evil befalls them, they say, "This is from you." Say, "All (things) are from Allah ." So what is (the matter) with those people that they can hardly understand any statement?
What comes to you of good is from Allah , but what comes to you of evil, (O man), is from yourself. And We have sent you, (O Muhammad), to the people as a messenger, and sufficient is Allah as Witness. [Surah an-Nisa, 78-79]
All the disasters and bad that befall a person happen only by the Permission of Allah. He says,
مَآ أَصَابَ مِن مُّصِيبَةٍ إِلَّا بِإِذْنِ ٱللَّهِ ۗ وَمَن يُؤْمِنۢ بِٱللَّهِ يَهْدِ قَلْبَهُۥ ۚ وَٱللَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَىْءٍ عَلِيمٌۭ
No disaster strikes except by permission of Allah . And whoever believes in Allah - He will guide his heart. And Allah is Knowing of all things.[Surah at-Taghabun, 11]
Another important point that needs to be remembered is that there is Divine Wisdom behind everything that Allah does irrespective if that is made clear to us or not. We don’t even have the pixel whereas Allah has the complete picture and more. Allah says,
وَمَا خَلَقْنَا ٱلسَّمَوَتِ وَٱلْأَرْضَ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا لَعِبِينَ
مَا خَلَقْنَهُمَآ إِلَّا بِٱلْحَقِّ وَلَكِنَّ أَكْثَرَهُمْ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ
And We did not create the heavens and earth and that between them in play. We did not create them except in truth, but most of them do not know [Surah ad-Dukhan, 38-39]
Allah is Most Just. So we can define injustice or evil as - to place things at other than their appropriate place. And as the Quran is very clear, Allah is Perfect. Looking at Allah’s Names and Attributes makes it clear that evil, wrong, injustice cannot be attributed to him.
Let's understand this better. Ex: A father willingly carries his own child to a surgeon to perform an open heart surgery. The surgeon has “stabbed and torn open” the child's body. Here, both the father and the surgeon collaborated in doing this “evil”. Everyone with a sound mind knows that this small element of difficulty was undertaken to prevent a greater evil. No sane person will question or deny the father’s and the doctor’s behavior or accuse them of being evil towards the child. The father or the doctor don’t have to explain the surgery to the child before saving his life. Also, out of wisdom, if the father would have told the child all the details of the surgery and how he is to be operated upon, that would have scared and harmed the child even more.
Ex: A person paints the most beautiful painting in the world that is the size of a wall. A person standing right in front of the wall is viewing only that part of the painting that is in front of him that shows the use of dark colors and dark themes. This person has not seen the whole painting and he cannot do so because of his limited capability. He cannot see how certain dark colors were needed to complement and amplify the much larger and brighter theme used across the painting. Would it be right to blame the entire painting just by observing one minute part of it?
If this is the case at the human level, then what about at the level of Divine. Does it make sense for a human being that doesn’t even understand how his own body functions or how his sustenance reaches him, to question the All Knowing, the Most Just, the Most Powerful, the All Wise, the Most Merciful.
C. S. famously said, “A man does not call something crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line.”
Who decides what is good and what is bad? Allah.
Who has the most complete knowledge of any matter from every dimension? Allah.
A major point to highlight here is that of arrogance, ego, and self-amazement that plagues the human mind. We think that because of our advancements and discoveries in modern science, we assume that we can fully understand everything in the universe, determine with absolute certainty what does and does not exist, and subsequently not hesitate to deny there is any wisdom to many of the phenomena around them. Allah doesn’t tell us what we want to know. Allah tells us what we need to know.
Is there something that is pure evil? Imam Ibn al-Qayyim رحمه الله writes, “Evil, as an independent phenomenon whereby no dimension of good is involved, has no existence in this world. There is nothing in our existence that can be called pure evil, because every evil in this world is good from one angle or another. For instance, sickness harms the body from one angle, while from other angles tests patience, evokes resilience, and may even strengthen immunity. Most disliked things are usually this way; never void of some benefit or another for the human being.” [Shifa’ al-‘Alil fi Masa’il]
We need to remember that we do not attribute evil to Allah. The Prophet said: “All good is in Your Hands and evil is not attributable to You.” [Muslim]
All the Actions of Allah are purely good by way of His Attribution to them and their emanating from Him, they have no relation to evil. For He, the Most High, is Most Wise, Most Just, and all His Actions contain Wisdom and Justice. He puts everything in the places suitable for them, as is known to Him, the One free from all imperfections, the Most High. Thus, whatever evil is in the ordainment, it would be from the perspective of its attribution to the slave due to the destruction which might afflict him as a result of what he has earned himself, in just and full measure.
Apparent Evil and Divine Wisdom
If we look at the story of Prophet Musa and Khidr عليه السلام in Surah al-Kahf, it is clear that there are things that only Allah Knows and we cannot comprehend the wisdom and justice behind it a lot of the time. In all the cases that are highlighted below, the reasons were revealed by Allah to Khidr, and not something he merely observed or deduced.
Apparent: Khidr made a hole in the boat of the people that helped them. From what is apparent, Khidr harmed the boat of the very people that helped them
Divine Wisdom: The boat belonged to a group of people who were poor and oppressed. Doesn’t it make the situation worse? No. An evil king was seizing all the boats for himself. By damaging the boat, Khidr actually safeguarded it from being seized by the evil king and helped the poor family from dying out of poverty and hunger.
Apparent: Khidr killed a young boy that they met. From what is apparent, this was cold blooded murder of an innocent soul.
Divine Wisdom: The boy was to grow up to become an oppressive man that would rebel, harm his parents, and make them leave the fold of Islam. Allah informed Khidr of the boy’s state and caused him to know the end of the boy’s affair. With the boy dying young, he would be admitted to Jannah. His parents were also protected and lived life as Muslims and had more children that were good and upon the true religion of Islam.
Apparent: Khidr fixed a wall that was about to collapse in a city whose people had been mean to them and had shut their doors in their faces.
Divine Wisdom: The wall that Khidr fixed belonged to two orphaned boys in the city. Under it was a hidden treasure. If the wall had collapsed, the evil people of the city would have snatched it away from the orphans and left them with nothing as the orphans were still young children. By repairing the wall, Khidr made sure that the property of the orphans was protected till they came of age and decided to do what they wanted with their property.
Just because we don’t understand the wisdom behind it, just like the child doesn’t understand its own father allowing him to be cut open, doesn’t mean that we question or deny Allah. To further understand this, look at this beautiful hadith.
Umar ibn Al-Khattab رضي الله عنه reported: Some prisoners were brought to the Messenger of Allah ﷺ amongst whom there was a woman who was running (searching for her child). When she saw a child among the captives, she took hold of it, pressed it against her chest and nursed it. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, "Do you think this woman would ever throw her child in fire?" We said, "By Allah, she would never throw the child in fire." Thereupon the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, "Verily, Allah is more merciful to His slaves than this woman is to her child". [Bukhari and Muslim]
All the disasters and tribulations that happen on earth, or happen to the individual, or to his wealth or family, etc., were known to Allah before they happened, He has written them in Al-Lawh Al-Mahfoodh (the Preserved Tablet).
مَآ أَصَابَ مِن مُّصِيبَةٍۢ فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ وَلَا فِىٓ أَنفُسِكُمْ إِلَّا فِى كِتَبٍۢ مِّن قَبْلِ أَن نَّبْرَأَهَآ ۚ إِنَّ ذَلِكَ عَلَى ٱللَّهِ يَسِيرٌۭ
“No disaster strikes upon the earth or among yourselves except that it is in a register before We bring it into being — indeed that, for Allah, is easy.” [Surah al-Hadid, 22]
كُلُّ نَفْسٍۢ ذَآئِقَةُ ٱلْمَوْتِ ۗ وَنَبْلُوكُم بِٱلشَّرِّ وَٱلْخَيْرِ فِتْنَةًۭ ۖ وَإِلَيْنَا تُرْجَعُونَ
“Every soul will taste death. And We test you with evil and with good as a trial, then to Us you will all be returned” [Surah al-Anbiya, 35]
أَحَسِبَ ٱلنَّاسُ أَن يُتْرَكُوٓا۟ أَن يَقُولُوٓا۟ ءَامَنَّا وَهُمْ لَا يُفْتَنُونَ
وَلَقَدْ فَتَنَّا ٱلَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ ۖ فَلَيَعْلَمَنَّ ٱللَّهُ ٱلَّذِينَ صَدَقُوا۟ وَلَيَعْلَمَنَّ ٱلْكَذِبِينَ
“Do the people think that they will be left to say, ‘We believe’ and they will not be tried? But We have certainly tried those before them, and Allah will surely make evident those who are truthful, and He will surely make evident the liars” [Surah al-Ankabut, 2-3].
The evil we see in natural disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes, tsunamis, plagues and the like, we know that Allah allowed it to happen for a reason and there is definitely goodness behind it, whether it was observable to us or not. Likewise with the evil perpetrated by human beings. We ought to understand that when Allah created this world, it was not intended to be free from evil. He, the Exalted, declared clearly that this life is full of trials.
A person’s evil actions may harm him and a few around him, but it may benefit others and have an indirect form of good over an extended duration of time that is not visible to us. The end outcome of everything that happens eventually is good irrespective of how bad or evil the original action was. Why? No matter what disasters befall a person, it is good for him, whether he realizes that or not, because Allah does not decree anything but it is good. Also,because it has to be in line with Allah’s Perfect Justice and Wisdom.
قُل لَّن يُصِيبَنَآ إِلَّا مَا كَتَبَ ٱللَّهُ لَنَا هُوَ مَوْلَىٰنَا ۚ وَعَلَى ٱللَّهِ فَلْيَتَوَكَّلِ ٱلْمُؤْمِنُونَ
“Say, “Never will we be struck except by what Allah has decreed for us; He is our protector.” And upon Allah let the believers rely.” [Surah at-Tawbah, 51]
The Messenger of Allāh ﷺ said: “Verily, Allah does not decree anything for the believer except what is good for him.” [Ahmad]
ظَهَرَ ٱلْفَسَادُ فِى ٱلْبَرِّ وَٱلْبَحْرِ بِمَا كَسَبَتْ أَيْدِى ٱلنَّاسِ لِيُذِيقَهُم بَعْضَ ٱلَّذِى عَمِلُوا۟ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْجِعُونَ
Corruption has appeared throughout the land and sea by (reason of) what the hands of people have earned so He may let them taste part of (the consequence of) what they have done that perhaps they will return (to righteousness). [Surah ar-Rum, 41]
Here we see that corruption is an evil that is a product of human action. But in the long run, there is an ultimate good to the corruption that people may return to the right path.
Every disaster happens only by Allah's leave. If He had not willed it, it would not have happened, but Allah permitted it to happen and decreed it, and so it happened and there is always some good in it. Allah says,
مَآ أَصَابَ مِن مُّصِيبَةٍ إِلَّا بِإِذْنِ ٱللَّهِ ۗ وَمَن يُؤْمِنۢ بِٱللَّهِ يَهْدِ قَلْبَهُۥ ۚ وَٱللَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَىْءٍ عَلِيمٌۭ
No disaster strikes except by permission of Allah . And whoever believes in Allah - He will guide his heart. And Allah is Knowing of all things [Surah al-Taghabun, 11]
Imam Ibn Kathir رحمه الله writes - this means that whoever suffered an affliction and knew that it occurred by Allah’s judgment and decree, and he patiently abides, awaiting Allah’s reward, then Allah will guide his heart, and will compensate him for his loss in this life by granting guidance to his heart and certainty in faith. Allah will replace whatever he lost with something similar or something better. [Tafsir Ibn Kathir]
Once a person knows that all calamities happen by the will and decree of Allah, then he has to believe and submit and be patient. The reward for patience is Paradise, as Allah Says: “And will reward them for what they patiently endured [with] a garden [in Paradise] and silk (garments).” [Surah al-Insan, 12]
When people die in a war or a natural disaster, then the one who dies is deemed to be one of three:
First: He is either a devoted righteous person; therefore, this is the most perfect time for him to die. Allah Knows, if he had lived longer he could not have been as good and righteous as when he died. So, Allah wanted him to die in his greatest state of belief. Additionally, any harm, which afflicts him and he bears patience, Allah makes it as an expiation for whatever sins he has committed.
The Prophet ﷺ said: “No calamity befalls a Muslim but that Allah expiates some of his sins because of it, even if it were the prick he receives from a thorn.” [Bukhari]
Second: He could be a Muslim who is indulged in sins and Allah Knows that if he lived longer he could have become more evil. Thus, this is the best time for him to die, in order to meet Allah with lesser sins.
Third: He could be a disbeliever or an evil person and Allah Knows that if he had lived longer, he would not get any better, so his death is a relief for the community from his evil.
All these we have seen in the interaction of Prophet Musa and Khidr mentioned in Surah al-Kahf as highlighted above.
The Prophet ﷺ said, “The example of this worldly life in comparison to the Hereafter is nothing but the example of one of you dipping his finger in the sea; let him see what he brings forth.” [Muslim]
All the suffering that we see around us, disasters, killing of innocent children, and so much more can lead one to claim - “life is unfair”. This is only legitimate if there was no Day of Judgement to bring all the evildoers to account and no Hereafter as a recompense and reward for those that were tested. Indeed Allah is Most Just.
What good is there in the killing of children? We have shown in the story of Khidr how what seemed apparent to us by the cold blooded murder of the child was in reality good for the child as well as the family. Out of the vast ocean of wisdom, another point that could be highlighted on this topic is the hadith where the Prophet ﷺ narrated:
“It will be said to children on the Day of Resurrection: Enter Paradise. They will say: Our Lord, (we can’t) unless our fathers and mothers enter. Allah Almighty will say: Why do I see them hesitant to enter Paradise? They will say: O Lord, our fathers and mothers. Allah will say: Enter Paradise, all of you and your parents. [Ahmad]
The ‘untimely’ and ‘unfair’ death of the child has now become a source of eternal success for not just the child but also its parents.
What is the fate of these children who died? Indeed Allah is Most Just and All Knowing.
Aishah, the Mother of the Believers رضي الله عنها said: The Messenger of Allah ﷺ was invited to a funeral of a child from among the Ansar and I asked: O Messenger of Allah! Give glad tidings for this nightingale among the nightingales of Paradise. He didn’t do any evil nor did it touch him. He replied, “That is not the case, O Aishah. Indeed, Allah created some people for Paradise while they were in the loins of their fathers, and he created some people for the Hell-Fire while they were in the loins of their fathers.” [Muslim]
Allah will not Judge anyone according to His Knowledge of the actions that they would have done in the future before they actually did those deeds. That would be unfair and injustice. Allah gives everyone a fair and just opportunity to act and prove or disprove themselves. As for those that did not get a proper chance in this world, they will be given that chance in the Hereafter and then will be Judged accordingly. As per a long hadith in Bukhari - For the children that died before puberty, irrespective of if they were born to believers or disbelievers, they will be in a temporary garden in the Barzakh. On the Day of Judgement, they will be tested and then accorded their place in either Jannah or Jahannam.
To summarize, we can say that:
- There is no such thing as pure evil.
- Man has complete free will to engage or disengage in evil.
- Understanding evil is necessary for man to protect himself, and recognize and carry out the good that he is commanded to do.
- What we perceive as evil is not necessarily evil in the wrong run.
- Some evil is necessary to humble the creation and help them in recognizing Allah and submitting to Him alone.
- Some evil is necessary to showcase and recognize the huge amount of good.
- Some evil is necessary for people to be tested or shake them awake to the reality of life as a mirage and test.
- Some evil is necessary for people to be cleansed of their sins or elevate their ranking.
- Some evil is necessary to differentiate between the believers and disbeleievrs.
- Understanding the reality and purpose of life and also the importance of the Day of Judgement and the life of the Hereafter clarifies doubts with regards to evil.
Pause. Reflect. Start making a change today. Read about:
- What are the foundations of Islam? What does Allah want from us?
- What is Riba? Get your basic foundations solidified and purify your earnings from any riba money by giving it away in charity.
- What is Zakat? Get your basic foundations solidified and make sure all your due zakat is paid.
- How our transactions are happening and how can we avoid riba in them?
- How are people and countries enslaved by debt and how is this debt even created?
- How is inflation eating up our money and what are Halal options available to invest in?
- Read into the central banking system and how the gold standard was removed.
- Read into Bitcoin as an opportunity to break away from the Riba industry and the opposing dangers of other cryptos and Alt Coins.
As Muslims, a lot of the time we take the concept of riba lightly as compared to other matters like alcohol and meat. It may be because it is not so directly evident in our day-to-day lives even though we are surrounded by it under different names, hidden terminologies, and loophole mechanisms. It should not be treated as a trivial matter. We need to understand and internalise just as we do with Surah al-Fatiha daily - There is zero tolerance for Riba in the Shariah. It is one of the strictest matters addressed. Allah has declared war on nothing else except on Riba.
It reminds me of a funny yet deep advice from one of our teachers on the topic. Sheikh Dr. Shuayb Wani said, "Prohibition has many levels where the severity of some acts is more than others. Ex: If you have ONLY 2 options between choosing to take riba or eat pork: Make Pork Biryani."
When it comes to the doubtful matters we are supposed to ask the scholars. We need to ask the scholars about all that we are setting out to do. If we're doing business or investing in one, consult a scholar about its working and then go forward. We need to be honest and explain everything transparently instead of giving certain points only, just to get the "Shariah-Compliant" tag. If we don't give the complete or true picture and just get the ruling, the scholars would have done their job, and still, at the end of the day, it would still be us getting questioned.
Also, we shouldn't go and ask what is to be done when we have already made a lot of profit and it is filled with Riba and now we want to 'Halalize' it via loopholes. Shariah scholars and boards should not be turned into Chief Loophole Officers. Doing good and earning a lot from many businesses is not wrong. It is very good and something highly recommended as Allah loves the strong believer. Rather it is amassing wealth via the wrong means and businesses that are Haram that is the issue.
Remember! Anything that we earn from the Haram, no matter how big it is; eventually we will lose it without a doubt or it will bring harm. Any transaction that involves riba has barakah removed from it. The one who takes Riba is like one who is at war with Allah and His Messenger. Who can win? No one. If Allah doesn't support us, then Allah will let us destroy ourselves by our own deeds.
I want us to read and reflect on an incident that talks about the dangers of procrastination, getting carried away in luxuries, admitting our own faults, working to rectify it, and mental health.
From the Seerah of the Prophet ﷺ, we learn that during the Battle of Tabuk, 3 men stayed back without a valid excuse. These three were: Ka'b ibn Malik, Murarah ibn al-Raiʿ, and Hilal ibn Umayyah رضي الله عنهم.
As a form of punishment, they were to be boycotted by the community and this would last for 50 days. They would go to the masjid for the daily prayers and to the markets for their work etc and no one would speak or interact with them in any manner. Their own spouses and relatives were also not speaking to them during this period. Some reflections on this event.
1. These men were all honest to the Prophet ﷺ. They admitted their shortcomings and didn't lie to the Prophet ﷺ about why they stayed back. From this, we learn that if we've fallen short, we should acknowledge our mistakes instead of finding excuses, learn from them, and move forward. Lying is never the answer for sooner or later, it just ends up causing more harm.
2. Ka'b ibn Malik was known to be poor and even from the Ahl as-Suffah for most of his life till then. It was at this point, that for the first time, he started to get some money. He now owned 2 camels and had some land. He hesitated leaving all of this behind or got distracted by it. From this, we learn that if we don't understand and fix our relationship with our wealth, it can become a bane for us instead of a boon. It should be the means to an end and not the means in itself.
3. He procrastinated and kept delaying to the point that he missed out on accompanying the Prophet ﷺ and pleasing Allah. From this, we learn the importance of time management and doing things immediately within their time. The opportunity that we miss out on now, might never arise again later. Even 40 years later, when Ka'b is narrating his story to his son, he expresses his regrets of missing out on accompanying the Prophet ﷺ.
4. The last yet most important point that hit me was actually about this boycott or excommunication. If we look at it from today's lens, with situations like 'Work From Home' and being glued to our devices, and add to that sometimes studying and working in foreign lands, we pretty much live a life of self-imposed boycott without realizing it, where we might even go days without talking to anyone physically despite living in a building filled with people or even moving around to commute to our destinations. From this, we can reflect on the importance of social interaction, the importance of being active in congregational salah and circles of knowledge, and also constantly checking up and communicating with friends and family. Many people told us that they didn't learn about riba and zakat. This will help change that. It is next to impossible that a person is active in his community and that he doesn't come across discussions of riba and zakat etc. Make a change today InshaAllah.
We have all come across the famous advice of the Prophet ﷺ to his blessed companion, Abu Bakr: لَا تَحْزَنْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ مَعَنَا - “Do not grieve; indeed Allah is with us,”
We see this plastered all over Instagram and other social media accounts. What would make it even more beautiful is when we see in what conditions it was revealed.
1. Muslims were being persecuted severely just for the sake of being Muslim.
2. An assassination attempt had just been carried out at the house of the Prophet ﷺ, by 11 men from the Quraysh.
3. There were armed blockades at every exit point leading out of Makkah.
4. There was a bounty of 100 camels placed on their heads.
5. Their ration was numbered.
6. Abu Bakr had been stung by a scorpion in the Cave of Thawr.
7. One of the bounty hunters had tracked them and was hot on their trail mere meters away.
These blessed words upon the tongue of the Prophet ﷺ are not just “feel good” words. Rather it is a promise of Allah to all believers as long as they are out there putting in their best efforts and struggling to make a change. The strongest tribe of Arabia couldn't stop 2 men, because Allah was their third. If we put our troubles and worries on the scales against the circumstances of the Hijrah, we get an Iman boost and a sense of confidence that if Allah helped them, then surely our problems are not worth the wing of a fly in comparison. Read the rest of the ayah and rest assured.
إِلَّا تَنصُرُوهُ فَقَدْ نَصَرَهُ اللَّهُ إِذْ أَخْرَجَهُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا ثَانِيَ اثْنَيْنِ إِذْ هُمَا فِي الْغَارِ إِذْ يَقُولُ لِصَاحِبِهِ لَا تَحْزَنْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ مَعَنَا فَأَنزَلَ اللَّهُ سَكِينَتَهُ عَلَيْهِ وَأَيَّدَهُ بِجُنُودٍ لَّمْ تَرَوْهَا وَجَعَلَ كَلِمَةَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا السُّفْلَىٰ وَكَلِمَةُ اللَّهِ هِيَ الْعُلْيَا وَاللَّهُ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ
"If you do not aid the Prophet - Allah has already aided him when those who disbelieved had driven him out [of Makkah] as one of two, when they were in the cave and he said to his companion, “Do not grieve; indeed Allah is with us.” And Allah sent down his tranquillity upon him and supported him with angels you did not see and made the word of those who disbelieved the lowest, while the word of Allah - that is the highest. And Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise." [Surah at-Tawbah, 40]
Likewise in Badr where a mere 313 ill-equipped Muslims took on and defeated a strong 1000 from the opposing Quraysh. The pagans of Quraysh, once revered as the elites among the Arabs, suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of what was dismissed as a small band of renegades.
Numbers have hardly ever been on Muslim sides except in a few cases. This shows us that it's more about the quality rather than quantity. The reason such small numbers could take on and emerge victorious against impossible numbers of the opposition was tawakkul.
Complete faith in the promise of Allah, utmost sincerity of intention, and more importantly following the commandments of the Prophet ﷺ without any question. They coupled that with harakah to get barakah because we are taught to tie the camel before we leave things to Allah.
Contrast that to what we are today - large in numbers but hardly any quality, looking for loopholes to get around our obligations. Our teacher, Sheikh Dr Sajid Umar حفظه الله advises us that even today, yes even today if we are sincere in our intention and completely rely upon the aid of Allah alone and put in the work, Allah out of his immense Mercy will send down angels to help us in our difficulties. Keep going strong and “Do not grieve; indeed Allah is with us.”
Sheikh Safiur Rahman Mubarakpuri رحمه الله records the dua the Prophet ﷺ made in Taif after losing his closest family members, finding a place of refuge away from Makkah, being pelted with stones by the people of Taif, and having his message rejected. He said,
اَللُّهُمَّ اِلَيْكَ اَشْكُوْ ضَعْفَ قُوَّتِي، وَقِلَّةَ حِيْلَتِيْ وَهَوَانِيْ عَلَى النَّاسِ يَا اَرْحَمَ الرَّاحِمِيْنَ، اَنْتَ رَبُّ الْمُسْتَضْعَفِيْنَ، وَاَنْتَ رَبِّي، اِلَى مَنْ تَكِلُّنِيْ اِلَى بَعِيْدٍ يَتَجَهَّمُنِيْ ؟ اَوْ اِلَى عَدُوٍّ مَلَكْتَهُ اَمْرِيْ ؟ اِنْ لَمْ يَكُنْ بِكَ غَضَبٌ عَلَيَّ فَلاَ اُبَالِيْ وَلَكِنْ عَافِيَتَكَ هِيَ اَوْسَعُ لِيْ، أَعُوْذُ بِنُوْرِوَجْهِكَ الَّذِيْ اَشْرَقَتْ بِهِ الظُّلُمَاتُ، وَصَلُحَ عَلَيْهِ اَمْرُ الدُّنْيَا وَاْلاَخِرَةِ مِنْ اَنْ تُنَزِّلَ بِي غَضَبُكَ اَوْ تَحُلُّ بِي سَخَطُكَ، لَكَ الْعَتْبَي حَتَّى تَرْضَي، وَلاَ حَوْلَ وَلاَ قُوَّةَ اِلاَّبِكَ
O Allah! I complain to you of my weakness, my scarcity of resources and humiliation before the people. O Most Merciful! The Lord of the weak and my Lord too! To whom have You entrusted me? To one who does not care for me? Or have You appointed my enemy as master of my affairs? So as long as You are not angry with me, I care not. Your favor is abundant for me. I seek refuge in the light of Your Face, by which all darkness is dispelled and every affair of this world and the next is set right, lest Your anger or your displeasure descend upon me. I desire your pleasure and satisfaction until You are pleased. There is no power (to do good) and no might (to refrain from evil) except with You. [Ar-Raheeq al-Makhtum]
Ya Rabb! Our words don't match our actions and both seem to be worthless at this time. We raise our hands to You Alone since nobody else can, could or will aid us. The future of this Ummah is being killed right before our eyes, yet not a strand of hair is being moved. The men have passed away and just the males remain.
Dua has, is and will remain the most powerful weapon we as Muslims ever use.
Our Lord is the same Lord who helped Musa when Pharaoh loomed at the back with his army and the Red Sea in the front - all hope lost. Meanwhile try and do whatever you can, no matter how small it is. It's the small stones that start an avalanche.
Wallahi It is at times like these that you really appreciate Allah. The fact that Allah is The Most Just, The King of Kings. These "Rulers", "Kings" and their cronies think they can do whatever they like and can get away with anything they like but the King of Kings shall take them to account for every drop they've shed.
May Allah take to task the Pharaohs and their allies.