We are all aware of the emphasis on brotherhood and unity in Islam. When you take a closer look at the Verses and Ahadith on the subject, there is an interesting point. Unity, brotherhood, and our compassion for our fellow Muslims are correlated to our Iman.
The Prophet (pbuh) said, “None of you truly believes till he loves for his brother that which he loves for himself.”
“The Muslim is one from whose tongue and hand the Muslims are safe.”
“He is not a believer, who goes to bed full, knowing that his neighbor is hungry.”
My treatment of others is a reflection of my Iman. My distress at the suffering of Muslims is an indication of the condition of my Iman. This is critical for us to understand not only in terms of our collective efforts to unify the Ummah, but also in our individual efforts to please Allah.
Now with more than 900 Muslims dead, almost 300 of them children and 100 women and over 4000 people injured, the question we all have to ask ourselves is:
What did I do about this and how did this impact me?
The Quran tells us that the believers are brothers, so if my own brother had been killed or severely injured, how would I react? What would I be willing to spend for his medical care? Would I be able to sleep peacefully at night if the lives of my family members were in danger? Could I comfortably eat to my fill knowing that my own children are starving?
Well, what if I could? Then how would you describe me? Cruel. Heartless. Inhuman. One thing’s for sure, it’s definitely not the behavior of a believer.
Now going back to the issue at hand, it’s been over 2 weeks since the suffering and persecution of our brothers and sisters began. What have I done? How has it impacted me? What changes have come about in my life due to it?
These are very important questions that we have to ask ourselves. Our Iman depends on it. Our position in the eyes of Allah hinges on it. Our relation to the Prophet (pbuh) on the Day of Judgment will be determined by it.
What can we practically do in our situation?
We can financially contribute. But let’s be honest and realistic about this. How much can we really contribute? What can I truly and sincerely afford to give? To answer this we’ll have to ask ourselves a few more questions:
What is my need and necessity? What are the luxuries I enjoy? What luxuries do I incorrectly consider my needs?
If you’re honest and truthful, then the answer will hurt. Let me explain. That 2004 Honda Accord you drive can be called a need, but the 2009 Acura TL (with leather, DVD, built-in Navigation system, etc) that you’ve been eyeing is most definitely a luxury. Now if we starting taking that type of a look at our lifestyles, then how much could we really and truly be doing? Remember that wealth and luxuries will not only be worthless in the Hereafter, but can be become a burden. Even in this life, wealth doesn’t bring happiness. Just ask one of the wealthiest men in Europe, Adolf Merckle, who threw himself in front of a train because of losing money in the recent financial crisis.
The next thing is Dua. The importance and effectiveness of making Dua and asking Allah for his help is also known to everyone, and has been mentioned in other articles here. Have we taken full advantage of this powerful tool? I’ll go back to the original premise, if my own brother was sick or the lives of my own children were in danger, I would be up all night praying and crying before Allah, asking for his help and mercy. But how many times since this tragedy started did I wake up in the night and make Dua and beg Allah to shower his help and mercy upon the innocent people suffering?
So let’s start taking action for their sake and ours.