Patient: The Ummah. Diagnosis: Attention Deficit Disorder

medicineIt’s a sad reality that as an Ummah, we suffer from a severe case of attention deficit disorder – metaphorically speaking, that is. We have incredibly short attention spans, re-programmed to move on from one heartrending crisis to another. Somalia, Darfur, Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq… a great calamity occurs, and we respond with tears and prayers and cries of grief, and then something else happens and we gradually forget about it and move onto the next worry.

Think about it – how many weeks ago did the Gaza crisis occur? Yet how quickly has it faded from our minds? It saddens me to know that we are so easily swayed, so swiftly distracted.

However, there’s something I learned from the Gaza Crisis and how we reacted to it. WalAhamdulillaah, many of us were reminded that the evil that befalls us is only what we have earned with our own hands, and we responded accordingly. We woke up for qiyaam al-layl, we fasted Mondays and Thursdays, we renewed our sincerity and strengthened our emaan and perfected our ‘ebaadah.

So when we see how forgot about Palestine, when the urgency of the situation faded from our minds to just another fuzzy memory, and we moved onto something else… it’s sad. It’s tragic, actually. At the same time, however, I realize that this is part of human nature: we are forgetful. We have a bad case of collective memory loss. The story of the people of Egypt and the plagues demonstrates this more clearly than anything else – how many times did Musa (‘alayhis-salaam) warn them? How many times were they punished, with locusts and lice, frogs and blood? Each time, they felt fear and turned towards the Messenger of Allah beseechingly; each time they were relieved of the torment they went back to their old ways.

Mind you, this isn’t an acceptable excuse. Rather, it is something which we must learn to change. It’s time that we take heed from the warnings of the Qur’an, from the stories of the past, and the continued tribulations of our present. It is time that we retain the lessons that we learned so painfully during the Ghazzah massacre, and apply them to whichever drama comes to our attention next. Whether it’s Iraq and Afghanistan again, or (laa samahAllah) a new country and a new disaster, maybe we’ll remember again that this is all our fault and that it’s up to us to work hard to deserve better.

Imagine how amazing it would be if we could all remember that for every disaster that befalls us, we are to blame as individuals, and if the anger and guilt we feel at every injustice was constantly channeled to the right outlet: our emaan and ‘ebaadah.

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SubhanAllah, will Allah ever ignore the deeds of His sincere believing slaves? Will He ever turn away from the sincere repentance of one, of tens, of hundreds, of thousands of believing souls? Will He leave the people who strive to change the situations of their souls? Laa wAllah! Indeed, He has promised us the very opposite, and the promise of Allah is truer than anything else.


And have patience, for verily Allah does not waste the reward of the Muhsineen! (Surah Hood, aayah 115)

So will YOU seek the cure to your spiritual illness? Will you take the divine prescription, that is guaranteed to strengthen you as no antibiotic or steroid ever could?

Patient: The Ummah

Diagnosis: Attention Deficit Disorder


  • Contemplation, remembrance, and reflection: Every day, during any spare minute. Don’t be hasty; allow time for true comprehension and understanding.
  • Tawbah (Repentance): Prepare with sincerity and humility. Flavour with tears. Best taken in the last third of the night, along with qiyaam al-layl.
  • ‘Ebaadah (Worship): Salaah, 5 times a day, every day (minimum). Increase sweetness with sunan and nawaafil. Fast Mondays and Thursdays for strengthened dosage and increased effectiveness.

Review prescription regularly. Adjust incrementally to strengthen immunity against diseases of the heart. Take for life!

10 / View Comments

10 responses to “Patient: The Ummah. Diagnosis: Attention Deficit Disorder”

  1. anon says:

    well human in arabic is insaan ….. insaan is derive dfrom the root word ins…meaning “forget”……the first mistake in thsi duniya was when Adam(a.s) “forgot” what Allah (swt) told him about the tree……about its cure….that is teh remedy for it……..”astaghfar”

  2. bismillah was salamu alaykum. the example of qawmi Musa is also enlightening for another reason — remember the refusal of the people to enter Palestine? they were willing to seek protection from Allah against Pharoah, rizq from Allah when they were hungry and thirsty, but these same people were repeatedly weak in faith, desired an idol when the Samaritan offered it, and refused the call of Allah when fear of men overcame them.

    any time we see a similarity between us and them in their weaknesses, we should seek Allah’s Forgiveness, and repent to Him.

    may Allah forgive us for our mistakes and excesses, including our excessive forgetfulness. may He keep the hearts and minds of the ummah focused on accomplishing changes that benefit all Muslims.

    if you are in NY today, here’s why you should be present at your sister Aafia’s hearing.

  3. muslimah says:

    wallahee i didnt forget gaza! not trying to boast, but that genocide was a real wake up call for me! i remember those images of our brothers and sisters in palestine every day..may Allah cause our ummah to wake up..

  4. Mostafa A. says:

    As Salaamu Alykum,

    Good post. You should’ve also mentioned how the uprising for Ghaza had a lot to do with nationalism. What about Somalia, Afghanistan, and Pakistan? Personally, whenever I went to a demonstration and a fellow Muslim spoke, they never mentioned that they were in sorrow for the sake of Islam. Rather, they were hurt because it was their fellow Arab, or fellow Palestinean. Some brothers had the nerve to answer, when conftronted with this issue of nationalism transpiring during this crisis, that I simply couldnt understand. Why? “Because your not Arab!” Alhamdulilah, I’m very glad that Muslims’ stood up and raised their voice during this genocide that these zionist commenced, but I think we should express the same loud voice EVERY time a Muslim is hurt, or in danger, whether it be Palestine, Afghanistan, Somalia, or even Canada.

  5. usman says:

    salaam, nice post, i like what you said about increasing our ibadah and how that is tied to our collective awareness as an ummah. Sometimes i really forget the importance and need of simple worship while we are too caught up in gaining knowledge. I know knowledge is suppose to make your worship better…but at times we all get tired…So nice reminder. jazakhallah khair

  6. ALGEBRA says:


  7. Faiez says:

    If they have attention deficit disorder, they’re probably not gonna read this article either :D

  8. Dawud Israel says:

    ^Sad, but true point Faiez. :(

    Good article, Anonymouse.
    It’s quite true, but I think you are wrong about Gaza, since some are still making qiyaam for Gaza.

  9. If they have attention deficit disorder, they’re probably not gonna read this article either

    No, they’ll start to read it, but then quickly switch to email, then the next article, then…


  10. Umm Jaabir says:

    prescription=jihad fee sabilillah

    Abdullah ibn Umar narrated the messenger(saaws) said:
    ‘when you indulge in iyna,follow the tails of the cows,become busy in cultivation,and leave JIHAD FEE SABILILLAH,Allah will send upon you dhool(humiliation),which you will not be able to remove until you return back to your deen.”(Musnad Ahmad,Sunan Abu Dawud,Sahih)

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