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Slavery: A Past and Present Tragedy | Video by Imam Omar Suleiman

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Recent headlines about Islam and slavery have shaken many. Bayyinah TV hosted a webinar exploring the past and present manifestations of slavery, and how Islam and other religions viewed it. A brutally honest program that discussed this topic in great depth. Video starts at 29:20.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pR50Lw_16zo[/youtube]

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Tweets complied by Arif Kabir on Saturday, October 3, 2015

22 Comments

22 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Sarah

    October 5, 2015 at 8:25 AM

    I’m surprised at Umer Suleiman for covering up the history of how slavery was used and abused in the Muslim world. The people listening to this seminar are not fools – it’s academically dishonest to imply that Imam Shafi3i was talking about consent in your quote of him. He was specifically talking about if a foreign man forces himself on someone else’s slave woman. The traditional scholars did not conceive of a slave woman’s consent to sex from her owner, since her body was already considered owned by him, and it is arguable that the Sahaba did not do so as well – since I doubt that women whose families had just been killed would be jumping into willing sexual relationships with their captors, and since the Sahaba take for granted the idea that they have access ti women’s bodies. The concept of having to wait a mourning period to have sex with concubines is not what the Sahaba practiced, as can be seen in the various ahadith and incidents where they approached a slave woman immediately after bringing her home from capture. And finally, even the assertion that slavery in the Muslim world was not race based is untrue – there were many instances of deep racism that was justified via citing the Biblical texts (israeeliyat).

    This seminar, whilst reassuring us as to how abolition is Islamic, basically fails to address the real question, which is that of consent. Anyone with half a brain realizes that this is the real issue for any listener, since it leaves no distinction between concubinage and rape. And yet it seems that we would rather comfort ourselves than face the bald facts – which is deeply hypocritical.

    • Avatar

      Zeemar

      October 8, 2015 at 12:52 PM

      Please provide textual quotes with references for everything you’ve claimed above. Currently, it all just smells of BS.

      • Avatar

        Jasha

        October 11, 2015 at 2:07 AM

        Hi Zeemar,

        Koran 4:24: “Also (prohibited are) women already married, except those whom your right hands possess…”

        Muslim 3433: “Abu Sa’id al-Khudri (Allah be pleased with him) reported that Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him) sent a small army. The rest of the hadith is the same except this that he said: Except what your right hands possessout of them are lawful for you; and he did not mention” when their ‘idda period comes to an end…They took captives (women) on the day of Autas who had their husbands. They were afraid (to have sexual intercourse with them) when this verse was revealed:” And women already married except those whom you right hands possess” .

        Muslim 4345: “I drove them along until I brought them to Abu Bakr who bestowed that girl upon me as a prize. So we arrived in Medina. I had not yet disrobed her when the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) met me in the street and said: “Give me that girl.”

        Much more evidence is being added on the Youtube video comments.

      • Avatar

        Rahin Omar

        July 29, 2016 at 2:46 PM

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        Truth has come

        August 3, 2016 at 2:50 AM

        Alsalamu alaykom.
        Moderators please remove the link comment above me as it is blatant falsehood. As for the refutation of all the comments above me:

        1)
        https://discover-the-truth.com/2016/06/23/what-happened-to-the-captive-women-in-awtas-incident/

        2)
        https://discover-the-truth.com/2016/07/26/surah-949-and-the-blonde-women/

        {And Say: “The truth has come and falsehood has perished. Falsehood is always bound to perish!”} (Quran 17:81)

    • Avatar

      Truth has come

      August 3, 2016 at 8:07 AM

      Assalamu alaykum :)

      It cannot be helped but to notice your post being indicative as to how you approached the webinar, which is too biased to say the least, sister. Moreover you have stated clear falsehood regarding the Sahaba as the Hadith(s) you are referring to have all been famously misinterpreted by Islamophobes to support perverted agendas that holds no water. There are multiple sites that address the hadiths in truth such as: https://discover-the-truth.com/2016/06/23/what-happened-to-the-captive-women-in-awtas-incident/

      Umar Suleiman provided many evidences from various angles that rape is Haram whether to a free person or a slave and you are stuck with his quote of Imam Shafi3i? And in addition jumping immediately to the conclusion of calling him academically dishonest? That is too biased, dear sister. Have a bit of good thann (assumption) of others.

      In any case, he replied to your Shafi3i point and more in the followup QA video he made: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=4sVo_-j2THE

      Anyways I took the time to correct you.

      How many hadiths or even possibly 1 hadith (for the clean-minded) closes the entire case yet Islamophobes go to great extents to lie just to try and prove their twisted agendas while ignoring the ocean of authentic proofs that easily refute them. Truly deeply hypocritical, yet they love to “comfort” themselves by self-delusion.

      Here’s a few and I only kindly ask to sit & ponder on each point and not simply read:

      1)
      The Islamic principle in which the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

      “There should be no harming or reciprocating harm.” 

      2)
      one of his last words and advices:

      “The prayer, the prayer! And fear Allaah with regard to those whom your right hands possess. ”
      emphasising the importance of taking care of slaves.

      3)
      In Islam, a mere slap to the slave equals the slave to be freed.

      Narrated Suwaid bin Muqarrin Al-Muzani:
      “We were seven brothers without a servant except one, and ONE OF US SLAPPED her, so THE PROPHET ORDERED US TO FREE HER.”
      (Jami` at-Tirmidhi volume 3, Book 18, Hadith 1542) 

      If a mere slap was prohibited and the captive was set free, then by default rape which is a much bigger crime is Haram (forbidden in Islam).

      4)
      Let us look at how Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him dealt with the rapists:

      Narrated Wa’il ibn Hujr:

      “When a woman went out in the time of the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) for prayer, a man attacked her and overpowered (raped) her.  She shouted and he went off, and when a man came by, she said: That (man) did such and such to me. And when a company of the Emigrants came by, she said: That man did such and such to me. They went and seized the man whom they thought had had intercourse with her and brought him to her.

      She said: Yes, this is he. Then they brought him to the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him).  When he (the Prophet) was about to pass sentence, the man who (actually) had assaulted her stood up and said: Apostle of Allah, I am the man who did it to her.

      He (the Prophet) said to the woman: Go away, for Allah has forgiven you.  And about the man who had intercourse with her, he said: Stone him to death

      He also said: He has repented to such an extent that if the people of Medina had repented similarly, it would have been accepted from them. 
      (Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 38, Number 4366)

      5)
      this would go on forever however I’ll end with this as it’d be an article if I continued posting the endless ocean of proofs.

      This is my favorite to be honest:

      There is a whole chapter in Saheeh Muslim called:

      “(18) Chapter: His Compassion Towards Women And His Command To Treat Them Kindly”

      In this chapter there is only 1 hadith which has different wordings.

      The Hadith is as follows:

      Anas b. Malik reported that Umm Sulaim was with the wives of Allah’s Apostle (ﷺ) and a camel-driver had been driving (the camels) oil which they were riding. Thereupon Allah’s Apostle (ﷺ) said:

      “Anjasha, drive slowly, for you are carrying (on the camels) vessels of glass.” Saheeh Muslim 2323

      Do you know what the Prophet (peace be upon him) meant by vessels of glass?

      He meant women, as they are delicate and must be taken care of gently. If we were to ponder on this hadith alone, it’s sufficient as evidence.

      And that’s why the chapter is named so beautifully.

      Anyone with a clean and sane mind would already come to the conclusion that rape is unacceptable in Islam to a free or a slave by just reading any one of those hadiths.

      Each and every hadith above is sufficient on its own if given proper insight and pondering.

      Moreover, any person who reads the seerah (biography) of the Prophet ( peace be upon him ) would reject such perverted accusations and see them for what they really are: baseless lies.

      No man can ever be equal in righteousness of the Prophet ( peace be upon him ) as he have reached the epitome of all praised & noble qualities, even unbiased non-Muslim historians and great thinkers affirm this.

      Lastly, Islamic morality by its very nature does not allow any immoral & wicked acts in any way shape or form.

      Hope this helps sister :)

      May Allah guide us all to see what is truth as truth and see what is case hood as falsehood.

      {And Say: “The truth has come and falsehood has perished. Falsehood is always bound to perish!”} (Quran 17:81)

  2. Avatar

    Spirituality

    October 5, 2015 at 10:52 AM

    Is it just Imam Shafii who says consent is required or is there ijmaa (consensus) on this issue?

  3. Avatar

    saqib

    October 6, 2015 at 3:37 AM

    Islam introduced the concept of no slavery in such a manner that that one one was in loss.
    1- freedom of slaves in the form of fine, Quran readers know well that there is fine of freedom of slaves if someone fails to abide by his outh (Qasam), breaking Fast , Zahaar ,
    2- Quran ordered his followers to make a written agreements with their slaves to earn agreed amount and give it to his/her owner .
    3- Slave Deserves first all of the compulsory spending ( Zakat , Khums ) and optional spending.
    History lovers tell the stories of slaves while if you use your common sense you can understand that no slave can exist after the order of written agreement.
    4- Allah closed the door of future slaves by saying that prisoners should be free after receiving some compensation amount and if u like you may show generosity and free the slaves without any reward. ( Allah will reward you on Judgement day )

  4. Avatar

    sara

    October 10, 2015 at 6:18 AM

    Islam condemns slavery. There are rules and regulations, circumstances the matter of Captives and slavery in Islam
    Here look at this video, it briefly covers the whole topic, I was surprised and very content to find this video.
    watch “The Captives and Slaves in Islam” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GWUwFUhsFvE&index=21&list=PLuItTHxlUy9lAWoRu_ObTF7WCLVHG4mii

    • Avatar

      Peter

      October 22, 2015 at 10:23 AM

      It does not condemn slavery, it regulates it.

      If it condemned slavery, it would say owning slaves, any slaves is evil. The old testament of the Bible does not condemn slavery either. The lack of true condemnation of something so obviously immoral, are holes in both books.

      In the matters of some basic human rights, there is no shades of grey. Slavery is one of those issues.
      Under modern laws, we do not view slavery in any form legal or moral. The ownership of one human by another is abhorrent. Slavery is one matter that unfortunately, books and values of the past were slaves to the social environments that they emerged from, and have left an immoral legacy.

      • Avatar

        saqib

        February 3, 2016 at 5:02 AM

        Quran ordered his followers to make a written agreements with their slaves to earn agreed amount and give it to his/her owner . After paying the agreed amount slaves were free

        • Avatar

          Peter

          February 3, 2016 at 6:42 AM

          What you posted is true, and it is regulating slavery, not condemning it.

          It is like telling people a nice way to rob someone, or a nice way to murder someone.

          By today’s standards, it does not measure up.

      • Avatar

        saqib

        February 4, 2016 at 3:25 AM

        this order was for the slaves which were already present, for new prisoners Quran ordered ” either release war prisoners by taking some money or free them in the way of God ”
        so Islam was the first religion which condemns slavery. The concept of making new slaves has no room in Islam

  5. Avatar

    Bob

    October 10, 2015 at 3:35 PM

    It is easy to find passages in the Koran which appear to promote or at least accept sexual slavery; see below: (“those whom thy right hand possesses” is an expression for slavery)

    Koran 33.50
    O Prophet! We have made lawful to thee thy wives to whom thou hast paid their dowers; and those whom thy right hand possesses out of the prisoners of war whom Allah has assigned to thee; …

    Koran 23.5 – 6
    (The believers) Who abstain from sex,
    Except with those joined to them in the marriage bond, or (the captives) whom their right hands possess,- for (in their case) they are free from blame,

    These references should come as no surprise since slavery was a rather common institution at the time.

  6. Avatar

    Ali ibn Abdullah

    October 22, 2015 at 5:12 PM

    My previous posts supporting Islam are removed and yet anti-Islamic posts remain. It seems this website may be disingenuous; my comments could not be disproven in an academic discussion but were simply deleted; censorship for no good reason is oppressive and differences in opinion and dialogue are healthy. In the hope that some administrators are actually pro-Islam, pro-freedom and have a conscience, I will address the disbeliever’s comments, just in case they are genuinely interested or God forbid they succeed in harming the faith of other Muslims with their posts. If the administrators wish to delete this first paragraph they are welcome but please ask yourselves why my comments were deleted and perhaps re-examine your motivation for working here; it doesn’t seem to be for the sake of Allah (Azza wa Jall) and if my guess is correct, then you are choosing a hapless journey’s end. This will be my last attempt to post here since encouraging liberty and freedom from economic slavery (usury and ribba) is not something that Shaytan, or you guys, can tolerate.

    Allah (swt) did not just free slaves immediately – this would be cruel and heartless because where could they go and how could they live? Slaves had no land or home of their own, no income and no local family because often their homelands were far away and their environment was new to them. It is unlikely they would find employment because of asabiyyah (prejudice, racism). If the slaves were suddenly set free and dumped on the streets they may either starve or resort to crime.

    The wisdom of Islam is sublime genius in every way – no human could have figured out how best to deal with this awful situation. Allah (swt) eradicated slavery by forbidding the collecting of innocent humans to be used as slaves and by forbidding the selling and purchasing of such slaves. For those who were already ‘owned’, He (swt) made the slave-owners responsible for them in every way with numerous conditions; that the master must be fair and just and honour and respect his slave. He cannot beat or rape the slave. The slave has the right to demand a salary and to build up their savings. The slave must eat the same food as his master. The master must provide everything for a comfortable and fulfilling life, including and especially an education (in America 1200 years later, if a slave even knew the letter ‘A’ their master might cut off their fingers).

    It is a little more complicated than this and I suggest further research but Islam made it so much of a burden to keep the slaves that existed prior to Islam, and eventually they could afford to free themselves gently so that they are fully independent and so no harm should come to them during their transition to liberty.

    In Islam, the only legitimate slaves now are prisoners of war; the enemy who aggresses against the Muslims because of their faith, and is then defeated, loses some of their rights (other religions or cultures might kill them or imprison them in harsh conditions). Muslims are not permitted to harm their prisoners and they must be treated with dignity (unlike what happens at Guantanamo). It is necessary to try and prevent the enemy soldiers and their families from later regrouping their army and repeating their attacks so by making them slaves and limiting their ability to gather military equipment or to pay for another army, both sides can avoid further violence and losses. The beauty of this is not only for the safety of the Muslims but also for the souls of the enemy soldiers who will be educated and introduced to the Holy Teachings of Islam and Muslim life. Often the slaves would convert or at least have a better understanding of our faith so that further hostilities would be less likely.

    The enemies who brought their women with them while invading the Muslims, and were defeated in battle, were taken as slaves for reasons I described above and so that they would be cared for properly in the event of them being widowed or destitute. The “…right hand…” translation is likely wrong in many translations and it is more likely to be “whom your oaths possess”, possibly meaning that you must marry them before conceiving children (confirmed by An-Nisaa 4:3 and 24:33). Islam gives slaves more rights than free souls and among these rights is that the female slaves may associate in the presence of their male owners without a chaperone (Islam forbids free association between genders who are not closely related / married). It would not be fair to deny these women intimacy or children so Allah (swt) also permits them to be married if they both wish – that is why they are mentioned right next to the wives in both these verses.

    This is not sexual slavery; rape is always a mortal sin with severe punishments for those who don’t repent and these verses in no way condone such horrible violence. The verse I mentioned above (Al-Noor:33) is perfectly specific;
    “… As for those who seek an emancipation deal from among your slaves, make such a deal with them if you know any good in them, and give them out of the wealth of Allah which He has given you. Do not compel your female slaves to prostitution when they desire to be chaste, seeking the transitory wares of the life of this world.”

    If you are Christians then you are aware that the second wife of the prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) was a slave called Hagar [Hajar in Arabic] (see Genesis 16:1). She is greatly revered in Islam and was the mother of prophet Ishmael (pbuh).

    The most awesome nail in the coffin of slavery is the system of Islamic penalties; for example, if I break my fast even once during the days of Ramadan, one penalty for this transgression is that I must free a slave. There were many good reasons and rewards for conscientiously freeing slaves and in this way, it wasn’t long before slavery was almost unknown among sincere Muslims, without them ending up on the streets or in jails. If only the west employed this same wisdom, the plight of the freed slaves would not have been so awful. Even now we are still suffering for those transgressions.

    Islam certainly provides the most elegant way of dealing with the abomination of traditional slavery.

    • Avatar

      Peter

      October 22, 2015 at 7:56 PM

      Sorry, you claims have no basis in fact.

      To say that to release slaves is cruel defies belief. The USA released its slaves, they passed laws that slavery is illegal, Europe stopped slavery by saying you cannot own another humans, that stopped slavery in Europe.

      So you claim is illogical.

      Your claim Islam forbade slavery is equally has no basis in fact, as the last countries to outlaw slavery, we all Muslim majority countries. Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states all only made slavery Illegal in 1963. That only happened because the USA forced them to make slavery illegal.

      So again your claims are not only completely wrong, but total fabrications.

      Your obvious lies and dishonesty, are a far great threat to the faith of Muslims, than anything I, or any other non Muslim here could post.

      The reason is, you draw attention to the negative actions of the followers of Islam, a side that the followers of all other religions hold too, and try and justify them. That is very wrong.

      • Avatar

        Ali ibn Abdullah

        October 24, 2015 at 10:02 AM

        Dear Peter, It is rather bad form not to include proof when making allegations of dishonesty and lies. In a civilised academic debate, such claims are redundant because the evidence itself supplants any need for disparaging statements.

        Do you expect anyone to believe that you inadvertently failed to understand the rest of the sentence and two further paragraphs where I clearly described why it is cruel to abandon a freed slave to die of starvation? Surely you are making mischief with your straw-man. A goal of Islam is to free slaves but practicality requires some vital preparations so that they survive to enjoy their freedom and live harmoniously with dignity.

        The west eventually began addressing slavery some twelve-hundred years after Islam but unfortunately, their method; that of ‘legislation’ which violently enforced the notion that all slaves must be freed immediately, was proven to be jejune and disastrous. The recent book “Sick From Freedom” by historian Jim Downs is an examination of the tragic reality of emancipation in America. His research reveals that about a quarter of the four million freed slaves either died or suffered from illness between 1862 and 1870. He states that this shameful episode was; “the largest biological crisis of the 19th century”.

        Divine guidance from Allah (swt) is always superior to human impulsiveness; in-spite of the haste to do good immediately, you and the oligarchy of the time did not foresee even the short-term grim results of this sophomoric [non]strategy. Many had to turn to crime or live as scavengers just to survive; this caused wider acceptance of racist lies such as the ‘incivility’ of freed slaves. The shadow of slavery continued with a vengeance because the essence of it still existed, and even increased, in the hearts and minds of their oppressors. The repeal of the Jim Crow laws is well documented but the oppression didn’t end in 1965; it didn’t end at all.

        Modern demographics show a disproportionally high percentage of African-Americans in jail; in 2009, U.S. Department of Justice revealed that they account for approximately 12-13% of the American population but they make up 60% of the male inmates. It is obvious to me that this is a direct result of slavery followed by decades of oppression and racist attitudes that persist until today. When all of humanity voluntarily ensures oppressed minorities have sufficient opportunity to live and thrive as equals, only then will the deep festering wound of slavery have a chance to finally heal.

        Next in your comment you condemn the Holy Teachings of Islam based upon the abysmal standards of a tyrannical self-appointed monarchy (the despotic Saud family). The Quran rejects humans fabricating their own ‘authority’ (no ‘divine right of politicians’); these insane ideas have no basis in religion or logic. Nimrod was the first pompous narcissist to crown himself ‘king’ and Allah (swt) protected Abraham (as) against his tyranny until He (swt) ended the life of Nimrod via a humble mosquito. Following a leader should be a voluntary arrangement; no one has the right to violently raise themselves, as kings, presidents or prime ministers (Al-Hujurat 49:13). This coercive rule that we are conditioned to accept is bogus. Only the prophets (as) and divinely appointed Imams (as) have been given authority and even they never transgress the natural law of Allah (swt) by claiming immunity to morality (as every coercive ‘ruler’ and ‘government’ does). Islam is a way of life that forbids violent domination by parasitic ‘ruling classes’. The allegiance of a Muslim is only to Allah (swt), His Messenger (saawa) and those he appoints. Presently in the dunya, only the Imam Mahdi (as) is qualified to lead because his purity cannot be corrupted by his position of authority.

        Your theory that all Muslims must be infallible or else their shortfalls indicate flaws in the Holy Teachings is bizarre. Christianity is never subjected to this absurd non-sequitur. It is a complement to the Noble Quran that in order to fault Islam, you can only resort to crude fallacies.

        Here is just a brief modicum of the extensive proof that slavery is forbidden in Islam: 2:256; “There shall be no compulsion in religion…” The Arabic word used for religion is ‘Deen’ which means the entire lifestyle described for Muslims. In An-Nisaa (4:29), mutually consenting trade is insisted upon (voluntaryism / mutualism in a free market – no slave-trade). 2:190 and 42:42 forbids any acts of aggression and there are countless teachings regarding standing for justice (4:135) and forbidding oppression (5:2). Islam is a clearly a ‘voluntaryist’ deen; our ‘golden rule’ is “love for your brother what you love for yourself” (Hadith 13 Bukhari & Muslim).

        Allah (swt) addressed the entrenched sin of enslaving innocents by changing hearts and that is key for effective and permanent change; this was absent in the American ’emancipation’. The first ever Muezzin (a great honour) was a freed slave of African ethnicity; all Muslims know the name Bilal and love and respect him deeply. Even a mustard seed of asabiyyah (prejudice or tribalism) will prevent the afflicted from reaching paradise. It was not accidental that the Farewell Sermon emphasised those teachings which outlaw the enslavement of innocents, oppression and inequality and I wish you would at least read this short sermon before commenting again; it beautifully précis Islam in a nutshell. It also obliterates your claims.

    • Avatar

      Halima

      October 23, 2015 at 4:41 AM

      Jazaak Allahu Gayran for your contribution to this discussion! I absolutely agree with your arguments.

      Slavery wasn’t prohibited immediately because of the consequences during that time.

      • Avatar

        Ali ibn Abdullah

        October 24, 2015 at 10:04 AM

        May Allah bless you dear sister. I only repeated what was gifted to us through our beloved Prophet (peace be upon him). All thanks and praises belong to Allah (Azza wa Jall).

    • Avatar

      Aly Balagamwala

      October 23, 2015 at 7:31 AM

      Dear Brother

      Your comments were removed due to being excessively long. Please comment short and to the point. We can’t have entire articles in the comments section.

      JazakAllahu Khairin for your understanding.

      Comments Team

      • Avatar

        Ali ibn Abdullah

        October 23, 2015 at 10:36 AM

        Dear Brother Aly, thank you for your reply. I withdraw my speculation and apologise to you. I hope Allah (swt) will forgive me for any injustice. Sadly, the other communities I have posted articles and comments upon have often deleted posts or banned my account. This happens when I counter anti-Islamic rhetoric or discuss modern methods of subjugation such as usury, haram fiat currency, the Federal Reserve private banking cartel and the myth of human ‘authority’ (government). The cartel ruling America have legalised propaganda recently and several years prior to that they admitted buying a $2.4 million ‘Sock Puppet’ software package from the corporate arms-dealer Ntrepid. This facilitates the spreading of pro-government opinion all over the internet. So please excuse my scepticism; I guess I got too used to dealing with cowardly collaborators. Freedom from subjugation and exploitation is not a popular topic among the media controlled by the ‘ruling classes’, for obvious reasons.

        I will keep it brief in future insha’Allah. May I suggest limiting the size of the comment box or having some note or written policy limiting the length or frequency of comments? I spent a couple of hours that I couldn’t really spare on this discussion and was disappointed to see the conversation vanish without explanation. Had I not bothered to complain, I would have abandoned this community, while feeling rather forlorn and without ever knowing the reason my comments were rejected.

    • Avatar

      Mohammad

      August 29, 2016 at 11:53 AM

      Brother Ali, I think your comments should be compiled in a separate article. They are very informative. I thank you for standing up.

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#Current Affairs

Sri Lankan Muslims To Fast In Solidarity With Fellow Christians

Raashid Riza

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On Sunday morning Sri Lankan Christians went to their local churches for Easter services, as they have done for centuries. Easter is a special occasion for Christian families in ethnically diverse Sri Lanka. A time for families to gather to worship in their churches, and then to enjoy their festivities. Many went to their local church on Sunday morning to be followed by a traditional family breakfast at home or a local restaurant.

It would have been like any other Easter Sunday for prominent mother-daughter television duo, Shanthaa Mayadunne and Nisanga Mayadunne. Except that it wasn’t.

Nisanga Mayadunne posted a family photograph on Facebook at 8.47 AM with the title “Easter breakfast with family” and had tagged the location, the Shangri-La Hotel in Colombo. Little would she have known that hitting ‘post’ would be among the last things she would do in this earthly abode. Minutes later a bomb exploded at the Shangri-La, killing her and her mother.

In more than a half a dozen coordinated bomb blasts on Sunday, 360 people have been confirmed dead, with the number expected to most likely rise. Among the dead are children who have lost parents and mothers & fathers whose families will never be together again.

Many could not get past the church service. A friend remembers the service is usually so long that the men sometimes go outside to get some fresh air, with women and children remaining inside – painting a vivid and harrowing picture of the children who may have been within the hall.

Perpetrators of these heinous crimes against their own faith, and against humanity have been identified as radicalised Muslim youth, claiming to be part of a hitherto little-known organisation. Community leaders claim with much pain of how authorities were alerted years ago to the criminal intent of these specific youth.

Mainstream Muslims have in fact been at the forefront not just locally, but also internationally in the fight against extremism within Muslim communities. This is why Sri Lankan Muslims are especially shaken by what has taken place when men who have stolen their identity commit acts of terror in their name. Sri Lankan Muslims and Catholics have not been in conflict in the past, adding to a palimpsest of reasons that make this attack all the more puzzling to experts. Many here are bewildered as to what strategic objective these terrorists sought to achieve.

Sri Lankan Muslims Take Lead

Sri Lankan Muslims, a numerical minority, though a well-integrated native community in Sri Lanka’s colourful social fabric, seek to take lead in helping to alleviate the suffering currently plaguing our nation.

Promoting love alone will not foster good sustainable communal relationships – unless it is accompanied by tangible systemic interventions that address communal trigger points that could contribute to ethnic or religious tensions. Terror in all its forms must be tackled in due measure by law enforcement authorities.

However, showing love, empathy and kindness is as good a starting point in a national crisis as any.

Sri Lankan Muslims have called to fast tomorrow (Thursday) in solidarity with their fellow Christian and non-Christian friends who have died or are undergoing unbearable pain, trauma, and suffering.  Terror at its heart seeks to divide, to create phases of grief that ferments to anger, and for this anger to unleash cycles of violence that usurps the lives of innocent men, women, and children. Instead of letting terror take its course, Sri Lankans are aspiring to come together, to not let terror have its way.

Together with my fellow Sri Lankan Muslims, I will be fasting tomorrow from dawn to dusk. I will be foregoing any food and drink during this period.

It occurs to many of us that it is unconscientious to have regular days on these painful days when we know of so many other Sri Lankans who have had their lives obliterated by the despicable atrocities committed by terrorists last Sunday. Fasting is a special act of worship done by Muslims, it is a time and state in which prayers are answered. It is a state in which it is incumbent upon us to be more charitable, with our time, warmth and whatever we could share.

I will be fasting and praying tomorrow, to ease the pain and suffering of those affected.

I will be praying for a peaceful Sri Lanka, where our children – all our children, of all faiths – can walk the streets without fear and have the freedom to worship in peace.

I will be fasting tomorrow for my Sri Lanka. I urge you to do the same.

Had Allah willed, He would have made you one nation [united in religion], but [He intended] to test you in what He has given you; so race to [all that is] good. To Allah is your return all together, and He will [then] inform you concerning that over which you used to differ. Surah Maidah

Raashid Riza is a Sri Lankan Muslim, the Politics & Society Editor of The Platform. He blogs here and tweets on @aufidius.

 

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Our Plastic Planet

Abu Ryan Dardir

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We travel through time and see the different times as a race that we have advanced through. A few of those times were identified by the materials used or that were life-changing. The stone age, the bronze age, and the iron age. If our time was to be identified, it is undeniable the plastic age.

Chemically, plastic is made up from organic compounds like such as cellulose, coal, natural gas, salt and, of course, crude oil. When plastics were first introduced, it was a life-changing compound that littered homes (then the world). Billions of pounds of plastic can be found in swirling convergences in the oceans making up about 40 percent of the world’s ocean surfaces. It makes visiting beautiful sites created by Allah, disappointing. What does pollution, specifically plastic, has to do with our role as Muslims? and to what capacity?

Before understanding that, we have to see how plastics impact life on Earth.

Plastic constitutes approximately 90 percent of all trash floating on the ocean’s surface, with 46,000 pieces of plastic per square mile.

One million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals are killed annually from plastic in our oceans.

44 percent of all seabird species, 22 percent of cetaceans, all sea turtle species and a growing list of fish species have been documented with plastic in or around their bodies.

Plastic chemicals can be absorbed by the body—93 percent of Americans age six or older test positive for BPA (a plastic chemical).

Some of these compounds found in plastic have been found to alter hormones or have other potential human health effects.

These are just a few examples, the list is much longer. Before I go any further, I want to express my opinion first, as an environmental activist. Your individual actions in dealing with pollution are your duty as a Muslim, but the change we need for our survival needs to happen on an international level.

Abu Zarr Al-Ghafari (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Removing harmful things from the road is an act of charity (sadaqah).”

This simple hadith resonates with us due to the magnitude of its influence. Moving an obstacle is charity, we associate money with charity and tend to forget that other actions that can count as charity. What does removing an obstacle has to do with plastics? As I mentioned earlier 40% of the ocean’s surface is covered in plastic. That is a disturbance to other living creatures. As we remove the obstacles from the path of many creatures, we can work on ourselves to avoid putting it there, to begin with. This also relates to point number three of how many living creatures are impacted by our negligence. Not just plants and animals, but people as well. You can take a moment to google images of plastic in our world and see that they aren’t just neatly packed in garbage bags or recycling bins.

Imaams al-Bukhari and Muslim reported from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet said: “There is a reward for service to every living creature.”

These are violations we commit and deeds we are prevented from by participating in this plastic culture. More importantly, we are harming ourselves and contaminating useable drinking water. Earlier I wrote an article about water its right upon us.

God’s Messenger ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) expressed this in the following way:

“It is a fact that in the next life you will render their rights to those to whom they are due. The hornless sheep even will receive its right by way of retaliation from a horned sheep that butted it.” Muslim, Birr, 60.

Our actions in this modern era echo around the world. My polluting habits may cause harm elsewhere. My spending habits may entice more harm than good. It may seem extreme, but science proves that we are all connected in a delicate chain or balance, a balance set by the wisdom of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). More importantly, it is documented from the words of the Prophet. An-Nu’man ibn Basheer reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace, and blessings be upon him, 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.”

Source: Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 5665, Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 2586

When water gets contaminated it is then rendered useless, depriving millions of basic survival. There are plenty of freshwater reserves completely useless due to toxic pollution from plastic manufacturing.

حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ مُحَمَّدٍ، حَدَّثَنَا سُفْيَانُ، عَنْ عَمْرٍو، عَنْ أَبِي صَالِحٍ السَّمَّانِ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ

عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏”‏ ثَلاَثَةٌ لاَ يُكَلِّمُهُمُ اللَّهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ، وَلاَ يَنْظُرُ إِلَيْهِمْ رَجُلٌ حَلَفَ عَلَى سِلْعَةٍ لَقَدْ أَعْطَى بِهَا أَكْثَرَ مِمَّا أَعْطَى وَهْوَ كَاذِبٌ، وَرَجُلٌ حَلَفَ عَلَى يَمِينٍ كَاذِبَةٍ بَعْدَ الْعَصْرِ لِيَقْتَطِعَ بِهَا مَالَ رَجُلٍ مُسْلِمٍ، وَرَجُلٌ مَنَعَ فَضْلَ مَاءٍ، فَيَقُولُ اللَّهُ الْيَوْمَ أَمْنَعُكَ فَضْلِي، كَمَا مَنَعْتَ فَضْلَ مَا لَمْ تَعْمَلْ يَدَاكَ ‏”‏‏.‏ قَالَ عَلِيٌّ حَدَّثَنَا سُفْيَانُ غَيْرَ مَرَّةٍ عَنْ عَمْرٍو سَمِعَ أَبَا صَالِحٍ يَبْلُغُ بِهِ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم‏.‏

As narrated by Abu Huraira:

“The Prophet said, ‘There are three types of people whom Allah will neither talk to nor look at, on the Day of Resurrection. (They are): 1. A man who takes an oath falsely that he has been offered for his goods so much more than what he is given. 2. A man who takes a false oath after the ‘Asr prayer in order to grab a Muslim’s property, and 3. A man who withholds his superfluous water. Allah will say to him, Today I will withhold My Grace from you as you withheld the superfluity of what you had not created.” [Bukhari: 2370]

We do not want to be guilty of withholding water from other directly or indirectly. With the advanced technology and the thousands of websites providing information, there are plenty of ways to determine if your daily habits have an impact on others well being.

We only manage to recycle 5% of the plastic wasted, and 90% of the pollution in the ocean is plastic. Are we asked to recycle? Is it just good practice or a practice is preferred?

Asked about what the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) used to do in his house, the Prophet’s wife, `A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her), said that he used to repair his shoes, sow his clothes and used to do all such household works done by an average person.

Recycling and reusing is a critical part of conserving and protecting what we have. You can start with yourself, but your goal is to expand these actions to other families, communities, countries. If the action is sincere this would bring us closer to Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). “The world is beautiful and verdant, and verily God, be He exalted, has made you His stewards in it, and He sees how you acquit yourselves.” (Saheeh Muslim)

 

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Optimism in Times of Adversity: How The Prophet Did It

Shaykh Abdullah Waheed

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A man passed by al-Miqdaad ibn al-Aswad raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him), one of the most distinguished Companions of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him). The man said, “How lucky your two eyes that witnessed the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him)”. Ibn al-Aswad profoundly responded by saying,

Why should anyone wish to witness a scene that Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) did not wish him to see? He does not know what it would have been like if he had witnessed it or which party he would have been among if he went back in time.

By Allah! Allah’s Prophet saw people who were thrown right into Hell, so you should thank Allah that you were spared such a trial and were honored by firm belief in Allah and his Prophet”.

As human beings, we all struggle with adversity especially in societies which are driven by competition and materialistic pleasure. This drive creates difficult expectations, labels, and stigmas that breed unhealthy communities which spur widespread stress and pain. As Muslims, many of us struggle to define our role and place in societies where Muslims are the minority. We are horrified and worried when atrocities seem to occur so often solely because of the faith we believe in, such as in Burma or Central African Republic. Across the world, many countries with Muslims as the majority population are crippled by war such as Syria and Yemen. Our faith is abused by twisted minds to create chaos. In addition, random terrorist attacks in Mali and New Zealand have us wondering whether we will be attacked at our local masjid, or even in public settings such as offices and schools.

Our Ummah has always faced adversity and we will continue to do so as we struggle to be on the path of Islam. However, Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) has given us the Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) as a guide to this Ummah on how to deal with adversity and keep our optimism. His life is a means for us to be inspired and motivated to strive for excellence. Indeed, the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) was tested more than any other prophet that preceded him. The rapid spread of Islam and the change it brought to the world was built upon a prophet and his companions who endured an extraordinary amount of adversity, all in order to provide a means of salvation for the generations that would come after them.

Many Muslims know the basics of the Prophet’s life such as his birth in Makkah, the migration to Madina, some of the battles, and the conquest of Makkah. However, if one were to read the Seerah of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) in-depth, one would be astonished to the sheer amount of trauma, pain, and grief the Prophet (ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) experienced. He was subject to intense verbal/physical abuse, public humiliation, family deaths, and more. Depending on the physical and emotional toll, we know different people are more or less sensitive to adversity. For the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him), the adversity of establishing the Deen was immensely troubling as he had the purest and softest of characters. In addition, the prophets who came before him were comforted in knowing that they had a successor. Some of them were their children in Ismail 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) to Ibrahim 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) and Yahya 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) to Zakariyya 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him). But the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) had no prophet to follow him, therefore his Message would be the last that mankind could benefit from.

The Quran says in Surah al-Ahzab:

مَا كَانَ مُحَمَّدٌ أَبَآ أَحَدٍ مِن رّ‌ِجَالِكُمْ وَلَكِن رَّسُولَ اللَّهِ وَخَاتَمَ النَّبِيّـِينَ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ بِكُلّ‌ِ شَيْءٍ

عَلِيماً

Muhammad is not the father of (any) of your men, but (he is) the Messenger of Allah and last of the prophets. And God has full knowledge of all things. (Verse 33:40)

To proclaim the Divine Message to a resistant society has shown through the history of the Prophets to yield hardship and extreme difficulty. To be the final messenger was an increased burden. One example was when the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) was praying in front of the Kaaba and a member of the Quraysh named Uqbah ibn Abu Mu’ayt placed the intestines, dung, and feces on the back of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) while he was in sujood. The weight of the filth was so heavy that the Prophet could not get up until he received the assistance of his daughter Fatima raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her), who was a pre-teenager at the time. How hurtful must that scene have been for the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him)? How did he deal with the humiliation the leaders of his city displayed in front of his child? How disheartening must have it been for his resolve to establish the worship of Allah?

This type of treatment was a regular occurrence in the pre-Hijrah era of Islam. Eventually, the treatment spurred into a boycott against the Muslims and the Hashemites who were the Prophet’s clan. According to Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources by Martin Lings:

A document was drawn up according to which it was undertaken that no one would marry a woman of Hashim or give his daughter in marriage to a man of Hashim; and no one was to sell anything to them, or buy anything from them. This was to continue until the clan of Hashim themselves outlawed Muhammad, or until he renounced his claim to prophethood.

In those three years of boycott, many of the followers of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) such as Abu Bakr raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) lost their statuses in society. Public humiliation, poverty, malnourishment, torture, molestation, and even murder were perpetrated against the small community of Muslims around the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him). There are narrations which talk about the fact that they would hear the cries of babies going to sleep at night. They buried so many children and babies at that time who died due to disease, malnourishment, and starvation. They could hear the mothers crying who had buried their babies the day before. It was a time of great suffering and sacrifice.

Shortly after the ban was annulled, Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) increased the test of His beloved Messenger at a time called ‘Ām al-Ḥuzn (عام الحزن), the Year of Sadness. In 619 AD, Khadijah bint Khuwaylid raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him), the wife of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) for 25 years passed away. When the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) was in shock after the first revelation descended, it was Khadijah raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) who comforted him and consoled him. She was one of the first believer, mother of the Prophet’s ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) children, and a caretaker to the Prophet’s ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) cousin Ali and adopted son Zayd (RA). She was his main confidante and his closest friend. Her death was considered to be the greatest personal tragedy to the Prophet (SAW). In fact, his later wife ʿĀʾishah bint Abī Bakr raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) said that she was never jealous of the co-wives of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) except for Khadijah who had passed before she had wed the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him). The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him), who would usually stay quiet in disputes with Aisha, stated when ʿĀʾishah voiced her upsetness at the Prophet’s lingering love for Khadijah:

Make this clear Aisha, you are not better than Khadijah. She believed in me when no one did and she testified to my truth when people said I was a liar. She gave everything she had to give me support.

Shortly afterward, Abu Talib, the Prophet’s ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) uncle and chief tribal protector in Makkah passed away. Abu Talib had been the caretaker of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) after the Prophet’s ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) mother and grandfather passed away. But the situation before the passing of both these allies to the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) was poor and it was now going to become unbearable. Abu Lahab, another one of the Prophet’s uncles and one of his bitter enemies, arose as chieftain of the Hashemites would not give the Muslims adequate protection.

When adversity brought the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) to his knees, he put his trust in Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) and continued to push forward. It was in this moment of desperation that the Prophet was sent his ultimate test; the Day of Taif. The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) described the Day of Taif more testing than the Battle of Uhud. In his desperation, the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) traveled to the nearby city of Taif in order to seek the city’s protection. When the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) met with the three leaders of the city, they feverishly rejected him and decided to turn the public against him. The representatives of the community gathered the youth, slaves, and others and to stone the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) and Zayd ibn Harithah raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him). The people of Taif purposely targeted the Prophet’s ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) feet, severely damaging them. His blessed body was profusely bleeding and the crowd pursued both the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) and Zayd ibn Harithah for an excruciating three to six miles until he settled in a private orchard. It was in this moment where all hope had vanished. Now pushed to his extreme limits of endurance, he raised his hands and called out to his Lord:

اللهم إليك أشكو ضعف قوتي وقلة حيلتي وهواني على الناس

ياأرحم الراحمين أنت أرحم الراحمين

أنت رب المستضعفين وأنت ربي

إلى من تكلني إلى عدو يتجهمني أم الى عدو ملكته امرى

إن لم يكن بك غضب علي فلا أبالي ولكن عافيتك هي أوسع لي

أعوذ بنور وجهك الذي أضاءت له السموات و الأرض

وأشرقت له الظلمات وصلح عليه أمر الدنيا والأخره

أن ينزل بي غضبك أو يحل علي سخطك

لك العتبى حتى ترضى ولاحول ولاقوة إلابك

To You, my Lord, I complain of my weakness, lack of support and the humiliation I am made to receive.

Most Compassionate and Merciful! You are the Lord of the weak, and you are my Lord.

To whom do You leave me? To a distant person who receives me with hostility? Or to an enemy You have given power over me?

As long as you are not displeased with me, I do not care what I face. I would, however, be much happier with Your mercy.

I seek refuge in the light of Your face by which all darkness is dispelled and both this life and the life to come are put in their right course against incurring your wrath or being the subject of your anger.

To You, I submit, until I earn Your pleasure. Everything is powerless without your support.

When we struggle with adversity, calling out to our Lord is one of the last things that comes to our mind. Even if it does, we struggle to motivate ourselves to learn how to make dua to Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) and we struggle to raise our hands. The amount of sincerity and power of this dua to Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) was so great that Jibril 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) came down to the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) and reported that the Prophet’s ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) appeal shook the heavens. Here, the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) seeks only the pleasure of his Lord and he will do whatever he can to fulfill his Lord’s pleasure. However, the pleasure of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) only comes with Allah’s subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) own support and we should be seeking it with every trial or tribulation that we face.

There are three lessons that we can take away the way the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) dealt with adversity. First, how can we sincerely put our trust in Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) to give us guidance when we have little to no relationship with our Lord to begin with. Therefore, the struggling believer must consistently engage in self-reflection. He or she should be asking, “Am I praying my five daily prayers?”, “Am I consistent in my prayers?”, “How much attention and effort do I give my five prayers?”, “Do I engage in the remembrance of Allah in my daily actions?”, “How often do I ask Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) for help”, “Am I trying to learn what is halal and haram?”. “Am I trying to inculcate more good deeds in my life?”, “Am I trying to leave sinning?”, “If I am still struggling in my relationship with Allah (SWT), am I reaching out to someone more learned?”, etc. These are the first things we need to be fulfilling in our struggle to be optimistic. If we still need help, we should not have fear in asking a professional such as a counselor or mentor.

Second, we need to be active in making our society a better place. The prophets were not just scholars, but they were changer-makers. They sought to make society a better place. Not only is our duty as Muslims to others who are struggling, but it alleviates a lot of burden on us when we help others. We are reminded of the hadith,

“Whoever relieves a believer’s distress of the distressful aspects of this world, Allah will rescue him from a difficulty of the difficulties of the Hereafter.”

Lastly, be comforted in Allah’s subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) everlasting control over all the affairs of humanity and beyond. Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) was there before us, when we die, and for eternity. Everything is in accordance with His Will. When we set our intentions right and make sacrifices in our lives to please Him, Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) will replenish the believer with something equal or better. After this painful period in the Seerah, Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) gifted His devout Messenger with two things, the miraculous journey of the Isra wal M’iraj and the story of Prophet Yusuf 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him). The story of Prophet Yusuf 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) was sent down to show the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) that he was not the first prophet who experienced difficulty. In Surah Yusuf, the Quran reminds us that Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) is عَلِيۡمٌ and حَكِيۡمٌ, the All-Knowing and All-Wise. In the verses of the Surah, these words were mentioned before the adversities in Yusuf and Yaqub’s 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) life, during the adversity, and after Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) had rewarded Yusuf and Yaqub for their resolve. There is light at the end of every tunnel of adversity and only Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) can give us the guidance to get there, we only have to turn to him.

We ask Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) to grant us the ability to maintain our optimism in our adversities. We ask Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) to grant us an understanding of Islam so that we may help others overcome their adversities. We ask Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) to relieve the adversity of the Ummah.

 

Shaykh Abdullah Waheed was born and raised in the suburbs of Detroit, MI. Shaykh Abdullah commenced his studies at the age of 10 in Toronto, Canada where he went to memorize the Quran.  He completed the memorization of the Holy Quran by the tender age of 12 and then went on to study in the 7-year extensive Shariah program in Toronto, Canada. Shaykh Abdullah then continued his research and studies, which took him on global journeys, such as Pakistan, Kuwait, and England.

Shaykh Abdullah specialized in Tafseer of the Quran. Sheikh Abdullah spent years to study the details and beauty of our Holy book since understanding and mastering the language of Holy Quran was always the primary goal.

Shaykh Abdullah is serving as an Instructor at Miftaah institute and is also the Director of Islamic Affairs at Flint Islamic Center. Shaykh Abdullah travels across North America for khutbas, workshops, and seminars. He is known for his motivational and enthusiastic style of speaking which leaves the audience focused and learning.

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