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State of the Ummah

How can we make sense of the tragedies around us?

Looking at the news today can be an extremely difficult and heartbreaking process, especially as a Muslim and seeing the extreme horrors and tragedies that are befalling our brothers and sisters worldwide, while in general there is still an overall hatred and distrust of us and our deen.

The state of the Muslims in Xinjiang is, like many of the other similar scenes, a harsh reality that we may at times try to avoid to save ourselves from the pain and discomfort. We feel helpless and powerless and that there is nothing that we can do to change anything about it. The attitude that we can fall into is that we may hate it in our hearts but avoid reading articles or news about it and that since there is nothing we can do then we just leave it at that.

However as believers this is a very grave mistake and a trick of Shaytaan, one of the worst tricks and mental barriers that can be placed on us is to feel numb and disinterested in the world around us. As Muslims we must follow the hadith of the Prophet () when he tells us:

“You see the believers as regards their being merciful among themselves and showing love among themselves and being kind, resembling one body, so that, if any part of the body is not well then the whole body shares the sleeplessness (insomnia) and fever with it.” [Sahih Bukhari]

We must, if we care about our deen and our Ummah, do our utmost in whatever capacity we can, even if it is only making sincere dua’ to Allah (swt) because that in essence is our ‘litmus test’. If we were granted the authoritative or legislative power to make the changes we claim to desperately want, then how can we say with certainty that we would change anything if we can’t even bring ourselves to do the smallest, most impactful action by asking the Lord of the Worlds to help us. This is the true test of our faith and sincerity. 

We have recently been having different discussions at our campus halaqah ‘Shades of Glory’ in Edmonton. We watched a documentary on the situation of the Muslims in Xinjiang, had different discussions and addressed the concerns, challenges and the responses that we should strive to uphold. That we need to ensure that we are informed of what is going on there, that we must hate it in our hearts, speak out against it, show support for those who challenge it, make sincere dua’ to Allah (swt) to change the situation and so on. At the end of the day doing these actions are for our own sake, for our own sincerity and in increasing in our faith. 

This sincere care and concern for the Muslims is a trait of the believers and one of the ways into Jannah. It is an essential and integral part of our religion and something we need to make a constant effort towards in our community and among one another. At Camp Sunnah this is one of the great things that you see, when brothers and sisters go through the process of living the Sunnah and by the end of the journey have a sincere love and care for one another and a willingness to sacrifice for one another. Having this is what makes our Ummah strong and what allows us to attain success in this life and the hereafter. 

The Prophet (ﷺ) said: “The people will soon summon one another to attack you as people when eating invite others to share their dish. Someone asked: Will that be because of our small numbers at that time? He replied: No, you will be numerous at that time: but you will be scum and rubbish like that carried down by a torrent, and Allah will take fear of you from the breasts of your enemy and last enervation into your hearts. Someone asked: What is wahn (enervation). Messenger of Allah (ﷺ): He replied: Love of the world and dislike of death.” [Sunan Abu Dawud]

One of the largest concerns that we may have for the Uighur Muslims is in regards to their faith, which is what is trying to be stripped of them, in going through their horrific tragedies. It is the most desired outcome from Shaytaan and the worst and most dire thing that they could lose. In regards to this we should remember the Sahaba (ra) and the things that they went through in the early days of Islam. 

Those early Muslims who didn’t have much protection were tortured for their belief and the Quraysh did their utmost to make them relinquish their belief in Allah (swt). The family of Ammar ibn Yasir was among those that we tortured and harmed the most for their faith, to the extent that at one point Ammar ibn Yasir cursed the Prophet () and exclaimed disbelief. He went to the Prophet () in distress telling him about the situation, he () asked him about the state of his heart to which Ammar ibn Yasir replied as being full of Iman. 

Allah (swt) revealed the following ayah in Surah An-Nahl about this,

With the exception of those who are forced to say they do not believe, although their hearts remain firm in faith, those who reject God after believing in Him and open their hearts to disbelief will have the wrath of God upon them and a grievous punishment awaiting them. (16:106)

In this story of our predecessors we can find parallels and gain strength and comfort in them, as well as in the words of Allah (swt). Unfortunately we do live in a world full of injustice, but as Muslims we strive to uphold justice for all of humanity. We know that Allah (swt) will always help those who are just, even if they are not Muslims. At the end of the day the only One who can change our state and the situation is Allah (swt) and that the hardships that we go through as Muslims is meant to bring us closer to Him and elevate our rank in Jannah.

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