And seek aid in steadfast patience and prayer: and this, indeed, is a hard thing for all but the humble in spirit [2:45]
|The beautiful greenery around our local park, Makkah|
|The mountains of Makkah surround us - such beauty mA!|
I want to share this important reminder of something that took place right here in Makkah which has some striking parallels to what is happening to Muslims today. So in Makkah, there was a group of people who were despised by the elders [You could say their Government then] so much so that this very 'Government' plotted to kill their leader because they were different, because they believed something new, something unheard of to the 'Government.' Luckily for this group, their tribesmen and those who knew them [some of whom hadn't even adopted their new faith] vowed to protect them. Instead the 'Government' agreed to boycott this group, ensuring no one traded with them, none would marry them, or have anything to do with them. A pledge was drawn up and signed by the 'Government' and hung in the Ka'bah. For days, weeks and months this group endured patience, they did not retaliate, they remained patient, even though there were some that died because of hunger as food eventually became scarce - they did not demand justice and take action against that 'Government' - only because their leader had advised this. However, even during these years of torment, many MORE people joined this group. This group was being strengthened and cleansed by the hardships they suffered and were being tested in their faith. As the years went by, the pilgrims came to the Ka'bah and saw the harsh cruelty of the 'Government' towards this group that the 'Government' themselves became ashamed. When they decided it was time to end this boycott and they went to tear up their pledge that was hung inside the Ka'bah, to their surprise they found it had been eaten up by worms, all except the words 'In Your name O Allah' which was written at the top of the pledge. SubhanAllah! This group was none other than the early Muslims lead by their leader and our beloved Prophet Muhamamd [peace be upon him] and the 'Government' or elders was none other than his own people, the Quraysh.
Look at the many lessons we can derive from this story alone:
1. The Prophet [pbuh] did not retaliate to the torment by his own people, the Quraysh, but remained patient and advised his followers. This not only displayed their good character, but helped to strengthen their faith and increased their followers.
*The same can be applied in our lives today - While the Media continuously tries to cause a rift for Muslims - know that this is the time to practise your faith even more. Show people the reality of Islam through your good character by adopting the tradition of the Prophet pbuh. Speak out with wisdom and leave the rest in Allah's hands.
2. The Prophetic Sunnah was that our beloved Prophet Muhammad [pbuh] did not give up on his mission even though he and his followers had much hardship to face - they didn't give up, nor did their non-Muslim supporters give up on protecting him.
*During this difficult time today, know that we mustn't give up on practising our faith even though fear can overcome us - but seek help and pray to Allah. Don't for a moment think that every non-Muslim person will read into the Media bias that Islam promotes terrorism. I have read some beautiful stories on-line, of how non-Muslims have come to the defence of vulnerable Muslim women, in particular on buses and the underground in London when they were faced with verbal or racist abuse.
3. Justice will prevail whether it takes months or years or a lifetime - we just aren't in control of it. It took 3 whole years before the Quraysh themselves felt ashamed by their actions that they themselves decided to end their pledges of the boycott. The early Muslims even though they had gone through hardship, were seen victorious when the pledge itself was eaten by worms, except for the name of Allah.
*Alhamdulillah for Muslims, our belief in the hereafter gives us conviction that Justice will surely prevail, whether in this life or the hereafter - so even as we wake up with a heavy heart to the constant handful of terrorists all over the world including people indulging in war and killing innocents for worldly gains, and those who retaliate on more innocent people - know that the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth is well aware of what we do and what is in our hearts.