A Muslim’s attitude during times of oppression
Matters have been slightly tensed in the last few weeks. And every other individual is expressing his opinions and receiving counter-reactions on the social media. But these people, especially the youth, are stating and commenting merely out of emotions and rarely based on knowledge. Very few of those individuals would have tried to find out what exactly are the Islamic guidelines in these situations as per Qur’an and Sunnah; and what are the scholarly opinions in these matters. And this is the need of the hour if we want to stop the matters getting any worse.
If we connect ourselves to good teachers of Qur’an and Sunnah, we will realize that much of the reaction that we see is opposite to what our deen teaches us. The following article is based on Tafseer of Surah Anfaal and has many beneficial points to take in such times. We especially need to change our attitude during such times, when we feel low and depressed that the community is in trouble.
Point #1 – We need to accept the fact, that there will always be people who will oppress the Muslims
We know that disbelievers are of 3 types. There is one type that is not a Muslim, but still protects the Muslims from dangers; eg. Abu Taalib, the uncle of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam). The second type is the one who neither protects, nor opposes the Muslims. And then Allah tells us about the third type, in Surah Anfal, that,
“Indeed those who disbelieve spend their wealth to avert (the people) from the way of Allah…”
[Surah Anfaal 8:36]
What we learn is that there always were people who put their wealth, time and efforts in averting the people away from the path of Allah. Such people were present not only at the time of the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) and the sahaba, but they were also present at the time of earlier prophets & earlier generations, and they will continue to remain till the very end.
Point #2 – We should NOT be disappointed or disheartened by what they do
We are seeing that a lot of people are depressed and feeling low (especially the youth) by what they are seeing and hearing about oppression of Muslims in many parts of the world. But when Allah informs us about this group of oppressors, He does not want us to get depressed. Rather, this is Allah’s way,
“so that Allah may distinguish the khabees (wicked) from the tayyab (good)…”
[Surah Anfaal 8:37]
We as Muslims claim that when time arises, we will spend our money and our lives fee sabeelillah (in the way of Allah). Things like these are a test from Allah for what we claim – as to who is tayyab (good) & truthful, and who is khabees (wicked) & hypocrite. AND, for the ones that are truthful, Allah has promised Jannah!
So this is not a matter to be depressed with. Sympathy towards your fellow Muslim brothers & sisters is natural. But we must not feel low or saddened by these things. We should instead be happy that Allah has promised the Jannah to anyone who is killed only because of his Tawheed.
This worldly life means nothing for a Momin. And Allah has guaranteed victory for Momin in the end, and a loss for the khabees,
“… and place the khabees (wicked) some of them upon others and heap them all together and put them into Jahannam. It is those who are the losers.”
[Surah Anfaal 8:37]
So this is not a time to feel low, depressed and emotional. Islam teaches us to be composed. When you are emotional, it makes you highly prone to what the Shaitan wants you to do. And that can worsen the situation!
Point #3 – What should be our stand regarding these oppressors ??
Allah tells us in the next Ayah,
“Say to those who have disbelieved if they cease, what has previously occurred will be forgiven for them…”
[Surah Anfaal 8:38]
Our first reaction should be to ask the oppressor to stop, and invite them to Islam, and inform them of the promise of Allah that their past will be forgiven. We will forgive them of all the oppression they did to us. And as always, this has been best demonstrated to us in the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (salallahu alayhi wa sallam). On so many occasions in the seerah of the Prophet, we see he made dua to Allah to give guidance to those people who oppressed the Muslims; the best example being that of incident of Ta’if.
And if they still continue with the oppression, then we must also warn them against the punishment of Allah in hereafter.
“… But if they return [to hostility] then the example of the former people has already taken place.”
[Surah Anfaal 8:38]
Point #4 – What can we do for people being oppressed ??
In times like these, dua (supplication) and Sabr (patience) are our best resort. There is none who can oppress the one whom Allah protects.
“But if they turn away, then know that Allah is your protector. Excellent is the protector, and Excellent is the helper”
[Surah Anfaal 8:40]
There are many people whom we find on the streets using words like, “Allah hum momino ki dua kab sunega (when will Allah accept the dua of the mominoon)?” Words like these should not be used. We know from Saheeh Hadeeth that the dua by a momin for his brother will NOT be rejected by Allah. We know that the dua of the oppressed will NOT be rejected by Allah. So if we see that our dua are not being accepted, then we must introspect within, and question what is coming between our dua and its acceptance by Allah, and then try to improve on those aspects.
(Source: Article based on notes from lecture by Shaikh Abdus Salaam (Hafidhahullah) delivered on 21st Ramzan 1433H)