"Allah will certainly aid those who aid His (Cause). Lo! Allah is Strong, Almighty."
[surah al-Hajj: 40]
Let me pose a question to you. How many Muslims are actively helping, in whatever way, to alleviate and aid the suffering Muslims of this Ummah? Most Muslims? 20 Million? 10 Million even? 1 Million? Are YOU part of that number helping? Are your friends and family?
Muhammad (salAlahu alayhi wasalam) has said;
'Whoever cares for his brother's need, Allah will care for his need'
[Sahih al-Bukhari, Muslim; 4958, Mishkat al-Misbah]
'Whoever removes anxiety of a Muslim, Allah will remove his anxiety on the Day of Resurrection'
[Sahih al-Bukhari, Muslim; 4958, Mishkat al-Misbah]
In keeping with the tradition of our Beloved Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam); who always gave the needy means of access to earn a livng, for example, rather than easy charity, there is a real need to adapt and implement this same method today. Of not just giving that zakat every year, and then fulfilling your obligations, but rather taking a more concerted effort to try and address the real issues and sufferings felt by many muslims and non-Muslims around the globe.
One day Prophet Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) noticed a Bedouin leaving his camel without tying it. He asked the Bedouin, "Why don't you tie down your camel?" The Bedouin answered, "I put my trust in Allah." The Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) then said, "Tie your camel first, then put your trust in Allah"
Allah Ta'ala decrees all things, and nothing happens without His Will. However, this doesn't mean that we should become complacent and lazy in othe situations, problems and hardships face. Muslims are to be ACTIVE people.
Many Muslims have a great deal of zeal and passion in wanting to try and help their heavily burdened fellow muslim brothers and sisters in Islam. But often today; even with this beautiful passion, many are left feeling hopeless and in despair at not actually doing anything which they feel will help. However, this is most certainly not the case!
So what exactly can Muslims do to help those oppressed Muslims (and non-Muslims) living in areas such as Palestine, Kashmir, Chechnya, Iraq, Afghanistan?
Du'a is one of the strongest and leathal weapons that a believer has. Allah hears all the du'as that are made to Him, and hears the weeping of the distressed and oppressed, and accepts those who repent to Him. Nothing can avert the qadr (destiny) except du'a. So make fervent Du'a. In the times when it is most likely to be heard; such as after praying, between the Adhan and Iqama, in the last 1/3 of the night. Also using the correct adab and manners which are best for making du'a; such as facing the Qibla, being persistent, when in wudu.
Beg unto Allah Ta'ala; to alleviate the hardships faced by those in Palestine, Kahsmir, Iraq and so on. To bring them ease, peace and Allah's Rahma. For safety, blessings and victory over the merciless oppressors and killers.
Also see: Du'a for Justice & against Oppression.
2. The Qunut al-Nazila
Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) is recorded to have recommended the recitation of this du'a if a major disaster or difficulty befalls on the ummah, at critical times. al-Nazila means 'great calamity' It is recommended to be recited especially in the coures of the dawn (Fajr) prayer, and can be found in Sahih al-Bukhari; #1002
اللهم اهدنا فِيمن هدَيْت، و عافِنا فِيْمنْ عافَيت، و تَوَلَّنَا فِيْمَنْ تَوَلَّيت، و بارك لَناَ فِيْما أعطَيْت، و قِنَا و اصْرِفْ عنّا شَرَّ ما قَضَيْت، فَإنَّك تُقْضِى عَلَيْك، إنّهُ لا يذ~لُ مَنْ ولَيْتَ و لا يَعِزُ مَنْ عادَيْت، تبارَكْتَ رَبّنا و تَعالَيْت، لك الشُكْرُ عَلَى ما أعْطَيْت، نَسْتَغْفِرُك اللهُم مِنْ جَمِيْعِ الذُنُوبِ و الخَطايا و نَتُوبُ إلَيْك
Allahumma ahdina fiman hadait, wa 'afina fiman 'afait, wa tawallana fiman tawallait, wa barik lana fima a'tait, wa qina wasrif 'anna sharra ma qadait, fainnak taqdi wa la yuqda 'alaik. Innahu la yadhillu ma walait wa la ya'izzu man 'aadait , tabarakta Rabbana wa ta'alait, lakal-hamdu 'ala ma qadait, wa laka shukru 'ala ma a'tait, mas-taghfiruka. Allahumma min jamee'i dhunubi wal khataaya, wa natubu ilaik
(O Allah! Guide me among those You guide. Grant me health and pardon among those You grant health and pardon, look after e among those You look after, grant me grace in what have given me, and protect me from the evilof what you have ordained; for You decree and none decrees against You, and none is abased whom You befriend. And none is exalted whom You are at enmity with. O our Lord, who is above all things sacred and exalted, all praise is Yours for what you decree. I ask Your forgiveness and turn to You in repentance)
Through salah/namaz, we are resorting to Allah seeking His protection to remove oppression and aggression against those who are oppressed.
Muslims are ordained to offer Salat al-Hajah (two voluntary rakahs) for fulfilling any kind of need. So, if offering prayer for a personal need that belongs to one person is legitimate, then with greater reason people can gather to offer Salat al-Hajah for a matter that belongs to the whole Ummah.
It is reported on the authority of Abu ad-Darda (radiAllahu anhu) that the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said:
'If any one of you performs the ritual ablution and offers two voluntary rakahs consciously, then Almighty Allah will fulfill his/her need either instantly or later.'
After offering two rakahs, one should praise Allah, invoke His blessings on the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) and say the following du'a:
لا إ`لهَ إلَّا اللّهُ الْحَلِيمُ الْكرِيمُ، سُبْحَانَ اللّهِ رَبِّ الْعَرْشِ الْعظِيم، اَلْحمْدُ لِلّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَميِنَ، أسْألُكَ مُوغِبَاتِ رَحْمَتِكَ وَعَزَائمَ مَغْفِرَتِكَ، وَالْعِصْمَة مِنْ كُل ذَنْبٍ، وَالْغَنيِمَهَ مِنْ كُلِّ برٍّ، وَالسَّلَامَةَ مِنْ كُلِّ إثْمٍ، لَا تَدَعْ لى ذَنْبًا إلَّا غَفَرْتَهُ، وَلَاهَمًّا إلَّفَرّجْتَهُ وَلاحَاجَةً هِىَ لَكَ رِضًا إلَّا قَضَيْتَهَا يَاأرْحَمَ الَّاحِمِينَ،
La ilaha illaAllahu-Haleemul-Kareem. SubhanaAllahi rabbil-arshil adheem. AlHamdulilahi rabbi ilAalameen. As'asluka mujibaati Rahmatika, wa azaa'ima maghfiratika, wal-'ismata min kuli dhanb, wal ghaniimata min kuli birr, was-salaamata min kuli ithm. La tada'li dhanban illa ghafartahu, wala hamman illa farajtahu, wala hajatan hiya laka ridan illa qadaytaha Ya 'arhama arRaahimeen
(There is no God but Allah, the Ever-Clement, the Most Generous. I celebrate the Glory of Allah, the Lord of the Magnificent Throne. All Praise and Thanks are due to Allah, Lord of the Worlds. I beseech You seeking that which will draw me closer to Your Mercy, and that which will make certain for me Your Forgiveness. O Allah, Grant me protection against any sin, and a share of every virtue. Do not leave me a sin without forgiving it, a worry without relieving me of it, or a need that meets with Your Pleasure without providing for it, O Most Merciful Lord.)
Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, has stated:
"Du'a is legalized for trials and misfortunes afflicted on the Ummah. So Muslims are allowed to invoke Allah to remove their calamities and to grant them victory over their enemies. We have Salat al-Hajah that is legalized in such cases and conditions, so people are allowed to gather and to offer prayer and make du`a’ in critical situations. Almighty Allah says: "Seek help in patience and prayer…" [surah al-Baqarah; 2:44]
We have a beautiful example of the companions of the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) helping their fellow brothers and sisters in Islam. When Muslims immigrated from Makkah to Madinah, Al-Ansar (the helpers, ie the Muslims of Madinah) accommodated the Muhajirun (the emigrators) and supported them and helped them in every possible way. The Ansar supported and loved them; they took them into their homes, and fed them the food that they ate, the places that they slept.
We should learn from this great example, and help our suffering Muslim brothers and sisters in Islam in the same way, fi-sabillilah. Providing all the humanitarian aid that you can. Give what money you can, send what clothes, food you are able to do so.
Sponsor an Orphan, contribute towards people's medical expenses.
"…And whatsoever you spend (for good) He replaces it. And He is the Best of Providers."
[surah Sabah: 39]
Try and keep nafil (voluntary) fasts when you can. remember that it was the sunnah of our Beloved prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) to keep fast on Mondays and Thursdays. Fast to gain closeness with Allah Ta'ala. Make more du'a when fasting, and remember to make du'a for the suffering Muslims when breaking your fast; because this is the time when a du'a is not rejected.
7. Promote and Raise Awareness
Many individuals, both Muslim, and non-muslim are not aware of the extent of the harsh inhumane sufferings of many Muslims around the world. Why not make a concerted effort to try and raise awareness of thse issues in your local communities?
Talk to everyone who is willing to listen. Talk to your neighbors and friends. Tell them what is going on. Misinformation and ignorance is one of the main reasons that wars are waged and injustices are in place. Make people aware of what is happening in the world, and encourage them to learn and understand about similar things as well.
Send out and distribute leaflets, organise talks and lectures, have teas and dinners, invite people to your local masjid/community centre, organise inter-faith meetings, collect money for charities. Encourage and promote ideas and action for peace and harmony; and against oppression and wars and hardships.
8. Monitor the Media
One of the most ruthless sources for misinforming the situation of the suffering of Muslims around the world is done by the media. Many a time, you may come across articles, programmes, magazines and such which are being openly Islamophobic, and putting forward false ideas and biases against Muslims. Keep a close eye on these sorts of things, and write into the newspapers, magazines and radio programmes to counter-act the biased comments and articles. Did a speaker say something incorrect about the suffering of some Muslims? Speak out against it. You dont need to be a genius to write one e-mail, it only takes a minute of your time! Most Organisations can offer help in how to format letters, sample e-mails, running petitions, etc as well.
There are a number Muslim organisations and lobbies which monitor Islamophobic media coverage. You can view a list of them in the links page.
Organise collected phone ins into media groups and radio stations, ask them to account for certain biased reportings, to report on issues which you feel are being neglected and over-looked.
Jum'ah (Friday) Khutbahs (sermons). Ask and encourage your local Imam or Khateeb to cover the issues which are affecting the Ummah as a whole. Either specific issues and the lessons that can be learnt from them, etc, or anything else that pertains to it (ie peroforming more du'a, salat al-Hajah, qunut al-Nazila). This will, as well as raise awareness, be a good reminder to Muslims of the situation of the rest of the Muslim world and what actions can be taken, and what we should understand and learn from them. Jum'ah is the time when most Muslims attend the Masjid; so it is one of the prominent times in which messages about helping, aiding and (insha'Allah) regenerating the Ummah can be heard. History sadly bears witness to repeating itself many a time; seemly indicating that lessons are never learnt from the past.
10. Increase your Ibadah (worship)
Seekf Istighfar (forgiveness), perform more nafil acts of worship (such as salah - Tahajjud, Duha, etc). Make more Dhikr and remember Allah Ta'ala Much.
Allah Ta'ala hears those most closest to Him, and one is more likely to have their du'as answered if they refrain from committing sins and remaining steadfast and gain closeness to Allah with their ibadah. Be worthy of calling yourself a Muslim. Contemplate on the sufferings that the Ummah is facing today and beg Allah Ta'ala for His Divine Help and assisstance.
Remember to hold fast to the deen, not separate, and forget all the internal differences. Times of hardship, especially, should not be occassions where Muslims argue amongst themselves. As an English proverb goes; 'divide and conquer'
11. Arm Yourself
Be an informed muslim. Be aware of current events, world history, both Islamic, and others. Read up on relevant books and topics - democracy, Islamic social, political, economic system. Learn what has be said in the past, and what oppressors today put forward. Many times the ideas put forward by Fir'aun (in the time of Musa (alayhis salam), for example, can be said to be similar to modern leaders today.
Know answers and reasons for your stance on matters, and why others say what they do.
I urge you to please do whatever you can - big or small, nothing is insignificant. Remember what Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said;
'The example of the Believers in their mutual love, mercy and compassion is like the example of a single body; if one part of the body feels pain, then all the body suffers in sleeplessness and fever'
He (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) also said that even the smallest good deed is significant. You do not need to send thousands and thousands of pounds/dollars or tons of food in order to make a difference. Do whatever is within your capability. Most importantly, Allah Ta'ala knows the intentions of your heart and rewards you accordingly.