Social Media

The Higher Wisdom in Hardship: Reflections on Faith and Fortitude

As I write this, a grave injustice unfolds before our eyes in Gaza. Relentless Israeli bombardment has left thousands of innocent civilians murdered or maimed in unimaginable ways, in brazen violation of international law. Entire families – terrified children, grieving mothers, elderly – brutally killed beneath the rubble of their homes. Hospitals overflow with the wounded, while Gaza’s civilians are deprived even of food, water and power.

This barbaric onslaught has left Gaza shattered. The sights of mangled bodies tear at our hearts. We have extensively exposed the apartheid regime’s genocide against Palestine, backed by hypocritical western powers spreading self-serving propaganda.

Just as the body feels pain in one limb, we feel the agony of our Palestinian brothers and sisters. Our faith calls us to stand with them in solidarity. However, as Muslims we know true justice lies with Allah alone, not with any worldly powers. “They plan, and Allah plans. And Allah is the best of planners.” (Quran 8:30). We must react with wisdom, reflecting deeply on our response.

In 1258, when the Mongol hordes descended upon Baghdad, jewel of the Islamic Golden Age, they left naught but ash and bone in their wake. Like a raging flood they washed through the storied streets, putting countless innocents to the sword, till the Tigris ran red with the blood of scholars and sobbing children. Contemporary accounts estimate 200,000 killed.  

Yet the faithful did not curse the Mongol hordes that had laid waste their golden city. Instead, they saw in this not the evil of men, but the judgement of an almighty God. Their decadence and neglect of faith had brought God’s fury upon them in the form of these pagan hordes. With resignation, they donned robes of repentance and accepted their punishment as just retribution for their sins.

Unlike today, when we quickly blame political leaders and systems for misfortune, the Muslims of Baghdad saw a higher power shaping events through these earthly agents of destruction. With the patience and tawakkul (trust in God), they submitted to the inscrutable will of the Almighty.

This time of trial is a wake-up call for us all to turn inward and tap into the strength granted us by the Quran and Sunnah. “For what is the worldly life except the enjoyment of delusion.” Quran (3:185).

How naive are we to overly grieve for pains in a world that will soon fade. Our Palestinian brothers and sisters understand this eternal truth. Their faith remains unshaken through immense tests, earning them the highest stations of Paradise. While they stand dignified, we make excuses, evading self-betterment. The cracks in the ummah reflect cracks in our own souls.

Blaming others will not mend our fractures – we must look within. The revealed principles of our faith contain the guidance to master our minds and emotions, preventing such situations from unfolding. But we must internalise the religion’s teachings, exemplifying them in our conduct. Prayer, patience, charity, self-discipline, dhikr, seeking sacred knowledge, embodying the prophetic character – this is the path of the believer seeking closeness to Allah.

Through prayer, self-reflection and reforming our hearts, we can address the roots of our tribulations. By living the tenets of Islam virtuously, we strengthen not only ourselves, but the spirit of the ummah. The task is not easy, but the seeds of renewal are found in the Quran’s wisdom; if we will but water them our efforts against ourselves.

Rather than grieve in helpless outrage, we must have tawakkul that He sees and hears all. Seeking justice against oppression is imperative, but we recognise true justice will only prevail on the Day of Judgement.

We cannot ignore the horrific genocide against Palestinians while the world remains largely silent. As believers, we know true justice lies with Allah alone. Yet we still must advocate for the oppressed through lawful means – as the best jihad is speaking truth to a tyrant.

The tools granted to us are for action, not passive resignation. Though outcomes rest in divine hands, we continue this struggle, speaking truth to power. Our role is refusing idleness and evil.

God’s plan often weaves through human effort, however small. United voices can move even mountains against fierce winds. Justice will prevail on the Day of Judgment, but we must not be complicit by inaction in the face of atrocities in this world.

Verily with hardship comes ease. We must persevere like those before us who overcame great trials. Let us find solace in congregational prayer and the promise of Allah’s mercy as described in the Quran: “And whoever relies upon Allah – then He is sufficient for him.” (65:3). Surely we belong to Allah, and to Him we shall return.