But We see with our eyes, but we understand with our hearts. That’s called insight. That’s why Allahﷻ said: Indeed, it is not the eyes that are blind, but it is the hearts in the chests that grow blind. Structures of this life don’t show what’s behind them in the Will of Allahﷻ. Like the story of Musa (AS) and Abdullah bin Zubair (RA). Or like the three stories of Musa and Khidhr (AS) that Allahﷻ told us about in Surah Al-Kahf. All of these as well as many others are apparently negative situations without hope of success but Allahﷻ shows us that His help starts where our minds and material means end. As Muslims therefore, we never lose hope nor despair.
The lesson we learn from all these and other such stories in the Qur’an and Sunnah and the history of our Salaf-us-Saliheen is, not to get distracted or frustrated and lose hope because of what we may be seeing. Winners are decided only at the finish line which is the Aakhira. Tawakkul is to trust Allahﷻ even when our experience and everyone around us tells us that there is no hope of success. This is what differentiates us as Muslims.
Allahﷻ said والعاقبة للمتقين
Lessons from the stories:
- Allahﷻ’s help comes only when all worldly resources are cut off.
- Allahﷻ’s help may not always come in the way you want it.
- Focus on the Ridha of Allahﷻ until it is achieved by obeying Allahﷻ in all things, no matter how attractive the alternative looks.
We are seeing what’s happening in Gaza daily. So, what must we do?
Before I go further, a word about what is of no benefit and so we must stop doing it. Stop watching every WhatsApp forward and continuous news broadcasts. Protect your hearts because the hearts are injured by what our eyes see and what we hear. What we see or listen to either strengthens the heart or weakens and injures it. If you continue to listen to and watch bad news and tragic scenes, at first you get sad, then angry, then frustrated, and then you get immune. After a while they don’t move you to tears and you don’t lose sleep over them. Instead, they become topics of conversation and debate and argument which strain your relationships. So, focus on what is in your control. Not on what’s not in your control. What is in our control is to turn to Allahﷻ and beg Him for His help. What’s not in our control are the spiders and their webs. If only we think about what we say and do. What do we call the internet? How does any internet address begin? WWW… Worldwide web. Your place in this web is called your website. What’s a web? The house of a spider. Think about what the narrative today is about Filastin and Gaza. Who are we told is powerful and who is helpless? We watch TV all day and take classes from WhatsApp University and believe this false narrative. But what did Allahﷻ say about seeking the protection of spiders?
مَثَلُ ٱلَّذِينَ ٱتَّخَذُوا۟ مِن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ أَوْلِيَآءَ كَمَثَلِ ٱلْعَنكَبُوتِ ٱتَّخَذَتْ بَيْتًا ۖ وَإِنَّ أَوْهَنَ ٱلْبُيُوتِ لَبَيْتُ ٱلْعَنكَبُوتِ ۖ لَوْ كَانُوا۟ يَعْلَمُونَ
Ankabut 29: 41 The example of those who take protectors other than Allah is that of a spider spinning a shelter. And the flimsiest of all shelters is certainly that of a spider, if only they knew.
Focus on the best speech, the Word of Allahﷻ because only that is the truth. Then focus on petitioning the only one who can do anything because only He has power. Use all material means at your disposal but remember that the only One who can change anything is Allahﷻ. Nobody else. Make our effort for إتمام الحجه to complete the argument that we did our part physically. But don’t place your trust and hope on the spiders who built the web in the first place. Open your eyes and realize that the spider builds the web to keep you safe for itself, so that you remain entangled until it is ready to consume you. It does not build the web for your safety. So, when you are stuck in the web and you beg the spider to help you, what do you think the spider will do? So, keep your focus on the owner of the house. Not on the spiders in the house. Focus of the رب البيت who commanded us:
فَلۡیَعۡبُدُوا۟ رَبَّ هَـٰذَا ٱلۡبَیۡتِ – ٱلَّذِیۤ أَطۡعَمَهُم مِّن جُوعࣲ وَءَامَنَهُم مِّنۡ خَوۡفِۭ
Quraysh: 106: 3-4 So worship the Rabb of this House. The One who fed them when they were hungry and made them safe from fear
To reach Him, to get Him to help us, we must repair our connection with Him. We are like people trying to call someone but the battery in our phone is dead. Just think about how concerned we are about charging our phones. Then ask how much effort we make, how concerned we are, about our connection with Allahﷻ. What do we do about charging our device to connect with Allahﷻ? That device is our heart. We must take care of our hearts and protect them and charge them regularly with the Dhikr of Allahﷻ and with Shukr and fulfilling Fara’aidh while earning and eating Halal. It is that simple. Ask the One who promised to respond and who is the only One who can do anything. That is the condition of receiving the help of Allahﷻ – unquestioning obedience. Not blind belief but rational belief with knowledge because we know Allahﷻ and we know His Power. So, we obey Him and trust him. Remember that the help of Allahﷻ comes only for the Mu’mineen. All the promises of Allahﷻ are for the Mu’mineen. Not for those who disobey Allahﷻ or are minimalist in their obedience. May Allahﷻ guide us to become Mu’mineen by obeying Him completely.
Allahﷻ told us about the Battle of Hunain, when Rasoolullahﷺ had twelve thousand soldiers under his command. Ten thousand, who had come from Madina and had taken part in the conquest of Makkah, and the other two thousand from the Quraysh, who had embraced Islam recently. The command of the Makkans was with Abu Sufyan ibn al-Harb (R). Opposing them were the Banu Thaqeef of At-Ta’aif and the Hawazim. The Quraysh especially, were very proud of their numbers and weapons. But when the first charge of the enemy hit them, they panicked and ran.
The rout was so complete and unexpected that Sayyidina Omar Ibn Al Khattab (R) said, ‘This is the Qadr of Allahﷻ.’ Rasoolullahﷺ who was mounted on a white mule, went forward towards the enemy, and called out, ‘Here I am. I am the Messenger of Allahﷻ. I am Muhammad bin Abdillah. Here I am.’ Al Abbas and others grabbed his bridle and pulled him back to protect him. Rasoolullahﷺ was defended by the Muhajiroon. There were only 10 men who didn’t leave the battlefield. Abu Bakr, Umar, Ali ibn Abi Talib, Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud, Abbas ibn Abd al-Muttalib, Abu Sufyan ibn al-Harith (son of al-Harith bin Abd al-Muttalib), Fadl ibn Abbas, Rabi’ ibn al-Harith, Usama ibn Zayd and Ayman ibn Ubayd (Radhiallahu anhum ajmaeen). Ayman ibn Ubayd (R) was killed that day while defending Rasoolullahﷺ. Today to defend the dignity of Rasoolullahﷺ is like defending his person when he was among us. Rasoolullahﷺ is not an ordinary human being. To defend his honor is not merely a discretionary act of devotion but a condition of Iman. The one who disrespects Rasoolullahﷺ has left Islam. “Ba khuda deewana basho, Ba Muhammad hoshyar.” Abdullah ibn Mas’ood says, “Rasoolullahﷺ turned in his saddle and saw me and commanded me to call the Ansar.” I called them and they came and surrounded him. Then I saw a black mass descend from the Heavens and spread on the ground like ants.” Allahﷻ said about the day of the Battle of Hunain:
لَقَدْ نَصَرَكُمُ ٱللَّهُ فِى مَوَاطِنَ كَثِيرَةٍ وَيَوْمَ حُنَيْنٍ إِذْ أَعْجَبَتْكُمْ كَثْرَتُكُمْ فَلَمْ تُغْنِ عَنكُمْ شَيْـًٔا وَضَاقَتْ عَلَيْكُمُ ٱلْأَرْضُ بِمَا رَحُبَتْ ثُمَّ وَلَّيْتُم مُّدْبِرِينَ
ثُمَّ أَنزَلَ ٱللَّهُ سَكِينَتَهُۥ عَلَىٰ رَسُولِهِۦ وَعَلَى ٱلْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَأَنزَلَ جُنُودًا لَّمْ تَرَوْهَا وَعَذَّبَ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا۟ وَذَٰلِكَ جَزَآءُ ٱلْكَـٰفِرِينَ
Tawba 9: 25-26 Indeed Allah has given you victory on many battlefields, even at the Battle of Hunain when you took pride in your great numbers, but they proved of no advantage to you. The earth, despite its vastness, seemed to close in on you, then you turned back in retreat. Then Allah sent down His tranquility upon His Messenger and the Believers, and sent down forces you could not see, and punished those who disbelieved. Such was the reward of the disbelievers.
The big lesson for us is to understand that without the help of Allahﷻ, material resources and weapons are not enough to win. And that the help of Allahﷻ comes only to the Mu’mineen.
I remind myself and you about what Allahﷻ said about the two conditions to receive His help. He said:
إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ مَعَ ٱلَّذِينَ ٱتَّقَوا۟ وَّٱلَّذِينَ هُم مُّحْسِنُونَ
Nahl 16: 128 Surely Allah is with those who have Taqwa and those who do Ihsan
The help of Allahﷻ is for those who come into the safety of the Uboodiyat (honored slavehood) of Allahﷻ and strive to please Him and to do more than the minimum prescribed. As Rasoolullahﷺ said to Ibn Abbas (RA), ‘Have Taqwa of Allahﷻ and you will find Him before you.’ I ask Allahﷻ for the joy and sweetness of being His slave. There is nothing that is more honorable or powerful. To conclude I want to quote from a letter from Gaza:
“After returning to the internet, I browse to see what is happening around us and I come across news of those who sympathize with us and those who don’t. Those who stood with us and those who stood against us. I smile to myself and say, ‘O World, what is on your mind? We’ve reached a stage where we’re waiting for our turn with patience and faith. We’ve completely surrendered our fate to Allahﷻ. Our relationship to Allahﷻ is now entirely different. We look up at the sky and tears of hope and contentment fall. We say, ‘Ya Rabb’, as we recall the state of Rasoolullahﷺ and his Sahaba at their most challenging times. We feel like we are among the Sahaba or Rasoolullahﷺ. There is something inside us that has changed. I can’t explain it, but I feel that Allahﷻ watches us in a different way. I feel that the Malaika (angels) are sitting beside us. I feel that Rasoolullahﷺ is among us. It is a difficult feeling to describe. Even in the moments of simple sleep there is a sense of tranquility (Sakina) as if the Ayah of the Qur’an has materialized:
إِذْ يُغَشِّيكُمُ ٱلنُّعَاسَ أَمَنَةً مِّنْهُ وَيُنَزِّلُ عَلَيْكُم مِّنَ ٱلسَّمَآءِ مَآءً لِّيُطَهِّرَكُم بِهِۦ وَيُذْهِبَ عَنكُمْ رِجْزَ ٱلشَّيْطَـٰنِ وَلِيَرْبِطَ عَلَىٰ قُلُوبِكُمْ وَيُثَبِّتَ بِهِ ٱلْأَقْدَامَ
Anfal 8:11 Remember˺ when He caused drowsiness to overcome you, giving you serenity. And He sent down rain from the sky to purify you, free you from Shaytan’s whispers, strengthen your hearts, and make ˹your˺ steps firm.
It is something that harks back to the time of Rasoolullahﷺ and the Sahaba. We are in a completely different world. The trial is exceedingly difficult, almost like the Day of Judgement, but there is something inside us that has changed. I can’t explain it.”
Let us ask Allahﷻ with complete sincerity and total confidence and trust that only He has the power to change the situation and that He ordered us to ask Him and promised to respond. We seek only His help and turn only to Him and beg only Him without any partners and without associating anyone with Him.