Today was a hard day for the people of Pakistan. From one affliction after the other, we suffered. In general too, these are troubled times for the entire Muslim nation. One wound after the other, I saw people losing hope. I heard comments and read posts about how all is lost. Everyone is in despair. No one feels they can take it any more. And rightly so, the pain is great. The wounds are physical, emotional, spiritual and mental.
We keep repeating on our social media what we are going through and how bad the situation is, ending with a hashtag of #NoHate, though in reality our posts are doing nothing else but generate hate. But then what else can we do? We feel helpless!
My dear brothers and sisters in Islam, sad as you are, let me remind you of another hard day that someone very beloved to us went through. Someone who all of us claim to love, one way or the other. What was his reaction?
That she asked the Prophet (ﷺ) , ‘Have you encountered a day harder than the day of the battle) of Uhud?” The Prophet (ﷺ) replied, “Your tribes have troubled me a lot, and the worse trouble was the trouble on the day of ‘Aqaba when I presented myself to Ibn `Abd-Yalail bin `Abd-Kulal and he did not respond to my demand. So I departed, overwhelmed with excessive sorrow, and proceeded on, and could not relax till I found myself at Qarnath-Tha-alib where I lifted my head towards the sky to see a cloud shading me unexpectedly. I looked up and saw Gabriel in it. He called me saying, ‘Allah has heard your people’s saying to you, and what they have replied back to you, Allah has sent the Angel of the Mountains to you so that you may order him to do whatever you wish to these people.’ The Angel of the Mountains called and greeted me, and then said, “O Muhammad! Order what you wish. If you like, I will let Al-Akh-Shabain (i.e. two mountains) fall on them.” The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “No but I hope that Allah will let them beget children who will worship Allah Alone, and will worship None besides Him.” [Sahih Bukhari, 3231]
This was a time when Prophet Muhammad ﷺ disappointed from the hatred of the people of Makkah and their constant refusal to accept the truth travelled to Taif, hopeful that they’d welcome the beautiful message of Islam. However, instead of accepting it, they started mocking the person who today we hold in so much respect. They made their people line up in two rows on the side of the road and when Prophet Muhammad ﷺ passed from there, they pelted him with rocks and threw stones at him. So much so that his body bled and the blood filled up his shoes. Just stop for a moment and picture this. Shoes filled with blood?! How much wounded do you have to be to be in this state. Imagine a lone person hurling a single rock at you, how would you feel? A whole group of people throwing stones at my Prophet ﷺ? The mere thought fills us with rage and tears. We want to go and beat up those people all over again.
In this state, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ staggered out of that town, how weak he must have felt. And at that time, Jibreel came with the Angel of the Mountains awaiting just a command. I see you already wishing it was you so you could tell the Angel to crush those people between two mountains. But look at the reply of my beloved Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. He said, “no, but I hope that Allah will let them beget children who will worship Allah Alone, and will worship None besides Him.”
Hope! At a time like this! This is the character of the one who I’m supposed to follow, step by step. This is what is expected of me being a caller towards Allah, being a Muslim, being a member of the best of nations. I can’t afford to lose hope.
I’m a leader, I have to pull up the people around me, I have to be the shoulder they can lean on, I have to give them light so they can see the way. And what is the way except the way that leads to Allah?
If that day, my Prophet Muhammad ﷺ had lost hope and had those people crushed between mountains, how would the legendary hero, Muhammad bin Qasim have been born from the progeny of the people of Taif? Muhammad bin Qasim, the first Muslim leader to have stepped on the land of Sindh and thus bringing Islam to this region. Who knows that I owe my Islam to him today?
Instead of ranting about the problems and the pain, I need to talk about the solution. I need to instil in those hearts softened by the affliction that it’s time we turn back to Allah, it’s time we fixed ourselves. Allah says, “And whatever strikes you of disaster – it is for what your hands have earned; but He pardons much.” (42:30)
I will fix myself. I will perform ablution a little extra carefully today, I will spend a few minutes more at the prayer mat, I will seek forgiveness for my sins more than usual, I will tell people to worship Allah, to do good deeds, to stay away from immoral acts with more fervour today. Because I know this is the solution! I know this will bring change!
I believe! Allah says, “Indeed, no one despairs of relief from Allah except the disbelieving people.” (12:87)
I believe that my hope will bring forth many Muhammad bin Qasims inshaAllah. :)