Al-Aqsa Intifadah: What Can You Do?
Posted: 13 Rajab 1421, 11 October 2000
As I was reading and listening to the news from Palestine this past week, a familiar
emotion began to rare its ugly head. As the news became grimmer and grimmer, I began to
feel more and more helpless. Angry and indignant and frustrated, but most of all helpless.
This is most likely a familiar emotion to many of those who keep up with world affairs and
the state of the Ummah today. From Iraq to Bosnia to Kosova to Palestine, it seems
everywhere you look there are Muslims being oppressed, abused and murdered. Sometimes
instead of hopelessness these injustices foster aggression, guilt and hatred that turn
either inward on oneself or outward on ones family.
While natural to some extent these feelings of hopelessness can become a tool of
Shaitan, who watches gleefully as our mind-set causes us to become paralyzed and fail to
take any action at all. Or he celebrates even more while he watches us depend on the kufar
for our brothers and sisters protection and assistance rather than relying
only on Allah and coming together to provide that assistance as the Ummah should.
It is human nature to want to help our brothers and sisters physically. We are
creatures of action when were hungry we eat, when were frightened we
run, when were attacked we fight. We sometimes allow ourselves to become too bound
to the immediate, tangible world. We live day to day with the laws of nature and we become
almost hypnotized by them, limiting our assessment of situations to what we can physically
do to affect them.
Fortunately, Allah has given us much greater power than what our mere physical bodies
can achieve. He has allowed us, even required of us, that we ask Him for His Divine
Intervention in all situations. Indeed, in situations where we are not ourselves able to
act, our requests that He intercede and our faith in His ability to do so reflect the true
level of our Iman. Those of great faith never tire of petitioning Allah, and they feel the
comfort of His power when they do so. "Indeed, to God do we turn in hope."
So instead of fretting about the overwhelming hopelessness of the state of the Ummah,
dig in and start praying! This will foster hope in Allahs promises and spark you to
contribute whatever you can to our suffering brothers and sisters around the world. Allah
will then multiply our efforts and well reap the rewards of pure niyat and
sacrificing action in the dunya and the akhirah, Insha-Allah. And Shaitan will be left
miserable and alone by virtue of both our prayers and our actions in the way of Allah!
Things You Can Do to Help Your Fellow Muslims
- Dont park yourself for hours in front of the TV watching the misery over and over
again. Turn off the tube and go take action.
- Donate money or time to a group that is active in helping Muslims.
- If you dont have money to donate but do own jewelry or other valuable items, sell
them and donate the money.
- Write letters - even short ones - to media and governmental officials regarding the
treatment of Muslims. Sometimes we avoid writing because we believe we arent
articulate enough or dont have time to write thoughtful letters. In situations like
these sheer numbers of people making their voices heard often matter more than eloquence
or grammatical precision.
- Organize or participate in local demonstrations on behalf of Muslims around the world
whose voices cant be heard.
- Explain the situations to your older children. Its amazing how the world scene is
so familiar to us that we dont stop to realize our own children arent fully
understanding the tribulations of the Ummah.
- Fast to keep yourself appreciative of the blessings that Allah has bestowed upon you and
to increase your empathy with our brothers and sisters who are in difficulties.
- If youre able (especially young brothers) consider taking time off school or work
to volunteer with a Muslim charity or other organization. Why not? We all know the hadith
about the Day of Judgement, when Allahs shade will protect those who spent their
youth serving Him! What good will that engineering degree do you on that day? Better to
spend your time serving Allah by helping His servants!
- Brothers, if it comes to it and youre able to, go join the struggle. The Ummah
will be brought together only by individual Muslims making great sacrifices and standing
up firmly for Islam (and in so doing making the struggle truly one of Jihad rather than
nationalism). If we dont come together here in the dunya, then hellfire will be the
only thing to bring us together.
- Make your dua at times when Allah most readily accepts them: when youre
traveling, when youre ill, when youre fasting and ready to break your fast,
between the adhan and iqama of fajr, during sujud, and in the final third of the night.
Some dua you can recite:
"O Allah, bind our hearts together. Set aright relations among us. Guide us upon
the way of peace. Deliver us from darkness into light. Separate us from vile deeds,
whatever may be concealed of them and whatever revealed. Bless us in our hearing and our
sight, our hearts and our spouses, and our children. Grant us repentance, for You are the
Oft-Forgiving, the Most Merciful. And enable us to be thankful for You grace, and to extol
You for it, and to be accepting of it. And perfect it for us." Prophet Muhammad
(Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam) as quoted in Lasting Prayers of the Quran and Sunnah.
"Our Lord, pour forth upon us patience, and take our souls as Muslims."
"Our Lord! bestow on us mercy from Yourself, and dispose of our affair for us in
the right way!" [Al-Kahf 18:10]
"O God, whoever holds command of an affair of my community and afflicts it with
hardship, afflict him with hardship. And whoever holds command of an affair of my
community and accords it kindness, accord him kindness." Prophet Muhammad
(Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam) as quoted in "Lasting Prayers of the Quran and
"O my Lord! Forgive me, my parents, all who enter my house in Faith, and (all)
believing men and believing women: and to the wrong-doers grant no increase but in
Perdition!" [Prayer of Prophet Nuh (Nuh, 71:28)].
"Our Lord! In You do we trust; and to You do we turn in repentance; and to You is
(our) final Goal. Our Lord! Make us not a trial for those who disbelieve, but forgive us,
our Lord! For You are the Exalted in Might, the Wise." (Prayer of Prophet Ibrahim
"Our Lord, forgive us our sins and anything we may have done that transgressed our
duty: establish our feet firmly, and help us against those that resist Faith."
(Prayer of the Believers after the Battle of Uhud [Al-i-Imran, 3:147])