Reflections: A Need For Change

Reflections: A Need For Change

The following was written when I was reflecting on the events in Gaza. I believe most of the contents are just as relevant today as they were when I wrote it. Here it is as it was originally written:

The recent Israeli offence against the people of Gaza has rightly outraged us all. Many of us are questioning why this is happening and why do Muslims seem to be suffering all over the world. I would like to share some thoughts on this issue which I have benefited from different scholars.

Firstly, we must all recognize that we as Muslims are failing in our duties towards Allah (the Most High). Our real protector and savior is our Lord who ultimately has ALL the power. As for the creation their power is only that which Allah (the Most High) allows them to have. Therefore, it is to the one in charge of all affairs that we should turn to and not the creation. I am not saying we don't contact politicians, take part in demonstrations etc..the appropriate course of action to be taken is up to every individual to decide for themselves. Rather I am drawing attention to the root cause of the suffering.

Allah (the High) says: "AND DO YOU, now that a calamity has befallen you after you had inflicted twice as much [on your foes], ask yourselves, "How has this come about?" Say: "It has come from your own selves." Verily, God has the power to will anything" (3:165)

In other words when a calamity befalls Muslims they must ask themselves have they been disobedient to their Lord. Our miseries can be traced back to disobedience to the creator. We all know the story of the battle of Uhud when the Muslims were defeated even though the best of creation (peace and blessings be upon him) was amongst them due to the archers disobeying the Prophet's (peace and blessings be upon him) orders.

Allah (the High) says: "so let those who go against His command beware, lest a trial befall them, or there befall them a painful chastisement" (24:63)

Many of us do not want to face up to the reality that our constant sinning and disobedience to Allah (the Most High) affects the state of all Muslims. Therefore, I request that everyone who really is devastated at what is happening in Gaza to take a long look at his/her life style and sincerely repents from his/her sins. Many of us are trying to assist the people of Gaza through praying for them, sending charity for food and medicine and boycotting companies who have openly declared they are sending a portion of their profits to Israel. All of these things are needed but how many of us have thought of repenting from illicit relationships, alcohol, drugs, theft, pornography, cutting off relations with relatives, not praying 5 times a day, abusing others, not wearing hijab, disobeying their parent etc.. the list can go on. Every person knows exactly what sins he/she is committing.

With this constant stream of sins why are we so surprised that Allah's (the Most High) help is not coming down. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said:

"Be mindful of Allah, and Allah will protect you. Be mindful of Allah, and you will find Him in front of you." (Narrated by Tirmidhi)

Allah (the Most High) says "Remember me and I will remember you" 2:152

How can we expect him to remember us when we have forgotten him through our disobedience to Him.

Ask yourself how many times did I pray fajr prayer in congregation this week? How many of us even prayed fajr at all! We are failing at the basic of basics of Islam then we are puzzled at our state. If we are really serious about changing our state and ending the misery of Muslims around the globe then every person reading this must do the following:

  • Some self-reflection
  • Identify his/her mistakes and then take steps to rectify them

Until then we can sign millions of petitions and attend thousands of demonstrations but we will not find the solution.

We can't just blame leaders and politicians we must also share in the responsibility because we have not lived up to what Allah (the Most High) has asked of us. Despite the carnage we have been seeing daily for the last 3 weeks, we still can't get Muslims to stop buying from companies who openly support Israel let alone those of us who work for them, nor can we arise in the middle of the night or even 5.30 am (or even a little before the time fajr starts) to pray for our brothers and sisters. Yet we have no shortage of Muslims who can get up at this time in the morning to go to the Next sales on Boxing Day or to open their shops/cash n'carries.

I conclude not with my words or opinion but the word of Allah (the Most High) who we all acknowledge to be the truth 100% as it is from our creator himself:

"Surely, Allah will not change the state of a people until they change themselves" (13:11)

 

Shaykh Amer Jamil

16/01/09