Ibn Hajr (rh) mentions that it’s better to do good deeds in secret. However, if a person wants to encourage someone to do an action, then there’s no harm in showing them, as long as there’s no Riya.
In the name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
A dark age has befallen the Muslim Ummah. Intolerance, disrespect and discrimination towards the believers has become commonplace in the Western world while war, poverty, and senseless killing caused by the latter throws the East into frenzy. We have seen our sisters in hijab beaten and attacked, our sacred land of Ash Sham destroyed, Zionist oppression in our beloved Al-Quds, persecution of the Rohingya and Uighur Muslims and the fatal starvation of those in Africa caused by debt inflicted due to the usury system. It is the times like these where hope is scarce, we may be at the end of the tunnel and feel as if there there is no light. Every day we wake up to a new declaration of war and more lifeless bodies appear on our social media and newspapers.
The War on Palestine happened. We gathered in our thousands to condemn the Zionists. Thereafter the Syrian massacres happened. We cried as we saw children being pulled from the depths of the rubble. Then we heard of Yemen, of Burma, of the Central African Republic, Somalia, France, Belgium, Britain and recently Afghanistan, it happens all at once in an instance as the world delves into ignorance and war. It’s surreal. It’s hard to imagine, while we, the lucky ones are able to live in beautiful countries and come home to our families every night. How can we even begin to envision F-16s dotting the sky, the sound of terror, the smell of blood while we wake up to birds and blue skies? What are we meant to do?
In this age of mass media, it’s so easy to get sidetracked into the illusion of fame and personal gain. Social media has created an outlet that in some areas can be used as a good thing to spread awareness of certain issues but at the same time when looking at the bigger picture, it has created this mirage. It has come to a point where we as Muslims, are able to easily look at and share images of our dead and bloodied brothers and sisters in the name of ‘awareness’ without feeling a drop of sympathy and empathy in our hearts. Our feeds are flooded with these hashtags and posts and in some cases we’ve distanced ourselves so much, it has become a joke. In all our helplessness, we’re able to make it our second nature to promote these heart-breaking images and videos without any second thought, to make it look like ‘activism’, to make it look like maybe we are in touch with the rest of the struggling Muslim nation. This heartlessness is in complete defiance to the mighty ayah of the Quran which tells us clearly our relationship with those in Anatolia, Sham, Yemen, Hejaz, Egypt, Gaza and elsewhere.
“The believers are but brothers, so make settlement between your brothers. And fear Allah that you may receive mercy.” (49:10)
As a regular Muslim teenager, we already feel so helpless, we’re diving deeper into that abyss of ignorance by leaving everything up to our media to manipulate and mislead us. We should know that it isn’t fitting to post things just for the sake of it, to show people that we think we care. That things have gone past the age of ‘awareness’ and are waiting for action. Rather than instagram, twitter and facebook socialites, the Muslim youth should be up there as shining examples of leading global and community citizens. But what exactly does it mean to be a global citizen?
Each and every one of us are granted by Allah, a voice, intellect and strength. To find it in ourselves to utilize those qualities and to spend time on these things of benefit, we will experience a unity like no other. It’s a cliche to be told that the world can change with just one person and one good action but the truth in it still remains. The Muslim youth should be at the forefront of the community. Actions need to be taken. As Allah says about the youth and their potential
“It is We who relate to you, [O Muhammad], their story in truth. Indeed, they were youths who believed in their Lord, and We increased them in guidance.” (18:13)
We, the youth, should be volunteering, organizing, fundraising, protesting speaking to members of the outside in our effort to make a change. The Youth need to free themselves from the chains of social media, of empty words and promises that are never fulfilled. We need to make ourselves heard in both this Earth but also in the Heavens.
Allah has not forgotten about us. He has not turned away from the cries of the Muslim Nation no matter what new oppressor we face nor these calamities. He Watches and Hears all things. Allah reminds us in Surah Al-Fajr when talking about the Ad, the people of Thamud and the Pharaoh who were granted extreme strength and wealth yet carried out injustice in the lands, Allah says,
“Indeed your Lord is in observation” (89:14)
This is in parallel to the oppressors and tyrants of today’s age who commit heinous war crimes under the mask of freedom, Allah is in count and Allah knows what is in the hearts of all men. For us as Muslims, we must be in this full consciousness that Allah is near and He is sufficient.
“And put thy trust in Allah, and enough is Allah as a disposer of affairs” (33:3)
This means that in all due respect to all our Muslim brothers and sisters living in these corrupted lands in fear and in war, it is better from us to make a sincere, heartfelt dua. Maybe this is where the thorn lies in our response. How many times has one been able to write paragraphs condemning deaths online, to write that they are in solidarity with our Ummah yet their hands are completely void of being raised in dua? What will a word on a screen ever help to achieve in their struggle when we could ask the One who predestines and changes the hearts and fates of men? Our culture of hollow oaths must come to an end and we must be able to turn our attention back to what is important. The trials of this world are only given and taken away by Allah so it is to Allah that we should ask for their pardon and easement and it is with Allah where our trust must lie. It is action that will change our conditions and end these trials not the use of corrupt media or fake activism as Allah says
“For each one are successive [angels] before and behind him who protect him by the decree of Allah . Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves. And when Allah intends for a people ill, there is no repelling it. And there is not for them besides Him any patron.” (13:11)
The Muslim Ummah can only stay divided if we blind our eyes and our hearts. With it being incredibly easy to fall into the cavity of feeling helpless and depressed, the Muslim youth need to be in consciousness of everything. Islam is a religion of action and if we all act collectively now and put our trust in Allah, the Muslims will win both this world and Jannah. Do not lose hope, it’s time for us all to move forward in the pursuit of Jannah.