One day, a group of people were sitting around and talking about the problems of the Ummah. They began raging about the lack of women’s roles within specific communities, the “backwards” ways that people often behave and the general desperate situation of the Muslims. One woman then shared her analysis, “It’s because of people from [this country] that we are so backwards!” And the racist country-blaming began.
But I know the majority of people who were sitting in that group did not follow Islam’s obligations – they did not pray or fast regularly. Therefore, is it really the people of “that country” that are causing us to have issues as an Ummah? Or is it really our own sins, arrogance, and diseased hearts which are causing us to slide backwards in our relationship with the One Who can easily give us advancement, honor and victory?
There are people being murdered throughout the world. There is massive starvation, cyclical poverty and inhumane occupation. What are we doing as an Ummah to help bring social justice back to our planet (apart from complaining about our state)?
Perhaps many of us are caught up in twenty-odd units of classes. Perhaps some of us are bogged down with work and the responsibilities of life. What can we possibly do, in our locality, consistently, when we are so far away from our brethren who are losing limbs, lives and hope?
We can come back to Allah ‘azza wa jal.
Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala (exalted is He) tells us in Surah Ali-Imran:
“So do not weaken and do not grieve, and you will be superior if you are [true] believers.” (Qur’an, 3:139)
Allah is giving us the great news of victory if we are true believers! So let us seek victory in His Promise.
Let us first take responsibility for our own actions. Many of us protest every year against occupations globally, yet many of us will miss dhuhr and `asr prayer on the very same day. Are you the one who will bring liberation back to Palestine? Or is it the One Who controls everything in the Heavens and the Earth? Sometimes we get so caught up with being active to improve the state of others, that we forget that the most important state we need to improve is that of our own selves – that of maintaining our basic obligations towards Allah (swt).
Let’s start focusing on being the BEST social justice advocates: those who bring justice first to our own souls by seeking the pleasure of our Lord, by maintaining what has been obligated upon us, and fighting our base desires to stay away from what has been forbidden to us, and by striving to not only take Allah as our Creator and One we worship, but also as our BEST FRIEND. And let us know that when we seek Allah, Allah (swt) will help quicken our victory in the cause of justice.
Allah promises He “…will help those who help His cause. Indeed Allah is all-Powerful, all-Mighty.” (Qur’an, 22:40)
The scholar Imam Ash-Shinqitee, may Allah have mercy on his soul, stated, “Allah – the Mighty and Majestic – explains in this noble Verse that He has promised to help and give victory to those who help Him. And it is known that the help and victory of Allah comes by following what He has prescribed, obeying His command, [and] avoiding His prohibitions…”1
For those seeking to bring humanity, justice and liberation to the oppressed, and dignity and honor back to those who feel humiliated in our Ummah, let us go back to Allah. Let us sincerely, consistently and seriously work on our relationships with Him and allow this to be the drive behind our passion to bring social justice and advancement to our Ummah.
Four Action Items:
- Start doing one amazing thing to revamp your relationship with Allah! Perhaps it’s saying Subhan Allahi wa Bi Hamdihi (all glory and praise be to Allah) 100 times a day. Perhaps it’s beginning to establish praying the sunnah salah before fajr every day. Perhaps it’s making a commitment to do the wajibaat (obligatory actions) and trying one’s best to keep going on this, regardless of the difficulty of the situation.
- Start running away, sprinting away from one thing you know Allah has asked us to stay away from! The “F” word? Talking smack? Ignoring your mom? Pick one thing to fight and start boxing it out of your life!
- Begin or maintain whatever you can do to contribute to social justice. We need to do the action while supplicating for, and being certain of, Allah’s Help.
- Continually make du`a’, in our prostration, when it rains, between the athan and the iqama, in the last third of the night, when you’re fasting, sick or traveling – all of which are times when the du`a’ is accepted – make du`a’ for the Ummah! And have CERTAINTY that Allah will answer.
Why wouldn’t Allah (swt) bring us success when we, as an Ummah, are seeking His pleasure by doing what He has obligated upon us? When we fight ourselves to stay away from what He asks us to stay away from, when we work for the outcome of social justice and make du`a’ with certainty that He will answer – He WILL answer! Let us seek Allah’s pleasure and go back to Him for the sake of those dying unjustly all over the world! What are we waiting for? We have the BEST promise from the One Who NEVER breaks His promise!
“Allah has promised to those amongst you who have iman (certainty of belief) and do righteous actions, that He will grant you the khilafah (succession to authority) in the land…” (Qur’an, 24:55)
And let us know that in the end, Allah is always watching and regardless of what we do, we will always go back to Him:
“And say, ‘Do [as you will], for Allah will see your deeds, and [so, will] His Messenger and the believers. And you will be returned to the Knower of the unseen and the witnessed, and He will inform you of what you used to do.’” (Qur’an, 9:105)
- Adwaa’ ul-Bayaan (5/703-704). ↩