What should we do amidst this distressful hardship in Syria?
Praise be to Allah, The Lord (The One and Only) of the Worlds, and blessings and peace be upon our Master, Prophet Muhammad, upon his Family and his Companions.
Many people ask about what we should do amidst this distressful hardship in our country (Syria.) There is a special kind of Fiqh which deals with crises. All Muslims should be aware of this Fiqh especially during times of hardship. As long as crisis is a law amongst the Divine laws in the universe, it entails a special Fiqh in the Quran and Sunnah. Thus, it should be followed and applied.
1- We should be solid and strong in crises:
Allah the Almighty says:
﴾ Verily, man (disbeliever) was created very impatient; Irritable (discontented) when evil touches him; And niggardly when good touches him;- Except those devoted to Salat (prayers) ﴿
The only way to keep yourself solid in crises and protected from having a break down and from forsaking your religion, is to keep offering your prayers in the wide sense of the word; to keep in touch with Allah the Almighty which will ease you and grant you tranquility and happiness.
It was narrated in the noble Hadith:
((Ibn ‘Abbas reported, “The Prophet (sall’allahu alayhi wasallam) at times of sorrow and grief used to supplicate, La ilaha illa Allah Al-’Azim, Al-Haleem, la ilaha illa Allah, Rabbul ‘arshil ‘Azim, la ilaha illa Allahu, Rabbus-Samawati wa rabbul ardi wa rabbul ‘arshi karim (There is no god but Allah, the Mighty, the Forbearing, there is no god but Allah, the Lord of the mighty throne, there is no god but Allah, the Lord of the heavens and the earth, and the Lord of the throne of honor)’.” Then he supplicates.))
This means that the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, used to be closer to his Forbearing, Beneficent and Mighty Lord in crises.
It was also narrated in another Hadith:
((The Prophet PBUH at times of sorrow and grief used to offer prayers.))
Also, Abu Huraira narrated in the following sound Hadith that the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon himsaid:
((The most evil (traits) in a man are: severe stinginess and uninhibited cowardice.))
Being brave in crises is one of the polite manners that every Muslim should have. Also, the Muslim must be patient and tranquil, and he should accept Allah’s decree. We should all calm down since the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings, assured us that provision and life term are in the Hand of Almighty Allah, and they are already decreed. Thus, they will not be increased or decreased.
The Prophet PBUH said:
((The Holy Spirit (Jibreel) has inspired to me that no soul will die until it has completed its appointed term and received its provision in full, so fear Allaah and do not be desperate in seeking provision, and no one of you should be tempted to seek provision by means of committing sin if it is slow in coming to him, for that which is with Allaah can only be attained by obeying Him.))
A believer should always keep in his mind the following ayah in which Almighty Allah says:
﴾ Say: "Nothing shall ever happen to us except what Allah has ordained for us. He is our Maula (Lord, Helper and Protector)." And in Allah let the believers put their trust. ﴿
2- We should be trustworthy:
Allah the Almighty says:
﴾ Verily! Allah commands that you should render back the trusts to those, to whom they are due; and that when you judge between men, you judge with justice. Verily, how excellent is the teaching which He (Allah) gives you! Truly, Allah is Ever All-Hearer, All-Seer. ﴿
Also Allah says in describing the believers:
﴾ And those who keep their trusts and covenants ﴿
The Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, said:
((A dishonest person has no faith and the one who does not keep his promise has no religion.))
In another Hadith the Prophet PBUH said:
((Render back the trust to the one who entrusted it to you, and do not betray those who betray you.))
Despite the hardship the Prophet PBUH was in when he migrated from Mecca to Al Madinah, he asked his cousin Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, to give back all the trusts to their owners from Quraish before he followed him. The owners were those who antagonized the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him,and tortured his companions.
Though trustworthiness is demanded constantly, and people are in dire need to it in crises and times of hardship. A Muslim should not take the money of his brother in faith, oppress people in order to take their money, steal the private and public money or cause damage to public and private properties.
3- Being collaborative and merciful:
The prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, said:
((The Merciful One shows mercy to those who are themselves merciful (to sh3er). So show mercy to whatever is on earth, then He who is in heaven will show mercy to you.))
Times of hardship and conflicts sift merciful people.
It was reported in the Hadith:
((The hard hearted are the furthest of all people from Allah Most High.))
Being merciful is ordained in Islam, and it marks the perfect faith of a real Muslim who meets people with a heart full of compassion and righteousness. He helps them in their time of need and makes things easier for them as much as he can:
Abu Musa Al-Ashari reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said,
(( “You will never have faith until you love each other. Shall I tell you what will make you love each other?” They said, “Of course, O Messenger of Allah.” He said, “Spread peace between yourselves. By the one in whose hand is my soul, you will not enter Paradise until you are merciful.” They said, “O Messenger of Allah, all of us are merciful.” He said, “Verily, it is not mercy between yourselves, but rather it is mercy in general; it is mercy in general.”))
((Allah is only merciful with those who show mercy to sh3er.))
In crises your mercy is manifested in so many ways:
You can show your collaboration and mercy in crises if you:
- Do not increase the prices.
- Do not monopolize commodities.
- Decrease prices.
- Help the needy.
-Stand up for those who are weak.
- Offer services to people and fulfill their needs.
((You will not believe until you show mercy to one another.))
((He who does not show mercy to sh3er, will not be shown mercy.))
((Marcy is only removed from the miserable.))
4- Give abundantly:
A crisis becomes pretext to refrain from giving Sadaqah although giving it in times of hardship is more important and abundantly rewarded by Allah for two reasons:
1- People are in dire need to it.
2- It drives away afflictions as it is mentioned in the following Hadith:
((To spend secretly in the Path of Allah extinguishes the Anger of Allah.))
5- Social solidarity:
Social solidarity means that people support each other and cooperate with each other whether those people live in the same building, the same district, the same village, the same city or the same country. The rich should help the poor and the strong should help the weak. Neighbors, friends and brother should help each other.
Social solidarity is one of the bases of Islamic society, and is essential in crises.
((Abu Sa’id Al-Khudri (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Once we were on a journey with Messenger of Allah (PBUH) when a rider came and began looking right and left. Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "Whoever has an extra mount should offer it to him who is without it, and whoever has surplus food should give it to him who has nothing;'' and he continued mentioning other properties until we thought that none of us had any right to surplus of his own property. ))
If you own a factory or a company and you have financial problems due to crises, don’t fire any of your workers. Those workers will have no means to have a dignified life, so life and death becomes equal to them. Consequently, they commit crimes such as robbery. You should find solution for your financial problems in your business and trading, and be aware that the sincere intentions will bring you means of finance that which you have never thought of. In crises every business owner can spend from his capital to give the employees their fees, and this is considered the best Sadaqah one can offer, or he can divide the little profits he makes among his employees after reducing working hours. Either of these suggestions is better than leaving them jobless.
Listen what the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, said about solidarity in the following Hadith:
((The Ash'arites ran short of food on a raid - or their families in Madina ran short of food. They gathered together what they had in one cloth and then divided it among themselves equally using the same container. These people are from me and I am from them.))
Does not it give you the shudder to read or listen to his words: they are from me and I am from them? Do not you wish to be one of those? Helping other people and supporting them will make you one of those people.
Solidarity in crises can be manifested in getting acquainted deeper with your neighbors and the neighborhood in general in order to be more able to collaborate with them. You can help their needy and keep the neighbors in touch with each other. This makes it easier to aid one another.
Another aspect of collaboration is to avoid making parties or having wedding ceremonies as a sign of being sympathetic with people who have hard times in crises. Most of them are grieving for losing brother, sons or relatives. Sympathizing with other people is extremely important in crises. One should share other people's feelings, so that they feel how much you care for them and how much you want to be helpful to them.
In crises we should put our trust in Allah and be optimistic:
After the calamity comes awarding, after the distress comes relief, after the adversity comes comfort and after affliction comes the bestowal:
﴾ Verily, with the hardship, there is relief (i.e. there is one hardship with two reliefs, so one hardship cannot overcome two reliefs).﴿
Verify dear brother, successive hardships will end in relief:
﴾ And verily, Allah is with the Muhsinun (good doers). ﴿
﴾ Allah will grant after hardship, ease. ﴿
A calamity might afflicts a young man
And only Allah has a way out of it
There seems to be absolutely no way
Yet, out of it a way was made
In crises we should watch our language:
Watching one’s language is part of our religion. Some people were doomed because of the words they utter, while sh3er were exacted. Hence, we should think deeply about the words we want to utter, and it is recommendable to consider the consequences of the words we use in our conversations and discussions before it is too late. The prudent is the one who makes his speech part of his deeds, so he keeps himself safe.
All of us will be responsible for each word we utter on the Day of Resurrection. You all know the following Ayah:
﴾ Not a word does he (or she) utter, but there is a watcher by him ready (to record it). ﴿
Also you should keep in mind the following Ayah:
﴾ See you not how Allah sets forth a parable? - A goodly word as a goodly tree, whose root is firmly fixed, and its branches (reach) to the sky (i.e. very high). Giving its fruit at all times, by the Leave of its Lord and Allah sets forth parables for mankind in order that they may remember. And the parable of an evil word is that of an evil tree uprooted from the surface of earth having no stability. ﴿
There are many stories about men who were exalted because of their chosen words, whereas sh3er were disgraced because of their despicable speech. Islam and reasoning urge you to watch your language all the time and to keep watching it particularly in crises. Man is a subject of tests throughout his lifetime, and in crises the tests are more difficult. One of which, that might elevate you or disgrace you, is the test of the words you choose whenever you speak. The following Hadith refers to such an issue:
Ibn Majah reported in his Sunnan that the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, said:
((There will come a calamity which will wipe out the Arabs. Their slain will be in hell. The tongue will be more severe in this than the blow of the sword.))
The Muslim and the reasonable person are asked to speak out the truth and refrain from speaking falsehood. Furthermore, they are asked to support the truth to become the uppermost, for the Prophet PBUH praised goodness and supported it, and dispraised badness and weakened it. However, he, who is helpless in that respect for some reasons, should read the following Hadith of the Prophet PBUH:
((And whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should speak a good word or remain silent.))
Once a man said to Umar Ibn Al Khattab prince of believers, May Allah be pleased with him: "Fear Allah O prince of believers."Another man wondered at those words saying: "Are you asking the prince of believers to fear Allah?" Then Umar said: "Let him say it, for there will be no goodness in you if you don’t say it, and there will be no goodness in us if we don’t listen to it."
Baihaki reported that Abu Huraira, May Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet PBUH said:
((Speaking out the truth is the best of Sadaqat that Allah the Almighty loves the most.))
It was mentioned that 'Umar bin 'Abdul 'Aziz, may Allah have mercy on his soul, said to Amro Ibn Muhajer: "If you saw me inclined from the right path, grab me from my collar and shake me and say: O Umar, what are you doing?!"
Sticking firmly to the truth is part of the sincerity of speech and that should occur in general and in crises in particular.
((Abu 'Abdur-Rahman Bilal bin Al-Harith Al-Muzani (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "A man speaks a good word without knowing its worth, Allah records for him His Good Pleasure till the day he will meet Him; and a man utters an evil word without realizing its importance, Allah records for him His displeasure till the day he will meet Him.))
Finally we should all resort to supplication, for it is the most effective weapon. Also we should offer kunut in Salah in which we invoke Allah to perish the tyrants and dictators. Finally we ask Allah to grant us relief, triumph and empowerment.
O Allah, have mercy on the souls of our martyrs, grant recovery to the injured and freedom to the imprisoned. O Allah, doom the tyrants.
Assalam Alaikum Wa Rahmatoo Allah Wa Barakatoh (Allah's peace and mercy upon all of you, and shall you be blessed.)