2013 has been an eventful year, for me personally and generally for the entire Ummah. In these last few weeks and months we have witnessed rather horrific scenes of the catastrophe’s hitting our wider family in different parts of the world. Everyday on the news, we hear stories of murdered men and women. We read in the papers about the children who have been left orphaned, and about those wives that have been left widowed, helpless and without any protection or food to fill their stomachs and their children’s’ too. Everyday we are informed of some oppression, some wrongdoing in some part of the world. All this goes to show that we are living in really sad times. A time where our greatest weapon is Du’aa and our ultimate trust lies in the Lord, the king – Allah.
As a youth living in the west, I felt a responsibility to share with my fellow young brothers and sisters around the world about how the problems that the Ummah is facing affects US. Now, ya shabaab, do we really need to change our ways, at a time where fitnah is at the max and a time when tribulation, oppression and wrongdoing just never seems to cease. We are living in times of darkness, a time where corrupt leaders are murdering their own people, a time where young, innocent lives are been lost, a time of cruelty, a time where Muslims are undergoing a huge test.
As sad as I have been feeling about these issues around the world, I only begin to wonder. These times of hardship are in fact an actual mercy from Allah, a great blessing, a time of purification, a time where martyrs are been taken into His Jannah, a time of expiation and a time of unity. The situation in Egypt, Syria and Gaza are all but a wake-up call. It is a time for us to wake up from our heedlessness and our neglect. It’s a time where we, as aspiring leaders of the Ummah, as young, energetic, innocent minds need to stand up, shake ourselves back to reality, and really have some time of deep introspection and actually open our eyes to the situation of the Muslims around us. This is not the time to be living in our own little cocoon, hiding away behind closed doors, but rather it’s a time where we need to come out of our comfort zones and come back to Allah.
In these past few weeks I too have took some time out to look into myself. I found that I was over-thinking too much and that instead of making Du’aa or doing something useful, I would just sit and feel sorrow and sadness overpower me because I felt helpless about the events that were unfolding. This only stopped when I realized that it was all the trick of shaytaan. He wants us to lose hope. He wants us to give up and fall into a depressed state. He wants us to focus on other things instead of perfecting our Imaan.
It is then that I had a realization. I realized that hold on, I need to really step up my game. I need to do all I can to spread goodness in my community. As a young Muslimah, what really am I doing for the Ummah, what am I doing to leave behind a continuous charity? If I really want the situations of the Muslims to change, it’s no benefit to me or to others to just sit and let my tears spill, rather, I need to turn to Allah, my Merciful Lord, My Rabb, the One and Only, the one who will never let me down and who has the capability to ease my worried heart. But how? How do I turn to Allah for rest and assurance?
Number one, by making Du’aa, lots of Du’aa. Even if that means forcing myself up for Tahajjud, I need to persist in invoking and asking Allah to help the Muslims in need – because that ultimately is mine and yours, strongest most powerful weapon, and with it, enemies could be defeated, and right now, that is what our Ummah needs the most. Our sincere Du’aa.
Secondly, I need to begin changing certain things about myself, I need to become a better more productive Muslim. I realize that Allah is testing our brothers and sisters, yet it is our DUTY to change what is in ourselves if we want their situation to change. Because Allah the Almighty says, “Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves.”
See how it’s OUR duty as a nation, as a family, as aspiring leaders, and rising revivers of Islam, to begin to change our habits and ways, so not only can we become better, more dutiful Muslims, who are fulfilling their purpose of life, but also, because if we spark that change within ourselves, if we grow in our Islam and beauty our Imaan, then we are not only igniting a change in ourselves, but in the whole Ummah! It all starts from one person. You can be the change you want the world to see.
Thirdly, we need to understand that maybe it is because of *our* sins, *our* laziness, *our* neglect that such things are happening in the world. Perhaps it’s time for us to change our perspective, change the way we see the world, and perhaps it’s time that we remember what is really important – which is ibaadah, which is taking a more productive and active role in our society, which is introducing new ideas to help our fellow brothers and sisters such as raising money to provide food and clothing for them.
Also, let me remind you and myself first, that never feel helpless, never lose hope. Your Lord is testing the Muslims, but soon He will grant victory. Allah is the most Just, and we know that justice will prevail, and falsehood will perish. So have faith and believe, don’t let shaytaan weaken you. You have the promise of Jannah and the forgiveness of Allah – so flee to Him.
O youth, a time has come upon us where we need to change what is in ourselves. The people are being tested, yet this is a duty upon us. What if it is because of our sins, our wrongdoings, that calamity has befallen our brethren?
O youth, Allah will not change a condition of a people until you change what is in yourself, and change begins from within. So step up, step up in the cause of Allah. Awake from your heedlessness and look to the east and the west. Look around you at the terror striking the Muslims by the enemies of Allah, and know this not a time of play, entertainment and game, but a time of reform, a time where we have to be proud of our identity and name.
O youth, raise your hands to the heavens, and beg your Lord to shower His infinite Mercy upon your mothers, your fathers, your sisters, your brothers, who are in pain.
O youth, you are the aspiring leaders of tomorrow, the reformers, the revivers of Islam, look back to your history and know that the youth then would give up everything they had for Allah and to help their communities and to bring Islam back to its place.
O youth, lightness will follow darkness, ease will follow hardship, smiles will follow tears, for sure He will bring forth a new season, where the birds will chirp, sing and fly in the serene blue sky over the shining cities that were once full of blood, death and corpses.
O youth, but what are you going to say when you stand before Allah – where were you when the Ummah needed your charity, your Du’aa? Where were you when your hurting brother called your name? Were you busy shopping like there’s no day tomorrow or perhaps you were at the movies – ‘living the life’ because you only live once – as they say.
Wake up, step up O youth, your Ummah needs you, needs you to stand in the depth of the night, calling to Allah, begging and crying. They need you to give from your wealth, from what Allah has gifted you with.
Step up, O youth. Step up and make a change.
May Allah give peaceful slumber to the restless and serenity to disturbed souls.
May He, guide the confused ones to His light and those that are astray to His guidance.
O Allah! Remove evil whispers from our hearts and replace them with light, destroy falsehood with truth, and crush the evil plots of the devil with your army of Angels.
O our Lord, remove from us misery, affliction, and anxiety.
Ameen Ya Rabbal Alameen.