Columns's Our Families

November 2001

Makes Me Think

by Siddiqua Haswarey

I recently read an article from the BBC website about an orphan girl in Afghanistan, and more generally about the plight of the women and children in Afghanistan since the war began. Afghanistan is has been war-torn for over a decade now, struggling through four years of severe drought. Only Allah knows how long this war will go on for and how many more people will have to suffer as a result. Palestine has had its share of struggling for over five decades now - fighting for what rightfully belongs to them. And how can anyone forget Chechnya or Kashmir?

An Afghan man lifts the head of a child who along with 11 other civilians died during U.S. air raids in Kabul on October 28, 2001, witnesses said. A man and his seven children were killed when a bomb crashed through their home, according to the family's mother. (Sayed Salahuddin/Reuters)

It makes me think of how many kids are in similar situations, suffering from such traumatic experiences as loss of family or other loved ones, hunger and the physical injuries of war, not to mention the psychological impact and mental scars that may never heal. It's interesting how in countries like the U.S or U.K, a slight sign of stress or trauma in the general public is immediately attended to in the best manner possible. Well, think about this…. those kids who have been born and are living in countries like Afghanistan, Palestine, Chechnya or Kashmir, they live through a traumatic experience each hour of the day, each day of their lives. That is hundreds of times worse than our petty troubles, but most of these kids don't get proper meals or medical care, not to mention psychological help.

It makes me think about what it must feel like to live in a war-torn country…. waking up each morning not to the cool morning breeze but to another day of misery and death, another day under the constant threat of injury to one's self, family and property. All this, while Muslims in other countries feel the overwhelming need to prove their loyalty to their non-Muslim governments, forgetting that they are Muslim before any nationality or citizenship.

It makes me think of how selfish we really are, in living our own lives, unconcerned with anyone else's predicament except our own. Clearly from the way the whole state of this Ummah is, things are not good if not really bad. Each of us seems to be trying to just get on with our own lives, ignoring everything that is happening to this Ummah. As if the Ummah's problems will disappear or as though they don't concern us. I don't know how much each one of us realize that we will keep coming back to a situation where we will be required to make a decision between this dunya and the Aakhirah, no matter how much we try to avoid it and how far we try to escape or run away. Sure, we have to go on with our everyday duties but surely we can't just ignore whatever else is happening, sooner or later, Allah will turn the tables on us. Will that be the time when we begin to think?

It makes me think - Are our personal trials so tremendously burdening upon us that we decide to hide our identities as Muslims? Muslim women decide to stop practicing the Hijaab and men decide to shave off their beards? Our predecessors, the best of the Muslims and the companions of the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) suffered far worse in terms of trials ranging from public persecution like in the case of Bilaal (radhi Allahu anhu), to death by torture like in the case of the first woman martyr in Islam, Sumayyah (radhi Allahu anha). They were willing to die rather than renounce this deen even though they were permitted by Allah to renounce this deen only by tongue and not in the heart. SubhanAllah! Are our trials worse than theirs or even anywhere close? It's understandable to be prudent in these times but do you see the difference between prudence and fear? Why do we fear the dunya more than we fear what will come to us after we die? Do we feel overburdened by the trials in this dunya when what will come to us on the Day of Overwhelming will be far greater than any mind can ever comprehend or imagine! On a Day when we will be so fearful on account of our deeds that we won't care about our families or children!

It was narrated by Thawban that the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said: The people will soon summon one another to attack you as people when eating invite others to share their dish. Someone asked: Will that be because of our small numbers at that time? He (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) replied: No, you will be numerous at that time: but you will be scum and rubbish like that carried down by a torrent, and Allah will take fear of you from the breasts of your enemy and cast wahn (enervation) into your hearts. Someone asked: What is wahn (enervation). Apostle of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) replied: Love of the world and dislike of death. (Sunan of Abu-Dawood - Hadith 4284)

Allah has said in the Qur'an,

"Certainly, We shall test you with fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits; but give glad tidings to the patient - those who, when afflicted with calamity say, "Truly to Allah we belong, and truly to Him shall we return." it is those who will be awarded blessings and mercy from their Lord; and it is those who are the guided ones." [2:155-157]

Trials and eventually death are inevitable, whether die a peaceful death or we are run over by a car. We can't escape no matter what we do to protect ourselves. We have to understand that our lives will never last forever. We can dream all our wishes and desires and pursue them in this dunya. But that will end, if not today then tomorrow. What we should be worried about is how much we really fear Allah, within ourselves and without. And what are we doing in our lives each day - for ourselves and for others that will affirm that fact not to the world but to Allah alone.

Narrated by Abdullah ibn Mas'ud: The Apostle of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) taught us the address in case of some need: Praise be to Allah from Whom we ask help and pardon, and in Whom we take refuge from the evils within ourselves. He whom Allah guides has no one who can lead him astray, and he whom He leads astray has no one to guide him. I testify that there is no god but Allah, and I testify that Muhammad is His servant and Apostle. "You who believe fear Allah by Whom you ask your mutual rights, and reverence the wombs. Allah has been watching you."..."You who believe, fear Allah as He should be feared, and die only as Muslims"...."you who believe, fear Allah as He should be feared, and die only as Muslims"..."you who believe, fear Allah and say what is true. He will make your deeds sound, and forgive your sins. He who obeys Allah and His Apostle has achieved a mighty success." (Sunan of Abu-Dawood - Hadith 2113)

We rightfully owe ourselves, our loyalty, our lives to Allah alone. We can't deny the fact that we HAVE to show our loyalty to Allah first. Besides, if we truly desire a place in Jannah we will HAVE to be prepared to prove we are worthy of such a position.

O Allah! Make all of our deeds righteous and make them purely for Your Sake, and do not let there be any share for anyone or anything else in them. O Allah! Turner of Hearts! Keep our hearts steadfast on Your deen. Aameen. Allahumma Aameen.

Subhanaka `Allahumma wa bihamdika, wa `ash-hadu `an laa `Illaaha `illaa `anta, `astaghfiruka wa `atoobu `ilayka. (Glorified are You O' Allah and I am in Your praise, I testify that there is no deity except You, I ask Your forgiveness and repent unto You).

Siddiqua Hassan Haswarey

Back to "Our Families" Page Muslim Matrimonials and More