DISCLAIMER: This reminder was originally delivered in Arabic on this Friday. Any meanings lost in translation are not to be attributed to the speaker as reminders are translated by volunteers. The mosque has no official translator and volunteers often have no formal qualifications to translate on the day. Please forgive any errors as they are from our human weakness and any right guidance is from God.
Patience in the face of difficulties
Dear Brothers and Sisters
The Quran tells us the stories of the prophets, and the difficulties they faced and the harm that they suffered. Likewise, it tells us about their patience and persistence in calling to the truth. Allah (swt) says in Surah Al-Anaam :
“ Indeed, messengers before you were rejected but patiently endured rejection and persecution until Our help came to them. And Allah’s promise is never broken. And you have already received some of the narratives of these messengers.” [ Al-Anaam , 6:34]
Likewise the Quran tells us about the stories of the believers and what they faced in the path of Allah, like the story of the people of the ditch, which is a story of patience, and firm belief to the point of death.
When you read the Quran - Dear brothers and sisters – it is taking you by the hand and showing a series of different episodes with amazing scenes and displays of firm belief and faith in Allah. Allah (swt) says in Surah Yusuf,
“There was certainly in their stories a lesson for those of understanding. Never was the Qur'an a narration invented, but a confirmation of what was before it and a detailed explanation of all things and guidance and mercy for a people who believe.” [ Yusuf , 12:111]
So are we meant to read these stories in the Quran and see them as historical events that have passed by and have no relevance to our lives. No. Rather these stories have been told for us to take lessons and inspiration from seeing what these believers and prophets had to endure and how they did it in the best manner. But how many of us actually listen or read a story from the Quran with this purpose. How many of us take the lessons from these stories and follow them in our lives?
So, my dear brothers and sisters. You are all believers in One Allah and followers of Tawheed. You are Muslims. You are followers of the final messenger Muhammad (saw) . You are the people of the Quran and Prayer and Zakat and Fasting and Hajj. You are the followers of a religion and what it teaches and preaches and calls to. So are you prepared to suffer and be patient for the sake of your religion. Will you be able to face difficulties for the sake of Allah? Is our belief strong enough for us to pass such a test if it came our way?
Look at what Allah (swt) says in Surah Al-Ankabut:
“Alif, Lam, Meem. Do the people think that they will be left to say, "We believe" and they will not be tried? But We have certainly tried those before them, and Allah will surely make evident those who are truthful, and He will surely make evident the liars.” [ Al-Ankabut, 29:1-3 ]
Will you follow the path of your Messenger (saw) who was the best example of patience in face of difficulties and harm? Just as Allah (swt) said to him and to all of us,
“And be patient, [O Muhammad], and your patience is only through Allah . And do not grieve over them and do not be in distress over what they conspire. Indeed, Allah is with those who fear Him and those who are doers of good. “ [ An-Nahl, 60:127-128 ]
We as a Muslim community are facing difficulties, harm and harassment and Islamaphobia, because of our Islam. A period such as this is a test and a time for us to show patience and trust in Allah.
As you already know, a letter has sent to a number of homes up and down the country, calling for a ‘Punish and Muslim day’ on the 3rd of April, which urges and encourages the harming of Muslims in various different ways. We are aware that the police and security authorities have taken this matter seriously and have attached very high importance to this case.
With regards to this we want to mention a few points.
Firstly: We want to remind everyone about the teachings of our religion and the Seerah of the messenger (saw) with regards to facing these difficulties and situations. Our Messenger (saw) lived in Makkah after his prophethood for 13 years, calling to Islam. All the while he was caused harm along with his companions and followers. It is never recorded in history, that during these 13 years he ever attacked anyone, or swore at anyone, or killed anyone, even those who harmed him. Rather he showed patience and endured any pain he was caused and expected reward from Allah. Allah (swt) says in Surah Ash-Shura:
“And whoever is patient and forgives - indeed, that is of the matters [requiring] determination.” [ Ash-Shura, 42:43 ]
And we too in such a case, we must confront this bigotry and extremism with consistency and positive interaction with all local authorities and with the police. We must follow the guidelines and instructions issued by the responsible authorities on how to deal with harassment, physical or verbal abuse.
Secondly: We should beware of aggressive and irresponsible reactions. You should avoid the use of verbal or physical violence against any non-Muslim, especially if they did nothing to harm you or nothing wrong. Our religion has not told us or allowed us to do this. Rather, we have been told to be patient and tolerant of other religions, and never resort to transgression, as Allah (swt) said:
"Do not transgress, Indeed Allah does not love the aggressors." [ Al Bakara, 2:190]
Thridly: And most important of all – dear brothers and sisters - we must pay great attention to guiding our children to the best direction in the face of such acts. Let them know how to control their feelings and reactions. They are innocent, and their religion is innocent of terrorism, so they feel they have been wronged and have done nothing to deserve this injustice and this harm. We must give them the right direction to understand this incident by terrorist extremists, and that every bad reaction by us will cause more harm to our religion. And that they will be rewarded for their patience and sacrifice for the sake of their religion, and this is the way of their Prophet (saw). When he was told to take revenge on the Quraysh on the day of the conquest of Makkah, he said:
"We will show patience and not punish" (Silsilah As-Saheeh).
Allah (swt) says in Surah An-Nahl :
"If you retaliate, then let it be equivalent to what you have suffered. But if you patiently endure, it is certainly best for those who are patient. “ [ An-Nahl, 16:126 ].
And he also says in Surah Az-Zumar:
“ Indeed, the patient will be given their reward without account." [ Az-Zumar, 39:10]
So do not leave your children easy prey for those who want to catch them, exploiting such a climate charged with racism and hatred of Muslims; falling into the traps of right wing extremist terrorist groups.
We ask Allah to save us all from all evil and from all harm , and to protect us and our families and all Muslims around the world . Ameen.