Every few minutes of the day, on our TV, smartphones and via the internet, we receive the latest news and videos of atrocities facing our Ummah in the areas where we live and abroad. The latest massacre in Syria, the latest verbal assault on a Muslim woman on a bus in London and the latest UK government policy targeting our Mosques and madrassas. The constant barrage of bad news through the forwarding of these messages and videos is leading some to despair and choose to become silent or even change their appearance and aspects of our Deen – due to not seeing a way out of the many tests that are facing us on many fronts.
The ability – via social media and smartphone apps – to forward distressing news of the latest plots, attacks and policies against Islam and Muslims is leading some to despair. In a single day, some of us receive so many videos one after another that the bad news can become overwhelming and paralysing. They seem to further reconfirm the power of our enemies and our helplessness. Is this the intended purpose?
When the Prophet ﷺ was in the cave with Abu Bakr (ra) during the hijra, the situation was indeed desperate. The Quraish had now decided to finish him and to hunt him down and those pursuing them where just at the entrance to the cave leading to Abu Bakr to be extremely anxious. Instead of further increasing Abu Bakr’s anxiety by saying that they were indeed doomed, or that they would surely be captured, the Prophet ﷺ reassured his companion telling him not to despair because Allah سبحانه وتعالى – the All Powerful – is with them and would aid them. Allah relates this in the Qur’an,
“When they were in the cave and he said to his companion, “Do not grieve; indeed Allah is with us.” And Allah sent down his tranquillity upon him and supported him with soldiers (angels) you did not see and made the word of those who disbelieved the lowest, while the word of Allah – that is the highest. And Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise.”
So we should forward and spread the news about the problems, challenges and tests facing our Ummah but we should not do that alone without also forwarding reminders of Allah’s Might and Power and ability to rescue you from any situation – even when you cannot see a way out. We should also forward positive stories of Muslims who are challenging those against them or standing up proudly with their Deen despite the trials. Such things help to remind us to have tawakkul(Dependence on Allah), sabr (patient perseverance) and hope. This is what the Prophet ﷺ did when he reminded Abu Bakr in the cave that Allah سبحانه وتعالى is with them – and on the side of the believers. So let us act as He ordered, make dua to Him to ease our situation and to grant victory to our Ummah soon. Let us be those who awaken people to the reality of the challenges facing us whilst also spreading hope and reliance on Allah سبحانه وتعالى.