“Those whose faith only increased when people said, ‘Fear your enemy: they have amassed a great army against you,’ and who replied, ‘God is enough for us: He is the best protector,’ returned with grace and bounty from God; no harm befell them. They pursued God’s good pleasure. God’s favour is great indeed.” [Quran 3:173-174]
Despite the apparent challenges facing the American Muslim community, the underlying meaning behind such circumstances is great. This situation is a moment to deeply root your faith with trust in Allah, have certainty in Him alone, and relieve yourselves of the veil that is reliance on people and their institutions.
What transpires during these days presents an opportunity to acquaint American society with the realities of Islam through eloquence that is articulated through behaviour and character before it is articulated with words. The world is in greater need of seeing actions than words and people are in need of fellow humans with sincere hearts more than eloquent tongues. And it may just be that holding steadfast to these meanings is more appropriate, more pleasing to Allah and His Prophet ﷺ, and more redeeming of our goals in this life and the next, than entering the battle zone of current domestic politics.
Brothers and sisters, you have seen during this time, and by Allah’s grace, the support extended to you by your fellow citizens and various organizations whose hearts still beat with a strong sense of humanity and justice. This is but a message from Allah: seek refuge in Him and place your trust in Him alone, for Allah is the holder of the hearts of human beings and turns them as He wills. It is a reminder for you to fulfill the duty of what it means to be a good citizen and acquaint your fellow Americans with the magnanimity and tolerance of this religion and its noble traits in the best way possible.
The path towards realization of these meanings can be summarized as follows:
1. Filling the heart with mercy and compassion. Being resolute in your love of wanting good for everyone—for those who disagree with you before those who agree and for your adversary before your ally.
2. Being unfaltering in your commitment to upholding noble, prophetic character traits with those who are good to you as well as those who wrong you, all for the sake of Allah.
3. Having excellence in your life affairs and upholding the virtue of ‘perfection’ (itqan) in your work, by which you are seeking to attain the pleasure of Allah.
4. Extending the hand of support and cooperation to fellow Americans to work together to promote a spirit of love and human fraternity in society, and to collectively stand against calls for division, hatred and animosity.
5. Doing all of this sincerely for Allah alone, having true reliance on Him and tranquility in the heart that flows from the light of placing trust in Him.
6. Putting your trust in what Allah has above and over the anxiety that comes from expecting from His creation, and pursuing Allah’s pleasure such that it occupies the heart away from seeking the pleasure of people, for Allah said: “And Allah’s good pleasure is greatest of all”
A litany for attaining tranquility of the heart
Read every morning and evening:
HasbunaLlah wa ni’ma-l wakīl (x70)
Wa ufawidu amri ilaLlah, innaLlaha basirun bil-ibaad (x11)
May Allah grace you with every success, ennoble you with the light of His love and protect you with His protection.
With the greeting of peace,
Ali Al-Jifri, seeker of your prayers
Cover photo by Geoff Livingston. Thumbnail photo by jprwpics.