This live-streamed genocide is hard to bear. But far harder to bear is the indifference of so many towards it. It breaks my heart.
So many children suffering and dying before the eyes of the world and yet there is, across the West, a conspiracy of obstinate silence, or worse, obstinate approval of the relentless bombing that deliberately targets civilians, and that is a clear war crime. With the terrible suffering of children and the heartless equation of strategically inflicting suffering on them which Israel is committing and the U.S. is aiding, I cannot help but be reminded of the Biblical verse:
“But whoso shall offend or harm one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were cast into and drowned in the depth of the sea.” (Matthew 18:6)
And yet it goes on – a Christian President who in violation of every tenet that Jesus taught, is hell-bent on clearing a path for the slaughter. But we know that those in positions of power have given up something of their souls in favor of a kingdom of this world. We do what we can to counter the propaganda, to appeal to people’s conscience and call for an end to this genocide with whatever means are available to us.
But at this time, with a heart rent in pieces by the suffering I am hourly witnessing, with my whole being perturbed and distraught with the horror of what is so coldly executed on the innocent, I find my soul in desperate need of that which will stabilize and balance it in the midst of a world completely out of balance. And that, I think, cannot be found except in turning inward, through prayer and supplication (dua), to the One that encompasses both the inward and the outward, the restorer of balance. Here is a simple petition which I hope may begin to repair hearts cleft by the sorrows to which we all stand painful witness.
Praise belongs to God, the first before a first, the last beyond any last. No imagination is capable of reaching Him, no depiction is capable of describing Him, there is no thing in all the heavens or all the worlds that is like Him. He is the utterly unique. Minds are thrown into confusion and bewilderment and the realization of their own inadequacy and limitation when they contemplate Him. Their takbir (their recognition of His Grandeur) is an acknowledgement of this inability and of His elevation above all that they imagine. And yet He is near to His creation such that He encompasses the hearts, so “know with full knowledge that God stands guard between a person and their heart….” (Qur’an 8:24) He is the Generous Giver, the source of all giving, the source of all sustenance, the support for all existence, the guide and protector of hearts for those who sincerely seek His guidance. To Him we turn for all our needs while we dwell in this world and to Him is the final return.
“For it is He who gives life and death. There is nobody to give life and death besides Him. And to Him alone is the beautiful return of the servants…. (Qur’an 50:43)
Oh God, when we deal with others, guide us to “deal with them in the most beautiful manner”(Qur’an 16:125). Let us be among the people “who are faithful to their trusts and to their pledges.” (Qur’an 23:8), “who turn away from vain talk” (Qur’an 23:3), “who walk gently (with humility) on the earth” (Qur’an 25:63), and who, “since good and evil cannot be equal, repel the ugliness of evil with good, with that which is better and more elevated.” (Qur’an 41:34)
Place us among those whose hearts are overthrown with awe when Your name is mentioned:
“For the believers are those whose hearts tremble and quake with awe when God is mentioned, whose faith increases when His revelations are recited to them, who put their trust entirely in their Lord.” (Qur’an 8;2)
Awaken our hearts through the deep realities expressed within Your Qur’an. Increase the wisdom and knowledge awakened within us through the Qur’an. Make this truthful book our constant companion as we move through this world. Make it a healing for our faults and let its verses come alive in our hearts to revive them and to remove our spiritual impoverishment.
And open the vision of our heart’s eye so we can see things as they truly are. Enable us to see the Truth as Truth and give us the ability to follow it. And enable us to see falsehood as false and give us the ability to turn away from it and to disavow it.
Make The Qur’an and not the opinions of the times be our guide. Remove all worries from us as we deal with the vagaries of our times and the confusion and turmoil within the world. Do not let us be like those whose hearts twist and turn with each passing breeze, with each passing opinion of our era, but make our hearts and our feet firm upon Your straight path, the path expressed so beautifully and powerfully in the verses of Your Book and in the lives of Your messenger and Your bondsmen, your mutaqin (Your true unswerving devotees). Make us worthy of Your book and Your path. Open our hearts to Your Presence.
Let us not be among those who take a part of Your book and leave aside the rest. For then we would be like those of whom it is said:
“Do you believe in some of the Scripture and reject the rest?…These are the ones who trade the life awaiting in the higher worlds for the life of this mundane world….” (Qur’an 2:85–86)
Rather, place us among those who follow Your book and Your prophets (all of them) with sincere hearts. Such that we:
“believe in God and what has been revealed to us and what has been revealed to Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and the Descendants and what was given to Moses and Jesus and what was given to the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and we are Muslims (in wholehearted submission) to Him.” (Qur’an 2:136)
Do not disgrace us by allowing us to be swayed by the foolishness and confusion of the times we live in such that we take pieces of Your book and set aside the rest. How deluded we would be then. Teach us instead to delve deeply into understanding the ayats (the verses/the signs) so they become for us a true guidance and an unswerving light when the times are dark.
Turn harmful destinies away from us and beneficial destinies towards us. Grant us the wisdom to discern between them and to turn only towards that which is of benefit, and unite us with the best, the most beautiful, the most sublime, and the most excellent of destinies.
Help us to be worthy of bearing Your trust – that trust that You offered to the heavens and the earth and the mountains but only humankind accepted it. Let us not be among those who treat the trust lightly, who follow the low aspects of their nafs (their souls) and who, through this, corrupt their own selves and corrupt the hearts of humankind. Safeguard and protect us from such influences. For as it had been said by your Prophets, “scandals and great corruption will come (with increasing frequency), but woe to those through whom they come.” (Matthew 18:7) Turn us away from those who deliberately turn away from Your way or distort Your way and bring about scandal, corruption, and great harm.
Awaken in our hearts the reality of the covenant (in a higher realm of existence before our existence here) mentioned in Your book, where it says, “When your Lord drew forth from the Children of Adam all their descendants, and asked them to bear witness concerning their own souls: ‘Am I not your Lord (who cherishes and sustains you)?’ – We responded: ‘(Bala) Yes! To this we bear witness!” So awaken us to this reality which sleeps in forgetfulness within us so that our hearts again bear witness and say “Yes!” to Your Lordship and to the trust you bestowed upon us as we journey within this world of trials and tests and difficulties. Help us reaffirm, in the depths of our hearts, our fidelity to You O God.
Let us be among those who follow Your guidance, as You have said in Your book: “…surely there will come to you a guidance from Me, then whoever follows and acts upon My guidance, no fear shall come upon them, nor shall they grieve.” (Qur’an 2:38)
Surely we are Your’s and to You shall we return, so make our return a blessing and accept our supplication as You have promised when You said: “I answer the prayer of the supplicants when they call on Me, so they should answer My call and trust in Me that they may walk in the right path.” (Qur’an 2:186) Make our hearts sincere in our asking of You. Place us among the people of tawakkul, those who place their full trust in You and accept Your decrees, knowing that what You give is best, and beyond what we, with our limited understanding of the complexity of cause and effect, can fathom. So our full trust is in You, and We seek the best in Your decrees.
We seek refuge in You from the weakness and the crookedness in our own souls, we seek protection in You against unjust leaders, against injustice in society, against laws which favour the powerful and wealthy and discriminate against those who are oppressed and weak, against the powerful who use their power for oppression and slaughter. Place us among Your friends, those upon whom there is no fear and they are true and faithful to You and Your Book. Set right for us our understanding of our religion and Your book, for it is the guide for our souls.
You are our place of refuge and our strength. Grant us the strength to follow Your path. Take us by the hand and lead us for we cannot walk it without Your help. Grant us fidelity to Your book and let us imbibe its wisdom into our hearts, and through this grant us awe of You for You are the foundation, the source, the sustainer, the support, of all that exists – all who believe otherwise live in delusion.
And if the times we inhabit become dangerous for the believers and for Your bondsmen (Your true unswerving devotees) such that the powerful nations of the world seek to disrupt, harm, overthrow, or sow disorder, chaos, and death among the believers and within their lands, then through remembrance of You, through supplication to You, through turning to You, we seek Your help, assistance, and protection. O Allah, deliver the believers from their enemies, open or concealed, who intend harm against your servants and bondsmen. Defend them from those that plot against them, those that engage in dangerous mischief around the world, whose words are too often lying swords in their lips. Scatter their unity and dismantle their ability to do harm. If they act to harm the believers, turn that harm such that it rebounds instead on themselves. Root out firmness and determination from their hearts and fill their minds with confusion and doubt about the ill-intentioned path they take. And for the lies which they speak let them stumble and fail in their objectives through their own pride and through a humiliating exposure of their lying inventions. As You have stated in Your book, which speaks truth through every letter, word, and verse:
“Nay, but We hurl the true against the false, and truth dashes out the brains of falsehood, and behold, falsehood is an ever vanishing thing. Then woe to you for your lies….” (Qur’an 21:18)
O God be the shield of the believers and of your bondsmen from all who intend them harm through word or deed. Only in You is Our strength, You are our defence, You are our salvation in difficulties and calamities and in times of trial. Open up the door of protection and relief for the believers through Your graciousness and confer the beauty of Your Mercy upon them. And bring Your relief to those who are suffering under oppression, bring them solace and raise them in nearness to you and bestow strength from You upon them.
And just as we detest being wronged by those who show enmity and hostility towards us, so also prevent us from doing wrong towards others.
Oh God, through the protective compact of Your Mercy which You have ordained for Yourself – as you have said in Your Qur’an: “Your Lord hath inscribed for Himself (the rule of) mercy….”(Qur’an 6:54), so grant for all the men and women seeking Your path, the like of that which we have asked from You in this supplication, desiring Your mercy, Your guidance, Your protection, and Your help. You are truly the bestower of every bounty, the source of every blessing, and the goal of every desire. Draw us near to You and bind our hearts to You so that we will not stray in this world.
And awaken our hearts and the hearts of all Your servants to the truth of this invocation: “La hawla wa kuwata ilah Bila ali Al Azeem.” That there is no power or strength save in God the most Exalted of the Exalted, the most mighty of the Mighty. And He, Allah does as He Wills.
“And Increase us, O Lord, in marvelling at You, in awe of You and the beauty of what You have created.”
May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon our master Muhammad and upon his blessed family.
Another blog: islam from inside