What we Muslims need today is a change of understanding; we need to step out of our time and place and see our situation in light of the laws that Allah placed in His creation, and the guidance that He sent His Messenger, sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam, with.
“And don’t be weak in the pursuit of the enemy; if you are suffering (hardships) then surely, they (too) are suffering (hardships) as you are suffering, but you have a hope from Allah (for the reward, i.e. Paradise) that for which they hope not, and Allah is Ever All-Knowing, All-Wise.” [An-Nisaa’ (4):104]
We see in the Seerah of the Messenger, sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam, that he would give glad tidings in the hardest of moments.
We may think at times there is no exit for the Ummah, but we have to remember, Allah has promised victory to this Ummah, a victory He will bring when He wants, due to His Wisdom. Our situation is one of weakness and we know it will change to one of strength. Imam Ahmad was quoted as saying that the Falsehood will not be manifest over the Truth until our hearts leave the Truth. We are certain, when we fulfill the conditions of victory, that the Truth will be manifest over the Falsehood. We know it is near, though it may not be two weeks. With Allah, it is close, as even the Day of Judgment is referred to as “Tomorrow”. [Al-Hashr (59):18]
The following are three dire situations from the Prophet’s Seerah during which he reassured and gave glad tidings to his followers.
The Prophet, sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam, in Ta’if
“When the harm and plotting of the Quraish increased, after the deaths of the Prophet’s, sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam, uncle and wife, he headed to Taif hoping that he might find in this trip greater attentivenes and support for his message. Instead, they turned him away in a very impolite manner. They encouraged their boys to stone him. They stoned him until he bled from his noble feet.” [Al-Sibai, “The Prophet’s Seerah, p. 36]
“Given this support and auspicious start, depression, dismay and sadness that used to beset him since he was driven out of At-Ta’if, he turned his face towards Makkah with fresh determination to resume his earlier plan to expose people to Islam and communicate his Message in a great spirit of zeal and matchless enthusiasm.
Zaid bin Harithah, his companion, addressing the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said, ‘How dare you step into Makkah after they (Quraish) have expatriated you?’ The Prophet (Peace be upon him) answered: ‘Hearken Zaid, Allâh will surely provide relief and He will verily support His religion and Prophet.'” [Al-Mubaarakfuri: Ar-Raheeq al-Makhtoom, “The Third Phase Calling Unto Islam Beyond Makkah”]
The Prophet, sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam, With Abu Bakr During the Hijrah
“The notables of Makkah convened an emergency session to determine the future course of action and explore all areas that could help arrest the two men. They decided to block all avenues leading out of Makkah and imposed heavy armed surveillance over all potential exits. A price of 100 camels was set upon the head of each one. Horsemen, infantry and tracers of tracks scoured the country. Once they even reached the mouth of the cave where the Prophet (Peace be upon him) and Abu Bakr were hiding. When he saw the enemy at a very close distance, Abu Bakr whispered to the Prophet (Peace be upon him): ‘What, if they were to look through the crevice and detect us?’ The Prophet (Peace be upon him) in his God-inspired calm replied: ‘Silence Abu Bakr! What do you think of those two with whom the Third is Allâh.’ It was really a Divine miracle, the chasers were only a few steps from the cave.” [Al-Mubaarakfuri: Ar-Raheeq al-Makhtoom, ” Migration of the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him)”]
“…In a version by Abu Bakr (May Allah be pleased with him), he said: “We emigrated while the Makkans were in pursuit of us. None caught up with us except Suraqah bin Malik bin Ju‘sham on a horse. I said: ‘O Messenger of Allâh, this one has caught up with us.’ The Prophet (Peace be upon him) replied: ‘Don’t be cast down, verily, Allâh is with us.’ [Al-Mubaarakfuri: Ar-Raheeq al-Makhtoom, ” Migration of the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him)”]
The Battle of the Ditch
“It was the winter season, the air was cold and there was a food crisis in Medina, which was about to come under a brutal siege, and there is nothing more deadly to the spirit of resistance than despair, for if the besieged were to be exposed to its violent bouts, the way of humiliating surrender would be the only alternative. For this reason, the Prophet strove hard to arouse the moral strength of his men to the highest pitch so that they’d feel certain that the triral which faced them was just a passing cloud which would soon disperse, and thereafter Islam would resume its march and people would enter into it in large numbers, and the strongholds of tyranny would crumble before it and no plots would come from them nor would any evil be feard from them. It is a rule of politics that this wide hope should accompany the stages of ceasless effort.” [Muhammad Al-Ghazali, Fiqh us-Seerah, p. 308]
“Another illustrious preternatural example went to the effect that an obstinate rock stood out as an immune obstacle in the ditch. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) took the spade and struck, and the rock immediately turned into a loose sand dune. In another version, Al-Bara‘ said: On Al-Khandaq (the trench) Day there stood out a rock too immune for our spades to break up. We therefore went to see the Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) for advice. He took the spade, and struck the rock uttering ‘in the Name of Allâh, Allâh is Great, the keys of Ash-Shâm (Geographical Syria) are mine, I swear by Allâh, I can see its palaces at the moment;’ on the second strike he said: ‘Allâh is Great, Persia is mine, I swear by Allâh, I can now see the white palace of Madain;’ and for the third time he struck the rock, which turned into very small pieces, he said: ‘Allâh is Great, I have been given the keys of Yemen, I swear by Allâh, I can see the gates of San‘a while I am in my place.’ The same version was narrated by Ishaq.”
[Al-Mubaarakfuri: Ar-Raheeq al-Makhtoom, “Al-Ahzab (the Confederates) Invasion”]
“So when the confederates swept down upon Medina and laid a tight siege around it, the Muslims did not give up in despair but faced the bitter reality with unshakeable hope in a noble future.
‘And when the true beleivers saw the clans, they said: this is that which Allah and His Messenger promised us. Allah and His Messenger are true. And it increased them only in faith and acceptance.’ [Al-Ahzab (33):22]
As for the weaklings, the doubters and the sick of heart, they made fun of the promises of victory and thought them to be the desires of deluded people, and they said to the Prophet:
‘He tells you that he sees from Yathrib the palaces of Hirah and the city of Kisra, while you are there digging the ditch and you cannot pass stool (for fear).’
About them Allah says,
‘And when the hypocrites, and those in whose hearts is a disease, were saying: Allah and His messenger promised us naught but delusion.’ [Al-Ahzab (33):12]
[Muhammad Al-Ghazali, Fiqh us-Seerah, p. 310-311]
Twelve or thirteen years later, the Prophet’s promise about Persia came true.
Maybe it should be noted here that the hypocrites of today are also telling us that Allah has promised us nothing but delusion – those hypocrites who want removal or change of the Shari`ah. Beware of them, because they promise us nothing but delusion.
“Allah is predominant over his affair, but most of the people do not know.” [Yusuf (12):21]
Madarij as-Salikeen, 1/299
Ibn Qayyim (rahimahullah) said:
“Sin may be more beneficial for a person, if it leads him to repent, than doing a lot of acts of worship. This is what is meant by the words of one of the salaf:
‘A person may commit a sin and enter Paradise because of it, or he may do an act of worship and enter Hell because of it.’
They said: ‘How is that?’
He said: ‘He may commit a sin and continues to think about it, and when he stands or sits or walks he remembers his sin, so he feels ashamed and repents and seeks forgiveness and regrets it, so that will be the means of his salvation.
And he may do a good deed and continue to think about it, and when he stands or sits or walks he remembers it and it fills him with self-admiration and pride, so it is the cause of his doom.
So the sin may be the factor that leads him to do acts of worship and good deeds and to change his attitude so that he fears Allah and feels shy before Him and feels humiliated before Him, hanging his head in shame and weeping with regret, seeking he forgiveness of his Lord. Each of these effects is better for a person than an act of worship that makes him feel proud and show off and look down on people. Undoubtedly this sin is better before Allah and is more likely to bring salvation than one who admires himself and looks down on others, and who thinks that he is doing Allah a favour. Even if he says words that indicate something other than that, Allah is the Witness over what is in his heart. Such a person may feel hatred towards people if they do not hold him in high esteem and humiliate themselves before him. If he were to examine himself honestly, he would see that clearly.”
The last campaign Abu Ayyub Al-Ansari (may Allah be pleased with him) took part in was the one prepared by Mu’awiyah and led by his son Yazid against Constantinople. Abu Ayyub at that time was a very old man, almost eighty years old. But that did not prevent him from joining the army and crossing the seas as a graze in the path of God. After only a short time engaged in the battle, Abu Ayyub fell ill and had to withdraw from fighting. Yazid came to him and asked..
“What is it you need, Abu Ayyub?”
“Convey my salaams to the Muslim armies and say to them:
‘Abu Ayyub urges you to penetrate deeply into the territory of the enemy as far as you can go, that you should carry him with you and that you should bury him under your feet at the walls of Constantinople.”‘ Then he breathed his last.
The Muslim army fulfilled the desire of the companion of the Messenger of God. They pushed back the enemy’s forces in attack after attack until they reached the walls of Constantinople. There they buried him.
When Khalid bin Waleed (may Allah be pleased with him) reached Yarmook with his army to fight the Romans, he addressed them saying:
“Oh mujahideen! This is a memorable day. It is the day on which our faith will be tested and tried. Today we should avoid every kind of arrogance, pride and not contend for individual glory or egoistic bragging..
“Oh mujahideen of Islam! Fight only to gain the Goodwill of Allah Almighty. In the Muslim army today there are many great generals: each of them is worthy and can be entrusted with the permanent command of this army. Today you have assigned me this honor of commanding the Muslim army. So I hope that for the honor and victory of Islam, today we will enter the battlefield of Jihad as one. Allah will be our Supporter and Defender?”
Then both the armies confronted each other at Yarmook. The Roman general, Mahan, scornful addressed his counterpart, Khalid bin Waleed (may Allah be pleased with him) and said:
“It looks as if poverty, nakedness and starvation has compelled you to come here. If you wish I am willing to give each of you ten dinars, expensive clothing and good food. You can take these things and leave. Next year too I can send you these things; you do not have to take the trouble to come here?”
Khalid bin Waleed (may Allah be pleased with him) was enraged on hearing these scornful and arrogant words, and to break this arrogance, he answered:
“Mahan listen to me very carefully! You are mistaken about the reason why we are here. We are people who drink the blood of our opponents. We have heard that Roman blood is very delicious, and we have come here to enjoy it.”