Friday reflection - In these times..

Friday reflection - In these times..

By Muneeb Nasir

Grave injustices are unfolding right before our eyes, and we are witnessing brutal killings, war, death, destruction, and immense human suffering, including heinous acts committed against innocent civilians. 

Every day, we are confronted with distressing images of civilian casualties, traumatized children, cities in ruins, and landscapes scarred by conflict. 

Just when we think we've seen the worst, even more horrifying acts are brought to our attention. This ongoing cycle has filled our hearts with sorrow, profound grief, a sense of helplessness, and despair that weighs heavily on our consciences.

In these trying times, I'd like to offer some guidance, particularly aimed at people of faith and conscience.

The framework for this guidance is rooted in the revelations of God and the wisdom of our beloved Prophet, Muhammad, peace be upon him, who encouraged introspection during such moments.

1. Prayer and patience: 

The Quran instructs us to “Seek help with steadfastness and prayer - though this is hard indeed for anyone but the humble…” (Qur’an, 2:45).

Prayer and supplication hold great power, offering protection and solace. 

When faced with adversity, turn to the Most Generous, for He promises to respond to those who call upon Him. 

“[Prophet], if My servants ask you about Me, I am near. I respond to those who call Me, so let them respond to Me, and believe in Me, so that they may be guided.” (Qur’an 2:186).

Prayer is not a passive act but a direct means of communication with our ever-present Creator. 

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) emphasized unwavering faith in prayer and the boundless mercy of God: “When someone of you prays, let him not say, ‘O God, forgive me if that is Your wish.’ But let him be firm in conviction and cherish a great hope and God does not consider anything too great for which He is able to grant.” (Hadith, Sahih al-Bukhari).

“… God will be enough for those who put their trust in Him…” (Qur’an 65:3).

The person who relies on God is not adversely affected by illusions or things that happen. 

“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 (Qur’an, 3:173).

2. Sincere Repentance: 

During times of adversity and witnessing the deterioration of human relationships, we must engage in sincere repentance, seeking forgiveness for the wrongs we have committed. 

Turning to God in repentance is a pathway to prosperity and believers are encouraged to make daily repentance a habit. 

“Believers, all of you, turn to God so that you may prosper.” (Qur’an, 24:31).

The Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, is reported to have said: “O People, turn to God in repentance and seek His Forgiveness, for surely I repent a hundred times a day.” (Hadith, Sahih Muslim).

3. Charitable Acts: 

In times of great turmoil, we should engage in acts of goodness to counterbalance the transgressions we witness. 

It is crucial to understand the situation, offer our support through donations, and never underestimate the value of good deeds. Acts of charity have the power to drive away negativity.

“...good things drive bad away - this is a reminder for those who are aware.” (Qur’an, 11:114).

4. Step Back: 

Amid the overwhelming news coverage that can lead to despondency, especially for the younger generation driven by emotions, it's important to take a step back. 

We must ground ourselves in religious guidance to prevent falling into a state of depression.

5. Mutual Support: 

Believers should come together to share their fears and concerns. In challenging times, we must be there for each other, offering support and seeking support from fellow believers.

6. Make Peace: 

These turbulent times call for reconciliation and peace-building within our own circles, families, and communities. 

In a world marked by turmoil, we can set an example by standing together as a peaceful community. We should rise above our differences, both individually and collectively, to foster better relationships.

In conclusion, let us pray for peace and strive to embody it within ourselves and our communities. 

In the Name of God, The Compassionate, The Merciful
Most Merciful and Loving God, Giver of life, Guider of hearts, Healer of pain,
We raise our hands and voices in humble prayer for the innocent victims of the devastating war in the Middle East,
O Living, O Sustaining God, in Your Mercy we seek relief for the grieving families, relatives and friends of the victims - may Your Mercy, Compassion and Love surround and comfort them,
O Living, O Sustaining God, give them the strength and courage they need during this very difficult time - do not burden them with more than they have strength to bear; pardon them, forgive them, and have mercy on them,
O Most Merciful God, we pray for all those who are injured and ill - grant each one a complete healing; grant each one a quick and easy recovery; and make this trial a means of purification for them in this world and a means of elevation in the next,
O Most Merciful God, we pray for all those who are fearful and hopeless; for all those who have loved ones who have passed away and they were unable to pray over them - send upon them and all of us Your Divine Peace,
Our Lord, we pray for the first-responders, rescue workers, medical personnel and all those working tirelessly to care for the victims  - May Your Peace sustain their efforts,
Grant them and us the courage, compassion, wisdom, and patience we need to survive this challenging time, and to come out of it stronger, as a more faithful people, and as a more just global society,
In all our actions, we ask for compassion for the suffering that surrounds us,
May we always recall the preciousness of every life and minimize unneeded hurt and destruction,
May we always appreciate our deep interconnectedness, as common citizens of one Earth,
O God, You are forgiving, and you love forgiveness. So forgive us.
O God, You are peace and from You comes Peace. Blessed are you, the Majestic and Generous.