Uploaded on September 29, 2020
First things first
“With (every) difficulty, there is ease”
Dr. Mohammad Manzoor Alam
This is the time to stay patient, to have courage, patience and be steadfast.
The headline above is from the holy Qur’an in which Allah reassures believers about the transitory nature of adversity that is bound by Allah’s Law to be replaced by ease, without doubt. In Allah’s all-knowing view it is so significant that he states it twice in one sentence: “With (every) difficulty there is ease; with (every) difficulty there is ease”, asserts the holy book (Qur’an: 94:5,6).
The Muslim ummah has always encountered troubles, hardships and adverse circumstances with grace and fortitude. From the time of the holy Prophet (peace be upon him) until our times, the ummah has experienced both felicititous and calamitous situations, going through trials and tribulations, triumph and turbulence.
Instead of surrendering to adversities and hardships, the Muslim community has withstood extreme conditions with firmness and great courage. Innumerable examples of this are to be found during the time of the prophet (PBUH). When our holy prophet began preaching Islam, inviting everyone to accept the Oneness of Allah and his prophethood, they turned against him in fierce opposition. Hostility and dissidence increased to such an extreme that the holy prophet (PBUH) was beleaguered for several years under the protection of Shi’b Abi Talib.
He underwent the cruelest hardships, but withstood with firmness. He remained steadfast in his mission. He showed remarkable endurance, without complaining, or budging an inch from his position. When he was migrating to Madinah Munawwarah, the enemies were in hot pursuit and had come close to him as he took shelter in a cave. Facing immediate danger to his life and that of his companion, Abu Bakr, he maintained his calm and didn’t get nervous. He firmly believed that the situation would finally change. When Abu Bakr heard the footsteps of the pursuers he told the prophet about their precarious situation, being only two of them against so many. The prophet said, there is the third one with them, Allah the Mighty. The Qur’an noted this answer with approval (Qur’an: 9:40).
A historical account of the Battle of Hunain presents a ray of hope in the present times. The enemy surrounded the Muslim army and arrows were being rained from all sides. Companions of the holy prophet (PBUH) got upset, but the prophet (PBUH) didn’t swerve even for a moment.
He motivated his companions to stay firm and fight on. Consequently, Muslims won the battle, changing defeat into victory. In the Ghazwa Mota only 3,000 of the prophet’s companions took part. The opposition had brought a huge army. The prophet (PBUH) had appointed three commanders to combat the enemy, giving the command that first Jafar Tayyar bin Abi Talib would lead the Muslim army, and named two more commanders, saying that after Jafar Tayyar’s martyrdom the next one of them would become commander. Following the martyrdom of the three commanders appointed by the holy prophet (PBUH), his companions nominated Khalid bin Walid as their commander, who displayed remarkable sagacity, military strategy and bravery, and led the Muslim army to force their way out of the encirclement.
In the 13th century, the army of Chingiz Khan massacred Muslims in the Islamic world mercilessly. Cities like Samarqand and Bukhara, which were reputed throughout the world for Islamic learning, were devastated. Hulagu Khan, Chingiz Khan’s grandson, sacked Baghdad, massacring four lakh Muslims. The whole Islamic world was aghast as the Mongol onslaught rolled on. Still Muslims had the guts and resilience to bounce back. When after the sack of Baghdad, Hulagu Khan’s army marched towards Egypt it suffered there the worst defeat ever and the event heralded the end of Mongol terror. Chingiz Khan’s descendants and army embraced Islam and emerged as its defenders. Enemies of Islam thus became ambassadors of the faith. During this time Muslims achieved the leadership of the civilised world. Soon the baton passed on to the Turks, who established a new kingdom in Anatolia, also called Asia Minor, which ruled over half of the world for the next 600 years.
In the last decade of the 19th century, America, Britain, Russia, and France united to dethrone Sultan Abdul Hamid the Second, the last Caliph of the Ottoman Caliphate, but the Ottoman Sultan showed rare wisdom and by establishing a strong spy network defeated their plans. The Sultan on his own confronted the leading powers of the day and brought them to their knees.
The British ruled over India for about 200 years, but Muslims and other patriots didn’t accept the British Raj for even one day. They continued their struggle to throw away the yoke of slavery and liberate India from the clutches of the British, and finally freedom dawned on them, and India achieved independence. Sacrifice made and struggle spread over several decades bloomed in the midnight of August 15, 1947.
All these events indicate that throughout history Muslims have encountered adversity and come across disasters with determination and fortitude. Every period of history witnesses difficulties of a different nature. There was a time when swords, bows and gunpowder were used to subdue the opponent, then came a time when bombs devastated the earth. Sometimes the intellectual domain comes under attack, while at other times anti-Muslim ideas evolve in a non-Islamic environment and invade us to mislead the ummah. A living community confronts challenges, rendering all conspiracies futile, and gives to the world the right direction, and protects humanity against perversity, oppression and slavery.
New ideas, innovations and ideologies are making inroads into the modern world. Humanity is under siege. A handful of people want to make the entire world subservient to their hostile designs. They want to reduce humanity to slavery. They aim to make the entire world their subject and rule over them. This group has been active in the past over several centuries and is again surfacing with the sole aim of enslaving the weak, oppressed, poverty-stricken, and helpless people; their design is to bring these weak sections under their control by depriving them of their freedom. In particular, Muslims and the Islamic world are being targeted from all directions. Muslims are being pushed into a corner by their enemies in every field, be it ideological, social, educational, or related to the military. However, this is the time to observe perseverance, to keep spirits high and show courage. This is also the time to preserve our energy and power.
Developments taking place in the world indicate that the campaign to exploit Muslims is going on with great gusto. This is the time that the faithful should turn to Allah, study the sirah (biography of the prophet), follow the teachings of the holy Qur’an, and obey the Commands of Allah. They should practise the commandment: And hold firmly to the rope of Allah all together and do not become divided. (Qur’an: 3:103) They should try to understand the verse: Ye are the best of peoples (Qur’an: 3:110), Allah has declared the Muslim community as ‘the best of peoples’. The Qur’an commands people to be good-doers and abstain from evil deeds. Allah has also said in the holy Qur’an: We have honoured the sons of Adam, (Qur’an: 17:70) which clearly means that all children of Adam deserve respect. They are esteemed and honourable. All human beings have the right to equality. Every human being is entitled to justice, equality and liberty. No one has precedence and supremacy over others.
In future, under this column we will discuss in detail the message contained in the above-mentioned Qura’nic verses as also what is desired of Muslims. Finally, never forget, “With (every) difficulty, there is ease!”.
(The author is Chairman, Institute of Objective Studies and General Secretary, All India Milli Council)