Thursday, 15 March 2012

Who are our brothers and sisters?

I was reflecting much recently over the concept of brotherhood/sisterhood (when Islam refers to brotherhood, it also includes women, like the term mankind refers to both male and female) and came across a very powerful Ayat/verse of the Qur'an:

'Surely this is the fraternity/brotherhood of your faith, a single faith, and I am your Lord, so worship Me'. (Anbiya, v 92)

Have we reflected over that ayat, and the verses before that? Lets think about who some of the people in the previous few verses refer to, and some of their qualities:

Maryam who was pure, protected her private parts, Allah used to provide food to her from the heavens and had Isa who gave life to the dead, Suleiman controlled the wind and jinns, Dawud was joined in praising Allah by the praises of the birds and mountains and he was the first to found armour, Zakariyya had a righteous son Yahya as a Prophet to inherit from him through Zakariyya had reached old age and couldn't reproduce, Ibrahim was thrown in the fire and it was cool and he used excellent brains and strategy to oppose pagan idols, Lut stood up against the first people that committed homosexuality, Yunus was stuck in the big fish and was thought impossible to save. Ayyub who was rich but then became poor and felt much pain at losing his family and property and became very ill, Nuh did dawah to his people for over 900 years and was saved in flood, Yaqub lost his son that was most dear to him.

Yet they were rewarded, showed excellent courage, stayed away from the haram (which almost everyone in society engaged in, doesn't that remind us of times now?) and were patient. They stood up for just causes and fought oppression, standing up to leaders and telling them to worship Allah swt alone and to obey him. These special people are our brothers and sisters, we should be honoured Alhamdulillah that Allah Most High included us amongst their group, united in the mission of calling to Allah swt and fighting injustice:)

So think of that when you think of yourself as Muslim. We are never alone, our paths have been walked on by the best of people. Think of the difficulties they faced, and you'll see that they were greater, and thus we can learn so much from them. This is despite the fact that the Prophets and righteous were of various races/nationalities/colours.

They are the ones included in the "path that We have favoured", mentioned in Surah al-Fatiha. And when we say "Your aid do WE seek alone", we remember that amongst the "we" are the Prophets and the righteous, and how honoured we are! Yet we think we are honoured if we dress like our favourite celebrity, or get to do similar stuff as him/her.

(The Prophets and righteous are in our Islamic family tree and are our brothers and sisters )

Furthermore never think "why has Allah swt given such hard problems to me and left me without an example to follow?" The stories of the Prophets in the Qur'an are there because they all have beneficial things we can learn from and follow. An example is that many of the Prophets were rejected by their own families. So when we do dawah to our Muslim families, calling them to practice Islam, and if they don't listen, then we should remember the patience of the Prophets and how they sincerely did du'a to Allah Most High. Through His Mercy and Kindness, we have not been left in the dark as to how best live our lives.

Now we are much luckier since we have much more freedom as Muslims, and are in much larger numbers. So we should do more dawah and put more effort than we currently are.  Imagine what our brothers and sisters (the ones mentioned in the Qur'an as the righteous) would think of us? Many times they stood up against ENTIRE nations/people, so if we have to do that for Islam peacefully, and we face much opposition, we shouldn't lose hope, but we should try our best and persevere and trust in Allah swt, since He has the largest reward.

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