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      Thamin Abdul-Qadir
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      STEADFASTNESS IN THE STORM

      Last night I heard a recording from a mother in Gaza that shook me deeply. She was sending a message to calm the world. Let me repeat that again: A woman in Gaza was sending a message to reassure us–the privileged who are safe in our beds. How does something like that happen? You might read this and think that it’s upside down.
      But it isn’t. And I’ll explain why.

      In this painful world that we live in, there are two realities existing at the very same time:
      There is the seen Reality and there is the unseen Reality.

      At this moment in our seen reality, Gaza is experiencing a genocide before our very eyes. Israel has cut off food, water, and fuel to a population of 2.3 million civilians. More than 4,200 Palestinians have been massacred by Israel in the last 12 days alone. More than 1000 of those deaths were children. More than 1.1 million people have lost their homes.

      But as believers, we know that there is an unseen reality happening at the same time. Allow me to remind you and myself what God has told us is happening in that unseen world right now.

      God says: “Never say that those martyred in the cause of Allah are dead—in fact, they are alive! But you do not perceive it. (Quran 2:154)

      I want to take a moment to also remind you and myself that there is in fact only one outcome for the believer: Victory.
      If the believer lives, Allah is with them.
      If the believer dies, Allah is with them.
      There is literally no other outcome.

      God says, “Do not lose heart nor fall into despair. You will be the victor, if you are (true) believers.” (Quran 3:136)

      In this recording, the mother in Gaza went on to say that her 3 yr old child said, “I think I’m going to die…But not die. I think I’m going to ascend.” Her 3 yr old said this. The mother was blown away and said she felt it was an angel that inspired her child’s words. She was reminded of the hairdresser for the house of Pharaoh. When Pharaoh found out that the hairdresser was a believer, he built a giant reservoir and threw her four children, one by one, into boiling oil. Right before her eyes. When Pharoah was about to take her fifth child, an infant in her arms, she started to pull back. It was then that God made her baby speak. To strengthen the heart of his mother.

      Do not think for one moment that God is not acting today in Gaza. Do not think for one moment that Allah is not making their feet firm and holding their hearts together. I want you to reflect on the 6 yr old boy in Chicago, Wadea Al-Fayoume, who was stabbed 26 times for being Muslim. What did he say? What did he say after being stabbed 26 times? “Mama, I’m fine.” He said, “Mama, I’m fine.” I cannot describe how hard I cried when I read that. If we think for one second that this wasn’t God carrying him, we aren’t paying attention. These are signs for the people of faith, with hearts that can see. Hearts that can see through the painful fog.
      See through the deception of the seen world.

      The Quran tells us:
      “To those who have said, ‘God is our Lord,’ and who have remained steadfast, the angels will descend saying, ‘Do not be afraid nor grieve. Receive the glad news of the Paradise which was promised to you. We were your allies in worldly life and [are so] in the Hereafter. And you will have therein whatever your souls desire, and you will have therein whatever you request [or wish].'”(Quran 41:30-31)

      The believers know that this life is temporary. We will all leave. But we will not all leave in the same way. Some will be drowned in the Red Sea. And some will be honored to leave as martyrs. Please know that Wadea said he “was fine”, because he was. He was with Allah and the angels. Like Asiyah (AS), wife of Pharaoh. When she was being tortured by Pharoah, Allah showed her her home in Paradise, so she smiled. She was fine. She smiled because, although in the seen world she was being killed, in the unseen world she was seeing and returning to her home in Paradise.

      Surat Yaseen also teaches us this lesson. That the apparent reality may be entirely different than the True Reality. When a man was killed for his faith, the Quran tells us: “He was told, ‘Enter Paradise.’ So he said, ‘If only my people knew of how my Lord has forgiven me and placed me among the honored.” (Quran 36:26-27)

      Imagine how many of our Palestinian brothers and sisters are saying this now: “If only my people knew of how my Lord has forgiven me and placed me among the honored.”

      This is the conviction of a believer. And this was the conviction of that beautiful mother in Gaza. She was speaking literally with the sound of explosions in the background. She was standing in the eye of the storm, but Allah was holding her heart together, as He did for the mother of Musa (AS).

      Allah says: “And We inspired to the mother of Musa (AS), ‘Suckle him; but when you fear for him, cast him into the river and do not fear and do not grieve. Indeed, We will return him to you and will make him [one] of the messengers….And the heart of Musa’s mother became empty [of all else]. She was about to disclose [the matter concerning] him, had We not bound her heart together that she would be of the believers…So We returned him to his mother that she might be content and not grieve, and that she would know that the promise of Allah is true. But most of the people do not know.” (Surah al-Qasas 28:7-13)

      And just like Musa (AS), Allah will return Wadea and every other child we lose to his mother and father. And it will be in a world with no American made missiles. In a world with no pain. No blood. No tears. No death. No injustice.
      This life is so short. These children will all be returned. And they will wait outside Paradise for their parents.

      So, oh Ummah of Muhammad (PBUH), do not despair.

      And please do not believe that the tyrants of today are in any way new. Many Pharaohs have come and gone. Today, Pharaoh and Haman are again standing together. And like Pharaoh and his henchmen, they could not continue their genocides without the help of their “magicians”–the morally corrupt liars who deceive and distract the masses. Today the magicians are called “media’. And their magic show that turns the oppressor into the victim and the victim into the oppressor, is called “news”.

      This is a tale as old as time. So do not be deceived and do not fall into despair. And fo not think that God is unaware. Allah says, “Do not think that Allah is unaware of what the oppressors do. He only delays them until a Day when their eyes will stare in horror.” (Quran 14:42)

      Be very careful. It is so easy to lose hope. But why do we fall into despair? We fall into despair when we stare too long at the deceptive seen world, without looking at the unseen world. We fall into despair when we look only at the Red Sea, but not at the One who will split it in half. When we see the Pharaoh and his army, but not the King of Kings above them. When we only look at death, but not Paradise. When we see only the trials, but not the istiqama of the believers (steadfastness–the greatest victory).

      Be careful. The seen world is painful and deceptive. Don’t get lost in it.

      But do not be silent, either. Do not dare. As believers, we must strive with body and heart. And we will be asked about both. The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Whosoever of you sees an evil, let him change it with his hand; and if he is not able to do so, then [let him change it] with his tongue; and if he is not able to do so, then [by hating it] with his heart — and that is the weakest of faith.” [Muslim]

      Let those who are silent remember that stopping injustice is worship. It is the worship of the body. It is our duty in this seen Reality. But while we must strive with everything we have to stop the injustice–with our hands and our voices–we must also strive with the heart. We must never forget the worship of the heart.

      Keep fighting with your body, but never look away from God with your heart. To not lose hope, is the worship of the heart. To not be deceived by the devils and magicians and Pharaohs. To see la illah illa Allah in everything. To know that He is in charge. He is always in charge. To call out to the only One in charge. To know that the believers always win–in life or in death.
      This is the worship of the heart.

      So it is no wonder that it was a Palestinian woman in Gaza reassuring us. She walks among angels. And her eyes are watching God.
      Yasom Mogahed

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