Islamophobia: An Effective 3-Ways-Approach to Deal with It!

A Moment with Our Prophet, Muhammad (S)

By Imam Zijad Delic

Day 267: Islamophobia: An Effective 3-Ways-Approach to Deal with It!

It was narrated by Abu Huraira (r) that the Prophet (S) said: “The believer is not stung twice from the same hole.”

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ عَنْ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ أَنَّهُ قَالَ لَا يُلْدَغُ الْمُؤْمِنُ مِنْ جُحْرٍ وَاحِدٍ مَرَّتَيْنِ

Source: Bukhari, Muslim

Transliteration: “La Yuldagul Mu’minu Min Juhrin Wahidin Marrataini.”

On January 29th of 2017, on today’s day 5 years ago, the terrorist attacked the innocent worshipers at the Islamic Center of Quebec City!

6 of worshipers were murdered in cold blood!

5 of them were wounded and some paralyzed and still nurse their injures!

6 widows with 17 fatherless children were left behind murdered worshipers!

Quebec City Muslim community and the Canadian Muslim community were shaken to the core!

Canada – our nation – was attacked by the terrorist when he attacked the innocent worshipers!

And the only reason why this terrorist hated these worshipers, attacked them (injured or killed them) was no any other than that those worshipers believed in their Creator, the Almighty and the Most Praiseworthy.

The Qur’an tells: “And they did not take vengeance on them (mistreated them, ill-treated them, hated them) for anything except that they believed in Allah, the Almighty, the Most Praiseworthy.” (Al Buruj 85:8)

وَمَا نَقَمُوا مِنْهُمْ إِلَّا أَن يُؤْمِنُوا بِاللَّهِ الْعَزِيزِ الْحَمِيدِ

What we must realize is that:

Firstly, Islamophobia is not a new phenomenon that started after the 9/11, as some might claim or think!

Islamophobia started long ago…with the proclamation of Islam in Makkah.

Islamophobes of the era hated Muhammad (S) and the first Muslims and were vindictive towards Muslims, ill-treated them, harmed them and killed them (Al Buruj 85:8).

Secondly, there would be always Islamophobes such as Abu Jahl, Abu Lahab, Walid ibn Mughirah, etc.

There would be always arrogant individuals who claim superiority over others and who would invent lies and try to suppress the truth.

These are the people who are devoid of any gentleness/kindness and goodness, as the Prophet (S) described them in the Hadith narrated by Jarir (r): “Whoever is deprived of the characteristic of gentleness/kindness is deprived of all goodness.” (Muslim)

عَنْ جَرِيرٍعَنْ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ مَنْ يُحْرَمْ الرِّفْقَ يُحْرَمْ الْخَيْرَ

Thirdly, worries and fears will naturally assail into our lives.

God Almighty warns us in the Qur’an: “We shall certainly test you with fear and hunger, and loss of property, lives, and crops. But [Prophet], give good news to those who are steadfast.” (Al Baqarah 2:155)

وَلَنَبْلُوَنَّكُمْ بِشَيْءٍ مِّنَ الْخَوفْ وَالْجُوعِ وَنَقْصٍ مِّنَ الأَمَوَالِ وَالأنفُسِ وَالثَّمَرَاتِ وَبَشِّرِ الصَّابِرِينَ

The fears are experienced by all – children, women, men, young and old!

And lastly, even at challenging moments such as terrorist attacks on innocent worshipers, Islam guides our fearful hearts, as God Almighty tells us: “And whoever believes in Allah, He will guide his/her heart through adversity.” (At Taghabun 64:11)

وَمَن يُؤْمِن بِاللَّهِ يَهْدِ قَلْبَهُ

This guidance of believers’ hearts, in challenging moments and times of fear and discomfort, is a unique gift that people of faith are granted by the Creator!

It is spiritually attuned approach that Canadian Muslims have to use in dealing with contemporary Islamophobia.

I see it as a 3-Ways-approach that we Muslims have inherited from the sacred scriptures – the Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (S), our best role-model!

1st Way-approach in dealing with Islamophobia is that “I,” as a Muslim, will never allow myself to be like Islamophobes, racist, bigots, etc.!

I will never allow myself to go so low and sink so deep into evil as the Islamophobes.

God Almighty, the most Kind, Generous and the Most Merciful, informed us that “the good and the evil cannot ever be compared.”

وَلَا تَسْتَوِي الْحَسَنَةُ وَلَا السَّيِّئَةُ

And then, He instructed the believers: “Respond to the evil with something that is better or best possible.”

ادْفَعْ بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ

And then, the Creator, Who know our hearts the best, said: “It is possible, thereafter, that the one whom between you and him/her is hostility (hatred) will become your close friend.” (Fussilat 41:34)

فَإِذَا الَّذِي بَيْنَكَ وَبَيْنَهُ عَدَاوَةٌ كَأَنَّهُ وَلِيٌّ حَمِيمٌ

And in Muhammad (S) we have the best example!

Islamophobes insulted him, abused him, boycotted him and his followers, harmed them and killed them, yet, when he (S) was the most powerful, after liberating Makkah, he (S) did not retaliate but forgave them all.

Muhammad (S) knew that by forgiving, he (S) will attain the ‘Izza (honor and dignity) from Allah, as he (S) stated: “And no one forgives another but that Allah increases his/her honor.” (Muslim)

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ عَنْ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم وَمَا زَادَ اللَّهُ عَبْدًا بِعَفْوٍ إِلاَّ عِزًّا

Muhammad (S), when he (S) entered Makkah with 10,000 strong military, was humble!

When Sa’s ibn ‘Ubaidah, one of the chiefs from Madinah, saw Abu Sufyan, one of the chiefs from Makkah, he told him “O Sufyan, today is the day of revenge.”

When Muhammad (S) was told about it, he (S) took the flag from the hands of Sa’ad and gave it to his son and addressed Abu Sufyan telling him “O Aba Sufyan! Today is the day of Marhamah (Mercy)!

2nd-Way-approach in dealing with Islamophobia is that “I”, as a Muslim, will do all legally possible to prevent any further abuse, Islamophobia of my people in my nation!

I will not keep silent, be a bystander, do nothing and not allow that my people be stung from the same hole twice, as the Prophet (S) advised us: The believer is not stung twice from the same hole.” (Bukhari, Muslim)

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ عَنْ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ أَنَّهُ قَالَ لَا يُلْدَغُ الْمُؤْمِنُ مِنْ جُحْرٍ وَاحِدٍ مَرَّتَيْنِ

This approach entails advocacy, lobbying, political engagement, close work with the justice system, educational institutions, social service system, interfaith groups, friends, colleagues, neighbors, etc.

Of course, all of these activities cannot be done by anyone who wants to do them.

The desire to help and assist your own community is not enough!

Desire without wisdom could create greater gap in understanding and thus more conflict!

Some of these activities must be done by people of knowledge, wisdom and diplomacy!

So, each one of us – Canadian Muslims – has to do our own share of responsibility.

And the minimum one can do is to show in practice what a Muslim should be like…a decent individual that everyone would like to have for a friend, colleague, neighbor or citizen!

The Prophet (S) guided us, as narrated by Anas ibn Malik (r): “Help your brother, whether he is an oppressor or is being oppressed.” It was said: “O Messenger of Allah (S), we help the oppressed, but how do we help an oppressor?” The Prophet said: “By seizing his hand (by stopping him or preventing him from the oppression).” (Bukhari, Muslim)

عَنْ أَنَسٍ رضى الله عنه قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم انْصُرْ أَخَاكَ ظَالِمًا أَوْ مَظْلُومًا‏ قَالُوا يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ هَذَا نَنْصُرُهُ مَظْلُومًا فَكَيْفَ نَنْصُرُهُ ظَالِمًا قَالَ تَأْخُذُ فَوْقَ يَدَيْهِ

If we do not stop irresponsible people, oppressors, abusers, bigots and Islamophobes, the whole society could suffer!

Since we all live together on the state-ship, anyone who wants to endanger the ship must be prevented, otherwise all passengers of the ship would suffer, as narrated by An Nu’man ibn Bashir (r) that the Prophet (S) explained:

“The parable of the one who observes the limits prescribed by Allah and the one who transgresses them is the likeness of people who board a ship after casting lots. Some of them are in its lower deck and others are in its upper deck. Those in the lower deck, when they need water, go to the upper deck and say: If we make a hole in the bottom of the ship, we will not harm you. If those in the upper deck leave them to carry out their plan, they will all be drowned, but if they stop them, then all of them will be safe.” (Bukhari)

مَثَلُ الْقَائِمِ عَلَى حُدُودِ اللَّهِ وَالْوَاقِعِ فِيهَا كَمَثَلِ قَوْمٍ اسْتَهَمُوا عَلَى سَفِينَةٍ فَأَصَابَ بَعْضُهُمْ أَعْلَاهَا وَبَعْضُهُمْ أَسْفَلَهَا فَكَانَ الَّذِينَ فِي أَسْفَلِهَا إِذَا اسْتَقَوْا مِنْ الْمَاءِ مَرُّوا عَلَى مَنْ فَوْقَهُمْ فَقَالُوا لَوْ أَنَّا خَرَقْنَا فِي نَصِيبِنَا خَرْقًا وَلَمْ نُؤْذِ مَنْ فَوْقَنَا فَإِنْ يَتْرُكُوهُمْ وَمَا أَرَادُوا هَلَكُوا جَمِيعًا وَإِنْ أَخَذُوا عَلَى أَيْدِيهِمْ نَجَوْا وَنَجَوْا جَمِيعًا

And the 3rd-Way-approach in dealing with Islamophobia is that we turn every and each worry, affliction, anxiety, challenge and fear into the Du’a!

When the fear assails into our lives, we should recite this beautiful Du’a that was recited by Ibrahim (pbuh) when he was thrown into the fire as well as by the Prophet (S) when the munafiqun (hypocrites) were trying to make them fearful from the enemy:

“Hasbunallahu Wa ni’mal Wakil – Allah is enough for us and He is the best Disposer of the affairs.”

Ibn Abbas (r) narrated that Abraham (pbuh) said when he was thrown into the fire, “Allah is enough for us, and He is the best Disposer of the affairs,” and it was likewise said by Muhammad (S), when they (hypocrites) said, “Verily, the people have gathered against you, so fear them. It only increased their faith and they said: Allah is enough for us, and excellent is he as the guardian (Ali ‘Imran 3:173).” (Bukhari)

عَنْ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ حَسْبُنَا اللَّهُ وَنِعْمَ الْوَكِيلُ قَالَهَا إِبْرَاهِيمُ عَلَيْهِ السَّلَام حِينَ أُلْقِيَ فِي النَّارِ وَقَالَهَا مُحَمَّدٌ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ حِينَ قَالُوا إِنَّ النَّاسَ قَدْ جَمَعُوا لَكُمْ فَاخْشَوْهُمْ فَزَادَهُمْ إِيمَانًا وَقَالُوا حَسْبُنَا اللَّهُ وَنِعْمَ الْوَكِيلُ

So, when the Prophet (S) would face challenges and fears, he (S) would turn those challenges and fears into the Du’a, as at the event of his visit to Taif to ask for help from the leaders of the city.

When he (S) was forced out from the city, he (S) made the Du’a to the Almighty:

اَللُّهُمَّ اِلَيْكَ اَشْكُوْ ضَعْفَ قُوَّتِي، وَقِلَّةَ حِيْلَتِيْ وَهَوَانِيْ عَلَى النَّاسِ يَا اَرْحَمَ الرَّاحِمِيْنَ، اَنْتَ رَبُّ الْمُسْتَضْعَفِيْنَ، وَاَنْتَ رَبِّي، اِلَى مَنْ تَكِلُّنِيْ اِلَى بَعِيْدٍ يَتَجَهَّمُنِيْ ؟ اَوْ اِلَى عَدُوٍّ مَلَكْتَهُ اَمْرِيْ ؟ اِنْ لَمْ يَكُنْ بِكَ غَضَبٌ عَلَيَّ فَلاَ اُبَالِيْ وَلَكِنْ عَافِيَتَكَ هِيَ اَوْسَعُ لِيْ

Allahumma ilayka ashku dha’fa quwwati, waqillata hilati, wahawani alan-nas. Ya arham ar-rahimin! Anta rabb ul-mustadh’afina wa anta rabbi. Ila man takiluni? Ila ba’idin yatajahhamuni, aw ila ‘aduwwin mallaktahu amri? In lam yakun bika ghadabun ‘alayya, fala ubali. Wal akin, ‘afiyatuka, hiya awsa’u li.”

“O Allah! I complain to you of my weakness, my scarcity of resources and humiliation before the people. O Most Merciful! The Lord of the weak and my Lord too! To whom have You entrusted me? To the one who does not care for me? Or have You appointed my enemy as master of my affairs? So as long as You are not angry with me, I am pleased. Your favor is abundant for me.” (Al Tabarani, Kitabud Du’a; (Ar-Raheeq-Al-Makhtum)

Ya Rabb! Accept our prayers for the innocent brothers who were killed in the Quebec City masjid only because they worship You so grant them the Gardens of Jannah…and their families – 6 widows and 17 orphaned children, be their Protector and make us be in their service!

Ya Rabb! Accept our prayers for those injured in this terror attack and their families to ease their conditions and guide us to be at their service!

Ya Rabb! Accept our prayers for the Quebec City Muslims, Canadian Muslims, our nation Canada and all Canadians so that we all stand together and never allow Islamophobia happen again on our soil!

Allahumma Amin!