In the days that have passed, we have collectively witnessed the inconceivable patience demonstrated by the Palestinian people as bombs soar overhead, razing their homes and desecrating their children. The mainstream media, meanwhile, has not only largely ignored their harrowing experiences, but further contributed to their dehumanization. In the face of such brutality and hopelessness, how can they remain so defiantly resilient?
As Muslims around the globe witness the oppression of our brothers and sisters in Palestine, we not only share in their pain but are also awakened to our own spiritual poverty. Generations of Palestinians have survived displacement and relentless occupation by breathing and sustaining themselves with “la ilaha illa Allah” and “hasbuna Allahu wa ni’ma al-wakeel” (“Allah is sufficient for us, and the best Disposer of affairs).
How can we as a community be resilient like them and for them?
Watch the video: Allah’s Plans Never Fail #Palestine | Dr. Omar Suleiman
1. Carry part of their load
Abu Musa (rA) narrated that the Prophet ﷺ said, “A believer to a believer is like a building; its parts reinforce one another.” The Prophet ﷺ then clasped his hands together, interlacing his fingers.
This hadith describes the sense of solidarity that Muslims should embody as a community. However, it also provides us with a roadmap for fostering resilience. We must look to each part of the structure, acknowledge the load it carries and recognize that without one another we are incomplete.
By doing so, we can take off some of their load. The tears shed in tahajjud and our incessant supplications for Palestine help us build our individual resilience, and ultimately become a stronger body.
2. Be patient with affliction
Imam Hasan Al-Basri (rA) is reported to have said, “Courage is patience for (another) hour.” Our enemies believe we will despair and eventually grow tired. Historically, however, Muslims were always able to outlast their enemies because they drew strength from something deeper.
Determination is a process. It is built by learning to be patient with hardships. Through repeated exposure to minor discomfort, we can grow to endure major discomfort for the sake of a greater goal. This is how the Palestinians have become a model of resilience for us all.
The Prophet ﷺ is reported to have said, “Know Allah in prosperity, and He will know you in adversity.”
3. Read Surah Ali ‘Imran
Scholars recommend reading Surah Ali ‘Imran during times of tribulation, as it especially highlights how the Muslims responded to the trial of Uhud. Verse 173 narrates the Muslims’ response when the hypocrites, impressed by the Quraysh’s numbers and wealth, encouraged them to give up: “Those to whom the hypocrites said ‘Indeed, the people have gathered against you, so fear them.’ But it increased them in faith, and they said “Allah is sufficient for us, and the best Disposer of affairs.”
4. Study the life of the Prophet ﷺ in Makkah
It is worth noting that of the twenty three years the Prophet ﷺ delivered the message, thirteen were spent in tribulation in Mecca. In the early days of his prophethood, his companions were very few in number, but the trials they faced resulted in forming the most resilient generation known to history.
One of the most difficult moments in Mecca came when the Prophet and his nascent community were kicked out of Mecca and isolated in one valley, a pre-modern “concentration camp.” The disbelievers tried their utmost to isolate the believers, forbidding them food, water, trade and even marriage from outside the valley. Some of the nonbelievers, still believing in the bonds of kinship, would use the cover of night to smuggle in whatever “humanitarian aid” they could to the starving Muslims. Ultimately, the companions were able to withstand this trial due to their belief in and reliance on Allah.
Gaza has rightly been called the world’s largest open-air prison. Nonetheless, the true believer, for whom Allah is his motivation and destination, views the entire dunya as a prison, and the akhirah as liberation.
The Prophet ﷺ, hiding in a cave, exiled from his hometown, is reported to have said to his closest companion Abu Bakr (rA): “Don’t be sad; Allah is with us.” There in the darkness of the cave he could see the bright future that lay ahead: the inevitable victory. He knew that triumph comes not after trial, but in it.