7: For a Bleeding Ummah


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This Ramadan…

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This Ramadan… I will make du’aa for the Ummah of Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم.

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There is a girl somewhere, standing at the door of her home, leaning against it, her eyes searching for something far, far away, for someone who is returning. She does this every day. She stands outside her house, searching for her father as far as her eyes can see; maybe this time she’ll catch a glimpse of him and run forward to his arms the way she used to… before all these terrible things started happening.

Back then, before it had all began, she would also wait for her father by the door and run to him as soon as her eyes laid sight on him. She would hold his hand and take him home because she loved him so much: more that all the toys he bought her, and all the ice-cream she ate, and all the things she collected. She loved him.

But this time, he wasn’t returning home. Her mother never told any of her children that their father wasn’t coming home anymore. Instead, this woman, this mother and now widow, would cry silently all night and stand as a brave soldier all day, looking after her kids alone; she was the only one they had now.

This little girl’s name is Ayesha. Her name is Sarah and Maryam and Zainab.

Her father is Burmese, from the land of Myanmar. Her father is Syrian and Kashmiri. He is Pakistani and Palestinian. Bangladeshi, Iraqi, Egyptian, Libyan, Yemeni and Sudanese.

Their family lives in abject poverty somewhere on this planet. And what they have in common with the rest of us is the sky: the big blue sky.

We share our world with countless of  the oppressed, the voiceless, the degraded, the homeless… people with broken lives. As their horrors and difficulties reach us, condensed into numbers, their deaths numbing statistics we read off electronic screens, we sometimes forget their pain.

But we have no option except to feel their pain, for our heart is the heart of an Ummah.

Our heart belongs to the Ummah of Muhammad salla Allahu alayhi wasallam, man and Messenger who felt compassion for every human being on this planet. It was he, peace be upon him, who taught us that, “The likeness of the believers in their mutual love, mercy and compassion is that of the body; if one part of it complains, the rest of the body joins it in staying awake and suffering fever” [Muslim].

So this Ramadan, as I make du’aa for myself and for my own loved ones… as I remember my own troubles and struggles, my own wants and needs… I will remember my brothers and sisters everywhere. I will make du’aa for them, dailly, as I make du’aa for myself. I will beg and plead with Allah, the way I would beg and plead for myself… for their suffering is my suffering, and today, with everything going on in the world, my body aches with fever and my heart bleeds.

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O Allah, bestow your Mercy on our suffering brothers and sisters everywhere, and open up the doors of your Rahmah for them. O Allah, they are living in misery, so extend your rizq and your aide to them. O Allah, our brothers and sisters are neglected and abused, treated as less than human because they have believed in You… O Allah, be their support, for they have no one but You. Be their help and their aide, for they have no one but You.

O Allah, our hands are tied from helping our brethren, though our hearts bleed for them. So we raise our hands to you, Lord of the weak and the oppressed, Helper of the destitute… and we ask that you alleviate their suffering. Grant them peace and security. Avert their calamities and raise their status in this world and the next.


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The believing men and believing women are allies of one another. They enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and establish prayer and give zakah and obey Allah and His Messenger. Those – Allah will have mercy upon them. Indeed, Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise.” [at-Tawbah, 9:71]

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