Orland Park Prayer Center

The Prayer Center of Orland Park

This is a question we know comes to everyone’s minds to varying degrees when we witness atrocities and calamities around us. For the past eight weeks, we have been witnessing one of the most horrific atrocities of the 21st century taking place in Gaza. Nothing is spared from bombing; schools, hospitals, homes, shelters, streets. Innocent civilians are being killed by the thousands, mainly children and women. More than twenty thousand are dead or buried under rubble and triple that number injured.

We can never compare our own struggles having to witness such atrocities to those actually facing it and living it in real life. But we are indeed affected by the scenes of horror we are seeing every day, and our emotional health is suffering for their plight because they are human beings first and foremost, innocent civilians as well as our brothers and sisters in faith.

I do not claim that I will cover the entire answer in clarity and detail, but it is sufficient for me that these are some thoughts that may provide some healing for our grieving hearts, our wounded souls, and our tired thoughts.

First point:

Do not rebuke those who ask such questions, like (why is this happening? Where is God? How could God allow this?) even with a touch of anger. Such questions come from the mercy embedded in their souls and feeling the pain of having to see and watch and witness the calamities taking place.

One companion of the prophet (ﷺ) was crying for the loss of her son by his grave, and the Prophet (ﷺ) passed by her and advised her to be patient. She responded (without knowing who he was) by saying: “Stay away from me, for you have not suffered my afflictions!” She, later on, came apologizing and told him: “I did not know it was you.” The Prophet did not say anything more, except that he directed her to the best of reactions at time of loss and said: “Patience, indeed, is at the first shock.” He did not speak ill of her or accuse her of lesser faith.

Even in times of despair and expecting aid to come immediately from God upon the believers, Allah (ﷻ) spoke of what was on the mind of the prophet and his companions. {Until the Messenger and those who believed with him said, When will God grant victory}. These are the moments that people speak of their human natural need and necessity, and God knows that.

Second point:

God is with us, and He is All-Knowing, All-Wise, and Merciful, and His destiny extends to all beings. Our belief in destiny is a call to reconciliation with the past and the determination to own and create the future. God does not create pure evil, and He is the one who brings the living out of the dead, and vice versa. If nations and communities leave themselves exposed to all sorts of social and political diseases and injustices, evil and harm will spread to it, and it must be treated. This may only be with a scalpel that cuts, wounds, and causes pain, but this pain is necessary in order to stop the problem. So sometimes, Allah (ﷻ) bring tests and trials to change the status of people into a better one especially for the growing generations to come.

Third point:

Those who are grieving the loss of loved ones or seeing what is happening to those around them may miss the manifestations of God’s laws in his universe. I say, if there is a tax to life, it is death. {Every soul will taste death}, death is inevitable. For the old and the young, for the doctor and the sick, for the prophets and their followers, and the One who determines that is God.

In the story of Moses with Al-Khidr, our Lord told us about the death of a child on one hand and about the caring for children on the other hand. {Until when they met a boy and killed him}, Al-Khidr was nothing but Qadar itself. In one night, we saw thousands killed in earthquakes like Turkey and Syria, a flood in Libya, or a tsunami in Indonesia. Yes, the death of a human being unjustly at the hands of another human being has the pain of another person attacking an innocent life, but the only way to deal with loss is through faith. Believing that they will be the martyrs are that they are alive with their Lord and provided for, whether they were killed at the hands of tyrants or died by drowning, burying, or burning.

Fourth point:

When death is what brings life to a rising nation, all dignity is poured into those whom God Almighty has chosen for such an esteemed death. The blessing and sanctity of the place in the blessed land is evidence of a new resurrection for freedom and honorable life, and great births are preceded by great sacrifices.

Have you not heard of the boy whom the king tried to kill by various means but did not succeed? So the boy asked the king to gather all the people and shoot him with an arrow, but with a condition to mention the name of God, the Lord of the boy, that is, to acknowledge God Almighty. So the king did so, and the boy died. The outcome was that people believed. The price of the sacrifice was the faith of a nation, and God wrote that story in Surah Al-Buruj, the story of the people of the Trench.

Finally, these are not words to belittle the pain that people are experiencing, but rather an attempt to understand events from a faith perspective in the hope that it will keep us a bit more able to process such hard times with faith and hope.


By Imam Kifah Mustapha


Sign up for our email list!

Sign up to get the monthly Insight E-News, Programs & Events Announcements, as well as Ramadan and Eid information delivered to your inbox.

Accessibility Toolbar