As we continue to witness the indescribable suffering and oppression that Muslims world-wide face day in and day out, the following Hadith comes to mind, where the Prophet (saw) said:
“Nations will soon call upon each other to attack you from every direction in the same way that people gather around an open feast.” Someone asked, “Will that be because of our small numbers at that time?” He (saw) replied, “No, you will be large in number at that time, but you will be like the foam that is carried down by a torrent of water; Allah will remove the fear and respect that your enemies have of you from their hearts, and He will cast Al-Wahn into your hearts.” Someone asked, “What is Al-Wahn, O Messenger of Allah?” He replied, “Love of the Dunya and hatred of death.” [Ahmed]
None of us can deny the fact that the above narration is an accurate description of the situation the Ummah faces today, and therefore it is necessary that we contemplate the meaning of the words of our Prophet (saw) in order to understand what is expected from us.
An open feast
Let’s start with the beginning of the Hadith:
“Nations will soon call upon each other to attack you from every direction in the same way that a pack of people gather around an open feast …”
What we understand from these words is that the Ummah is seen as something that holds something of great value to the “people gathering around an open feast” who surround us. The Ummah is the prey, and is seen as food in the sight of those who surround us.
We all know that the Muslim lands are rich in resources, with 70% of the world’s crude oil reserves, 50% of world’s natural gas reserves, and immeasurable other quantities of natural resources. Therefore, it is in the interest of those feasting to ensure that the dinner table is always open and accessible for them to reach in and take whatever they please.
They have weakened the Ummah by undermining what connects us and bonds us together – our Deen and our Aqeedah – doing everything they can to sever our bond with Islam and, consequently, with each other. They do their best to weaken our adherence to the Deen by deceiving us into thinking that their way of life is “more advanced,” their secular Aqeedah is more “modern,” and their bonds of nationalism and patriotism are more “natural.” And they have had great success in doing so.
Nations all around the world have summoned each other, and are attacking the Muslim lands, the Muslims, and Islam itself world-wide – all in a similar manner, and only differing in intensity and brutality.
We see the struggle of our Uyghur brothers and sisters in East Turkmenistan who try to hold on to their Islam while living under an oppressive Chinese regime – a regime that sends Muslim men to “political re-education camps,” which is nothing more than concentration camps, and forces Muslims to eat during the month of Ramadan, and forces Muslims women to marry non-Muslim men.
We see the struggle of Muslims living in the West, such as in Denmark, where we see the Niqab banned, and we see Muslim children forcibly taken from their parents and sent to indoctrination schools that force un-Islamic values upon them, including teaching them nationalism and forcing them to celebrate Christmas.
And we see the struggle of the Muslims in Kashmir, Palestine, Syria, Myanmar, Uzbekistan, Yemen, and countless other places, where holding on and proclaiming your Deen has become a reason for which you can be arrested, beaten, or killed.
The foam of the sea
The Hadith continues:
“…you will be large in number at that time, but you will be like the foam that is carried down by a torrent of water,”
which tells us that the Muslims will be large in number but as worthless and ineffectual as foam floating on top of a torrent of water. In the Arabic, the word used is Ghuthaa’ غثاء, which is defined as “froth, filth, and debris.”
Froth is defined as a “mass of air filled bubbles,” and it is what floats on top of the sea or a torrent of water; it is insignificant because it has no power to decide where it goes and is entirely dependent on the movement of the sea.
In the absence of an Islamic leadership and an independent political entity lead us, the Ummah has become exactly the same as froth on the sea: having no political power to decide our political direction, and we are entirely dependent on the political movements of others. This is a position absolutely unfitting and utterly shameful for the Muslim Ummah.
Fear and respect from the hearts
The Hadith then continues by informing us that:
“…Allah will remove the fear and respect that your enemies have of you from their hearts…”
In the absence of true Islamic leadership that is guided by the guidance of Allah (swt), the lives of Muslims have become cheap, and the enemies of Islam are well aware of the fact that Muslims are no more influential than froth floating on the sea.
What did we see in response to the killings of two honourable young Muslims like nurse Razan Al- Najjar who was killed in Gaza, or Kaiser Ahmed who was killed in Kashmir? The Muslim Ummah was furious all around the globe, but we have no political will or voice, and therefore we were little more than froth pushed to and fro by foreign media outlets and foreign interests.
Naturally the Prophet (saw) also gave us guidance within the Hadith, by telling us what our illness will be so that we may find our own cure; he (saw) said:
“…and He will cast Al-Wahn into your hearts.” Someone asked, “What is Al-Wahn, O Messenger of Allah?” He replied, “Love of the Dunya and hatred of death.”
The Ummah is being influenced by the delusions and lies of this world, which comes in the disguise of Capitalism and its secular values, and this causes us to desire what they desire: this Dunya. Liberal secular Capitalism is a way of life that focuses on seeking the pleasures in this life by dedicating one’s self to materialism and ignoring the fact that this life will eventually come to an end. Muslims, for this reason, are in danger of losing sight of what Allah (swt) teaches us is important when He (swt) says:
“Say: Very little is the enjoyment of this world. And the Akhirah is far better, for those who have Taqwa.” [An-Nisa:77]
We have become too attached to our worldly possessions, and too afraid of losing our positions earned by compromising on our Deen. Some of us do whatever is necessary in order to avoid being labeled with any label that might affect our job opportunities – even if that means abandoning some of the truth, or even attacking it. Our feet have become heavy in this Dunya, and we dislike the sacrifice and hardship that naturally goes hand-in-hand with the rewards in the Akhirah.
An example from our history
A good example of how the believer looks at the world around him or her without Wahn in their hearts is how the Muslims faced the Battle of Badr. The Muslim army numbered around 313 poorly-equipped men, and the Mushrikeen numbered over 950 well-armed men – outnumbering the Muslims 3 to 1. And yet, the Muslims remained fearless, firm, and strong.
They could not have had Wahn in their hearts for them to have stood their ground with strength and courage in the face of such impossible odds. They understood that only Allah (swt) can grant victory, and they were willing to sacrifice the world and everything in it for the sake of Allah (swt); all they sought was the reward that is given to the believer after death.
They understood that death was an inevitable part of life, and that if Allah (swt) decided to take their life during that battle, they would have achieved one of the greatest statuses in the Dunya and in the Akhirah – which is that of a Shaheed.
Equally important was the fact that they stood united under a single Islamic leadership and under a single Islamic political entity. This Islamic political leadership was the shield that protected our Ummah for over 1300 years, and through it all the commands and prohibitions of Allah (swt) were implemented, but after its fall in 1924, all of that was lost, and Wahn was cast into our hearts, as we have become attached to the Dunya and we refuse to let go.
Therefore, in order to cure this disease of Wahn, we must stop loving the Dunya as the disbelievers do, and we must dedicate our lives to preparation for that which comes after death by dedicating ourselves to implementing the abandoned Ahkam revealed by Allah (swt). This is the guiding star of the believer, that shows us the path out of the narrowness of attachment to this world, and brings us forth to the breadth of the reward of this Dunya and the Akhirah.
“So do not have Wahn (become weak against your enemy), nor be sad – and you will be superior (in victory) if you are indeed (true) believers” [Aal-Imran:139]