“Hard times create strong men, strong men create good times, good times create weak men, and weak men create hard times.” - G. Michael Hopf
What is Ash-Shaam? Ash-Shaam includes the lands of modern-day Syria, Lebanon, Jordan including occupied territories of Palestine. It is this land and its people that Prophet Muhammad ﷺ highly praised due to the sacrifices they will display in the end of times because of trials and tribulations that they will face at the hands of oppressors from among some Muslims and non-Muslims. The ongoing suffering of Palestinians at the hands of Zionist Israelis is part of the greater divine plan that Allah ﷻ has for Muslims of this region. Just as Sheikh Yasir Qadhi said in one his lectures on the Palestinian suffering "respect and honor that some enjoy due to political power and wealth in this world does not mean respect in the sight of Allah ﷻ." Many times the fortunate in the sight of Allah ﷻ are actually the oppressed and persecuted in this world. Prophet Muhammad ﷺ once made dua, "O Allah! Bless our Sham and our Yemen." People said, "Our Najd as well." The Prophet ﷺ again said, "O Allah! Bless our Sham and Yemen." They said again, "Our Najd as well." On that the Prophet (ﷺ) said, "There will appear earthquakes and afflictions, and from there (Najd) will come out the side of the head of Satan." (Sahih al-Bukhari 1037) – It seems that the rulership of Saudi Arabia (that hails from Najd) will be directly and indirectly responsible for the destruction of Yemen and Ash-Shaam which will cause those people to face troubles. People of Ash-Shaam and Yemen are currently facing severe food crises, medicine and basic necessities shortages due to land, sea and air blockade imposed on them by Saudi/UAE, Israel and Western countries. It is in this regards that the Prophet ﷺ informed Jabir ibn Abdullah (r.a) who used to say “it may happen that the people of Iraq may not send their qafiz and dirhams (their measures of food stuff and their money). We said: “Who would be responsible for it? He said: “The non-Arabs (ajam) would prevent them.” He again said “There is the possibility that the people of ash-shaam may not send their dinars and mudds." We said, “Who would be responsible for it?” He said, “this prevention would be made by the Romans.” (Sahih Muslim 2913a) The war in Syria, the tight land, sea and air blockade of Gaza, the increasing poverty in Lebanon where it’s becoming difficult to even buy groceries are either due to economic or military interference from the West (Romans) and its regional allies.
Once Prophet ﷺ was inquired by a companion as to which land is best and where to go in times of strife to which Prophet ﷺ replied “Go to shaam, for it is Allah's chosen land, to which his best servants will be gathered, but if you are unwilling, go to your Yemen, and draw water from your tanks, for Allah has on my account taken special charge of shaam and its people.” (Sunan Abi Dawud 2483) Despite the noticeable suffering, people of Ash-Shaam are under Allah’s special attention, and no one can destroy ones who are under His protection. The people of shaam were mentioned in the presence of `Ali bin Abi Talib (رضي الله عنه) when he was in Iraq. They said: “Curse them, O Ameer al-Mu`mineen.” He said: “No, I heard the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) say: “The abdal (people who are close to Allah) will be in shaam, and they will be forty men. Every time one of them dies, Allah will replace him with another man. By virtue of them rain is sent and through them victory is achieved against the enemy and punishment is warded off from the people of Syria.” (Musnad Ahmad 896) These saintly beings called abdals have been gifted to the people of Ash-Shaam, they live among them and Allah ﷻ changes the course of events through their prayers and supplications. The future of the entire ummah is dependent on people of Ash-Shaam as the Prophet ﷺ is also reported to have said “If the people of Shaam are corrupted, there will be no good in you (ummah).” (Nuaym ibn Hammad, Kitab Al Fitan, pg. 244) – Hard times make stronger men and easy times and luxuries potentially corrupt people. As long as people of Ash-Shaam are faithful and steadfast in the face of suffering, strong in resistance against their enemies, they will be undefeatable and divinely assisted and will become hope for the remaining ummah. After all Dajjal, one of the greatest trials of humanity, his army will be defeated and he will be killed at the hands of Isa ibn Maryam (alaihi salaam) in the land of Ash-Shaam with assistance of its people in which truth will finally triumph over falsehood.
Hence what we are seeing, the Palestinians experiencing oppression at the hands of Zionist Israelis and their sacrifices are an honor that has been gifted to them by Allah ﷻ. Despite our hearts are sad and bleed at the suffering we see in Palestine, Yemen and modern-day Syria, all of this is a blessing in disguise for the ummah, as the Quran reminds us: (Al Quran 2:216) …. it may well be that you hate a thing the while it is good for you, and it may well be that you love a thing the while it is bad for you: and God knows, whereas you do not know.
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