By Imam Muzzammil Ahmad

As the harrowing events continue to unfold in Palestine, faithful individuals worldwide are gripped by an overwhelming surge of emotions. They grapple with a profound sense of sorrow, anguish, indignation, and a pervasive sense of powerlessness and more. It is of paramount importance that we navigate these tumultuous emotions in the context of our faith and learn to harness them constructively as we march forward. Below, are a set of guiding principles to steadfastly uphold.

1)    Embrace the Pain

Nu’man bin Bashir (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said,

The believers in their mutual kindness, compassion and sympathy are just like one body. When one of the limbs suffers, the whole body responds to it with wakefulness and fever.

[Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

The pain we feel is a reflection of faith itself. Allah will raise us on the Day of Judgement with those we love. If we were to feel no pain for the people in Palestine, it would be our faith that we would need to question.

Ibn Taymiyyah (may Allah have mercy on him) lived through similarly tumultuous times when the Ummah was still being attacked from all sides. In such a context, he would famously remark, “those who do not find joy in what the Ummah finds joy, nor are they hurt by that which hurts the Ummah, then they are not from them (i.e. the Ummah).” [Majmu’l-Fatawa 10/128]

2)    Victory is from Allah

My dear brothers and sisters, we must not let this pain shake our unflinching faith in Allah. No matter how insurmountable the adversity may appear, He reigns supreme in every instance. Gaza may seem a desolate battleground flooded with suffering right now. But with His infinite wisdom, Allah has elevated this besieged enclave and the people of Palestine. Though the naked eye only sees destruction, Allah sees the hidden light and resilience that can never be extinguished. We must trust in Him, stay steadfast in our principles, and keep the ummah united against oppression. With faith as our shield, we will overcome these dark times.

A scholar from Gaza recently remarked on X (formerly known as Twitter) that: “a friend of mine from the West called me. He informed me that he wanted to send some money so that I could leave Gaza and go to Egypt during this war, as it is far safer there. He does not realise that I am in a place that all the people of the Earth should be envious of. Those other than me can only wish to pay that amount of money to place their foot on this [blessed] land…”

When commenting on the verse in the Qur’an, “do not throw yourselves into destruction,” [2:195] the companion and exegete Ibn ‘Abbas (may Allah have mercy on him) mentioned that “destruction is not that a man should be killed in the path of Allah, rather [it is] that one should pause from giving in the path of Allah.” So my brothers and sisters do not stop giving, do not lose hope.

3)    Focus the Pain

The Prophet ﷺ informed us that if we are to see evil, we should change it with our hands. If we cannot do so, we change it with our tongues. And if we cannot do so, we feel upset about it in our hearts, and that is the least of faith.

We should focus on the pain we feel in our hearts and seek ways to amend the injustices that is at the root of oppression and suffering. How can we support our brothers and sisters in Palestine?

My dear brothers and sisters, the most potent weapon we have is dua – sincere and impassioned prayer to Allah. We all have the capacity to make dua. We must beseech His protection and mercy for our oppressed Palestinian brothers and sisters, day and night. In every sujood, every standing before Allah, let us raise our hands and voices to Him. No siege or invasion can harm those shielded by Allah, so we must make it an obligation to invoke Allah’s name for the people of Palestine.

And we must back our dua with action. Donate generously to support organizations aiding those courageous souls. Raise awareness by adding your voice at protests – but remain cognizant of what displeases Allah. Seek and follow the wisdom of our scholars on further ways we can assist this righteous cause. Remain engaged always, turning faith into deeds.

Together, our dua and deeds can help shake the conscience of the world. Strengthened by Islamic unity, we can empower the oppressed and make the oppressor’s power tremble. Have courage – with Allah on our side, victory shall be ours.

4)    Prevent Misinformation

We have seen an astronomical rise in fake news and propaganda not just against our brothers and sisters in Palestine, but on everything that we hold to be truth and dear. Mainstream media agencies, government institutions, and leading politicians have peddled lies that are not only a danger to truth itself but also a threat to social and political cohesion. We need to be mindful of all such misinformation and remember what Allah tells us in the Qur’an,

O believers, if an evildoer brings you any news, verify it so you do not harm people unknowingly, becoming regretful for what you have done.” [49:6]

As Muslims, we must challenge all misinformation, especially when it’s deployed in the service of war and violence.

5)    Remain Vigilant

My dear brothers and sisters, the painful discrimination Muslims faced after 9/11 is still fresh in many of our minds. Once again, we see rising suspicion and hostility against our communities in the West. This is a difficult time that will inevitably leave emotional scars, especially on our youth.

However, we must not let fear or anger drive us apart. Now more than ever, we must stick together, protect one another, and proceed cautiously under the wise guidance of our scholars. Our faith and Muslim identity are the bedrock that will see us through turbulent times.

We must build bridges with people of conscience while firmly standing for justice. And we must believe that with compassion and perseverance, we can change hearts and minds. Difficult as this moment may be, it is also an opportunity to show the true peaceful nature of Islam.

If we hold fast to our principles through this test, refusing to be divided, then a brighter day will come when Muslim communities are truly accepted in the West. But we can only get there by staying anchored in faith, embracing wisdom, and uplifting humanity. Better days lie ahead if we rely on Allah and stand united.

And Allah knows best.