Sheikh Faisal Mawlawi, Deputy Chairman of the European Council for Fatwa and Research, states that: “Our life is continuous like the waters of the tide with one wave following another. It is full of both joy and miseries, but these hardships cannot stop life. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) stressed the legal responsibility of a Muslim towards the miseries and calamities befalling his/her fellow Muslims. A Muslim should feel the suffering of his/her fellow Muslims and support them, but this does not mean he cannot feel joy or happiness, get married and prepare walimah (marriage feast), etc. but he should not excceed the reasonable limits in this regard.”
It is clear now that feeling the suffering of the oppressed Muslims and supporting them financially and emotionally does not contradict continuing one’s education, work, going on holidays, buying things and leading one’s life normally.
Sheikh Muhammad Nur Abdullah, President of ISNA and member of the Fiqh Council of North America, states the following: “The Muslim is supposed to feel sorry for his brothers and sisters in Islam who are facing hardships and suffering. The hadith of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is reported to have said: “Whoever does not concern himself with the situation of Muslims does not belong to them.” Therefore, a Muslim should share his brothers and sisters their pains and sorrows.
However, a Muslim is supposed to think positive in solving the problem. Crying, quitting work and education, etc. are not going to solve the problem. We are supposed to work hard to solve the problem and end the sufferings of our brothers and sisters. We have a lot of tasks and ways that we can achieve in this regard. We can donate, we can make du`a’, we can educate the people, we can encourage the people to help, etc. This way we can help them overcome their hardship.
The saying “you should live for this world like you are never going to die and live for the next world like you are going to die tomorrow” is not a hadith, it is an athar or a traceable tradition. It means that we should work for the hereafter and be prepared for it, and on the other hand, we should work for our life and make it better. ”
The prominent Muslim scholar, Sheikh Muhammad Iqbal Nadvi, Imam of Calgary Mosque, Alberta, Canada, and Former Professor at King Saud University, Riyad, Saudi Arabia, adds: “In a hadith of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) it is reported: “… rather rejoin what is good and forbid what is evil, until you see obedience to greed and following of lusts and preoccupation with this world and the absolute fascination of each one with his own opinion, and when you see a situation over which you have no power, what is upon you then is your private affairs. For after you there are going to be days of patience. The patience during that time is like the one clutching on to a hot coal. During those (days) the reward for the one who adheres to the Commands of Allah will be equivalent to the reward of fifty men who did an action like his” (Reported by At-Tirmidhi.)
According to this hadith, we understand two important things:
1. The initial duty in times of fitnah is to take care of our success and salvation.
2. Any change in the situation must come from within ourselves.
Looking at the sufferings Muslims are facing in many parts of the world, one must not think negatively and lose hope, for only the disbelievers are those who lose hope in Allah.
We, however, should think positively and try to see what options are available for us to change the situation. You will never be disappointed if you try to look for a way to help your brothers and sisters everywhere.
So, a Muslim is supposed to do whatever he or she can in order to alleviate the sufferings of his brothers and sisters everywhere. He should share them their sorrows, donate money to help them, and encourage people to do the same. If a Muslim cannot find any way to help them, there is always a way available that cannot be undermined because it can change the situation by the permission of Allah, that is to make du`a’ for the oppressed people everywhere.”