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Elements of Victory
by 'Abdul-BÃ¢rÃ® ibn â€˜Awad ath-ThubaytÃ®
All praise is due to AllÃ¢h, Lord of all the worlds. May peace and blessings of AllÃ¢h be upon the Messenger of AllÃ¢h, his household and companions.
Brethren in faith, there is no doubt in the fact that one of the greatest goals of the Muslims is to see their religion prevailing, the Book of their Lord dominating and the banner of TawhÃ®d (Islamic Monotheism) rising high, making them rejoice at the help of AllÃ¢h.
AllÃ¢hâ€™s help for the believers is one of the realities of existence and an everlasting way of AllÃ¢h. It may be delayed for an honourable purpose, which is intended by AllÃ¢h where it initially appears that the Muslims are defeated. Truth may suffer some defeat at a war and falsehood may temporary prevail. But all are in the view of the Qurâ€™an, forms of victory which its wisdom is unknown to men. The believers are not responsible for results, they are only required to follow the path of the Qurâ€™an and its commandments. The victory thereafter, is of the concern to AllÃ¢h which He puts to wherever He wills.
â€œYou killed them not but it was AllÃ¢h Who did kill them. And you (Muhammad) threw not when you threw but it was AllÃ¢h Who threw, that He might test the believers by a fair trial from Him. Verily, AllÃ¢h is All-Hearer, All-Knower.â€ (Al-AnfÃ¢l 8:17)
Victory may be delayed because the ummah is not yet strong enough or because the environment is not yet ready for such a victory. It may also be delayed so that the ummah may strengthen its relationship with AllÃ¢h. It may be delayed so that Muslims may make all their struggle and sacrifices for the sake of AllÃ¢h alone and for His religion. As for falsehood, no matter how it rises, it will eventually vanish and be defeated.
â€œAnd say: â€˜Truth has come and falsehood has vanished. Surely, falsehood is bound to vanish.â€ (Al-IsrÃ¢ 17:81)
However, the wisdom of AllÃ¢h necessitates the existence of falsehood as a kind of trial for the Muslims. For, if AllÃ¢h had so willed, there would not have been any disbelief or falsehood.
â€œIf it had been AllÃ¢hâ€™s Will, He himself could certainly have punished them (without you). But (He lets you fight) in order to test some of you with others.â€ (Muhammad 47:4)
The Muslim ummah does not know when and how will the victory of AllÃ¢h come. The hosts of AllÃ¢h by which He helps His friends are many. In the battle of Banu NadÃ®r, fear was a soldier of AllÃ¢h; in the battle of Badr, the angels, drowsiness, rain and pebbles all became among the soldiers of AllÃ¢h. Wind, cobweb and other things are also among the soldiers of AllÃ¢h.
â€œAnd none can know the hosts of your Lord but He. And this is nothing else than a reminder to mankind.â€ (Al-Muddaththir 74:31)
IbrÃ¢hÃ®m At-TaymÃ® narrated on the authority of his father that he said, â€œWe were with Hudhyfah when a man said: â€˜Had I met the Messenger of AllÃ¢h, I would have fought along with him and be put to test by that.â€™ He said this as if he was demeaning the trials that the companions experienced and their jihad with the Prophet. Hudhayfah then told the man: â€˜Would you do that? We were with the Messenger of AllÃ¢h on the night of the battle of AhzÃ¢b (battle of the trench) when we were seized with a severe wind and cold. The Prophet said, â€˜Who can go and seek for us the news of the enemy and have my companionship on the Day of Resurrection as a reward?â€™ All of us kept quite and nobody answered. He repeated the request and nobody answered. He then said, â€˜Hudhayfah! Get up and get the news of the enemy for me.â€™ Then I had no choice since he had called me by name to stand up.â€ (Muslim)
The people were reluctant because of the severe cold, hunger and fear that they were suffering from. For the (almost) one month siege had weakened them, that in addition to the darkness of the night and the wind that was severely cold. AllÃ¢h refers to this critical situation when
â€œWhen they come upon you from above you and from below you, and your eyes grew wild and you were terribly frightened, and you were harbouring doubts about AllÃ¢h. Then the believers were tried and severely shaken.â€ (Al-AhzÃ¢b 33:10-11)
In these tense situations, AllÃ¢h gave victory to His armies when they least expected it and He sent a wind that put the ranks of the disbelieving confederates in disarray.
â€œAnd AllÃ¢h suffices the believers in the fighting. And AllÃ¢h is Ever All-Strong, All-Mighty.â€ (Al-AhzÃ¢b 33:25)
Some Muslims wrongly think that AllÃ¢h will help them as long as they remain as Muslims whatever their conditions may be,
but AllÃ¢h says,
â€œO you who believe! If you help in the cause of AllÃ¢h, He will help you and make your foothold firm.â€ (Muhammad 47:7)
He did not say:
As long as you are Muslims, I will help you and make your foothold firm, no matter what your conditions and deeds are..â€™
Muslims had suffered defeat in the battle of Uhud, even with the Messenger of AllÃ¢h in their midst. In the battle of Hunayn, most of the Muslims had felt defeated, though the Prophet was with them, because they were so deluded by their multitude that some of them said, â€˜We shall never be defeated out of fewness.â€™ How can AllÃ¢h help a man who does not help His cause and merely claims to be a believer?!
â€œWe do not defeat our enemy through our great numbers and or sophisticated ammunitions, we defeat them through our obedience to AllÃ¢h and our enemiesâ€™ disobedience to Him.
But when we disobey AllÃ¢h, we become like them in sins and they will then defeat us.â€
AllÃ¢h has unchangeable ways by which He controls the universe and men. Of these are elements of victory and causes of defeat. And the underlying reason behind these ways is to expose what is in the peopleâ€™s hearts through their deeds and not their words or mere wishes, so that real believers may be recognised and helped by AllÃ¢h.
Of these elements of victory is to have firm and strong belief in Islamic Monotheism; for sincere belief purifies the hearts; and this leads to reform of the conditions and AllÃ¢h will then make the Muslims victorious and give them authority because the elements of victory is inherent in the peopleâ€™s hearts.
â€œVerily, We will make victorious Our Messengers and those who believe (in the Oneness of AllÃ¢h) in this worldly life and on the Day when the witnesses will stand forth.â€ (GhÃ¢fir 40:51)
History also tells us of stories of nations who had believed and were minority, hungry and destitute. They were truthful with AllÃ¢h and they freed themselves from their own wishes. AllÃ¢h then made them victorious and gave them authority in the land.
Sincerity is another element of victory. The sincere one is supported by AllÃ¢h and sufficed by Him.
â€œIs AllÃ¢h not Sufficient for His slave?â€ (Az-Zumar 39:36)
AllÃ¢hâ€™s support and help for His slave will be in accordance with his sincerity to Him. Yes, it will be in accordance with oneâ€™s preparedness for that support.
â€œAs for those who strive hard in Our cause, We will surely guide them to Our paths. And verily, AllÃ¢h is with the good doers.â€ (Al-â€˜AnkabÃ»t 29:69)
Another element of victory is to help the religion of AllÃ¢h and practise it in words, deeds and belief, by performing SalÃ¢h, giving ZakÃ¢h, enjoining all that is good and forbidding all that is evil.
â€œVerily, AllÃ¢h will help those who help His cause. Truly, AllÃ¢h is All-Strong, All-Mighty. Those who if We give them power in the land, they enjoin the performance of prayer, pay ZakÃ¢h, enjoin all that is good and forbid all that is evil. And with AllÃ¢h rests the end of all matters.â€ (Al-Hajj 22:40-41)
Victory after patience is the lesson learnt from the admonition of the Messenger of AllÃ¢h to AbÃ» Jandal,
â€œO AbÃ» Jandal, be patient and hope for your reward from AllÃ¢h; for AllÃ¢h will give you and the oppressed ones who are with you a succour and provide for you a way out of your hardship.â€ (Ahmad)
In his admonition to his cousin, Abdullah bin â€˜Abbas, the Prophet said,â€œBe you aware that victory comes with patience.â€ In the end of a Makkan sÃ»rah, AllÃ¢h commands His Messenger to be patient,
â€œAnd follow the Revelation sent unto you and be patient till AllÃ¢h gives judgment. And He is the Best of judges.â€ (YÃ»nus 10:109)
Among the elements of victory also is to depend on the indefatigably Powerful Lord, to submit oneâ€™s affairs to Him and to put oneâ€™s trust in Him. It is then that one shall have no fear of the enemies of AllÃ¢h.
Indeed, victory, honour and glory come from AllÃ¢h alone. During the battle of Hunayn, the believers saw themselves as great in number and the greatness of their number made them forget the reality of power and victory. So, AllÃ¢h left them and their multitude, but their multitude availed them of nothing. It is in this regard that
â€œTruly, AllÃ¢h has given you victory on many battlefields, and on the Day of Hunayn, when you rejoiced at your great number, but it availed you naught and the earth as vast as it is, was straitened for you, then you turned back in flight. Then AllÃ¢h did send down His tranquillity on His Messenger (Muhammad) and on the believers, and sent down forces (angels) which you saw not, and punished those who disbelieved. Such is the recompense of disbelievers.â€ (At-Tawbah 9:25-26)]
Among the most important elements of victory is duâ€˜Ã¢ (supplications). When Prophet NÃ»h (Noah) finished from building the ark, he sought refuge with AllÃ¢h through supplications and did not rely on material means only. He invoked AllÃ¢h, for he knew that supplication is one of the greatest weapons of victory. The glorious Qurâ€™Ã¢n recorded for us how the Prophet supplicated and how his supplication was immediately answered inn these noble verses,
â€œAnd NÃ»h said: â€˜My Lord! Leave not one of the disbelievers on the earth! If You leave them, they will mislead Your slaves and they will beget not but wicked disbelievers. My Lord! Forgive me, my parents and him who enters my home as a believer, and all the believing men and women. And to ache wrong doers, grant You not increase but destruction.â€ (NÃ»h 71:26-28)
Taking good care of the weak and destitute is also an element of victory. The Messenger of AllÃ¢h said to Saâ€˜d bin AbÃ® WaqqÃ¢s,
â€œYou are being provided for and given victory only because of the weak ones among you.â€ (Al-BukhÃ¢rÃ®)
In another hadeeth, the Messenger of AllÃ¢h said,
â€œAllÃ¢h only makes this ummah victorious because of the weak ones among them â€“ through their supplications, prayers and sincerity.â€ (An-NasÃ¢Ã®).
Another element of victory is proper understanding of the realities of this world, its insignificance and temporal enjoyment; as well as understanding of the Hereafter and its everlasting bliss.
Standing firm in faith and upon the truth, doing a lot of dhikr, unity and cooperation are also important elements of victory.
â€œO you who believe! When you meet an enemy force, take a firm stand against them and remember the Name of AllÃ¢h much, so that you may be successful.â€ (Al-AnfÃ¢l 8:45)
Provision of material and strength is also a crucial element of victory.
â€œAnd make ready against them all you can of power, including steeds of war to threaten the enemy of AllÃ¢h and your enemy.â€ (Al-AnfÃ¢l 8:60)
Brethren in faith! In view of these unfavourable situations in which Muslims are living nowadays, there is no doubt in the fact that they are in dire need of ray of hope that can give them a glad tiding of a bright future. That is the way of AllÃ¢h. In the early days of IslÃ¢m when Muslims were very few and helpless and the Messenger was being persecuted by his own clansmen, AllÃ¢h revealed to him the story of Prophet YÃ»suf in order to give him glad tidings of a brilliant future. Therefore, one of the greatest causes of victory is to raise in the Muslims the hope of a bright future, that AllÃ¢h has promised them victory and authority in the land. The Prophet used to give his companions the glad tiding of victory and authority while they were still under persecution. He would tell them, â€œThe earth was contracted for me and I could see all its parts. And the authority of my nation shall reach all that was shown to me of the earth.â€ (Muslim)
He gave his companions the glad tiding that the future belonged to this religion and that Islam shall enter all houses. He said,
â€œThis religion shall reach its goal as long as the night and day remain. AllÃ¢h will not leave a tent-house or a mud-house except that He makes this religion enters it either by might of a mighty one or ignominy of a disgraced one. It is going to be a glory by which AllÃ¢h makes Islam powerful and by which He will disgrace and lower disbelief.â€ (Ahmad)
â€œThey intend to put out the Light of AllÃ¢h, But AllÃ¢h will bring Hi Light to perfection, even though the disbelievers hate it.â€ (As-Saff 61:8)
Brethren in faith! Though it is unknown to us when the victory will come, we, nevertheless, are sure that Islam is naturally meant to survive, lead and control. We should therefore not lose hope because of the temporary weakness from which we are suffering today. The Messenger of AllÃ¢h said,
â€œIslam prevails and is not prevailed upon.â€ (Ahmad)
He also said,
â€œIslam shall continue to rise and shirk and the polytheists shall continue to fall. By Him in Whose Hand is my soul, the night and day will not cease to exist until this religion prevails over all others.â€
These are glad tidings that remove all despair, put all afflicted person on the right path and restore hope to all Muslims. The Prophet said,
â€œLet this ummah have the glad tiding of prosperity, glory, religiosity and authority in the land.â€ (Ahmad).