With the Name of Allah, the extremely Merciful at this very moment, and the extremely Merciful at all times.
A bacterial infection, for example, on a wound, is usually localized with pain, redness, and swelling at the site.
However, even though the bacteria may be in your foot, you’ll probably still have a fever. A fever will make your body hurt and make your mood go sour, and probably keep you in bed for a couple days. A fever is a sign that your body recognizes something “foreign”- something that’s not supposed to be there- so it cranks up the heat in an attempt to fry that little bug giving you trouble.
The Prophet (saw) uses an amazing metaphor for how a believer feels when another believer or group of believers is going through tough times:
Nu’man b. Bashir reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: “The similitude of believers in regard to mutual love, affection, fellow-feeling is that of one body; when any limb of it aches, the whole body aches, because of sleeplessness and fever.” (Sahih Muslim, Book 32, Number 6258)
An ugly bacterial infection has been brewing for a long time in Syria- and over the last year its estimated over 10,000 people have been killed with countless wounded – all in attempt at freedom. This is not a war of two nations- this is a nation at war with its leader- whose oppresion is responsible for that death toll.
Read that again. 10,000 people in the last year.
On average, that’s about 27 people per day, 178 a week, and 833 per month. Men, women, and children. Our brothers, our sisters, our mothers, and our fathers. Each day, another wife is widowed, another child is orphaned, and another family is lost.
Yet despite these gruesome numbers, many of our bodies do not ache as they should. Our hearts do not feel pain. Our eyes do not shed tears. The numbers don’t affect us.
And unfortunately, our global family has become just that- numbers.
Perhaps we’re desensitized to death. Perhaps Grand Theft Auto made us immune to grieving for the dead. Perhaps Rambo and other action heroes made death and killing sprees the norm. Maybe we’ve become indifferent. We’re too busy with our own problems; paying $4.30 at the pump, our finals next week, how many Facebook friends we have, when the next Ipad is coming out, or when we get our next paycheck.
Maybe it’s because we’re not Syrian, so it doesn’t hurt for us. Maybe it’s because we don’t have time to read the news or watch YouTube videos about it. Or maybe it’s because we can’t do anything about the situation so we subconsciously ignore it and “hope it will be over soon.”
Perhaps we just don’t recognize our body is sending us signals to hurt. Perhaps we’re ignoring the signs of infection. Or maybe, it’s just not a priority in the myriad of first world problems we have to deal with.
When we get sick, we hardly ignore it. Rather, our world stops- we don’t go for our morning workout, we call in sick, we only drink soup, we lie in bed and watch television the whole day, and we complain so much that our families gets annoyed with us. We try different remedies- honey, green tea, or any other concoction our mother’s make. We run to the store and buy medications. We rush to the doctor so that we can have a plan of action to get better. Our illness becomes our priority, because it affects our body.
Yet we choose to ignore that ache in our body for Syria. A part of our Ummah is bleeding, and we don’t care to look for the bandage. We feel feverish, but we don’t look for a remedy. Syria is not our priority, even though it’s a part of our body.
The most dangerous part of bacterial skin/wound infections is when they infect the bone- a condition called Osteomyelitis. If that becomes severe, there may be an indication for amputation. This usually happens because people ignore the infection and wait too long to treat it (or can’t afford it). The consequence is potentially drastic, a lost limb and a life of difficulty and regret.
So don’t ignore Syria. Don’t ignore their cries and their anguish, their grief and their pain. Don’t ignore the oppression. Don’t ignore the infection that has taken hold. Don’t let it become severe, lest our heart’s attachment with our people becomes severed.
But how do we help? We’re not in Syria, we don’t have money to donate, influence to lobby for it, or the necessary skill to help on the ground.
We help by using the only tool we have left- dua’- to ask Allah to alleviate their suffering and give them victory. This is the least anyone can do, a tool everyone can use.
So make dua’ for Syria.
I know we’re busy. I know we come home late from work and spend hours studying. I know we juggle a family and personal life.
Still, make dua’ for Syria.
We shouldn’t just wait for the next big event or Qiyaam to get motivated. Rather, everyday we should at least take a minute to remember Syria. We should also remember our global family- those suffering for decades in the same neighborhood (Palestine), those in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, the list goes on.
But don’t stop there. Remember to make dua’ for those who are suffering everywhere.
So make dua’ for Syria, for Allah to give them victory over their oppressors, for justice to take its course, and that Allah alleviate the suffering of everyone who is oppressed.
Thus, dua’ becomes our home remedy for that ache in our body. If you can do more- such as donate or create awareness- then those antibiotics would be even more effective. The point is to stop ignoring the infection and take care of the part of your body that aches.
Perhaps when we take those steps, our hearts will respond and our eyes will shed tears for the fallen, the oppressed, our brothers, our sisters, our families. Perhaps then we might feel motivated to defend them with our words and raise awareness for them.
May Allah help all those suffering in Syria and the world, and let justice take its course, ameen.