The tumults arising here or there in the Ummah have led the majority of the Muslims towards a defeatist attitude. It is not to say that Muslims shouldn’t realize their shortcomings, which are further exploited by their enemies, but they shouldn’t dwell upon pessimism, which only adds to the overall sense of despair and apathy. Rather, they should co-ordinate all their efforts towards a workable solution to overcome the problems.
Our beloved Prophet’s (sa) Sunnah teaches us remarkable optimism; maybe because he had an unshakeable faith in Allah (swt), which many of us lack today. We have forgotten who has control over everything in this universe; instead, we keep fearing Islam’s worst imaginable end.
When the intensity of trials increased and the enemies allied against Muslims everywhere, the Prophet (sa) was eager to give glad tidings to his companions and to inspire the hope that Islam will prevail. What was required was a constant and consistent struggle through patience and perseverance.
Khubab Ibn Al-Arat (rta) said: “We complained to the Messenger of Allah (sa), as he was sitting in the shade of the Kabah. We said: ‘Will you not pray for victory for us?’ He said: ‘One of those, who came before you, would be taken, and they would dig a hole in the ground and put him in it; then, they would bring a saw, which they would bring on his head and cut him in two. Or they would use an iron comb and separate his flesh from his bones, but that would not make him give up his religion. By Allah (swt), Allah (swt) will complete this matter (i.e., Islam) until a rider will be able to go from San’aa to Hadramot (cities in Yemen), fearing nothing except Allah (swt) and the wolf’s attack on his sheep. But you are trying to hasten matters.’” (Bukhari)
This also occurred during the campaign of Al-Ahzab; when the enemies were invading Madinah from all sides, once again the Prophet (sa) revived this concept. This was when the companions were unable to break a rock, while digging the defensive trench around Madinah. The Prophet (sa) struck it three times and it crumbled. Following the first blow, he said: “Allahu Akbar! I have been given the keys of Syria and, by Allah, I can see its red palaces this hour.” Then he struck it a second time and said: “Allahu Akbar! I have been given the keys of Persia, and, by Allah, I can see the white palace of Al-Maad’in (the capital city of Persia at the time).” Then he struck it a third time and said: “Allahu Akbar! I have been given the keys of Yemen, and, by Allah, I can see the gates of San’aa, from where I stand this hour.” (Ahmad, An-Nisai)
The Quran mentions situations such as these: “They said: ‘This is what Allah (swt) and His Messenger (Muhammad (sa)) had promised us; and Allah (swt) and His Messenger (Muhammad (sa)) had spoken the truth.’ And it only added to their faith and to their submissiveness (to Allah).” (Al-Ahzab 33:22)
Abdul Aziz A.Saleh explains: “The hearts of the companions were filled with so much pain and fear, but those promising words came to offer consolation and peace of mind to them.”
Ibn-ul Qayyim said, commenting on the story of Ka’b Ibn Malik: “In the race between the horse-rider and the one, who climbed the hill of Sala to tell Ka’b the good news, we see evidence of the people’s eagerness for good news, and how they raced and competed to break good news to one another.” (Zaad Al-Ma’aad, 2/585) And what news could be greater than that of the victory of Islam?
Muslims today should be of good cheer. They should highlight the good efforts of one another and try spreading hope within the Ummah. This will help others to come back to the straight path. Optimism will brew further optimism. A true believer knows that ultimately only Allah’s Deen will stand victorious.