بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
For indeed, with hardship [will be] ease!
The struggle between the Haq (Truth) and Batil (falsehood) existed since Adam (a.s) was created and will exist until the Day of Judgement. At times Batil seems to be overpowered and could not be stopped until the help of Allah (swt) comes to the people who pursued their battle on the side of the Haq. They carried over this struggle to be the best people created and to be an example for people to take part in this struggle in future after them. Allah (swt) mentioned about them in His Holy Qur'an,
(كُنتُمْ خَيْرَ أُمَّةٍ أُخْرِجَتْ لِلنَّاسِ تَأْمُرُونَ بِٱلْمَعْرُوفِ وَتَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ ٱلْمُنكَرِ وَتُؤْمِنُونَ بِٱللَّهِ)
"You are the best nation produced [as an example] for mankind. You enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and believe in Allah." [TMQ 3:110].
These people led by the Prophet Muhammad (saw) and followed by Sahabahs (ral) and the believers after them carried the mission of enjoining the Ma'ruf and forbidding Munkaraat which Allah (swt) ordained them with. They went through unexplainable hardship to be victorious. The kuffar due to their hatred against Islam and Muslims, they used every available method and means to block the rise of Islam throughout history from it to be dominant. But every time with the help of Allah (swt) the Qawi, the Aziz and with the persevering efforts of the believers the Muslims emerged victorious against the Kuffar. And this is an inevitable fact which the Muslims has to appreciate now when they are living in a state where the side of Batil is dominant and experiencing oppression in the hands of Kuffar. Allah (swt) says,
(كَتَبَ ٱللَّهُ لَأَغْلِبَنَّ أَنَا۠ وَرُسُلِىٓ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ قَوِىٌّ عَزِيزٌ) "Allah has written, "I will surely overcome, I and My messengers." Indeed, Allah is Powerful and Exalted in Might." [TMQ 58: 21].
During the era of Prophets, Muslims overcame tyrants like Nimrod, Firawn, Abu Jahl, Abu Lahab, Walid bin Mughirah and the likes who strove hard in the side of munkar to block the Haq from prevailing, they seem to be undefeated but ultimately, they had to face humiliating defeats.
After the era of the Prophets and during the period of Islamic Khilafah the munkar tried to spread its wings in the form of Crusaders and the Mongols for over a century.
During this century the Muslims had to face lot of hardships to the extent where the Muslims are left with nothing but to be spectators to the crimes committed by the Kuffar, including the beheading of the Khalifah inside his fort. This time the wings of the munkar was clipped by men like Salahuddin Ayyubi and Allaudin Zhingi who took the responsibility in their shoulders to struggle against the Munkar. They had great hope in Allah's (swt) Help while pursuing their struggle, they in particular Salahuddin Ayyubi united the Muslims under the shade of the Khilafah and defeated the Kuffar in the Battle of Hattin. Through this once again it was shown to the world that the victory always belongs to the Haq.
Once again in the 18th and 19th century the remnants of the enemies of Islam continued their struggle during the Uthmani Khilafah. This time they attacked Islam in the form of Cultural and Political invasion along with the Military invasion and were able to abolish the Khilafah on the 28th of Rajab 1342, exactly 100 Hijri years ago which left the Muslim Ummah to face the attacks of the enemies of Islam without her guardian. Since then, the Kufr seems to be dominating the world to the extent that Muslims started to think that it could not be defeated. This led most of them to wait for supernatural events like the coming of Mahdi and Esa (as) to defeat the munkar once again.
The Munkar today which is dominant and fights against Islam is the Secular Liberal Capitalist world order which was perceived, developed, and spread by the Kuffar of the West. This Secular Liberal Capitalist world order detaches God from the affairs of the people's public life and causes catastrophe wherever it is implemented from the east to west. It had entered into the Muslim world through colonialism led by British until WW2, since then it is being maintained by America through various international institution such as the UN, IMF and the NATO and its children like GCC, OIC, etc.
The system created by this secular liberal capitalist world order has corrupted the thoughts, concepts and behaviours of Muslims and has reduced the role of Islam to their personal lives. Additionally, the west continues its efforts to detach Muslims from whatever traces left over of Islamic rules and regulations in social, economic, judicial and political aspects of ruling in the Muslim lands through various laws, treaties and declarations. As Muslims having lost their identity due to this onslaught have lost their ability to think and build concepts based on Islam. Most of the Muslims today believe that this Secular System which is one of the evillest in the history of Mankind cannot be replaced and started to look for temporary solutions within its system or started to compromise their Islamic values with those values in order to alleviate their sufferings.
To make things worse the West nurtured leaders and scholars amongst the Muslims who promote its ideas, concepts, and solutions to the Muslim masses.
Consequently, Muslims have abandoned the method prescribed by Islam for their revival and started to pursue the method prescribed by the 'munkar’ i.e. the liberal secular capitalist system due to their ignorance of the fact that these solutions and methods would bring temporary and partial solutions only rather than a permanent solution. All the above had weakened the confidence of Muslims in forbidding the munkar and they have abandoned the responsibility of taking forward this struggle. It seems they have forgotten that when Allah's (swt) help came no tyrants like Firawn, Nimrod or Abu Jahl could stand before the 'Haq' and had to face humiliating defeat at their end.
In order to change the current status quo of the dominance of Kufr, Muslims have to come out from the state of despair and have to be confident by abandoning the thoughts and concepts promoted by Kufr like Secularism, Democracy, Nationalism, Maslaha (benefit/interest), lesser of two evils etc., through which they are been corrupted and have to build their thoughts and concepts entirely based on Islam. This is the change which Allah (swt) wants from Muslims, Allah says,
(إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَا يُغَيِّرُ مَا بِقَوْمٍ حَتَّىٰ يُغَيِّرُوا۟ مَا بِأَنفُسِهِمْ)
“Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves.” [TMQ 13:11].
In order to make the change of the prevailing status quo of Muslims and to regain its lost glory, Allah (swt) provides us with some of the most valuable lessons through Surah Ash- Sharh and others to build the confidence of the Prophet Muhammad (saw) and the Muslims in Mecca during their struggle against Quraysh. Even today, Muslims can gain some lessons from these Ayahs.
1. Ease and Victory always come with Hardship.
Indeed, the struggle which the Muslim Ummah is ordained with is not an ordinary struggle, those who carried out the struggle had to face the tyrants of their time. Initially this struggle was carried out by Prophets until the last Prophet Muhammad (saw) and then by the Companions of Prophet Muhammad (saw) and the believers after them. Today, the responsibility of carrying out this struggle is vested upon us, the believers. As always, this struggle is not going to be easy and those who carry out this struggle today must face the dominant powers of today who spearheads on this struggle like US, France, Russia, China and their agent tyrants like the Bashar al-Assad, Sisi, Muhammad Bin Salman and other governments who strive day and night to uphold the Secular Liberal Capitalist system. Hence, hardship should not be an excuse to withdraw from taking part in this struggle. Muslims must always remember that victory always comes with hardship. Allah (swt) says,
(أَمْ حَسِبْتُمْ أَن تَدْخُلُوا۟ ٱلْجَنَّةَ وَلَمَّا يَأْتِكُم مَّثَلُ ٱلَّذِينَ خَلَوْا۟ مِن قَبْلِكُم)
“Or do you think that you will enter Paradise while such [trial] has not yet come to you as came to those who passed on before you?” [TMQ 2: 214].
We can draw inspiration from the life of Abdullah ibn Umm Makthoom, "Anas ibn Mālik said, ‘At the battle of al-Qādisiyyah, I saw ‘Abdullāh ibn Umm Maktūm wearing armour whose ends were dragging. He had a black banner in his hand. He was asked, “Did not Allah excuse you [from fighting]?” [He was blind.] He said, “Indeed, but I want to increase the numbers of the believers with myself.”’ (Tafseer Al Qurtubi) When he (ra) can take part in the struggle for Islam with the disabilities, then what excuses do we have? Everyone can do something for the cause of Islam.
2. Allah's (swt) support and help is always with the believers
The greatest strength of a believer comes from when he knows that Allah's (swt) support and help is with him in his every struggle. The one who has the support of his Creator (swt) can withstand any challenge. This has been proved time and again in the life of people who believed in Him (swt). Allah (swt) takes out the fear and burden from those who depends only on Him (swt). We know how He (swt) took away the burden from the hearts of Muslims in the Battle of Badr and provided courage to fight against them. During the struggle he went through in Mecca, Allah (swt) consoles Prophet Muhammad (saw) by saying,(وَوَضَعْنَا عَنكَ وِزْرَكَ), “And We removed from you your burden” [TMQ 94: 2]. This illustrates that He (swt) always lifts the burden away from the hearts of people who works for His (swt) cause. So, as Muslims we must never hesitate to strive in His (swt). Allah (swt) says:
(يَٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوٓا۟ إِن تَنصُرُوا۟ ٱللَّهَ يَنصُرْكُمْ وَيُثَبِّتْ أَقْدَامَكُمْ)“O you who have believed, if you support Allah, He will support you and plant firmly your feet.” [TMQ 47: 7].
3. Don't bow down to accusations. Allah (swt) raises the status of the believers.
One of the reason Muslims hesitate to answer the call of Islam is the fear of accusations, they fear being stereotyped as extremist, fundamentalist and so on. The kuffar West wastes no time to portray Muslims negatively through whatever mode and means available to it. A Muslim must never bow down to these kinds of stereotypes because Allah (swt) praises and gives high status to those who strives to make His (swt) words dominant. Prophet (saw) said,
«لاَ تَزَالُ طَائِفَةٌ مِنْ أُمَّتِى قَائِمَةً بِأَمْرِ اللَّهِ لاَ يَضُرُّهُمْ مَنْ خَذَلَهُمْ أَوْ خَالَفَهُمْ حَتَّى يَأْتِىَ أَمْرُ اللَّهِ وَهُمْ ظَاهِرُونَ عَلَى النَّاسِ»
“There will remain a group from my Ummah who will be upright upon the Truth and are not concerned with those who oppose them and mock them until the Order of Allah comes, and they are apparent over the people.” (Muslim). Prophet Muhammad (saw) was accused by the Quraysh as a liar, poet, sorcerer, insane but these accusations did not prevent him from pursuing the struggle against the Quraysh. Infact, he was praised high by Allah (swt) Himself and He (swt) ordered the Angels and all Muslims to praise him (saw). Today, we see whenever Allah (swt) name is mentioned, the Prophet (saw) name is also pronounced along with His name in this world and also, he (saw) was granted the highest status in the Hereafter. Prophet Muhammad (saw) said,
«من التمس رضى االله بسخط الناس رضي االله عنه وأرضى الناس عنه ومن التمس رضا الناس بسخط االله سخط االله عليه وأسخط عليه الناس»
“Whoever sought the pleasure of Allah though it was displeasing to the people then Allah becomes pleased with him, and will make the people please with him, and whoever sought the pleasure of the people though it was displeasing to Allah then Allah becomes displeased with him and will make the people displeased with him.” (Ibn Hibban/Tirmidhi)
So, those who seek the pleasure of Allah will not bother about the accusations of the people.
4. There will always be ease (twice) after the hardship.
Allah (swt) says, (فَإِنَّ مَعَ ٱلْعُسْرِ يُسْرًا) "For indeed, with hardship [will be] ease." Through this Ayah, Allah (swt) motivates Prophet Muhammad (saw) and Muslims that for every hardship endured in the struggle for the Haq (Islam), He (swt) will provide the victory to the believers that too: twice, once in this world by making them dominant and the other in the most difficult day one must pass i.e. the Hereafter. Hence, this should motivate every Muslim to strive in the path of Allah (swt) in order to be victorious both in this world and the Hereafter. The hardship which Muslims face in this struggle cannot be compared to the rewards he is going to attain in the Hereafter. Also, victory comes after hardship mentioned in this Ayat illustrates that greatest task of establishing Islam will not happen through expecting miracles such as coming of Mahdi (as) etc., but only through the hardship endured by the Muslims.
5. The path we must pursue is the path determined to us by Allah (swt)
Allah (swt) after consoling Muslims through Prophet Muhammad (saw) by saying to be prepared of undertaking the momentous task of establishing Islam, which is full of hardships, but also, He (swt) says that do not worry about the burden that He lifts the burden from their heart, and they must not worry about the accusations made against them as He raises their status and by promising victory to them both in this world and the Hereafter. After consoling the believers with all these words Allah (swt) wants from the believers to stand up for His cause of re-establishing Islam by taking part in this struggle and to seek the support only from Allah (swt) Alone and not from the Kuffar, munafiqs and enemies of Allah. Seeking support from Allah (swt) also includes the method to re-establish Islam as Allah (swt) ordained for us. Pursuing the struggle to re-establish Islam in the method taught by other than Islam like Secularism or any other made system will not only lead Muslims to failure and also it would lead them to face humiliation in this world and before their Lord in the Hereafter as Umar (r.a) said, "We were the most humiliated people on earth and God gave us honour through Islam. If we ever seek honour through anything else, God will humiliate us again." In order to change the current status quo of humiliation which the Muslim Ummah faces today it has to join hands with Hizb ut Tahrir which works tirelessly to resume the Islamic way of life through re-establishing Khilafah in the method of Prophethood by seeking support and help from Allah (swt) Alone. So that it may not have to live under humiliation even for a moment.
Written for the Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir by
Syed ibn Buhari