When it All Feels Too Much – Du'as for Protection, Grief, Palestine & All Who Are Hurting
Oct 18, 2023
Image source: Pexels; photo by Hurrah Suhail
Along with so many of you, we are grieving the violence and death in Gaza, Palestine/Israel. We are angry. We are scared. We crave an end to all this. We seek justice. We seek refuge in Allah (S), that He knows what we do not, that all this pain and suffering is for something better and greater than we can ever imagine.
We are so scared for and angry at the deluge of misinformation and hatred spreading like wildfire in our own communities where we live. Yesterday in Illinois, a six-year-old American-Palestinian-Muslim boy named Wadea Al-Fayoume had his janaza, his Muslim burial, after being stabbed 26 times and killed by his landlord for being Muslim. His mother, also stabbed, struggles to recover.
At our weekly HH team meeting, we shared our fears for our own children, with one of our coworkers livid, scared and upset at how her son was targeted on his bus with hateful remarks. Another coworker spoke of the targeting and harassment at the college campuses of her loved ones across the country. And still another coworker spoke of how a young member of her family was harassed in school, and the school's response was, "If you don’t feel comfortable having your kid at school you can take [the child] out."
(Here's a comprehensive list of resources on how to talk to your children about Palestine and Israel and the current violence.)
Across all our circles and communities, we see Muslim parents and people outraged and afraid. We see this with Jewish parents, people and friends too. So what do you do right where you are? What do you do when you feel paralyzed by pain, outrage, grief and fear? We each have talents that we can apply to enjoining good. And at the heart of it all, we can pray.
Here is a du'a for safety and protection that we can all recite.
Image source: Pexels
It is reported that the Prophet (saw) said, “Whoever recites [this du'a] three times in the morning will not be afflicted by any calamity before evening, and whoever recites it three times in the evening will not be overtaken by any calamity before morning.” بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الَّذِي لَا يَضُرُّ مَعَ اسْمِهِ شَيْءٌ فِي الْأَرْضِ وَلَا فِي السَّمَاءِ وَهُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ
Bismillahilladhi la yadurru ma’ ismihi shai’un fil-ardi wa-laa fissamaa’i wa huwa al-Samee’u al-‘Aleem. "In the Name of Allah, with Whose Name nothing on the earth or in the heaven can cause harm, and He is the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing."
Here's a powerful du'a and reflection on Palestine from Sh. Omar Suleiman:
Recite Ayatul Kursi, a powerful verse from the Quran, for comfort and protection (for ourselves, our children and all those suffering).
Allahu la ilaha illaHuwa, Al-Haiyul-Qaiyum La ta’khudhuhu sinatunwa la nawm, lahu ma fis-samawati wa ma fil-‘ard Man dhal-ladhi yashfa’u ‘indahu illa bi-idhnihi Ya’lamu ma baina aidihim wa ma khalfahum, wa la yuhituna bi shai’im-min ‘ilmihi illabimasha’aWasi’a kursiyuhu s-samawati walard, wa la ya’uduhu hifdhu huma WaHuwal ‘Aliyul-Adheem.
Ayatul Kursi, which is in the Surah Al-Baqarah, 255th verse, is regarded as the most excellent verse of the Quran according to hadith and is considered to be quite powerful, as it confirms the greatness of God. It talks about how the power and knowledge of Allah (S) encompasses everything.
The ayat also guards against a variety of threats. and serves as "a protector for those who are afraid. This is most powerful verse which explains why we should put our faith in Allah," according to this article. Indeed, one of our HH team members shared that she recites Ayatul Kursi for each child before sending them daily into the world.
(Here's a comprehensive list of resources to educate ourselves about Gaza, Palestine, Israel and the Resistance Movement.)
Fast to grow closer to Allah (S) and to pray for Palestine.
Doing nafl (extra) fasts outside of Ramadan is a wonderful way to center our relationship with Allah (S) and focus our prayer. Among the many campaigns, fundraisers and prayer circles being organized to pray for Palestine and all the innocent victims of the violence, a group of Muslim women have organized a "Global Day of Fasting," which is occurring tomorrow (Thursday, Oct. 19).
The impetus for this global fast came from a mother who, like so many of us, was feeling overwhelmed and utterly distraught over the violence and deaths in Gaza, Palestine and Israel built upon years of suffering and oppression. She realized that in fasting, she felt more spiritually centered and calm and focused in her prayers.
She asked her local halaqa group if anyone wanted to join her in fasting, because the prayers of those who are fasting will be (Insha'Allah) answered. Because fasting is a powerful form of worshipping Allah (S). And thus the Global Day of Fasting (#globaldayoffasting) was conceived.
So consider fasting (tomorrow and beyond tomorrow, if you feel compelled). Pray for all the innocents suffering in Gaza, Palestine and beyond when you break your fast and throughout the day.
These are things we can do right where we are: Beseech our Lord in prayer, fast (if we are able to), donate to organizations that are trying to help those in Gaza and Palestine.
May Allah (S) bring justice, relief and freedom from oppression to our brothers and sisters in Palestine. May He ease the suffering of all innocent victims. May all our children be safe and protected from trauma and harm. May we be surrounded and engulfed in Allah's (S) infinite mercy, forgiveness and love, and be strengthened by Him to keep enjoining good and standing up for those who need us most. Ameen.
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