The Martyrs of Gaza are Soaring in the Heavens | Blog

Published: October 19, 2023 • Updated: October 20, 2023

Author: Dr. Omar Suleiman

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْمِ

In the name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

With the unfolding of horrific events in Gaza, our hearts and minds cannot focus on anything else. But these emotions, ranging from sadness to anger, are signs of a beating heart. We must channel these emotions to act courageously in a way that is pleasing to Allah.
The senseless killing of innocent souls in Gaza makes one remember the verse in the Qur’an that condemns the pre-Islamic custom of burying newly-born girls alive. These innocent babies will be asked “for what sin she was slain” [Surat at-Takwir, 9]. We ask today: for what sins were the bloody, lifeless bodies in Gaza slain?

Martyrs in the Qur’an

Look at Gaza and its martyrs through the lens of the Qur’an for a moment. After the Battle of Badr, the following verse was revealed: “And say not of those slain in God's way: 'They are dead'; instead they are living; but you are not aware.” Allah follows this verse with a prophecy that something grave is about to happen, “Surely We will try you with something of fear and hunger, and diminution of goods and lives; yet give good tidings to the patient” [Surat al-Baqarah,154-5].
Right now, the people of Gaza fit every one of these descriptions. They are being tested with fear, hunger, thirst, and loss of property. They are being tested with their lives.
But we also know the descriptions of their reward. The Prophet ﷺ said that Allah, Most High, presented the martyrs of the Battle of Uhud to Himself.

Their souls were in the bodies of green birds hanging from chandeliers from the Throne of the Merciful, flying around, drinking, and eating from the riverbanks of Paradise. Allah gave them whatever they wanted.

And what did they want? Remember the man calling his people to Islam and faith in Surat Ya-Sin? He was killed, and upon entering Paradise, he said, “If only my people knew!” [Surat Ya-Sin, 26]. Gazzan martyrs are in joy with what Allah has bestowed upon them, waiting for us to join them.
We are learning right now the reality of this life in real-time. Allah is teaching us lessons about life and the material world in real-time. We must process that in terms of knowledge and certainty. The Prophet ﷺ had something that we didn't have. He could see beyond the mutilated bodies of his cousins Jaʿfar al-Tayyar and Hamza ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib. He saw them with one eye as bloodied, dead bodies; with the other, he saw them in Paradise.

Turn your pain into power

At our current moment, there are two seemingly conflicting emotions that we have to manage. One of them is the anger at the loss of innocent lives and the desecration of our brothers and sisters. There should be anger and sadness. Both stem from mercy for the victims. But these emotions must be coupled with hope and complete certainty in Allah.
If all of the children of Gaza who have been killed could hold a press conference right now, what would they say to the people of dunya? They would say, alhamdulillah, Allah fulfilled his promise to us. This does not mean, however, that we should not try to stop more murders. We are under the care of our Lord, who is in complete control, but we have to act.

Be strong and courageous

Many of are scared, but we must conquer that fear. The people of Palestine are so special because they have driven their enemies crazy with their fearlessness. They are an unbreakable, resilient people. The grandma who refuses to leave Gaza, staying put even without water, is braver than a thousand Israeli soldiers.
Martin Luther King Jr. said, “To be truly free, you must overcome the love of wealth and the fear of death.” He also said, “If a man has not discovered something he will die for, he isn't fit to live.” Yet, long before MLK Jr., the Prophet ﷺ warned, “... God will remove the fear in the hearts of your enemies and place in your hearts frailty (wahn).’ They said, ‘What is wahn, O Messenger of God?’ He said, ‘Love of this world and hatred of death.’” [Abu Dawud].
If you conquer your fear of death, you conquer everything less than death: fear of the loss of wealth, security, and everything that comes under that. For some of us, there are real dangers, be it our job or place in school. Do not be reckless, but do be courageous. It's time for us to find the moral courage inside of us. This is not the time to shrink. Allah promises us, “Do not falter or grieve, for you shall have the upperhand if you are [true] believers” [Surat Ali ‘Imran:139]. Now is the time to act wisely and courageously.
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