A Land of Hope and Blessings
The current situation in Syria is regarded to be the worst disaster of the century. Bilaadush Shaam – better known as Syria today is a land that is rich in Islamic significance and history.
The present Syrian conflict should be understood in the broader context of the sacredness of Syria, its history, the present and future.
What is “Bilaadush Shaam”?
In English it is known as “Levant” or “Greater Syria”. This includes, Palestine (Israel), Lebanon, Jordan; parts of Iraq and Southern Turkey and current day Syria. This entire area, according to Qur’an and Hadith, is referred to as “Bilaadush Shaam” (The Land of Shaam).
The Significance of Bilaadush Shaam - Syria
These lands are both spiritually and physicaly rich. Physically, it is the land of the fig & olive; lush & fertile; abounding in fresh water, beautiful plants, trees and fruit. Spiritually it is the land of the Messengers (AS), Sahaba (RA), Saints and great leaders of the Ummah.
Nabi e has mentioned many virtues of Shaam:
1. Nabi e said: “Allahumma baarik lana fee Shaamina. Allahumma baarik lana fee Yamanina” (Mishkat)
“O Allah! Bless our Shaam. O Allah! Bless our Yemen.”
2. Nabi e said “Glad tidings to Shaam! We asked: On account of what, O Messenger of Allah? He replied: Because the Angels of Allah have spread their wings out over the people of Shaam.” (Mishkat )
3.“O People! Remember! When the world will be embroiled in strife and enveloped in mischief, then Iman will be found in the land of Shaam.” (Imam Ahmad).
4. “I saw a pillar of light that emanated from behind my head going in the direction of Shaam & it established & settled itself there.” (Bayhaqi).
The above Ahadith tell us that Syria is a blessed and chosen land and the protection of one’s faith is found in Shaam. Allah Ta’ala’s special mercies and blessings descend upon this land.
The Rich History of Shaam
It is said, “The nation that does not know its history has no future!” We must know our history and teach it to our children especially, because they are the next generation who could possibly witness some extraordinary events.
The Muslim involvement with Bilaadush Shaam began in the time of Nabi Muhammad e when he led the historic Battle of Tabuk. Thereafter, in the lifetime of Nabi e another epic battle took place, the battle of Muta. Till this every day, in Jordan, we find the graves of 3 Muslim generals whose martyrdom was predicted by Nabi Muhammad e; Ja’far bin Abi Taalib, Abdullah bin Rawaha & Zaid bin Haritha (RA). It was also here that Khalid bin Waleed (RA) was given the title of “Sayfullah,” The Sword of Allah.
A short while after Nabi Muhammad e demise, armies were dispatched to Shaam by Abu Bakr (RA) & after him, by Umar (RA). Battle after battle took place here until Allah gave victory and in a short space of time the whole of Shaam was conquered at the hands of Sahaba (RA).
In the present crisis, the Arab Spring of 2011 saw the downfall of the despotic rulers of Tunisia, Libya and Egypt. These events prompted the people of Syria who were being oppressed for more than 40 years to rise up in peaceful protests against the oppression of their rulers but they were brutally repressed until many thousands died & and fled the country. The outcome of this oppressive clampdown has led to massacring of innocent civilians, severe torture, children been orphaned, elderly being wounded and crippled and total destruction of infrastructure and civilian life.
Glimpse of Syria in the Future
As we draw closer to Qiyamah many prophecies of Nabi (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) will unfold. The descent of Isa (Alayhis Salaam) & the slaying of Dajjal will happen in Shaam. A massive war, ‘Al – Malhamatul Kubra’ - A World War - will occur in those lands at a place called Ghoota’. There will be massive armies on both sides that will herald such carnage & bloodshed that, out of 1000 people, 999 will perish and the Muslims, who will be the ultimate victors, will not even celebrate their victory!
The Way Forward
Nabi e said, The example of Muslims in their mutual love, mercy and sympathy is like that of a;ifof the organs is afflicted, the wholeresponds with anxiety and fever.”(Sahih Muslim)
When the Ummah is facing suffering of this magnitude it becomes imperative for every Believer to share in this pain and to actively contribute in whatever way possible to assist the victims.
Hereunder are a few points with which we could individually and collectively contribute towards assisting the Ummah :
1.Education. To educate ourselves and coming generations on the virtues and importance of Shaam, its history and future. Imam Waqidi (Rah), has written a detail book on this subject titled ‘Futoohush Shaam’ - The Conquest of Syria. This and other literature should be studied and promoted for us to know the importance of the land and its significance.
2. Be Actively Involved. We should actively involve ourselves with the plight of the Syrians by highlighting their difficulties in the media and other forums. Programs should be held and literature should be published to educate people on the virtues of Shaam etc.
3. Solidarity and Contribution. In solidarity with their plight we should curtail luxuries, live simply and contribute to the humanitarian causes as best as we can. We should encourage others to contribute – every little bit counts.
4. Reformation and good actions. The condition of the Ummah is the reflection of our collective actions. Whilst the pain and suffering is experienced in another part of the world all members of the Ummah are responsible for these conditions. Hence we should reform our lives individually and collectively by abstaining from all sin, increase our obedience, enhance our goods actions and make abundant dua.
May Allah Ta’ala alleviate the suffering of Muslims especially in Syria, in the Middle East and all over the world. May Allah Ta’ala protect the Ummah from all harm.