These days the most paramount and overpowering emotions of people in modern societies are of fear and uncertainty. Whenever something happens in the world, due to the easy accessibility to electronic and print media, the scaremongering news is magnified and transported instantly all over the globe. For centuries people were solely dealing with their personal and local issues such as war, famine, plagues, earthquakes and floods. Now, however, with the advancement of modern and “civilized technology”, we are forced to internalise every terrible piece of information from all over the world, each accompanied by horrific images. Strangely, broadcasting of fear is becoming ever-increasingly intense with the media’s decade-and-a-half, daily dose of reporting new terror threats from Muslims.
This fear is so powerful that it is ripping apart the stability of the societies and instilling anxiety in its members. In the basic societies of olden times and even a few decades ago, when people were living in media free societies they were able to cope better with their tests in life due to the strong bonds they had with other fellow human beings. On the other hand, in the complex and fractured societies of today, where individualism is a common trait, the media’s role is becoming increasingly monstrous and more overt in its mission to target Muslims, fabricate lies, spread fear, and hence, cripple the minds of the general population with panic, uncertainty and even hate towards Muslims.
Fear is defined as an unpleasant emotion or thought an individual experiences when they are frightened or worried about something dangerous, painful, or negative that is happening or might happen. There exists no doubt that the Media is being used as a tool to spread anxiety and fear among people in order to control their minds. By repeatedly televising and reporting gruesome visual details, through the melodramatic coverage of the incidents rather than reporting on the true severity of the situation, and by supplementing the few facts with more lies, the media has the desired effect on people; so much so that the word “terror” has become synonymous with Muslims and Islām. Nevertheless, in spite of this, there is an amazing and thought-provoking question to be asked by any person of intellect: Why are the people called Muslims, who are in the media’s spotlight 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, still fully functioning members of society, with smiles on their faces and possessing no sign of experiencing nervous breakdowns at the announcement of “BREAKING NEWS”? Even though Muslims are the “bad guys” and the constant prey of negative PR, they are unlike other celebrities and public figures who fall apart under the media’s scrutiny.
The answer is simple. Being a Muslim means they submit to Allāh. They have The Book of Guidance and the example of their beloved Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam). As Allāh says in the Qur’ān.
“This is the Book about which there is no doubt, a Guidance for those conscious of Allāh”.
By reading, listening and reflecting upon the words of Allāh, the believers are given all the strength and light they need to get through the most dark and difficult times. The verses of the Qur’ān are the true guidance in the way that illuminating lights give clarity of vision in darkness. In the face of confusion and uncertainty spreading around us, the words of Allāh become clearer, more real, more profound and ever more relevant to our situations. As in the Qur’ān Allāh says,
“O mankind! Verily, there has come to you a convincing proof from your Lord; and We sent down to you a manifest light. So, as for those who believed in Allāh and held fast to (depend on) Him, He will admit them to His mercy and grace (i.e. Paradise), and guide them to Himself by a straight path.”
The Qur’ān is not just a religious book of rituals, this Book is from Allāh (subḥānahu wa taʿālā), the Ever All-Powerful, All-Wise.
“The revelation of the Qur’ān is from Allāh, the Exalted in Might, the Wise.”
His Book is the pinnacle of any knowledge known to mankind. It not only pinpoints the problems, it meticulously answers every issue which arises. This book of guidance not only teaches believers how to navigate through darkness, it also comforts them in such a way as no one has the ability to do except Al-Wakīl, the Disposer of affairs. In His Book, Allāh says,
“Those to whom the people said, ‘Verily, the people have gathered against you, therefore, fear them.’ But it [only] increased them in faith, and they said: ‘Allah is Sufficient for us, and He is the Best Disposer of affairs.’ So they returned with grace and bounty from Allāh. No harm touched them; and they followed the pleasure of Allāh. And Allāh is the Owner of great bounty. It is only Shayṭān that suggests to you the fear of his friends; so fear them not, but fear Me, if you are indeed believers.”
These beautiful verses offer such solace and teach us who is inciting the fear and who is taking care of your affairs. The words of Allāh and the lessons from our Prophet Muḥammad’s (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) noble life are sufficient reassurance for the Believers in testing times.
“And rely upon Allāh; and sufficient is Allāh as Disposer of affairs.”
Allāh (subḥānahu wa taʿālā) tells us that
“[…] ever feeble indeed is the plot of Shayṭān.”
We can only truly understand the strength and comfort of the ayahs of the Qur’ān when we have experienced fear and uncertainty and have maintained belief in Allāh as our Lord and believed in the “unseen”, as Allāh says about the believers,
“Who believe in the unseen, establish prayer, and spend out of what We have provided for them”.
We, none of us, have the ability to take care of your uncertainties as you we do not know what the future holds for us. It is only Allāh who holds such knowledge.
“[He is the] Knower of the unseen and the witnessed, the Grand, the Exalted.”
Who else do we need to go to when we know our fears and worries are in the knowledge of our Lord?
“Verily, those who fear their Lord unseen, theirs will be forgiveness and a great reward. And whether you keep your talk secret or disclose it, verily, He is the All-Knower of what is in the breasts. Should not He who has created know And He is the Most Kind and Courteous, All-Aware?”
As such, as opposed to breaking down in despair, Muslims are consoled regarding their fears and uncertainties by connecting to Allāh (subḥānahu wa taʿālā) through the Qur’ān, the Sunnah, Salāh, the remembrance of Allāh and by the constant recitation of duʿā’s from Qur’ān and Sunnah. Believers put their trust in Allāh and never despair as they turn to the example given in the Qur’ān of the Prophet Yaʿqūb (ʿalayhi al-Salām), when he said to his sons,
“O my sons! Go you and inquire about Yūsuf and his brother, and never give up hope of Allāh’s mercy. Certainly no one despairs of Allāh’s mercy, except the people who disbelieve.”
By completely and entirely placing our trust in Allāh’s Mercy and Protection we say,
“Our Lord! Give us in this world that which is good and in the Hereafter that which is good, and save us from the torment of the Fire!”
“Our Lord, grant us from Yourself Mercy and prepare for us from our affair right Guidance.”
“Verily, those who say: ‘Our Lord is [only] Allāh,’ and thereafter stand firm, on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve. Such shall be the dwellers of Paradise, abiding therein (forever) — a reward for what they used to do.”
May Allāh (subḥānahu wa taʿālā) make us from amongst them, Āmīn.
Notes: Al-Qur’ān, 2:1  Al-Qur’ān, 4:174-175  Al-Qur’ān, 39:1  Al-Qur’ān, 3:173-175  Al-Qur’ān, 33:3  Al-Qur’ān, 4:76  Al-Qur’ān, 13:9  Al-Qur’ān, 67:12-14  Al-Qur’ān, 12:87  Al-Qur’ān, 2:201  Al-Qur’ān, 18:10  Al-Qur’ān, 46:13-14