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Prepare O Muslims, for turbulent times ahead

The Prayer of the Persecuted

The Children of Israel, living under the evil dictatorial regime of the Pharaoh, continue to be oppressed. The Pharaoh has enslaved them, killed their sons, and humiliated them without any respite. All this, merely because they chose to believe in the One Almighty Allāh, and refused to accept the Pharaoh’s absurd claim of being a deity worthy of worship.

After this period of prolonged and agonising hardship, Mūsā (ʿalayhi al-Salām) and his brother Hārūn (ʿalayhi al-Salām) receive an inspiration from Allāh (subḥānahu wa taʿālā). They are told to tell their people, the Children of Israel, to “…Take dwellings for your people in Egypt, and make your dwellings as places for your worship, and establish the Prayer (Salāh)…”[1]

This inspiration was given because the huge task of escaping from the Pharonic regime was soon to be undertaken. The suffering had gone on for too long, and it was now time for the children of Israel to flee from the torment and torture they were being put through. It is in preparation for this monumental assignment that they are being advised, by Allāh (subḥānahu wa taʿālā), to take their houses as “dwelling places for worship” and to “establish the Prayer.”

Spiritual preparation before fleeing Egypt was of course essential. It would be this very firm and sincere spirituality they would rely on when they confronted and eventually miraculously crossed the Red Sea whilst being chased by the Pharaoh and his army. The divine guidance given to them by Allāh, through their Prophets Mūsā and Hārūn (ʿalayhimā al-Salām), provides us with very deep and profound lessons.

Undoubtedly, the Children of Israel were going through an extremely tough time. It is said by some commentators of Qur’ān that they were unable to disclose their belief and were not even permitted to perform their prayers openly in public.[2] They were accused of spreading corruption in the land when, in fact, the true poison in the society emanated from the Pharaoh and his regime. Members of their community were vilified and killed unjustifiably, had to deal with members of their own community turning against them (see the story of Qārūn), and much more during their time in Egypt. Their resolve had taken some great blows, and it is all the more intriguing that they were counselled to, during these testing times, turn to prayer.

Prayer (Salāh) is mentioned many times in the book of Allāh, and we are repeatedly exhorted to establish it in our lives. Allāh (subḥānahu wa taʿālā) tells us, “O you who believe! Seek help in patience and As-Salāh (the prayer).”[3] Elsewhere we are told to “guard strictly the obligatory prayers…”[4]

Thus the importance of prayer in our lives cannot be underestimated. It is a pillar of Islām, and an action that was made obligatory upon all Prophets of Allāh. Indeed, as we are taught by our beloved Prophet Muḥammad (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam), the best and finest of all creation, that “The first matter that the slave will be brought to account for on the Day of Judgment is the prayer…”[5]

Contemplating over the Pharonic regime of Mūsā’s (ʿalayhi al-Salām) time, one is able to draw parallels between that era and ours. In an age where Muslims are being lambasted and labelled, hounded and harassed, and oppressed and overpowered, taking heed of the advice that was given to the Children of Israel is vital for strengthening our resolve. Turning sincerely to prayer in times of tribulation is imperative in seeking the help of Allāh (subḥānahu wa taʿālā).

The world we live in today stands by and observes while the 1.7 billion-strong, international cohort of Muslims witnesses their religion being discriminatorily criminalised and sanctioned. Politicians across the globe, trapped in the fetters of their own ignorance, condemn Muslims for breaking the very values which they themselves fail miserably to uphold. Over and far above all of this however, the Muslim seeks solace in turning to his creator, in prayer, seeking and beseeching his help, and thus bringing contentment to his heart and earning the pleasure of his Lord.

The Prophet Muḥammad (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam), in a famous saying, tells us that “the comfort of my eyes has been provided in prayer.”[6] Amazingly, this statement was made during a life full of persecution, torture, and discrimination to an extent far greater than what we are being put through presently. Being ostracised and outcast from society did not stop our beloved Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) finding coolness and contentment whilst in solitude, devoted in prayer to his Creator, Allāh the most High.

The statement ‘coolness of my eyes’ perhaps loses something in translation. Another brief episode from the life of Mūsā expounds on the meaning somewhat. Shortly after the baby Mūsā (ʿalayhi al-Salām) is placed in the river Nile by his fearful mother to be saved from the Pharonic slaughtering of baby boys, Allāh (subḥānahu wa taʿālā) then reunites this obedient mother with her baby Mūsā (ʿalayhi al-Salām) so “that she might cool her eyes and she should not grieve..”[7] That heart-stirring feeling she felt when her baby boy was returned to her arms gives us an idea of perhaps the feeling our Prophet Muḥammad (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) had when he turned to prayer during his tough times. It was in his prayer he found his true comfort, solace and peace.

The parallels between our era and the time of Mūsā (ʿalayhi al-Salām) are striking. We may not be asked to cross the Red Sea anytime soon, but we will be posed with many questions and challenges which put to test our faith and resolve. If Salāh was one of the components that strengthened the believers of the Children of Israel, preparing them to cross the mighty Red Sea then, no doubt, with it we can prevail over any obstacle. It is therefore fundamental to our success that we turn to Prayer just as those believers did, sincerely and devoutly, to make firm our spirituality, and to strive to be of those people “….whose hearts are filled with fear when Allāh is mentioned; who patiently bear whatever may befall them (of calamities); and who establish the prayer…”[8]

May Allāh grant us the ability to perform our prayer with sincerity for his sake only, and may He (subḥānahu wa taʿālā) relieve the suffering of the Ummah of the Prophet Muḥammad (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam). Ameen.


For more gems from the Qur’anic story of Musa (AS) and Pharaoh, and how it is relevant to us today, attend the London Sabeel Seminar: The Parting of the Sea. Book before the end of the day to take advantage of the early bird discount!



[1] Al-Qur’ān, 10:87

[2] Tafsīr ibn Kathīr

[3] Al-Qur’ān, 2:153

[4] Al-Qur’ān, 2:238

[5] Hadīth: Recorded by Al-Tabarani

[6] Hadīth: Recorded by Nasā’ī

[7] Al-Qur’ān, 20:40

[8] Al-Qur’ān, 22:35


About Dr Tawheed Hameed


  1. Sabr is three types:
    a. Patience in trying to carry out the commandments of Allah.
    b. Patience in trying to avoid sins as the self [nafs] is very often inclined towards sins.
    c. Patience in times of trials and tribulations.

    And seek help through patience and prayer, and indeed, it is difficult except for the humbly submissive to Allah. [Quran 2:45]

    Wisdoms of tests;

    The Qur’an mentions “The One Who created death and life, so that He may put you to test, to find out which of you is best in deeds: He is the all-Almighty, the all-Forgiving” [Qur’an 67: 2]

    Trials help us to acknowledge, appreciate and firmly believe in some of the Divine attributes of Allah.
    When we suffer and we supplicate to Allah and He removes our suffering then the attributes of Allah are manifested to us, such as; God is the Answerer, Helper, Patron, Healer, Acceptor of repentance, Forgiver and the Curer.

    “And who despairs of the Mercy of his Lord except those who are astray?” (Quran 15:56)

    Struggling through hardships can be a means of tawassul.

    When Musa alaihissalam was in Midyan alone and away from his family, he cried out to Allah;
    “O my Lord, indeed I am for whatever good You would send down to me, in need.” [Quran 28:24]

  2. Whilst it is easy to draw some parallels, there are more obvious “non-parallels”. As British Muslims, we enjoy many luxuries in our lives today. The children of Israel were physically enslaved and tortured. In Britain, we are not physically enslaved; and in fact we enjoy many state provided benefits. And, whilst turbulent times are here; it is important that one reacts positively to them by opening up to the wider society and conveying the Islamic values preached by the Prophets of Allah.

  3. Mirza Ghulam Qadiani collected a large sum of money from investors who retained his services to publish 50 (fifty) books. Mirza Ghulam only published 5 (five) books and refused to refund the advance for the remaining books! His explanation was:
    “This is the same Braheen-e-Ahmadia, which has already been published in 4 (four) volumes. The fifth volume has been now published. It was earlier promised to publish 50 (fifty) volumes, but they are to be content with only 5 (five), instead of the 50 (fifty) we promised. Since there is only a dot difference between 5 (five) and 50 (fifty), with these 5 (five) our promise has been fulfilled.”
    (Preface, Braheen-e-Ahmadia, Vol. 5, Page 7;
    Preface, Roohany Khazaen, Vol. 21, Page 9)

    Mirza betrayed the people and he failed to produce 50 volumes.

    Bukhārī and Muslim record on the authority of Abū Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allāh (peace be upon him) said, “The signs of the hypocrite are three: when he speaks he lies; when he makes an oath he breaks it; and when he is entrusted with something he betrays that trust.”

    mirza’s character is refuted by the Quran;

    Allah Subhana wata’Allah described the believers ; “And they who are to their trusts and their promises attentive.” [Quran 23:8]

    Prophets don’t ask for payments for their message;

    “And if you turn away [from my advice] then no payment have I asked of you. My reward is only from Allah , and I have been commanded to be of the Muslims.” [Quran 10:72]

    mirza ghulam qadiani alleged that he is mentioned in the Quran;
    “If Quran did not give me the name of Ibn-e-Mariam, then I am a liar”. [a gift of an-nadwah page 19]

    also mirza ghulam alleged that qadian is mentioned in the Quran [tadhkira page 94 and 95]

    Let’s recall what the Quran states

    “So woe to those who write the “scripture” with their own hands, then say, “This is from Allah ,” in order to exchange it for a small price. Woe to them for what their hands have written and woe to them for what they earn.” [Quran 2:79]

  4. Ahmad Khalil Durrani

    Reflect, if you will, while recounting the atrocities committed against Bani Israel, what the self-proclaimed Muslims have done to a small minority called Ahmadiyya Muslims. Don’t you find striking parallels? Amazing that the Ahmadiyya Muslims have responded with nothing but prayers. Remember, judgement on faith is Allah’s business and not the prerogative of ordinary mortals. Perhaps these self-proclaimed Muslims are being punished by Allah for their transgressions. And I know you will commit another transgression by not publishing this comment. May Allah guide you. I am not an Ahmadiyya.

    • Were the people of Iraq responsible for crimes against Ahmadiyya Muslims? Were the people of Palestine, or Somalia, or Chechnya, or Bosnia, or Kosovo?

      You can say judgment is Allah’s (swt) business but He has stated what is wrong or right quite clearly in His Book. Ghulam Ahmad was a false prophet and sowed discord in the faith.

      That you think the peoples described above deserve being massacred because of the actions of another group of Muslims against a deviant sect is unjust in the extreme, and as such your opinions carry little weight.

    • So you clam that innocent children in Gaza are being punished because they simply reject the heretic dogma of qadianism?!

      mirza ghulam qadiani alleged;

      “You are to Me like my progeny”
      English Online Tadhkhirah Book page.510 PDF page.530 footnote

      “In a vision, I saw God Almighty personified as a human being. He put His arm round my neck”
      English Online Tadhkhirah Book page.609 PDF page.629

      it’s clear that the founder of qadianism mirza ghulam qadiani contradicts even the most basic teaching of Islam (tawheed). Thus mirza ghulam qadiani was an imposter and polytheist.

      Now let’s see the Quran;

      “So woe to those who write the “scripture” with their own hands, then say, “This is from Allah ,” in order to exchange it for a small price. Woe to them for what their hands have written and woe to them for what they earn.” [Quran 2:79]

      “No vision can grasp Him, but His Grasp is over all vision. He is the Most Subtle and Courteous, Well-Acquainted with all things. ” [Quran ch 6 vs 103]

      “And who is more unjust than one who invents a lie about Allah or says, “It has been inspired to me,” while nothing has been inspired to him, and one who says, “I will reveal [something] like what Allah revealed.” And if you could but see when the wrongdoers are in the overwhelming pangs of death while the angels extend their hands, [saying], “Discharge your souls! Today you will be awarded the punishment of [extreme] humiliation for what you used to say against Allah other than the truth and [that] you were, toward His verses, being arrogant.” [Quran 6:93]

      In April 1907, Mirza Ghulam qadiani issued an open letter addressed to
      Maulvee Sanaaullaah. The imposter mirza wrote (partial translation);

      “…. if, during my lifetime, you are not afflicted with such punishment such as plague,
      cholera etc., then I am not from God Almighty.
      O God, If this claim of being the Promised Messiah is just a fabrication from my self and, in your view, I am a mischief-monger and a liar and am engaged in making false imputations day and night then, O my beloved Master, I pray to You to make me perish in the lifetime of Mr. Maulvee Sanaaullaah and make him and his group happy by my death. Aameen. But O my Perfect and True God, if Maulvee Sanaaullaah is not true in the accusations that he levels at me, then I humbly pray to You to perish him in my lifetime.” [The Last Decision with Mr. Maulvee Sanaaullaah]

      This supplication made by mirza has nothing to do with a comparison or a duel between Mirza Ghulam Ahmad and Maulvee Sanaaullaah; it has to do with whether or not
      Mirza was a liar.

      The letter also declares that if Maulvee Sanaaullaah is not afflicted with a fatal disease in Mirza Ghulam’s life then Mirza Ghulam qadiani is not from God.

      The outcome; Mirza Ghulam qadiani died a disgraceful death about one year from the date of the letter, in 1908. However Maulvee Sanaaullaah lived for many years after him. Also Maulana Sanaaullah died a peaceful death which again refutes mirza’s so called prophecy.

      No wonder The Quran states; “And say, “Truth has come, and falsehood has departed. Indeed is falsehood, [by nature], ever bound to depart.” [Quran 17:81]

    • natasha rahman

      Please explain to me what your comment has anything to do with the above article?

      The article is reminding us that in times of distress and trials and tribulations that the Muslim way is to turn to salah and in turning to salah what are we doing? We are turning to Allah swt.

      Why you’ve brought up something that is totally irrelevant to this article doesn’t make sense and also shows that you haven’t read it or understood what is being said or the importance of salah for a Muslim and hear is something I heard that may help you to understand that importance:

      The Prophet (pbuh) spoke to the Sahabas of the final dajjal; of the trials and tribulations the Believers would go through when he came. The immense hardship; emotional, mental and physical. The pain and the anguish. How one day will be like a year, and the next day like a month and the next day like a week. The intense hunger and thirst, and that it will be “ALLAH AKBAR, LA ILAHA ILLALLAH AND ALHUMDULILLAH” that would sustain and nourish them.

      And do you know what their biggest concern was out of everything they heard? What question they asked?
      How do they fight back? What to do best for their families? Was there any safe place?

      No none of those questions, they asked about their SALAH.

      How were they to pray in the correct times when a day is like a year, a month and a week?. They weren’t concerned about hunger, thirst, pain they were concerned about their Salah.

      This article targets NO GROUPS so what on earth are you complaining about?

      All it shows is your inability to read and understand, and your paranoia; for somehow, someway you are able to link an article on Salah (which in no way or form mention Qadianis) with the ‘persecution’ of them.

      Oh and one last thing is also clearly seen and that is your bigotry of Islam 21st Century

      May I say on behalf of all of those who read your comment and ‘scratched’ their heads in puzzlement to it that May Allah swt open your heart and mind with His Mercy and Guidance to the siratul-mustaqim’-Ameen

      • if you did not notice, my comment was respose to khalil durrani.

        he stated; “Perhaps these self-proclaimed Muslims are being punished by Allah for their transgressions.”

        First he claims that those Muslims who are going through hardships are being punished.

        How does he know that?

        second he claimed that Muslims are being punished because of what has happened to qadianis.

        Where is the link between trials of the Ummah and the qadianis?

        You mentioned; “The Prophet (pbuh) spoke to the Sahabas of the final dajjal; of the trials and tribulations the Believers would go through when he came. The immense hardship; emotional, mental and physical. The pain and the anguish. How one day will be like a year, and the next day like a month and the next day like a week. The intense hunger and thirst, and that it will be “ALLAH AKBAR, LA ILAHA ILLALLAH AND ALHUMDULILLAH” that would sustain and nourish them.”

        Lets not also forget that the Prophet sallallahu alaihi wasallam also stated that there will be more dajjals claiming to be Prophets.

        The ulama have agreed that mirza ghulam qadiani is one of those dajjals.

        • natasha rahman

          My comment was not at you but at Durrani. However I would reiterate again that this is an article on the importance of Salah especially in times of tribulations.

          I have no idea who started the commentary on the Qadianis but they are irrelevant to topic of the article.

          It seems as though the essence of the topic has been lost and in fact I doubt anyone would understand what the topic was from the commentary.
          May Allah swt Guide us ALL to the siratum-mustaqim-Ameen

    • Ahmad Khalil Durrani – may your face be rubbed in dust.

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