Quranic Reflection No 628. Āyat 3:146 – Resistance

Bismillāh. 12 May 2023/21 Shawwāl 1444.

ALI 663: Brief Review of al-Nudbah began last Friday. For more details see below.

فَمَا وَهَنُوا لِمَا أَصَابَهُمْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ وَمَا ضَعُفُوا وَمَا اسْتَكَانُوا

They did not falter for what befell them in the way of Allah, neither did they weaken, nor did they abase themselves.

(Sūrat Āli Imrān, No.3, Āyat 146)

The verse Q 3:146, part of which appears above, commemorates the ‘Ribbiyūn’, brave individuals who fought alongside the Prophets and remained steadfast in the face of adversity. It was revealed after the Battle of ‘Uhud to inspire and remind Muslims of the virtues of those who came before them. Despite being outnumbered and outmatched, the Ribbiyūn did not lose their resolve or surrender, setting an example for all believers to follow.

Resistance is the ability to persevere and maintain strength in the face of overwhelming circumstances. Faith empowers individuals to be resistant by providing them with the tools to deal with challenges and remain steadfast in the face of opposition. Contrary to popular belief, being religious does not equate to defensiveness, passivity, or denial. Studies have shown that religion promotes self-efficacy, allowing individuals to feel capable of managing difficult situations and taking direct measures to solve problems.

Islamic history is replete with examples of resistance. The Imams from the Ahlul Bayt of Prophet Muhammad sallal-lāhu ‘alayhi wa-ālihi wasallam faced numerous challenges and employed various strategies to resist oppression and preserve Islam’s teachings. They stood up to their enemies to uphold Islamic principles, educated others about the true meaning of Islam, and used both open resistance and ‘taqiyyah’ (i.e., dissimilation) to achieve their goals.

Many resistance movements throughout history have been motivated by faith, such as the enslaved Muslims who used their faith and literacy to resist slavery and pursue freedom. There are records of slaves praying and observing the month of Ramadan, as well as giving alms to poorer slaves to offer relief and sometimes freeing each other. They wrote pages of Arabic for their slaveholders and their friends. But instead of writing what the recipients believed was a Bible verse or the Lord’s Prayer, they wrote Quranic verses that condemned slavery, made genealogical lists, and even pleaded to return home to their homeland in Africa.

Resistance to falsehood is a fundamental tenet of Islam, and believers are encouraged to remain steadfast in the face of adversity. Amīrul-Mu’minīn Imam Ali ‘alayhis-salām demonstrated this during the Battle of Jamal, exhorting his troops to remain resolute and lending their heads to Allah ‘azza wajall. When he gave the standard to his son Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah, he said: Mountains may move from their position, but you should not move from yours. Grit your teeth. Lend to Allah your head. Plant your feet firmly on the ground. Have your eye on the furthest foe and close your eyes. And know that help is only from Allah, the Glorified. (Sermon 11, Nahjul-Balāghah)

Faith enables individuals to be resistant by giving purpose to life, reminding them that they are not alone, infusing them with energy and positivity, and spurring them to take initiative and search for resources. Ultimately, faith gives hope and helps believers handle any challenge with strength.

Let this verse remind you of the believer’s ability to be resistant. Understand what faith can do for you. No matter what your circumstances, faith can help you handle it with strength.

Sources: Āyatullāh Nāsir Makārim Shirāzī (Ed.), Tafsīr-e Namūneh; K. I. Pargament & J. Cummings, Anchored by Faith: Religion as a Resilience factor (https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2010-10101-010).

ALI 663: Brief Review of Du‘ā al-Nudbah

Shaykh ‘Abbas Qummī states in Mafātīh al-Jinān quoting from Al-Mazār al-Kabīr that it is mustahab to recite Du‘ā al-Nudbah on four Eids, namely on Fridays, Eid al-Fitr, Eid al-Adhā and Eid al-Ghadīr. In this course via Zoom, we will inshāAllah quickly go through the supplication and look at some salient features.

Instructor: Shaykh Hasanayn Kassamali

Schedule: Five Fridays, from May 12 to June 9, 2023

Timings: 2:30 pm Karachi, 1:30 pm Dubai, 12:30 pm Dar-es-Salaam, 10:30 am London, 5:30 am NY/Toronto.

Fees: No fees, but mu’minīn are welcome to donate to the Academy at https://donate.academyofislam.com/

Registration: https://academyofislam.com/registration/

PLEASE NOTE: Registration indicates an agreement to attend classes on time.