As-salamu ‘alaykum, brothers and sisters and fellow travelers. We want to take a moment to recognize and address the difficult time we are in as a community and as a world. There is so much pain and difficulty happening in Gaza and the Middle East. What can we do? How can we help those in need and how can we help ourselves manage how we feel about it?
The first answer–which is the real answer for every difficulty we face–is to remember Allah, subhanallah wa ta’ala.
Sometimes, remembrance takes the form of being by yourself or in a group doing dhikr (e.g. tawba, al-wird, al-wadhifa, etc.). At other times, it is acting to promote Allah’s Truth, Justice, Peace, and Mercy, jalla jalalahu (His glory is so high) subhanahu wa ta’ala (most exalted is He).
Here are some ways in which you can engage in both types of remembrance in order to create more peace and justice in the Holy Land, in yourself, and in the world, insha’allah. It is our hope that this list is just the beginning of a community dialogue on ways to care for others and ourselves during this time. Your comments below will make the conversation fuller, more complete, and more beautiful, insha’allah amin.
Praying for Peace and Justice
Making personal prayers (du’a’) was highly recommended by Allah, subhanahu wa ta’ala, and the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Allah told us in His Qur’an, “Remember Me and I will remember you” (2:152) and “Call upon Me, I will respond to you.” (40:60). Praying to Allah, Most High, for what you need and for what your heart deeply desires is an important and powerful form of remembrance.
1. A Sunnah Prayer for Peace
اللهم انت السلام ومنك السلام
و إليك يعود السلام
تباركت ربنا وتعاليت
يا ذوالجلال والإكرام
allāhumma anta-s-salām wa minka-s-salām
wa ilayka ya’ūdu-s-salām
tabārakta rabbanā wa taʾalayt yā dẖū-l-jalāli wa-l-’ikrām
Oh Allah, You are Peace and from You comes Peace.
Give us Peace.
Blessed are You, our Lord,
oh Lord of Majesty and Bounty.
You can recite this prayer when Sidi did. You can also recite it any time you feel moved to pray for Allah’s Peace and Justice.
There are other prayers for peace you can add, if you wish. And as with all du’a, share with your Lord from the depths of your heart in a polite way, knowing that your prayer will be answered.
Best Times & Circumstances for Du’a
Naturally, you should pray whenever you are moved to do so. And–it is completely acceptable to engage in a voluntary practice to increase your prayer’s chance of being accepted by our Beloved, subhanahu wa ta’ala. Insha’allah, take advantage of these auspicious moments each day to pray for peace and justice in the Holy Land, in yourself, and in our world.
Times of Day
- In the last third of the night
- At midnight
- After the sun has reached its zenith and before dhuhr prayer
Before, During or After Salah
- Between the recitation of the adhan and the ‘iqama
- Anytime after the obligatory or sunnah words of that position have been said
- During prostration
- Immediately before giving salams to the angel on your right
- After praising Allah and sending prayers upon the Prophet after finishing
- When you hear the crowing of a rooster
- During rainfall
- On Fridays during a hidden hour. If you pray salah during that hour and make a du’a, Allah Most High will answer it.
- On special days, such as Lailat al-Qadr, the Day of Arafah, the whole month of Ramadan, and the first 10 days of Dhul Hijjah
- When a group of believers gather to remember Allah
- When prostrating
- When fasting
- Immediately before breaking your fast
- Immediately before drinking zamzam water (you pray for Allah to fulfill the reason you are drinking the water)
- When traveling for the sake of Allah, Most High
2. Pray for Peace with Unity Peace Prayer
Unity Peace Prayer is hosting prayers for peace on an ongoing basis. Prayers are offered from 9:00 am – 11:00 am PT / 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm ET, Monday-Saturday. If your heart is called to offer prayers, please get in touch with Sara Madonna at 561-318-1372 or email@example.com.
To Join on Zoom
9:00 am – 11:00 am PT / 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm ET
until Oct 29, 2023:
See our TeamUp Calendar for one-tap mobile and dial-in options.
Ways to Give
Obligatory and voluntary charity are important means for developing compassion and remembering that we are all equal in our humanity and that we are all completely dependent upon Allah, subhanahu wa ta’ala, for everything. Helping people in difficult circumstances helps deepen our humility, compassion, empathy, and understanding. There are a number of ways you can give to help those in Gaza and Quds at this time.
Anera is a charity that has been helping people on the ground in Gaza since the 1970s. It is highly rated on charitynavigatory.org and its website answers many questions you may have. In a recent communication, they wrote:
My colleagues in Gaza, whom I consider family, are working tirelessly to procure what they can locally. We are still providing food and hygiene supplies. Just today we served meals to 15,000 displaced people, delivered food parcels to 4,000 families, and delivered hygiene kits to another 5,000 in Khan Younis. And, over the last 8 days, we have distributed well over 200,000 meals.
Because of our experience working in Gaza since the 1970s, Anera has a strong network of local vendors, on-the-ground partners and a solid reputation among the people. We have activated all of these assets to deliver aid during this unbelievable moment. Our staff have identified suppliers in the south where people were told to evacuate and are already working to connect the displaced with food and hygiene supplies. People who fled south are unable to access these supplies on their own, they do not have the resources to obtain food, water, soap, and cleaning supplies from local stores. But we do.
Alhamdulillah, our sister Sara Madonna (Unity Peace Prayer) let us know that UNICEF is working to help people in Gaza and the surrounding area. They and their partners are on-the-ground and they are calling for an immediate humanitarian pause and safe access to scale and sustain lifesaving services for children.
3. Learn from & Help a Palestinian Activist
Mohamad Jamous is a Palestinian peace activist currently living in Jericho, with family in Gaza. Yesterday there was a live call with him in which he shared about his activist work in partnership with interfaith groups in Palestine/Israel. He shares an on-the-ground account of what is currently happening and what has led up to it.
In addition to the violence which leaves everyone unsafe, Mohamad and his family are facing extra danger on account of Mohamad’s peacemaking work, and they have decided it is time to seek asylum. If you feel moved to help Mohamad get his family to safety, here is a fundraising link: www.gofundme.com/f/support-the-jamous-family
4. Other Charitable Options
Other charities you could consider, insha’allah, are ActionAid, Doctors Without Borders, and Muslim Hands. As with any charity, be sure to check its rating on charitynavigator.org or charitywatch.org and google them with the keywords “scam”, “complaint”, or “review”.
Activism In Daily Life
Alhamdulillah, our sister Najeeha made a wonderful suggestion in the comments below. A famous hadith of our beloved Messenger, sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, states:
“Whosoever of you sees an evil, let him change it with his hand; and if he is not able to do so, then [let him change it] with his tongue; and if he is not able to do so, then with his heart — and that is the weakest of faith.”Narrated by Abu Sa`id al-Khudree, radiyallahu anhu (Muslim, Hadith 34, 40 Hadith an-Nawawi)
Giving money can be a short-term solution and ease some of the immediate needs, but it is not getting to the root of the problem. Take a moment out of every day to:
- Call and/or send messages to your state legislators, asking them to help stop the oppression. USCPR.org can help.
- Raise awareness through social media and honest conversations with people in your life.
- Support organizations that work to shift the paradigm and dismantle the narrative about Palestine, like Visualizing Palestine, Adalah Justice Project, The Palestine Institute for Public Diplomacy, Institute for Middle East Understanding,
- Start a petition.
- Educate yourself by watching movies, reading books and articles, and listening to what people are saying on both sides of the issue. Podcasts, audiobooks and TED Talks are also great ways to learn about the subject. Makan is a great resource.
- Vote, because your voice should be heard at the local and national levels.
Oh Allah, we come to You and only You.
Because You are the Source of everything.
We come to You and only You,
Because You are the only respite for those in pain, sickness, hunger, thirst, homelessness, injury, grief, anger, helplessness, and need of all kinds.
We come to You, begging You for Your Peace, Your Mercy, Your Justice, Your Truth, Your Freedom for those who are oppressed in the Holy Land.
We come to You begging for You to help all of those who need Your care, in all of the ways they need it.
We come to You, asking for You to install righteous, just leaders in the Holy Land and in every land around the world.
Even with all that is happening, we know that You are the Source of Mercy.
In Your Book You have told us that those who die in Your cause are not truly dead, but they are alive.
Oh Allah, we are so grateful for Your Paradise for those who are killed unjustly.
Oh Allah, we are so grateful for Your Guidance, for Your Wisdom, and for Your Mercy.
Oh Allah, please guide each and every one of us in how to best give to help those who are suffering.
Please guide us in how to support our own hearts and the hearts of our loved ones who are crying.
Please support us and send us Your Mercy, Your Guidance, and Your Wisdom.
Please support everyone in this world with Your Truth, Your Justice, Your Peace, Your Freedom, and Your Mercy.
Oh Allah, we know that there is no Peace without Justice.
Please help us all, Allah. For You are the Only Help.
We pray that this has been helpful and insha’allah, if you know of other reputable resources, please share them in the comments below. May Allah bless you.