The believers are brothers
By Dr Iman Ramadan*
I write my letter from the Far East, eyes tearful at the state of the helpless Muslims in many countries. Perhaps my words will reach you through this medium, bringing to you the voice and image from the story of the great Muslims of Marawi.
The beginning of the story, dear readers, began in the third Hijra century on the shore of the island of Mindanao. The island was one of wonderful beauty; this beauty was exacerbated when, upon the breadth of its shores, arrived Muslim merchants with the benevolence of their trade with Allah and the gift of Islam. I don’t know how sincere and great their intentions were, for the king of the island was guided to Islam, as did all the inhabitants of the island. Islam became deeply rooted into the island for years throughout history and up until this day.
You may have heard about Commander Magellan? He arrived the shores of the island of Mindanao in an expedition in the beginning of the tenth Hijra century and was awestruck by the beauty and development of the island. Arrogantly and greedily, he threatened to invade them if they did not leave the religion of Islam and become Christians. The inhabitants of the island collectively refused to submit to his threats and prepared what they could of power; but their deadliest of weapons was their faith.
When the enemy crossed the shore, Allah threw, through the hands of a believing boy, an arrow which struck Commander Magellan and immediately killed him. Seeing their leader and guide lying in a pool of his blood sent waves of fear and horror in the hearts of the commander’s soldiers, so they ran away, terrified, towards their ships. Those who were not killed by a striking arrow were severely injured by the rocks at the shore. The Muslims were victorious in a battle that was resolved in a matter of minutes, but whose legacy lasted to be retold for many generations.
Since that time, dear readers, much hatred was harboured against the island and its inhabitants. The island was not spared from expeditions by the Spaniards and the Americans, who never succeeded in their campaigns. Eventually, the island was handed to the Philippine’s rule who destroyed its structure. The latest campaign against the island, and the most severe, was last year. They destroyed the crops, homes and mosques, and killed the women, elderly and youth, and evicted over 300,000 from their homes. What is astonishing is that the Marawi people are still steadfast in their faith. They licked their wounds and rose once again to return and rebuild, with their cupped hands raised towards the skies in humility, and their backs given to their Muslim brethren who are busy with their own matters.
The essence of my message is that the right of brotherhood requires us to enquire about the conditions of our brethren, no matter how distant their countries are; and that the weakest of faith is that we should remember them in our supplications, in following the guidance of our beloved Prophet:
“The parable of the believers in their affection, mercy, and compassion for each other is that of a body. When any limb aches, the whole body reacts with sleeplessness and fever.” [Narrated by Bukhari and Muslim as reported by An-Nu’man ibn Basheer]
*Dr Iman Ramadan was born in Egypt in 1961. She graduated from Cairo University with Medicine in 1986, and continued her post-graduate studies in Paediatrics in Cairo University and the UK. She worked in the field of Paediatrics in a number of hospitals in Makkah and the UK. Dr Iman is a member of MAB and the Labour Party. She has been in the field of Da’wa for more than 25 years.
Muslim Association of Britain
27th May 2018 | 11th Ramadan 1439