Bilad Al-Sham or known simply as Sham/Syam is a large province during the Caliphates of Rashidun, Ummayad, and Abbasid. It comprises of modern Syria, occupied Palestine, Lebanon, and Jordan.
History recorded and for us who are now actually seeing its state right now, that this area has been playing an important role with the ups and downs of our Ummah. However only a few of us know the reality behind the conflicts there and of the real value of Bilad Al-Sham itself. In truth, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) left us so many legacies regarding the importance of Bilad Al-Sham and for us to understand it.
Our Prophet (pbuh) said in a famous hadith in sahih Bukhari, “O Allah bless us in our Madinah and in the measurements of our city, and bless us in our Sham.”
Note the use of “our” in both Madinah and Sham. That time, Sham was being occupied by the Romans but the Prophet (pbuh) stated that it will be ours one day. The day finally came during the reign of Umar r.a, exactly as Rasulullah (pbuh) had predicted before. In a hadith from Imam Ahmad, our Prophet (pbuh) said, “Count six things before the Day of Judgment”. It is a long hadith, but the Prophet clearly put these two things in order: “The first of these is my death. The second one: conquering Baitul Maqdis.”
For many centuries, Islam has brought prosperity and security for the Ummah, the Christians, and Jews alike in Sham. Never before the Ahlul Kitabs found peace when practicing their religion unlike during the era of the Romans and older conquerors this territory. Despite there were also so many tragedies caused by Crusades and Mongols, our Sham remained with the Ummah until the first World War.
Around a hundred years ago, during our Ummah’s weakest point, the British captured Palestine and gave it to the Zionists while the French gave mandate to the Alawite Shiites to run Syria. Since then conflicts have been enraging endlessly between our Palestinian brothers and the rogue state of Israel, as well as our Ahlus Sunnah brothers against the vicious Shiite regime under Bashar Assad.
Our Rasulullah (pbuh) said specifically regarding our Ummah struggle in a hadith:
“There shall always be a group of my Ummah rightly guided, clearly upon the truth, attaining help from Allah.” He was asked, “Where can I find them?” The Prophet said, “They are in the land of Sham and the surrounding land of Sham.”
From this hadith, Ibnu Taymiyyah and others have derived that there will always be a group of rightly guided Muslims – not just Muslims but rightly guided Muslims, Muslims at the vanguard, and Muslims who are blessed with the divine guidance of Allah.
Despite all the trials and tribulations that befall our brothers and sisters in Sham, the Prophet himself guaranteed that we will emerge victorious one day. Additionally, there are other hadiths emphasizing the importance of Sham in regard with the unfolding events in the future before the Day of Judgment. The Prophet specifically instructed us to be on Sham’s side when enemies strike and when we ultimately have to face Al Masih Ad-Dajjal, the False Messiah. It will be in Sham as well that the prophet Isa (pbuh) will return back to Earth once more and defeat Ad-Dajjal. Lastly, Sham would also be the origin of the scented wind that will take the soul of every remaining believers before the Day of Judgment.
Even aside from these,there are so many other hadiths that Rasulullah (pbuh) shared for us to understand about Sham and to care about the struggle there until the end of time. For decades, Palestine has been in pain and within just the past four years, we have lost more than a hundred thousands of brothers and sisters in Syria. There no end in sight but certainly there is something we can do.
Of course, you might ask what is to be done in light with this situation.
At the very least, we need to have an attachment and a relationship with the pain and the suffering inside our hearts with what is happening there. Wallahi, the one who can spend his time enjoying and heedless from the reality of Syria is the one whose iman is nonexistent in the heart. It is a sign of iman to love for your brothers and feel pain for your brothers. It is a sign of iman that when something is hurting in them, something is hurting you as well.
It is time for us to question again ourselves whether we really live up what Rasulullah (pbuh) told us about the Ummah:
“The ummah is like one body. If one limb, one area, one finger of the whole body is in pain, then the whole body will be in pain because they will not be able to sleep. They will be suffering a fever.”
Therefore, brothers and sisters, whoever is disconnected from these news and heedless with the plight of the people of Syria, such a Muslim really needs to see his own Islam and check his own iman. Wallahi, if this had been your own brother, your own cousin, your own ethnicity, how would you be able to live? Do you not realize that the blood of Islam is thicker than the blood of actual blood brothers? Do you not realize that the brotherhood of Islam is deeper than the brotherhood of nations and the brotherhood of ethnicity and the brotherhood of race?
Remember this verse from Surah Al-Hujurat: “The believers are but brothers, so make settlement between your brothers. And fear Allah that you may receive mercy.”
Let us connect our love again with the Ummah and that there will always be a solution with any problem we have. Let us always put our faith in Allah and do our best to defend our Ummah, especially for the sake of Sham.
To conclude this, we would like to apologize if our words may bring discomfort in you and that the truth belongs to Allah and Allah only.
Assalamu’alaykum warahmatullahi wabarakaatuh.
Compiled and written by Rian Farisa – @pokamamil