Others v Oppressors

Wanting guidance for others vs oppression

When you look at the many places where severe oppression is happening, it is clear our only refuge is in Allah (swt) alone. 

Yes, in a general sense we want guidance and goodness for everyone as this is what the Prophets (as) were sent for. They all called their nations who were transgressing the laws of Allah, towards him. Whether it was Nuḥ, Sāliḥ, Ibrāhim, Hūd (As) etc, they all called them to monotheism and to leave oppression.

Though the Prophet (saws) was attacked in Uhud, he still said ‘O my Lord forgive them for they do not know’. It is related in the saḥīḥayn, a similar statement was said by an unnamed Prophet after he was beaten by his people. We look at Habīb al-Najjār in Surah Yāsīn who told his people to listen to the 3 Messengers sent by Allah, but in response they attacked and killed him. When he was told to enter Jannah, he still had concern for his people and said ‘”I wish my people could know of how my Lord has forgiven me and placed me among the honoured’ (36:27). This was the purity of the pious.

Hence, wanting guidance for all is the general state, for Muslims and non-Muslims. However, this does not mean; 1) That we shouldn’t despise and resist oppression where able and 2) the punishment of Allah will not descend upon the evildoers.

For the first, the Prophet (saws) fought against oppression (by tongue and limb) during his time in Medinah. He was still calling to Islam and he was the most merciful, but it was clear that tyranny needed to be challenged. The battles of Uḥud, Khandaq etc. clearly show that fighting and resistance was legislated and in cases an obligation as we know from the story of the 3 companions who stayed behind. Those persecuted are not expected to turn the other cheek regardless the circumstance, though at the same time context and scholarly guidance is always considered, especially in light of capability.

As for the second, in almost all cases where the Prophets (as) or pious people were attacked, Allah (swt) sent down a punishment. Whether it was Fir’awn and his army when they were drowned chasing Musa (as), or the people of Sāliḥ when they sacrificed the camel or the people of Yāsīn when just a shriek destroyed them, they were all taken to account. 

Yes, the current day situation regarding Muslims is complex for a number of reasons (few strong leaders, our own misdeeds, sectarian in-fighting etc etc.), however the underlying Sunnah of Allah is timeless. The Qur’ān tells us again and again, those who believe and call to good works, will be tested in this life but have eternal bliss. As for those who harm the innocent without repenting, they may have some power and enjoyment temporarily, but they will incur a severe punishment in the hereafter.