Supplication: A Means of Mass Construction?

Question and answer details
As-salamu `alaykum. From time to time I read or hear about the injustices that went on, or are going on in the world. People are being tortured for standing up to the truth, children are being abused, and women are being mistreated. People are dying of hunger and others for their ethnicity or religious beliefs. These crimes are no longer confined to developing or third world countries as they are spread all over the world. What even saddens me more is they are now commonly found in Muslim countries carried out by tyrants and corrupt leaders in the pretence of the war against terrorism. I see this happen daily especially in Egypt where I was born.My question is, sometimes when I think about all this I feel this pain in my chest from feeling unable to do anything, so is there a Prophetic supplication or certain verses from the Quran that one can read to help with this awful feeling?Your response is very much appreciated.
Waleed Ahmed Najmeddine
Salam Adel,

Thank you for your question and for contacting Ask About Islam.

You are not alone in your sadness over the many crimes that are perpetrated against Muslims in the name of the so-called war on terror. Your feelings of helplessness are shared by many in the Muslim world as well as by many non-Muslims who are not fooled by the largely one-sided reporting in the mainstream media.

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:

"He among you who sees something abominable should modify it with the help of his hand; and if he has not strength enough to do it, then he should do it with his tongue; and if he has not strength enough to do it, (even) then he should (abhor it) from his heart, and that is the least of faith." (Muslim)         

As mentioned in the above hadith, we should first try to take action whenever possible to alleviate the suffering of others. We can do this by supporting them financially, by volunteering with charitable organizations that provide services to victims in need of assistance, or by any other means that would directly benefit them.

Secondly, we can speak out against injustice by phoning government officials, or by writing letters to them as well as to newspaper editors or people with influence. We can tell coworkers, neighbors, and friends the truth about injustice happening and taking place, for example the situation in Lebanon and Iraq and the rest of the Muslim world, among other squeezed nations around the world.

It is also important that we inform our brothers and sisters in humanity who are being misled by what they hear and see in the media, or by the words of many world leaders. We can organize dialogues with people of different faiths to discuss the issues so that the truth about Islam and Muslims is heard from Muslims themselves, not from those with hidden agendas.

Thirdly, if we feel we are truly unable to do any of these things — and Allah knows best what we are individually capable of — then we must at the very least recognize these wrongs for what they are and therefore disagree with them in our heart.

It is imperative as Muslims to do whatever we can to help correct wrongs or injustices that we are aware of around us. Part of the problem is that when anything happens anywhere in the world that involves Muslims and oppression or injustice, the news reaches us quickly and is easily accessible. We become overwhelmed with all of these events and situations and feel we are obliged to help all of them somehow.

Of course it is not possible or reasonable to expect an individual, or even a group of people, to be able to help everyone at the same time. But there is One, however, Who is able to help solve these problems if He pleases, and the good news is that we have direct access to Him at any time.

The one tool at our disposal that is the most powerful, and very easy to implement is the tool of du`aa', or supplication, to Allah Almighty to improve the situation of our brothers and sisters around the world. Allah says in the Glorious Quran what means:

{When My servants ask thee concerning Me, I am indeed close (to them): I answer the prayer of every suppliant when he calls on Me: Let them also, with a will, Listen to My call, and believe in Me: That they may walk in the right way.} (Al-Baqarah 2:186)

To ensure that our supplication is answered, we must be firm in our belief that Allah is able to rectify the problem and that He will answer our prayers. If we have little hope that Allah will answer our prayers, then we have poor understanding of His power or little faith in His mercy, or both.

So supplicate and pray for the sake of your brothers and sisters in Islam, as well as all humanity, as much as you can and have faith that Allah will help them, and help all of us to help them, in sha' Allah.

Thank you and please stay in touch.

Useful Links:

About Supplication & Strengthening Faith

Supplication for Guidance

Prayers When in Need

A Social Vision: Freedom, Equality, Compassion

The Concept of Brotherhood & Ummah