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Agony Aunt: How to Show Solidarity With Gaza

by in World on 19th May, 2024

We know that Amaliah is like a Big Sis and sometimes our DMs have been filled with requests for advice on a range of life issues including relationships, friendships or work troubles.

We have started a new segment where we field dilemmas from the community and answer them as frankly as we can with love, truth and honesty.

Need some advice on a dilemma? Send them all here!

Salam. I’m a mum of two little ones, living in a small town in the North away from London, UK. With the recent events unfolding in Palestine, I feel a deep sense of helplessness. I want to stand in solidarity with my brothers and sisters, but I can’t travel to the pro-Palestine protests due to my responsibilities at home. This inability to physically join the protests leaves me feeling inadequate and depressed. I have tried donating to genuine gofundme pages as well as Muslim charities, but it is very small minimal amounts as currently we are not very strong financially. How can I still contribute and make a difference from where I am? I feel like all these sound like excuses as I see mothers in Gaza holding the dead bodies of their children as I stay safe and warm in my home with my babies.

Maya Areem Responds:

Assalamu Alaykum,

It is understandable to feel a deep sense of helplessness when faced with such distressing events. Especially when our circumstances limit our ability to physically participate in protests where we can feel part of a community and stand in solidarity with people as an act of resistance and change, or contribute financially as much as we desire. The fact that you feel so deeply for our brothers and sisters in Palestine is a reflection of the compassion that Allah (SWT) has placed in your heart, which is also a gift that not everyone receives. 

In times like these, it is important to remember that every sincere intention and effort to alleviate the suffering of others is immensely valued in the sight of Allah (SWT). Even the smallest act of kindness carries weight in His eyes. Allah (SWT) mentions in the Qur’an, 

“So whoever does an atom’s weight of good will see it.” (Surah Al-Zalzalah 99:7). 

Therefore, never underestimate the significance of your contributions, no matter how modest they may seem. Your contributions, however humble, are valued and appreciated by Allah (SWT) and although it is not immediately clear to us, it will have an impact and it will bear  the fruits of which have been promised by our Lord.

I understand it is extremely difficult and painful to witness the genocide in real time from the comfort of our homes. Most days it seems like we are living in a surreal dystopian reality. But this is also a test of faith for us as trials from Allah (SWT) come in different forms, He says in the Qur’an,

“We will certainly test you with a touch of fear and famine and loss of property, life, and crops. Give good news to those who patiently endure.” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:155)

Having patience is an active form of faith where we show gratitude to Allah (SWT) by performing salah on time, doing whatever little is in our capacity, making du’a and trusting His Qadr and divine Wisdom and Knowledge. It is not easy when we feel other people are doing so much more than us and wishing that we could do more too, but Allah (SWT) knows us best. He said in Surah An-Nisa:

“And do not crave what Allah has given some of you over others. Men will be rewarded according to their deeds and women ˹equally˺ according to theirs. Rather, ask Allah for His bounties. Surely Allah has perfect knowledge of all things.” (Surah An-Nisa 4:32)

He (SWT) alone knows what is within our means and in His infinite mercy, Allah (SWT) will only hold us accountable for whatever is within our capacity. Additionally, we can make du’a and ask Allah (SWT) to grant us means, resources and barakah in our time and finances so we can spend them in His way. 

Furthermore, the fact that you are nurturing little ones and raising them to be Muslims with a strong sense of iman is itself a form of worship and a means of earning reward from Allah (SWT). Caretaking for those whose wellbeing you have been entrusted with is not to be taken lightly. Do not belittle the importance of your role in raising righteous children who will, by the grace of Allah (SWT), grow to be compassionate and empathetic individuals who stand for justice and righteousness.

Apart from your financial contributions, there are various ways you can raise awareness and advocate for the rights of the oppressed from within your community.

1. Educate Yourself and Others: Knowledge is a powerful tool for advocacy. Take the time to educate yourself and your kids, once they are old enough to understand, about the historical context and ongoing issues in Palestine. Bring up Palestine with your friends, family, and community members every time you meet them to raise awareness. Sometimes people are simply not aware of what’s happening and appreciate someone taking the time to educate them. If you manage to change the perspective of even one person, you’ve made a meaningful impact towards building empathy and understanding.

2. Use Your Voice: While you may not be able to physically attend protests or chant slogans, you can still use your voice to speak out against injustice. Write articles, letters to the editor, or social media posts expressing your solidarity with the Palestinian people and calling for an end to oppression. Go out and about wearing a Keffiyeh proudly, as a sign of support and solidarity.

3. Organise Community Events: Reach out to groups in your local community and mosque that might be organising protests/events for Palestine and ask them how you can support them. You can also ask them for support in organising a film screening, or fundraising event to raise awareness and funds for Palestine. Connecting and collaborating with like-minded individuals and organisations will not only amplify your impact, but also give you a sense of accomplishment and help alleviate your sense of helplessness inshaAllah.

4. Support Ethical Businesses: Consider supporting businesses that uphold ethical standards and avoid complicity in the occupation and genocide of Palestinians. Research and support the brands that have taken a stance against injustice or donate a portion of their proceeds to Palestinian relief efforts.

5. Volunteer Virtually: Look for virtual volunteering opportunities with Muslim charities and organisations that provide humanitarian aid or legal aid to not only Palestinians, but also other marginalised people of our community. You can offer your skills in areas such as fundraising, social media management, or advocacy from the comfort of your home.

6. Advocate for Policy Change: Stay informed about political developments related to Palestine and advocate for policy changes that promote justice and human rights. Write letters to your elected officials, sign petitions, and support campaigns calling for an end to arms sales  to Israel and the implementation of international law. You can find out various ways to help in our Resource and Activism Guide on Palestine.

7. Continue Making Du’a: Never underestimate the power of du’a. Make sincere supplications to Allah (SWT) for the relief and liberation of the Palestinian people. Pray for peace, justice, and stability in the region, and trust in Allah’s divine wisdom and mercy. You can also read this article: Duas for Palestine and the Muslim Ummah

“O Allah, help and protect the people of Palestine. O Allah, ease their pain and suffering. O Allah help those who are in need. O Allah, fortify their hearts and calm them like you granted Yusuf’s heart peace in the well. O Allah, Bestower of Mercy, bestow Your mercy on them. O Allah, You are the Giver of victory, O Al-Fattah, You are the Opener of doors, please grant them freedom and victory.”

It is crucial to remember that while you may not be able to physically join protests or make large  financial contributions, there are still significant and  meaningful ways you can contribute to the cause of Palestine wherever you are located. Make the intention, try your best and leave it all up to Allah (SWT) as our efforts, no matter how small, are valuable and appreciated because actions are judged by intentions.

‘Umar bin Al-Khattab (May Allah be pleased with him), reported:

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “The deeds are considered by the intentions, and a person will get the reward according to his intention.” (Bukhari)

May Allah (SWT) reward your sincere intentions and grant you strength and perseverance in your endeavours. Ameen.

Love + Duas

Aunt Maya

If you would like some wisdom from Aunt Maya, send in your problems here! Please note Aunt Maya may consult the opinion of others from time to time and ask the Amaliah community for their advice too. Aunt Maya is not a licensed therapist or mental health professional.

Maya Areem

Maya Areem

Maya is a teacher by day and student by night. She hopes to pass on what she learns.