Activism & Civil Rights Domestic Affairs International Affairs

Irvine 11: Waiting for Victory

Damian Dovarganes / Associated Press

We can hardly get them off our minds. The whole world is watching today. And everyone is wondering, “What will happen to the brave men who spoke truth to power in Irvine?” What will go down in history about the students who gave a voice to the voiceless, and took a bullet in the process? They stood for justice. And God is always with those who stand for justice.

So now as the case winds down and we wait anxiously for the jury’s verdict, the question on many of our minds is “mata nasr Allah?” When…where is the help of God? Will God give them victory? Will they win? Does God not say:

“O you who believe! if you help (the cause of) Allah, He will help you and make firm your feet.” (47:7)

The world is watching and praying that God will show us His victory in the verdict. But there’s something much more subtle and profound about the true meaning of God’s victory. On the very first day in court, I stood in line with the other supporters waiting for permission to enter. While I stood, I watched as the men came down the hall towards the courtroom. As they did, something struck me. They walked with so much dignity and strength. Their resolve is what inspired me. And that’s where it hit. God’s victory had already come! Their unshaken faith, their ability to remain firm in the face of this trial, IS the victory. Their resolve IS the nasr (help of God).

Allah said, “O you who believe! if you help (the cause of) Allah, He will help you and make firm your feet.” (47:7)

Make firm your feet. Make them firm. That is His nasr. Consider the people of the ditch. They were tested so severely in their faith. But in the end, they were still thrown into the ditch. Did that mean the nasr of Allah never came? Did the nasr of Allah not come for Ibn Taymiyyah (radiAllah `anhu – may Allah be pleased with him) when he was imprisoned? No. The nasr was his ability to stand in the face of trial and say: “What can my enemies do to me? My paradise is in my heart, it is with me wherever I go. To imprison me is to provide me with seclusion. To send me into exile is to send me away in the Path of God. And to kill me is to make me a martyr.”

The nasr of Allah came in the paradise of his heart. For these heroes of our past, the nasr came in the ability to stand firm and never give up faith—even if it meant jail or being thrown into the fire of a ditch. The nasr of Allah came when the baby spoke and told his mother to be firm. That was the nasr. Their istiqamah (firmness) was the nasr. For truly istiqamah is only from Allah, and is His greatest gift. The victory for these heroes was in the heart. In the faith. In the refusal to let anyone break them or shake their resolve. The victory for today’s 11 heroes is that this trial will build in their hearts a stronger faith, a stronger reliance on the only Trustee (Al-Wakeel). And truly that would be the greatest victory over our enemies: that all the attempts to shake or break our resolve… would only strengthen it.

About the author

Yasmin Mogahed

Yasmin Mogahed

Yasmin Mogahed received her B.S. Degree in Psychology and her Masters in Journalism and Mass Communications from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After completing her graduate work, she taught Islamic Studies and served as the Sisters’ Youth Director for the Islamic Society of Milwaukee. She also worked as a writing instructor for Cardinal Stritch University, and a staff columnist for the Islam section of InFocus News. Currently she’s an independent media consultant and a writer for the Huffington Post, where she focuses most of her work on spiritual and personal development. Her written works, including a book chapter on the portrayal of Islam post-911, have appeared in print and online publications worldwide.