Global Qiyām for Syria: Friday May 17th.
Mobilize for Change!
Like many of you, we at VirtualMosque.com and Ella Collins Institute have paid special attention to the crisis in Syria. Syria holds a special place in the hearts of Muslims because of religious and family bonds shared with Syrians, and because of statements of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ (peace be upon him) about its virtues, and the role it will play in the end of times. An example of this is his ﷺ statement:
طوبى للشام قلنا لأي ذلك يا رسول الله؟ قال: لأن ملائكة الرحمن باسطة أجنحتها عليها
“Congratulations to the people of Sham!” When the Companions ﷺ asked why, the Prophet ﷺ responded, “Because the angels of mercy surround it with their wings!” (Tirmidhi)
The Prophet ﷺ said,
اللهم بارك لنا في شامنا
“God! Bless for us our Sham!” (Bukhāri)
What is Sham?
Scholars mentioned two possible meanings for this word. First, Shām was north of the K’aba. Second, it was named after the son of Prophet Noah (Nūh), Yasām, pronounced Yashām in Syriac.
Today, Bilād al-Shām covers a large area of land, with the country of Syria being part of it. This area was so important that scholars wrote books on the virtues of the land and its people, such as Ibn Rājab’s Fadl al-Shām.
As the winds of change blew throughout the Middle East, the people of Syria rose up against a tyrant. Sadly, unlike other countries, the struggle of the Syrians has been neglected by many. For us, students of knowledge and those who have family members in Syria, haunting news has become part of our daily diet. As an Imām, I have heard many stories from my students such as: “My cousin was shot and killed by a sniper,” “My uncle is missing,” or “My family fled” on a weekly basis. As a student of knowledge, I haven’t heard from teachers I would read with from Syria since the war started. Two days ago, I heard of a woman in Syria asking if suicide was a viable option instead of facing rape at the hands of Assad’s forces. In the simplest words: we are ignoring a country, a people, who are being brutalized every minute. To fully appreciate the magnitude of this tragedy, look at the following statistics provided by CNN:
- 70,000: The estimated death toll as of mid-February, according to the United Nations Human Rights Center.
- 22,530,746: Syria’s estimated population in July 2012, according to the CIA World Factbook.
- 0.311: Approximate percentage of the Syrian population killed so far. For comparison’s sake, 0.311% of the population would be 976,066 people for the United States, 196,077 people for the United Kingdom and 4,177,476 people for China, the world’s most populous country.
- 3,043: Average number of deaths per month.
While these numbers are appalling, CNN continues, “And that might be an underestimate. U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said Syria’s raging civil war has made it “increasingly challenging” to collect accurate and reliable data.” Talk with Syrian friends and these numbers turn to horrific images of murder, plunder, rape, displacement and psychological torture.
Global Qiyām: Mobilize for Change. Mobilize to Pray for Syria.
In Febuary 2011, VirtualMosque.com requested a “Global Qiyām” seeking God’s aid for the people of Egypt. The response was incredible: mosques, MSAs and organizations mobilized in a way that, as expressed to me by Egyptian friends, “touched our hearts.”
It is time again for a “Global Qiyām” for Syria. If the entire world is deaf to the cries of Syria, there is no doubt that God is The All-Hearing, The All-Knowing. We say to the evil regime of al-Assad as Abdul Mutalib said to Abraha who wanted to destroy the K’aba,
إني أنا رب الإبل وإن للبيت ربا سيمنعه
“I am the owner of these camels, and this house has an owner (God) who will protect it!”
What We Are Calling For?
We ask everyone who visits this blog, no matter where you are, to organize a local qiyam program to pray for the people of Syria on Friday, May 17. National Muslim organizations, youth groups, MSAs and regional coalitions, mosques, families – even groups of neighbors – can come together and raise your hands in du`a’ for the people of Syria. The time is short, and the task is large. This global event may not go down in the history books, but we pray it goes down in something even more valuable: our records of deeds. We pray that Allah showers the earth with His angels on that Friday, and that they find worshipers crying in sincere prayer.
Just as the Syrians used Facebook, Twitter, text messaging, and the internet to stand for their liberation, let us also join them in using these tools to gather masses of Muslims to pray qiyam.
- Invite groups like Islamic Relief and Helping Hand to raise money for the deteriorating infrastructure in Syria and the basic needs of the people.
- Encourage congregants to contact their local representatives, calling them to task on their positions towards this crises.
- Write Op-Eds (Opinion-Editorials) that highlight the danger of ignoring the fight for dignity and freedom in Syria.
Mobilize the Most: Get a Weekend with Imam Suhaib Webb and Imam Ibrahim Rahim!
VirtualMosque.com and Ella Collins Institute are partnering to offer the community that mobilizes largest number of attendees a weekend of classes with the Imams! Post your pictures with an estimated number of attendees at the “Global Qiyam” facebook page. The winner will receive a weekend of courses with the Imams; VirtualMosque.com and Ella Collins Institute will take care of airfare and lodging! Mobilize for Syria and we will mobilize for you. Act quickly by posting on the web with #GlobalQiyam4Syria. I hope to see it raining this hash tag, insha’Allah.
I make this call to you on a personal level. American Islam does not imply we ignore the plight of others. We are a community that is bound by creed; a creed that knows no borders or ethnicities.
As a poet said,
أخي المسلم في كل مكان وبلـد أنت مني وأنا منك كروح في جسد
“My Muslim brother and sister is in every country and place
You are to me, and I to you, like breath in a body.”
It is our duty to do our best to serve our Syrian brothers and sisters. It is is our duty to stand for humanity.
Imam Suhaib Webb
“Second, it was named after the son of Prophet Noah (Nūh), Yasām, pronounced Yashām in Syriac”
I dunno if this has any basis in fact. I have Assyrian/Neo-Aramaic speaking Christian friends who speak Syriac/Neo-Aramaic who say it has no basis. They call Syria “Sooriya”, “Atour” or “Ashour”, “Atour” or “Ashour” being Northern Syria which is connected to Western & Northern Iraq, and “Sooriya” referring to southern Syria…Therefore I’d surmise the first possibility, of it being an Arab-centric name related to the Ka’abah, is correct.
That being said…
What is being asked for here?
Is this a day of prayer/charity or something political?
My prayers are with my Syrian brothers, and I pray for their deliverance from this tyrant somehow. I will also, inshallah, gladly donate money or even my time volunteering to help them.
I see no point in contacting any congressman, etc. though.
The American people are in no mood to intervene in Syria politically or militarily. Many of them have the feeling that they’re d*mned if they do, and d*mned if they don’t. That somehow or another, we Muslims will find SOME way to blame the American government and tack on yet another grievance…So basically they’re attitude is “You work it out…no thanks!”.
This is partially we Muslims fault.
We are SO wedded to this idea of “us” vs. “them” and an all or nothing civilizational conflict, that when we DO need help…no one wants to help us. Frankly, many Muslims are just as ideologically rigid and attached to these ideas as extreme Republicans are.
We quickly forgot the US military helped us in Bosnia and Kosovo. They did help us in Libya…and despite the official spin out of ISI headquarters and fear of offending Pakistani nationalists here amongst American-Muslim organizations, most Afghans consider the help in getting rid of the Taliban a positive.
But our criticisms do not reflect these nuances.
We act as if it’s ALL Iraq or Palestine and that’s ALL the American government or military ever does. So why would they help us here now? Our discourse is completely one-sided and skewed…so I can understand why Americans are in no mood to intervene in any more middle eastern issues.
If we were more balanced, perhaps they would. There are plenty of Americans who were against the Iraq war or what’s done in Palestine…but when we say it’s ALL bad and wrong, it’s ALL evil…Why would they want to bother helping us?
I hope God finds a way out for the Syrian people and delivers them from this misery. Anything political is a waste of time tho. The American public is dead set against it, and part of the blame belongs with us Muslims.
It seems to divert the essence of the article.
America has brought death and destruction to Iraq, Afghanistan,Libya,Pakistan and are you seriously suggesting they should intervene in Syria? They are already supplying arms through their wretched allies Saudi Arabia and Qatar.And why should the Muslims want America to help anyway since The Saudis and the UAE. have billions of dollars of American arms.Are they so cowardly they cannot do their own fighting?
May Allah(swt) protect our brothers and sisters, children as well as the old from any kind of trouble…
Can you create a downloadable/fillable PDF flyer that participating masajid can use and plug in the info for their qiyam?
Masha Allah what a beautiful initiative, I am in for this and will try my best insha Allah. Instead of complaining about everything the best thing we can do as an individual or a community wherever we are is to pray for our dear brothers and sisters. Prayer is our best weapon against injustice, against negativity, against every conspiracy.
JazakAllah khair Imam Webb for this call.
Mashallah! I wish we have the political stability and religious enlightment to offer our prayers.but we will do something in our MSS chapter for the brotherhood. Tanx imam suhaib.
Mashallah!! What a phenomenal idea! I have a huge following! I will be sure to get this message out! I wish we can do a large Qiyam for so many others suffering as well! Please keep me updated via my email with any other massive Qiyams! Thank you and May Allah bless you for your intentions! Amin.
Excuse my ignorance, but does that mean it starts on Thursday night until Friday Fajr or Friday evening until Saturday morning.!!!
US military intervention isnt really a good idea, if wasnt good for Iraq/Afghanistan its not good for Libya/Syria/Iran. Uncle Sam could care less about what is best for the Ummah, they will just carpet bomb the infrastructre, occupy and put in military bases that will always have soilders even after “the occupation” ends, they will swap out one dictator or puppet for another who we (majority of Muslim Americans) may find more easier to accept simply because they are sunni not shia or a socialist etc., if the people of Syria wants to overthrow their government then so be it if they have means but the only reason this civil war has been going on for so long is because US,KSA, and Qatar hadbeen providing the means for it and it isnt neccesarily just for the love of the Syrian people or real democracy.