May Allah preserve you – What is your advice regarding the tribulations that one has to deal with when faced with events of a global scale, and what is the stance of a student of knowledge regarding that?
Shaykh Ṣāliḥ al-Fawzān:
These events will not stop occurring; rather they will become more frequent if the Muslims do not return to their religion –If the Muslims do not return to practising their religion correctly; or else the occurrence of these events will increase and Allah ﷻ will place the enemies of Islam in authority over the Muslims.
O’ brothers, when an error occurred from some of the companions at the battle of Uhud, -a single error from some of the companions: when the Messenger ﷺ commanded them to stay on the mountain in order to guard the Muslims from being attacked from the back – so that the disbelievers would be unable to advance towards the Muslims from behind them.
When the battle took place the Muslims were victorious initially, so they began gathering the spoils of war. The Messenger had commanded (the archers): ”Do not leave the mountain whether we are winning or losing”.
But when the archers saw the Muslims gathering the spoils of war they thought the battle was over, so some of them said: ”let’s go down and participate in helping our brothers gather the spoils of war”. Their commanding general said to them: ”Didn’t the Prophet command you not to leave the mountain whether we are winning or losing?!” But they did not take heed and descended the mountain leaving only their commanding general and a few archers who ended up being martyred – may Allah be pleased with them. The polytheists ceased the opportunity by climbing up the mountain to advance upon the Muslims from behind them. The Muslims, unaware of this, thought their backs were being guarded and were thus trapped between the disbelievers from in front and behind.
The battle resumed and resulted in some of the Muslim (army) being wounded or killed – due to a single error. Even the Messenger ﷺ was injured during this battle, because when punishment comes it encompasses everyone, both righteous and wicked – (in this case) to the extent it reached the Messenger: his front tooth was broken, the helmet on his head was smashed, ﷺ his cheek was wounded and blood flowed from him all of this being the result of opposing a single command of the messenger ﷺ
وَلَقَدْ صَدَقَكُمُ اللَّهُ وَعْدَهُ إِذْ تَحُسُّونَهُم بِإِذْنِهِ ۖ حَتَّىٰ إِذَا فَشِلْتُمْ وَتَنَازَعْتُمْ فِي الْأَمْرِ وَعَصَيْتُم مِّن بَعْدِ مَا أَرَاكُم مَّا تُحِبُّونَ ۚ مِنكُم مَّن يُرِيدُ الدُّنْيَا وَمِنكُم مَّن يُرِيدُ الْآخِرَةَ ۚ
۞ثُمَّ صَرَفَكُمْ عَنْهُمْ لِيَبْتَلِيَكُمْ ۖ
“And Allah did indeed fulfil His Promise to you when you were killing them (your enemy) by His grace; until (the moment) you lost courage and fell into dispute regarding the command, and disobeyed after He showed you (the spoils of war) which you love. Among you are those who desire this world and those who desire the Hereafter. Then He made you flee from them (your enemy), that He might test you”. (Q 3:152)
However, Allah ﷻ reassured them saying: “But surely, He has pardoned you.” He reassured them that He will not punish them later.
This is an example highlighting that if shortcomings occur, even from the best of people, then they are liable to be punished. So how then when many of the Muslims today suffice with only labelling themselves with Islam but do not actual practise it. They do not actualize Islam, they do not rule by it, they do not hold the (correct) Islamic creed, they do not carry out its prescribed punishments, they do not enjoin that which is good nor forbid what is evil. Therefore, we are not surprised that tribulations are storming the Muslims nowadays –and there is no escape for them from these tribulations except by returning back to the Book of Allah ﷻ and the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allāh ﷺ.