By Fadia Bint Ismail
The Prophet (Blessings and peace be upon him) said:” Verily Allah prolongs the life of the oppressor until when he takes him there is no escape”
And he also said:” Beware of the supplication of the oppressed one, for verily between it and Allah, there is no veil (or barrier)”
Islam forbids all forms of oppression toward others and towards oneself.
Many of us believe it if you may are victims of oppression or are the one who is the oppressor. Oppression is the exercise of authority and power in a burdensome, cruel and unjust manner. The state of being oppressed is a feeling of heavy burden, mentally, physically by troubles, adverse conditions and anxiety.
There are many types of oppression, social, institutionalized, systematic and internalized oppression.
Whichever type of oppression it is, Islam forbids every type of oppression. Oppression diminishes the livelihood of individuals which will cause long term effects.
The messenger of Allah (PBUH) said that Allah will torment those who torment people in this world.
Whether it is minimal we have all fallen prey to oppression in some way, whether it be family or friends certain individuals seem to find pleasure in tormenting others for their own personal gain. ” The Prophet (SAW) said:” Be on your guard against committing oppression, for oppression is a darkness on the day of resurrection (reported by Muslim).
I will relate a story which would indicate oppression. Zaynab a practicing Muslim working toward improving herself as a Muslim was part of a very good family, practicing Muslim’s themselves they would ridicule her whenever she spoke something that she had learnt or would disagree with certain things her family were doing, they would impose their views to the point where they would relate to her the many things she had done in her past this would cause great grief to Zaynab as she thought she had the support of her family, they would try to discourage her any chance they had, bombard her and call her names. Zaynab suffered greatly she felt restricted in her Islamic duties. She felt oppressed.
Oppression whether it be extreme or minimal can take effect, if the believer feels that they are burdened, feel extreme anxiety and that some individuals are unjust toward them, this is indeed oppression.
We should also remember as Muslims that the past is irrelevant and we cannot use that as a defence mechanism in order to humiliate and cause others grief. “It could be that a person sins during the day and night but he repented, so do not look at the person as a sinner the next day” Only Allah (SWT) knows the true intention in our hearts, Allah knows what comes into our hearts before it even enters our hearts. He is all knowing all seeing.
Oppression is a serious issue which should be addressed, it happens in our homes, among ourselves and our friends. If you are a victim of oppression despair not for Allah is with you. Allah will come to the Aid of those believers who are tormented, it may not be at an instance but despair not he saves those empty treacherous souls for last and makes them suffer if not now then in the hereafter.
If you are a practicing Muslim do not be discouraged by others who try to steer you away from the right path. And perhaps they are practicing Muslims but their desires to see you fail are so great that eventually their hearts become stained and they internally oppress themselves by depriving themselves of doing good and to gain the pleasure of Allah.
There are many stories of great influential leaders of Islam who faced oppression; their patience and their forbearance are commendable. Among the many people is The Prophet (SAW) who faced oppression from the people of his time, who ridiculed him and called him a magician and pelted him with stones but even through this adversity he remained steadfast and believed that Allah will lead him to victory. The life of Our Nabi (SAW) and all the Prophets (Peace and blessings be upon them) should be firm examples to us all. Inshallah.
The Prophet (SAW) said: “Don’t curse others and don’t hit others with your hand. If someone were to curse you regarding something that he knows about you. Don’t curse him regarding something you know about him. And don’t disparage any kind of good deed, even if that deed consisted of pouring some water from your bucket into the container of the one who seeks water”
If you feel oppressed the best way to deal with those who have wronged you is to show an act of mercy. Do not diminish yourself or your character and do not seek revenge for the revengeful person is not always in the right frame of mind, they are succumb by rage and anger and the Prophet (SAW) said: don’t not be angry and if you are angry then sit down and if you are still angry then lie down for the anger will subside.
To leave you off with a few wise words.
Ibraheem at-Tamimi once said:
“When a man wrongs me, I pay him back with an act of Mercy”
If you are being oppressed, supplicate for relief, and if you are the oppressor know that you actions have great consequences.
In another Hadith Qudsi, Allah Almighty says: “I shall take revenge on the oppressor in this life and the next. I shall take revenge on someone who saw a person being oppressed and was able to help him but did not help him.” (Reported by Tabarani)