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O Muslims, don’t lose heart, don’t surrender. Allah is watching over us just as He watched over our forefathers. Don’t you remember how our predecessors lived prior to Islam, and what they achieved after they embraced this faith? Prior to Islam, they worked as humble shepherds, but afterwards they become world leaders. Prior to Islam, they worshipped idols and believed in divination, but [after Islam] they went on to lead the world in knowledge, ruling wisely and justly. Therefore I say, don’t lose heart, the secret of our renaissance, victory, pride, and sense of honour lies in the Holy Quran. This remains fresh in the hearts of our children, and the souls of our elders. The Holy Quran will instil life within us once more, and help us to regain our glory and victory. God brought us to life with the revelation of Islam at the dawn of the Islamic age, and he is capable of resurrecting us from our [current] slumber.

Our predecessors in pre-Islamic times used to believe in astrology, and plunder caravans and waylay travellers, living without values or virtue. They lived according to the law of the jungle, and were therefore immersed in backward practices and ignorance. They swore on the false [Meccan] idols of Al-Lat, Manat, and Al-Uzza, killing their own children, and attacking the unarmed. However everything in their lives changed after they converted to Islam. Their hearts became scriptures of guidance, their tongues pulpits of knowledge, their writings heralds of learning, whilst their words bore remembrance and recitation. They performed ablution and the gates of paradise open wide for them. They prayed and brought low mountains, they prostrated themselves in worship of God Almighty and tyrants fell in the face of their faith, whilst angels fought alongside them in battle, and the bastions of infidelity and falsehood were destroyed. These Muslims would exclaim “God is Great” and the thrones of tyrants shook beneath their feet, whilst the palaces of Emperors and Kings were destroyed.

They raised the banner of “There is no god but Allah” and the earth and sky welcomed them, with all territories succumbing to their rule. When Bilal [al-Habshi] first issued the call for prayer, the entire world bowed in supplication. When Abu Mousa recited verses of the Holy Quran, darkness was replaced by light, and when Abu Huraira narrated a Hadith time stood still; tyrants surrendered when Caliph Umar [Ibn al-Khattab] ruled, and infidelity and falsehood was crushed when Khalid [Ibn al-Walid] went to war.

O Muslims, don’t give in, our faith commands the greatest number of followers and covers a vast region of the world. In every corner of the world you can find a Muslim; in every mosque you would find a believer praying; on every hill you can find a [Muslim] cleric ready to offer his advice. There is not a singe town comes without a mosque; not a single village without a prayer room, and there is not a single country around the world that does not have an Islamic centre and institution. Mountains, lowlands and hills all shake with the most righteous call: God is the Greatest! God is the Greatest! Seas, wastelands and the whole earth all cry out in awe: There is no god but Allah!

O Muslims, we might be weak but not dead, sick but not bedridden, defeated but not vanquished. The spark of life, the seed of challenge, refusal to submit, the fuel of the revolution and the spirit of struggle, all of them still exist in us. We are the recipients of the eternal message, the upholders of a just cause and the builders of a cultural divine project. Had we not been at the core of the world’s attention, no one would have busied themselves with us. We are coming, that is why the others fear us. We are not a Pan-nationalistic race or a national party or an underground ideology or a political group.

We are a great nation with a noble message and a set of moral principles. We are Arabs and non-Arabs, black and white, clerics and masses, rich and poor. We are the conscience of the world, the delight of this life and the hope of oppressed peoples. We are a grand charitable society and a chief international institution. We are the voice of salvation in the conscience of the unseen, a smile of hope on the mouth of time and a firebrand of God’s Light in a labyrinth. We declared there is only one God when others turned atheists; we became believers the day others disbelieved.

We sin but repent, err but ask for forgiveness. If we stumble, Almighty God raises us from our trips; if we lose, Almighty God renders us victorious and if the world comes tumbling down on us, Almighty God reaches out a Hand. To God we shall return, in God’s Company we rest, in God’s Wisdom we trust, to God we commit our souls and in the Way of God we struggle. We are the nation of the last Prophet. The Revealed Books were sealed with our Quran. We are the nation of moderation which rectified the path of humanity; the witnessing nation which holds the conclusive testimony; the nation of Jihad which trample over falsehood; we are a nation put to the test by God; a nation which has served as a test to others; we are the nation of moral constitution; the nation of Kiblah, faith and Sunna. The moral constitution is our belief in Allah as one God, our Kiblah is Mecca, our faith is Islam and our Sunna is to follow the infallible Prophet’s way of life.

We are the people of the Two Kiblahs, the Two Pledges of Allegiance, the Two Rewards, and the Two Hegiras and the Two Epics. The Two Kiblahs are the Kaaba and the Aqsa Mosque, the Two Pledges of Allegiance are those of al-Aqaba and al-Ridwan, the Two Rewards are Victory or Martyrdom, the Two Hegiras are those of Ethiopia and Medina and the Two Epics are the Battle of Delegation and the Battle of Renewal.

We are mortals but God is immortal, we perish but the Holy Quran lasts, we die but the Prophetic Tradition remains: “So lose not heart, nor fall into despair: For ye must gain mastery if ye are true in Faith.”

Dr. Aaidh al-Qarni

Dr. Aaidh al-Qarni

Dr. al-Qarni is a Saudi-born Islamic preacher and scholar. His book, Don't Feel Sad (La Tahzan), has sold millions of copies worldwide.

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