Unrest Reflections


The week of unrest experienced in South Africa in July 2021 brought experiences and scenes that most people had never witnessed before, and hope to never witness again. May Allah Ta‘ala protect us and the entire Ummah from such situations in the future. Nevertheless, it opened people’s eyes to many important aspects and taught us many valuable lessons.

One of the most fundamental lessons imparted to us was that of the absolute power and control of Allah Ta‘ala. Man is often seduced and deluded by his wealth and ‘power’, leading him to believe that he is in control and wields great influence. However, these events reminded us that our wealth, cars, influence, etc. will be of no avail at all – unless Allah Ta‘ala wills. In this period, even a millionaire could find no bread to buy and no fuel to fill his tank. Likewise, many of those who would normally protect him and rush to his aid were cut off from him and were inaccessible. At this time, his eyes opened to the reality that we are completely powerless and helpless before the power and decree of Allah Ta‘ala.

Taken for Granted 

We also opened our eyes to the value of ‘simple’ commodities, normally taken for granted by many, such as milk, bread, eggs, etc. It was only when the shortage set in that most people began to truly value these bounties – to the extent that every individual slice was safeguarded and appreciated. At this time, we may have reflected on the difficulties experienced by people in impoverished lands, or war-torn countries, who face food shortages every single day of their lives, making us realize how fortunate and blessed we are.

Similarly, the great benefit and wisdom of the Islamic teaching and sunnah of inculcating contentment and living within our means was understood. Overnight, many people lost their sources of income. Those who lived within their means and did not go on buying properties and luxuries on credit were far better off, despite losing even everything, compared to those who lived an opulent and luxurious lifestyle but largely floating on credit. For them it has become an even more difficult task to restart (may Allah Ta‘ala make it easy for all).


With reflections come resolutions to improve on our weaknesses and learn from our mistakes. Hence, though we may employ security companies, we must place our trust and reliance on Allah Ta‘ala alone, reciting the masnoon du‘aas of protection and begging Him for safety. If we were wasteful before, we must resolve to show full appreciation for every bounty going forward. Not a single drop or crumb should be wasted. Let us bring some simplicity in our lives and live within our means. Never buy any luxury or indulge in anything which one does not already have the money for. There is no limit to expenses while income is limited. Always curb one’s expenses to within one’s income, even if it means that luxuries have to be cut down. Unless really necessary for some basic need, totally avoid borrowing money. 

Most importantly, we must ensure that we sincerely repent from all our sins and change our lives for the better. If we lead sinful lives, we will be deprived of the mercy of Allah Ta‘ala and will never enjoy peace and prosperity, no matter where in the world we go to.

Amr bil Ma’roof and Nabi ‘anil Munkar

Together with correcting our own lives, we must help one another towards success in both worlds by means of Amr bil ma’roof and nahi ‘anil munkar (enjoining the right and forbidding the wrong). If the majority of people are engaged in vices of whatever kind, this will draw down divine punishment which in this world will engulf the good and the bad. In the Hereafter the good will be rewarded for their patience while the evildoers will be taken to task.

Thus to save ourselves from the worldly chastisement, the entire society must turn to Allah Ta‘ala in sincere repentance, as Allah Ta‘ala declares: “And repent unto Allah, all of you, O believers, so that all of you be successful.” (Surah Noor v. 31) All sins must be abandoned and our lives must come onto the total obedience of Allah Ta‘ala. This will guarantee us peace and tranquility in this world and everlasting success in the Hereafter. 

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