Ghaddafi reminds me of Shakespeare’s tyrant, Richard III: conniving, mutant, dark, and absolutely cruel, with no concern for his family, friends, or companions, let alone the people he rules over. He kills to get to power and maintain it, but as power diminishes before his eyes, he unleashes his fury and decimates his own army, only to end up alone, condemned to die a traitor to his country and people.
I hope Ghaddafi’s reign comes to an end soon for the sake of Libya’s beautiful people. They deserve much better and, in sha Allah, they will get better. In each of our daily prayers, we should all pray for their succor and divine aid. God answers prayers, and there is no barrier between the oppressed and God.
I have visited Libya once, which was in 1979 and was quite a bizarre experience. Ghaddafi had been in power for just a decade, seizing control through a military coup in 1969 while King Idris was out of the country for medical treatment.
While in Libya, I visited the home of a delightful and cultured Libyan named Sidi Abdal Hamid Ben Halim, now deceased, may God have mercy on his soul. He had been a student at al-Azhar University before becoming a politician and went on to become an ambassador to Italy for Libya. At that time, his was the single most important Libyan diplomatic post. His brother, Mustafa, had been the prime minister under King Idris, who ruled Libya in the post-colonial period until the 1969 coup. From his close and personal knowledge of King Idris, Sidi Abdal Hamid recounted that not only was King Idris a just ruler, he was also a pious and erudite Muslim who dreamed of building Islamic schools and colleges throughout Africa with the newly acquired oil revenue.
In a classic example of his feigned madness, Ghaddafi actually stated that “democracy” was a hybrid Arabic word from dema and karasi, and hence that “democracy” really means “the thrones continue.
In my experience, Libyans are some of the most wonderful, loyal, and deeply religious Muslims that I have met. In my youth, my dream was to end up in Misurata, where Sidi Ahmad Zarruq’s school is and where he is buried. I used to talk with my Libyan friends about getting a plot of land there. Sidi Ahmad Zarruq loved the Libyans, and despite being a widely celebrated scholar and highly desirable resident anywhere in the Muslim world, he chose to live among the Libyans.
The recording of the Du’a al-Nasiri recited by the Fes Singers is posted here on the Sandala website. (The text of the prayer along with my translation will also soon be posted.) I advise people to recite it with the intention of succor for our brothers and sisters in Libya. This prayer is noted for its power and the effects it has on removing troubles due to the sincerity of its author. It was used by Moroccans as a means to ask God to expel the French during the colonial period and was proscribed by law under French authority.
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