You Are Powerful

Green bird with spread wings

By Wael Abdelgawad |

Never think that you are powerless. You, me, each of us is powerful beyond measure. Look at Allah’s creation. There are no helpless creatures. Even the smallest insect and the tiniest bird are capable of providing for themselves by Allah’s will, defending themselves from predators, finding shelter, and caring for their young. Every creature has its own power, its own talents and gifts, including you. If you have not perceived your own power yet then trust me, it’s there. You only need to find it.

The same is true for societies. If every creature has its own power, then societies – which are vast collections of creatures – must be especially powerful. What we have seen in recent days in Tunisia and Egypt is evidence of that. As I write this the situation in Egypt is unresolved, but what is clear is that the people have spoken and there is no going back.

Those who believe in conspiracy theories try to claim that mysterious enemies are orchestrating these events, or manipulating them for their own ends. Or they mutter that such protests are pointless, that we cannot change anything.

That’s nonsense. To believe in such things is to imagine that we are powerless, or that we are subhuman, and that other (more powerful) beings hold the reins of humanity’s future. That is the road to inaction and despair. That is the call of Shaytan, and I reject it.

Remember that old song, “Walk like an Egyptian?” I am Egyptian-American, and for years I was annoyed that Americans thought being Egyptian meant moving your hands in a funny way when you danced. Now look at the photos coming out of Egypt, photos of struggle and defiance, and tell me what it means to walk like an Egyptian. Tell me what it means to look in the face of oppression and say, “No more. You have the guns and tanks, but we are powerful. We reject this oppression and will not bear it silently for even one day more.” No matter the final outcome, this is heroism, and it will echo through history.

Allah created human beings to be His representatives on earth, and then He created this Ummah to be the guides and shepherds of humanity. We have sometimes succeeded in that mission, and sometimes failed miserably. But make no mistake, we have the capability to fulfill the mission if we choose. If we dedicate ourselves fee sabeel illah (in Allah’s path), if we purify our souls, if we return to the sweet spring of the Quran, if we take the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) as our guide, there is no limit to what we can do, by Allah’s will.

We say, “Laa hawla wa laa quwwata il-la bil-lah.” (There is no transformation and no strength except by Allah). Revolutionaries say, “Power to the people!” Which is true?

Both are true. The power of the people comes from Allah, who has apportioned to every creature its own share of might. Change and transformation can arise only through the awesome and glorious powers of Allah.

Power to the people. Power to you, brother. Power to you, sister. It’s there, inside you, I guarantee it.

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Article by Wael

Wael Abdelgawad is an Egyptian-American living in Fresno, California. He is the founder of several Islamic websites, including and, and also of various technology and travel websites. He is a writer and poet, and has been a web developer since 1997. This project,, is very dear to his heart, as it has allowed him to express ideas that have growing inside him for many years. Wael is divorced and has one lovely young daughter. He practices and teaches martial arts (somewhat obsessively), and loves Islamic books, science fiction, and vanilla fudge ice cream. Wael is an advocate for human rights and blogs about these issues at He is also a volunteer with the MyDeen Muslim youth organization in Fresno. Wael tagged this post with: , , , Read 266 articles by
3 Comments Post a Comment
  1. María M says:

    As salamu alaykum,

    …. there are so many trials out there where our own wounds come out to be healed, .. I am really sorry to see how human beings go once and again through so much suffering, causing us and others so much suffering, … you know, Wael, I want to be powerful, but in a way that when someone is in darkness and see me, can feel that bit of light and warmth that connects them to what is perfect inside of them, and make them claim for that,insha´Allah …there is so much pain out there, normally people is conscious of what they have made wrong, they see the evil, and get scared of what they have done, but if noone is there for them, they get lost, ….. I do admire you, you have chosen to be a warrior of Light and it is not an easy task, I admire your determination, and the way you have to express things, certainly you make a difference in my life…. Once again, thank you for sharing, …
    Please, keep me in your duas. Thank you Wael.

    • wael says:

      Maria, you put it very well. To shed light when someone is in darkness is a kind of quiet power. It does not have to be dramatic. As you said, just a bit of light and warmth makes all the difference.

  2. SisterZ says:

    Nice photo.

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