By: Imam Shamsi Ali, President of Nusantara Foundation
Our faith teaches us that nothing happens in life without any meaning or wisdom. Every movement of life, small or big in our human judgment brings some lessons and blessings. Our challenge is to learn to comprehend, a task in which we often fail.
Here are some lessons to learn:
First, the universe and every thing in it is under one control. The universe is absolutely controlled by the Creator. Nothing is happening without His will and permission for a reason we may know or not. Therefore, we must not despair in God’s ultimate blessings and mercy. And we must not be intimidated by any calamity, no matter how bitter it is.
Second, the struggle between the truth (haq) and falsehood (batil) is historic and eternal in nature. Since the beginning of human’s creation, evil has been committed to engage in war against the truth. Hence, our responsibility is not to turn our back and run away from this battle. Instead, it is to anticipate and be prepared for it. Islamophobia has been an ugly part of history that has always been with us and unfortunately it may be forever.
Third, the world we are living is deeply polarized and divisive. This has been intensified by some ideas and hypothetical theories such as that of Hangtington which says “human civilizations will clash”. This type of idea has been taken very seriously by extremists on both sides. Left wing extremists such as ISIS and right wing extremists such as White Nationalists are poisoned by this idea of the clash of civilizations.
Fourth, the idea of clashes among civilizations is also deepened by the tendency of being racist among the people. As such, racism has become one of the most dangerous threats to our humanity in this modern time. Racism is an historic evil. We know how Iblis (master of all evils) reject God’s command to honor Adam with one reason he says: “I am better than him. You created me from the fire and you created him from the clay”. Disrespecting others on the basis of physical differences is the basis of this evil racism we are experiencing today.
Fifth, the NZ tragic event also uncovered many dishonest and hypocritical stands. When a Muslim commits an atrocity, everyone attacks Islam as the source or inspiration. But when an adherent of another faith commits and atrocity, all consensusly agree that it has nothing to do with any faith. While I fully agree with the latter, we must also say a Muslim who does evil things also has nothing to with his or her faith. We are responsible ourselves for our actions.
Sixth, it is also a hypocritical stand when we speak out against the killings of some and chose to be silent of the killings of others. Human’s lives are equally sacred and deserve our respect and honor. The killing of a child in London, Paris, New York should be equally condemned as a child killed innocently in the Middle East, Africa, Latin America or Asia. Only hypocrisy will see and act differently.
Seventh, Muslims have proven what it means to be Muslims. How beautiful it is when the adherents of this faith are living their ideals to the fullest. Peace and forgiveness have been demonstrated, not for social or political benefits. But that is what it should mean to be a true Muslim.
It was tragic and bitter. It was difficult and painful. But that is what life is, especially when you live your life with your ideals and faith. Don’t think your path is covered by a red carpet. It is full of bumps and thorns. And so anticipate it, be prepared for it. (AK/Sj)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)