So it happened…..
Something we all knew will hit us one day but something which none of us, Muslim, non-Muslim, everyday Canadians, wanted to face or deal with, has finally got to our door steps. On 2nd June, 17 men, all Muslims, were rounded up in an alleged terrorist plot. Yesterday, they were charged with some very serious crimes: planning to attack the Parliament Hill, the CBC building in Toronto, and beheading the PM of Canada!!!!
As usual, all this is combined with a bombardment of media allegations against the Muslims. We are being stereotyped as ‘terrorists’, fascists, hate-mogerers etc. and a lot of us are being made to under the phenomenon called ‘guilty by association’.
How do we, Muslims, deal with this onsalught? I have been thinking and thinking over it but it was only late last night that I finally got my answer.
Yesterday night I started reading a book written by Dr. Israr Ahmad about the grouping of Surahs in Quran, when I suddenly came across an ayat which caused a flash in my mind and I said to myself: this is the remedy for all of us in these turbulent days. Here goes:
اور یقیناً ھم خوف اور بھوک، جان و مال کے ضیاع، اور تمھاری کھیتیوں کے نقصان سے تمھارا امتحان لیں گے۔ خوشخبری ھے اُن لوگوں کے لیے جو ایسے موقعوں پر ثابت قدم رھیں اور جب بھی مصیبت کا وقت آ پڑے تو کہیں کہ ھم اللہ کے ھیں اور اسی کی طرف ھمیں لوٹنا ھے۔ یھ ھیں وہ لوگ جن پر ان کے رب کی طرف سے امن اور سلامتی پہنچتی ھے ۔البقرہ 155-157
“Be sure We shall test you with something of fear and hunger, some loss in goods, lives, and the fruits of your toil. But give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere. Those who say, when afflicted with calamity, ‘To Allah we belong, and to Him is our return.’ They are those on whom descend blessings from their Lord, and mercy” (2:155-157)
“Verily, with every difficulty there is relief.
Verily, with every difficulty there is relief.”
All of this showed me clealry how to deal with this whole matter on a personal level. Externally, here is how our conduct should be:
یقیناٰ اچھائ اور برائ برابر نھیں ھو سکتے، لہٰذا تم برائ کے مقابلے میں وہ بات کرو جو اچھی ھو۔ تب تم دیکھو گے کہ وہ جو تمھارا دشمن تھا ایسا ھو جاءے گا جیسا تمھارا جگری دوست۔ یہ مقام صرف ان لوگوں کو حاصل ھو گا جو صبر سے کام لیں گے ۔ یقیناٰ جس کو یہ مقام حاصل ھو گیا اس کو بہترین نعمت مل گئ ۔ اور اگر اس دوران شیطان تمھیں بہکانے کی کوشش کرے تو اللہ کی پناہ مانگو۔ اللہ سب کچھ سننے والا اور دیکھنے والا ہے ۔ فصّلٰت 33-36
Who is better in speech than one who calls (people) to Allah, acts righteously, and says, “I am of those who bow in Islam”?
Nor can goodness and Evil be equal. Return (Evil) with what is better: Then will he, between whom and you was hatred, become as he were your friend and intimate!
And no one will be granted such goodness except those who exercise patience and self-restraint – and whosoever attains this comes to possess great good fortune.
And if (at any time) an incitement to discord is made towards you by the Evil One, seek refuge in Allah. He is the One Who hears and knows all things.
So no matter what the media says, no matter what your neighbours think, and whichever stereotyping tag you get, remember that being patient and praying to Allah is the key factor to getting out of this quagmire. Be patient and do not let any thing said against you or your faith lead you into an agitated state. If you feel angry, ask yourself one simple question: How did our beloved Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) react to circumstances worse than these during his 13 years stay in Mecca? Do not forget the day when he visited Taif and was caused to bleed all over due to the incessant stone-throwing of the city mob, all he prayed to Allah was this:
O Allah! I make my complaint to You regarding the feebleness of my strength, the insignificance of my devices, and my humiliation in the sight of people. O You, the Most Merciful One! You are the Lord of the oppressed, You are my Lord. To whom would You entrust my affairs? To a stranger who would scowl at me? Or to an enemy who would control me? If you are not displeased with me, then I do not care (about any hardship), but an ease bestowed by You will be more accommodating to me. I seek refuge in the light of Your countenance (by which all darkness is dispersed and all affairs of this world and the hereafter are kept straight) from pouncing of Your anger or the coming of Your wrath. I seek your pardon in order that you may be pleased with me. There is no power nor strength except in You”
Some people would say that this approach is a passive approach and will not solve the problems through which the Muslims in Canada (or world over) are going through. I ask them this: what have we, as Muslims, done to fix our own problems? I know that each one of us feels the pinch in our hearts when we see US forces killing innocent civilians in Iraq; when we see Israelis mercilessly throwing poor Palestinians out of their homes and grabbing their land; when we see foreign armies in Muslim countries. First and foremost, this surely is a result of our own deeds. How do we tackle this? I leave this as an open question to whoever reads this blog…