Friday, January 16, 2009

be the change you want to see in the world

I have spent the last week or so holed up in my room in front of my computer screen reading about the Genocide in Gaza, watching documentaries, and feeling absolute helplessness. I have not done a single reading for this semester's courses as of yet. I have so far skipped two classes since January 5 (out of six classes).

I find it difficult, and slightly unbearable to sit through meaningless class exercises or conjure up words of small talk with classmates or friends. It feels fake and shameful. I'm exhausted. And I'm beginning to believe that this feeling of incapacity is part of a larger problem. It isn't simply about Gaza. It's about you and I and Muslims around the world.

Allah (SWT) says in the Quran: "Verily never will Allah change the condition of a people until they change it themselves (with their own souls)" (13:11).

There are enough blogs and outspoken individuals condemning Israel for its horrific war crimes. Instead of me ranting about Israel, how about we take a look at ourselves? At the state of spineless Muslims around the world. Every Arab country is supporting Israel, whether through their refusal to open their borders (read: Egypt) or by simply remaining silent. It astounds me, really. And this is not unique to the Palestinian struggle. Our "leaders" no longer care about what happens to human beings, they only care about it if it affects the dollar amounts in their own pockets.

Let's set aside the fact that the killing continues as I write this. Let's set aside the fact that every hour that passes leaves more people dead and injured. What disturbs me the most is that some of us have lost our humanity. Our ability to feel sadness and empathy is what makes us human beings. For any of us who cannot feel this, I have no words for you.

This is for me, this is for you. Not for the cowardly men who claim to be our leaders, not for the Zionist murderers. I have lost hope in them all. But I haven't lost hope in us, the common people. I haven't lost hope that we can turn to Allah in sincere prayer, and ask for the liberation of our people around the world. But don't stop there. We are in such dire need of the Mercy of Allah. Each one of us. It hurts to think how much mercy we need. Ask for it.

And finally, I haven't lost hope in you and I being the change we want to see in the world. If we want peace, we have to start within our selves. Is your own heart at peace? Ask yourself that question and answer it truthfully, honestly, and without restraint. Is our family at peace? Is our local community at peace? If we don't have peace here, how can we assume peace will come elsewhere?

I know how difficult it is to continue life smiling in the faces of people while your heart is enraged and sorrowful all at once. I know that the images we've been seeing have left a permanent imprint in our minds. But unfortunately, most of us cannot change what we see with our hands, or even our mouths.

But we can hate it in our hearts, and we can struggle to bring peace here, in ourselves and our own communities that also suffer a great deal from many problems.

Allah (swt) says His victory is near. And I do not doubt that for one minute. But the only way it will come, is when you and I decide that it's time to change ourselves.


brotherhood said...

what if your neighbour doesnt want peace.. do you continue trying to be friendly with them or does the friendliness, over time, become hollow, as in fake smiles & fake gestures of kindness etc - a bit like the friendly face you see when you head to the checkouts of your local superstore. theres nothing friendly about it, but mere 'routine'

or do you move onto the course of defence and avoid them?

but i liked this post. a good read

Asmaa said...

If your neighbour is unkind and feigns good will, you should still be good to him. But if he trespasses on your rights in a way that legitimately threatens you, your belongings, or your family, you have the right to defend yourself.

I haven't seen your comments in a while, thanks for ambling back this way! :)