A couple days ago, a horrific incident shook the global Muslim community. 51 people were brutally murdered and dozens other were severely wounded in an attack on two masjids in Christchurch, New Zealand, which happens to be one of the most peaceful places on Earth. The fact of the matter however is, it could’ve been any of us It could’ve been any of our family members and that’s a scary thought. It seems like in today’s current world, being Muslim truly is a challenge; it’s a struggle. The Prophet (SAW) narrated that,
“A time will come upon people when a person practicing his religion with patience will be like one holding on to a burning ember.”
For those of you who don’t know, a burning ember is basically the equivalent of holding on to a ball of fire. So the interpretation here can lead us to the fact that holding on to a ball of fire is very difficult. It causes pain. Similarly, holding on to our religion will be just as difficult. For some reason it just seems like every couple of weeks or days some sort of tragedy occurs. Just days ago, someone attacked a masjid in Birmingham, UK with a sledgehammer. Make no mistake, all these attacks have been simple acts of terror. Why are people suffering because of believing in the Kalimah Shahadah? How did these attacks transpire? What’s the root of all this evil? Well, Islamophobia has been rising for years now and attacks like these are the result of years of “free speech,” prejudice, and racism. We all know, the mainstream media, whether its FOX, BBC, or even CNN, will always try to negatively portray Islam. Islamophobia is a huge industry and propaganda itself rakes in millions of dollars of revenue.
Even though the terrorist carried out this massacre on his own, I cant stop myself from shifting a large portion of the blame on everyone who demonizes Islam and Muslims. Politicians, journalists, and average Joe’s are all out in the world using tactics of fear-mongering. They have essentially bred a whole generation of hate and racism. We all like to think that racist people are limited to a small scope of the population who generally was around during the era of segregation here in the US. However, the new generation of racists and bigots is just as lethal and happens to be more global. This ideology of hate is present in almost any country with a sizable Muslim population. So many countries have tried to pass legislation to limit Muslim rituals and immigration. It just feels like we’re just stuck in this never ending cycle though. The hate, bias, and prejudice has become so widespread just like cancer spreads in someone’s body. It seems like we’ve reached a point of no return and that we’re just going to need to get used to this. It hurts. It really hurts. The Prophet (SAW) said,
“The believers are like a single body. If the eye hurts the entire body feels the pain. If the head hurts the entire body feels the pain.”
What now? Well for starters, we can be at peace knowing that our beloved Prophet (SAW) also felt this pain. The trials he went through were just as bad, if not worse. During his time, the anti-Muslim, and-Islam sentiments were very high. The Prophet (SAW) himself was brutally attacked physically and verbally. Some of his own family members and close companions perished because of the hateful environment. Allah (SWT) made them go through this pain and suffering to make them stronger. It helped shape their identity, faith, and character.
As bad as the tragedy was, there are always positives that come out of any tribulation. For example, they were killed right after Jummah in a masjid. That in itself is a huge blessing for those who were killed in this horrific incident.
As Muslims today, we can’t afford to give in to the demands of the politicians, or the demands of society. We’re gonna be stronger than ever and make sure we don’t lose our faith out of this fear. Allah (SWT) is telling us something. He’s telling us to come back to him. It’s time to change the way we view our religion. We’ve been so caught up with trying to imitate people who aren’t worthy of being imitated. Why don’t we look back on our true role models and learn a lesson. The only real way things are going to change, is if we all change.