Mixed Emotions

// December 7th, 2006 // Blog

Today i experienced a veritable roller-coaster ride of emotion – but it had nothing to do with ongoing events in my life, but rather the lives of others.

The first emotional encounter was in the afternoon. It involved a sister who is a friend of a friend. I bumped into her last week in the prayer room of the hospital where i work. Although i recognised her, i am so terrible with names i didn't bother to approach her out of shyness! However she remembered my name no problem – don't you just hate it when that happens? Anyway, i was curious as to why she was in this particular hospital as she lives in another area of London – i thought she might have started a new job. Wahey, a new friend! But sadly no. Her mother had been admitted a few weeks previously with cancer of the gall bladder and liver.

I met her in the hospital corridor again today on my way to the prayer room and naturally I asked after her mother. She started to explain all the problems she was having with loss of appetite and repeat infections that were delaying her chemotherapy. I am no doctor, but with the little clinical knowledge i have i enquired about what options and therapies were available. It seems a rather complicated case. I usually don't like to go into details out of sensitivity but at this point she seemed OK with talking about it all. Then she mentioned how they had booked tickets for going to Hajj this year, and she was sure they would now have to cancel the whole thing. It was then that i noticed the reddening of her eyes. I tried to comfort her as best as i could and she understood what i had to say, as it was the same advice she was offering her beloved mother:

“Whatever trouble, illness, anxiety, grief, hurt or sorrow that afflicts a Muslim, even the prick of a thorn, Allāh removes in its place some of his sins.” [Al-Bukhari]

This illness was the means by which Allāh was increasing her mother's reward. Of course the same goes for her family and loved ones as they are all experiencing some level of anxiety and suffering because of this trial. May God grant them all patience and mercy.

With her brave face weakening, my dear sister rushed back to her mother. I continued on to the prayer room but even i had begun to weaken emotionally and I shed a few tears out of sympathy.

Narrated Ibn 'Abbas: The Prophet said, “There are two blessings which many people lose: (They are) health and free time for doing good.” [Al-Bukhari]

Later in the day, i did some blog browsing. One entry reminded me about the tragic murder of Rachel Corrie three years ago. I read some of the emails she wrote to her parents during her stay in Rafah. She seemed like such a level-headed yet compassionate girl. Girl? She was a young woman, around my age when she was killed. It made me wonder with disbelief how such a thing could happen. It also made me question myself – what was i doing to help the people she died to protect? Once again, i was driven to tears – especially while reading her parents' press release.

The whole experience actually pushed me to write an email to all my Muslim contacts saying:

WHAT I WANT TO KNOW IS…

WHY ARE NON-MUSLIMS RISKING THEIR BLOOD FOR OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN ISLAM…

WHILE THE UMMAH OF MUHAMMAD (SALLALAHU ALAYHI WA SALAM) SLEEPS?

http://www.rachelcorrie.org/

TALK TO YOUR BROTHERS AND HUSBANDS – THE “PROTECTORS” OF THIS UMMAH.

MAKE THEM READ THAT WEBSITE – AREN'T THEY ASHAMED THAT A YOUNG WHITE AMERICAN NON-MUSLIM GIRL DIED DOING SOMETHING THEY SHOULD BE DOING?

PEACEFUL RESISTANCE – NOT TERRORISM, NOT SUICIDE BOMBINGS, JUST STANDING IN THE WAY OF WRONG-DOING.

I also wrote some other stuff – but after venting my frustrations out onto the page my rage began to decrease. By the end of it, i was in doubt about whether to press “send” or not. I'm not sure if it was more due to my fear of third-party opinion or my fear of hypocrisy.

How can i accuse the Muslim world of sleeping on the job when i'm in a virtual coma?

So the email is now sitting in my Drafts box while i deliberate the best course of action, rather than jumping into the worse course of reaction. God help me please.

Before going home, i made use of work's high-speed internet connection to watch part of a discussion on the Chechen crisis by Abdur-Raheem Green, hosted by the Islam Channel. I don't like to restrict my news sources to islamic media as even the best of us are capable of bias. However it is currently the only method i have to offset the anti-Islam bias of many Western media outlets. Anyway, Green and the other hosts raised some very interesting points about this 200 year old conflict – for a start i didn't even know it was a 200 year old conflict. They also mentioned how the poisoning of the Russian exile and ex-KGB agent, Alexander Litvinenko, and the assassination of journalist Anna Politskaya was forcing the world to once again set its weary gaze upon Chechnya.

By the time i left the lab, it was just before 9pm.

Upon reaching home i conducted my usual ritual of sitting in front of the TV, remote in hand, plate of food on my lap, flicking through the various dedicated New channels whilst stuffing my face with re-heated dinner. I decided to settle on Sky News as they were showing pictures from the funeral of Alexander Litvinenko. His coffin had to be carried by eight men as it was too heavy from being made radiation-leak proof. It's a strange thought, but all those extra protective layers between his body and the outside world made me feel sorry for him – he was now even more isolated from his companions than a regular dead person would be.

After showing images of his grieving family and friends, the reel quickly cut to the hall of a mosque where men were performing the salat prayer. My immediate reaction was one of angered confusion – are they now going to blame his murder on “Islamo-fascists”?? This is WEAK!

But then the commentator said something totally unexpected: Alexander's father mentioned in an interview that his son had converted to Islam on his death bed.

Upon hearing this revelation, something very strange happened to me.

I started crying again.

But this time it was even harder than the day's previous two sessions.

I cried and I cried and I cried, and in between my hushed sobs i rejoiced: Allahu akbar – God is the Greatest!

Hearing that news did not make my day – it made my life.

Even though i knew he died a terrible death, my heart was now secure in the knowledge that his life had not been in vain. He left this world with a pure heart and soul – perhaps as pure as the day he entered into it.

If a person embraces Islam sincerely, then Allāh shall forgive all his past sins, and after that starts the settlement of accounts (he will start his book of deeds with a clean record). The reward of his good deeds will be (multiplied) ten times to seven hundred times for each good deed and a bad deed will only be recorded as it is unless Allāh forgives it.” [Al-Bukhari]

Alexander only lived long enough for his Islam to benefit himself and now his body is resting deep in the earth. However thanks to the world press, his reversion is a legacy that can be appreciated by Muslims all over the globe, and we thank God for it.

The Angel of Death comes to the [dying] believer, sits at his head and says:
'O blessed soul – come out to the forgiveness and pleasure of Allāh.'
Then the soul flows out effortlessly just as water flows from the mouth of a waterskin.
[Islaam.com]

[Then] two angels receive it and rise with it towards the heavens, whereupon the inhabitants of the heavens say:
“A good soul has come from the earth. Allāh has blessed you and the body which you used to occupy.”
[Muslim]

May Allāh bless you Alexander – and may He also allow me to die upon Islam. āmīn

4 Responses to “Mixed Emotions”

  1. iMuslim says:

    PEACEFUL RESISTANCE – NOT TERRORISM, NOT SUICIDE BOMBINGS, JUST STANDING IN THE WAY OF WRONG-DOING.

    I would like to clarify this statement.

    I think peaceful resistance has it’s place in the fight against tyranny and oppression, but i am in no way a pacifist.

    Sometimes you have to fight.

    I don’t like the phrase “to fight fire with fire” because in my mind, fire + fire = bigger fire. But i think most people understand the meaning of those words.

    Some aggressors won’t be pushed away with kind words and bribery. These are the kind of bullies that have to get beaten up to quit harassing you.

    Anyway, the kind of peaceful resistance used by the likes of dear Rachel Corrie, only works when the lives of the people resisting are worth something in the eyes of the aggressors. That is, there will be negative consequences for killing or harming such people, en masse.

    However, the blood of Muslims is cheap these days – hell, it’s FREE. Palestine, Guantanamo and disgustingly enough, the many state-run torture prisons in the Middle East and Pakistan illustrate this fact perfectly.

    I wonder how bothered the British people would have been if i was the one killed instead of Rachel? A young, unarmed, hijabi, muslim woman.

    I have no doubts that the words “Al-Qaeda” or “Hamas operative” would have made their way into the papers…

    So upon reconsideration, peaceful is the more morally palatable of the two forms of resistance – but whether it is an option for the likes of me and my siblings in Islam is another matter entirely.

  2. shaheed says:

    “So upon reconsideration, peaceful is the more morally palatable of the two forms of resistance – but whether it is an option for the likes of me and my siblings in Islam is another matter entirely.”

    Dear Sister, the resentments are too severe, the insults intolerable, the clash of civilizations is inevitable from the aggression of the Kuffar. War is the only option to defend the honor of the Ummah.

    May Allah (swat) strengthen the resolve of the brothers to teach the Kuffar a far more bitter lesson than they left unheeded after the glorious revenge of 7/7.

    Allahu Akbar!! May all Kuffar bodies be smashed to atoms and their souls sent to burn in hell for the everlasting glory of God!!.

  3. iMuslim says:

    Assalamu alaykum Brother (i assume you are male),

    From your very harsh words it seems to me you are suffering from AYMS. That is, Angry Young Muslim Syndrome. This is where well-meaning, concerned muslims such as yourself let their rage consume them and are subsequently robbed of their good sense.

    Remember where rage comes from – it is the work of shaytaan running through your body, making your veins swell and blood boil. We seek refuge in Allah from shaytaan, the accursed.

    Although we must hate kufr and the vile oppression that our brothers and sisters in Islam endure on a daily basis, this does not in itself give us the right to make the halal haram, or the haram halal. This is for Allah alone. And through His Messenger (sallalahu ‘alayhi wa salam) it is clear that Allah has placed some very strict boundaries in the duty of Jihad. This includes NOT KILLING:

    Women.
    Children.
    Elderly people.
    Clergymen and Monks.

    7/7 took no heed of these rulings. 7/7 was not a righteous act. Those brothers were fooled by cowards who have no idea what Jihad is. It is a sign of the times.

    DON’T YOU ABHOR THE KILLING OF INNOCENT PALESTINIAN WOMEN AND CHILDREN?

    Then why do you glorify the killing of innocents who happen to be living in another country?

    TWO WRONGS DO NOT MAKE A RIGHT.

    Did the boys who carried out 7/7 stop and ask their future victims:

    1) Do you support the Iraq/Afghanistan war?
    2) Do you support the oppression of the Palestinians?
    3) Do you support George Bush and his killing sprees?
    4) Do you support Tony Blair and his poodle antics?
    5) Do you believe in God, the One?
    6) Do you believe in the Angels, the Books, the Messengers?
    7) Have you heard of the man, Muhammad?

    The results of their actions show they didn’t care who they were killing.

    If you want to do your bit, stop shouting angry slogans online, educate yourself in the proper rules of Jihad and then go out to where the fight is.

    BE A MAN.

    Blowing yourself up on a crowded tube train is NOT manly.

    It is not praiseworthy.

    7/7 did nothing but further the victimization of the Ummah and served as another excuse for the US and UK to send MORE TROOPS to the Muslim lands – AS IF THEY NEEDED ONE.

    Risking your life on the battlefield for the sake of Allah, defending the innocents, IS heroic and praiseworthy.

    GO AND DO THAT – May Allah help you.

    the resentments are too severe

    More severe than being sawn in half from the head down?
    More severe than being thrown alive into a pit of fire?
    More severe than being stretched under the heat of the sun and your head being crushed with a large rock?

    the insults intolerable

    More intolerable than camel entrails being thrown over you whilst in sujood?
    More intolerable than being throttled with your own cloak till your eyes bulged?
    More intolerable than being starved in your own land?

    the clash of civilizations is inevitable

    That, i unfortunately, agree with. But injustice is not inevitable and must be avoided at all costs.

    My dear brother, i understand your frustrations, but do not let the shaytaan ruin your intention to serve Allah, in order that he may succeed in dragging you into the Hell-fire with him. A’authobillah.

    May Allah guide us to the straight path and grant us true shahada. Ameen.

    Wa’salam

  4. Lucyp says:

    shaheed, you do not make things any easier for yourselves or people like me who try to make your frustrations and feelings known peacefully. It is just fodder to the right wing extremists.
    Get angry but channel your anger towards building and not destroying.

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