Assalamu Alaikum brothers and sisters, Jummah Mubarak to you all!
We would like to to offer our heartfelt duas (prayers) to the victims of the unimaginable terrorist attack in Christchurch, New Zealand today. We ask Allah (SWT) to enter those that have passed away into Jannah (Paradise) and accept them as Shuhada (Martyrs). We also pray to Allah (SWT) for the families of those who have passed away and ask Allah (SWT) to give them ‘sabrun jameel’ (beautiful patience), Ameen.
Waking up this morning at Fajr, I noticed my phone was flashing after I had turned off the alarm, there was a notification and normally I would just ignore it, but today for some reason I didn’t and this is when I read about what happened in New Zealand.
My first reaction was of disbelief, I questioned, ‘how can this happen in a Masjid and how could someone kill innocent people, whose only purpose was to worship their creator?’.
There is no debate here that this is a ‘TERRORIST ACT’, one that we all condemn and the world alike should. However, we know that there are going to be people who will always look to blame Muslims in some way for things that happen, which is unimaginable to think. Likewise, on this occasion, there have been a few people who have this view. I will not highlight who they are, as I do not want to give them free publicity or react. This is what we expect from them and we will not rise to their inflammatory comments.
You may be wondering then, what should our response be? What should we say? and how should we act?
We are all entitled to feel sadness for those that have passed away and feel anger, despair and fear that this has happened. These emotions are normal to have at this time, but we should not let these feelings be the motivator in how we respond with the wider community. We can categorically say that this was an act of terror as there is no dispute in this matter. We act as we are instructed in the Quran by Allah (SWT):
وَاصْبِرْ عَلَىٰ مَا يَقُولُونَ وَاهْجُرْهُمْ هَجْرًا جَمِيلًا
‘Patiently endure what they say, ignore them politely’
وَمَا لَنَا أَلَّا نَتَوَكَّلَ عَلَى اللَّهِ وَقَدْ هَدَانَا سُبُلَنَا ۚ وَلَنَصْبِرَنَّ عَلَىٰ مَا آذَيْتُمُونَا ۚ وَعَلَى اللَّهِ فَلْيَتَوَكَّلِ الْمُتَوَكِّلُونَ
‘Why should we not put our trust in God when it is He who has guided us to this way we follow? We shall certainly bear steadfastly whatever harm you do to us. Let anyone who trusts, trust in God.’
فَاصْبِرْ صَبْرًا جَمِيلًا
‘So be patient with gracious patience’
We can act with beautiful patience, by turning to Allah (SWT) to give us the strength to comprehend what has happened and respond as Allah (SWT) has instructed us to, in a polite manner. We want the wider community to see us as people who are patient with what Allah (SWT) has decreed. As fundamentally, our trust is in HIM and we accept the test that He gives us and act with patience.
In these testing times let us unite and help one another where we can. Let us continue to smile and greet one another with Assalamu Alaikum (Peace be upon you) whether it is in the street, in the playground at school or even in the shops. May Allah unite us and keep us stronger together. Ameen.