I posted this photo on Friday:
The photo is of a lighthouse I saw during my travels across New Zealand in December/January — a place I admired for its’ safety, diversity and progress.
The caption features part of one of my favorite ayahs from the Quran and a common wish of Jummah Mubarak (Blessed Friday), our Holy Day. The verse references a lengthy metaphor that God is the “Light of the heavens and the earth” and we seek guidance through the darkness of this dunya (world) with a lamp of His light.
I don’t remember the last time I felt inclined to share on social media something like that.
But I did. On THIS Friday, of all days…
Synchronicity. Divine Timing.
In times like these —that of darkness, anger, grief, guilt, fear— I am confused at my emotions, but I am learning to embrace them all since they come in waves. I was comforted by Imam Muhammad Stanley, head of the Muslim League here in Samoa, and told, “I believe it is our duty to pray and thank Allah for these happenings outside of our knowledge or control.”
He’s right. Only God has foreknowledge of our destiny, and He has total control over it. Tawakkul (تَوَكُّل): trusting in God’s plan.
The TERRORIST attacks in Christchurch have shaken me from this lulled false sense of security. Again. As Muslims, we have been conditioned to believe that we automatically are at fault. We always have to defend ourselves, apologize, or condemn the actions of others — when, in times like these, we need support and time to grieve just like anyone else– that has absolutely NOTHING to do with our peaceful religion.
While I’m still gathering and vocalizing my thoughts, I know this for sure: Despite this being in God’s plan, white supremacy is an epidemic that needs to be addressed head on. Regardless of faith, we all deserve a chance to live a stress-free, oppression-free, dignified, FREE life. We cannot remain silent and smothered. This is a time where we cannot lose our confidence in our faith, nor our faith in humanity.
With the damaging spread of state-endorsed anti-Muslim/Islamophobic and hateful and divisive rhetoric, we need to remember to choose friendship over fear. Find a Muslim (ME!) and ask questions. Listen. Engage. We need to stop perpetuating the false idea that Muslims (or anyone different) are “outsiders.” We are all one community, one race: the human race.
God’s plan isn’t set up for us to fail, but to acknowledge that He is the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
Read the stories of the victims. Remember their names. They are the true heroes, who unfortunately died at their most vulnerable– when they were prostrating to our Lord and humbly seeking guidance and His light.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart to my friends here in Samoa and across the world who have texted, called, and shared their support. I’m eternally grateful that because of prior plans, I was not alone this weekend (DIVINE TIMING!). I was able to share, cry, and laugh (literally, until I peed) all because of a group of wonderful ladies. Fa’afetai tele lava! 😘