Thursday, 19 February 2015

"The Muslim Community Can Really Learn From Itself" (by: Mohammad Zafar)

Also published on Virtual Mosque:

A while back as I got into an argument with my older sister, we both stopped speaking to one another which deeply upset mom. I decided to seek counsel with a friend on the difficulty of going back, setting aside our differences and making things right. He then asked me something to which I could only answer with silence: "Do you want to wait for a tragedy to occur which forces you to go back and talk to your sister?"

I had no reply.

I mumbled no, but still knew it would be hard for me to go forward. And he didn't need to say more, I knew exactly what he meant. What if something happened to mom, would we both still be stubborn enough to ignore one another? What if something happened to my sister, would I even for a second not come rushing to help her? What if I or her passed away without one of us having a chance to apologize to the other? What sort of guilt would we feel then?

Some time later both my sister and I set aside our differences and made things right. She came to apologize to me in Ramadan while I, not being able to sleep at night knowing how hurt my mom was, eventually obliged. We had a great, perhaps the best, mediator between us.

Long after that cleared up I still remembered the words my friend told me which still leave me speechless till now. Was I really waiting, inevitably, for a tragedy to occur which would force my hand?

And while although this is a micro example of one Muslim family, I believe we can use the same approach towards a macro problem of the Muslim community. Do we have to wait until a tragedy occurs to put aside our differences?

Our community, at large, is just like the stubborn guy I was. There are far more important issues than the ones we spend hours and hours arguing over to no avail. And while some of us may recognize our arguments can, at times, be trivial, it doesn't seem to stop us in a pragmatic way.

In light of what recently took place in America, did it have to take the execution style murder of three young vibrant students for us to realize that perhaps we should not waste our time with trivial matters?

And while every issue should indeed be paid attention to, what is vital to understand is just how much? How much time is really needed to argue about which shaykh should be refuted? Or if we should belong to this group or that group? Or if one opinion is better than the other? How much?

These arguments typically end whenever one becomes tired or simply just bored to continue. They can last hours for some people or days and weeks for others lasting as long as they need to until both sides simply cannot prolong it anymore.

How true was the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) when he said: "I guarantee a house on the outskirts of Paradise for he who leaves an argument even if he's right" (Sunan Abu Dawud).

Deah Barakat had a dream: "I have a dream to have a unified and structured community".

I am sure that Yusor and Razan would have felt the same way, so why don't we make that their legacy? The three future leaders of our community who were killed but left with us a need to set aside our differences, stop rebuking others at every chance we get, and simply just be there for one another.

If we all hope to be in each other's company in Paradise, why don't we start to work on it right now? Why do we need to wait for calamities to occur to know that?

I was able to witness firsthand how not speaking to my sister hurt my mom, the guilt of which I could not bear. Imagine if we could all see how disappointed Allah (swt) became with us for the way we constantly treat each other? How would we bear the guilt then?