In Defense of Our Religion
Reading or watching the news lately brings a physical ache to my heart and I know this is how many Muslims feel since horrific attacks on innocents are claimed in the name of Islam. As a Muslim mom I say this publicly...
"Murderers do not depict true Islam. They are a deviation to any religion, a disease to society and a shame to humanity. They don't represent Muslims who follow Prophet Muhammed's (pbuh) fine example. They are ignorant and delusional souls shrouded in a cloak of self-glory that can only be termed as insane."
For the first time in my life I feel defensive of my religion as a peace-loving Muslim living in America. The Arabic word "Islam" means submission and surrender and is derived from the root word “salam”, which means peace and safety. The very essence of our religion is submission to God, being peaceful beings, and offering safety to others. A Muslim's greatest fight is within themselves and not to fight to change the world. Yet those very tenants of our faith have become uprooted and twisted to mean the exact opposite. Allah swt says;
"O you men! Surely We have created you of a male and a female, and made you tribes and families that you may know each other; surely the most honorable of you with God is the one among you most careful (of his duty); surely God is Knowing, Aware." (Quran 49 : 13). But as for he who feared the standing before his Lord and restrained the soul from (his) desire, then indeed, Paradise will be his refuge." (Qur'an 79:40-41)
The Prophet pbuh said:
"The struggler is the one who strives against his soul/self in obedience to God, the Mighty and Majestic." (Hadith - Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah)
A Muslim honors life and our intentions revolve around pleasing God, performing good deeds, being charitable to others, positively impacting communities, and raising our children righteously. A tiny percent of criminals have smeared what a Muslim represents and what Islam stands for, and that's the unfairness that the rest of us have to live with today. I'll never understand how the actions of a few misguided beings can cause an entire religion to be blamed, especially when the majority of its followers live peacefully and in harmony with others. When placed in this context it is incredulous, and to be fair we would have to profile all criminals based on their religious background.
Learning the truth about Islam will clarify that these evil people are not a representation of Islam nor do they follow the Prophet's pbuh teachings. True Muslims know this, therefore we do not feel the need to apologize for their actions. Muslims are angered by crimes committed in their name because Islam abhors murder and violence and these criminals have revised the religion to suit themselves. Let's also not forget that these "so-called Muslims" have killed more Muslims around the world, so if they were true to the religion where's the sense in that? Maybe their understanding of Islam has been convoluted by oppression, tradition, or propaganda - who knows! Either way their crimes are their own, not from Islam, and God will be the final Judge.
Praise be to Allah, some of my morose and confusion cleared up when I remembered that the Prophet's pbuh had predicted the signs of the end of time. This made me refer back to Ibn Kathir's, "The Signs Before the Day of Judgement" and that's when I realized that the unexplained crimes performed in the name of Islam was predicted and criticized by our Prophet pbuh more than 1400 years ago. I realized that this is all part of a bigger picture, that it was mentioned how a people will claim to be Muslim but will digress from Islam.
Hudhayfah ibn al-Yaman said people used to ask the Prophet PBUH about good things, but I used to ask him about bad things because I was afraid that they might overtake me. I said;
"O Messenger of God, we were lost in ignorance and evil, then God brought this good (Islam). Will some evil come after this good thing?’ He said, ‘Yes’. I asked, ‘And will some good come after that evil?’ He said, ‘Yes, but it will be tainted with some evil’. I asked, ‘How will it be tainted?’ He said, ‘There will be some people who will lead others on a path different from mine. You will see good and bad in them'. I asked, ‘Will some evil come after that good?’ He said, ‘Some people will be standing and calling at the gates of Hell; whoever responds to their call, they will throw him into the Fire.’ I said, ‘O Messenger of God, describe them for us.’ He said, ‘They will be from our own people, and will speak our language.’ I asked, ‘What do you advise me to do if I should live to see that?’ He said, ‘Stick to the main body of the Muslims and their leader (Imam)'. I asked, What if there is no main body and no leader?’ He said ‘Isolate yourself from all of these sects, even if you have to eat the roots of trees until death overcomes you while you are in that state.'”
Upon further reading I became more enlightened. The Prophet pbuh also said:
"Before the Hour comes, there will be years of deceit, in which a truthful person will be disbelieved and a liar will be believed; and the insignificant will have a say.” (Hadith - Ahmad). "Just before the Hour, there will be days in which knowledge will disappear and ignorance will appear, and there will be much killing.”(Hadith Bukhari and Muslim).
Reading the signs of the end of time, helped me to place the insanity into perspective. This is not to say that we must accept the atrocities of the world, but that we cannot be blamed for them. These murderers are not only enemies of non Muslims but enemies of true Muslims. They are not only crucifying the innocent, but a Muslim society as well. As Muslims we should not become despondent or disillusioned rather we should become proactive and increase our good deeds by doing what we can to help the oppressed. We should portray a fine example of good character like our Prophet pbuh, assist the weak and give charity to those in need, communicate the peaceful message of Islam, and negate the misconceptions of Muslims whenever we can, through the platforms we use most often.
We can also show patience and tolerance towards those who are misguided by the inaccuracies they believe about Islam. Most importantly, we should pray to the Lord of the Worlds with sincere intention, and ask Him to save us from the evil and corruption of this earth.Then, we must focus on raising our children, the next generation, to become righteous, pious and honorable adults, who will defend the innocent and assist the weak. In this way, we can positively impact society to cope with the ills that befall it, because a true and peaceful Islamic message starts in our homes first. Lastly, never lose hope - hopelessness is a tool that satan uses against us.
On behalf of Muslimommy my heartfelt condolences to the families who have lost loved ones, my prayers are with you.
A portion of the profits on all products sold on Muslimommy goes to The Children in Need Charity Fund to help the little ones around the world who are the victimsof this oppression. Thank you for your support.