Hey Readers & Asalaam Alaikum Warahmat Allah to my fellow Muslims,
This writing below was sent to me from a dear friend, a sister I've loved since we were toddlers. I refer to it from time to time to inspire me to help others learn about what ISLAM really stands for. The religion, way of life for Muslims is not always implemented the way it should be so often, these days (almost always actually) confusion exists with the reality of Islam vs. misconceptions. To really know you need to read facts and history not to view inappropriate examples. This is a really good take...May God reward her and may all people who want truth , get it. Ameen/Amen
Sent: Monday, July 18, 2005 5:39 AM
Subject: a word from me
From: Another Muslimah
The world is an ugly place today. It is a sad, sad world. Too much death, too much hatred, too many tears. Maybe it was always like this, and i was just too young, or too busy, or too unconcerned to notice. I feel like the evil is overtaking, and what little good, what little pure is left, is dying day by day.
I do not understand why the London bombings. I do not understand why 18 Iraqi children were murdered because they took candy from the US troops. I do not understand.....and i can not forgive. I can not forgive because it could have easily been my son stopping to take candy from those troops. It could have easily been my son who was orphaned because i got on one of those subway trains in London. It could have been, so i can not forgive.
Can the world be blamed for having such a horrible view of Muslims? Can we blame them for hating us when this is all they see of us? I do not think we can blame them...because, perhaps, if i was on the other side, i would hate us too. Perhaps.
But although we can not blame them we can do our part to set some things straight, to clear up some misconceptions. I believe there is a Judgement day, when we will each be brought before God, and be judged for our actions on this earth. And although i will not be held responsible for those bombings, I believe that i will be held responsible for my actions after the bombings: what did you do about the way the world was viewing Islam? Did you just keep quiet and let them all believe that your religion is about killing innocent people?Did you say anything?
And its for these reasons that i'm writing you today....i believe i will be held accountable for the views you take of Islam, because, although i am not a scholar, i know enough to set some mis-conceptions straight.
This is what i know: I know that to be a Muslim means to believe there is no god but God, and that Mohamed (peace be upon him) was His prophet. Muslims believe that, among others, Moses and Jesus were also prophets. To be a Muslim, you must pay charity yearly, and we are encouraged to teach our children from a young age to always give charity to those in need.
To be a good Muslim, you must obey your parents and be good to them. You must treat all people with respect. Prophet Mohamed never even spanked a child.
I know that during war, when there is actual man to man combat, when two tribes or two countries are actively fighting each other, Islam FORBIDS killing women, children and the elderly. ISLAM FORBIDS KILLING THE INNOCENT. THE ONLY PEOPLE YOU ARE ALLOWED TO FIGHT DURING A WAR, ARE THE ACTUAL SOLDIERS. Soldiers are even told to be careful not to harm the vegetation.
Clearly this is not all there is to Islam, but i think this is enough to make my point. Those bombing could not have come from people who understood Islam correctly. They just couldn't. And i will join the world in calling those bombings terror attacks.
I believe those were misguided people who tried to make a point, but went about it cruely and unjustly. What was their point? I can only guess...In iraq, they wanted to scare away the US. They do not appreciate the US presence in their country. I do understand this view. Can you image having foreign troops in your country? I know i would not appreciate it. And i do not know if it would be better for Iraq if the US were to suddenly withdraw. I know there would be less bombings, and less deaths of innocent people. But would the country be able to govern itself? Would the civil war that's happening there simply end if the Americans went home? I do not know. But my heart tells me Iraq would be a safer place.
I feel the need to mention Palestine now, despite that little voice inside telling me not to. Palestine is a place of much sorrow, and i do not envey those who live there. I wish that one day i will be able to visit Jerusalem, but i know that i will not. And i doubt that there will ever be peace in Palestine. But despite the horrible acts that happen there everyday, mostly unnoticed by our jaded western minds, i do not believe those are acts of terrorists. I do not believe that young men and women throwing stones at artillery wielding Israeli soldiers are terrorists. And even if those men and women are holding guns and ammunition, i still do not believe they are terrorists. I believe they are defending themselves, and their land, from an occupying force. The current President Bush said once that "Israel has a right to defend itself." Well, i say Palestine and Palestinians have a right to defend themselves, too. Of course now you want to know what i think of the suicide bomber in Palestine. Well, the truth is that i don't know. When a young woman blows herself up in the midst of a crowded Israeli gathering, killing many innocent people, is that okay? No, i don't think it is. An innocent is an innocent, no matter what race or religion. But i would not call her a terrorist. What's the difference between her and the bombers of London or Iraq? Well, I believe she, and the people she stands for, truly are at war with the people she intended to harm. I don't know. This confusion is why that voice is telling me right now, "see..i told you not to talk about Palestine." But i had to make an attempt, as feeble as it was, to prove that Palestinians are not acting to terrorize, but just to defend themselves and claim back their land. I don't think i did a very good job, but i tried.
I send you this today not to start a political debate about the Middle East. I simply wanted to do my part to clear up some confusion about Islam. I send this letter in case, in all the years i have known you, i have never discussed with you the basis of Islam. I send this letter to tell you that the word Islam itself means "Peace;" if you remember nothing more from this editorial of mine, just remember that. So that when it comes time, and God holds me responsible for the time i've spent on this earth, I can say that i tried to teach everyone i know about Islam....I tried to teach them about Peace.