Peace and Tribulation

Peace and Tranquility to all !

I have been a little out of commission for the a while.  Ramadan, work, school, it is all very overwhelming at times.  I find myself not being able to do anything at 100% which is frustrating.  I’m behind in my schoolwork, I haven’t been doing as much ibadah as I anticipated and my co-workers are feeling the sting of my my coffee-less state in the mornings.   True, I have managed to do more this Ramadan than last.  Tarawih at the mosque is an uplifting experience and I have been trying to read more Quran.  We decided to turn the tv off for the month and the result is a lot of tranquility at home – plenty of time for reflection and connecting with people.  As well I have had to temper my crankiness when I stop to take a look at the world around me and how many people have suffered when I have not.

I’ve been keeping up with world news through the internet and find myself horrified every day with some new tale of personal tragedy that occurs.  Is there any other news to report besides the tide of horror that we humans are inflicting on one another?  Tonight the tale is of a young family brutally torn apart when the father killed his four children and assaulted their mother.  A Somali family, parents estranged, children all under the age of 8yrs. and in one day lives forever altered.  I’ve stopped asking what drives some people to commit the acts they do.   Have we really descended into such a souless, dying state as people?  The heart can never be deciphered, easy answers cannot be found in a medical textbook so where do we look?  Imam Zaid wrote a beautiful piece on the passing of his Shaykh.  In it he says he asked him for advice in dealing with the tribulations we face here in the West and the Shaykh’s reponse was “Frequent recitation of the Qur’an, and abundant Salawat on the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah upon him”.  What better month than to make this a lifetime habit?

The one story that has captured my mind is the tragedy of the Amish people in the US.  The revolting nature of the crimes committed against innocent people is almost more than the mind can conceive of.  But what strikes me more than anything is the incredible grace of the Amish people.  The forgiveness and the patience they have shown is incredible.  I read about their funeral rights with a sense of recognition – in Islam too we are simple…quick burials, prayer, plain wooden coffins and a hope to meet again in Paradise.  The grandfather of one of the victims insisted that a monetary fund be set up for the killer’s family as well as the Amish families.  He recognized the fact that they too are victims in this whole ordeal.  Three children who will grow up with the knowledge that their father was a madman.  As Muslims we should recogize beauty everywhere we turn and there is true beauty in the actions of the Amish community.  To be sure they most likely have their issues as do most communities, but we should learn from their humility, their patience and their firm trust in God that His will was done and they remain His servants still.  You come across of course the odd Muslim voice who sees none of this and states with all the arrogance in the world that “they should accept Allah and His messenger” of they want to be truly saved.  It leaves me wondering at the tunnel vision of this person – truth is truth–patience is patience — trust in God is trust in God.  That is all we should acknowledge.  Allah is Justice, and He is Mercy … He weighs the hearts of people, we do not.  And of this I am certain; if by His Rahma and Forgiveness we ever get to Paradise, those children will be there to greet us.

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