Coping with the London Tragedy
Asalamu walaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh,
May the peace, mercy and blessings of Allah(swt) be upon each of you, and your families and the communities around you.
The tragic loss of three generations of the Afzaal family, sister Yumna Afzaal, her mother Madiha Salman and father Salman Afzaal, and grandmother, Talaat Afzaal, has brought so much grief and pain to our communities across the country. May Allah( swt) bestow the highest of His(swt) mercy on these souls. May Allah (swt) preserve and grant patience to our 9-year-old little brother Fayez, who will have to cope with this trauma, and has no surviving immediate family members.
Allah (swt) knows the fragility of the human heart, the depth of pain and hurt and has promised His(swt) mercy for the believers. Let us find this mercy together. Let us follow the example of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) by turning to Allah SWT in times of calamity.
Let us recite the Qur’an, and connect with our Lord and seek comfort in His Mercy through these times. Let us pray to Allah (swt), open our hearts, and know that Allah’s grace is all encompassing.
Some may find this grace in prayers as we stand and prostrate to him. Some find tranquility in reciting the words of the Quran, others may find hope within the walls of the Masjid or in extended hand to those who in need. But as Allah promised, there will be ease with every hardship.
We are the inheritors of an ummah whose prophets have traversed through realities of loss, and who have found strength and built resilience and who, since the beginning of time have carried the True Message of Allah(swt), which has travelled from generation to generation and we are a living testament to this True Message today. Let us find hope in this.
Throughout the tradition of our Islamic history, we know that Muslims have stood up, have spoken out, and have acted to seek justice within society.
The meaning of these terms as summarized from Imam An-Nawawi and Imam Ibn Hazm would be that: Courage (and bravery) means to stand up to defend the truth even in the face of possible oppositions, and to call people to goodness and forbid evil and racing to do good deeds, it also means to be steadfast upon following the religion of Islam and being steadfast in standing up to injustice with the pen, the tongue and the actions, and doing all of this whilst hoping for a reward from Allah (swt). Courage isn’t a question of fear, it is about responding to the call for truth. To speak and call for justice and action through whatever platform we can use. We are not just calling for justice and action for what is happening today. Indeed, we are laying the foundations for generations to come. We are calling for truth to be established so that those generations that will come after us will know, live and carry our societies even further, inshaAllah.
In the wake of such a tragedy, it leaves us wondering about the safety of our own families and children. How can we continue to walk on the streets as visible Muslims? How can we feel supported and how can we know that our presence is validated? To these doubts, let us find strength in knowing that just as one person can act senselessly, there are thousands of Canadians who are standing in solidarity. That every single member of our federal and provincial government has spoken out against Islamophobia. Let us find hope in knowing that Allah (swt) is the Protector of all.
Along with our hopes for good to happen, we must act, and we must demand that responsibility be taken for these hate-filled actions. This is not acceptable for anybody within our ummah, nor is it acceptable for any single human being of our community. We must lead this path, and pave the way for justice and safety for all Canadians, inshaAllah.
As Muslims, let us continue to aspire to be agents of positive change. Let us champion hope, love, challenge bigotry and hate, and raise our children knowing the Truth of Islam and carrying their Islam with pride, inshaAllah.
We can each use our platforms and spheres of influence to educate and raise awareness on the issue of Islamophobia and the tragedy it is causing. We need to reach out to our elected officials and hold them accountable for taking concrete actions to address Islamophobia and hate-based crimes. Let us show up to demonstrations, rallies, and public calls to action. Through our collective voice, and action, we can take charge of informing positive change.
As we try to navigate through these difficult experiences, let us continue to turn to Allah (swt) and find ease. Let us also seek support, and healing within our communities and various avenues of support.
May Allah(swt) grant ease for our ummah and for all our communities. Ameen.
Wa Salamu walaikum,