Monday, February 23, 2009

"Huh? What about Gaza?!"

Circa 1 month ago:

People were shouting in the streets yelling for their fellow brethren and sister-en in Gaza. A plaza resembled a sea of black and white due to all of the shmeghs. Fundraisers were being held and Muslims were much more eager to empty out their pockets to such a cause.

Everyone is snuggled back in the comfort of their day to day activities, Gaza a thing of the past. Shmeghs are tucked away until the next humanitarian crisis, including those posters.

What is wrong with us? Have we seriously forgotten about those still suffering in Gaza or are willingly forgetting? If not with our hands or tongue then with our hearts, to make Du'a to insha'allah change the situation there. There will never be a complete cease-fire nor independence if we, as an Ummah, only step up when someone gets killed. We must try to prevent even a single soul from being lost.

However, I had intended to write this post a week ago, but like the rest of the Ummah I suffered from ADD (not literally) as described in this article which jolted me from my forgetfulness:
Taken from
Patient: The Ummah. Diagnosis: Attention Deficit Disorder

It’s a sad reality that as an Ummah, we suffer from a severe case of attention deficit disorder - metaphorically speaking, that is. We have incredibly short attention spans, re-programmed to move on from one heartrending crisis to another. Somalia, Darfur, Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq… a great calamity occurs, and we respond with tears and prayers and cries of grief, and then something else happens and we gradually forget about it and move onto the next worry.

Think about it - how many weeks ago did the Gaza crisis occur? Yet how quickly has it faded from our minds? It saddens me to know that we are so easily swayed, so swiftly distracted.

However, there’s something I learned from the Gaza Crisis and how we reacted to it. WalAhamdulillaah, many of us were reminded that the evil that befalls us is only what we have earned with our own hands, and we responded accordingly. We woke up for qiyaam al-layl, we fasted Mondays and Thursdays, we renewed our sincerity and strengthened our emaan and perfected our ‘ebaadah.

So when we see how forgot about Palestine, when the urgency of the situation faded from our minds to just another fuzzy memory, and we moved onto something else… it’s sad. It’s tragic, actually. At the same time, however, I realize that this is part of human nature: we are forgetful. We have a bad case of collective memory loss. The story of the people of Egypt and the plagues demonstrates this more clearly than anything else - how many times did Musa (’alayhis-salaam) warn them? How many times were they punished, with locusts and lice, frogs and blood? Each time, they felt fear and turned towards the Messenger of Allah beseechingly; each time they were relieved of the torment they went back to their old ways.

Mind you, this isn’t an acceptable excuse. Rather, it is something which we must learn to change. It’s time that we take heed from the warnings of the Qur’an, from the stories of the past, and the continued tribulations of our present. It is time that we retain the lessons that we learned so painfully during the Ghazzah massacre, and apply them to whichever drama comes to our attention next. Whether it’s Iraq and Afghanistan again, or (laa samahAllah) a new country and a new disaster, maybe we’ll remember again that this is all our fault and that it’s up to us to work hard to deserve better.

Imagine how amazing it would be if we could all remember that for every disaster that befalls us, we are to blame as individuals, and if the anger and guilt we feel at every injustice was constantly channeled to the right outlet: our emaan and ‘ebaadah.

SubhanAllah, will Allah ever ignore the deeds of His sincere believing slaves? Will He ever turn away from the sincere repentance of one, of tens, of hundreds, of thousands of believing souls? Will He leave the people who strive to change the situations of their souls? Laa wAllah! Indeed, He has promised us the very opposite, and the promise of Allah is truer than anything else.

So will YOU seek the cure to your spiritual illness? Will you take the divine prescription, that is guaranteed to strengthen you as no antibiotic or steroid ever could?

Patient: The Ummah

Diagnosis: Attention Deficit Disorder


* Contemplation, remembrance, and reflection: Every day, during any spare minute. Don’t be hasty; allow time for true comprehension and understanding.
* Tawbah (Repentance): Prepare with sincerity and humility. Flavour with tears. Best taken in the last third of the night, along with qiyaam al-layl.
* ‘Ebaadah (Worship): Salaah, 5 times a day, every day (minimum). Increase sweetness with sunan and nawaafil. Fast Mondays and Thursdays for strengthened dosage and increased effectiveness.

Review prescription regularly. Adjust incrementally to strengthen immunity against diseases of the heart. Take for life!

Let's best get to it!


Hijabis On Ranting Tour. said...

Right on! I Second that! An it's a serious Ignorance Epidemic too.
Once the chaos dies down, people return to work; funds have been collected; rallies end; news stops showing Gaza; people FORGET about them all.
The Ummah needs to seek medical attention immediately. Please refer to your Creator immediately and seek help.

I love your posts sista ;)


Sonia said...

Isn't it sad! Not only about international problems, but we are so ignorant of our very own neighbors problems. After the namaaz at the masjid we are supposed to ask our muslim sisters (men ask brothers) how they are doing. But everyone is busy discussing unimportant stuff.

Here is a real life story that happened to us a month ago:

My dh and I were coming back home after running few errands. When we were entering our apartment building there was a man sitting in the lobby in distraught crying, and 3 men were standing above him lecturing him. My dh asked me to head up, and he'll bring the mail. So when he came inside the apartment he was so disgusted. He said that the man who was crying has lost his job, and was going to lose his home too because he can't pay. The men were telling him to go to Pakistan, that US sucks, that he was wrong etc. Just lecturing him! My dh broke those men up, gave the man some financial support and told him to go talk to a man my dh knows to ask for a job. Why can't those lecturing men do that? Why can't we check up on our neighbors, friends and acquaintances and help them . Why they have to shy away to come forward if they are in distress? Because they know that many Muslims forget quick, because many will judge, and many will talk about them. Subhanallah, when my daughters grew out of their car seats, strollers, and many clothes that were never even worn, I had a hard time finding a Muslim organization to give it to so they could distribute it to people in need. Then I met a Mexican lady who was about to give birth and I ended up giving her. The masjid where we go to are reluctant to start this program. I don't understand it! Someone please give our Ummah the much needed medicine!

diamondintheruff said...

i really liked how you mentioned other Muslim countries in need of help. many of our fellow Muslims are struggling, so in turn we should be just as willing to help them. Gaza's case was particularly recognized because of media attention but many other Muslim countries are in even greater turmoil. It also amuses me how some Muslims are quick to help their own ethnicity and forget that Islam is more than the lines of race. Is the Indonesian muslim's strife not as important as the Palestinians?

ModestJustice said...

A'qilah: 'Please refer to your Creator immediately and seek help.' Haha! Love that line, I'm so following that advice!

Sonia: Does it count if I go to people I recognize and ask? Kidding, but I never knew that. Thank you for telling me something new, plus I can meet even more people at the masjid!

Wow, I would never want to be lectured in such a critical time, alhamdulillah for your husband to help a person in need. Maybe I should suggest a clothing drive at my Masjid -although I think it's been done once-

Diamondintheruff: Jazaki'allah khairan for commenting, but the article was taken from I edited the post and added the I had forgotten -oops- And you are absolutely right. Many Muslims are very willing to shout out for the conflicts in their 'motherland' but will sidestep away from other causes dire to the Ummah. Whether the muslims are indonesians, somalis or palestinians, we Muslims need to stand up together and fight for one another, because noone else will. Thank you for commenting again :D

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