Over the past month, all of us have heard the breaking news about yet another act of barbaric terror. What absolutely breaks our hearts is that the perpetrators call themselves Muslim.
It is not for me to decide who is Muslim and who is not. What I can say is that the killing of innocent lives is haram; against Islam. Allah is The Only Judge.
For those who act as judge, jury and executioner, there's too much right and wrong; black and white; good and bad. We are not the people of dichotomy. We are gray. No one is an angel. We are the strangers of this world who don't fit neatly into someone else's category. We do our best and yet fear we haven't done enough. We strive. We hope. We don't hurt.
I haven't wanted to write about the violence because I need peace. We all need peace actually. Focusing too much attention on the problem becomes problematic in itself. I might send out a tweet but I didn't want to write a blog posting.
So, I kept focusing on building my life and supporting my family. I kept going into work and teaching children. I took a vacation. I needed to stay on my straight path and not get distracted.
Yet, it has become increasingly clear that we all need to speak up. We can't keep going without telling the world that we won't allow violence. We don't condone killing. We will not support segmenting society into divisive armies.
This stand against violence starts within ourselves. We will not self-harm. We will not harm others. We will not raise our children to be haters and bullies. We will not be abusive to our spouses. We will not be crude and rude to our friends or behind their backs.
We need to reach out. We have members in our communities who need a word of kindness. We have acquaintances in our sphere who would love a better chance to get to know us. We have family members who are estranged from us.
There are many evils knocking at our door. KEEP THAT DOOR SHUT. You know the movies, the stories, the sites, the jokes and you know that a mind full of garbage can't grow and change. If you hear that nagging voice in your head telling you to do wrong, then tell it to get out. GET OUT!
You are in control of your head. You know who is good for you and who is bad. You know what brings you closer to peace and what takes you away. If you don't feel at peace, then stop what you're doing. Make a better choice. You must narrow the gap between what your beliefs and your actions.
All of us live in this world together and it is our world to share. Maybe each one of us can improve our little corner of the world. I know I can be better than I've been. I can inshahallah. That effort will only be a drop in the ocean but it is what we can do and it's better than assuming state of helplessness.
May God grant wisdom and patience to the suffering. May God expel the wrongdoers from their hiding places and enable their capture. May God protect the innocents. May God heal the grieving families.