Photo Courtesy: Unknown
Of Blame Games
Stop. Let’s stop right there. Let’s have a moment of silence. Let’s take a moment to understand what is happening before pointing fingers or saying what’s wrong or right. A young man was killed by the mob; a wanted young man, part of a gang, and his mates now want revenge. But that isn’t the full story is it? There is a whole lot of things that have gotten us to where we are. One of which is the blame game.
Let’s stop because the too strong blame game will not bring any results. We need to critically look for a way forward soon and soon enough. We need answers not speculations. We need to come together not split further into antagonists and protagonists.
Of lost Youth, Drugs & Unemployment
What could have gone so wrong? Is it that we were raised in such a wrong way? Is it that our parents and leaders have failed us? Is it that we are too cool for planet earth? But no. We are all to blame. Parents, Teachers, Leaders, Peers…We have failed each other. We all have an equal role for we have brought ourselves down. Let’s not say there are no jobs. Let’s face it; jobs can be found. You just need to seriously look and TRY. Problem is, there are no jobs that we think we deserve. The problem is when we say, I have an education so I can’t, shouldn’t and wouldn’t ever be a shopkeeper or a tailor or anything else that appears minor in our eyes. Let’s accept that our youth have gotten the wrong idea of life and success. Let’s accept that this is the generation that watches macho violent movies and we forget those are but fiction that we forget the part ‘Don’t try this at home’. This is the generation that is sooo obsessed with ‘Being Someone’ such that any way to get to that is good enough. Drugs that are easily found by teenagers, how does that happen under our noses? How are we training our young ones to be steadfast and upright in such a century? How are we being role models to the youth such that they can be something in this life without harming others? Allah (S.W) says in Surat Ra’d: Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves. Can we be the change first?
Of Tearful Mothers and Hurt Fathers
We can all agree on this; No parent ever wants to see their children lose their way, being in the wanted list or harming other people (Not unless the parent/s themselves are involved) So let’s not be too quick to say, ‘How did his/her parents let him become a goon like that? It must be that they were negligent.’ Okay maybe they are negligent. Maybe they failed at some point in their parenting. Yes maybe they should have brought forward their spoiled child for rehabilitation or for justice. Maybe they should have tried harder…but who are we to criticize when we haven’t even heard their side of story. How can we ever know how much they battled and wept for the children or they still do? Perhaps they also had some little hope for them to reform, maybe they didn’t want to give up praying just yet.
Let’s take a moment to reflect on what happened with Nabii Nuh when he was asked by Allah (S.W) to ask all the believers to leave with him on the ship as from the qur’an.: “And [Noah] said, “Embark therein; in the name of Allah is its course and its anchorage. Indeed, my Lord is Forgiving and Merciful.
And it sailed with them through waves like mountains, and Noah called to his son who was apart [from them], “O my son, come aboard with us and be not with the disbelievers.”
[But] he said, “I will take refuge on a mountain to protect me from the water.” [Noah] said, “There is no protector today from the decree of Allah , except for whom He gives mercy.” And the waves came between them, and he was among the drowned.
And the story goes on and he says:
“And Noah called to his Lord and said, “My Lord, indeed my son is of my family; and indeed, Your promise is true; and You are the most just of judges!”
He said, “O Noah, indeed he is not of your family; indeed, he is [one whose] work was other than righteous, so ask Me not for that about which you have no knowledge. Indeed, I advise you, lest you be among the ignorant.” (Ch 11:41-48 Quran)
Does that mean that Nabii Nuh failed as a parent? No. Or when Qabil killed Habil, did that make Adam (A.S) a bad parent? Some children are but tests to their parents and as much as some have contributed to their children’s ugly behaviours, some are nothing but helpless souls. We should be encouraging them to bring out their children for rehab instead of throwing off words to judge their parenting. We should join them in prayers for today it might be their child tomorrow might be yours. Yes, life is that scary.
Of misplaced priorities
Where is all our concentration? No, let’s be honest. What have we given our priority to? Hasn’t it been politics and what which politician did what or arguing over who is a better candidate? Hasn’t it always been on petty issues like what day was ‘real Eid’? Haven’t we put too much energy debating and roasting one another online over ridiculous issues like who holds a fake account and whose wife was seen where? For how long have these gangs been harassing different communities? Long enough to bring about call to action. I won’t discredit the efforts of some individuals and few leaders who’ve tried taming the situation but this should be something we all come together for; not with too much anger and remorse, but with wisdom, prayers and smart strategies.
Of unethical images and their widespread
Please people, it is wrong. It is so very wrong to publicly share photos of a dead individual especially when it shows his/her face or that makes him identifiable. It doesn’t matter if someone was a thief, a goon or a ninja assassin because when one dies, they just become a body. Those widespread photos won’t hurt him, but will hurt his loved ones who probably have no involvement in his/her actions. It is disturbing that you share those images even when you put a huge disclaimer that the photos are disturbing. I mean why are we so hungry to be the ones to spread some news? Please adapt the golden rule which says, ‘Do unto others as you would have done unto you’. Now maybe you are not a thief or a goon on the wanted list, but I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t want such disturbing photos of your brother or friend or even someone you know being spread after they die or killed or suicide or during an accident…whichever the case is. Give the dead their privacy and respect. Their judgement is now upon the Most High.
Of second chances
I’m just trying to imagine, what if one of the gang members really wants to surrender right now?? But then there is the wrath of the people awaiting him. Would he really surrender? Should he? Would you, if you were in his shoes? We say we really want to help our young ones and children, but are we ready to give them second chances? Can we accept them back and forgive them? Perhaps they need reassurance. Maybe not all, but even if one is ready to repent then that’s a win for a community.
Remember the story of Ghawrath bin al-Harith. When the Prophet received word that some of the tribes of Ghatafan were mobilizing an attack on Madinah, so he undertook a small expedition toward their territory but they fled before the Muslims arrival.
However, while the Prophet was resting under a tree, an enemy warrior by the name of Ghawrath ibn al-Harith, who had pledged to assassinate the Prophet, quietly took the Prophet’s sword as he slept and suddenly declared, “O Muhammad, who will save you from me?” The Prophet awoke and simply replied, “Allah.” Ghawrath inexplicably dropped the sword and the Prophet picked it up and asked, “Now, who will save you from me?”
Ghawrath was astonished and pleaded, “Be the better victor!”
The Prophet Muhammad forgave him. He asked Ghawrath whether he believed in the truth of Islam and Ghawrath replied, “No, but I promise not to fight you or aid those who fight you.” The Prophet let Ghawrath return to his tribe, whereupon Ghawrath said, “Verily, I have come from the best of people.” (Mustadarak al-Hakim, Sunan al-Bayhaqi, and Ibn Kathir in al-Bidayah wal-Nihayah). Food for thought.
Perhaps there is too much bitterness right now; of harmed individuals and robbed people. There are also revenge plots looming, God have mercy on us…
It is understandable why people would choose mob justice any time, but can we come together to sincerely help them, forgive them? Can we come together to make a special prayer for our lost youth? Can someone who knows how to go about this, arrange please? I mean, last time we had drought we came together to pray asking for rain alhamdulilah, why not do it again, for our brothers and children and future generations too? After all, it is only Allah who can grant guidance to people. Why can’t we have these many sheikhs come together with our leaders and parents for prayers and for a way forward?? To ensure that those who need rehabilitation are taken there?
May Allah guide us and our young ones and our children and protect us from all evil and bloodshed. Let us remember to pray for ourselves and our cities and communities frequently. Ameen.