Saturday, December 1, 2012

A Different Side of the Obvious

Picture by deviantart.

The situation with Gaza came out a few weeks ago, and then suddenly it was the main highlight of the media. A stream of Palestine related statuses and people changing their profile pictures kept appearing on my news feed. In twitter kingdom  hash tags of Gaza was trending suddenly with a surge of retweets of official news, or NGO activity be it well known bodies, or anonymous. This happened not too long ago with the ‘Remembrance of Nakbah’, when everybody in Facebook changed their display picture to blindfolded men or women. There is a sigh of relief, that there are actually people who still care, and wanted to be a part of the fight for the right cause. I cannot deny that slight feeling of security, holding to the fact that there is still hope in humanity.

Little did we know that with the rise of this singular issue, many smaller issues came to track as well. One main example was the spread of chained messages, now not only spread through texts but reaching as far as via instagrammed pictures too. And then came the posters of every single brand to boycott and demise. McDonalds suffered the most, I presume, having to give away free burgers to win the wallets of their customers back. In the midst of all these happenings, one interesting incident I got to see was when a non-muslim questioned the actions of muslims in the sense that we are only supporting this cause as it has something to do with our religion, and our brothers and sisters.

More or less, the question was; “if it were people of other beliefs and religion as yours, would you have acted in the same manner? Because out there, a million more people are suffering, and their plight never heard.”

That one question got me thinking. It got me thinking deep. And it brought up dozens of different questions in my head.

‘Is this how they (non-muslims) see it as? a fight of religion? of who is right and who is wrong?’

… ‘And if it was so, what have we portrayed and what message did they get?’

‘Are there really, a million other humans suffering and unheard of world problems out there that I don’t know of?’

… ‘Was I just that ignorant that I never even knew?’

Believe me, loads more questions begin to clog my mind. Tortuous as it may seem, the thoughts and questions do have some truth in it. And only one singular quote came up to my mind; -- ‘Our duty is to convey, not to convince’.

Also the hadith narrated by Bukhari – ‘Deliver from me even one sentence’, which relates on the importance of spreading the truth. Deliver, which means conveying and sharing not conquering.

There is a deeper meaning to this; basically saying that da’wah is to share, to call upon goodness and not fight or be hasty. Because Islam is a beautiful religion that propagates on peace, love, forgiveness, and never ever promotes violence. The word Islam itself derived from an Arabic root word translates to safety, peace, calmness, and submission to the Sole Creator.

Coming back to the points above, probably the non-Muslims were not aware of this issue being a humanitarian crisis, or probably perhaps, the way we portrayed the cause and how we spread it was not thorough, or lopsided. In the Quran itself, there is a verse that goes;

Probably these are one of the details we tend to oversee. No one is to blame here, for the faults mainly just lie on different peoples’ varying perception. However, we have to note that, living in a world of people of all kinds, we should be sensitive and flexible, in the best way possible. There is this saying that, different people bring out the different side of you. I guess this fairly applies in this situation too. Looking on the positive aspect, maybe, having facing different people and situations like this brings out a better side in us we never knew. And maybe, having questioned with such rhetorical statements leads us to learn deeper about our own religion, and InsyaAllah guide us in becoming better servants of His. InsyaAllah!

An extension from this situation also, I realized that truly, together, we are stronger. The word ‘ummah’ is just too beautiful to be translated directly to English. The power of mass media, twitter, Facebook and all were adamant in spreading the message. But what was that one factor that ignited the spark – one so strong that other people finally began to see a glimpse of the truth and, people of other beliefs also support freedom of Palestine?

Numbers do count in this matter. But the power, I believe, actually lies in the strength of our bond. People from all walks of life, no matter what colour, culture or race, with differing interests and preferences, all unite together, holding one true faith to Allah, our sole creator. Statistically we might not win, but our belief, faith, and the miracle of our religion has proved that we are indeed strong. We together form one strong unit, of which, when one side bleeds, the others will similarly feel the pain. So actually, one small deed goes a long way. And our small efforts in spreading the truth any way possible has probably bear its fruit. Together, collectively, we can make a difference, in unison.

To sum up everything above, out of this whole situation I have learnt two important lessons. Firstly, everything we do reflects our belief and faith and people will judge us based on that. Therefore, we need to reflect on ourselves from time to time and be reminded that we, as a believer and as Muslims have a big responsibility on portraying Islam to the world.

Secondly, I realized that collectively, one small deed can really leave an impact .Individually we could perhaps make a change, but if we unite, together we can actually make a difference.

Editor: Fathin Nabilah binti Abdul Rashid
Multimedia and Publicity Bureau 2012/ 2013
Muslim Society (MSOC) 
International Medical University (IMU) Bukit Jalil.


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