While most of my Muslim friends and family were sleeping, praying, reading Quran or beginning their fasts in the midst of the 7th day of Ramadan, me and my dad’s eyes were glued to CNN International, morning time in Jerusalem.
Headlines blared, “Shooting in Orlando Nightclub” and “Worst Mass Shooting in America”. As we watched the news anchor report, the words “terrorism” seemed to sound more pronounced, spoken with a “we have an idea- but can’t suspect” tone, while we were waiting on the edge of our seats, selfishly praying it was not a foreign name.
A few minutes later, I carried on my day, caring for the kids and what not, when my dad storms out of the room, with a glare in his eyes and a flare in his nose.
“Omar!” He shouts. “His f…” He stops himself from cursing, for he was fasting, “that man; his name is Omar!” He then quickly walked back into his bedroom, now, with no flare in his nose nor a glare in his eye, rather it was replaced with grief.
The kids and I looked at him silently. They looked at me, as if they were waiting for an answer. I followed him into the room and joined him, staring at the TV screen.
There he was; Omar Mateen. The news anchor seemed a little more confident in her words now. And each time she mentioned his name in the same sentence as Islam and/or Muslim, we shook our heads, and bit our tongues.
Isn’t it ironic? That all week, together as a nation, were remembering a great man. A man who represented Islam so well. A man who, after watching his funeral, I decided to devote my very existence to be like, of course second to our beloved Prophet Muhammed (Peace Be Upon Him). A man who, was a great human being, as his friends and family told us he was. Someone, who I wish I had the privilege of meeting.
Isn’t it ironic that when Islam was protrayed so beautifully, so elegantly, in the best way that it could be, and just like that, it was stripped away from our [Muslims] hands.
It was right there, we felt so proud as a religion and as a people. We felt like this was it, this was our time to shine, as deserved, thanks to Muhammad Ali’s legacy of being a darn good human being, that thankfully, happened to proudly devote most of his life following the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). We were proud, dangit. And now, we are told to “lay low” and “be safe”?
Just the other day, my Facebook newsfeed was flooded with Muhammad Ali quotes and clips of the wonderful speeches that explained to us how great this man was. Yesterday and today, it’s been flooded with the face of this “evil, and full of hate person”, as well as statuses from friends and family, underlying apologizing and convincing people(whether they meant to or not) that this is not Islam!
On the other hand, my non-Muslim friends wrote statuses urging their fellow Christians, Catholics and Americans, to not allow this incident, reflect their views on Islam and the Muslim, the real Muslim population of billions of people full. I appreciate those friends, and I feel confident that I know them.
From the picture that went viral of Mahmoud ElWadi who donated blood to the Orlando victims while he was fasting to Zainab Merchant, whom purchased 3 cartfuls of food and water at Sam’s Club to pass out to the blood donors, these are just two examples of Islam; true Islam. These are just two Muslim Americans, who are mourning with their fellow Americans.
I’m not going to sit here and explain what Islam says about killing the innocent, nor will I allow myself to apologize for this sick person or give conspiracy theories. I won’t even touch on what Islam says about LGBT or whether we are hypocrites, from both sides of the spectrum.
I will however mourn with the loss of my fellow humans; because that’s what HUMANity stands for. Only God knows the pain and sorrow that the families and witnesses must feel at this point. Whetehr you are black, white, Musim, Buddhist, Gay or transgender: we are all human.
Furthermore, I will pray for my fellow Muslims in America, and all across the globe, for their safety, from those who cannot accept or want to accept that there is a peaceful Islam. And thanks to Mr. Trump, back at it again, it will not get easier for us[Muslims] to feel any safer.
I will also be one more thing: I will be the Muhammad Ali that millions of people have been remembering all week, leaviing behind a legacy of devotion to God and the Quran’s teaching of love and peace. More importantly, I will BE Muhammad, the last messenger of Allah, PBUH, and continue to follow his teachings, because that is what Islam stands for.
Alhamdililah, this video couldn’t have explained Islam in better words.