As I navigate many peoples’ crass, hardened and tone deaf reactions to others’ trials and tribulations, be it reactions to yet another black man’s extrajudicial killing or the reaction of some from within the Muslim community to Muslims’ sadness over the death of Chadwick Boseman or the reactions of “well, these people just brought that onto themselves” to the killings of innocent people in a far away land who are fighting to free themselves from tyranny or the “that bum should get off that corner and get a job” or....or....or... unfortunately many countless examples of callous disregard to others’ humanity, all I can think of are two teachings of prophet Mohamed (Peace and Blessings if God be upon him)
First is a narration by Aisha, May Allah be pleased with her, who said: “a Bedouin came to the prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and said to him “you kiss children? as for us, we do not kiss children” and the prophet replied to him “what can I do for you if Allah has removed mercy from your heart?”
عن عائشة رضي الله عنها قالت: "جاء أعرابيٌّ إلى النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم فقال: تُقبِّلون الصِّبيان فما نُقبِّلهم، فقال النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم: «أَو َأَمْلِكُ لَكَ أَنْ نَزَعَ اللَّهُ مِنْ قَلْبِكَ الرَّحْمَةَ»
And in another, a man told the prophet that he has ten children and he never kissed any of them. The prophet (Peace and Blessings be upon him) said “whoever does not show mercy, will not be shown mercy”
ألا ترى قوله عليه السلام للأقرع بن حابس حين ذكر عند النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم أن له عشرة من الولد ما قبَّل منهم أحدًا: «مَن لا يَرحَمْ لا يُرحَمْ»؟
Both men, hardened by a harsh environment, thought that any display of tenderness would be misconstrued as weakness and both were met with a rebuke by the one who was sent “as a mercy to the worlds”
The world is not always an easy place to live in but what kind of a world do we create if we take mercy and compassion out of it?
May God soften our hearts and open our eyes to our shared humanity. And may we be agents of mercy and compassion in a world that is currently in utter need of it
A moment’s impact
A couple of years ago we were in Chicago visiting, sightseeing and of course hitting up one of our favorite restaurants on Devon Ave.
As always, and as my wife kids always comment, I ordered too much food. We asked for it to be bagged and took it back to the hotel, only to realize that our room does not have a fridge. So I took the food, went outside and within a few minutes found someone who appreciated having some food to eat that night.
A few days ago, I was talking with the kids about Eid Al-Adha (the Eid of sacrifice) and told them about the story of prophets Abraham and *Ismael (peace be upon them both) and how they were both tested, how they responded to the test and how we should show our appreciation to God for what He has given us, no matter how little, and help those around us in whatever way possible. That’s when my daughter chimed in and said “like the time we were in Chicago and you went looking for someone to give the food to!”
A fleeting moment that I didn’t make much of that left, hopefully, a lasting positive impact on my children.
This is not a celebration of “my generosity” or me touting “my parenting skills”. This is just to a reminder that children absorb everything we do, whether we think they’re paying attention or not. How we react and interact with the world around us is how our children learn. So let’s all be mindful of the ￼￼imprints we leave on our future generations.
Have a blessed Friday
*to my Christian friends, I believe the story in the Bible mentions Isaac as the one to be sacrificed by Abraham (peace be upon them both)
Palestinian, Muslim, American, Husband, Father, Academic, Pharmacist, Coffee Addict, Nutella phene, Pseudo writer, Soccer player, former Canadian, Community servant, Pinch hitter imam, interfaith ninja, Intellectual vigilante, and the undisputed KING of snark