There is a hadith in which Rasullullah صل الله عليه وسلم said:
“The Muslim Ummah is like one body. If the eye is in pain then the whole body is in pain and if the head is in pain then the whole body is in pain.”
Do we really believe in this saying? Or is it another saying which has been reduced to a cliche, a feel-good sentence that we toss around to show how deep and understanding our religion is, without actually deeply understanding our religion?
The Gaza tragedy, which has racked up a death toll of “1300 Palestinians killed by Israel including 417 children & 108 women, 5320 injured,” according to my status message on FaceBook, has shown me things about our Muslim Ummah that quite disturbed me, things that I thought no longer existed. When I was in high school, I used to occasionally talk to my friends and their parents about Palestine, a country I was not familiar with. They, especially the parents, would tell me things like, “Well, you know, maybe Allah is punishing them for something really terrible. I hear many of them don’t believe in Allah.” This used to upset me to no end, because while I knew they were as unfamiliar with the situation as I was, it really hurt to hear my fellow Muslim brothers and sisters spoken of in that manner. Yes, I understood even then that there were and probably still are atheist Palestinians. Yet, I lost respect for those people who I thought were like me, and never quite saw them in the same light again.
I saw a change in these people’s thinking over the years, and it heartened me. Because they were people I knew, it really lifted my spirits. I felt that somebody else’s pain can eventually be felt by a third party, even if it takes some time. In my naivete, I thought this out-dated thinking no longer exists. I thought it was something that the older folks believed in their ignorance, because they didn’t really have as much information at their disposal. I was dismayed, outraged, and disappointed to find out, through the blogosphere, that this line of thinking still exists, and among people who are not old enough to plead ignorance.
I read things like, “Why is this in our faces for so long? What about Sudan, Kashmir, Philippines? What about issues facing Pakistan and Afghanistan and Iraq?” And I agree…we should be hearing about Sudan, Kashmir and the Philippines, as well as Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iraq, way more often. But just because we don’t should not mean that we need a moratorium on coverage of the carnage in Ghazza. Or does it? Am I missing something here? For the first time in a long time we have extensive coverage of the situation faced by Muslims…and some want it silenced. We used to complain about not having enough coverage…and when we get it, we complain?! SubhanAllah.
It doesn’t shock, surprise, or in any way stir me to see this thinking in non-Muslims. They have their issues which they deeply and passionately invest themselves in. We have ours…or we’re at least supposed to have some issues we care about. Yet, it seems like our attention span for tragedy is incredibly fleeting.
I’m of the opinion that if you want to hear more about other issues, and you have a blog as forum through which to raise awareness, then you should discuss those issues yourself. But to say that coverage on Ghazza is hyped up for reasons unknown and unfathomable to my feeble mind is an insensitivity that no Muslim needs to be subjected to.
There is another issue that bothers the hell out of me, which was highlighted by the recent tragedy. I will inshaAllah blog about it tomorrow…right now, I’ve got an unbelievable headache and a fever coming on, so I’m off to get some rest.