The latest shockwave within the “Muslims in America” community was the killing of Aasiya Zubair Hassan. I know I’m a bit late blogging about this, but it really did take me a while to assimilate my thoughts. There are so many things about this case that jumped out at me:
- The irony that the suspect being charged with second degree murder founded a TV station to help improve the image of Muslims in America.
- The fact that this woman had a protective order against her husband, and still managed to be killed.
- The idea that once again, Muslims must defend Islam for the actions of singular individuals.
- How much anger does it take to commit such an atrocity on another human being?
The part that gets to me the most is the first and the last, though. First of all, should we not be more concerned with our image within our community more than we worry about our image without? Is it that days of looking inwards, solving family issues first, community issues second, and da’wah issues last are long gone? If this man had focussed more on his image before his wife, children, and family, he would have served the community image so much better. Nobody would know his name, nobody would know to praise him for his good deeds…but it would be one less huge stain on every Muslim in America. It brings to mind the concept we have in Islam that says: One person’s sins affects 40 people in the neighborhood. In the aftermath of such events, we can only realize the truth of that.
As for the idea of Muslims needing to defend Islam in times like this, I am of mixed thoughts. Do we require such a defensive posture from other minorities? Not really. Does Islam need defending against it’s myriad of detractors? I don’t know. I don’t really think so, though. For one, Islam is Allah’s, and He alone can defend it. On the other hand, these moments do reinforce the perception that Muslims are only all about beheadings and oppressing women. This makes life difficult for the Muslim men in our lives, who must face their non-Muslim colleagues and classmates, look them in the eye daily, and convince them that this is not the face of Islam. More than defending Islam, we just end up needing to defend ourselves even more, and pointlessly at that. This is time we could be better spending praying for the Muslims suffering not just in other countries, but even in our own families. Instead, we are once again back to square one: restoring our image. Such a vicious circle we spin around in!
And lastly, we see the wisdom of Islam’s insistence that we control our anger. I try to imagine what it would take for a man to behead another human being, and I can only think that it must have been an unthinking, all-consuming rage. We all have felt a taste of some sort of rage…you feel your head getting hot, the blood pumping through your veins. When you calm down, you realize that it was Shaytaan coursing through your blood. And this is just an everyday, basic type of anger where you might lose control of your tongue. There is a really good article on ways to control anger, from the perspective of the Sunnah that should be required reading for every Muslim. And there are more articles to be found at the same site. Even if you don’t think you need it, it makes for interesting reading, and might be of benefit to someone you know.
It’s so much harder to remember to say “audhu billahi minashaytan nirajim” rather than “Oh damn it!”…but so much more effective. May Allah protect us all from the ravages of Shaytaan. Ameen.