Musings of a mother on the attack on Lahore…….
GUEST AUTHOR: Naimah Raidah
The pitter-patter of the rain interrupted the hustle and bustle of the afternoon; the mundane chores of the weekend came to a standstill as it brought an awareness of The Divine gift of Mercy and Serenity.
We paused, for our midafternoon prayer as a daily ritual but today something was different.
Today we were reminded as we are all too often nowadays of the carnage that surrounds our world. We were acutely aware of the brevity of life, and its unpredictable sudden end.
Our daily prayers became infused with an emergent awareness of the fragility of life and with it came the intense mindful connection with the Divine.
When I take the time to truly connect and submit to our Creator, in accordance with the guidance of our Islamic faith, peace and tranquility infuses my heart.
How I wish and pray for the day when society at large can engage in the spiritual struggle of fighting their own inner demons, and resist the temptations of evil. Instead embody qualities of honesty, respect, and compassion, practiced by our beloved Prophet (may the peace and blessings of God be upon him).
Still sitting and thinking and praying for a better world, my daughter eager to carry on with the afternoon fun, oblivious to the world around her and still watchful through the eye of innocence asked me to paint her hair in “hair chalk”. Her new item of interest.
I find myself thinking of the graphic images of mothers embracing each other, wailing, their faces twisted with pain as they wait to find out the fate of their injured or missing child. My thoughts are interrupted by my daughter, “mama take a picture”, she says. I take one and then watch her dancing and twirling around the kitchen, her long locks covered with tints of purple and blue.
In that moment, I am unable to fathom the insurmountable loss, sadness and anguish that the mothers far away are enduring due to the loss of their children in the violence.
She jostled my mind once again
“Send my picture to aunty” she urged. I called my younger sister and the magnitude of the violence came back with full force. She was saying…”they detonated the bombs close to a swing…. who does that?”. Yes who does that I thought.
A friend advised me by text to avoid the news as it was too harrowing. Why? I thought; to protect myself from the force and magnitude of the tragedy? Perhaps the images would come to haunt me in the night?
While I am grateful that I have never experienced the suffering people undergo every day, every hour all around the world, I do not alienate myself from their pain.
I hear and see the daily physical and mental torture of people who are deprived of their basic human rights and needs of privacy and dignity, whose homes are broken into at any moment of day and night, whose houses are demolished, who are deprived of their livelihood and of any semblance of normal family life. I am grateful that this is not part of my personal ordeal; yet, I cannot help feeling afflicted as a mother, sister, daughter, wife and friend.
I am reminded those mothers taking their children to a park to enjoy an afternoon could have been me. They too thought they were in comfortable surroundings. Any murder and attack is horrific however when stamped with religious prejudice make them untenable to me as a Muslim.
Practices from the Quran and the way of life of our Prophet (pbuh) instruct us to treat everyone the way we would like to be treated.
What a beautiful world this would be if we tried in even a miniscule fashion to emulate some of the life habits of our beloved Prophet Muhammad pbuh
The unfortunate truth is that issues such as the one in Lahore, Pakistan are what in the final analysis keep us humble and increase the sound of the ticking of the clock the running out of time and the race towards the Final Day. It makes us into full time worshippers. It’s what keeps us aware and in constant repentance. It is our reminder that life is short, and every soul shall taste death.
We tell ourselves that all we can do is pray. The Quran encourages us to be mindful of our Creator and seek help through patience and prayer, yet when the time comes for us to practice, do we?
We flinch at hearing about genocides, attacks that leave the innocent dead and we weep over the images of innocent bystanders devastated in a bomb explosion randomly or in war.
We question the sanity of government officials who allow such barbaric acts to go on…we let our tears flow easily at the sight of a baby with blood oozing from his head, his parent helpless in grief and panic.
We feel our heart squeezed at the sight of a parent holding their dead child. These are people who see the stages of life played out for them all too crudely. These are all the typical types of deaths we mourn about…cry for, …say a prayer about…and then return to our daily lives. Acknowledging and being mindful of death for only a period of time…
I would like you to join me in my struggle to live life more mindfully, with a keen awareness of what is going on in our global society and to think and act in ways to help our brothers and sisters; mindful of the ways we can help each human being regardless of his or her religious or cultural affiliations. and especially mindful of the temporary nature and the borrowed space that is Life.
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