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The First Friday After Christchurch

Praise be to God for everything.

Last week I issued a general statement on the murder of worshipers in Christchurch, New Zealand. It included some analyses and requirements related to the incident and its causes and its treatment.

This statement is directed towards the hearts, in the hope they follow the course of comprehending the Divine path in dealing with events in a way that is connected to the meaning of us being Muslims:

On the first Friday after the Christchurch massacre, let us go to the mosque as early as possible, cleansed of physical impurity by taking the sunna bath beforehand, and cleansed of the inward impurities of hatred and rancour by the water of love of God and His Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him and his family).

Let us fill our mosques with worshipers in a show of declaration that the acts of criminals will not prevent us from remembering God and performing the prayer, and that terrorism, no matter how dark it is, will not terrorise hearts that believe in God and are rooted in certainty that there is none who can repel His decree. God reminds us:

“There is a time set for every people: they cannot hasten it, nor, when it comes, will they be able to delay it for a single moment.”

“Every soul is certain to taste death: We test you all through the bad and the good, and to Us you will all return.”

“O you, soul at peace: return to your Lord well pleased and well pleasing; enter the abode of My servants; enter into My Paradise”

Let us contemplate another meaning of the events of last Friday. The deceased were in God’s house, on a Friday, and in devotion to Him; some were bowing while others were prostrating. If we reflect on this, perhaps our souls may long for the paradise of God’s contentment and salvation. And may we realise that the darkness of hatred only harms its bearer; the more one has a desire to vent their hatred and inner illness by harming others, the more they will only increase the rank of those they hate.

The crime that took place last week bestowed the honour of death in God’s way upon the deceased. It mobilised the world against people and groups that spout the disease of hatred and even earned the censure of some extremists. And as we saw, anyone who tried to justify this heinous crime was quickly denounced by people around the world.

We have a dire need to engage in a moment of reflection on the events last week. Let our reflection bring us to reject all types of discourse that incite people towards hatred. Let it reject any attempt for hatred to settle in our hearts, for the heart has a purpose more sacred than this: God’s intimate knowledge. And let it reject any attempt for hatred to stain our souls, for they have been ennobled by the Divine breath that carries the beauty of His love into the world in which he appointed us as stewards.

Let us make this Friday a declaration of our steadfastness and determination to populate the mosques of God with prayer and remembrance, undeterred by terrorism or threat, and with hearts that do not accept hatred and do not pay any attention to those who call to it from the pulpit of a mosque, church, synagogue, parliament, or a political rally or electoral campaign. Even if this hatred is repeated through the media, let us reject it because the media has become a place that has stripped the freedom of expression from responsibility. And let us reject the political exploitation of these tragic events.

In closing, the criminals who commit acts of hate towards you might succeed in inflicting physical harm on you, but they cannot inflict any harm to your humanity and nor can they fill your heart with hatred and rancour unless you allow them to do so and are willing for their darkness to triumph over you, defeat you and strip your heart of light.

Remember God’s words: “Those who are aware of God think of Him when Satan prompts them to do something and immediately they can see [straight]” and “God will deliver those who took heed of Him to their place of safety: no harm will touch them, nor will they grieve.”

May God have mercy on those that have returned unto him while they were in a place of His worship and peacefully praying. May He accept them as martyrs and unite them with the prophets, truthful, and righteous people. May He grant the hearts of their loved ones the spiritual succour that He honoured the deceased with at the moment they met with Him, and may the peace and tranquillity of submission and contentment cover them.

I ask God to make us of those He honours with understanding and truthfulness; and that He grants our souls to experience a portion of His love; an experience whose intimacy is never wrested away, nor its light extinguished. May He guide those who have gone astray, bring those who are remote near, turn to those who turn away, and purify the hearts of people with His love. He is the Guardian and the Omnipotent.

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