So yesterday i received an interesting phone call. Apparently, one of my previous post on asking if there were any Mosques or places in Singapore which can spare or share their space with a Jewish community (so they can have their sessions) caused an uproar with a number of Muslims.
I cant even begin to express the emotions i felt. An uproar?! The argument, amongst many others was ‘Jews hate us and are our enemies so why would this Muslim girl post such a thing and support them?’
I want to shout ‘backward thinking’ right now but – backward where??? This hate mongering against Jews or any religion for that matter did not exist during the Prophet’s time. Yes there is a verse in the Quran that states “…take not the Jews as your friends..” BUT there is a context as well in which that verse was sent and surely by now everyone who considers him or herself a Muslim will know that the Quran is all about context and you cannot cherry pick verses out of that context and apply them anydamnwhere you please.
‘The Jews want to kill all Muslims’ rhetoric needs to stop. Please tell me what different are you from the people who say ‘All Muslims are terrorist’??? Really. Think about this. How are these 2 rhetorics any different? Oh wait, you have higher ground as a Muslim? Because your religion is The Truth? Well let me share a quote from your beloved Prophet when the Muslims had upper hand in Medina.
“Beware! Whoever is cruel and hard on a non-Muslim or minority, or curtails their rights, or burdens them with more than they can bear, or takes anything from them against their free will, I will personally complain against them on the Day of Judgment.”
How’s that for starters? Of course, there is so many more where that came from. And as for Muslims and Jews have always been fighting? And that its always been like that? Where did you get that from? No. This historical lie on a broken record played by haters needs to be destroyed.
The Prophet was the biggest interfaith advocate of his time and i daresay to date. Religious autonomy and the freedom of religious assembly was obligatory for all under his watch. He was adamant that no place of worship be destroyed or harmed. Convenants and constitutions were forged and sealed to ensure these rights.
When 60 Christian delegates from Najran came to his mosque and their time of prayer came, THEY PRAYED IN HIS MOSQUE. (And that is ONE teeny tiny example)
I dont know about you but i have lived in a country where for the longest time our diverse race and religion is something we are proud of. Unfortunately, events around the world and the speed of technology means you have access to so much hate that is going around elsewhere. But dont you dare bring that on my homeground. This is Singapore. This is our turf. And we should do whatever it takes to protect it from hate and ignorance.
When people say evil things about Muslims, you ask them “have you even met a Muslim in your life?? Or speak to one??” And its true. Usually these people who paint the brush on all because of a minor few are those who cant be bothered to step out and meet a Muslim or go to their mosque to actually find out what the hell is going on. No. They sit behind a screen and willingly feed themselves with every news source and hang out with similar minded ignorant experts and assume that has to be it.
Have you met a Jew? Sat with one? Have you met a Jewish father of two beautiful little girls who went for a one month programme in a different country just to seek Muslims to understand about their religion so he could forge a better relationship with them and educate his Jewish community? And while he was on the trip, his youngest girl fell and broke her arm and asked daddy to come home but he had to tell his little girl that he had important work to finish though it broke his heart. I have. I saw it with my own eyes.
These are people who have nothing to do with the war or the politics. People like you and me. You cannot claim to love the teachings of your Prophet if your love is conditional. Or forget love. Maybe that’s too high a level for mere humans like us. But basic humanity? Surely that is not too far off?
We Muslims really need to step up if we are going to continue calling ourselves Muslims and calling Islam a religion of peace. It cant be peaceful if the self appointed gatekeepers are hell bent on choosing who deserves a (FREE)ticket and who doesnt.
I’ll end this rant with my favourite poem by Adam Kelwick and hopefully, it inspires us all to love a little harder.
I sat with a Jew.
Do you feel upset that I sat with a Jew?
And with a Christian, does that unnerve you?
What about an atheist? that angers too?
A gay? An alcoholic? What shall you do?
One sufi here, a shi’a there or two?
With the brotherhood and the salafi crew.
Well let me explain what the Prophet Muhammad would do…
He’d welcome everybody, black, white or blue.
And the house of Islam has big doors, so true.
With invites for them all, not just me and you.
Even if they reject, their rights are still due.
We all need bigger hearts, if only we knew.
Source: Noor Mastura