Aggregator

Bismillah, The Beast [Part II] – A Short Story

Muslim Matters - 6 May, 2024 - 09:27

[…contd. from Part I]

 

Selyane

The werehyena snorted, then recoiled, seemingly surprised by her outburst. “As gruesome as my appearance is, I am no jinn.”

Jameela’s lip twitched. The beast her father had told her about had spoken! When she was little, her siblings had told her stories of the mustadhaba—the werehyena unbound to the moon, who could transform on command.

“So a part of you is still human,” she said softly.

He turned up his nose. “An insignificant one.”

“But one all the same.” She smiled, feeling relief that the beast was not so beastly after all. “It’s one thing we have in common with animals: hearts.”

He hummed, and muttered something under his breath—or perhaps he was merely trying to string a sentence together.

“What shall I call you, Seedee?

“You may call me whatever you like,” he harrumphed. “… Anything but that.”

“Well, you must have a name!”

“… Selyane.”

She giggled. “You certainly are a man of your name—unique!”

The werehyena scoffed, baring his fangs, and Jameela shuddered. Then he swallowed and stopped hunching.

“Again, call me whatever you like. Even ‘Beast’ will suffice.”

Jameela shook her head. “And earn bad deeds in the holiest month when I do?”

The clock in the salon struck. What an interesting thing, Jameela thought, that it would tell you the times of the prayer! And you had no need to look at the sun. “Will you not pray, Selyane?”

His two hind legs shifted uncomfortably. “I have not prayed since I was little,” he confessed. “And besides… I am more animal than human. I do not think I should!”

“I was only wondering, because if you would want to pray, then I would do so behind you.”

Selyane considered her explanation. Then, after a shake of his head, he confessed. “I’ve forgotten how.”

She gasped. “No—don’t worry. Let me offer my dhuhr, and then I will have something for you.”

When she finished the last raka’t in her room, she found an abundance of paper and paints. For the rest of the afternoon, she illustrated the positions of salah, transcribing each step with care.

When she brought them to the werehyena, his ears perked up with curiosity. Then he snorted and looked away. “It’s already too late.”

She quirked an eyebrow. “That’s all right. You have three more chances for the rest of the day.”

He groaned, much like her brothers had before their farm duties, but consented. She realized only when the clock struck again that she had forgotten the steps of wudhu. Quickly, she transcribed them for him, promising to draw them later.

Selyane grasped the papers in his clawed hands, doing so as gently as he could. Jameela, meanwhile, offered her ‘Asr, praying to Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) for a solution as to how he refused to transform back.

She found him outside, near the pond bordering the desert roses. It appeared as though he had performed ghusl rather than wudhu! Water had splattered all around him, and his feet and arms were dripping wet.

Jameela knelt beside him. “It would be easier if you transformed into a human.”

I cannot!” he burst in frustration. He growled and stood with effort. “If it weren’t for that other werehyena…”

“What do you mean?”

He snarled. “I refused to offer him shelter in the desert winds. When I emerged to care for my beautiful roses, he bit me and cursed me—that if I did not learn how to rectify my monstrous behavior by the end of Ramadan, I would be cursed for the rest of my life.”

“That sounds like what Ramadan is for everyone,” she said gently. “All of us come to it a little… ‘monstrous.’ But we emerge from it, insha’Allah, better.”

“I hope so.” He sounded defeated this time. “… Are the papers wet?”

She laughed. “No, alhamdulillah, they are not.”

Selyane prayed his ‘Asr. Jameela returned to her room and drew out the steps of wudhu. She wondered what Selyane had looked like, before his unfortunate curse. Had he been on this veranda all alone? Where were his parents, his siblings? Had he been abandoned?

She decided to ask him at iftar. He stumbled inside the dining parlor clumsily. Puzzled, she asked him why.

“We’re supposed to be fasting, aren’t we?” he asked. “I had my suhoor separate from you and your father. I imagined that you wanted it alone.”

She sniffed. “That’s very considerate of you. But we wouldn’t have minded if you joined us. There are blessings when you eat together.”

He threw up his pawed hands in the air. “Must everything in this religion be done together?”

“Not everything, no,” she said with a chuckle. “But it is nice to have these moments together, as believers.”

“I am so used to doing things alone, I am not sure it would be quite so nice.”

“Well, we’re together now, aren’t we?”

“You really don’t mind me eating with you? Be honest, you think me a beast. I’m horrid-looking, and I bring fear to all who see me.”

“It does take some getting used to. But I know humans who act more beastly, who are even more beautiful.”

He raised his furrowed brows. “They treated you in this way?”

She nodded sadly. “I’m glad to be here instead of at home. I’ve not had suhur ever prepared for me, nor iftar.”

“Anything you ask for, you will have. This is your home as well as mine.”

Jazakum Allahu khayran, Selyane.”

“Wa… What is it, again?”

 The Proposal

The first ten days passed. They prayed together five times a day and ate together twice. Jameela could not remember the last time she felt so happy. She had ample paint and paper for her to trace the letters of the Qur’an, helping her memorize more verses, and she could visit the beautiful rose garden whenever she wanted.

Then the second set of ten days passed. The inevitable slump—and the crippling homesickness. She missed taraweeh in Marrakech, spending time with her family. Selyane directed her to the magical mirror in her room. Like the compass he had given her father, all she needed to do was have someone in her heart. An hour before iftar, she saw every one of her siblings get married, one by one, until her father was all alone in the house. When would she have her chance, she wondered?

part II - mirror

Mirror – PC: Inga Gezalian (unsplash)

She arrived sluggish and quiet to the dining parlor for suhoor. Selyane asked if he preferred that she be alone, to which she shook her head.

“Your presence does not bother me, Selyane,” she said. There was still sadness in her voice. 

“Still, after all this time, you still do not find me wretched or ugly?” he asked.

Jameela swallowed.  “I do not wish to lie, but I do not wish to hurt you, either.”

“Do not worry about hurting me,” he said, hanging his head. “What ails you? It is more than the fast. I know you.”

“I watched all of my siblings—my three brothers, my two sisters—get married. My father is now all alone. Everyone always said I was like him, and I think that that may be true in more ways than one.”

“I can help,” he said softly. “You may either visit him again, or you may stay here longer.”

Her eyebrows raised. “How would staying here help?”

Now it was his turn to swallow. “Jameela, would you be my wife?”

Her jaw dropped. Selyane was wealthy, the son of a sultan, and pious, but… she could not bear his appearance. The fangs that bore themselves every time he spoke, the tail that lashed to and fro from his back, and the way he prowled when he walked. How would such a marriage even work? 

She looked into his glowing gold eyes. She had seen his frustration, and heard of the rage he had shown her father, but what would happen after a rejection?

… He wouldn’t dare hurt her. 

Quietly, she shook her head.

His heart broke before her eyes. The long ears she had just lamented sank, and his back only hunched further on the table.

“Then rest comfortably tonight,” he said. “But it will be the last night you spend here. The remaining ten nights of Ramadan with your father, and then the Eid.”

Jameela beamed. “Truly?!”

“Yes,” Selyane said, pain laced in his voice.

“No,” she insisted. “I ought to return. My father made you a promise, and I intend to keep it.”

“You know as well as I know that your stay here is hardly permissible. I only ever had the intention to know you as a wife. And if that cannot be the case, then there can be no friendship between us. Hardly any residency. It was never proper in the first place, and I curse myself for it. No wonder I was made a beast.”

Such kindness. She was torn—even though he had the authority to command her there, he would not. “Selyane, may I at least consult with my father about it? I will only take ten days and the Eid.”

He smiled sadly. “Alas, I can only hope that Ramadan is twenty-nine days this year. Come, let us pray Fajr now.”

No sooner had they completed their prayer did he rise and lead her back to the garden. A pearl-white Arabian stood waiting for her, and she was amazed. She and her father only had one horse that they had to share.

“I will go with you; I cannot bear that you travel alone. The scent of your father still lingers in the air from whence he was here. I shall find your home.”

Her sisters would have turned their noses up at such a statement. But Jameela found it sweet that he would not let her face the elements alone. 

Both horse and beast rode on their four legs, traveling swiftly throughout the desert. The sun was barely at its zenith before she reached her countryside home. In her excitement, Jameela leaped from the saddle and rushed towards it, forgetting to invite Selyane to come with her. By the time she looked back, he was gone; as quickly as he had come.

For What Did You Marry?

“Jameela?!” Aderfi burst. She burst into tears and ran into her father’s arms. The two wept profusely, and her life for the past twenty days was as distant a memory as it was in physicality.

At iftar, her father told her everything that had happened in the short time she had departed their home. His sons were all in charge of the souks they had worked in but were all too preoccupied to stay at home. Their wives deeply missed their company, and to salve the wound, they spent not the time with their husbands, but rather their wealth. This resulted in a vicious cycle of work.

Jameela thought of Selyane, who looked at her drawings as though they were masterpieces from the greatest artists, and who never interrupted her when she spoke. Each day, there was a splendid new galabiya, even though she had never asked for it. Food was always prepared, and she never knew how. Surely he knew how magic was forbidden. Had it been cooked by him the entire time?

Selyane. Before she could ask her father about the proposal he had mentioned, the door opened. Her sisters had arrived from Marrakech. Her father looked equally as surprised, but welcomed them with open arms. Jameela made ready for their guests.

Her sisters eyed her the entire time. After such travel, she had changed to something more suitable—a lovely kaftan, courtesy of Selyane.

“My husband would never give me such a thing,” the eldest commented. “He was so handsome when I met him, the most well-kept of all diplomats, but he has become so plain now that I live with him. All I ever wear are rags to keep up with our home. Guests come all the time, in and out, and it must appear beautifully to others.”

“Oh, mine is the same!” the middle sister complained. “Since he is a minister, he always does things with others in mind. I admired his family reputation—we have known them since we were young—but it seems like they are the only ones he really thinks about. It feels like I am always being watched.”

“I am sorry, dear sisters,” Jameela responded. “I did not know marriage could be like this.”

“Yes, you must be very careful,” the eldest said.

“Especially if that beast should propose to you. Someone so ugly on the outside surely must be just as ugly on the inside!”

“On the contrary!” Jameela blurted. “He has been nothing but kind!”

And so Jameela continued. As it was an odd night, all three sisters stood up waiting for suhoor. Jameela yawned, attempting to go to bed early, but her sisters kept telling her to stay, that they had not seen her in so long. Feeling her guard slip with every hour, she confessed the proposal to them.

“Never!” the eldest said, looking sick to her stomach. “Remember, Jameela, he had such glowing, horrid eyes! And the voice that Baba described him with—you really think, after you have had a terrible day, you could look at him, hear him, and feel better?”

The tune of the second sister had changed almost immediately. “And you do not even know his family. Did they abandon him? It certainly sounds like it! Sure, he might have been the son of a sultan, but he does not act like it. Just think of what others would say. Not just of you. But of us. And Baba.”

Stricken by their words, Jameela thanked them for their advice. For the sunnah of her Fajr, she prayed istikhara. But she was so tired at suhoor, that she did not ask her father for advice.

She slept until dhuhr, and hoped to inquire of him then, but there was cleaning to do from her sisters’ departure. As she folded their sheets and swept their room, she remembered how Selyane had traveled with her to her destination. Her brothers-in-law had not done that. Jameela cursed herself for not even giving him salam.

The rest of the ten days followed similarly. Aderfi needed her help now more than ever after suhoor. And at iftar, he would ask for her advice—should he sell the farm? Which of her siblings should he live with after she was gone? When her father did have a spare moment, he spent it reading Qur’an, sending salawat, and making du’a. It was Ramadan—should she really be thinking about marriage now? There were better things!

Eventually, they decided to sell the farm. The two set off for Marrakech to meet potential sellers, and to see which of her brothers would be willing to take their father in. They spent iftar at a different one of their houses, but neither of them appealed to her father.

“Why did you marry her?” Jameela asked a different brother.

“Her wealth,” the head of Souk Chouari said. He was a carpenter, so he was attracted to the promise of security.

“Her family,” the head of Souk Haddadine said. He was a blacksmith, often covered in ashes, so the appeal of a high-ranking family was too much to miss.

“Her beauty,” the head of Souk Smata said. He was a cobbler, someone who was entranced by well-crafted things.

None for their piety? Jameela was astonished by each one of their responses. There was hardly even a moment to bring up the proposal from Selyane, as their brothers sat, ate a few bites, and rushed to taraweeh. Jameela remained behind to help her sisters-in-law.

By the time they were finished in Marrakech and heading home, it was approaching the twenty-eighth night. Her father, consumed by worries now, was quiet on their ride. Interested buyers would soon be coming, but only after Eid.

“Father, come with me,” Jameela begged on the day they were returning home. “Selyane is kind, pious, and thoughtful. To this day, I do not feel as though I was a prisoner. I was a guest.”

“That cannot be,” he said, shaking her shoulders. “Jameela, my sweet daughter, did he cast magic on you?”

“No, Baba, not at all. The horse I rode in with was a gift. And he came with me to ensure that I was safe.”

“Oh, Jameela, you must understand—he was doing so that he would know where to find you if you did not keep your promise. The horse was only a bribe. Even he gave me a gift, to try and help me—but this is what the wealthy do, ya binti.” He looked torn. “It is a good thing that we are selling the farm. After Eid, we must sell the house quickly, and set off for Marrakech immediately. Far, far enough where he cannot track our scent.”

“Baba, please—I want to marry him! He—”

“Ya Allah! No—I forbid such a thing!”

She tried to persuade him otherwise, but it was no use. Jameela retired to her room, defeated. Well, she thought. It could be Laylat al-Qadr.

She lowered herself onto her prayer mat and begged. Her hands opened wide and her tears freely flowed.

Ya Allah, soften the heart of my father. Allow him to see what you have shown me—that no matter his appearance, nor his wealth, nor his family name, it is his piety that matters most. Ya Allah, I wish I never said no to Selyane—I wish I had a second chance to tell him yes! He is a good man, he will take care of me and my father! Ya Allah, forgive me, but if Ramadan should end early, then let me arrive early to the veranda, and accept his proposal! Ya Allah! Ya Allah! Ya Allah!

“Jameela?” 

She had fallen fast asleep on her prayer mat. It was time for fajr. She wiped her face and went to take her place behind her father. She thought of how Selyane had last led her, and she wept.

When they concluded their prayer, Aderfi was at her side in seconds. She swallowed, saying that she wished she had woken up in time for tahajjud, and that she had prepared suhoor for her father. All true, but masking the real reason for her sadness.

“Eid Mubarak, ya binti,” he said softly. In his hand was the compass that Selyane had given him. “All you need to do is think of him, and the compass will show the way.”

She gasped. The tiny compass already began to redirect itself. Selyane had never left her heart since she had returned home.

“I thought about what you said, all night. Our Prophet ﷺ said that we marry people for four reasons: wealth, status, appearance, and religion. And which do you think he recommended that we marry for?”

Jameela embraced her father, and he began to chuckle. “Now, let us hurry. The moon sighters say that we will see the hilal tonight. Shall we introduce your future husband to the sunnah of looking for it?”

The Compass and The Sultan

They both rode their horses, making as much use of the remaining time as possible. Jameela said istighfar over and over again—for not teaching Selyane as much as she should have, for not advising him more, for never having helped with suhoor, for rejecting him when Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) had provided such a good man for her.

The compass needle began to twitch. They were getting closer. The veranda appeared, but Selyane was nowhere in sight.

Compass - part II

The compass (PC: Dunamis Church [unsplash])

Jameela dismounted. She shook the compass, but it gave her no more directions. Aderfi volunteered to go inside, and Jameela resigned to the outdoors. She passed by the water, assuming he might be making wudhu, but did not find him. Panic seized her, and she began running frantically through the garden.

She found him collapsed in the rose bushes. She cried out and rushed to his side.

“Selyane!” she exclaimed.

His eyes blearily opened. “Is it that I am in Heaven, dear Jameela? I…” he coughed. He was ill, and thinned from when she had last seen him. Had he even been eating at all? “I can see no other reason as to why I might be seeing you again.”

“You will see me in this life and in the next, bi idhnillah—” she urged.

“Then I die happily,” he said, eyes slowly shutting again.

No! I swear to be yours only. I accept, Selyane—I want to be yours. Please be mine.”

There was no response. Only total darkness. Then suddenly, shining moonlight from overhead—the hilal. Jameela looked up above. How could a crescent give off such light? To the point where it was blinding?

It shone even more brilliantly, and she was forced to cover her eyes. She heard the sound of fireworks, of merry celebration as everyone in the Land of the Sunset welcomed Eid. But Jameela felt nothing but grief in her heart; as though she were at a janazah. She choked back a sob. She was too late.

“Do you regret your decision already, Jameela?”

She gasped. Hurriedly, she looked to where she had heard a new voice. Before her was a sultan of astounding handsomeness, clothed in rags and with a disheveled beard.

Selyane!

A smile spread itself on her face. “Selyane! It’s you!” she cried out. 

“Indeed. In the flesh, and not in the fur,” he said with a wry smile. “The curse has been lifted. For me to fall in love with a lady for more than her beauty, and for that lady to reciprocate in kind. Did you mean it?”

“Of course! Forever and always, inshAllah!”

The two were married within the veranda, with Aderfi and the other dwellers bearing witness. 

After Eid, they walked together into Marrakech. The sultan had once more regained power. Selyane, his son, was welcomed into the palace once more, and Jameela as his beautiful wife. And the two lived happily ever after in the Land of the Sunset.

 

Related:

Searching for Signs of Spring: A Short Story

Short Story: Hijab, My Crown

 

The post Bismillah, The Beast [Part II] – A Short Story appeared first on MuslimMatters.org.

‘It’s about valuing their audience’: why Ghostbusters called in a Muslim ‘cultural consultant’

The Guardian World news: Islam - 3 May, 2024 - 14:30

The spooky comedy franchise may seem an unlikely place to find an ethnicity and faith adviser, but productions are increasingly aware of a duty to make sure communities are truthfully represented

The “sensitivity reader” is a well-established, if controversial, figure in the publishing world, offering advice on whether a book’s content might cause offence. The film and TV industry has also been forced to confront similar issues, with “intimacy coordinators” now widely employed to ensure that filmed sex scenes neither harm the actors nor outrage audiences. Perhaps less well-known, but now gaining ground in film and TV, is the role of a “cultural consultant” – advisers taken on by productions to help them navigate the choppy waters of sensitivities around ethnicity and faith.

Sajid Varda, founder and CEO of media charity UK Muslim Film and director of the UK’s inaugural Muslim international film festival, recently completed an assignment on Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire, the latest instalment of the popular and long-running series of supernatural comedies. Varda says the key to such roles is “authenticity”; it is, he says “not just saying what is wrong with this, but how can we make it better and improve it?”

Continue reading...

Zionist Instigators Storm Los Angeles Campus

Muslim Matters - 2 May, 2024 - 17:57

by Ibrahim Moiz for MuslimMatters

May 2, 2024

UCLA Students and Faculty Horrified at Extent of Violence

The campaign against pro-Palestine protests on American campuses took another unsavory shift this week in Los Angeles when an encampment at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) was stormed by armed Zionist thugs, who set about attacking the protesters with practical impunity and with no response from either police or campus security. The assault continued for hours in the night, leaving both students and faculty horrified at the extent of the violence and its indulgence by security who are meant to protect the university community.

UCLA pro-Palestine encampment

Overwhelmingly nonviolent protests have spread across the United States in recent weeks, as students protest for universities to divest from companies that profit off the internationally illegal, but liberally indulged, occupation of the West Bank and Palestine. Although the United States has long claimed brokerage between Israelis and Palestinians, in actual fact, it has indulged Israel’s occupation under the pretext of security, and much of the American political and business class has engaged with and invested in an internationally illegal occupation.

Cowardly Leaders Fail to Protect Students

Pro-Israeli thugs attack protesters

In a typical diversion, Zionist organizations and their sympathizers in the corridors of power, as high as Joseph Biden himself, have attempted to paint the opposition to Israel’s genocide in Gaza as an episode of antisemitism, notwithstanding the hundreds of Jewish protesters and the mounting disapproval for Israeli policies among even a traditionally sympathetic Jewish-American populace. Thus the White House’s only response to events at New York’s Columbia University, whose British-Arab president Minouche Shafik caved into political pressure and ordered the police on her own students a fortnight ago and where students occupied a historic hall in solidarity with Palestine, was to condemn antisemitism and paint the Arabic term intifada, commonly used in various uprising-related contexts around the world, as an antisemitic slur.

At the other, western end of the United States, leadership has been similarly craven. In an interview with Ian Masters, professor and director of the UCLA Institute on Inequality and Democracy Ananya Roy described the university’s failure in protecting its students, whose “calm, contained, peaceful encampment” was repeatedly menaced by Zionist agitators. This failure, Roy says, led directly to the “unchecked violence”, dumbly watched by passive security forces as students and faculty who tried to protect them were assaulted. The administration, according to Roy, “resolutely refused to recognize the safety and well-being of our very own students who are in that encampment and really have the right to protest at university.”

Campus Administration Negligence

Pro-Zionist thugs attacked protesters

Not only did the university administration fail to have the attackers arrested, but their statements and messaging “downplayed the need for safety and well-being for the students in the encampment”. It was in this context that some two hundred Zionist thugs launched an armed night attack on the encampment, savagely laying about the students and chanting genocidal slogans such as the call for a second “Nakba”, referring to the original expulsion of Palestinians from their land at the foundation of the Israeli ethnostate in the late 1940s.

Though UCLA chancellor Gene Block has since responded to the assault with a condemnation, Roy describes the administration as having been negligent in the days leading up to it. Complaints about the behavior of a Zionist counterprotest over the weekend – a counterprotest funded in part by the wife of comedian Jerry Seinfeld – were ignored.

Belying widespread attempts to portray the protests as antisemitic because of their criticism of Israel, Roy noted that many of the students and, indeed, faculty who opposed Israel’s policy were Jews, who were nonetheless endangered by violence in the name of the “Jewish state”. She described how one Jewish student on whom she checked after the violence replied, “I’m okay – but the university was really trying to kill us last night.”

Many comments on social media expressed shock at the violence and its apparent impunity.
https://twitter.com/ryangrim/status/1785614477561344489

Others grimly noted the parallel with Zionist militia violence in Palestine, where thuggish Israeli settlers regularly brutalize Palestinians with the protection, and frequent participation, by the Israeli state.

https://twitter.com/BenEhrenreich/status/1785606983065739581
https://twitter.com/thaqafatalhind/status/1785642951697154131

Related:

Callous Campus Crackdowns On Pro-Palestinian Protesters Grip The United States – MuslimMatters.org

We Are Not Numbers x MuslimMatters – Ramadan While Under Attack In Gaza

The post Zionist Instigators Storm Los Angeles Campus appeared first on MuslimMatters.org.

Quranic Verses For Steadfastness For The Valiant Protesters On Campus

Muslim Matters - 2 May, 2024 - 09:40

We have all been watching the courage of America’s university students (and those from across the world) as they encamp in peaceful protest of Israel’s genocide against Gaza and demand from their institutions that they divest from their investments in that apartheid state.

We have also seen the hypocrisy of their institutions on full display -these supposed beacons of free speech, academic freedom, and intellectual dissent-, as they attempt to crush the peaceful protests…evicting them from student housing, suspending them, canceling their meal plans; and when all of that failed, responding with overwhelming force, and calling on local police to arrest the students that are entrusted to their care. 

Steadfastness amidst protest crackdown

Students and pro-Palestinian supporters occupy a plaza at the New York University campus. [David Dee Delgado/Reuters]

The scenes that we have witnessed will mar the image of these institutions for a long time: snipers on the roofs of Ohio State University, professors being thrown on the ground and viciously arrested at Emory University in Atlanta, and students praying in handcuffs at the University of Southern California.

And yet these students persist, and the encampments continue to grow.

I would say that we are proud of them, but it is much more than that…we are inspired by them and also aspire to be like them.  

They are the ones leading, and we support them however we can. 

In this spirit, I want to share that our Prophet ﷺ said, “Know that victory comes with sabr.” 

Sabr is a word that is generally translated as patience, but it is much bigger than patience; it is resilience, perseverance, persistence, fortitude, steadfastness, grit, consistency, and discipline – among other things.

And this is a moment in history that requires sabr and steadfastness.

Our greatest source of inspiration and guidance is the Quran, and when we look through its verses we find incentives for steadfastness andmresilience of which here I will share five. 

  1. Asking Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) for steadfastness

And Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) informs the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ that,
“And had We not made you stand firm, you would nearly have inclined to them a little.” [Surat Al-Isra: 17;74 

2. Making much remembrance of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He)

When  Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) sent Moses 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) and Aaron 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) to Pharoah they were commanded,
“Go, you and your brother with My signs and do not slacken in My remembrance.” [Surat Taha: 20;42]

The remembrance of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) strengthens the spirit and the body, and it was this regimen that Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) instructed Moses 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) and Aaron 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) to keep as they faced one of history’s greatest tyrants.

3. Seeking forgiveness for sins

“And they said nothing but: ‘Our Lord! Forgive us our sins and our transgressions (in keeping our duties to You), establish our feet firmly, and give us victory over the disbelieving people.'” [Surat Al-Imran: 3;147]

There is nothing that causes defeat more than sins, and so those seeking victory should tirelessly and constantly ask Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) to forgive them. They recognize that in the end victory comes from Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He); the most important factor to secure then, is the support of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He), and they do that by keeping their duties to Him subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) and avoiding sins.

4. Reflecting on the Quran and acting upon it

“Say, [O Muhammad], ‘The Holy Spirit has brought it down from your Lord in truth to make firm those who believe and as guidance and good tidings to the Muslims.'” [Surat Al-Nahl: 16;102]

“And each [story] We relate to you from the news of the messengers is that by which We make firm your heart. And there has come to you, in this, the truth and an instruction and a reminder for the believers.” [Surat Hud: 11;120]

Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) says that He subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) related the stories of the Prophets to give the Prophet Muhammad’s ﷺ heart resolve. And when you read and reflect on the stories of the Prophets it also grants your heart resolve, so that you know that when you stand for truth you are standing in a long line of Prophets and believers who were tested before you; who stood their ground before you, and that the truth ultimately wins. The truth will come and falsehood will perish, falsehood is bound to perish.

5. Supporting the cause of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He)

“O you who have believed, if you support Allah , He will support you and plant firmly your feet.” [Surat Muhammad: 47;7]

Ibn Kathir in his commentary of this verse quotes a hadith that is controversial in its authenticity in which the Prophet ﷺ says, 

“مَنْ بَلَّغ ذَا سُلْطَانٍ حَاجَةَ مَنْ لَا يَسْتَطِيعُ إِبْلَاغَهَا، ثَبَّتَ اللَّهُ قَدَمَهُ عَلَى الصِّرَاطِ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ”

“Whoever communicates to an authority the need of someone who is not able to communicate it, Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) will make their feet firm on the sirat (bridge over the hellfire) on the Day of Judgment.”

And that is exactly what these students are doing: communicating to their universities, and the world, on behalf of the children of Gaza that their complicity and maintenance of the status quo as a genocide is unfolding is unacceptable. 

 

May Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) make their feet firm, and may He subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) grant them victory. 

 

Related:

Callous Campus Crackdowns on Pro-Palestinian Protesters Grip the United States – MuslimMatters.org

Protests: An Islamic Perspective – MuslimMatters.org

 

The post Quranic Verses For Steadfastness For The Valiant Protesters On Campus appeared first on MuslimMatters.org.

Callous Campus Crackdowns On Pro-Palestinian Protesters Grip The United States

Muslim Matters - 2 May, 2024 - 01:58

May 1, 2024

 
Scenes of a Police State

In scenes more reminiscent of a flailing police state than anything else, several major university campuses across the United States of America have witnessed crackdowns against non-violent pro-Palestine protest encampments. In the northeast, New York’s Columbia and City Universities have both seen police crackdowns against both students and faculty protesting links to Israel. On the West Coast, meanwhile, police stood by to watch as hundreds of pro-Israel thugs attacked student protesters at Los Angeles’ University of California.

Hundreds of campus protesters have been arrested

Hundreds of campus protesters have been arrested

The crackdowns follow weeks of peaceful, and surprisingly disciplined protests against both the United States’ general support for, and the universities’ specific links to, the Israeli ethnostate that has killed tens of thousands of Palestinians, over half of them children, in a brutal and ongoing campaign for the last seven months.

Dispelling with a long-professed but always wafer-thin pretense of neutrality between Israel and the Palestinians, the American government – led by liberal Democrat Joseph Biden, whose Zionism is rabid even by the standards of American politicians – has thrown its full weight behind Israel. This includes financial support to the tune of billions of dollars, including a package pushed through in mid-April 2024 by the fanatical far-right Congressional speaker Mike Johnson, as well as indispensable military support and diplomatic cover. This happened even as the war sours on an American public that has historically been far more indulgent toward Zionism than the overwhelming majority of the planet.

Attempts to Reframe Opposition to Genocide as Antisemitism

Because Israel is a Jewish ethnostate, one of its defenders’ fondest strategies has been to present any criticism as being an essential hatred of Jews. Thus, antisemitism, and not the generation-long blockade of the Gaza Strip, was widely portrayed as being the cause for the October 2023 hostage raid by Palestinian militants that paved the way for the genocidal Israeli onslaught.

In the United States, Zionist organizations have openly advertised for provocateurs, especially such as can pass as Arabs, to infiltrate and break up the protests. Their aim has been to spread a false narrative, widely parroted in much of the mainstream media, that the protests are about intimidating Jews – even as hundreds of Jewish protesters oppose Israel’s genocidal violence done in their name and the Israeli state loses support among American Jews.

Zionist dissemblers ranging from manchild professor, arms industry profiteer, and widely alleged student-harasser Shai Davidai to serial bellyacher Sahar Tartak have leapt snout-first into the trough, yowling on international platforms about alleged attacks clearly belied by camera evidence and calling in paramilitary crackdowns after fearmongering about something as simple and fundamental as Muslim students in prayer. As with the enormously destructive war on terror that ravaged the Muslim world – a war that was encouraged, and whose patterns are fully embraced, by Israel – Zionist tactics revert at a pinch to the lowest common denominator.

Familiar Authoritarian Tactics Zionist thugs attack pro-Palestinian protesters at UCLA

Zionist thugs attack pro-Palestinian protesters at UCLA

These are, of course, tactics widely practiced by Israelis on Palestinians, but the close link between Israeli enforcement and their American counterparts may at least partly explain why they have caught on in the United States. The sight of Zionist thugs storming pro-Palestine protesters in Los Angeles while the police looked fondly on is eerily similar to what is routinely done by ethnonationalist ‘settlers’, fully enabled by Israeli institutions, against Palestinians.

Not that provocateurs are solely to blame. In mid-April 2024, for example, a congressional upbraiding persuaded Columbia president Minouche Shafik, an Alexandrian-born British aristocrat, to call the police on her students. The parallels with Arab autocrats from Anwar Sadat to Mohammad bin Zayed who have repressed their populations in order to indulge Israel is too obvious.

There is also historical precedence in the student occupation of the famed Hamilton Hall in 1968. At the peak of the Vietnam War, students occupied the hall and renamed it after Malcolm Shabazz “X”, the visionary revolutionary. During anti-apartheid protests in 1985, the hall was occupied and named after Nelson Mandela, the then-imprisoned and blacklisted South African opposition leader who would go on to end apartheid five years later.

In the current protest, the protesters that seized the hall chose to name it “Hind’s Hall”, after Hind Rajab, the six-year-old Palestinian child whose family and would-be rescuers were killed and who was pointedly left to die in a particularly callous example of the Israeli army’s brutality.

From Biden to Musk to Amy Schumer

Politicians and most media have also played their part. This reaches as high as Biden; unsatisfied with repeatedly humiliating himself by parroting Israeli lies over Gaza in the autumn, he has stepped up to redefine Arabic words such as intifada, a common phrase often but not exclusively used in the Palestinian context, as hate speech.

The government has recently announced that the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court does not for some reason extend to Israel. In addition, of course, it has repeatedly barred opposition to Israel at international forums and has cheerfully indulged Israel’s vilification of aid workers and mass slaughter of United Nations staff.

In the private sphere, degenerate moguls from Elon Musk to Bill Ackman have rushed to cover for Israel, while celebrities such as Amy Schumer have only been rewarded for dog-whistling bigotry, their base lies reimagined as boldly told truths.

The remarkable variety of Zionist indecency, and the extent to which they are willing to go, are certainly dispiriting for anybody with a brain and conscience. But it is precisely why the fight to cut support for Israel is so necessary, no less within the United States than without.

 

Related:

Podcast: Gaza’s Strength, Our Weakness | Shaykha Zaynab Ansari

Prophetic Lessons From The Muslim Men In Gaza

The post Callous Campus Crackdowns On Pro-Palestinian Protesters Grip The United States appeared first on MuslimMatters.org.

Pages