Sunday, August 1, 2010
If we could only follow the example of the Ansaar
The other night my family and I were having a discussion about the relationship between the Ansaar (People of Madinah) and the Muhaajireen (Muslims from Makkah who migrated to Madinah) in the time of the Prophet (SAW). My father mentioned something so relevant. He said that the example of the Ansaar is amazing, imagine people giving up half of what they had for their fellow brothers so easily. Half of what they had for people that they didn’t even know, people that they had just met! Subhanallah! Here we are in today’s time and we can’t even share our country with our fellow human beings from neighbouring countries because we’re too afraid that they’re taking our jobs, or our living place and so forth.
This was in reference to the recent news headlines here in South Africa. A really strange thing happened, the Soccer World Cup was hosted in South Africa this year as I’m sure you all know, and everything was great. Then just after the world cup, news begins to spread about xenophobic attacks. A few years ago there were terrible attacks on foreigners from neighbouring African countries like Zimbabwe, Somalia, Nigeria....countries in disarray. Local South African’s burnt their shops down, protested and drove foreigners out of their homes claiming that they are stealing resources, jobs and homes that are needed by South Africans. Obviously this comes from somewhere, and there’s no doubt that people are frustrated with poor living conditions that are not improving, but can you imagine how wonderful things would be if we were to adopt the example of the Ansaar towards the Muhaajireen.
This year it was reported that foreigners in South Africa were not willing to risk being attacked again so many of them packed up and left the country to go back to their home countries where they are offered no hope or solace. This was extremely saddening and it was disturbing to think that human beings could behave so negatively towards each other. Two things convinced me that the only hope for humanity is Islam.
I was performing salaah when a sister came to perform her prayers next to me. She was a foreigner, and at the time when the country is abound with discussions of xenophobia, this sister seemed so at peace, like she didn’t have a care in the world, sitting there performing her prayers, it was clear that she had a right to that space, just like everyone else. That reminded me that Islam does not have any barriers. In Islam we shouldn’t care about what country someone comes from and if we understand Islam, we won’t even think that they’re taking out jobs or living place, because we’ll understand that everything a person gets is willed by Allah. If we truly understand Islam then we will give more than we take and we will always think of others before we consider ourselves.
The second thing that reminded me that Islam has the perfect system, not only religiously, but socially as well, was a truck, parked outside a Masjid, filled with belongings of foreigners. I don’t know what the plan was for the truck, but it reminded me that the Masjid should be a place of refuge for all Muslims, and this once again shed light on the true teachings of Islam.
I sometimes wonder what things would be like if the whole world were Muslims who followed the teachings of Islam strictly. I think it would have been wonderful. I think that people would feel safe with one another and they would not have to fear for their lives or the lives of their family members. I think that everyone would be willing to share, like the Ansaar of Madinah did. I think it would have been wonderful. But Allah (SWT) in Allah’s infinite wisdom knows best and all I can do is try my hardest to practice the great examples of truly amazing and unselfish people, and in this I hope that maybe someone will understand the truth about Islam, because it really is something to marvel about.
May Allah (SWT) help us to become unselfish and generous in all ways. May Allah (SWT) also ease the plight of our fellow brothers and sisters who have to suffer difficulty after difficulty, moving around the world just to find some peace and make a decent living!
Image reference: http://www.clamlynch.com/blog/2005/06/