Do you ever feel that there are so many strange and shocking things happening in the world today that nothing else can shock you? I feel this way often. We are constantly bombarded with things that are unthinkable, the news is filled with horrendous stories, there are crazy things going on in our own communities, and even in our own families and sometimes I just have to shake my head and sigh, resigning myself to the fact that indeed the world is a crazy place and people seem to just be completely off the mark.
But then every now and again something happens that does shock and upset me, and I have to wonder how much crazier are things going to get?
Last week was one of those moments, a very sad and shocking occurrence happened in our very community at the school one of my nephew’s attends. Here’s how the story apparently went, and please bear in mind that in all events things always get distorted to some extent so no one really knows the absolute truth. Also, I am not re-telling this story here to gossip, may Allah save us all from that. I am relating the event so that we can all understand the trouble that the world is in and how we need to become proactive. In any case...here goes...
I read the story in the news the evening after it happened, and I was shocked because I know that’s the school my sister’s stepson goes to, and then she told us the whole story. A grade 11 child got stabbed and killed outside the school, as school was coming out, while parents were still waiting to pick their children up. My brother-in-law saw the scuffle, but only came to find out what happened afterwards. Apparently a Grade 9 girl who is pregnant and still at school got kicked in her stomach with a soccer ball accidentally while some boys were playing soccer. She told whoever she did about it and her brother who is about 16 years old and previously got expelled from the same school, came to school to fight with the boy who was responsible for kicking the soccer ball. He brought with him 4 of his friends (aged between 16 and 28) and of course a knife that stabbed that Grade 11 boy. The boy got stabbed in his neck, was rushed to hospital but died on the way there. Fate had it that there was a policeman at the school picking his own child up from school, and he saw what was going on, called for backup, and all 5 boys/men were arrested at the scene.
My sister also came to find out that some of the children involved were kids who previously attended the Primary school at which she taught. She and her husband who both taught at the same Primary school, knew these children, they were community children; one of their parents was an Imam. Something seriously had to be going wrong there.
The saddest thing is that not only is this a tragic event for the innocent child who was killed and his family, who must be going through unimaginable grief, pain and anger. But for all the other people involved this is tragic as well. There were two 16 year old boys involved, and the one responsible for the actual stabbing was only 16 years old. Can you believe that? To be sitting in jail at that young age. And the girl who is pregnant- not only does she have to contend with a teenage pregnancy, now she has this burden to carry with her as well, and burden’s such as these are not easy to get rid of. Imagine knowing that you are responsible for your brother and his friends sitting in jail. It’s all just one big crazy mess! Not only are these youngsters’ lives messed up, but their families as well have to deal with all this tragedy.
So 6 families are going through such difficulty right now, because of one event, which could have easily been avoided; but since the world has indeed gone mad, this was not avoided. The families did not know what their young children were getting up to. The children did not know how to control their emotions and restrain their actions. They did not understand that violence such as this cannot solve problems, and can only make things worse. In short, if this was not a world gone mad, then 14 year old schoolgirls would not be pregnant, and young boys playing soccer and mistakenly kicking the ball at the girl would not be such a problem, and a young child would not be stabbed in the neck and attacked by five other young people; outside a school, a place of learning, where innocent children are supposed to go to receive an education. Parents would not be weeping, for their dead child, or their pregnant teenage daughter, or of course for their young sons who are sitting in jail, awaiting their horrible fate.
Image from here
No, this has to be a world gone mad! Or I should say a world filled with people who have gone mad! The most unthinkable things happen these days, and the worse thing is that we are becoming so desensitized that we don’t truly realize the real impact of all this madness that we are surrounded by.
I’d like to run away to an Island, where I can be free from all the madness, where I can be surrounded by the magnificent ocean, and take in the fresh air. But I know that this is not a solution at all. This is not becoming proactive, this is running away and selfishly avoiding reality. I need to be here, within the madness, and I, along with everyone else need to become proactive. We need to do more to get through to our youth. We need to teach them the right things, we need to emulate the true examples and we need to get them involved in positive things. The best way to become proactive is to practise the best example that we have. This is the example of our beloved Master, the most Noble Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). He had all the answers; we have all the answers that he had because he has given them to us. We just need to go back to it, because we have put it away somewhere out of reach and we have ignored it and now we are facing the consequences of our actions.
May Allah Almighty give ease to all the families involved, may He save the youngsters involved in this case from further destruction and allow this negative experience to be transformed into a positive life lesson for them; May he help this young girl and ease her burden and May Allah be with all the youth, because they are our future, and if our future generation has gone mad then what hope do we have of gaining any sanity in the future?Image 1 from here