The big media story this entire week has been the story of Oscar Pistorius. I’m sure you all must have heard about the story- The famous South African Paralympics champion was arrested last Thursday after his girlfriend was killed at his home. Whether he actually did premeditate her murder, or if it was in fact a real accident no one will ever know. Allah knows best about all things and there’s always loads of speculation and accusations in these types of cases. Honestly I’m not really interested in why he did it, if he did it with intent or if he really thought his girlfriend was a burglar. All of that doesn’t really make a difference to me, but there is something that does interest me about this case...
People have openly and boldly voiced their opinions, there’s disappointment and outrage that a National hero could do such a thing, people feel let down, angry and have even gone so far as to call Pistorius a “monster”. All of this hype really has to make you wonder. I doubt very much that this story would be so sensational if Oscar Pistorius was just another man. In fact, these types of cases are not at all uncommon in South Africa. Every week we read about people killing their girlfriends or wives, police officers who can’t take the pressure and trauma repeatedly make headlines for killing their partners. Not only police officers, but reports of such incidents occur so often that sadly to say it’s reached a point where it’s become rather mundane. Now my intention is not to minimise this event. It’s terrible that a woman got killed, by someone she loved and trusted; but it’s also equally terrible all of the other times it happens! The only difference here is that this case involves “celebrities” and this is the part that I felt I needed to comment on. When we “glorify” ordinary people and begin to see them as these perfect role models then we tend to forget that just like all human beings, they are prone to error, and then when they do make mistakes or show their human weakness, we go crazy and lose our faith in them, but we’re the ones who’ve created a superhuman image in the first place, so it doesn’t make much sense to feel “let down” or “disappointed”, now does it?
Human weakness is not something that is only reserved for us ordinary people. In fact, I would think that those people who are constantly in the limelight are more prone to give in to their human weaknesses. Not only do they have way more pressure than the rest of us, but they also have way more temptations- and you know what they say, “with great power comes great responsibility”- Perhaps when we forget that Power only belongs to Almighty Allah, that’s where we begin to go wrong.
So yes, this whole Oscar Pistorius story is a sad one, it’s terrible really that we should even hear of such cases, but for people to be so outraged simply because they’ve been let down by a “hero” doesn’t make much sense. If we’re going to call him a monster or whatever else, then we should do that to all the men (and women) who commit such crimes. If we’re going to be angry then we should be angry because a woman was killed by someone she trusted, but then we should be equally angry every time this happens. If we’re going to be upset then we should be upset that things like crime, inability for self restraint, anger, and such things are overtaking people, but this should be equally applied to everyone.
The question I leave you with is this: How do we so easily turn the pages of newspapers, (or scroll through the pages of the online newspapers), when the exact same cases occur with ordinary people, and now that it’s a “celebrity” we all make a big deal? It’s really got to make you wonder what our ideals as human beings really are?
Furthermore, if we glorify a human being and forget that Our Creator is the only one worth glorifying then we will certainly be let down, big time. Even Allah’s beloved Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) did not wish for people to glorify him. He constantly reminded people that Allah is the only One who deserves to be glorified and he (pbuh) helped people to turn their attention towards Allah. Remember when the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) passed away and the people were extremely sad to the point that they did not wish to do anything, and Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) stood up and reminded people of the verse of the Glorious Quraan in which Allah Almighty says:
“Muhammad is no more than a Messenger: many were the messengers that passed away before him. If he died or were slain, will ye then turn back on your heels? “(Surat Al-Imran 3:144).
After the people heard this they were more at ease and able to go about with life again because they were reminded that Allah Almighty is the only One worth glorifying, and Allah will never make any errors, indeed only Allah is Truly Perfect and human beings can never come close to perfection.
May Almighty Allah guide us all and help us to always see truth, Inshaa-Allah Ameen!