I Am Muslim, I Stand As Human As You
What do you want me say? What will you hear? What can I tell you?
That I am as horrified and hurt as you are about deaths, destruction and decimation of lives, life and living as we know it? That I am under attack almost every day in one way or the other for attacks I have no knowledge of, understand or can explain. That I don’t deny that heinous acts are committed in the name of my religion, by names in my religion or that I defend as you demand of me for every sick, every selfish human being who kill without thought or is it with thought for carefully-constructed-cleverly-concealed causes you and I cannot even begin to fathom or follow. That I, I should guarantee they will stop? Or that I, I should vow or promise that this horror will not happen again? That I can only remind them, who commit some of these acts in the name of Islam that the very word of God they claim to follow, the book they claim as guide, states; “….if any one kills a person, it would be as if he killed the whole of mankind…and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole mankind” (Al Qur’an; Chapter 5: Verse 32)
What do you want me to say? What can I tell you?
That I’m a person who just like you is scared for myself, for my children who are lovely, smart, amazing human beings we’re blessed with and bringing up to be true to themselves and be welcoming to others, that my children shouldn’t have to feel watched, judged, vilified with looks and calls for their exile from this place they’ve come to call home, that I knew nothing, I know nothing of these evil plans or plots? That I didn’t sign up for fear and sadness as my new norm nor do I expect suspicion and or hate for every look, every word, every depiction of my faith, every expression of my many identities, every me that I am and trying to be, that I will not be held accountable for acts against me and you, that I will not take responsibility for the complex, incredibly and increasingly terrifying problems of the world?
What do you want to say to you? What will you hear?
What do you want me to say to you, Sonias, Hansons, Lambes, Bolts, Trumps? What do you want me say to you, you and you? What do you want me say, because nothing I say really matters to you, because you’ve decided that I don’t belong here, that I have no place here, that this is not a home to me, that unless I am you, I can’t be me.
What can I say?
What can I say besides what I have to give; that I respect our differences but will always look and be thankful also for many of what we have in common, can celebrate and build up each other with, that I have your back, that I will look out for you, protect us, protect our humanity, enjoin good and forbid evil, that I will show you kindness and love to the best of my ability but that this doesn’t mean we won’t disagree or that we will become best friends because that’s okay too, that I won’t force you to become me or accept my beliefs for you to be accepted by me, that Allah Has declared for me; “Let there be no compulsion in religion…” (Al Qur’an; Chapter 2: Verse 256) and that; “…For you is your religion and for me is mine” (Al Qur’an; Chapter 109: Verse 6) that this is your home as it is mine and that we both have a right to feel safe in our homes, that I hope you, you will read this, take a deep breath, step down for a moment from the bandwagon of fear and hate speeding up and look at me, look at the me in front of you, try to hear yourself over the noise and listen to the goodness in your heart, listen and hear me for a change, me. I am Muslim, not ‘moderate’, not ‘liberal’, not a ‘right-wing’ ‘Islamist’, I am a life-loving-genuinely-striving-to-be-a-good-person-Muslim, I am Muslim, I am a Muslim so do not ask me to apologize for Islam.
What can I say?
What can I say besides what I bring of myself; I am Muslim, I am a servant of God commanded to walk on the earth with humility (Al Qur’an; Chapter 25: Verse 63), I am servant of God commanded to seek righteousness through charity, giving out of the things I love (Al Qur’an; Chapter 3: Verse 92), I am a servant of Allah commanded by God to “Do good to others, for He, Allah loves those who do good to others.” (Al Qur’an; Chapter 2: Verse 195). I am a servant of God, I am a Muslim and I am not the enemy. I am real not what you’re imagining, I am not what you assume, I am a person not a rhetoric, I am a name not a number, I am not just one in a billion, I am a life, I am a real person, I, I am a person, I am just another human being trying to make the most of her time on earth, trying to make the most out of the life she’s been given, that then next you express your opinion, when you call to action, when you call to people, remember me, remember me the person not the politics or the points you’re trying to make, remember me, remember that its not ‘just’, its not ‘them’, its not ‘these people’, it’s about another life just like yours and whatever you say or do can be held against me, whatever you say, no matter whatever I say or how many times I say it to some, will be held against me because you said it. Every time you speak about your life, remember mine because the Quran tells me; “…We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted.” (Al Qur’an; Chapter 49: Verse 13). Remember me, because at the end of the day, we are family.
About the Author
“I Am Muslim, I Stand As Human As You” is excerpt from Summayyah Sadiq-Ojibara’s upcoming book; ‘Time-Travel In My World…’ in sha Allah. Summayyah Sadiq-Ojibara is a writer, poet, counsellor, psychotherapist, life coach, social entrepreneur, student of knowledge and life. Summayyah is author of several titles in her Muslim children’s book series; 7 & Counting series, GrowRight series and ‘Aspire Day By Day’ book; a Be!Live! – Well-being & motivational book series. She runs a private counselling practice; DEW Counselling, workshops and programmes on various aspects of life and personal development. She lives with her family in Melbourne, Australia. firstname.lastname@example.org