Freedom is a sacred word, it’s amazing how big of a difference it can make and how much it can change the world, take a little of a person’s freedom and watch them crumble like a bird with lost wings. It’s the state each and everyone of us is born with, but the moment we take our first breath it is somehow taken, and you have to re-earn it, some people do sooner than others, some never do.. How ironic is it that freedom is not actually free, that people fight , suffer and even die for its sake, it is that precious , that indispensable in every human life, but sadly, it is not that easy to get..
In the recent days there were a series of events that all turn around the notion of freedom, as if the world is once again on a trial to ensure if humanity has finally reached a state where each live their own life with no involvement of exterior elements, all I could say is that we’re not even close.
The first thing that drew my attention was the legalization of same sex marriage in the United States. Here’s the thing, as a Muslim I will never approve nor agree with such an act, as a person I’ll always see it as abnormal and against nature, but that’s only my opinion and that’s about it. This only means one thing for me, that I will never disobey the values I learned, was taught and raised on. Other than that I don’t see how it can harm me in any way. As far as I’m concerned, a person smoking next to me is doing me more harm than a married gay/lesbian couple sitting close by, but guess which one is attacked and which is respected..
I’ve seen a lot of hate speech towards this category of people, all sorts of angry and disgusted reactions, and what is most unfortunate is that the followers of the most tolerant man on earth were also the first ones to point fingers..for some reason all I could see was a group of people who were genuinely happy and proud to have obtained something they have longed and prayed for, for a very long time, the amount of happiness was too big and contagious for me to feel any sort of hate, it was hard to be angry with something that is making those many people that happy.
Regardless of what I know, I believe that every human being deserves to be happy, no one deserves to go through the agony of fighting for their freedom, no one should be denied their right to live the life they desire.
I understand how Muslims like me might be extremely angry and appalled about this, most of them are saying that these people are certainly going to hell, judgement day is near..etc, etc..In comparison; Muslims suffer from similar offences, I’ve seen unspeakable things being said about us and insulting every aspect of our faith, we’re considered terrorists by so many people and we’re constantly judged without being understood, how can we do that to others ? What I don’t understand is how can I get mad at a non-Muslim for not respecting Islamic principals, it is not their religion, not their lifestyle, they don’t represent Islam and probably don’t even know the first thing about it. There is no point in attacking a person with a different mindset because your have different points of view, it’s merely an act of ignorance.
Invite [people] to your Lord´s way with discretion and kindly instruction, and discuss [things] with them in the politest manner. Your Lord is quite Aware as to who has strayed from His path, just as He is quite Aware of those who have consented to be guided. [16:125] “ادْعُ إِلَىٰ سَبِيلِ رَبِّكَ بِالْحِكْمَةِ وَالْمَوْعِظَةِ الْحَسَنَةِ وَجَادِلْهُم بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ هُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِمَن ضَلَّ عَن سَبِيلِهِ وَهُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِالْمُهْتَدِينَ”.
I’m sure people who disagree have their reasons to get so bitter about this situation, it’s hard to accept and harder to be okay with, but who said you should do either of those? Surely; one doesn’t need to share a person’s beliefs in order to respect the person.
You see there is a thin line between disagreeing with an act, and hating the person performing that act. The former is human nature, the latter sets ground for all sorts of wars and hate crimes. I don’t know why we have a tendency to worry too much about matters that are none of our concern, but I do know that the world would have been a much better place if we didn’t.
America finally approved of something so extreme, so extraordinary and unusual and just very different, at the same time, back in the other side of the globe, a Muslim man killed people who share his same religion, who were praying to the same God he worships, because some of their beliefs are different. Indeed, this world will forever remain a scary place as long as our differences cloud our minds. Before you’re considered Muslim or Jewish or Christian, you’re a human first and above anything else, and if the basic ethics of humanity don’t reside deep in your heart, your religion is just an accessory.
I know all too well what it feels like to be disrespected just because you think differently, to have people try to shove their ideas in your head without trying to convince you amicably because they don’t understand where you’re coming from, I’m sure it’s how it was to the Shias who died last Friday and how it feels like to the LGBT community, and it’s not something that I would wish on anyone.
There’s 7 billion and 46 million people living in this planet and there is nothing more stupid than to expect all of them to share the same opinion and beliefs, difference is a basic piece of this puzzle that is called human life and the central part of our existence, your way of thinking is only one among many, there are other sides and other parts and just like they wouldn’t understand you, you wouldn’t understand them either.
There are so many things that people do and are against Islamic values or any religious values in general, we should be able to find it within us to respect and appreciate them for what they do and who they are instead of the cultural or religious group that they represent. If you’re a Muslim there would come a time when you’d cross paths with individuals from other religions and even non believers, you could see people drinking, doing drugs, eating pork, talking nonchalantly about our prophet…you name it, and that is another test to your character, what do you do, how do you treat that person and how do you handle the situation, those things will show what kind of a Muslim you are, and whether or not you respect one of the most fundamental values in this religion, which is tolerance.
There is no better example than that of our prophet ﷺ, who represents tolerance in all of its glorious forms, he was the biggest supporter of the coexistence with people of different faiths, he condemned any act of violence that could be done against them and forbid his followers from doing them harm or oppressing them, he ﷺ said :
“Beware! Whoever is cruel and hard on a non-Muslim minority, or curtails their rights, or burdens them with more than they can bear, or takes anything from them against their free will; I (Prophet Muhammad) will complain against the person on the Day of Judgment.” (Abu Dawud)
One day each and everyone of us will pay for their actions, until that day comes, it is not my or any other person’s job to decide who pays for what.