A spiritual response to the New Zealand Mosque attack

Last Friday when the breaking news of the Mosque attack in Christchurch broke, our screens flickered with the awful carnage, we sensed; fear, anger and pain. We felt afraid because it could have been my family and loved ones who could have been killed. We were angry because we thought we were safe and secure, someone had violated our sense of security. And finally, we felt a sense of pain that how could a fellow human commit such a hideous crime against another fellow citizen? How could this have happened? We all condemned the barbaric and senseless murder of 51 innocent worshippers in Christchurch, New Zealand. This was an attack not just against Muslims but against humanity.

The sinister motives of the terrorist

The terrorist carried out this heinous act to gain publicity for his evil ideology, but what is far more sinister is his motive to create clash in the country; between groups and between governments. It is this that we need to be aware of, we must defeat it. The entire country must show solidarity and stand together, united. I’m very pleased to say that Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has handled this terrible tragedy with great courage, leadership and sincerity, she showed motherly love and fatherly care. She has rightly received applause from all over the world.

The Majestic Quran says; “Believers, find strength through patience and prayer, Allah is with those who are patient” (Baqarah: 153). So, the first thing is to remain patient and calm; endure the pain and fear. Secondly, pluck the courage to overcome the anger of humiliation and sense of insecurity. This requires the ability to assess the situation calmly and look at the long-term consequences of lashing out in anger against the perpetrator.

Overcoming pain by being united

Islam teaches us to live together in peace; so that we can prosper economically, create safe neighbourhoods and free ourselves from hatred, malice and discrimination of others. There has been a huge outpour of solidarity and standing united with Muslim communities all over the UK. Here is an example of where Muslims, Christians and Jews came together in solidarity to express their unity against evil.

Praying for the help of Allah

As Muslims we believe in the power of Allah, praying to Allah is both a natural and spiritual exercise. Let me share with you the famous story of the Prophet (peace be upon him), when he was bitterly persecuted and how he prayed on that occasion. The Prophet (peace be upon him) went to preach to the town of Taif near Makkah, however not only was he rejected by the leaders but thrown out of the town, as he was retreating he was pelted with stones causing him severe injuries. In excruciating mental, physical and emotional pain, bleeding and exhausted, he took refuge in a vineyard. Feeling dejected, forlorn, helpless and humiliated he raised his hands and prayed a prayer, which has become an iconic symbol of utter submission to the will of Allah in the face of complete and total despair. Read the intensity, the beauty and the moving humility of this magnificent supplication;

O Allah! Please consider my weakness, my shortage of means, and the little respect people have of me. Oh, most kind, You are the Lord of the oppressed and you are my Lord. To whom would you leave my fate? To a stranger who insults me? Or to an enemy who dominates me? Would I that you have no wrath against me! Your pleasure alone is my objective.”