Al-Nu’man ibn Bashir reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said,
“The parable of the believers in their affection, mercy, and compassion for each other is that of a body. When any limb aches, the whole body reacts with sleeplessness and fever.”Source: Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 5665, Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 2586
This is the Hadith quoted by Jacinda Arden, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, at the Friday prayers one week after 50 Muslims were killed and many injured.
It means that when when one innocent Muslim is hurt, the entire population of Muslims feel that hurt too. What we have found in the last week, especially from the beautiful country if New Zealand is that many non Muslims who are our friends and neighbours, have also shared in this hurt. We are very humbled by the solidarity shown to us as normally Muslims are blamed for one man’s actions in other terror attacks despite Muslims speaking our against it. This past week, the Muslims have felt the love and warmth from the wider community. Thank you.
Over the last couple of days many people (who are not Muslim) have asked if there will be a two minutes silence in the UK on Friday. The short answer is that Muslims most likely will not organise a two minutes silence in rememberance of the victims.
You may be wondering what Muslims would appreciate from someone who is not Muslim and wants to show their solidarity and compassion to and with the Muslims. I’ve added a few points in this post. Please note I am coming from a Journey to Zero Waste background (which is actually a huge part of Islam as well) and one of the reasons I have been absent from this blog for so long as I’ve been trying to implement a lot of changes into my own life. These points will not be your normal response but it will certainly be an Islamic one which many Zero-Wasters, Plastic-Free and Minimalists who are not Muslim will appreciate.
Firstly there is absolutely no issue with Muslims if you choose to hold a two minutes silence yourself. Your thoughts towards the Muslim community will not go to waste. We are not here to control you, so you are free to express your support how you wish. Please do what you feel will bring ease to your heart as no doubt you feel this pain too. This post will provide knowledge that may not have been shared had no one asked so I feel it is your right to know.
When a person, or many many pass away, Muslims are given advice on how to deal with it in Islam. Islam has guidelines for all situations, whether it’s birth or death.
The first and most important according to Islam is prayer. Making a supplication to Allah (God) is just a little addition to silence. Anyone can do this. You can make a prayer to God whilst sitting, standing, lying down, prostrating. Muslims will normally praise God and then ask God to forgive the victims and grant them heaven / paradise. To look after the family and friends they have left behind and to grant them patience. To ease the trauma from them and make the journey of the afterlife for the deceased a easy one.
This is because Muslims believe that this world is a test. Just like how we take tests at school and exams at university, this life is one massive test. The test comes in the form of good times and really bad times. The way a Muslim passes this test is to eventually find peace and comfort in Allah, to be patient and trust in Him. Muslims are asked to do good deeds in this world, as these are like getting ticks in exams and we will find them in the next life in the form of rewsrd.. If a Muslim has done good, they will enter paradise.
Hence from the time the first man Adam (peace be upon him) passed away, till the last man to pass away, there is a waiting time. This is when we are all buried as the years go by. Once this world ends, everyone will be raised again and it will be the Day of Judgement. This is where all of our good deeds and bad deeds will be weighed.
Whilst we are alive and the others have passed away, they are going through the journey in the grave. Whilst buried, they may be wearing the clothes of heaven if they were good, or, be punished if they were bad. That’s why Muslims are constantly reminded to keep their actions in check and constantly repent to God as Muslims know that they can die at any time. It will be a real shame to die whilst living a life of sin, such as hurting people, being unkind and rude, wasting life away, committing crimes etc. Hence Muslims pray that the victims of the mass murder are all forgiven as none of us are perfect but forgiveness invited Allah’s mercy.
Another one I’ve been asked about is flowers. Flowers are beautiful. We love flowers. However my own journey to zero waste has opened up my eyes regarding the flower industry. Cut flowers use up so much of the world’s natural resources. Whilst there are people dying in Yemen and other countries due to lack of water, it pains me now to even think about the masses of flowers. A couple of years ago I saw a documentary on the BBC about the flower industry. It was a very positive and enjoyable documentary showing the ins and outs of the industry. What I learnt though is that most flowers come from abroad. This is a big environmental issue. Not only that but the documentary showed how eg a couple from the UK opened up a flower factory in Kenya. The lake next to the flower growing place has completely dried up. The insects and little creatures died and the big animals could not return to that lake due to no water being present. The documentary was not by David Attenborough so it didn’t highlight the concern for the environment in that sense. It just showed it as a factual storyline but I was shocked. Perhaps local flowers are the way forward but apart from the journey to zero waste perspective, I can say Islam doesn’t advocate the use of resources like this either. Islam is simplicity. Although nowadays most people are into the supermarket way of life, I can 100% say Muslims will never ever expect flowers from anyone after a death. They will never be offended if you didn’t turn up with flowers as it was never expected anyway. Not because they are now thinking it is an environmental issue but because Muslims are told how to deal with death. Muslims bury the deceased in a simple white cloth, no coffin. After that, Muslims are encouraged to pray for the deceased and that’s it. You will never be expected to part with a penny.
If you do wish to buy something then what Islam does say is that you can give money to charity on behalf of the deceased. You don’t have to give eg £1 for every victim. You could give £1 and every person who has passed away will get the same reward. According to Islam, charity given on behalf of all the deceased will invoke God’s blessings and mercy on their graves. It can make the waiting in the grave easier, as we do not know when the Day of Judgement will be. So there is a wait. How can we make their waiting period in the grave lighter for them? Whilst we are alive we can help by donating and it will also be a means for our own ease in the grave too, not just those who have passed away. My practise is to find a reliable charity who have a 100% donation policy which means that they do not take admin fees from your donation and so every penny goes towards the less fortunate. I like to give to charities who feed and clothe the homeless, no matter if it’s locally or abroad. Some charities build water pumps and wells so that the locals have access to water. These cost a few hundred pounds so normally families and friends raise money together on behalf of the deceased but this is not obligatory. You can donate a few pounds to a charity who does this and they will use your donation towards the project.
Maybe the most understated action is just the fact that you stand in solidarity with the Muslims. This positive energy goes a long way.
Perhaps you may find yourself in a situation where your colleagues or family talk bad about the entire Muslim population. It would be a nice gesture to speak up against it. There are 1.8+ billion Muslims all over the world. Most are living peacefully. It is the few, very few who use Islam to do awful things and billions of Muslims are left to pick up the pieces. However this is a big ask so you do not have to speak up if you are fearful of backlash. Just know that even your thoughts against opression is enough for your fellow Muslims neighbours, friends and colleagues.
If you have any questions feel free to post them in the comments section. You may also use the contact form. If anything has seemed untoward in the blog post, please contact us about it.
We pray that peace prevails throughout the world. Ameen.
Mummy & Daddy @ daddysword.co.uk