How have we grown so cold and complacent to gut-wrenching atrocities bombarding our fellow siblings in humanity all around the world?

Zahir Mannan

Did you know that millions of innocent lives, including precious children, are being lamentably lost daily from not only raging coronavirus deaths in India but the “collateral damage” from escalating injustices and ceaseless violence in Gaza, bombings of schools in Afghanistan, boycotts and explosions in Yemen leaving hundreds of thousands in starvation, genocide against Uyghur Muslims locked up in China’s concentration camps, millions displaced and homeless fleeing war-torn countries, the most vicious bloody war of our generation in Syria, ethnic cleansing of Muslims in Rohingya, Myanmar, and countless other horrors too many to list?

Yet, we somehow live comfortably in an artificial bubble chasing fleeting luxuries and amassing exorbitant wealth while selling tons of weapons to the most volatile countries and those “dressed in sheep’s clothing,” all the while witnessing our father Adam’s children sink deeper into suffering.

Even as a powerless civilian I feel guilty, responsible, ashamed, and just broken. As an Ahmadi Muslim I utilize my only weapons; prayers, patience, and my pen. In an impulsive world quick to blind action, I restrain myself acknowledging I’m not the savior or don’t have the magic solution but do use what I’ve been given exerting my energy to turn wholeheartedly to the One Who is the Savior and does have the antidote; Almighty Allah, my God and yours, who we will all return to and be answerable to for our actions here in this transitory life.

This is in essence what Ramadan is about; seeking that divine mercy, forgiveness, and emancipation from the consuming, punishing fires of this life and the next.

So, what if you could emerge from your sins as on the day your mother bore you, without any bloody sacrifices, human or otherwise? This is what Prophet Muhammad revealed would happen if you strive to spend the nights of the holy month of fasting from dawn to sunset in Ramadan in sincere prayer out of faith and in hope of Almighty Allah as your reward.

When our slates are wiped clean and our antennas realigned we can begin to receive the special graces and blessings from the veiled hidden creator of all.

As I join millions spanning the globe in celebrating Eid ul Fitr, festival of breaking one month’s fasting marking the end of Ramadan, I implore you to self reflect and ask yourself what you can do, starting with your family and neighbors to strangers in remote areas, to make the world a better place to live, if not for ourselves, for our future generations who will succeed us and inherit the earth as it’s caretakers instead of destroyers, God-willing.

Zahir Muhammad Mannan is Outreach Secretary for the Baitul Aman “House of Peace” Mosque in Meriden.

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