It’s been 11 years since the anniversary of the horrible events of 9/11/2001. The memories of that day will always be etched in our hearts forever. I will never forget the day-to-day feelings and thoughts and discussions that were happening in and around us, in the news and around the globe.
It was a time when intolerance was becoming more apparent amongst individuals and there was a heightened sense of curiosity for anyone that looked slightly different. Threats, increased security, acts of hatred and ignorance were on the horizon and this created a great amount of terror in the air. On the other hand some people experienced the most profound displays of love, affection and protection from our neighbors and random strangers.
I will never forget the day when our family went to offer our Friday prayers just a few days after 9/11 had happened. Our Mosque had received threatening calls by random strangers to bomb and destroy our place of worship. Many Muslims decided not to come to pray that week but our family was one of the few that went ahead despite the looming threats on our head. Prophet Muhammad(pbuh) has related in a Hadith Qudsi (records containing the Word from God) “When my servant takes one step towards Me, I take ten steps towards him. When my servant comes walking towards Me, I come running towards him.” All I could think of were these words of God as we were pleasantly surprised when we had arrived at the mosque. The most generous group of Methodist Christians had come to surround our Mosque while the prayers were in session. They came all the way from the East Coast to protect their fellow Muslim Americans from the threats of terrorism that were being targeted at Muslim places of Worship. These beautiful people left the comfort of their homes on a rainy Friday afternoon to protect their fellow people even though they knew that our security was under threat. They became our shield and risked their own lives to allow us to pray in peace. At that point I knew God came running toward us, He had sent His angels.
As Muslims, we were in a tough place, on one hand we mourned the loss of the legendary twin towers in NY and the 3000+ innocent victims that were in them, while on the other hand we the “Muslims” were being viewed as the enemy who became the ‘perpetrators’ of the heinous crime. The sad thing is that whomever spearheaded the crime whether it is Al-Qaida, Osama Bin Ladin or the Devil himself; I can say one thing with certainty the criminals were not Muslim. If Osama did this in the name of Islam then he most definitely is not a real Muslim. It completely goes against the grain of Islam and the word of God. Anyone that kills and takes matters in their own hands without due cause is disobeying God. Unfortunately, the criminal’s unforgettable attack not only attacked US soil but it also attacked Islam. Islam means ‘peace’ and ‘submitting to the will of God’. Whomever was responsible for 9/11 was the enemy of humanity and someone who is not sane or humane.
I just pray that we make an effort to get to know each other around the globe and truly understand people. Hoping we can be more accepting and tolerant of each others’ differences. I’d like to leave you with a quote from the Quran chapter 49:13:
“O men! Behold, We have created you all out of a male and a female, and have made you into nations and tribes, so that you might come to know one another. Verily, the noblest of you in the sight of God is the one who is most deeply conscious of Him. Behold God is all-knowing, all-aware.”
May all the innocent victim’s souls Rest in Peace Eternally amen(ameen).