أعوذ بالله من الشيطان الرجيم
By now you have all seen the news of the London attack this afternoon.
As I am writing this 4 people have died and twenty more have been injured. The attack has been categorised as a terrorist attack but the suspects have not been identified and no terrorist group has been affiliated with this tragic event.
As a Muslim I am deeply saddened by this loss of life. I have been brought up to believe that killing one innocent person is the same as killing the whole of humanity. I chose to be a Muslim because Allah is Merciful and Forgiving as should mankind be.
I personally don’t know anyone that can begin to understand the anger and hatred that a person has to have for his own life and the life of others in order to commit such a violent act. Or maybe it is distress, hormonal imbalances, mental health problems? Whatever it is these terrorists bring devastation to all of us and we all know they do not in any shape or form represent us. They certainly do not represent me.
At a time of crisis there are a lot of little things we can all do in order to make life just a little bit easier.
Accept that emotions will be running high and that people will say things they don’t mean or act in a way that may seem personal to you. Don’t react, try to rationalise it and excuse it. If you are still upset after a month discuss it with the person who has upset you in as delicate a way as you can.
Get to know your neighbours.
Invite them over, bake a cake make some tea and talk about Islam and how far removed it is from this and any other act of terrorism. Make friends with your neighbours and make yourself available to them for help and support. If you need support regarding how to discuss these matters with your neighbours, contact your local mosque and ask for advise.
Don’t handle this alone.
Talk to a friend, visit your local mosque and ask for support, ask a sheikh questions, contact me. Don’t ever feel alone or isolated or ashamed of your beliefs. You, like everyone else on this planet, have a right to think and feel and choose your religion, own your choices. You don’t need permission to feel empowered you are a strong and powerful being, with the ability to reflect and make choices, own them and share them with others.
Sometimes we just need more than words.
If you feel that you are finding yourself overwhelmed by this incident, tell a friend that you feel will help you through it. One that will support you in seeking professional help without judgement. Bravery is knowing when to seek help and support, not suffering through it. Our brains are fragile little things that can get imbalanced and at times we may need help overcoming our problems. This help can come in the form of counselling, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and/or medication among other alternatives.
Talk to your children
Talk to your children about the incident. Give as much information as you are comfortable with. If you don’t they might hear it at school and become fearful of their religion, question their identity and feel isolated. Children are our hope and our future so you need to be confident in your delivery, answer any questions they have and if you can’t answer them get back to them at a later date. Ensure they know to come to you with any questions and concerns ask them how school is going and make sure to contact the school and discuss any concerns you may have. Schools are now trained in ensuring children are not bullied or isolated because of their religious beliefs.
I Pray for those who have died, have been injured, their families and all victims of this attack, including the people stuck in the London Eye Pods. I Ask Allah to give the dead a place in heaven and make this trial easy for their loved ones. I Ask Allah to help people overcome this nightmare and this difficulty, for speedy healing and recovery and to guide them in the right path. Most of all, I ask Allah to bring some good and hope out of this very sad and tragic situation.