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March 23, 2004


How many a flower wilts away without any beholder to witness its beauty


Many times has a beloved been lost to the lover–


The parting is never the worst of pain, since there is a pleasure to follow


As the lover will find his love renewed as the stalk blooms one more flower.


 


As we probably have heard, Shaykh Ahmed Yassin was brutally and mercilessly assassinated early Monday morning as he left the masjid after the Fajr prayers.  The nearly blind, partially deaf, and wheelchair bound wonder of God’s creation was restored back to his Maker when US-funded Israeli helicopters unleashed weapons of Muslim destruction (WMD’s) outside the masjid. It is said that injustice is the placing of something in a place where it does not belong. Missiles belong in legitimate theaters of war, not aimed at wheelchairs. One can only wonder in utter astonishment as to what purpose such a horrific act would seek to achieve besides creating more chaos in an already troubled region. It confirms that the villainy of the Zionists is only matched by their idiocy.


Yet the events certainly lend themselves to a certain level of inquiry, with a few salient points to be noted. For one thing, the assassination itself symbolizes the current situation in Palestine: a foreign-funded military helicopter uses sophisticated attack methods and powerful missiles to take out a handicapped old man. Needless to say, the foreign power is the US, the helicopter is Israel, and the old man is the Palestinian people. The scene that played itself out today is nothing more than the same injustice that has been occurring for the past 50 years with the complicity, and quite often with the blessings, of the international community. If anything, I hope that Monday’s events will rouse people of conscience around the world to awake from their slumber of apathy and renew/intensify political pressure on their government to abandon sham wars and embrace the challenge of establishing peace in Palestine.


As for the issues in our own house (ie, of the Ummah), the lessons to be learnt from today’s events are not found in the death of Shaykh Yassin, but rather in his life.  As Nathan Algren says in the last line of “The Last Samurai”, ‘I shall tell you how he lived,” our lessons are found in the life of this amazing man.  I don’t want to commit an injustice and attempt to write his entire biography, but suffice it to say that he was a spiritual giant among his people, a knowledgeable and respected scholar of the deen, and a man who, above all else, sought the spiritual empowerment of his people even more than their freedom. Unfortunately, the symbol that is now most associated with the Palestine situation is the suicide bomber; as Bernard Lewis brilliantly points out, the suicide bomber has now become the symbol of the Muslim mindset: an angry, defeated, and desperate being who is consumed by thoughts of historical triumph and glory that he is willing to end his own life and take others with him. Ironically, this is kind of what Shaytan did too when he was thrown out of heaven–his defeatist mentality led him to take upon a course of self-annihilation with the sole aim of including as many other people as he could reasonably achieve.  To Shaykh Yassin and others, “Islamic Nihilism” was and continues to be the greatest oxymoron that the Muslim nation is guilty of committing; dreams and goals that are achieved by willingly repudiating morality and religious integrity are not ones that are worthy of even attempting, let alone achieving. One cannot hope to save the religion by surgically dissecting the moral framework that it was built on and relied upon for any past measure of success. It is this same moral framework that offers hope for a return to the glory days of the past, and even more importantly, a foundation to otherworldly salvation when this life ends. Quite often, in the midst of the horror and emotion that surrounds the Palestine situation, we tend to forget that spiritual revolutions must precede nation building.  The Prophets of the past did this, and it seems to be an effective formula.  Perhaps then, the real tragedy in all of this, is the glaringly apparent monopoly of emotionally-fueled political agendas, while the spiritual and moral empowerment of the Palestinian people has been relegated, at best, to an auxiliary goal.


I pray then that the death of Shaykh Yassin serves a purpose of awakening the world to the tragedy that we have come to call Palestine; more importantly, I pray that this tragedy illuminates the Muslim nation to willingly embrace the spiritual revolution that Shaykh Yassin desperately sought to make a reality, an accomplishment that this nation of Muhammad (salallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) desperately needs for its own well-being, and for the tranqulity and prosperity the human community.


 

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4 Comments
  1. Kamran, I would like hear your thoughts about something that has been troubling me regarding how muslims should view the death of this unique and beloved man. There is one thing that I’m very confused about and I want to hear if anyone feels what I’m feeling and I do not mean it to sound disrespectful it is just that being a muslim and a westerner I am torn as to how to view this. I will start with a single statement and please tell me what you think:”If we support and praise those who commit suicide bombings, then don’t we indirectly support their acts, don’t we also indirectly support the killing of innocent people.”I know this goes at the heart of many other issues. But I am torn between a love for him that is based on his strong will and piety and sacrifice but it is overshadowed by my disagreement (and I thought most muslims disgreed) with the killing of innocent civillians. If he did not endorse suicide bombings, then ignore this post completely.I also wanted to comment on something you said:”Missiles belong in legitimate theaters of war, not aimed at wheelchairs. One can only wonder in utter astonishment as to what purpose such a horrific act would seek to achieve besides creating more chaos in an already troubled region. It confirms that the villainy of the Zionists is only matched by their idiocy.”I think this feeling is very commonly something felt by Israelis. Suicide bombers often blow up cars and buses and families eating at restaurants, children, old people, with no regard of the presence or absence of wheel-chairs. The Israelis would also feel what you feel my friend. When you say:”One can only wonder in utter astonishment as to what purpose such a horrific act would seek to achieve besides creating more chaos in an already troubled region” doesn’t that remind you of what israelis feel when they hear about a suicide bombing. I’m not saying either is right, I’m saying what you said is something that Israelis could probably very easily relate to.I’m just asking you put yourself into their own shoes for a moment, only a moment.”It confirms that the villainy of the Zionists is only matched by their idiocy.”Can israelis not use the horrrific acts of the suicide bombers as confirming the villainy of the cause of suicide bombers.I’m not trying to sasy that either side is right. I just found it very moving that your arguments are in a very profound way equivalent to what is felt by Israelis. And I think this should make all of us think for a moment about how objectively we view things. If a muslim is killed in a wheel-chair we find it as proof of the killers villainy and idiocy but often do not lend this sense of morality to those on our own side. I do not know if Shaikh Yasin supported suicide bombings, but it feels hypocrytical to me to criticize the morality of the tactics used to kill him when these are the tactics used by his group to kill others.I believe that the killing of innocent people on both sides is morally repugnant and unjustified. Again please read that quote I put up and contemplate on it for a while and think about what you felt when you said it and how it really is inspired by the same feelings that are felt by israelis who are suffering. Again, i’m not trying to promote any side, but to promote equality in criticism.Please enlighten me Kamran.Again, I do not wish to be disrespectful in any way, but I cannot ignore my conscience.-A Confused Muslim

  2. I wanted to clarify something I posted earlier because it sounds misleading:
    “I do not know if Shaikh Yasin supported suicide bombings, but it feels hypocrytical to me to criticize the morality of the tactics used to kill him when these are the tactics used by his group to kill others.”
    By tactics I’m referring to: Using weapons that will likely kill many more people than “the desired target” and killing people who aren’t defending themselves or are in a wheel-chair or who are surrounded by their family or other innocent people.
    I DO NOT think it is hypocrytical to criticize the tactics used by Israel, in fact I think we should criticize them because these “tactics’ are not acceptable. However, and what I meant to say earlier was, IT IS hypocritical to criticize the tactics used by Israel and simultaneously praise the tactics used by suicide bombers. I’m not sure what Kamran meant when he criticized the tactics, I am only guessing that he was referring to their use of excessive explosive power and the killing of someone in a wheel-chair, while they are with their family. I DO THINK we should criticize such tactics but I think we should not fail to criticize the similar tactics of suicide bombers.

  3. In response to the comment:
    Thank you for being the first person to finally post something worthwhile =).
    I thought I had made it quite clear on my previous journal at blurty.com that I absolutely disagree with the use of suicide bombings and do not condone them in any shape or form.  However, to my understanding, Shaykh Yassin, while being the founder of Hamas, did not himself encourage suicide bombing as he was more of a spiritual leader of the Palestinian people and a sort of “mascot”, if you will, of the Intifadah in general.
    When I read up about this man after I heard about the death, I was moved by learning about his work and how he sought to bring about this spiritual awakening before any political/military action to solve the Palestine problem. It was to this noble effort that I was referring to and considering as exemplary.
    To reiterate, I must again declare that I do NOT condone suicide bombings as I find it to be a gross perversion of the moral integrity that comprises Islam. I agree that we should criticize suicide bombers who bomb cafes and school buses as these too are unsuspecting attacks against human beings, just as this helicopter-strike on Shaykh Yassin was.
    Finally, to be provocative and borderline-controversial, I will contend that the Palestine issue will only be resolved when we as Muslims can get to a point wherein we remove religion from what began as a political issue, and thus seek to redress this problem without necessarily regarding this as a matter with eschatological ramifications.

  4. Thank you very much Kamran.
    Your quote:
    “Shaykh Yassin, while being the founder of Hamas, did not himself encourage suicide bombing as he was more of a spiritual leader of the Palestinian people.”
    brought much peace and ease to my heart and I thank you for that. I didn’t know that. I don’t know if you’d call this naive Kamran, but in my life, I’ve found that the truly devout, simple, humble, and loving people are not all these by coincidence but due to something beautiful that exists and is inspired at the core of their being. Your reply has helped me to maintain this belief. So again, thank you 🙂
    On a side note, I found your last comment incredibly thought-provoking. I never thought of it that way and am not sure if I do now, but I will reflect on what you said. I do beileve there is some truth in what you said though.  It’s all the more interesting seeing that just a few paragraphs above that, you mentioned how moved you were by “how he sought to bring about this spiritual awakening before any political/military action to solve the Palestine problem.”
    So it seems that you feel the answer is through increased spirituality but also that “religion” is unfortunately serving as more of a hindrance/distraction to the peaceful solution of their cause. Fascinating… 🙂
    I’m thinking that when a group uses religion “unwisely” as a source to motivate then it can serve as more of a hindrance than a means to their end. It’s easy to comment (when witnessing such misuse) that “religion” in a general sense is what is hindering them when it is actually a misuse of it.  Thus, neither using religion “unwisely” or ignoring it altogether can one arrive at solution.  Rather, only through understanding their state objectively and with sound religious understanding can success be reached.  I don’t know, other thoughts anyone?
    -Mode

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