Live and let live
Islam, the universal religion has made its followers a community of
sharing, caring and loving brothers and sisters. I am a firm believer of
this unique concept. The practical demonstration of unity is in the five
times daily prayers; and Hajj is the annual declaration of global unity.
Therefore, this turmoil and harm that has been perpetrated should be
borne with immense patience. Then peace, sanity and serenity will
prevail in the country.
Let us have faith in Allah's help. Praise be to him the Almighty who
has granted us the serenity of deep belief in Islam – the religion of
peace. It is this faith that gives Muslims patience, courage and peace
of mind in spite of the vindictive aggression by certain inhuman
factions. This threat and savagery is nothing new to the believers. In
the deep distant past when persecuted by Firau (Pharoah) didn't Prophet
Musa (A.S.) advise his people “to seek help in Allah and be patient.
Verily the earth is Allah's” Q CH. 7: V 128. Patience is an act of
Every one who harbours enmity and senseless jealousy should remember
that we as a nation has lived in Sri Lanka in harmony for centuries. We
are scrutinising every act of other communities be it religious
practices, cultures, attire, food or livelihood?
We have mingled with each other in friendship that has promoted a
These are deeply rooted in our rich heritage. Aren't they? No Sri
Lankan, will believe the false propaganda that communities can be
overrun by minorities. Aren't such phobias ludicrous. Is it to create
We do realise that there are certain commands that are decreed for
the well-being and safety of humanity. For instance, the cruel act of
killing, robbing, slandering immoral practices are not allowed in any
religion or faith.
In the Quran Allah commands in Ch. 24 v 30 thus; Tell the believing
men to lower their gaze and protect their private parts. That is purer
for them. Verify Allah is all aware of what they do”.
Similarly, women are warned to cover their bodies to protect them
from getting molested. Daily we see and hear of women and children being
raped, molested and killed in every part of the world. May be some
women's promiscuity is the root cause in certain cases. God knows best.
If the Prophet in His wisdom had commanded His ummat-male and female
to observe certain modes of living it had a profound reason behind it.
In the Quaran Allah emphatically enjoins “And say to the believing
women, that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty....
They should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their
beauty except to their husbands” 24:31.
Again in 33:59, “O Prophet, tell thy wives and daughters.... They
should cast their outer garments over their persons (When abroad) that
they should be known and not molested. And God is oft forgiving and most
merciful”. So, it has become the custom of Muslim women to cover
themselves decently. Not with any ulterior motive as foolishly
suspected. Who can condone such negative attitudes?
Haven't these fanatics who indulge in senseless cruelty have mothers
and sisters? The culprits who commit such dastardly acts should take
time to read their scriptures or the translation of the Quran. If they
read the first verse of ch.:4 they will hang their heads in remorse and
shame – ie if they have any....” Why can't these actions of them be
channelled into healthy competitiveness for the good of the country?
It is high time that we make a resolution to read and understand the
Holy Scriptures and Holy books of a few religions at least to live
without conflict. In Islam women are to be revered. It never degraded
women. It considers a mother as the first university of a child. Didn't
these revenge crazy men grow up in the loving laps of mothers.
We know, alcohol, gambling taking interest and murder are condemned
in every religion. Certain types of food are prohibited mainly to
protect humanity from the ill-effects caused by these food items.
The Arabic terms ‘Halal’ allowed and ‘Haram’ prohibited is to make
people refrain from consuming such food that cause various diseases.
Also certain countries demand certification. Pork was prohibited
because even if the pig is reared in the most hygienic environment, it
is the only animal that eats its own excreta. The readers are
intelligent enough to perceive the outcome.
Pondering on the unhealthy tension created recently, won't it be
beneficial if the extremist groups organise, campaign against
alcoholism, sexual immorality, use of dangerous drugs, ignorance,
lawlessness and various evils that are rampant in the country today? It
will keep the mischief-makers minds constructively occupied without
turning their minds into devil's workshops. That was the reason the
Prophet Muhammad (SAW) who was the pride of humanity tried to liberate
the minds from destructive ideas and actions. To understand the
complexity of life, the Prophet made it compulsory for every male and
female to seek knowledge.
We do know that we live in a society where killing of animals is done
for various purposes.
The foolish rituals of sacrificing animals to get treasures,
slaughtering for treasures or to chase away evil beings. But for us,
Muslims the rules of “Sharia” are citadels of religion which allows
slaughtering for consumption only.
It is time for everyone to sink caste, race, religion and other
difference and make his personal responsibility to create a
conflict-free peaceful Sri Lanka. We are fortunate to have a courageous
President who is alert to suppress communal and racist elements from
creating chaos in the land.
We firmly believe that Allah, the Almighty is the source of peace,
mercy, kindness and generosity. He is not the source of hate, blood-shed
terrorism and injustice. Let all Sri Lankans make noble resolutions to
usher in peace and harmony.
Let us remember, the Quaranic verse that commands in V.9 “ye who
believe! Stand out firmly, for God as witness, to fair dealings and let
not the hatred of others; To make you swerve to wrong and depart from
Be just that is next to piety, and fear God. For God is well
acquainted with all that you do”.
However, much the misled ones try to provoke, the Muslim brotherhood
should be patient, think clearly and submit themselves to Allah's
appealing admonition; and hold fast all of you together, to the rope of
Allah and do not be divided amongst your selves..... “Allah emphasizes”,
say mankind was one community then they differed later: (3:103)
Many non-Muslims are employed in many Muslim's establishments. Isn't
there camaraderie between the workers and their families? Didn't the
Kandyan Kings donate lands to the Muslims to build their mosques. In
return didn't the fearless Arabs help in bring salt? Why not harness the
capability the skills and knowledge for the benefit of Sri Lankans to
We must remember when one dies, be he a king or a pauper takes with
him nothing , but the good he has done in this life.
As the Buddha preached, “This life is one of impermanence”. So is
everything good or bad. We Muslims believe in a distant destination that
is in store for us. This is a transit life that we should realise.
When certain elements in society without sublime vision, leave the
middle path and become extremists they cause immense pain and loss to
the victims. Haven't we experienced this in the past? I feel, we too as
community has failed in our responsibility.
Knowing the brewing antagonism, we as a community should have
promoted transparency, educate and educate, who desire our way of life.
We should participate in functions organised by Buddhists, Christians,
Hindus and others. This will surely clear misconception regarding the
traditions and customs we engage in.
If they desire they should be given opportunities to observe our form
of prayers in mosques. Not through fear, but to exist as brothers-free
of suspicion? Also each group must get together for a declaration of
unity and co-existence, thus we can identify our differences and clear
misunderstandings that crop up now and then. We can get the children,
the future involved by organising trips and outings.
I am very appreciative of our far-sighted President who aims at
introducing bilingual languages in schools. Such a curriculum will
certainly ease the language barrier.It's a tragedy that we Sri Lankans
come to conclusions quickly. Do we pause to act before making proper
inquiries. Many tragedies could be averted if we for a moment hesitate
to believe rumours and half-truths.
Let us as Sri Lankans make every effort to be united to make this
island, a home of peace, tranquillity and love.