Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji'un, To God, we belong and to God, we shall return.
We are devastated by the attacks that targeted Muslim congregants during communal prayer in Christchurch,New Zealand. To honor their lives and to stand against xenophobia, Anti-Muslim rhetoric and all forms of hate and oppression, we ask that you turn your grief into wisdom. That you make an effort to learn about every human being killed and injured, and the living family members who must learn to carry the heaviness of this loss. We ask that you create safe spaces, that you check on your loved ones, friends and strangers. That you use your words to lift up this darkness until there is light. If you have not cried, find a place to mourn. For every tear is holy and capable of transforming the heart and the divisiveness that has become a part of our daily lives. Let there be change and resolute action. Let us find the collective strength to remove the hold of history, so that we may truly learn what it means to love thy neighbor. Remain hopeful in these moments but note that hope is not a magical word. Hope requires a transformation of the heart, hope requires work; the kind of work that demands that we learn from every tragedy and recommit ourselves to work harder until there is sustainable change.
In parting, we share the words of poet Rashida James-Saadiya whose poem Heirloom reminds us that we are living history and the lines that divide us will be broken when we work, love, cry and heal together.
Love. Change. Peace.
Somewhere there are tears and bombs
rupturing the beauty of sacred land
Somewhere there are boats
filled with people carrying nothing
except for the gift of breath
Somewhere there are fathers using every inch of their bodies
to pull their children across borders,
for the comfort of safety
Somewhere the sun has left its place
and there is only my Grandmother
For when the sky is full of darkness and the world is asleep
She sits alone and prays
“Ya Allah, surely you're the best of weavers. Weave a song among us. A joyous song of love upon our lips, so that we may leave the sorrows of this world, for the mercy of your wisdom. By the setting of the stars, all souls are wanderers in search of the true purpose of their feet. Please show us the way. Help us to walk with certainty despite the spread of darkness. Verily it is by your labor and mercy that we exist, though the world may injure our bodies. It is you, who preserves the soul. Remind us. Help us to turn the soil with our hands, to plant something better. To mend all that is broken, to purify our hands in oceans made of compassion and infinite love. Ya Allah! Give us more than we deserve.”
For somewhere there are broken hearts
waiting for a new song, a joyous song
one that removes sorrow from bones
one that will transform our bodies into vessels
capable of healing the wounds of this world