CC ISSUE: SEP2011 Last updated: 2011-09-08 17:40:00
At Home and Abroad: Compassion and Mercy
As Muslim Americans we know that Mercy and Compassion are the foremost attributes of Allah (swt), as we begin chapter in the Quran with nearly every “In the name of Allah, the most Compassionate, the most Merciful”
Hunger, poverty, violence, educational inequality, homelessness, are among a laundry list of issues I can name that we face in the U.S. A report released by the Food Research and Action Center states “nearly one in four of our nation’s households with children report the inability to afford enough food.” Households with and without children are struggling to buy enough food for the family. Violence in the inner-city continues to increase, despite the many organizational efforts to work with at risk youth. Our educational system continues to discriminate against our city youth. Anywhere we go there are homeless people, no food or shelter, no safeway in the winter from the freezing cold or in the summer from the blazing sun. As our economy continues to falter our disadvantaged families/individuals are getting hit the hardest.
As we work on these local issues, there are issues abroad that are affecting us as well: Somalia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Egypt, Iraq, Palestine, to name a few! There are people who are hungry, homeless, oppressed, tortured, living in refugee camps, hoping to get some food, waiting to go home, fighting for the freedoms and basic liberties that many of us take for granted.
What happens abroad affects our daily lives; rising gas prices, is one of the affects we have seen due to the issues abroad. For those who have families in the Middle East and/or Africa we watch the news anxiously, wait to get a phone call from family or friends, worry about the safety and security of our brothers and sisters living in these war torn poverty stricken countries.
Ramadan just passed – it was like a blink of an eye. One of the purposes of Ramadan is to help one empathize with the hunger pangs of those less fortunate, to enhance sensitivity to the suffering of others and develop compassion for the poor and destitute. The Muslim American community stepped up to the plate, giving to the poor locally, volunteering and donating to food pantries, fundraising and for Africa, providing awareness of the famine that has struck Somalia. It’s amazing how we can come together and serve the underprivileged locally and internationally, it’s amazing the compassion we have for ALL people around the world.
As Muslim Americans, it is our obligation to address and tackle issues that affect our communities at large whether it’s local, national or international. May Allah (swt) give us the strength to continue serving Him and our communities.