riddle me this, riddle me that; a commentary on Connecticut


Mohammed (sws) said:Truly in the body there is a morsel of flesh which, if it be whole, all the body is whole and which, if it be diseased, all of it is diseased. Truly it is the heart.”[Sahih Bukhari and Muslim]

Rather than working on my final exam, which is due on Tuesday, my attention has now been drawn to the tragedy that has taken place in Connecticut just a few hours ago. Usually this word, tragedy, is loosely used and the meaning is misplaced, however, under the circumstances I think that it is appropriate. My mind is bouncing from one thought to another and although I desperately want to write about this I am finding it rather difficult to pinpoint what it is I need to say.

I think it would be most appropriate to firstly address the families, friends and acquaintances of all implicated in this. I am sorry for your loss. No words can ever express what I am feeling for the families right now. No one will ever understand how deeply this has impacted individuals, families, communities and our society as a whole. To everyone that has been affected by this, my prayers are with you. No one deserves to be subjected to this type of horror. When it is happening to you, it feels like you are walking in a dream and that nothing is real. It is hard to imagine the reality of your situation, but it has happened and all that is left to do is to pick up the pieces and move forward as peacefully as possible. I think that although everyone should be angry it is best that we stay positive and patient through something like this. Hate will only breed more hate, but patience will bring us to a place of comfort.

I am really concerned for the surviving children. They now bear a heavy weight, their innocence has been compromised and their hearts will be forever affected. Our hearts are delicate things. True it is our minds that form thoughts and send sparks to parts of our body that cause the motions and movement; it is ultimately our hearts that play an intrinsic role in who we are and how we choose to interact with those around us. Where does an event like this leave them?

I believe that the actions of the boys today are a commentary on how we treat one another and that these events are due to all of the negativity that is surrounding us. Obviously there is nothing known about these kids at this time but I think we can all agree that they are deeply disturbed. As I am sitting here in shock I cannot help but to think of all of the factors that come into play here. There are so many questions running through my mind and endless answers… Why did this happen? What purpose did it serve? What message were these boys sending to us as a community? But the idea that I keep coming back to is compassion. I wonder how these boys were treated throughout their life? Were they treated well? Were they bullied? Was something going on behind closed doors? Did those teachers turn a blind eye to what their issues were?

This is not the first time an incident such as this one has happened this year, but I think everyone can agree that hopefully, God willing, it will be the last. It is up to us as a community to do everything in our power to prevent such atrocities. In the end it is the culprits of this crime who are culpable but I think it is clear that we all have a part to play in this. Everyone should take some time to examine our treatment of one another and decide if this happened in a vacuum or was there something more at play? Furthermore, although the main point of this article is focused towards the shooting in Connecticut today, I want to take an opportunity to remind everyone that every single day children and families around the world are being subjected to this type of hell. Let us remember and pray for the families in Syria and Palestine who are dealing with these types of atrocities on a daily basis.

Alal-lahi-tawakkalna Rabbana-la taj’alna Fitnatal-lilqawmiz-zalimeen Wanajjina berahmatika minal-qawmil-kafireen.

“In God do we put our trust. Our Lord! make us not a trial for those who practice oppression; And deliver us by Thy Mercy from those who reject (Thee).” (10:85-86)

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