Sunday, August 3, 2014

Now what?

Gosh, it's so hard to start writing again after years. I might be a little rusty in this but hey hello everyone. Assalamualaikum

There are a lot of things I have missed since the last time I wrote on this blog. I should give credits to Faith because she was the only reason Alaqsaarmy hasn't been completely abandoned. I am so sorry. I will do better next time, Insyallah.

By now, I am sure everybody knows about what's really happening in Gaza since a month ago. The ongoing battle between Palestine and Israel was at it's peak when the Israel Defense Force decided to react to the claim of 3 Israeli teenagers kidnapping by committing a terrible act of revenge on civilians in Gaza. Not surprisingly, the claim turns out not to be true after all. (click here for official news report)

Every day for the past month, our Facebook newsfeed has been bombarded with a lot of news, reports, videos, documentaries - all pertaining to the ongoing war. With such overloaded knowledge, now what do we do with it?

Of course we could always choose to stand in silence and do nothing about it, or we could join the fight because we know at the end it will worth every minute of our effort.

So here I presented 6 steps we can attempt to help them out:

1 Research, reevaluate, reconsider.

Before we begin to develop any opinion in any conflict whatsoever, we should question the source of information. In this case, since we don't live in Gaza or Israel and there's no way for us to become an eyewitness, we can't never rely on any journalism before asking this question: who would benefit from any misrepresented fact? If one side throws any accusation, make sure it is made with substantial evidence before we believe it.

Read the history. Listen to both sides of the story. Pay attention to different sources of news. Get in touch with people who live there. Do research. Seek for official facts and statistics. And be aware of the systematic brainswashing.

When I said listen to both sides of the story, I really mean both Palestinians and Israelis. You may call me crazy for suggesting to listen to what the oppressor's have to say, but you will be surprised of how much the knowledge could benefit you in the future. It's true that they might come out with thousands of different justifications for their acts of evil. But we should take a note of all of that, and prepare ourselves with a thousand more reasons why their justifications do not make sense. This way, we'll be fully prepared to combat any deceiving idea that's coming our ways.

2 Raise awareness as much as you can.

We do realize that the world is waking up. Thousands of peaceful protests and rallies are being held all around the world as we speak. But there are still a number of people who have no idea about what's really going on in Gaza. It's either because they don't care, or because they still believe everything the mainstream medias are telling them.

This is where your role is significant. In today's world, the social media is more powerful than the mainstream ones. So use facebook, twitter, instagram or any other means to spread the truth. Trigger the conversation. As small as it may seem, you never know how many people will be moved to know more about it when they see your posts.

3 Boycotting.

This sounds very cliche but yet it is the most powerful tool for us to cripple the country's economy. Search for other alternative products, or better, come out with ones. Don't be a seasonal boycotter. Don't make it our short term goal. Always keep in mind to why we're boycotting. It's not merely a sign of protest. We want the conflict to end. Israel has been occupying the land for over 60 years, and three years of boycotting won't stop them from doing it for many more in the future.

4 Use your talent.

Use up your talent and creativity to help. If you love to write, write good articles, poems and stories. If you love music, produce inspirational songs to spread the words. So on and so forth. Channel your creativity for a good cause.

5 Be consistent and persistent.

Never get used to the massacres on the news. Do not get bored. How inhuman would it be from us to ever get bored to this. And never feel enough about what you have done for them. It is never going to be enough as long as the land is still occupied. It is never enough until Palestine is freed again. It is never enough until the dictatorship in Syria and Egypt have fallen. We have so much more to do. And until then, we don't deserve to stay in silence and enjoy our privileged life.

If at times you found yourself crying your heart out because you just can't take it anymore, have a look at photos and videos of people all around the world, uniting despite the difference in race and religion, chanting their hatred towards the Israeli occupation, and smile. Because there is still hope in humanity. I personally found this helpful :)

6 Everything happens for a reason. Find the reason.

I was a troubled kid. I asked too many questions. And it's not the first time I question God why he made things to be the way it is now. Why so many wars? Why are the good people losing?

But I believe the answer to this lies within the question itself. God has not made their lives on this earth worthless. They did not lose. Rather, they are in a much better place right now. It is us whose fate is yet to be determined. It is us whose battle has not yet begun.

He promised us a victory and it is near. It is us who has yet to choose to join them and win, or to ignore them and lose.

Till then,

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Of Guilt and Love

Salam everyone,

So after endless 'tag-you're-it' (read: tag-you post) skype session with Cokelatcip, I've decided to give in and write something down here.
(coz I'm cool and tolerate well with immature kids =p )

Anyway, as some of you might have realized, Cokelatcip and I have sort of abandoned this blog for a while. To be honest, I can come up with a bunch of explanation to why I did so. But let me just be honest.
I stopped writing because I was exhausted.
Yeah. Coz, I dunno, somehow it felt like a never ending crisis.
There will be some cease-fire, some new agreement to allow access to the rafah-border, some actual light that things are going to be if not okay, at least improving...
then suddenly, another bomb will just drop down from the sky. the way it has always been since 1948.

And as if Palestine is not enough news,
there was the massacre at Rohingya as well. The whole ethnicity that practices Islam was demolished within a short period of time.
And then Syria.
Lord, Syria was slaughtered by their own people.
By their own government.

It's so illogical how a bunch of things in this world can go so wrong when the muslims are so massive in number that I just can't help to not want to know anything anymore.

I got tired. I got really tired of these issues, strangling me, asking me for my contribution that I decided that I had enough.
I decided to take a break and like-sort of waive the whole thing away until I'm ready to get back on.

Ya Allah, what sort of thinking was that?
Looking back at how stupid I was, I realize that I was giving excuses to escape. I blamed the bias in the media, the unreliable sources that limits my capability of mashing stuff together into a blog article. I blamed the world. The muslims. The people who could actually make a difference, like, i dunno, the presidents of the muslim countries and the UAE (United Arab Emirates)...

thinking back...
I went away too.
So, what difference does it make.
Whether I'm the person holding a big post somewhere that can secure Palestine safekeeping in seconds; whether I'm that person or not, I'm a muslim too.

I would be held accountable for every second I decide to ignore the issue of the muslims worldwide.
The people at Rohingya espescially; I didn't pay that much attention at all to what happened there.
I heard stories about it but I didn't bother to look it up and give the injustice that have happened if not prayers, at least some minimal attention.

I dunno what kind of heartless monster I've became.
And now I'm thinking,
what am I gonna tell Allah later.
When I stand before him on judgment day. (well, that is if He wants to see me, what if He doesn't?naudzubillahminzalik)
How am I gonna justify that I did pray for my brothers and sisters around the world and I really thought that, that was good enough. That my generic prayers, one that I can quickly recite after the fardhu prayers, crosses out the need for me to do anything further.
That, I dunno, I may have felt- that I have my life too.


I remember one of Nouman Ali Khan's lecture that I've randomly listen to before.
He mentions that there's one part of a verse in the quran that says,

 cÎ)ur (#öq©9uqtGs? öAÏö7tFó¡o $·Böqs% öNä.uŽöxî ¢OèO Ÿw (#þqçRqä3tƒ /ä3n=»sVøBr& ÇÌÑÈ   

"if you people turn away, he will replace you with someone other than you, and they will not be like you"

If we turn away, Allah does not lose anything.
Allah can simply replace us with others that can, and will actually do the job.
And this is scary.

As Nouman Ali Khan puts it, 
we think Allah need us to build this ummah, to have Islam in this earth.
But no.
Allah can remove each and every one of us if He wish, and Islam will still be there.

In another word,
If you wanna leave,
Or rather,
If I wanna leave, by all means. do.
Islam will not be affected.
I will be.

Lets not turn away, people. Lets not get exhausted too quickly.
After all, for the time being, all that we had to do was to spread the news. To be aware. To constantly pray for them.To boycott. To donate. 
If that is too much to ask for, then how do you justify this.

or this

I bet they'll be horrified to know that we felt somewhat burdened to boycott Starbucks or Nestle.

We will, insyaAllah get to the stage where our voice is heard and we didn't have to scream.
We will get there.
If so He wills.

It will be okay to die not witnessing the victory of Islam, the freedom of Palestine, the stops of Muslim massacre in any land in this world.
It's okay if we die first.
So long that we didn't become a part of the problem.

A speaker from Aqsa Syarif once came to my college and said,

The story of Palestine will end eventually. 
It has to end somehow. There's Judgement Day.
And Allah promises victory for the muslims before then.
This story, well..
Everyone of us is in it.

You choose what character you want to play.
And you choose where you stand.

I've made a mistake before. I ran. I escaped.
But He let me live. 

He let me live.

"if you people turn away, he will replace you with someone other than you, and they will not be like you"

Allah, don't replace me.
Don't replace us.
We love Islam. 
Lead us back to it.
Make us part of the victory.

by: Faith Hana.