“Because Allah will never change the grace which He hath bestowed on a people until they change what is in their (own) souls: and verily Allah is He Who heareth and knoweth (all things).” Qur’an, chapter 8, verse 53
Watching the daily news is very challenging. Consuming regular reports of murder, racism and lies from those in authority continues to bombard our human senses until we become insensitive, often callous – until the news reporters are knocking on our door, or ringing our telephone number because the latest victim is one of our family members. And before your community can properly memorialize your loved one, in less than 24 hours, we hear about the next murder, rape or fentanyl overdose. A sad state of affairs that will not change until we get serious about addressing and eliminating the root causes of the daily evils that we let control our lives; particularly in the African American community.
The above verse from the Qur’an promises humanity that the good that our Creator endowed upon us will never change unless we, on our own accord, allow that good to change to evil. Those words of the Qur’an are reminiscent of the words in the Declaration of Independence, “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.” This concept supports that we are not “born in sin.” We are born sinless. We must understand that goodness will never change until we alter the natural gifts of goodness that we receive from G_d.
The only way we can return our wayward societies back to a sense of decency for human life is for us to become very serious about confronting the ills forced upon our hearts, minds and souls. The help is here. Prophet Muhammed, prayers and peace be upon him said, “When you take one step towards Allah, know that He takes ten steps towards you…” Are we ready and willing to take that first step?
Let’s begin with telling some truths. The Qur’an and the Bible too, obligate the believers to speak the truth regardless of who, or what. The Qur’an says, “O ye who believe! Fear Allah, and (always) say a word directed to the Right”: Qur’an, chapter 33, verse 70.
The Mayor’s office alone can’t solve these problems, and neither can the governor or the president alone solve these societal ills; likewise, spending big money on our problems while hoping for magical cures will never work if the thinking and desires of the people do not change.
Too many people support and love the evils that cause so much pain in our society. The rule of “supply and demand” explains why we can’t rid our communities of gun and drug violence. Too many folks like abusing their human excellence with drugs, alcohol and guns. Only an un-educating, followed by a re-educating of the people who love doing evil will give us the foundation needed to correct the problem.
Poverty and crime have a connection, but the two are not inseparable. We all know many poor people who will never give their life to crime, and there are many rich people who regularly give their life to crime; so poverty and crime are not always tethered as one.
Until we take a serious unbiased look at what and who is actually supplying the evils in our communities, we will never solve our gun and drug problems. This is not an easy task, with an overnight remedy. Correcting such problems requires sacrifice, endurance and cooperation from individuals who are truly dissatisfied with crime controlling them and their community.
Begin teaching our children while they are toddlers that we don’t manufacture drugs, guns and other sins designed to cripple our communities. Teach them, and let’s remind each other that we don’t get the big profits that these evils produce. We don’t own tobacco farms. I repeat we have to unlearn a lot of untruths – stuff that we all easily can see causes death and destruction in our lives. This type of education begins in the home and must be practiced (lived by) in our homes.
Stop giving hypocrisy comfort. The lyrics “You can’t say you do but then show you don’t. You can’t say you will and make sure you won’t. You can’t want for change and not do what you need to do,” – taken from Stevie Wonder’s 2005 song, “If Your Love Cannot Be Moved” – those lyrics address the hypocrisy we too often witness from big business, the industrialist and politicians who support laws that daily causes damage to millions of Americans. But, it is us, the common citizens, who continue to give our hard-earned money to those things that harm us. Until we are serious about making major changes in our social and spiritual diets and appetites we will continue being disturbed as we watch the evening news. Dissatisfaction brings about a change; a serious change!
Michael “Mikal” Saahir is the Resident Imam of the Nur-Allah Islamic Center – Indianapolis. His email is email@example.com.