Greetings of Peace (al salamu 'alaykum) and our most heartfelt, continuous prayers for Palestine, and quite frankly, for the state of humanity. What a dark time, between the very public genocide taking place in Palestine, and just as devastating, the unwillingness of those in power to stop it. I pray that you are managing as well as can be expected. In my mind, this is a redline moment that draws a clear line between those who see humanity as one, and those who don't. Those who see the genocide taking place in Palestine and those who don't. Those who feel the suffering of human beings, regardless of label, and those who can coldly turn away as if the bombing and brutalization of any group of humans can be justified.
This weekend, we will not be holding a virtual gathering. Many here in Columbus are headed to the Protest for Palestine in Washington, DC this weekend. If you can join, I hope you do.
Let us pray for the people taking part in these humanitarian protests around the world and continue to do everything we can to stop the genocidal massacre we are all witnessing.
It is beyond frustrating to see the rhetoric, war-mongering, and continuous dehumanization of Palestinians taking place in mainstream narratives. To maintain your sanity, I want to again recommend the incredible work of people like Norm Finkelstein, Chris Hedges, Caitlin Johnstone, and Democracy Now. Also, check out Ross's great collection of resources at www.usulinews.org.
This week, in my frustration over the seemingly ineffectiveness of words, I wrote this new piece:
In the process of looking for artwork for my piece, I discovered this amazing Palestinian artist, Rawan Anani. Check it out. Here is one of my favorites, titled "Women of Gaza 2023":
And as always, I must call attention to this fabulous collection of writings by Wietske Merison, who as a "Muslim Birder," shares powerful reflections at the intersection of the Qur'an, nature, and lessons from coming to know God's incredible creation of birds. Her powerful new piece this week is on the "Rose-breasted Grosbeak."
On her Substack: Gift from the Heavens: Musings of a Muslim Birder
I am looking forward to the Shaykh's khutbah later today, which undoubtedly will be on Palestine, and which has been a source of insight, comfort, and strength for so many of us in these dark times.
Let us pray for all the Muslims around the world who are suffering in horrific, unspeakable ways. May God give us the strength, passion, and means to overcome whatever darkness we can, and to spread light, beauty and knowledge wherever we can. May God empower us to take whatever action is possible to change the world for the better in these very difficult times. May God guide, comfort, and forgive us all. Ameen.
In Peace and Hope,