I am calmly swimming off the coral reef, when my hand goes to my waist and I panic, I am not wearing my life jacket, I have never swum this far without a life jacket. I can see where the wall of the reef begins and the depth of the ocean becomes immeasurable. As my panic rises I remember the dua that I often have to read from my piece of paper after the Dhuhr prayer but whose meaning I know well:
اللّهُـمَّ لا مانِعَ لِما أَعْطَـيْت، وَلا مُعْطِـيَ لِما مَنَـعْت، وَلا يَنْفَـعُ ذا الجَـدِّ مِنْـكَ الجَـد .
“Allaahumma laa maani‘a limaa a‘tayt, wa laa mu‘tiya limaa mana‘t. Wa laa yanfa‘u dhal-jaddi minkal-jadd.”
“Ô Allah, none can prevent what You have willed to bestow. And none can bestow what You have willed to prevent. And no wealth or majesty can benefit anyone, as from You is all wealth and majesty.”
My heart rate normalizes, I submit to the fact that I am in His (SWT) hands. I once again begin to enjoy Allah SWT’s beautiful ornamentation underwater, and forget how deep I have come.
It is early midday we are leaving the mosque. I ask her how her son did on his interview for his job. She tells me that her son has applied in a position where they usually do not take children of immigrants and he has told her that there may be some racial prejudice involved.
I am listening attentively, “so what did you advise him?” I ask. “I gave him this dua.” And she recites the dua given above, “No one can take away from him what Allah has willed….” She says, “Alhamdollillah!” I say visibly respectful at such a level of submission to Allah. The next day she tells me that her son was accepted for the job.
Dr. M sends an SOS from Gaza, she was here in the United States and came to our little town and presented her research and field work. She and her team of young people are working to improve the lives of those children who have lost their parents or their home to the bombing or sniper fire from the Israeli soldiers. She has created a small sanctuary for these children with severe post traumatic stress syndrome who in the confines of these walls can make pictures and sing songs as if there are no soldiers waiting to kill them or destroy their homes, and pretend as if life is normal.
Dr. M’s young assistant writes about the little Hospital she works in, and the news validates, and I paraphrase……….Please help, no food, no medicine, no electricity, respirators in danger of being shut off. The fuel for the generators is running out, electricity has already been turned off by the Israelis.
In other words the respirators will soon come to a grinding halt and all the babies and children on respirators in Gaza will die or be damaged irrevocably.
I read the email and a sense of frustration and anger rises in me. What have these sick children done to deserve this type of treatment?
The next day a young lady who has been to the Berlin Wall tells me” They blew a three mile hole in the Wall between Gaza and Egypt and people are spilling over to buy groceries, in Egypt. Reports say that the food stores in the little border village in Egypt are empty and the gunshop has not sold a single gun” I have been out of the political loop since my child died. Why is there a wall between Eygpt and Gaza? I wonder.
I am stupefied……….. Allah SWT has willed to bestow food and fuel to those innocents in the Hospital, who the humans were depriving………He (SWT) is giving respite to the opressed and desperately needy, those whose middle name is “collateral”. He (SWT) is pausing to see the reaction of the fellow human beings as to what do they do next to their own kind?
Pictures roll in of the desperate shopping for fuel, food and bedding and animals. People climbing up the shards of the broken wall, and walking several miles to the border Egyptian village and then walking back stooped down with the groceries to last ………how long? Till the wall comes up again with the American taxpayers money?
May Allah put mercy in the hearts of the ones who have no mercy in them at this time.
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More pictures available at http://www.mecaforpeace.org website and BBC.