This is one of the many sober Eids that I have experienced lately.
You too are being bombarded with information about the pain of the Ummah…………Name a Muslim country and your will find, war, death and hunger in some form! Name a non-Muslim country and you will find fear, persecution and sometimes even violence against Muslims.
All this gives a really grim picture of the world. Yet when you meet a neighbor on the street they smile at you, you meet a young mixed couple (Caucasian and Indian) in the bookstore and their conversation shows respect for the Muslim scholars and scientists, you hear a knock on the door and a local non-Muslim friend has brought you a basket of peaches “to enjoy in Ramadan”.
Your hairdresser hides her water bottle, incase you feel bad because you are fasting.
You wonder at the dichotomy between the news and reality.
You look at a handful of Libyans with the flag posing for the camera in Gaddafi’s compound and you wonder if the whole thing is rigged for the camera sort of a “wag the dog” situation or even “Iraq volunteers”.
Where in all this is the truth?
Allah Subhanawataala has given us a signpost how to discern the truth that is being thrown at us via multimedia, be it TV, Internet or Newspapers.
He says in Surah Hujaraat that we must examine the ethics and honesty of the bearer of the news:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِن جَاءَكُمْ فَاسِقٌ بِنَبَإٍ فَتَبَيَّنُوا أَن تُصِيبُوا قَوْمًا بِجَهَالَةٍ فَتُصْبِحُوا عَلَىٰ مَا فَعَلْتُمْ نَادِمِينَ ﴿٦﴾
O you who have believed, if there comes to you a disobedient one (troublemaker) with information, investigate, lest you harm a people out of ignorance and become, over what you have done, regretful.
How often at an intellectual level we know that what we are watching on O’Reilly and FOX is pure unadulterated Republican, extreme right propaganda and they don’t even make any bones about it, but we continue to watch it!
If the bearer if the news is an established liar, should we, day in and day out be watching what he or she has to say?
So this Eid as you find the warmth of love and camaraderie with your closest friends and companions, remember that the litmus test for the truth is that your heart will automatically point towards the honest and the honorable amongst the ones you know.
There is a proviso for that:
What touches your heart this Eid depends on how much you have polished the seeing eyeglass of your heart that helps you and me to recognize and thus be attracted towards the truth.
This Eid I pray for you and me:
that Allah accepts our fasts and prayers and may He bless us with the warmth of love and duas of the righteous,
in this world and the next.
CHECK OUT FOR Muslim Etiquette and Ayah 6 for How to judge the news media: