Saturday, December 15, 2012

My Mujahadah



"Free, free Palestine!" 


Something wasn't quite right...even as I believed every word coming from my lips.


"Free, free Palestine!" 


15th November 2012: The savage Zionist attack on Gaza has just begun, and around the world people were gathering in public squares, streets and town parks; keen to show solidarity with the Palestinians. One such gathering took place at twilight in Picadilly Garden, Manchester. 

And I was proud to be part of it. 


"Free, free Palestine!" 


It was heartening to see that so many people have woken up to the tragedy of the Palestinians. Things seemed a bit different this time, compared to the reaction to a similar attack by Israel in 2008. 

The Palestinian cause is not forgotten; if anything there were more people out to demonstrate their support this time around. 


"Free, free Palestine!" 


And yet... I could not shake off the feeling in my heart that something wasn't quite right. More than once during that cold twilight at Piccadilly Garden, I questioned what I was actually doing. Yes I was voicing out (quite loudly): 


"Free, free Palestine!" 


But what exactly was I achieving? How exactly does my chanting and yelling here help my brothers and sisters all the way in Palestine? 

In that sense nothing has changed since 2008. How I felt then I feel again now: a feeling of utter helplessness... 


"Free, free Palestine!" 


The cheer is, to my tongue, tarnished by a tinge of hypocrisy now. I am saying something that I've done nothing to achieve. 


"Free, free Palestine!" 


But then I realize...I too have my own mujahadah; my own struggle. Everybody does. In everybody's personal way everybody struggles against something. 


It could be a mujahadah for good grades. 
A mujahadah to show patience with that annoying little bro. 
A mujahadah to keep fit. 
A mujahadah to wake up for Fajr prayers in the dead of winter. 
A mujahadah to not text that particular girl so much. 

The list goes on. 


"Free, free Palestine!" 


My Palestinian brothers and sisters are prevented from studying through the night by troops knocking on doors; nothing stops me but my lack of will.
They are prevented from contacting their parents because they are split into different refugee camps, or by death; nothing stops me but forgetfulness.
They are prevented from going for Fajr prayers in the morning by falling bombs; nothing stops me but the weight of my duvet.

My brothers and sisters in Palestine undergo a very public mujahadah; but alongside them I undergo a personal one. Yes it does not involve picking up a rocket launcher or a dusty battlefield - but in many ways the struggle against personal desires is just as difficult.


"Free, free Palestine!" 



So I thank my Palestinian brothers and sisters. They have reminded me of a vital lesson in mujahadah. Their struggle continues in the public eye. For the rest of us, our mujahadah continues in our own private lives. 


"Free, free Palestine!"



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