( If you’re from Stony MSA- please hold your horses until the Minaret comes out.)
Alone amidst a desert in Bahrain, there is a tree that defiantly stands with its roots deep in the sand. It is called the “tree of life.” Its source of water is unknown and none have been able to understand how such a symbol of life can survive in such a desolate area. It is a tree one expects to see in a climate that is conducive to such vegetation. Its branches are many, extending about as far as its height. Its leaves are full of color and it is a remarkable testament to fortitude in the face of adversity. As one person said, “The reason people think its beautiful is because it has no right to be there.”
SubhanAllah. A tree in the middle of the desert. No one expected this tree to live or survive, yet it has through Allah’s Will. This tree is just like you or me. The current political atmosphere may make us believe that we are outsiders; that we do not belong. Yet, we are here—surviving, striving, dreaming and achieving. We are here by the bounty of Allah (SWT). To some people, our community does not have a right to live in society. To some people, we should integrate into society and put our faith aside. But our uniqueness as a community comes from the fact that we are different and have the beauty of Islam. Our community is well grounded, rooted into the foundation of the deen. Our branches are the connections we have to one another, our leaves are our actions. The strength of a tree comes from its roots and branches, just like our strength comes from our deen and community. Though perhaps people do not think we belong, we should not allow ourselves to take on this mentality. Allah (SWT) has told us that the world shall not perish so long as one person is calling out to Him. It is because of the Muslims that still believe and call out to their Lord that the world still exists. SubhanAllah. How many times have we looked at the world in that manner? We like to take the negatives and escalate them, only further hindering our community from progressing. If only we look at Allah’s signs and realize that we, like the tree of life, are put in the situations and circumstances we face for a reason. The Tree of Life has no caretaker, no one to give it water. Its existence comes from Allah. It can only depend on Allah to nourish it. Just like that, our community in the West is here for a reason.
Under the heat we face, we can either wilt and falter- or we can persevere and prove to the West that we belong. We are among the richest Muslims in the world. We are in the unique position to help those that are less fortunate. If we fail to recognize this—if we fail to rely on Allah and realize His Divine Wisdom—we fail as a community. We have so much to offer, so much to share with the world. We wear our religion on our sleeves and that being so; we should portray it in the best of light. We should set the example and show that no matter what we can survive and be an asset to Western society as opposed to how some people would like to show the Muslim community. Just remember the tree and how despite all odds, it perseveres. It attracts hundreds of visitors because of its strength. We have the opportunity to be the type of people that others flock to because of the beauty of our actions, the strength of our faith, and our commitment to persevere. “Those who patiently persevere will truly receive a reward without measure!”- Qur’an 39:10