SHAFAQNA – “O ye who believe! Shun much suspicion; for lo! some suspicion is a crime. And spy not, neither backbite one another. Would one of you love to eat the flesh of his dead brother? Ye abhor that (so abhor the other)! And keep your duty (to Allah). Lo! Allah is Relenting, Merciful.”
Quran, Surah al-Hujurat (The Chambers) (49), Verse 12
If slander does in fact bite deepest as its poison tastes of betrayal and injustice, slander remains the weapon of choice for the weak-minded – tyrants’; as a last ditch attempt to justify the devolution of their system before those truths they cannot bear to see manifest.
Ever since the Word was first spoken to the Prophet Muhammad(S) all those centuries ago, slander has lived on the lips of those who saw defeat in Submission … It is lies and deceit the majority offered before those signs, God offered His Creation so that Truth would be made manifest.
It is rejection, that the majority spoke against those who held to their testimony of faith; Finding instead, in allegiance, that true submission can only be enacted through the completion of one’s religion … How many indeed strayed from the path for they fail prey to nefarious whispers?
How many abandoned when their chests should have suffered every infamy, to rise a rampart to the progeny of the prophet of Islam? How many turned away before the call when our Imams stood an island against tyranny so that future generations would learn of his return?
To this day betrayal feels an everlasting burn – an unbearable scar on one’s soul for weakness prevailed when duty dictated that allegiance be unbreakable. Maybe one day we will finally answer the wisdom of Karbala to realise that victory lies beyond duty, beyond the rationality of religiosity, beyond the oath given … Martyrdom was offered in absolute submission for it was Truth that reflected in the progeny of the Prophet Muhammad’s eyes. It is Islam the Shia of Ali saw reflected in AhlulBayt … it is Eternity they chose and the world they divorced thrice.
Could there ever be another loyalty but that owed to the Truth? And can there be Truth away from the Imams? Still, they question and they plot … still they whisper words of dissent and rebellion against that leadership that should suffer no criticism.
“Do not envy and spite each other and do not slander about each other, and, O God’s servants, be brethren with each other.” –Prophet Muhammed.
What will we do now that slander has become tyrants’ favourite weapon? Will we once more allow for deceit to cloud our skies and muddied our hearts? What are our tears worth if we are to repeat the same betrayals, and in those fateful plains be condemned to re-enact our greatest shame?
Slander is not just a spoken lie, it towers an apostasy against that Truth God spoke to Adam and in Islam sealed our testimony of faith. Slander is in fact the greatest act of rebellion, sitting its practitioners outside Faith … what a lonely station indeed but to be in the company of those who cannot recognise beauty in religious obedience.
Today … like so many of our yesterdays slander is being wielded against those whose duty remains to the defense of the oppressed and the dissemination of the truth.
Today … like so many of our yesterdays, the sons of Zahra, stand somewhat alone before the multitude; and yet they never stood taller before their enemies. Maybe this time our hearts will remember to love beyond our compounded fears for loyalty to be consecrated and allegiance risen to His Banner.
Now that we stand on the edge, now that Islam has been returned to its Sayyed will we abandon again?
Their rise we must see has been matched by such violent bile and their resistance labelled under such misapprehension that one cannot but help but recognise the disease of Siffien.
“Certainly you are the most evil of all persons and are those whom Satan has put on his lines and thrown out into his wayless land.
With regard to me, two categories of people will be ruined, namely he who loves me too much and the love takes him away from rightfulness, and he who hates me too much and the hatred takes him away from rightfulness.
The best man with regard to me is he who is on the middle course. So be with him and be with the great majority of Muslims because Allah’s hand of protection is on keeping unity.
You should beware of division because the one isolated from the group is a prey to Satan just as the one isolated from the flock of sheep is a prey to the wolf.
Beware! Whoever calls to this course [of sectarianism], kill him, even though he may be under this headband of mine.” Imam Ali – Nahjul Balagha, Sermon 126
Will we dare betray when logic dictates we offer all that we are in their service since they are the true custodians of our traditions, and the expression of Imam Mahdi’s authority until such a time when he returns?
Those are questions we indeed need to ponder over now that slander has returned a weapon of Terror in the hands of tyrants.
Maybe now … now that we were given dignity through just leadership will we rise beyond nationalism, ethnicity and egocentrism to recognise that while the Islamic Revolution was anchored in Iran its movement cannot be contained by geography.
Its message like that of Islam is for all. Its Leadership is for whoever wishes guidance, and its voice that of the oppressed should they choose to indeed call.
Now that whispers are becoming so loud as to fill our TV screens and media outlets we may wish to exercise caution, restraint, and altogether discernment against those who wish to sow discord to better reap betrayal.
As Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned: “It darkens our hearts, makes our society tenebrific …”
By Catherine Shakdam – Director Shafaqna Institute of Middle Eastern Studies