Source: The Malta Independent www.independent.com.mt | Monday 7 September 2015, by Laiq Ahmed Atif | firstname.lastname@example.org
The tragedies of migrants are not a new reality of the current times. Every year, hundreds of migrants die at sea on their way to find a better future.
Last year a tragic incident happed in the Mediterranean Sea and many lost their lives; nearly 28 bodies of the victims were brought to Malta and a funeral ceremony was held at Mater Dei. I was also present there and it left irremovable marks on my memory; those moments cannot be described in words.
The latest tragedy of migrants and the picture of a Syrian toddler washed up on a beach lying face down in the surf near Turkey’s fashionable resort town of Bodrum, has shaken the entire world, and the lovers of humanity were extremely moved by this heartbreaking incident. The picture of the young boy, which has gone viral on the social media, paints a thousand words; the beautiful angel’s lifeless body on the beach is like ‘humanity washed ashore’. The picture alone should be sufficient to shake the conscience of the world leaders.
I believe that the time has come to better understand the situation of migrants and not to turn our backs towards their misery. It is time to advocate a comprehensive approach to cater this human tragedy and demand the entire world to play their effective role in this regard; and to alleviate their sufferings and miseries in a loving, compassionate and humane manner.
It gives me great pain when such traumatic happenings do not awaken the Muslim world to come forward to play their role and offer assistance to those in need and to dedicate some of their God-gifted wealth for the welfare of humanity – which is one of the two basic principles of Islamic faith.
While explaining the qualities of virtuous people, the Holy Quran states: ‘And they feed, for love of God, the poor, the orphan, and the prisoner, saying, ‘We feed you for Allah’s pleasure only. We desire no reward nor thanks from you. Verily, we fear from our Lord a frowning and distressful day (76:9-11).’
This verse also signifies that the righteous believers give the poor wholesome and agreeable food. This implies that the Muslims are expected to give in the charity the things they love most. Elsewhere the Holy Quran says: ‘You cannot attain to righteousness unless you spend in the way of God out of that which you love most (3:93).’
The Holy Prophet Muhammad said, ‘All creatures are God’s family. So, Allah likes the person, from among all humans, who treats His family (creatures) well and looks after their needs. The Gracious God will be Merciful to those who show mercy to others. You show mercy to the dwellers of the earth, and the One in the heavens will have mercy on you.’
He said further that: ‘Whosoever helps remove the worldly anguish and suffering of others will have his anguish and suffering removed by Allah the Almighty on the Day of Judgment. Whosoever brings relief to a poor person and brings ease to him will have ease created for him by Allah the Almighty in the hereafter.’
Once the Holy Prophet Muhammad was sitting with his companions and he said on the day of Judgement Allah is going to ask you a question and the question will be “I was sick and you did not enquire about my health.” The person will say O God you are the honour of this universe, you are never sick. Allah will say no, one of my servants was sick and you would have enquired about his health, and you would have found me there. And then he will raise so many questions and he will ask I was hungry and you did no feed me, I was thirsty and you have not given me water. I did not have clothes and you did not cloth me. And every time the person will say O God you are honour of this universe, you have everything, you are never in need of these. God will say one of my servants had needed that. And then every time he will say if you could have done this you would have found me there.
In other words, the true Muslims have the responsibility to help the needy people, and those who do not pay attention to these commandments have no right to call themselves the ‘righteous’ people. To become truly virtuous it is highly recommended by Islam to serve humanity, feed the hungry, assist the weak, help the poor and become a true well-wisher of mankind.
I believe that, if the international community including the Muslim countries decide and show their sincere willingness and determination, the migrant crisis can not only be resolved effectively but also in much shorter period of time. Together with firm conviction and dedication this loss of human lives, and the washing of humanity ashore can be stopped.