Wednesday, September 3, 2014

My azaad huwa be hooN ya NahiN.

This poem reminded is published by Zaid Hamid on facebook, but not sure who wrote it.

The poem reflect the work we have embarked on at America Together Foundation, our mission is to build a cohesive America where no Americans has to live with anxiety, discomfort or fear of another American. I am committed to building cohesive societies.

As a pluralist, I see this every where. Recently, a friend shared a story where a a lady asked him a question, aren't you afraid of Hindus? The truth is there are Hindus who are afraid of Muslims as well.  A lot of myths and falsities are built around others and as responsible citizens, we have to allay those fears, we have to be Amins of the society.
This is the foundational value of Islam, the very first step in creating cohesive societies where no one has to live in apprehension or fear of the other, trust is the glue that binds and ensures smooth running of the societies. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was divinely guided to set up the model of Amin based on this principle. Amins is the one who is trustworthy, tells the truth, has immense patience, who is just, and whose presence makes others feel secure. Thus he was called Amin by the Jews, Christians, Pagans and others during his life time. 

What does this mean for Muslim Americans? It simply means we have to become Amins of the society, and have to be there for our neighbors in their crises, deaths, marriages, birthdays and other celebrations and commemorations. Islam does not shut us down, it frees us up. There are over 18 verses in Quran where God consistently talks about taking care of fellow humans. Indeed the Prophet (pbuh) had said it in so many different ways that an irreligious guy who takes care of his neighbor earns God's grace over the guy who is relentlessly praying. For example, "None of you is a believer if he eats his full meal while his neighbor hasn't anything." (Musnad) and, "None of you have faith until you love for your neighbor what you love for yourself" (Sahih Muslim).

Here is the bottom line. We need to have comfortable working relationships with everyone from Atheists to Baha'i, Buddhist, Christians, Hindus, Jains, Jewish, Native Americans, Pagans, Sikh, Wiccan, Zoroastrians and every one in between including fellow Muslims of different denominations. We should not be dumbfounded when it comes to the right knowledge about others, preferably as they express it and not what is dished out about them. We ought to take pride in knowing all of God's creation expressed in different faiths and traditions. 

Quran 49:13 says that God has created us into different tribes, communities and nations, and expects us to have conflicts, and then says, the best among you are the ones who know each other, indeed, knowledge leads to understanding and understanding to acceptance and appreciation of God given uniqueness of each one of us, and when that happens conflicts fade and solutions emerge. 

The very first guidance from God was to learn! Prophet Muhammad beefed it up by saying, learning is a primary duty, and if you have to go to a far-off land (China) to learn, go for it.

Can we be the Amins? Yes, we can, indeed we cannot be a Muslim without being the Amin.
What does it take? We don't have to go to far-off lands, we can learn it in our Friday Sermons, we should pound on this message, and the board members of the Mosques be required to serve in public non-Muslim and non-profit organizations to understand this model of the Prophet. 

These organizations ought to focus on building the value of Amin and hold "Amin competitions" in their annual conferences rather than Qirat (Quran recitation) competitions. This should be our #1 priority to be fully participating members of the society to create a cohesive America for us and our future generations.
We should go with a 10-year plan, at the end of which, when a Muslim in a public square says "Allahu Akbar" it should not cause panic, instead people should gather around him, because he is expressing humility and not a shout to kill someone. When a bearded man boards the plane, people ought to greet him because they know he is Amin trust worthy, kind and gentle. When we become Amins first, our prayers, our beards or ethnic clothing in public will not frighten anyone.

This was part of my article at Huffington Post, to read the full article, go to: 

This is an opportunity for Muslims to contribute towards a cohesive America.
Mike Ghouse 

The poem is also in Roman English below

My azaad huwa be hooN  ya NahiN.

Ab my azaad hooN
Ab agar my Shia hooN to Mujhe Sunni say dur hai,
aur agar Sunni hooN to Shia say dur hai

Agar Pathan hooN to Mahajir say dur hai
Police ka jawan hoon to Taliban say dur hai

Siyasatdaan hooN to Army Chief say dur hai
Dukandaar hooN to Bhattakhor say dur hai

Namazi hoon to khudkush bombaar say dur hai
Jeans pehenta hoon to maulavi say dur  hai

Pehle my Musalmaan tha, Mujhe Hindu say dur tha
Ab my azaad hoon, aur Mujhe Musalmaan say dur hai

My azaad huwa be hooN  ya NahiN. 

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