Memorial Day is a time that people reflect upon the sacrifices made in the name of freedom, equality, or human dignity. We remember those who have passed on, those who gave their lives while trying to hold on to their self-respect and that of others. Memorial Day is a day when people get an extra day off from work, when we pull out our gas grills, assortment of meats and summer foods, and our horseshoes and soccer balls, for a day of fun and enjoyment. It's a day when many of us will be laughing, playing and enjoying time with our friends and our families
Before people head outside and to the nations parks and playgrounds, it is only prudent that we take the time to remember the suffering people in all parts of the world. We should remember the thousands of Syrians who are massacred in the streets and in their homes while clamoring for dignity and the hope of a better life. We should remember the Somali men, women and children, many already starving, who suffer the tyranny of ruthless street gangs who shoot them down in the name of religious purity. We should remember the millions of unsuspecting men, women and children of who have been caught in the cross fires of sectarian violence in Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Nigeria and Mali. We should remember the thousands upon thousands of unnamed Muslim souls who were at the receiving end of suicide bombs detonated in the marketplace as they innocently wandered through the local souqs of the world looking for groceries, a new dress or a shiny toy for their kids.
We should remember the millions of Palestinian men, women and children who live under occupation and try to get by, living in an almost concentration camp like existence. Remember the wounded, the blind, and the sick, and those who are missing limbs simply because they got in the way of someone else's hatred, and disregard for others. Remember the people whose lives were ruined at the hands of an unscrupulous and usurious banking system, and the millions of faceless, nameless homeless people who live on the world's streets, alleys and roadways.
Remember dear brothers and sisters, the hundreds of thousands of women who are brutally raped and beaten in far-away places like Darfur, the Congo, and India, and in places as close and urbane as the local park, or parking lot of the mall. While we are at it, we should remember the thousands upon thousands of Muslim children who as I write this, are wondering where their next meal will come from, or are trying to make sense why their parents were unceremoniously beheaded before their eyes, or why their brother were gunned down on their way home from the local convenience store. Remember beloveds, the toddlers who find themselves bewildered, wondering why their fathers didn't come home, or why their mothers toil in slavery to pay off a debt that keeps getting bigger and bigger.
We should never allow ourselves to become so caught up in our daily lives that we do not remember the fallen victims of greed, inequity and tyranny, or those who sacrificed everything so that maybe someday their children will have a voice. A believing person should never forget the plight of those who are suffering, those who are left behind and those who have no advocate. And we should think about our Lord sub'haanahu wa ta'ala, and his blessings towards us and his expectation that we remember that there is still a lot of work to be done in this world, and that we should never, ever forget that.
Imam Luqman Ahmad is the Imam and Executive Director of Masjid Ibrahim Islamic center in Sacramento California. He can be reached @ imamabulaithyahoo.com, and you may visit his blog @ imamluqman.wordpress.com
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