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Of love not zealotry...

Submitted by amedeo on Tue, 27/09/2011 - 12:46
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It was a rainy August day in the state of Florida in the United States, having woken up late for an important appointment I called the cab company before jumping in the shower so as to make up for the time lost. I rushed to get ready and not before long I heard the anxiously awaited honk through my bedroom window. I then skipped steps down the stairs and slid carefully into the cab while giving out a sigh of relief for still being able to make the appointment on time.

"Hey!, Ahmed" the driver enthusiastically exclaimed.
"Hi buddy, how are you?"
"Good. Ahmed, where am I taking you today?" he asked politely.
I then gave him directions and we were on our way.
"You know Ahmed, I have been waiting to see you for over four months now" says the cabby as he looks into his rearview mirror (as if awaiting my reaction).
"Oh yeah!" I replied, Wondering what could be the reason for this longing to see me?

He realized I was puzzled and went on to say "A little over four months ago, I moved into a new house, and apparently the tenants before me had left behind a copy of the koran, So I held on to it to present it to you."
"It is a very elegant copy with a leather cover and zipper" he added.
I replied with the utmost gratitude saying, "thank you very much."
I then wondered had this exact thing happened in Egypt what would an Egyptian have done?

How many Muslim Egyptians would have held on to a copy of the bible to hand it to a neighbor or friend of the Christian faith?

How many Christian Egyptians would have done what that driver had done ?
Unfortunately, the only thing I could see an Egyptian do, was to throw it in the trash.

For days I had retold the story to friends over and over and the response I'd get from them was always the same; "Had it happened in Egypt, he would have definitely thrown it away."

I couldn't get over the thought that almost every Egyptian would've thrown a Bible or a Qur'an in the trash for the mere fact that it was not of his faith. Worse yet, every Egyptian I had told the story to, came up with the same exact conclusion.

I wondered for days how we got to have so much animosity and resentment towards our friends and neighbors. It was as if we had been arch enemies for centuries, when instead we had survived for over a millennia by sticking together.

Egyptians are true to GOD, their blood boils with passion for their religion and faith, most Muslims and Christians in Egypt go beyond the once a week congregational prayer; they often visit their place of worship several days a week, GOD is praised and mentioned several times a day and thanks is given after every meal and every time one is asked how he is doing. In fact Al-hamdu lillah (Thanks be to Allah) is a word u will hear from all Egyptians all the time.

Yet It feels like there is nothing left in common between them. They have turned love into hate, religiosity into fanatical zealotry and commonality into a battle of the differences and instead of showing to the world that yes we are tolerant to each other, they have become the spark that starts fanatical crusades in the west and yet another wave of bigoted false prophets who add gas to the fire.

"Then Allah sent a raven, who scratched the ground, to show him how to hide the shame of his brother. "Woe is me!" said he; "Was I not even able to be as this raven, and to hide the shame of my brother?" then he became full of regrets" - Qur'an 5:30

It is just in such a manner that Allah fills us with regret for our short comings.
A lesson to be learned, when out of the whole world and in the state that has had everybody around the world googling a "pastor Jones" -the man whom had rallied for a national burn the Koran day in Florida last year- GOD, through a simple man, shows us our shortcomings and that to be true to HIM is not just by worship and fasting but by loving your fellow man and treating him with dignity and respect. GOD, has sent us the raven that unearthed our shame and filled us with regret for not being the role model we ought to be despite our existence together.

"O mankind! We created you from a single pair of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise each other). Verily the most honored of you in the sight of Allah is he who is most righteous and Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted with all things." - Qur'an 49:13

May it be a turning page for all of us, to Re-start our lives with clean slates towards each other and to love each other and to follow GOD's commandments to the fullest extent of his grace.