Stray Bullets of 2013

I woke up startled by the deafening sound of gun shots in my almost pitch dark bedroom. After a few seconds, I heard my husband explain: “It’s midnight, we’re ushering in the new year.” My 3-year-old now wide awake stuffed her index fingers in her ears and buried her face as deep as she could in the soft blanket. It was beyond her comprehension that why in the earth our perfectly friendly neighbours were firing away in the sky in the middle of the night. Her shock and silence feared me. Upon much insistence, she just uttered: “I don’t like them, they are bad people. Call the police and put them in jail.” And she dug further down into her barrack of blankets.

My mother called our neighbours up trying to drill some sense into them to stop firing mindlessly stray bullets but someone hung up on her thinking her to be a party pooper maybe. What followed were fifteen minutes of non-stop gun sounds echoing in the neighbourhood. Now I knew what it must have been like for people of Gaza, when rockets were fired at them from Israel.

The morning news reported 36 injured in random firing incidents and 1 person dead. The city of Karachi speaks guns only. Whether it is to lodge protests, celebrate weddings or cricket match victories or settle old scores against rivals, etc. This city has seen more killings in the past five years than any battle ground.

If Islam is a peaceful way of life and Muslims are a moderate nation, why do we go out of bounds celebrating happiness or registering our sorrow? Disrupting peace of the society by irresponsible behaviour is a SIN. I repeat it is a SIN. After years of persecution and injustices, our Prophet (sa) had all the reason to celebrate the conquest of Makkah. Did we have men spraying bullets everywhere or women dancing and singing next to men, or people drunk painting the town red? Then who were those people, who were shown on news channels doing just that? Muslims? Has to be a mistake.

If Jannah is what all Muslims are striving for, please, be informed it will be a place of peace. No guns allowed. Kindly recheck your thoughts and actions. The Prophet’s (sa) etiquette to celebrate any joy or triumph was to praise Allah (swt) and fall in prostration, not rock the earth with a boastful display.

O My Lord! Forgive us and guide us to the truth so that we can display wisdom and courage where and when it is needed. Ameen.

P.S. Can you, please, also de-weoponize Karachi? Suma Ameen.