We Made It, Al-Hamdulillah!
Blog Post 13
November 13, 2018
“We set out to talk about Inked Resistance Islamic Publishing’s one year anniversary, Al-Hamdulillah, and tell you about our 25% off on our books to celebrate it, hoping you’d take advantage of the discount to get a copy or two. But as I sat down to write, this is what got typed -
Anniversaries are always a special time to celebrate milestones and pray for those who’ve transitioned from this world. Whether it’s a birthday, death, marriage, holiday, graduation or just a family or friend event, it’s important to take time out to remember, thank Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala for the opportunity to be present and provide family and friends with our heart-warming love, hope, excitement, support and companionship.
Families, friends, businesses, communities, cities and countries all celebrate important events, often yearly. Such anniversaries reflect the culture of the group and say a lot about what they think is important, essential, gratifying and worth the time and expense. The rituals and customs associated with the occasions, achievements and commemorations paint a picture of the character, ideology and ethicality of the group.
When a country comes together for religious holidays, it says something about that country. Worshipping people spend religious occasions with their congregation in fellowship, praying, loving and rejoicing. Those others just have a blast partying, drowning their loneliness or ignoring the sentimentalities and realities of spiritual rejuvenation.
“And give greetings to yourselves,
a greeting from Allah, Blessed, Pleasing.”
“And say, ‘Salaamun Alaikum.’”
“Their greetings therein will be ‘Peace.’”
- The Holy Qur’an,
6:54, 13:24, 16:32, 24:61, 39:73, 14:23
When a country pours into the streets, fairgrounds and parks for significant anniversaries, it also says something. A glance at the western world’s reasons to celebrate, to look back at the past and pretend to look into the future gives us an idea about what ideals they hold in esteem. For example in America, the Fourth of July, President’s Day, Memorial Day, Columbus Day and Veterans Day are all about the US’s stealth, enslavement, oppression, war and death, while being propped up as the epitome of freedom, equality and sacrifice. They’re celebrated with picnics, fireworks, parades, stuffing bellies, drinking alcohol, wreath laying and the flying of the red, white and blue. Essentially, they’re patriotism, ethnocentricism and white supremacy at their height, a bunch of lies touted as the truth. Trump’s weekend trip to France to memorialize the 1918 “end” of the first world war (Armistice Day, Remembrance Day and Veterans Day), his no-show on Saturday, his “horrible, horrible war” and “great, great warriors” and “great, great victory” statements on Sunday and his disgusting self-promoting Me tweet on Monday, alongside the masquerading stone-faced world devils, proves it all. They’re a bunch of fake peacemakers, who massacre others for the bloody hell of it.
“And when they are told:
“‘Do not spread corruption in the Earth,’
they say: ‘We are only peacemakers.’
Oh, verily it is they themselves
who are spreading corruption…
Oh, verily it is they themselves who are the fools…
And when they meet those who believe
and are committed [to Allah], they say,
“We believe and are committed [like you are].’
But when they meet in private with their shaitans
they say, ‘Certainly, we are with you.
We were only mocking.’”
- The Holy Qur'an,
Surah al-Baqarah 2:11-14
In the west, anniversaries are celebrated for the most mundane reasons and on almost every day. Businesses make a killing on national holidays, such as Valentine’s Day, Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Big cities and small towns have shrimp, garlic, barbecue, mosquito, cow chip throw, log rolling, hollerin’ and duct tape festivals, along with sandfests, gobberfests and roadkill cook-offs. There’s sport days, like the Super Bowl, World Series, NBA, March Madness (NCAA), NHL, Daytona 500 and the Kentucky Derby; shopping days, like Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Boxing Day; seasonal days, such as Groundhog Day, First Day of Spring and New Year’s Eve; gag days, like April Fool’s Day and Tell a Lie Day; heritage days, like St. Patrick’s Day and Mardi Gras; and even food days, such as doughnut day, ice cream day and pig day. There’s Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Grandparents’ Day and Stepfamily Day. There’s whole devoted months, like African American History Month (begun in 1976, also called Black History Month), American Indian Heritage Month (begun in 1990, also called Native American Heritage Month) and Peanut Month, and even weeks, like Police Week and Poison Prevention Week.
“Turn from evil and do good.
Seek peace and pursue it.”
- The Old Testament of the Bible,
Anniversaries are webbed into the collective consciousness of a place. They are in our generational memories. They are taught to our children and passed down from one generation to the next. They are so powerful that people who never celebrated them, join in. They’re pins on our calendars to remind us of something important to us, even if it’s just a day off work. They tell us who we are and what we stand for. Rarely, do they provide time for reflection on how we’ve grown, how we’ve changed and improved, how we’ve become a better person, since the last one. But they do elicit our emotions, pull at our heart strings, make us feel proud and cause us to engage in behaviours our souls don’t like. Anniversaries impact and shape us.
As a Muslim teacher in the public school system, I always found the focus on anniversaries, especially the frivolous holidays, such as Valentine’s Day and Halloween, too much to handle. When trying to explain American or Canadian holidays to students who had recently come to the country, it didn’t even make sense to me. Many of the students were not interested in dressing up in scary costumes and wearing them all day at school. It felt like devil worship. Many of them knew that Columbus didn’t discover anything, but was in fact a vicious murderer out for money and fame. Many of the students knew the Native People aren’t called Indians and that the story of turkey and pumpkin pie didn’t happen the way their teachers and books say it did. Many of them knew most of the holidays were just opportunities to get drunk, stay out late, receive expensive gifts, eat too much and sleep in. The family and friends routine was a hoax. The thanking God isn’t just on those days. Something is terribly missing.
“Blessed are the peacemakers
for they shall be called sons of God.”
- The Bible, Matthew 5:9
When I look at a Muslim country who celebrates the first day of spring as the way Allah Subhana wa ta’ala enlivens the Earth in a new beginning, the New Year as a time of mourning the cold-blooded murder of the Prophet’s family and the reawakening of revolutionary Islam and the significant days and weeks of the country’s reformation into an independent and resistance driven country, by Allah’s Help, free of the oppressors’ clutches and terrorism, I know they’re on the right path. When I see the shuhada’s portraits along the roadways, when I see the artistic expression of uprightness through belief and devotion to our Sustainer and “stand up, fight back,” when I see the masajid shimmering and crowded with supplicating and prostrating Muslims, I know they’re on the right path. The day the people stay home, don’t go out for Jumah, jamaat salat, the Eids and anniversaries and the masajid echo emptiness, I’ll know the people are disheartened, disillusioned and misled. The day the people prefer to drink and eat, get fancied up, honour unworthy people, succumb to gimmicks and imitate Shaitan, I’ll know they’ve gone astray.
“You are the best Ummah that has ever been
brought forth for humanity.
You enjoin the right and forbid the wrong
and you believe in (and are committed to) Allah.
And if the People of the Book (earlier revelations)
had believed and committed (themselves to Allah),
surely it would have been for good for them.
Among them are the believers,
but most of them are defiantly disobedient
(degenerate, corrupt and rebellious).”
- The Holy Qur'an,
Surah Al-e ‘Imran, 3:110
Inked Resistance Islamic Publishing prays that our first year anniversary is viewed as one tiny step in creating an everlasting celebration of truth against falsehood, of faith against disbelief and of justice against tyranny. With the Help of Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala, and your support and encouragement, we look forward to continuing to provide our young and new adults with moral and revolutionary fiction and facilitate their voices in being heard on a landscape awash with anniversaries that just don’t make sense, if you’re trying to sow the thoughts, words and actions that may assist us in reaching Jannah with faith and integrity, inshallah.
“I create the praise of the lips.
Peace, peace to those who are far and near,’
says the Lord, ‘and I will heal them.’”
- The Bible, Isaiah 57:19