Late last month, as the new crescent shone in the night sky, Muslims the world over prepared to celebrate their biggest holiday, called Eid.
This year, however, was also a time to exercise great patience. On the eve of Eid, in Gujranwala, Pakistan, a group of women of my Ahmadiyya Muslim Community were attacked in their homes by a mullah-led and police-abetted vigilante mob that was roused by the false rumor of blasphemy — a crime punishable by death under Pakistan’s notorious anti-blasphemy laws. As a result of arson, an elderly woman and her two grandchildren died, and a pregnant woman miscarried. Several others sustained critical injuries.
It’s telling, though, that my community’s spiritual caliph, or khalifa, his Holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmad, instructed us not to respond with even an iota of violent protest, but to turn wholly to prayer. Thus this Eid was a bittersweet moment — indeed tragic as we mourned our losses, but I could see a silver lining of hope, really for all Muslims facing difficulty, in the khalifa’s message to be patient and to beseech God’s help against injustice.
SOHAIL Z. HUSAIN, M.D.
The writer, a pediatrician, is a member of the Muslim Writers Guild of America.