Our soul requires constant nurturing and contemplation – it is like a plant that must be attended to, with love, care and utmost attention – to grow into a stronger and shady tree as the years pass.
On the day of the martyrdom of one of the noblest men of Islamic history – Imam Ali Ibn Abi Talib (AS) – the best tribute to him would be to learn and enrich your mind and soul from his wisdom and knowledge. Today, I choose to write about his thoughts on Oppression. Oppression is exercising authority or power in an unjust and cruel manner. In today’s world, if we look around, we find oppression everywhere! It is time to reflect on thy soul again…
According to Imam Ali’s words of wisdom, the first oppression a man can undertake is against his own soul! When a person would not undertake self-reflection! Self-reflection must also result in action, and it requires not just growth but constant nurturing. There is a reference to ‘dry worship’ if one does not reflect on one’s deeds also. Soul is pure – and must be kept away from the diseases of the soul! There is a reason why we were sent in this world – the entangled web of life – to maintain that fine balance between worship to Allah and the way we interact with His creations!
The second kind of oppression is the obvious one – towards another creation! Islam was about a society built on justice. Do we speak against the oppressor or are we worried about our reputation? Oppression in the form of oppressing people’s honour! While we have the day of judgement to wait for the ‘balance sheet’ of our deeds, it is the rights of the people that must be settled here!
Third oppression is the worst kind – of taking another’s life! When a human being is willing to take the life of another, it is a crime against mankind! Islam was never about killing others and honour killings – there is no honour in killing! Islam was, and will remain, a religion of peace. Somewhere in the dark corridors of history, we seem to have lost the true essence of this religion.
Moral of the story? Oppress the Oppressor and support the oppressed! As they say, in the end we will remember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends!