I have always responded to ignorant or prejudicial comments with very little tolerance or understanding. In fact, I pride myself on being someone who is able to give as much as she gets. The other day, I lowkey bragged about how I am able to ‘check’ anyone who comes at me with ignorant statements or backhanded compliments. The way I see it, I am a “clap back queen”
You see, when you’ve been at the receiving end of all kinds of comments and questions from all kinds of people who make assumptions about you because of your race or your religion, then you’ll probably understand how easy it is to become irritated and intolerant of certain types of behaviour and comments. From the ones who blatantly call you illiterate just because you happened to miss the sign on the bus that said “ priority seats” and you ask your children to sit in there, to the ones who genuinely believe they are paying you a compliment by telling you how impressed they are by your eloquence or demeanour, because after all, your ‘kind’ are usually the opposite of that, so, ‘congrats to you! You’re so lucky’! Yes, these (and countless more) have all happened to me and in most cases, I have responded with the sharpest tool in my box; my tongue. I let them have it.
What’s more, being active on social media and the new widespread “wokeness” especially around race and religion made it easy for me to continue my clap-back crusade and feel validated in my actions. After all, this is 2020; if you’re still making ignorant comments about people’s race and religion, then you definitely deserve a tongue-lashing or even ‘cancelling’ (if you’re famous enough) Right?
This is the official manifesto of the woke Millennials and Gen-Z all around the world. And I bought into it, to an extent. And then I heard a Tafseer (scholarly explanation) of this verse in the Qur’an
And the servants of the Most Gracious are those who walk on the earth in humility and calmness. And when the foolish address them (with ignorant or bad comments), they reply back with mild words of gentleness’Surah Al Furqaan Verse 63
And I just went weak…
Many times in my life, I have responded with anything but mild words of gentleness. Of course it is not easy to have vile, hateful comments or behaviour flung at you, and Allah isn’t asking me to keep my head down and say nothing in response. No, all I need to do is respond in a manner that befits the one who wishes to be amongst the ‘Ibaadu-r-Rahman. Simple, right? 😉 And in that ‘simplicity’ lies the true test of character and the beginning of a journey towards mastery of self.
But what better motivation is there to try and do better, than this?
…Those will be rewarded with the highest place (Paradise) because of their patience. Therein they shall be met with greetings and the word of peace and respectSurah Al-Furqaan Verse 75
Here’s to being better..