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Written by: Suphia Qazi

"What now?" "I can't stand it. Will you hear me out, please?" Hamza begged. "Not again!" Samir exhaled a quick irritated breath. "Samir! You won’t!" "Try me, brother." "Please, you're my brother. Do you know you're buying the fire--" "Why don't you take your school of philosophy to those who are more in need of all this? First make your beloved secular paki-land a Muslim country then--" "But--" "A concert is schedule tomorrow, in Gymkhana. Go and stop it and then talk about stopping me." "I get it. If memory serves me, Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said, ‘He is not one of us who imitates others than us.’ Do not imitate the Jews or the Christians. Allah is watching you and…” the line dropped. And thanks for hanging up on me, Hamza thought sadly. Mission accomplished of the enemies of Islam? Their dream come true? Be happy, it is ourselves who helped you in this! He thought angrily now.

A car jerked to a stop in front of Shoreline High School. The guy who emerged, swiftly lowered his hood, a wide grin stretched across his handsome face. A guitar was slung across his shoulder. He strode past the main gate, his too-baggy jeans sweeping the floor. "Good gracious! You took eons to come," Kyle, his vocalist and a great friend, complained. Samir was a sophomore and an outstanding guitarist. He thrived on the adulation of his groupies at school and today was his first performance with his jamming group, in his own school, at the annual function. The raucous crowd cheered madly with joy, being dithyrambic about their performance. The gym reeked with the aroma of mouth-watering food. After the show they came back to the gym to satiate their appetites. "So you're a Moslem?" Jayden said settling down in chair. "What made you think so?" "Your name? Samir?" "No. Abdolla, mid one." "Abdullah," he corrected. "Oh you are!" Luke scoffed. "But-- ain' all Moslems supposed to be like you--- you know--- bearded..pants above ankles..real prudes?" asked Austin, surprised. "Bah! That makes two. I didn't know you too suffered from phantom-brain-pain. Austin, can't you see, he's ashamed? Not just him, so many of them here. That Liz girl? Her name's Alizey. Jahvairya, Amen, Yosef…they all...Wannabes," Ethan smirked, cutting a portion of turkey. "Come again?" Samir gave him a cold look, his teeth gritted. Kyle poked him in the ribs. "Aww Samir. I hardly see you going to your mosque. Not that we mind, but you've cultured yourself like us.You're ashamed, admit it. You don't like your Prophet's style so you copy us.. oh and that’s so with so many of you," he sneered. "For me Mohammed …..." For a flash of a second, nobody knew what happened. But they saw Kyle, dangling by his toes, choking. Samir held him by his collar and was squeezing his throat. "Don't you DARE say a word against my Prophet. I'm NOT freaking ashamed of being a Muslim! I SWEAR, Kyle I'm gonna rip you apart. I won’t spare you, I SWEAR if--" "Put him down Samir!" Ethan growled. "He said nothing agains--." "HE WAS ABOUT TO!" Samir snarled. "But he didn't you dolt--" "What are you playing at Mr.Moslem? YOU gave us the chance to say that!" With that Luke punched him so hard, that he lost his balance, letting go of Kyle. Kyle fell down coughing. With a bleeding nose, Samir straightened himself and pushed his way out of the evil place. Outside, he smashed his guitar and fiercely drove home.

"Gee! You started hijab?" Shifa stretched her hand towards Saba's head. "Lemme take out your bangs. They look--" Sara looked up at Shifa. Saba leaned back. "Not really, Shifa. What's the purpose of wearing it if I show my hair? Thanks, but I'm doing it for Allah, not to make fun of it." "Oh! Know what guys? My cousin is gigging at school today… in Seattle!" There was a tinge of excitement in Shifa's voice. "Oooo" said Rida . "Oh I love it when we pakis do something great in a foreign state," said Rida. "I know right! It’s a pride seeing the Khans on the big screen, seeing Muslims in every nook and corner of the world showing their bang-on talents. Our women won the Asia cup in cricket. You can't deny that we Muslims rock!" Shifa sniffed an air of pride."Rock?" "Uhmm.." "Not humiliate ourselves?" "Humiliate?" Saba nodded. "Isn't it so heartbreakingly sad, that Rasulullah's (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) message has failed to penetrate the depth of our hearts? When Hazrat Jibrael (Alaihissalam) told Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) that the highest level of hell is for his Ummah, he fainted due to intense grief. And today, we are talking with pride about our super heroes in Bollywood? The same Bollywood whose allies our brutalizing our innocent brothers in Kashmir? We permit the Kuffar to torture our brother Muslims by promoting their movies, adopting their culture. Is this our pride?" Saba's voice trembled. "No! You're right Saba. Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) wept at nights in sajdah crying, ‘My ummah, O Allah, my ummah.’ It’s time we accepted the bitter fact that we are insincere to the same Prophet who was faithful even with the hypocrites, who saved his du’a for his Ummah instead of using it for his son. How lucky were Hazrat Abu Bakr AsSidique, Hazrat Umer Ibn Khattab (radhiallahu unhum), the Sahaba in general, who wouldn't live after hearing someone say a word against the Prophet, Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam); who would rush to obey him and follow his Sunnah to the letter. What a fortunate man Hazrat Muaz Ibn Jabal (radhiallah unh) was, declaring, "By Allah, who has sent you as a messenger, if you were to command us to jump into an ocean we will do that." Hazrat Jarir Ibn Abdullah (radhiallahu unh) once bargained for a price higher than it was worth, saying, "I have promised the messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) to always be a sincere, well-wisher of every Muslim." They were special people who earned credentials for being model disciples, real devotees. They never said it’s only a sunnah and can be ignored. They would address or respond to him with, ‘Fidaka ummi wa abi, Ya Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam)!’ And today, we can't even sacrifice our small wishes, our ego, our love for dunya, for him. We are doing exactly what he prohibited us from. Our puppet govt. is chan--" "But Ulema have called a protest strike tomorrow," Rida reminded. "Is Islam only the religion of Ulema? Are we not Ummatis of Allah's beloved?" "We join them in this cause!" "What do you say about a person B you keeps claiming his love for A, and keeps hitting A indirectly in every possible way? What would be that A's response?" "He'd retaliate." "Maybe he won't. He might just say 'I don’t want your love, but please stop hitting me.' The love for Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) has not changed, but its nature has. When the angels will tell Rasulullah (sallallahu alahi wasallam) that your Ummah who claims to love you have become like the people of Daur-e-Jahalia-- celebrating birthdays, Children’s Day, variety of anniversaries; show extravagance in weddings; the texts that are full of nonsense, they share; their lifestyle copying the West; patience, tolerance, gratefulness all traits of a true Muslim they now lack-- it will hurt Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) immensely, won’t it?" "Don't say that," Shifa hid her face behind her hands. She was crying. "It's true Shifa, our acts are insulting Islam. Watch how our people will start firing, fireworks et cetera even before the clock strikes 12 this New Year, notwithstanding that it’s not our New Year at all! Can love of Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) and Allah's enemies stay together in one heart?"

The monitoring screen showed Kyle standing in his porch. Samir felt a spurt of anger, a pulse roared inside his head. He yanked opened the door, and before he could say anything, "I wanted to meet you, Samir. Can I come in?" Kyle asked. After a moment's pause, he stepped aside making room for Kyle to enter. He made Kyle sit in the living room and brought a glass of juice."You think, I've come to apologize?" Kyle showed his disbelief at the glass of juice." "No," he replied curtly. "And, if not for my Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) I'd have punched your nose into your brain at seeing you on my doorstep. But you're my guest at the moment, so I have to be nice for his sake. Now be-"

"You… I… I don't …I've never seen greater lovers of any Prophet than you people. And after all that we said, you didn't say a word against Jesus." Samir didn't speak. "Samir, I bear witness there's no God but Allah and Muhammed (Sallallahu Alaihay Wasallam) is his Prophet." Goosebumps erupted on his body; he tumbled down, falling in sajdah. "ALLAHU AKBAR!"

Shifa felt a huge burden over her heart. Before going to sleep, she took out the Ma'ariful Quran. There was a bookmark at a page which read,

"Allah revealed to the Prophet Dawud in Zabur as: ‘O Dawud, I have blessed Muhammad (SAW) and his people with excellence over the people of other Prophets..." [M.Q/vol. 4.Pg 58]

‘This is how Allah describes us? The greatest blessing of being an Ummati of Rasulullah I took for granted!! This pained her a lot because she knew it didn't include her. It was for all those among his Ummah who were obedient, who were sincere, who didn't hurt the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam), who were not insulting Islam. She scooted under the covers on her bed. There was a lump in her throat. ‘We are recognized as Muslims in the world and our bad acts are not taken personally but for our crimes Islam is taken to court. I would rather be buried alive, than bear that my Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) turn his face away from me. I cannot just sit and cry. I CANNOT let them point a finger at my beloved Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam). I am going to play the role of Umme Ammara (radhiAllah Anha) InshaaAllah! I will NOT let ANYONE come near my Prophet's respect, I WON'T but I have to bring a change in myself first,’ she thought with streaming eyes.

Next day when she was having dinner with her family, she said, "Papa, we have devoted this blessed Friday and the last day of 2010 for Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam). Let’s take an oath that we shall devote every day of 2011 to him. We shall act upon each and every Sunnah of his. I wish I could go and kill that woman myself and prove that I'm the sister of Ghazi Alam Deen, Amir Cheema shaheed...I have to prove my love with my actions now! Let’s do it now!" "And that we won't be re-born Muslims!" Hamza announced. "Reborn?" "Yeh! Who're Muslims for a day or week and when it comes to sacrifice, get back to where they were." "Yes! We will sacrifice everything for Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam). We won't stand the blasphemy anymore!"

Just as the Sahaba would say ‘Fidaka Ummi wa Abi,Ya Rasulullah!’ Shifa thought with tears in her eyes.

Batlado gustakh-e-Nabi ko, ghairat-e-Muslim zinda hai

Deen pe mar mitne ka jazba, kal bhi tha aur aaj bhi hai

Mere Nabi se mera rishta, kal bhi that aur aaj bhi hai.