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Pakistan Navy base in Karachi attacked by terrorists




Around 10.30 pm on Sunday, May 22, 2011, 04 explosions rocked PNS Mehran, a Pakistan Navy airbase (located just a 03 minute drive from my house). I was sitting with my family in the living room and due to the way my house is built none of us heard the explosions. Thus, we were oblivious to the message of concerns that were coming on my cell phone, charging in the other room, from family members and my parents who are on vacation abroad. It was a phone call around 11:00 pm from my uncle asking me where I was and informing me of the concern of my parents that alerted me to the attack. I quickly called my parents to reassure them that I and my family were safe at home while switching on the television set to catch news updates on the explosions.

Coverage around 11 pm on Express 24/7


At 10:00 am the number of explosions had increased to 13 and the terrorists were still present on the base. As people headed to work, Sami Shah (@samishah) a stand-up comedian, tweeted something serious and thought provoking:

Went to sleep to my city under siege. Woke up to it under siege. Weirdest part is the rest of us just go to office and keep working.

Indeed, what was the biggest ever attack on a military installation during the War on Terror, did not stop the city from its functioning. As Khaver Siddiqi (@thekarachikid) tweeted very aptly:

There’s a 9/11, 26/11 and 7/7. Then there’s everyday in Pakistan. #prayforpakistan

Indeed, we as citizens of the country that is really fighting the Global War on Terror, have become so desensitized to violence, mayhem, and carnage that not only did we sleep soundly last night, we got up and went about our business.

Copyright: AFP

The gun battle lasted nearly 17 hours and around 4:30 pm we got an update from the Interior Minister Rehman Malik (equivalent of the National Security Adviser) that the battle was over and all terrorists (whom the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan claimed as their members) had been killed.

He (Rehman Malik – the Interior Minister) said that among the six terrorists present at the site, one suicide bomber’s head had been recovered, while four bodies were also found. He added, however, that two individuals were seen running off the base.

Malik said the terrorists were wearing “western clothes, had small beards and three of them had sharp features”.

He said two of the attackers look to be around 22 years of age and one of the suicide bombers was around 25 years of age. He said they were dressed in black clothes “like they do in movies”.

“They were dressed like Star Wars characters,” said Malik. (Express Tribune)

OK that last statement didn’t really make sense. However, neither did the fact that four or six 20 somethings managed to invade a highly secure Navy facility, blow up 3 aircraft (including 2 P-3C Orion planes costing around USD 36 million each), and martyr 10 people. Too many things don’t add up and I am afraid we just might have to wait for another batch of Wikileaks cables to get the real story. In the meantime an inquiry commission has been constituted to determine how the terrorists managed to enter the base and cause so much damage. 20 explosions, regular gunfire throughout the night and day, and 10 returning to their Lord after laying down their lives for their country, it certainly demands an inquiry. However, the sentiments of many are echoed in the following tweet by Kashif Aziz (@kashaziz);

So 6 terrorists kept 1500+ security men engaged for 11 hours, and 2 were able to escape alive. Pak Fauj ko Salam! (Salute to the Pakistan Armed Forces)

Some More Reading

Time: Pakistan Extremists Embarrass Military by Invading a Navy Base

DAWN: Timeline of recent attacks targeting Pakistan Navy

Express Tribune: Timeline: Major attacks on the armed forces in Pakistan

Wired: “Star Wars” Terrorists Storm Pakistani Naval Base

The Lede: Before Attack, Pakistan’s Navy Boasted of Role in Fight Against Taliban

Aly is an entrepreneur who was born and raised in Karachi, Pakistan where he currently resides. He has been associated with many diverse fields such as Textiles, Minerals & Ores, Feeds and Agri-Commodities. Known on Social Media as DiscoMaulvi, he serves in operational and advisory roles for several Islamic organizations such as LiveDeen, AlKauthar Karachi, Mercy Mission Pakistan, and Azãn. He is also a co-founder and trustee of Ihsaas Trust, a shariah-compliant finance provider for micro-entrepreneurs.Aly joined the team of MM in 2011 as a blogger/writer and is currently the Team Lead for the Comments Team and a former member of the Executive Shurah.He is easily accessible via Twitter or through his Public Page on Facebook where you can learn more about him. You can also visit his (mostly defunct) personal blog From The Pulpit ... Sermons of DiscoMaulvi and comment so he still feels like a Blogger. :)



  1. Avatar

    Cartoon M

    May 23, 2011 at 7:35 PM

    wow, that’s just sad. May Allah protect Pakistan.

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    M Ali

    May 23, 2011 at 7:56 PM

    I am confused, I thought terrorists are those who attack innocent civilians. It’s only semantics that I am pointing out to but militants/insurgents would be the right word.

    • Avatar

      Aly Balagamwala

      May 24, 2011 at 4:56 AM

      M Ali

      Point to be noted. Militants would be more appropriate.


  3. Avatar


    May 24, 2011 at 4:37 AM

    You reap what you sow and what goes around comes around.

    Pakistan has for decades taken the lid off these freaks and supported, armed and used them to forment terrorism and sabotage in Afghanistan and India. Scores of Indian and Afghan civilians have died in these barbaric attacks…let alone military soldiers as is the case here.

    Well, now these ghouls are outta the box and now biting the hand that fed them. These types can NEVER be controlled and Pakistan is now learning that lesson to it’s detriment.

    If Pakistan wants to save itself, then time for the Pakistani goverment and especially the defacto independant military and ISI to cut the cord and reign in these freaks. Time to realize these types cannot be controlled and used as strategic assets only against the neighboring countries, but will inevitably burn down the house that is Pakistan itself.

    My heart goes out to the Pakistani civilians who suffer, like civilians anywhere who suffer…unfortunately for them the blame for it all lies with their own government and military.

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      Aly Balagamwala

      May 24, 2011 at 5:04 AM

      Dear ZAI

      Indeed you are right that part of the problem for Pakistan is that the chickens have come home to roost. However, there are plenty of other factors that have led us here and some of them were not of Pakistan’s choosing.

      At the end of it you are correct that the civilians end up paying a heavy price for the government and military’s actions (although here the target was military).


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        May 24, 2011 at 5:09 PM

        Dear Aly,

        You’re right that Pakistan alone is not at fault if you’re speaking historically.
        However, Pakistans military and ISI ARE fully responsible in that they alone insist on maintaining and supporting these extremists as a strategic/military asset. No one else is doing so currently.

        Plenty of actors involved in getting us to this point: US, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, UK, UAE..and we’ve all dealt with the backlash of having created this mess….but of all of them, only Pakistans military and ISI CONTINUE to support it.

        Cutting off the support to these groups, including the Afghan Taliban, and shutting down their sanctuaries in Quetta and the FATA is something only Pakistan can do.It has refused to do so, especially in the case of groups that target Afghanistan or India…that refusal leads to US drone attacks and all other manner of atrocious war crimes which further enflame not only the radicals, but also others who’re justifiably angry at civiilian deaths…so the cycle begins anew and Pakistan itself is also targetted for seeming to cooperate with the US.

        These miltants don’t care about borders, distinctions between governments, the lives of civilians or anything else. They only care about their twisted ideology. Pakistan is beyond foolish to think it can support and control some of them, but leave others be as strategic assets to use against neighboring countries. Sooner or later they all converge because they have more in common with eachother than with any government. They ultimately exact a toll on civilians and drag entire nations into a hellish blackhole. Pakistans harms itself in the longrun by continuing to nuture them…

        • Avatar

          Aly Balagamwala

          May 31, 2011 at 11:49 AM

          “The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple.”
          – Oscar Wilde

          That pretty much sums up this whole situation.

    • Avatar


      May 24, 2011 at 12:37 PM

      Interesting points. But lets take a closer look at them.

      Who armed and trained the mujahideen in the 80s to fight the Soviets? Yes, Pakistan land was used but it was primarily by the US for the US. I can easily point the finger and say that the majority of these people are Afghanis as evidenced by the fact they can’t even speak Urdu.

      So if we are really to play the blame game, then these are US trained militants from Afghanistan who are taking out their anger in Pakistan.

      Of course, Pakistan is guilty too. But placing the entire blame on the country is ridiculous.

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        May 24, 2011 at 4:50 PM

        What language the militants are speaking is hardly a case for anything.
        28 million Pashtuns live in Pakistan and it’s from their ranks that the Pakistani Taliban recruit. So the fact that they speak Pashto doesn’t mean much.

        As for the US and CIA arming/funding the mujahideen in the 80’s…yes, they did, and that’s exactly why the US is ALSO experiencing blowback in regards to al-Qaeda. Not only did they fund the mujahideen, they encouraged and allowed the ISI to funnel the funds to the most extremist mujahideen like Hekmetyar and Haqqani.

        That being said, times have changed. At the very least the US, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia and other countries are drawing a line now and attempting to shut down these extremists…but Pakistan is not. Pakistan continues to fund and support them as a way to exert influence in Afghanistan and India. So, the choice NOW is again for Pakistan to make: keep supporting these freaks and put itself at risk or join the rest of the world in combating them.

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      May 25, 2011 at 11:17 PM

      You are only exaggerate and you are making it sound simplistic.Can you point any evidence that Pakistan supported terrorism in Afghanistan or Indian. If you mean Taliban, then Taliban are not terrorist by any definition. They maybe fundementalist. Even the USA now is talking with them. As for India, Pakistan was not supporting terrorist, but rather militant. Even India support militant by name of Mukti Bahani in former east Pakistan

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    Ameera Khan

    May 24, 2011 at 8:58 AM

    I was on a long, overnight duty at one of the largest hospitals in the city, on duty, as an intern when we started hearing of some “explosions” in a certain area of the city. But we were busy with our own patients whose lives were critical and all I heard sometime later was that it was an attack on one of the naval bases. When I came home the following afternoon (yesterday), I finally heard all that had been going on in the city and it sounded like a wild situation out of some crazy movie.

    When you say we all go about our lives, that’s exactly how it is… for me, as a doctor, I was busy with my own issues at work. All I remember is that one of our seniors told us not to step out of the ward alone since, if any injured were brought to our hospital (two surgical wards are right above our ward), some of their relatives might unleash their rage on the doctors (as has happened in the past). Later, when I turned on the news at home, I learned the post-mortem examination of the militants was conducted at our hospital. And that was it, back to work the following day, tending to our own patients and their issues…

  5. Avatar

    Uncle Tom

    May 24, 2011 at 10:28 PM

    Pakistan is a terrorist state.

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      Bilal Saeed

      May 25, 2011 at 7:48 PM

      That is precisely the plan of western governments. To declare pakistan or any other “stan” a terrorist state in need of immediate attention. The rampant ignorance amongst the general world population takes centre stage as brilliantly driven media bandwagon conjours up the new “Osama bin laden. Armies get the marching orders and the goodwill nod by the “innocent” citiziens of a country halfway across the world is broadcasted on news as the beginning of yet another war on isla….terrorism. Another country invaded, pillaged and flagged as possible important strategic location for future conflict(s) and/or “free oil”.

      Sadly everyone forgets the part where generations are destroyed for money and power but its alright, after all its “collateral damage”. Then you have the 10 year old orphan who has never heard of this “free country” before but now sees its people running a free recruitment service of al-qaeda near the local mosque. “We will give you the armor and the anger to carry out revenge attacks when you are old enough to understand why we are here”, reads the advertising board.

      10 years on. This “…stan” is a terrorist state. We must do something about it. Ok we need a new man to pin this one on, says the “democratic leader of a free nation”. By the way, what do we need this time? Oil or a place to launder our hard earned money in a war we started somewhere else?

  6. Avatar

    Abu Kamel

    May 25, 2011 at 12:14 AM


    As salam alaikum
    I am saddened that there is not greater political awareness and insight which is compatible with Islam at this Muslim website which frequently addresses world events.

    First, this naval base assault is NOT part of the Global War on Terror, unless you adopt the American neo conservative worldview (from which this phrase is originated). Not even Obama uses this phrase anymore.

    Which worldview do YOU adopt?
    Because Islam has its own worldview, just as Islam is a complete Deen.

    Second, the naval base assault is a political event as much as it is a militant insurgent event. And by politics, I mean the Islamic meaning: the affairs of the people. The Prophet (saaw) is reported to have said whomever is not concerned about the affairs of the people is not from among us. And the ‘affairs of the people’ is translated from the arabic word “sa’ sa”, which is expanded as siyasa- politics.

    So the affairs of the people are the legitimate if not required matter for people- not something left for others to manage at their own will.

    And militancy is an extension of politics- material action is an expression of and viewpoint on the affairs of some people. In this case, its regarding the Pakistani military and government.

    Third, if one examines Pakistan’s affairs internally, one will see that not only are their many affairs which are not governed according to what Allah has revealed, but the very authority and political sovereignty of the Muslim people of Pakistan have been undermined and betrayed by the existing Pakistan government. At what point does a government loose its legitimacy, its authority to rule?

    Fourth, does a government loose its authority to rule when it defies Allah? Does a government loose its authority and legitimacy when it allows foreign militaries to enter its territory, set up a dangerous, volatile military base, like the USJSOC forward operating base at a naval base in Karachi, and engage in military attacks on Pakistani and Muslim people within Pakistan?

    Let it be known, there is a US special forces forward operating base stationed within a naval base in Karachi since 2006 as permitted by the Pakistani government. And this base is the origin of assaults and operations for the US JSOC throughout central Asia, excluding NATO run Afghanistan. This was reported in Asia Times and the Nation (US edition). Also reported in the Nation by Jeremy Scahill, Pakistani government granted the US military and its contractors, namely Blackwater/Xe, authorization to engage in searches for OBL and al Qaida in Pakistan with the warning that the Pakistani govt would DENY knowledge of such searches and activities were they to be successful. and Scahill reported this in 2009 in his article: Secret War on Pakistan.

    So at what point does Zardari’s administration loose legitimacy? At what point was allowing the US special forces to intercede in Pakistan an act of sedition or treason?

    Fifth, Muslim people have a greater right to autonomy and political sovereignty/authority over their affairs than America has to interlope, usurp, intervene, and interrupt Muslim affairs for whatever their expressed justification, including the Global War on Terror. And that’s where my original question comes in:

    Sixth, does Muslim Matters recognize the right of Pakistani Muslims to maintain, secure, defend, and uphold their autonomy and political sovereignty against any who betray it, jeopardize it, willfully undermine it?

    Insha Allah I will stop here in hopes that there will be a constructive discussion on these issues.
    I welcome all responses.

    Abu Kamel

    • Avatar

      Aly Balagamwala

      May 31, 2011 at 12:13 PM

      Brother Abu Kamel

      You make some great points that are really important. However, your comment also suggests that I, as a citizen of Pakistan, should also take up arms as the government is not legitimate and that I should start bombing military assets.

      There is no doubt that Islam is the complete deen. There is no doubt that the government of Pakistan is not Islamic. However, there is really no state out there which is Islamic. Does that mean citizens all over the world should take up arms and start attacking military and civil establishments? Or go on a suicide bombing spree?

      At what point was allowing the US special forces to intercede in Pakistan an act of sedition or treason?

      If you are a Pakistani then you should definitely stand up and ask this question of the elected government.

      Fifth, Muslim people have a greater right to autonomy and political sovereignty/authority over their affairs than America has to interlope, usurp, intervene, and interrupt Muslim affairs for whatever their expressed justification, including the Global War on Terror. And that’s where my original question comes in:
      Having a right to autonomy and political sovereignty over ones affairs means attacking a military establishment and causing more than 70 million dollars damage to assets that are vital for defense of the country?

      Sixth, does Muslim Matters recognize the right of Pakistani Muslims to maintain, secure, defend, and uphold their autonomy and political sovereignty against any who betray it, jeopardize it, willfully undermine it?

      I as a Pakistani Muslim (but why Muslims only? What about the other citizens? Don’t they have rights?) recognize my right to “maintain, secure, defend, and uphold their autonomy and political sovereignty against any who betray it, jeopardize it, willfully undermine it”. Again I would not do it by taking up arms and causing harm to my country’s assets and defense.

      • Avatar


        June 19, 2011 at 1:19 PM

        MashaAllah very pertinent understanding ….
        most of the time those terrorists-militants or whatever are used by and manipulated by others
        intelligence organisations …the end is to bring to chaos Pakistan and “balakanize” it …

        a must read article !!

  7. Avatar


    May 25, 2011 at 7:19 PM

    Religiously speaking, the group of Muslims who enjoy the highest quality of life and experience the most educational opportunities and bright futures for their children, not to mention a unparalleled level of religious expression, are those living in N. America or Europe, these governments are having no hint of Islamic law to them. Meanwhile, the group of Christians, Jews and other religious minorities who experience the most persecution and suffering, and who often have to pay higher taxes and have to take low paying positions because of lack of education, live in countries where there’s heavy Islamic law. It also appears that many, if not the majority of Muslims living in their Islamic counties would risk their life to see change or leave their homelands. But one must realize that “ideas have consequences”. You do the math
    Thanks for not deleting my coment.

    • Avatar


      May 25, 2011 at 11:58 PM

      Should we just take your word and analysis as the truth? Without facts and figures to back up your conclusions, should not make such outrageous statements.

    • Avatar

      Abu Kamel

      May 26, 2011 at 1:06 AM


      Your attempts to disrail the inclinations for Islam in public life, as a guidance of and template for government and society, and the complete implementation of Shariah are duly noted. But they are misleading. And on a purely intellectual level, they are unsubstantiated.

      1) There is NO state or government which meets the minimal Shariah standards of being representative of Islam in the world today. Not Sudan, not Saudia, not Iran, not Pakistan, none. And this has been so for nearly 100 years.
      Every state in the Muslim world has been constructed on Western ideological concepts, such as nationalism, has complied with Western based international and treaties, such as the UN charter. They have applied Western based political structures which have served as facades of authenticity while perpetrating oppression, such as legislative assemblies dominated by a ruler’s political party for decades, such as Egypt, Tunisia, Syria, Algeria. These four countries have all been dominated by Western ideological concepts of liberalism and/or socialism or their hybridization, and have tinkered with Shariah for political pandering of the masses. Pakistan can be included with them.

      2) Prior to the invasion, occupation, colonization, and transformation of the Muslim world by Western imperial powers, nonMuslim minorities, especially Ahlil Kitab, experienced quite a lot of material enrichment, commercial success, had political representation and respected avenues of political recourse, and many other benefits of living in a Shariah dominated societies.

      But All historical arguments have political realties.
      It should be noted that prior to the colonization of the Muslim world by the Western empires, Western empires had a strategy of economic war. They intentionally sought to destroy the trade and commerce of the Ottoman caliphate and Muslim world and replace it by Western dominated sea trade and Western controlled commerce. Thus, they targetted the land trade from China and India across Asia by replacing it with sea trade. On a global scale, as well as regionally and locally. As Western sea trade gained superiority across the globe, Muslim dominated land trade caused economies throughout the Muslim world to falter, stagnate, and eventually fall into a depression.

      The effects of this depression were felt and eventually calcified and stagnated throughout the Ottoman state, which included India and other outlying but supported Islamic entities.

      The Ottoman government did not successfully respond to this sustained crisis. It actually incorporated the economic ideas of the same empires who caused this by including individual taxation on top of Shariah based revenue. Moreover, nonMuslims who enjoyed centuries of economic enrichment while living in Muslim lands and following Shariah were sometimes wrongly targetted for unIslamic taxation by the Ottoman state due to their disparity in wealth. As well, some of them had financial ties to Western interests, including supporting the end of Shariah in Muslim lands.

      3) The plight of nonMuslims in the Muslim countries today are a result of these two circumstances: the absence of Shariah and Islam in life, and the effects of the past 300 years of conflict with the West.

      4) In comparison, a “citizenship” based on BELIEF is superior to a “citizenship” based on NATIONALITY. After centuries of conflict, the Western model has transformed the planet into a world order which follows only the NATION STATE model and citizenship based on nationalities. But no person can choose in which nation they are born. A change of nationality occurs only through the powers of men, usually elite men who control a nation.

      For example, a person can be born in Japan, but if he is not over 75% Japanese ethnicity, meaning one parent 100% Japanese and the other 50%, then citizenship is denied him. And this regulation was inacted by a Japanese parliement. it served to resist any effort by any formerly colonized people who were born of Japanese men but foreign women, such as from Indonesia, Phillipines, Korea, China.

      In contrast, according to Shariah implemented in an Islamic state, any person can change his belief to Islam and become a citizen of the state based on his own individual will. Allah grants this for mankind. Whereas Man choose to empower himself over others.

      • Avatar

        H Y

        May 31, 2011 at 4:49 PM

        interesting.. is that all?

        • Avatar


          June 19, 2011 at 1:02 PM

          For sure it is not…so much more to say but he highlighted some great points! JAK!

    • Avatar

      Humble Muslim

      June 1, 2011 at 8:53 AM

      Can’t argue with that. Truth hurts.

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#Current Affairs

Allah’s Will and Our Responsibility: Responding To Forest Fires

Abu Ryan Dardir



Forest Fires

What do Indonesia, Greenland, Brazil, Siberia, Turkey, Bolivia, The Canary Islands, and The Congo, have in common? They are losing their forests due to wildfires, commonly known as forest fires.

The image above is not an image of city lights at night.

It represents wildfires that happened around the world in July of 2019. The purpose of this article is to clarify misconceptions, provide the facts, and suggest possible solutions. Despite media coverage, forest fires are not typically bad. If you remember back to your Biology class in High School, a forest fire can be part of secondary succession. It plays a role in our environment. Forest fires stimulate new growth, and it opens up the canopy allowing sunlight to hit the forest floor. Forest fires also release nutrients trapped in the forest floor. Currently, we have reached a state of panic and misinformation. High profile social media accounts have been sharing pictures and information that is not accurate in time and location. These only fuels fear and doubt, and like anything on the media, you need to fact check.

While it is true that the Amazon forest is experiencing a more significant number of fires this year than last, the pattern isn’t necessarily abnormal on a global scale. In 2015 we experienced 4.7 million forest fires globally, and that number has been steadily decreasing every year since. To date, we have experienced 2.9 million forest fires in 2019. From 2003 to 2008 we averaged 5 million forest fires annually.

Forest Fires data

Right now, we are at the average number of forest fires we would be experiencing in August, based on 20 years of data. While the media is focusing on Brazil, Brazil ranks number 5 in the number of forest fires in the last year. The Congo has ranked number 1 for several years now in regards to forest fires. The Congo loses about 1% of their forest annually to wildfires, and Brazil about 0.15% of their forest. Either way, these are huge losses. Our brothers and sisters in Indonesia are suffering as well, including some critically endangered species.

What is causing this? Nothing happens without the will of Allah ﷻ. In Surat Yusuf, verse 21 Allah ﷻ says “The Will of God prevails, but most of the people know not”

In a narration, we hear the Prophet subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) reminding us of the above verse.

عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ عَبَّاسٍ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُمَا قَالَ: “كُنْت خَلْفَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه و سلم يَوْمًا، فَقَالَ: يَا غُلَامِ! إنِّي أُعَلِّمُك كَلِمَاتٍ: احْفَظْ اللَّهَ يَحْفَظْك، احْفَظْ اللَّهَ تَجِدْهُ تُجَاهَك، إذَا سَأَلْت فَاسْأَلْ اللَّهَ، وَإِذَا اسْتَعَنْت فَاسْتَعِنْ بِاَللَّهِ، وَاعْلَمْ أَنَّ الْأُمَّةَ لَوْ اجْتَمَعَتْ عَلَى أَنْ يَنْفَعُوك بِشَيْءٍ لَمْ يَنْفَعُوك إلَّا بِشَيْءٍ قَدْ كَتَبَهُ اللَّهُ لَك، وَإِنْ اجْتَمَعُوا عَلَى أَنْ يَضُرُّوك بِشَيْءٍ لَمْ يَضُرُّوك إلَّا بِشَيْءٍ قَدْ كَتَبَهُ اللَّهُ عَلَيْك؛ رُفِعَتْ الْأَقْلَامُ، وَجَفَّتْ الصُّحُفُ”. رَوَاهُ التِّرْمِذِيُّ

Abu al-‘Abbas ‘Abdullah bin ‘Abbas raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) reports:

“One day I was riding (a horse/camel) behind the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, when he said, ‘Young man, I will teach you some words. Be mindful of God, and He will take care of you. Be mindful of Him, and you shall find Him at your side. If you ask, ask of God. If you need help, seek it from God. Know that if the whole world were to gather together in order to help you, they would not be able to help you except if God had written so. And if the whole world were to gather together in order to harm you, they would not harm you except if God had written so. The pens have been lifted, and the pages are dry.'” Related by Tirmidhi

There is a sense of freedom through the reliance of Allah ﷻ.

But Allah ﷻ has given us a responsibility, an amanah.

وَهُوَ الَّذِي جَعَلَكُمْ خَلَائِفَ الْأَرْضِ وَرَفَعَ بَعْضَكُمْ فَوْقَ بَعْضٍ دَرَجَاتٍ لِّيَبْلُوَكُمْ فِي مَا آتَاكُمْ ۗ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ سَرِيعُ الْعِقَابِ وَإِنَّهُ لَغَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ

“And it is He (God) who has made you successors (Khalifa) upon the Earth and has raised some of you above others in degrees [of rank] that He may try you through what He has given you. Indeed, your Lord is swift in penalty; but indeed, He is Forgiving and Merciful.” [Surah Al-An’am:165]

I worry the world is neglecting that responsibility, and taking the Earth for granted. Not only are we neglecting this responsibility, but we are also exploiting what Allah ﷻ gave us.

“Eat and drink from the provision of Allah, and do not commit abuse on the earth, spreading corruption.” (Qur’an, 2:60)

We are in a state of a “climate crisis,” yet we have not taken the proper steps to address it. We worry about the world that our children will inherit, but lack the passion for doing something about it.

A lot of it is at the government level. The Green New Deal failed and living in a plutocracy, and it may not come to fruition. Capitalism that fuels our consumeristic manners only speed up this destruction we are inflicting on ourselves. The solutions are simple and need to come from the community and work outward. We see the forests of the world burning, are we going to sit and watch the world burn, or will we implement the words of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him)? Our Prophet Muhammad said: “There is no Muslim who plants a tree or sows a field for a human, bird, or animal eats from it, but it shall be reckoned as charity from him.” [Bukhari, Muslim]

عَنْ أَنَسٍ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏ “‏ مَا مِنْ مُسْلِمٍ يَغْرِسُ غَرْسًا أَوْ يَزْرَعُ زَرْعًا فَيَأْكُلُ مِنْهُ إِنْسَانٌ أَوْ طَيْرٌ أَوْ بَهِيمَةٌ إِلاَّ كَانَتْ لَهُ صَدَقَةٌ ‏”

If the Forest Burns, We Plant More Trees

If the forests burn, we plant more trees; this gives us sadaqah jariyah (continous reward), and allows us to fulfill our obligation as stewards of this planet. Countries with much fewer resources are doing it, and so can you. The Great Green Wall is an African-led movement with an epic ambition to grow an 8,000km natural wonder of the world across the entire width of Africa. Its foundation is in the Sahel the southeastern part of the Sahara. That part of the world is on the frontline of climate change, and the people are changing their ways to address it.

As Brazil loses 0.15% of forest due to fires, India has increased its forestry by 1% in two years. There is no doubt that capitalism plays a role, and we play a role in capitalism, and instead of being blind consumers, we can be informed consumers. Your dollar forces companies to make choices that can be better for the planet. It is essential to be cautious of your purchases and the role that the company plays in our delicate ecosystems. Three significant regions are suffering tremendously due to forest fires. The Congo, Brazil, and Indonesia, each has its unique part in our capitalistic lives.

Cells for Congo

Mining to get rare earth metals comes from the Congo; mining requires deforestation to reach the resources needed. These “rare earth” metals are used by anyone that has a cell phone, laptop, computer, etc. One thing we can do not to be part of the problem is to find more ethical companies in regards to technology usage.

Investigate for Indonesia

Next is Indonesia, and it is notorious for having corporations burn its trees down for palm oil. Palm oil is an ingredient found in many processed foods, cosmetics, and toiletries. It’s said that the equivalent of 300 soccer fields of rainforest is cleared every hour for the production of palm oil worldwide. Palm oil can be produced in a responsible manner that respects the environment and the communities where it is commonly grown. Find no palm oil alternatives here. Look for the RSPO label to ensure you purchase products made with certified sustainable palm oil. This label gives you the confidence that the palm oil was produced in a socially and environmentally responsible way.

Beefless for Brazil

Then there is Brazil the largest exporter of beef in the world. Cows are not small or cheap. They use a lot of water and resources to accommodate a growing demand for meat. One pound of beef uses 1800 gallons of water; this includes the water it drinks and the water used for its food. Add the amount of space needed, and one can’t help but think if beef is worth it.

These three very sought out resources and luxuries increase profits for the corporation for companies like Google, Samsung, Sony, Apple, Nestle, Kelloggs, General Mills, Colgate-Palmolive, and the beef industry supported by the populist Brazilian President. One can’t help but think that some of these fires are not naturally occurring. There is enough by the greed and selfishness by those that can impose their power on other people and our planet to fuel these fires. Use your dollar wisely, and voice your concern to any corporation that exploits the resources that Allah ﷻ bestowed upon us.

I want to conclude with a hadith that should make us respond to the loss of our forests. Planting trees and preserving what we have is so crucial that Anas Ibn Malik is said to have reported: that the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him), said, “If the Final Hour comes while you have a palm-cutting in your hands and it is possible to plant it before the Hour comes, you should plant it.” [Ahmad]

عَنْ أَنَسِ بْنِ مَالِكٍ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ‏:‏ إِنْ قَامَتِ السَّاعَةُ وَفِي يَدِ أَحَدِكُمْ فَسِيلَةٌ، فَإِنِ اسْتَطَاعَ أَنْ لاَ تَقُومَ حَتَّى يَغْرِسَهَا فَلْيَغْرِسْهَا‏.

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My Heart Shook In New Zealand

Mohsin Ansari



One would imagine that a person would be dead-tired and ready to crash in his bed after a grueling, 36-hour journey from Christchurch, New Zealand to Washington, DC. And I will admit, that was the way I felt. Yet somehow, all my somnolence vanished as soon as my head rested on my pillow and I closed my eyes to rest. A wave of recollections fell over me: memories of the survivors, the emotions they expressed, and their feelings of an uncertain future as they planned their lives after the loss of their family members. These feelings instantly took away all the desire to get rest and sleep. I sit upright now and begin writing this reflection of a once in a lifetime experience- a voyage of grief and hope to Aotearoa- land of the white cloud as the indigenous people call New Zealand.

With lost baggage, long flights and too many connections, at times it seemed unlikely that my eldest son Moaz and I would make it to Jumm’ah and Janazah prayers in Christchurch, New Zealand. But Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) accepted our prayers so that we could fulfill the guidelines set by our beloved, the Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him). We were able to fulfill one of the rights of a Muslim over the others; that when he is sick visit him, and when she dies, offer her funeral and be part of her burial.

Hagley Cricket Ground was supposed to have a cricket test match between Bangladesh and New Zealand that Friday. Commentators reckon that it would have been the final day of that test match. But the 22nd of March 2019, brought a much bigger crowd to this world-famous cricket ground than what anyone would have seen on the final day of that test match.

Officials and security directed us towards the VIP area as they wanted to pay respect to the guests who traveled all the way from the USA, Canada, and Australia. The environment of love, solidarity, and respect, coupled with the hijab-clad women standing in solidarity with Muslims in that enormous crowd, created an impact which cannot be articulated by mere words. Every single uniformed female officer was carrying their firearm while donning a hijab; creating a welcoming gesture in a rather somber and gloomy atmosphere.

I do not have the words to thank the leadership of Charity Australia and the Islamic Forum of Australian Muslims (IFAM) for providing us with logistics, facilitating meeting the families of the “shuhudaa” (martyrs) and arranging to visit those injured in the tragedy. ICNA, Helping Hand, and Charity Australia banners highlighting the slogans of “American Muslims stand in solidarity with Victims of Christchurch New Zealand” were the center of attention for thousands of local New Zealanders gathered in solidarity that day. Their hugs, sincere prayers and tearful eyes were the greatest gift that I want to share with everyone reading these reflections.

Right after Jumm’ah, the majority of the crowd attended the collective Janazah prayer of 27 of the martyrs. In those emotional moments, I met with the most courageous woman on earth, the wife of 51-year-old Shaheed Naeem and the mother of 21-year-old Talha Naeem, the two spirited souls who gave their lives to save others in the mosque that day. She is one of the strongest women I have ever met. She mentioned that her husband, Naeem, was a person who lived the life of a man of service, always ready to help others. She described Talha as an angel who was too pious and too noble to be away from Jannah too long. We heard similar feelings from Naeem’s mother (grandmother of Talha) the next day when we visited their home.

The visit to the home of New Zealand’s national soccer team player, Atta Elayyan (33), was not only emotional but also deeply inspiring. Atta lost his life and his father (the founder of Al-Noor Masjid) was severely injured during this brutal and hateful attack. There were several scholars from the United States, including Sheikh Omer Suleiman, in the visit to Atta’s home. We could offer nothing to console the brave mother of this shaheed, who greeted us with words of courage and wisdom. We had no words to accompany the tears in our eyes, except prayers for the most noble young man who helped so many in coming close to Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He).

Our visits to Al-Noor Masjid and the Linwood Islamic Center were also filled with memories of love, harmony, and reverence. There was a continuous influx of hundreds of visitors, not only from New Zealand, but also from different countries including, but not limited to, Australia, Fiji, and Canada.  Thousands and thousands of flower bouquets and other items of love were left by these visitors. I was really thrilled to see that local Muslims left many Qur’ans and flyers with basic concepts of Islam and addressing the common misconceptions about Islam for those visiting. I witnessed many people visiting these mosques were taking those Qur’ans and other books with them in order to learn more about Islam.

We also met Mr. Aziz, the unsung hero who repeatedly attacked the killer with different objects including an empty gun —which the killer had discarded. The terrorist fired on Aziz multiple times, but Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) not only saved him, but he also forced the killer to flee from the Linwood Islamic Center. Mr. Aziz was one of the reasons why the number of casualties in this mosque was only seven, compared to the 43 martyrs in Masjid Al-Noor. We also met certain individuals whom Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) saved miraculously. A young man showed his trousers fenestrated with holes of bullets but had no signs of injury. The husband and wife who entered the premises of the mosque and only to be showered with a burst of 26 bullets while in their car, leaving it completely destroyed. Yet Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) saved both of them while they took shelter in their vehicle.

The visit to the hospital’s ICU was simply heartbreaking but at the same time increased our resolve and commitment to help these families as much as possible. We encountered a Turkish brother who was in a coma for nine days and met his elderly parents, who spoke to us in the very little English they knew. The only thing which we could understand from their hushed voices was the request for du’a and tears of helplessness in their eyes. The 71-year-old father of a local Pakistani from Hafizabad, who had arrived two weeks ago to visit his son, was now on a ventilator fighting for his life. As a physician who has worked in ICU settings for a long time, I simply did not have enough medical reasoning which could have provided him any words of hope!! Similarly, I was not able to provide any glimmer of hope to a brother from Bangladesh whose wife will never be able to walk again and will be paralyzed for the rest of her life.

While I saw hope and felt resilience from every victim in that hospital, this hospital visit was brutally heartbreaking.

Lastly, I cannot imagine the pain, agony, and helplessness that the father of Mucad Ibrahim must feel after losing his 3-year-old son in his own arms. I gave him the longest hug possible, as he taught the whole world the meaning of Beautiful Sabr (Patience).

After seeing the devastation caused by the terrorist attack, and the work that must still be done to heal the community, Helping Hand USA, ICNA Relief Canada, and Charity Australia have formed an organization called the “Christchurch Family Support Network”. The operations have already begun, and our team is on the ground. The first group of mental health professionals with a background in Islamic Integrated counseling are set to leave to provide victims and their families immediate psychological assistance.

We ask Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) to accept our work, bring healing to the community, protect our brothers and sisters, and accept the shuhadaa’ in the highest level of Paradise.

Dr. Mohsin Ansari is the Vice President Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) and the Chairman of Helping Hand USA (HHRD)


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Because Muslims Matter | Honoring The Martyrs Of #Christchurch

Hena Zuberi



As the days go by, it is easy to forget the names and faces of the people who passed away. The horror of the act eclipses their memories. We do not want that to happen to our brothers and sisters in New Zealand.

اللهُـمِّ اغْفِـرْ لِحَيِّـنا وَمَيِّتِـنا وَشـاهِدِنا ، وَغائِبِـنا ، وَصَغيـرِنا وَكَبيـرِنا ، وَذَكَـرِنا وَأُنْثـانا. اللهُـمِّ مَنْ أَحْيَيْـتَهُ مِنّا فَأَحْيِـهِ عَلى الإِسْلام ،وَمَنْ تَوَفَّـيْتَهُ مِنّا فَتَوَفَّـهُ عَلى الإِيـمان ، اللهُـمِّ لا تَحْـرِمْنـا أَجْـرَه ، وَلا تُضِـلَّنا بَعْـدَه

Allaahum-maghfir lihayyinaa, wa mayyitinaa, wa shaahidinaa, wa ghaa’ibinaa, wa sagheerinaa wa kabeerinaa, wa thakarinaa wa ‘unthaanaa..

O Allah forgive our living and our dead, those who are with us and those who are absent, our young and our old, our menfolk and our womenfolk… [7]

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