Shaykh Nuh Ha Mim Keller writes a touching and inspiriting letter to the Muslim community in the wake of the New Zealand massacre.
In the Name of Allah Most Merciful and Compassionate
Letter to New Zealand
Saturday 16 March 2019
Brothers and Sisters:
as-Salamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatu Llahi wa barakatuh, wa ba‘d:
All praise is Allah’s for all of His blessings, inward and outward; And the highest of blessings and peace unto His prophet Muhammad and all who follow him until the end of days.
In the Name of Allah Most Merciful and Compassionate:
How gloriously exalted in beneficence above all
is He in whose hand alone is sovereignty;
And He has absolute power to do anything.
Who created death and life
to try you as to which of you is better in works;
And He is the Invincible, the All-forgiving (Koran 67:1–2).
Allah tells us the Angel of Death will inexorably overtake each of us, believer and unbeliever: to the believer a complete relief, but to those with no belief a dreadful disaster:
‘Our Lord, and enter them into
lush groves of Eden that You have promised them,
with all who were righteous of their forefathers, their wives, and their offspring:
Verily it is You who are the All-powerful, the All-wise.
‘And shield them from their ill-deeds;
And whom You shield that day from their ill-deeds,
You have shown true mercy:
And that is the mighty undying triumph.’
Verily those who would not believe shall be called to:
‘Truly Allah’s loathing for your doing so is even greater
than your loathing for your own selves now;
When you were invited again and again to faith,
yet you only disbelieved’ (40:8–10).
Death is thus the beginning of our permanent existence forever with Allah and the end of our world of trials and tribulations, to either triumph or ruin. The perpetrator of this crime should be shown the full rigor of the law in this world, while true and entire divine justice can only be shown to him in the next, which is without end.
May the Almighty guide the responsible authorities to improve the safeguarding of lives of the citizens of their lands, and to effect laws for adequate security vetting of those given permits to carry lethal weapons, especially ones which have no relation to hunting whatsoever.
May Allah in His infinite mercy inspire every one of us to regard our own lifespans, however long and prosperous, as short as they actually are, and to fill them with works that please Him; to comfort, protect, show true love to, and help the bereaved survivors of this terrible tragedy; and give us the tawfiq to be the best of good neighbors to everyone whom we live near—all for His incomparable Self, Amin. Allah tells us that what we can do and see is finite, while its consequences are both infinite and created with a divine surpassing due Wisdom, which we have been created to understand, benefit
from, and move on. My sincerest condolences in your sorrows and estrangement; may
Allah help you and keep you,
wa s-Salamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatu Llahi wa barakatuh,