By: Sr. Kanwal Malik Saba

“No, she’s not going to move! Can’t you see she has a baby and she is putting groceries away?” I heard these words as if in a daze. I was busy putting the baby in the car seat and trying to wrap up a conversation over the phone when I saw a few people gathering up behind my van. As I turned to find out what the commotion was all about, I realized the Caucasian lady was talking about- me!!

She wasn’t upset with me or yelling at me. She was actually getting mad at the car behind me.  The man in the car had been honking at me for the parking spot. I then realized that this wonderful lady was speaking up on my behalf and trying to tell the man to leave me alone. The disgruntled gentleman in the car sped away. I felt tears gather in my eyes as I saw couple more people nodding their approval at me and the lady who had spoken up for me. I thanked her profusely and made dua for her silently.

Did this total stranger just come to my aid? Despite my having no connection with her or relation, she had unabashedly and courageously stood up for me. I felt proud of this fellow human and thought, the more humanity weakens the more it rises above. I believe that is the true essence of being a good human. This phenomenon is what our Islamic faith is all about, or should be all about.

The Quran clearly states in Surah An-Nisā' “O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm in justice, witnesses for Allah , even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives. Whether one is rich or poor, Allah is more worthy of both. So follow not [personal] inclination, lest you not be just. And if you distort [your testimony] or refuse [to give it], then indeed Allah is ever, with what you do, Acquainted.”

Many times it is seen, that people stay quiet when their kin, their parents, children or relatives mistreat others. Turning a blind eye or a deaf ear towards oppression in the family, community or in the Ummah, is the worst disaster we face today as Muslims. It is our duty to defend anyone who is being abused, even in the slightest manner, even if the abuser is our loved one. So the next time you look away or pretend that it is not your job to get involved in order to defend someone, remember it is OUR job to stand firm in justice and be persistent, just like the Quran prescribed.