Today is the second official day of Donald Trump being elected president. Some events we feared would come to pass have already begun. Earlier this year, the platform for the brexit decision was fraught with xenophobia and anti-immigrant sentiment. Once the decision for Britain to withdraw from the European Union was finalized, there was an immediate and notable spike in hate crimes and attacks in Europe. This event is now mirrored in the United States. Countless individuals have come forth with pictures, videos and anecdotal evidence of various forms of violence. Institutions such as masajid are being vandalized, hijabs are being ripped off, racial slurs are being spray-painted across cars, women of colour are being surrounded by white men taunting them with guns, and on it goes. This is the reality that a Donald Trump presidency has brought. The previous president will not vacate his office for another two and a half months, yet this new reign has already bolstered racists and hateful individuals.
What can we do to protect ourselves? First and foremost—do not loosen your grasp on the rope of Allah (SWT). The people of Musa (AS) were faced with a deep and vast sea, the people of Nuh (AS) were faced with inescapable floods and the people of ar-Rasul (SAW) were faced with insurmountable odds of few people versus many. Their only mode of victory was from the support of Allah (SWT). The number one thing that will protect our hearts, our bodies and our minds will be tawakkul. Trust in our Rabb, the One who we love above all and the one who Loves us more than anyone in our lives can claim.
We need to equip ourselves and empower ourselves with knowledge. We need to embolden ourselves with the facts— know your rights and know how to wield the Qur’an and Sunnah to protect yourself. The signs of the Day of Judgement have been foretold to us by the Prophet (saws) and within this knowledge, is the prescription for how to stay steadfast in times of extreme strife and fear.
Allah (SWT) has given every single one of us unique skills and abilities, as well as connections to those around us. He gave us a voice and we must make it known. Write letters, write articles, call, tweet, email— get in touch with governmental representatives and make your fears and position known. We have the power to alter the narrative, but we must be willing to weild it. We are instrumental in the effect we can have on our environment; it is our duty as Muslims to be that spark for greater social change! This means that you need to start with your family and friends, your coworkers, your colleagues, fellow students, neighbours, anyone that you connect with throughout the course of the day. We need to spend time in building our support network and discussing the issues and our rights as a community.
We must use everything we have at our disposal: our position in society, our unique skills and talents, our voice, our body, our mind— all these things form the privilege we have as individuals in North America and they are blessings from Allah (SWT) that can be used to create great social change. Most importantly, ensure that in your own heart and soul you have a true, deep love for Allah (SWT) and His commands. This will strengthen each and every one of us to love each other and to be beacons of light for truth and justice.
When we allow oppressors to demoralize us, that is when they have won–do not ever lose hope in the promise of Allah (SWT) and do not ever stop working towards a better tomorrow.