American and Muslim Today, and Every Day.
Today is September 11, 2016.
It is also 9 Dhu al-Hiija, the Day of Arafat, 1437.
As millions of Muslim pilgrims gather at the plains of Arafah, preparing to complete their Hajj, I’m joining billions of other Muslims around the world in a day of fasting and supplication. As I do, I ask forgiveness from anyone I may have harmed or hurt in the past, knowingly or unknowingly.
And of course, I will also be reflecting deeply on the events of 9/11/2001 and what they’ve meant to me and my family– as Americans and as Muslims.
My identity, which to some seems contradictory, is relevant to every moment of this day when two separate, unrelated observances are happening at once.
And there is no contradiction.
Today, as the hunger of my fast overtakes me and I find refuge in prayer, I will remember those whose lives were lost 15 years ago. I’ll pray for their families who still miss and mourn them. I’ll pray for those first responders who rushed into chaos and uncertainty to help, many sacrificing their own lives so that others might live.
I’ll pray for my American Muslim community which, for better or for worse, was fused together in an unprecedented way by these events… and is still trying to understand what they mean to us, individually and collectively.
Today I’m praying for our children who weren’t alive 15 years ago, but who are being taught about the events of this day by those of us still traumatized by them. May our children lead us into the future without fear, because fear makes us to things that are unjust to one another.
I’m praying for wise leaders, loving teachers, and kind neighbors.
I’m praying for moments of clarity when they are needed most.
May Peace Be Upon You All.
[Allah’s divine descent is in the last third of the night, except for on the day of Arafah.
On the evening of the day of Arafah, Allah descends to the lowermost heaven in a way that befits Him, most High & Praised is He.
The early Muslims used to save their needs and requests until the duaa of the day of Arafah, as innumerable requests and hopes and yearning and earnest prayers are answered on the Day of Arafah.
One of the righteous people has said: “I swear by Allah, I did not make a duaa on the day of Arafah, except that I saw it (the answer to the duaa) as clear as day break, before the passing of a year.”]