Thousands have passed by, only in figures have they been recognized but when the sincere ones fall amidst the mammoth crowd, Allah sends forth a message through their public recognition. My pen can hardly express the way it feels that an image of Zaynab Ghazali be replanted in the history of Islam. The ink will only underestimate the true representation of those who lived and die for the religion of the last hour. A loss that cannot be redeemed, a blow that was dealt so hard and a trigger pulled at the entirety of Muslims all over the world; the death of Asmaa El-Beltagi.
The beautifully blossoming Muslimah was the daughter of the Muslim Brotherhood leader, Muhammad Al-Beltagi. Some minutes to 10:30 Cairo time on Wednesday, August 14, this innocent beauty of Islam breathe her last as she was shot in the chest and back. Her death has torn apart many heads, both within and outside Egypt. A distinct emblem of steadfastness to the cause of truth; many attest to her angelic attributes. At 17, she has participated in all demonstrations since the revolution of January 2011. Her conviction never wavered on the path of Islam. She even encouraged friends to support the call to truth and she resisted the rule of military. In the face of adversity, the courage of the 17 years old has made her to become an icon of Rabaa Al-adawiyyah.
If truly we are acquainted with the history of Islam, we would be certain that this is not the first Muslim female to be persecuted on the path of struggle nto the call of truth in Egypt. It started during the reign of Farouk Jamal Abdul Nasir. The Return of Pharaoh has the comprehensive details of what went wrong and why women wept. This is an era that has shifted from making women the subject but rather the object. Zaynab Al-Ghazali was a woman with rock of actions, ready to lay down her life in defiance for what she believes in. She stood by her cause and she wouldn’t even accept her release when they didn’t release the other sisters from the prison. She knew it was a struggle they had to fight to finish. In the words of Asmaa as she fell, “Persist, victory will soon come. Do not leave the revolution to the army”. This is a clear sign that we are on the right path; we will not stop defending the truth for it is on the basis of the truth that the Brotherhood is built.
The reason for continuous, consistent and immeasurable persecution is simple. This truthful servant of Allah has continued to uphold the truth about the deen. They have seen and lived Islam as a way of life, they have been steadfast in their belief and they do not turn away from what they stand for even in the face of trials and tribulations. They incessantly call people to what they believe in. Directly or indirectly they reach out to people en-masse, commanding them to do good and forbid evil and to obey nothing but the true commandment of Allah. They haven’t gone beyond these and that is the offence they have committed which is causing multiple unrest and even leading to death and destruction of several innocent lives and properties. The Brotherhood under the pioneer founder, Imam Hassan Al-Banna, came to take care of issues of such and to strengthen the bond of brotherhood and give a voice to the voiceless and hope to the hopeless.
Dear sisters, I have learnt from this excerpt and I have rebuilt my life on this short story. The depth of what I have read of the life of Asmaa, her memorizing the Qur'an before the age of 14, how she encouraged her father to embark on certain actions, and how she made herself a front runner of self sacrifice to tend to the wounds of people at the square where she met her death. The brotherhood is bound by legion of men and women who has a focus. Asmaa has left us with a message to carry on with the struggle even in the face of trouble.
The blood of martyrs continues to serve as a compass that illuminates the way in this struggle for justice and dignity. Beloved sisters, trials are certain, they will come and go but you have to be convinced and steadfast. For the single ones, mirror Asmaa, for the married ones; let your marriage serve as bedrock of change. Be eagle-sighted, and never be narrow-minded. It is time to choose between been relevant or been indispensable in the sand of time.
Shall I not tell you one of the things in the diary of this innocent Muslimah; “Lord, let me be one of those who grant smiles to people, who weave threads of hope, be kind to the weak and supportive of orphans, who light candles in desolated roads, who ponder cosmic horizons and grow certainty, revolt in the face of justice, whose heart is always hopeful of your kindness”
It starts from now, what makes your heart bleeds, the struggle to be relevant or the desire to be heard not seen”
- by Bushrah Olagunju