FOR MADINA, BAGHDAD, DHAKA, ISTANBUL, ORLANDO, AND ALL THE WOUNDED PLACES WHERE INNOCENTS ARE MURDERED, VIOLATED, TRAUMATIZED, BEREAVED, AND BROKEN

In the Qur’anic passage that recounts the covenant sealed between God and Abraham (2:124), God makes it clear that this special covenantal relationship will not reach or include those who perpetrate evil and oppression.

So let us be clear: this murderous, depraved, hateful, xenophobic, homophobic, and senseless violence we are witnessing is oppression ( ẓulm ) and so has no place in the religious realm.  It is absolutely antithetical to a religion that understands Divinity to be bound by mercy ( al-raḥma – see 6:54) — a term that communicates maternal love, nurturing, an eternal and essential connection to humankind, compassion, and a constant readiness to forgive.  This mercy is what gives rise to the Divine acts of creation and revelation (see 55: 1-4), and this mercy represents the totality of the life and legacy of the Prophet, who was sent “as nothing but a mercy” to everyone and everything (21:17).

So let us be clear:  we not only condemn this savagery; we stand resolutely against it and stand defiantly for the dignity and sanctity of every life.

May God’s healing and forgiving and redeeming embrace illumine the slain; May God’s healing and consolation and peace be with the violated, the shaken, and the bereaved; and may the light of Divine guidance — however we find it — inspire us all to stand together for all that gives and protects and ennobles life.

Timothy J Gianotti, IISF Director & Principal Teacher

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