United Under Compassion
By Layalee Elzahdan, Aqsa School
It is most unfortunate that one thing that can bring out the compassion in all of us, is tragedy. Death, sickness, or an act of violence can cause people to be closer through compassion. Tragedies bring out our sensitivity because they hurt us all in the same way. One horrific act can cause a whole nation to come together in compassion.
I’m cupping my hands in prayer, as the teacher makes a du’aa for a student who passed away from leukemia. I can feel the sorrow washing over the entire school body as we bend our heads down, sincerely praying for the student and for her family to be patient during such a difficult time. Every teacher, every student, Muslim and non-Muslim, feels the compassion growing in their hearts inflicted by this tragedy. Our school community grew stronger as we came together to help those in need. We started fundraising to find a cure for leukemia in honor of our dear sister whom we lost. Our compassion for the student and her family brought us together, no matter from what ethnicity or religion we came from.
I freeze as I hear the news of the shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. Thoughts and questions of “how” and “why” swarm in my head as I try to take in the horrific occurrence. I realize that there are many families in a much worse situation than I am, because their children were the victims. This is a time when people came together, united under compassion. People worldwide sent their condolences to the families of the deceased children. Prayers were held nationwide at schools, mosques, churches, synagogues, temples, community centers, etc., because of the level of compassion all these different people had for others they didn’t even know. People all over America held fundraisers and charity benefits, all to help ease the situation for the families affected by the shooting. Regardless of race, ethnicity, or religion, we united through compassion for the sole purpose of helping and comforting those who needed to feel at ease.
It may be sad, but it certainly is true that people unite under compassion when others are struck by a tragedy. We, as human beings, are naturally inclined to be compassionate to others when they are faced with adversity. Compassion is one thing all people have in common. When people feel compassionate toward others, changes for the greater good can be made, barriers can be broken, people of all different shapes, sizes, and colors can coexist in harmony and become united. Compassion is what connects every person together into a chain of unity. A chapter in the Holy Quran (Surah al-Balad [90:17]) states, “Then he is of those who believe and charge one another to show patience, and charge one another to show compassion.”