None of what happened at U.S. Capitol building yesterday was surprising. We knew it was coming, that protests and plans were in effect for a huge call of election fraud and push to get Vice President Mike Pence to overturn President-elect Joe Biden’s electoral college votes, as mercilessly egged on by President Trump. To see it all unfold, as wave upon wave of Trump-supporting rioters easily breached the barricaded Capitol was simultaneously horrific and expected. Four people died or were killed. Only about 50 arrests were made.
Are you feeling disgusted? Angry? We are, for namely two reasons:
1. The continued instigation and approval of violence by our sitting President and his supporters and …
2. The lack of control, police presence and, well, security and protection, especially compared to how Black Lives Matter protests were handled by law enforcement in the same space only months earlier.
This was just a confirmation of what so many have known all along and still more have been more recently learned. Democratic processes (like elections) have been flouted by this administration at every turn. And, there are two vastly different worlds in which white people and Black (and Brown) people live.
When a large women-led civil disobedience protest, organized by activist Linda Sarsour, occurred in June of 2019 to protest family separation and the administration’s zero tolerance policy, the response was also very different. “Capitol Police arrested over 600 women for staging a sit-in the Senate Hart Office Building,” writes Linda
. “No breaking windows. No violence. No breaching Senate Chambers. Let that sink in.”
White privilege is very much real, and this country is founded in violence. We have many wonderful foundational principles and ideals, but we also have a violent, dark and subjugating past, present and future running through everything. As Melanie writes here
, “Yesterday was an abominable desecration … Make no mistake about it. The intent behind yesterday’s attack on the Capitol was to undermine our institutions and incite fear.
“But we do not fear people. And while vigilance is always necessary, we’ve made it too far in this country to keep our heads down now. As Muslims, we recognize the injustices at play as it relates to white privilege and abuse of power we witnessed yesterday and everyday. We fight for the oppressed and stand firmly for justice, as Allah (S) has commanded each of us to do.”
Our work to fight against injustice continues, however we can do it – whether with our actions, our tongue (speech) or our hearts (thoughts). We want to encourage you to say a prayer of protection
for yourself, your family, our communities, our Ummah
and humanity at large.
As noted in this list of prayers for protection from the Yaqeen Institute
, the Prophet Muhammad (S) in the following du’a
asked for well-being (ʿāfiyah
), which means to be free of illnesses and afflictions. “ʿĀfiyahis much more than physical health. It includes spiritual, emotional, and social dimensions of well-being. ʿĀfiyah is so important that the Prophet (S) asked for it twice in this du’a:
llāhumma innī asʾaluka al-ʿāfiyah fī al-dunyá wa-al-ākhirah allāhumma innī asʾaluka al-ʿafwah wa-al-ʿāfiyah fī dīnī wa-dunyāya wa-ahlī wa-mālī allāhumma ustur ʿawrātī wa-āmin rawʿātī allāhumma iḥfaẓnī min bayni yadayya wa-min khalfī wa-ʿan yamīnī wa-ʿan shimālī wa-min fawqī wa-aʿūdhu bi-ʿaẓamatika an ughtāla min taḥtī.
Translation: O Allah, I ask You for well-being in this world and the Hereafter. O Allah, I ask You for pardon and well-being in my religion, my worldly affairs, my family and my property. O Allah, conceal my faults and keep me safe from what I fear. O Allah, guard me from in front of me and behind me, on my right and on my left, and from above me. And I seek refuge in Your Magnificence from being swallowed up from beneath me. [Abū Dāwud and Ibn Mājah]
As we continue to enjoy good and forbid evil, may we be protected. May we stand up for those who are oppressed and continue to be vigilant, strong, open, loving and steadfast in the months to come.