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Home » 3 Faiths Together

THE LEGACY OF DR. KING

18 January 2018 No Comment

THE LEGACY OF DR. KING
Imam Dr. Zijad Delic (Ottawa on MLK Day)

We learn the hard way from our distant past and current history, as well as our present time, that freedom is not for free. The use of freedom requires unique people – people of vision, effort and self-sacrifice. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was an exceptional role model. Dr. King was a different kind of king. He was not a fairy-tale king. He was real! He left a lasting legacy in his short life of 39 years – the legacy of a leader who cared for everyone and for this world. He was a King with the vision, dreams and courage.
His vision was to fight for a depth of equality which means acceptance and respect not tolerance and accommodation), His vision of equality crossed boundaries of race, gender, geography, social status, language and faith..
His dreams were that his children and the children of the world would not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character. Unfortunately, the paradox of our time in history is that we are too long on quantity but very short on quality, especially quality of character…today, character is shrinking.
His courage was to stand up against injustice with non-violence and even if it were a dangerous path for him at the time; he accepted to do it. He sacrificed his own life so that generations after him could live freely and be equal.
Our parents and our faith traditions teach us that human beings are equal. They also teach us that there are things in life that are not and cannot be equal and that cannot be compared.
Good and evil are not equal! Love and hate are not equal! Light and darkness are not equal! Justice and injustice are not equal! …and they cannot be compared. ble.
Our parents and faith traditions taught us that good, love, light and justice are above evil, hate, darkness and injustice!
Muslim faith tradition guides us that “good and evil are not equal and that we need to repel with what is better since that attitude could change even the heart of an enemy and make him or her a friend” (Qur’an 31:34). Muslims are guided to realize that “human beings must love each other and not for the sake of personal interests but for the sake of us being brothers and sisters…for the sake of our Creator” (Statement of Muhammad). In Muslim tradition, justice is called light. Indeed, when there is no justice, darkness is present. That is why in Muslim faith, justice is a measure of our success as a society. Justice must be presented even if it is “against ourselves, our family, and our relatives” (Qur’an 4:135). The Qur’an command that we “be just” because “being just is closest to being pious” (Qur’an 5:8)
Let us all pray in the light of Dr. King’s legacy and my faith tradition as I understand it here and now:
Our Lord:
We are grateful for the many blessings we enjoy in our great nation.
Our Lord: We humbly beg of You to continue blessing us with the essentials of strong faith, pure heart and good character.
Our Lord: Strengthen our character and help us be the change that we seek to see in the world.
Our Lord: Help us to understand that acceptance of others and respect for our differences is the sign of meaningful faith and the highest level of strength and that the desire to revenge is the first sign of weakness of faith and character.
Our Lord: Help us realize that hatred paralyzes life and that love enhances it; help us realize that hatred confuses life and that love harmonizes it; help us realize that hatred darkens life and that love illuminates it.
Our Lord: Help us that we do not let anyone pull us low enough so to hate him or her.
Our Lord: Help us build dikes of courage to hold back the flood of fear!
Our Lord: If we forget you, please do not forget us — Ameen!

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