Lower than the animals

“Surely We created man of the best stature.
Then We reduced him to the lowest of the low,
Save those who believe and do good works, and theirs is a reward unfailing.”

Holy Quran – Surah 95, verses 4-6.

Commenting on this verse, scholars of Islam mention that it means that human beings have the capacity to be higher in stature than the angels, but also could become reduced to a state lower than the animals.

Reading the tragic story below – which occurred in Syria recently – this verse came to mind. The perpetrators of this crime – as well as all others who use rape as a weapon of war and oppression – are indeed far lower than an animal could ever be:

“This is a story of a 28-year-old single woman. She was a virgin, like all the single women in our society. It took place in Douma (a suburb of Damascus), where the Republican Guards broke into the three-floor building where she used to reside, entered all the apartments, and took out all the residents.

“They killed the men, eight total, and kept the women. One officer chose this young woman, dragged her by her hair, tearing her headscarf. When her mother tried to help and protect her, [the officers’] guards hit the mother on the head with their rifles and she fell on the ground bleeding. They took the young woman into a room and raped her. All the women outside heard her screams. They started crying and shouting, asking for mercy for the woman and for themselves, but it was in vain.

“When the victim came out of the room, there was blood everywhere. She had been brutally raped multiple times. They took the bodies of the murdered men and threw

them in front of the entrance to the building and left.

“The young woman was in a heartbreaking condition. She was hysterical. Her mom lost her mind when she saw the horrible state of her daughter.”

The dates of the reported rape is unknown. Because Syrian government officials currently refuse to allow access to journalists, researchers, and aid workers, WMC’s Women Under Siege cannot independently verify this report of sexualized violence in Syria.” (Source: https://womenundersiegesyria.crowdmap.com/reports/view/119 )

We may feel helpless about the situations in Syria, Burma, and elsewhere, but the least we can do is pray for the innocent people whose lives are being ruined by the ruthless criminals that perpetrate such acts.

Beyond that, we can speak about it – or help spread awareness about what’s going on.

With that in mind, here are several Facebook groups/pages you can subscribe to to help keep up to date with the events.

Feel free to add your own additions in the comments section – whether it be related to Syria, Burma, Palestine, or anywhere else that rampant oppression and injustice continues to thrive.

Beyond words and spreading awareness, the actions we take are even greater – whether that be through donating to reputable organisations that are assisting the victims, actually trying to go to such places to assist in relief work, or any other well-intentioned action.

It’s always beautiful to see how tragic events – such as 9-11, the tsunami of a few years ago, and now Hurricane Sandy – pull people together and bring the best out of them. Telethons are held, donation drives are publicised, and people really open their hearts, wallets, and hands (via volunteer efforts) to help the victims.

But tragedies worse than all of those events are happening on a daily basis in these troubled regions of the world – so let’s not limit our generosity to the latest popular cause. Hundreds, thousands, and even millions in these places would welcome our efforts.


3 thoughts on “Lower than the animals

  1. JazakAllah Khair for your post and highlighting the atrocities which are happening across the world. It’s funny how you feel helpless in situations like these. It’s worse when these things are happening closer to home. I know someone who was raped in my local area. Her life has never been the same. Neither has it for the family – the repercussions are still there years later. It’s a despicable act and those people who commit the sins should be strung up by their b****. Pardon my French!

    The worst thing is that due to our communities and their way of thinking, these things can never be discussed openly in case it looks bad for the girl. I’m a big believer that justice will prevail for this girl. Maybe not in this lifetime but inshaAllah in the next.

    Once again, jazakAllah khair for your post and reminding us not to forget that this is a collective problem that the whole of our Ummah is responsible for dealing with. Even long after incidents have happened, helping victims is very important. They need just as much support in getting their lives back together.

  2. SI: The fact that there WILL definitely be justice in the Hereafter is something that is comforting and some consolation – given the inhumane actions of criminals like these. They can have all the media spin doctors and poltical power in their hands and fool the masses about what they’re really doing – but there’s no fooling Allah. ANd they may escape justice in this world’s imperfect and sometimes-corrupt judicial systems, but when the ultimate scales of justice are brought forward in the highest courtroom of Allah – Allah’s court – they won’t escape.

    Azra: It’s a brutal story – but I think we sometimes need things like this to slam home the reality of what’s going on. I often feel that Palestine in particular is so badly represented in the media because the focus is so much on politics and the farcical ‘peace process’ – which involves politicians – while the HUMAN stories aren’t given the spotlight, or they’re simply tagged on as an aside. If people could just focus on the human impact of what’s happening and put themselves in the shoes of the victims (whether Israeli victims or Palestinian), I believe there would be much more compassion and progress made in the general population. Those Facebook pages are important because they help share the stories of real humans – and not just tired old news reports about political standoffs.

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