“Muslim Man Gives Needy Bus Rider The Shoes Off His Feet And Walks Home Barefoot — Because There Is Good In The World”
This is the title of an article on the Huffington Post that recently has stirred up quite a frenzy of comments.
Some commentators were moved by the article such that it restored their faith in the goodness of humanity, while others were filled with anger and slung hateful accusations.
The good reactions were because a man gave up his shoes, in kindness.
The hate and anger? Because he was a Muslim.
When I read the article I understand the man’s actions and that his choice to give someone his shoes and walk home barefoot was due to his Islam.
The Quran and the tradition of the Prophet Muhammad readily encourage doing good deeds. We are encouraged to help the needy and downtrodden, to plant vegetation that could provide food for people and animals, to smile and be kind to others, to remove obstacles that could cause harm from the roads*…
Now, that’s not to say someone who is not Muslim would not do the same exact benevolent act. Of course, people from all faiths and with no faith, do good deeds.
Most of the commentators who were offended by the article objected that it was mentioned that this man was Muslim. Some even displayed their own good deeds as proof that you don’t need Islam, or even religion to be kind and care for humanity.
To a Muslim though, I would argue that it’s obvious why his religion was mentioned.
First, and this may be the reason behind the Huffington post’s choice, is because it is true that when a Muslim does an atrocious act, the religion is always mentioned (even though the act is most often unrelated).
If a Christian bombs an abortion clinic, or the World Trade tower, his religion is not overtly mentioned, yet if Muslims do it, (even if they were partaking in prostitutes and alcohol the night before, as was reported about the 9/11 hijackers** – something so far removed from Islam that the Prophet muhammad said that while a Muslim engages in an adulterous act, they are not a believer, and their faith does not return to them unless they repent***)
It is always made known that the perpetrators were Muslim.
I wonder if articles about Muslims doing terrible things ever get so many complaints about the fact their religion was mentioned. I don’t think it happens to the degree it happened here, if at all.
And that’s really not fair, because giving up one’s shoes for a needy person who has none, is directly related to and highly encouraged in Islam, while killing innocent people is strictly forbidden, even during war****.
Let me reiterate: killing civilians- noncombatants- women, children, the elderly, is forbidden to those who believe in Islam, even during war declared between two valid states.
So why is it okay to relate murder and violence with Islam, but not acts of kindness?
Because to a large degree the public mind has begun to relate atrocity, violence, hate and uncivilized behavior with Islam.
For people like me, this is deeply disconcerting. We truly have an uphill struggle when it comes to explaining the truth about Islam when so many people already think they know based on media misrepresentation.
A large portion of comments on this article disregarded the man’s kind act in giving away his own shoes, walking home barefoot in the rain and joked that there must have been bombs in them…. really?
I was so happy to see this article. It’s a relief, a breath of fresh air for those of us who know what Islam really is.
This is the first time that I have seen it actually represented correctly in the media.
You can read the Huffington post article below. I am interested in your thoughts about it as well as the comments.
Below that you’ll find a link discussing the very un-Islamic behavior of the alleged 9/11 hijackers, followed by an article outlining some of the rules of war in Islam. You’ll find that the rules are much more strictly merciful than probably any military that exists today, including our own.
Read the article here:
*Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Prophet said: “Iman (faith) has more than 70 branches. The most excellent among these branches is the saying of “Laa ilaaha ill Allah” (there is no God but The One God), and the smallest branch is to remove an obstacle from the road. And Haya (modesty) is an important branch of Iman.” (Sahih Muslim)
Charity/smiling is charity: http://www.islamawareness.net/Hadith/htopic_charity.html
**9/11 hijackers: http://www.911myths.com/index.php/Atta,_alcohol,_strip_clubs_and_drugs
God’s Apostle said, “When a slave (of God) commits illegal sexual intercourse, he is not a believer at the time of committing it; and if he steals, he is not a believer at the time of stealing; and if he takes intoxicants, he is not a believer at the time of taking it; and he is not a believer when he commits a murder.”‘Ikrima said: I asked Ibn Abbas, “How is faith taken away from him?” He said, Like this,” by clasping his hands and then separating them, and added, “But if he repents, faith returns to him like this,” by clasping his hands again.
**** Military jurisprudence in Islam:
2 thoughts on “Muslim Man Gives Needy Bus Rider The Shoes Off His Feet”
Hi – This is a really interesting post. The points you made about the generally hostile misrepresentation of Muslims are very good ones. Huffington Post is one of the few mainstream media sources that tries to be a bit more fair in its portrayals of Muslims. At least in this case. It would be interesting to do a media survey and examine the treatment of Muslims in the media over a period of time. I don’t know if you remember, we exchanged comments on the wordpress commons. I don’t know if you visited my blog riproarinrants.com – some of the posts may be too controversial for your taste – but as I am developing it … I will have certain categories that resonate with what you believe and practice. One of the posts that may resonate more with you is this one – http://riproarinrants.wordpress.com/2014/08/01/idealism-as-an-evolutionary-impulse/. I have had many Muslim friends, and have had a positive experience with Islam over the years. I know you must be very busy with 5 children – if you ever want to work on a joint project at some point – please feel freem to contact me. If you click on my gravatar – it will take you to my webpage’s email. Blessings to you : )
Hi Lizadeeza. Thanks so much for reading and for your comment. I would love to join you on a project. I will contact you soon regarding that, God willing. I think I did check out your blog before but I will take a look now to be sure. 😉 Do keep in touch, thanks again.