A couple days ago, my sister came to me venting about the bullying issues at her middle school and how she’s been bullied by a group of girls for the third time this year. It wasn’t news to me because I remember going into her school last year to meet with her counselor and principal about the same group of girls who had been especially mean to her, not just verbally. This time, she seemed to be handling it well by staying grounded, choosing not to be a victim, and using her support system. MashaAllah, she is an extremely resilient girl and has learned not to internalize negative comments from others, but I still don’t know how much it affects her. It’s important not to think of oppression as an exclusive term for outrageous human rights violations; rather, as a term that can apply to various contexts and experiences where a person feels mentally or physically burdened, subdued, or suppressed. Bullying is certainly a form of oppression and I feel we need to do a much better job of addressing its root causes. I shared with her this quote and alhumdulillah, had a great discussion with her on sabr and tawakkul:
Imam al-Shafi`i (rahimahullah) once said: “There’s a verse in the Qur’an that is like an arrow in the heart of every oppressor and at the same time a source of comfort for the heart of the oppressed.”
People asked: “What is it?”
He said: “And never is your Lord forgetful [Surat Maryam: 64].”
T’was also a great opportunity to reflect on Allah’s names and attributes, to know that He is the All-Hearing, Seeing, Knowing, and the closest to His slaves.
Ya Allah, bless our youth with good friends who make them better and keep them away from negative influences. Ya Allah, guide those kids who resort to bullying and help them and their families out of difficult circumstances. Ya Allah, don’t allow discouraging words to get to us and keep our hearts strong so we can accomplish great things by your permission. Ameen.