Amidst the hustle and bustle of this duniya, I stumbled upon a great parallel between the story of a Prophet and the hardships we are seeing Muslims faced with today. The story of Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) is one that is outlined in both the Bible and the Quran. It is a multi-faceted tale with many lessons to be derived. The account of the life of Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) outlined in the Quran deals with issues of patience, trust, vengeance, jealousy and lust.
Although multiple parallels could be drawn between our lives and the issues that Yusuf (peace be upon him) faced, the one point of comparison I would like to delve into, is his patience and trust in Allah (swt) when he was unjustly imprisoned for nine years. After facing deceit from his brothers, he faced false accusations from a married woman who was in love with him. The Quran goes through the years of hardship Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) faced while in prison, and illustrates how he interpreted dreams of fellow prisoners. His virtue and patience eventually proved his innocence, and when he was released he did not seek revenge, but instead offered solutions to the problems his oppressors faced. He gave unconditional help without expecting reciprocation. The same society that oppressed him was the same nation that he helped and supported because he was now a resident of that country.
This holds a strong message of citizenship and it shows that we, as Muslims should be doing good deeds without expectation of reward and despite how you believe the other perceives you. One must expect reward from Allah (swt) in this duniya and in the hereafter, but while we are in this duniya, our job must be to be the best that we can be and aim towards bettering humanity. This does not mean that we should withstand injustice and be passive, but rather it means that we stand up for our rights where we feel we are being wronged, and we work towards building a greater whole.
We need to be conscious of the fact that we represent Islam in Canada (and other non-Muslim nations worldwide)—albeit as ethnic minorities, but as respectful and important integrals of society. Furthermore, we often forget that the Quran is not just a Holy Book that is meant to be read in Arabic, but should also be understood, internalized and seen as a guide to our way of life.