APM: Reciprocity, Being Maligned, and Lend Your Voice
On 28/06/2024 | 0 Comments
sent by Zaahied Sallie



People generally respond in kind, but we should not desire it. Expecting reciprocal courtesies undermines any charitable act we do. We should not feel entitled to reciprocation but show gratitude when extended, for it connects us to our spirituality when we do. The entitlement position is of the material world, and just like the ephemeral, it withers.

Judging others based on their reciprocity towards us is blameworthy.

I have certainly been guilty of lamenting the lack of thanksgiving, and I’ve heard the same lament from others, too.

We often bemoan when people do not return our greetings or fail to acknowledge our road civility or our smiles are met by walls and a million other variations.

This craving for thanks and recognition of our deeds is an unspiritual state which tethers us to the material world.

Every good we put forth should be liwajhi Allah—only for the sake of God: ‘They give food to the poor, the orphan, and the captive, though they love it themselves. Saying, “We feed you for the sake of God alone: We seek neither recompense nor thanks from you”‘ [76:8-9].

We should make anonymity the province of our charity, even to ourselves. The idea is to forget the good we do so that we continue to do more and not abate because we may think we’ve done enough.

But when we are the recipients of another’s beneficence, we are dutybound to reciprocate. We do not expect from others, but we do demand from ourselves.

So, do good, show love, be kind and generous, regardless. If we’re sincere, God will recognise us.

And God is sufficient for our needs.

The Prophet (s)


Many people get maligned. And none more so than God’s prophets.

The Prophet Muhammad (s) suffered libel of the worst kind through a systematic attack by the pagan Quraysh to discredit him and his message. They called him a liar, a madman, a sorcerer, a mad poet, and a soothsayer.

Smear campaigns thrive because society fails to hold maligners to a rigorous standard of truth rooted in proof.  

Verifying reports is a Quranic injunction: ‘Say, ‘”Produce your evidence if you are telling the truth”‘ [2:111].

Accepting a narrative without corroborating it with actual proof makes us complicit, and liars too.

Today, mainstream media outlets are probably the most effective smear campaigners. Not only do they comfortably disseminate lies, but they also lie through omission.

The omission of critical information is an effective tactic the media employs to obscure the truth and convey a story that supports its agendas.

One recent example was CNN’s coverage of the pro-Palestinian and pro-Zionist clashes outside a Jewish synagogue in Los Angeles on Sunday, 23 June. The media portrayed it as a pro-Palestinian antisemitic attack on the synagogue.

Even President Biden weighed in on X, “I’m appalled by the scenes outside of Adas Torah synagogue in Los Angeles. Intimidating Jewish congregants is dangerous, unconscionable, antisemitic, and un-American. Americans have a right to peaceful protest. But blocking access to a house of worship—and engaging in violence—is never acceptable.”

But missing from many CNN segments and the President’s tweet was the actual reason for the protest. If not missing, they treated it as a side note.

Adas Torah synagogue was hosting “My Home”, an Israeli-based real estate agency promoting the illegal sale of homes in the Palestinian Occupied territories.

By hosting the event and promoting the illegal sale of occupied land, the synagogue violated international law. This fact should have been at the story’s centre and the reported reason for the protest.

Through the deliberate omission of critical facts, the media discredited the pro-Palestinian protesters and smeared them as antisemitic.

What should have been a report of a synagogue involved in illegal transactions was misrepresented as violence against Jewish people.


  1. Quran, 68:51, 21:5, 38:4, 52:29, 37:36 and 15:6

Lend Your Voice

“A colonised people is not alone. In spite of all that colonialism can do, its frontiers remain open to new ideas and echoes from the world outside.”

The above quote from The Wretched of the Earth belongs to its author, Frantz Fanon. The Wretched of the Earth is a seminal work in decolonial theory and inspired revolutionaries such as Steve Biko, Malcolm X and Che Guevera.

Fanon was a subject of colonial French Martinique. He became a revolutionary, psychiatrist, philosopher and author and joined the Algerian liberation struggle against the French in 1956.

His words expose the fragility of colonialism and offer hope to the people of conscience outside the system who are in solidarity with the subjugated.

But Fanon’s quote also poses an indirect question: has your voice echoed and penetrated colonial frontiers, or do you remain indifferent to the suffering of others?

We scramble for badges of honour, and should we be seeking one, the Fard al-waqt—priority of the current moment, demands it be that of Anti-Zionist.

Until next week, InshaAllah

Zaahied Sallie

Author of The Beloved Prophet – An Illustrated Biography in Rhyme

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