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Faatimah and the Muslim Golden Rule
This is part of one of the stories, True Believers, on my fifth CD,
Learning about Muslims.
Did you know that many religions
have a Golden Rule?
The Muslim Golden Rule is: None of you truly believes until you wish for
your brother what you wish for yourself.
Here’s a story of a woman
who followed this Golden Rule.
In July 2015, 9 people were shot
and killed in the Emanuel African Methodist
Episcopal Church in Charleston, South
Carolina. Subsequently several Black Christian churches were burned to
the ground. When a church is destroyed, that community no longer has a place to
gather, just at a time when they most need to be together. And it takes such a
long time to raise the money to rebuild a church.
In response to these church burnings, a 23 year old Muslim
theology student from Brooklyn, Faatimah Knight, started an online fundraiser
called Rebuild With Love. She wanted to raise $10,000 to help rebuild
these Christian churches.
Faatimah wrote on
the fundraising page: “All houses of worship are sacred. They must be rebuilt
and you can help.”
However, when her goal was met and surpassed within the first 12
hours, Faatimah was astounded. She thought, “If $10,000 was raised in 12
hours, what’s a better goal to set for this entire month? How high do I dare
go?” This was the type of online fundraiser where you had to reach your goal
to receive any contributions. Faatimah decided to increase the target to
When that was met in less than two weeks, Faatimah again agonized
over a higher goal, and then increased the goal to $100,000. The campaign ran
through the month of Ramadan, a traditional time for Muslims to give to
charities. Charity is one of the five pillars of Islam. In the end, over
$100,000 was raised by 2,000 donors.
Faatimah later said, “I
created the fundraiser
to give hope in a time of fear, and
to show up for those who have suffered injustice.”
I kept on remembering what
Faatimah had said: “to give hope in a time of
fear, and to show up for those who have suffered injustice.” Aren’t those
course, if you have donated your time or money or clothing in response to some
disaster, you too have given hope in a time of fear, and shown up for those who
have suffered injustice.
phrases kept on repeating in my head, as well as what Faatimah had written on
the fundraising page: “All houses of worship are sacred. They must be
rebuilt and you can help.”
I finally realized
that those phrases were a different way of expressing the Muslim Golden Rule:
None of you truly
believes until you wish for your brother what you wish for yourself.
However Faatimah did more than
wish – she acted.
Copyright 2017 by Kathryn Eike Dudding. All Rights Reserved.