Friday, December 09, 2005

Quest for Redemption

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Allah accepts the repentance of those who do evil in ignorance and repent soon afterwards; to them will Allah turn in mercy: For Allah is full of knowledge and wisdom. (Al-Qur'an 4:17)

When those come to thee who believe in Our signs, Say: "Peace be on you: Your Lord hath inscribed for Himself (the rule of) mercy: verily, if any of you did evil in ignorance, and thereafter repented, and amend (his conduct), lo! He is Oft- forgiving, Most Merciful. (Al-Quran 6:53)

Quest for Redemption

By Amani Jabbar-Esa

Human beings are flawed. This fact isn't the revelation of the century. Humans make errors, while Allah is incapable of fault. Allah knows that better than any human being can. This is why Allah gave us laws to govern our lives by. Allah's (God's) laws are clear and without fault, while human laws (just like humans themselves) are imperfect.The death penalty is an example of man’s attempt to punishment those who are believed to have committed heinous crimes. I suppose the rationale behind the death penalty is that those who commit these crimes have no right to live.The problem with the death penalty is that it is by no means evenhanded. More minorities are sentenced to death than whites. Black, Hispanic and Asians are greatly over represented on death row. According to the A.N.S.W.E.R Coalition, “Since the death penalty was reinstated in the 1980's, 40% of those executed have been African American. Prior to that, over 50% were African American.”[1]

The race and class of the victim also plays a role in whether or not the death penalty is used. The A.N.S.W.E.R Coalition also states that, “While African Americans are six times more likely to be murdered in California than whites, when the victim of a homicide is white, the perpetrator is at least four times more likely to get the death penalty than if the victim is a person of color.”

Additionally, many people are sentenced to deaths who have not committed the crime which they were convicted of. One such example is the case of Earl Washington. In 2000, Earl Washington, who was originally convicted of rape and murder, was granted clemency based on DNA evidence. This was after Washington had spent 16 years in prison.

And, of course, human laws do not take into account that people can, and do, repent and change. Allah says in the Holy Qur’an, “Allah accepts the repentance of those who do evil in ignorance and repent soon afterwards; to them will Allah turn in mercy: For Allah is full of knowledge and wisdom. (Al-Qur'an 4:17).” Throughout the Qur’an we are reminded of Allah’s supreme mercy. If a person commits a sin, and later repents with a pure heart, Allah will have mercy on him/her in the hereafter. Allah(swt)’s laws are free of flaws, and they leave room for change in a person’s heart, while man-made laws do not.Stan Tookie Williams is a prime example of a man who may have committed crimes in the past, but has also spent many years of his life attempting to right his many wrongs. In 1971, Williams co-founded the Los Angeles Crips. The Crips are one of the most notorious street gangs in the L.A area.

In 1981, Williams was convicted of murdering four people during two robberies, and was sentenced to death row in San Quentin State Prison. Williams has adamantly declared his innocence since his conviction. There has also been much controversy surrounding the fairness of his trial.

Since his conviction, Stan Williams has worked for years to end gang violence. He has written nine highly-acclaimed children’s books that warn young people about the dangers of gang violence. Williams has also founded organizations, such as Project for Street Peace, that attempt to deter youths from lives of crime. He has been nominated numerous times for the Nobel Peace and Literature prizes. He has written an autobiography, Blue Rage, Black Redemption, which has been nominated for a James Madison Book Award.

However, as I said before, man's laws are flawed. So, the last twenty years of Stan Williams’s life don't matter. What matters is a crime that he may, or may not have, committed nearly twenty-five years ago. Williams will likely be put to death on the evening of December 12, 2005. If I could speak with Stan Williams I would share the above verses of Qur'an with him, and remind him that only Allah (swt) can judge what is in the heart of man. HE accepts our repentance, when man does not.

For more information about Stan Tookie Williams and his clemency hearings visit these resources:


By Amani Jabbar-Esa


Blogger Aiman said...

Thanks for this enlightening article, which shows how flowed the human system of justice is. Human failings are often reflected in their justice it seems.

5:15 AM, December 11, 2005  
Blogger Talibah said...

im a 23 year old muslimah living in atlanta. please contact me if you need support. i can get you connected with some more cool sisters in the area. my email is

2:13 PM, December 11, 2005  
Blogger rozas said...

Hello! u tagged me over at my blog! So, here I am paying you a visit!
So you are expecting your first child? Its so cool that you do not want to know the gender but how do you prepare for the baby then? Neutral colors? :)

8:14 PM, December 11, 2005  
Blogger Amani said...

Rozas--Yes nuetral colors...lots of yellow, cream, and sage green

8:45 PM, December 11, 2005  
Blogger Rym said...

Salaam sister Amani

MashaAllah, I enjoyed your writing in this blog. I have a dear friend who's also expecting her first baby by the end of this month and she chose not to know the gender as well..but I wanted to know! :)

InshaAllah everything will go well for you, and do continue to enlighten us with your writing :)

I'm also interested in knowing about your experience as a student in the MFA in Creative Writing.

Fi amanillah

2:31 PM, December 12, 2005  
Blogger Alauddin said...

Full text of Khamenei message to World of Islam

Thursday, August 03, 2006 - ©2005

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LONDON, August 3 (IranMania) - According to an IRNA report, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei condemned the tragic disaster at the Lebanese village of Qana and the silence of UN and the so-called supporters of human rights on the 'Zionist' regime's crimes in Lebanon.

In his message to the World of Islam, the Supreme Leader said, "The events in Lebanon have exposed the true nature of American human rights, and have revealed the kind of Middle East the American government intends to have."

The following is the full text of the message sent by the Supreme Leader to the world of Islam:

In the Name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate
"The tragic disaster in Qana has made our hearts sated with pain and grief. It has made us and other Muslims as well as all freedom-loving peoples of the world grief-stricken and angry.

"Why and for what reason the lives of those innocent children, those fragile and exhausted bodies, and the small and frightened hearts ended in such a cruel manner?

"Why were the distressed hearts of their mothers and fathers so cruelly wounded by the bloodthirsty 'Zionists' and their bigheaded and arrogant American supporters?

"What is the logic and rationale behind twenty days of relentless bombing of Lebanon, twenty days of atrocities on a massive scale, destruction of nation and killing of its civilian population, and the disaster such as the massacre in Qana, to make the world that claims to be civilized, the United Nations, governments and organizations that profess to be advocates of human rights to remain callously cold and uninterested?

"How long should the Islamic world tolerate existence of the scheming and evil 'Zionist' regime? How long should the Islamic government allow aggressive and arrogant America to have a free hand in this sensitive part of the world?

"The events in Lebanon have exposed the true nature of American human rights and have revealed the kind of Middle East the American government intends to have.

"Today it has become clear to all that attack on Lebanon was premediated and part of a joint American-'Zionist' stratagem and is a major step toward domination over the Middle East and the Islamic World.

"Bush and his American cohorts share the same degree of guilt in the disasters brought upon Lebanon as the evil and wicked 'Zionist' regime. And the silence of the United Nations and many of the western governments and above all the support by some governments, such as the notorious British

government, make them accountable and partners in crime in varying degrees in contemporary and future judgment of humanity and in the day of reckoning and divine judgment day.

"More than ever before the Muslim nations loathe America. Their governments, even those that are constrained because of political considerations, loathe and oppose the American government because of so much outrageous and arrogant aggressions. The American regime must expect a hard slap on the face and the crushing fist of Muslim ummah because of its support for the crimes and the 'Zionist' criminals and its blatant violation of the rights of Muslim nations.

"The resistance of the people of Lebanon and the heroic struggles of Hizbollah and power arising from their faith, endurance and trust in God is another sign of awakening in the Islamic world and a mark of their firm resolve against animosities and hostilities. The iron fist of the faithful, brave and innocent youth of Lebanon has landed on the hideous face of the aggressors and has broken the glassy shield of their conceited and drunken vanity.

"The strategic policy of America in the Middle East is premised upon creating crisis, tension and wars. They must understand that as they expand the circle of insecurity in the region, the nations will become angrier at them and the world will be less safe for them.

The aggressive behavior of American and Israel will revitalize more than ever the spirit of resistance in the Islamic world and will make clearer the value of Jihad.

"The Islamic world and the Muslim youth in all Islamic nations should also realize that the only way to stand against the savage Wolf of Zionism and the aggressions of the Great Satan is by dedicated resistance.

"Surrender and capitulation before the reckless and scheming American government will only add to their greed and blatant defiance and make things harder for the nations.

"If Lebanon had caved in and surrendered to the aggressions of the 'Zionists', and if the combatant youth of Hizbullah and the innocent people of southern Lebanon had chosen not to put their lives on the line in this sacred defense, long-lasting humiliation and suffering would have threatened the

entire nation of Lebanon and rest of the region would have been embroiled as part of the aftermath of these aggressive attacks.

"Today Hizbullah is on the frontline of the sacred defense of the Muslim ummah and all nations of the region.

"To the 'Zionist' enemy, religion, faith, mosque, church, Shiite and Sunnis make no difference. It is a racist, aggressor and brutal regime. If it sees anything on its way, it will spare no crime and show no mercy toward any group or nations. The nations of the region, all Islamic sects and followers of different faiths in Lebanon and in all Islamic countries must join hands and not allow their division to be a source of strength for the enemy.

"The Islamic Iran regards it its duty to stand against bullying and aggressions of America and the evil designs of the 'Zionist' regime. We will stand by all oppressed nations, especially the beloved people of Lebanon and the combatant nation of Palestine.

"America is practically a partner in the heinous crimes committed in Lebanon by its open support for the killing of civilian population of Lebanon, opposition to ceasefire and by providing armaments, financial assistance and political support to the 'Zionist' aggressors. It is now intending to impose added tyranny on the people and government of Lebanon by imposing its own conditions.

"Without any doubt, the resistant nations and those brave combatants will not succumb to this tyranny and will choose their way only on the basis of their interests.

"I offer my condolences to the dear people, the tireless mojaheds and the political leadership of Lebanon on the sufferings brought upon the people, specially the great disaster on Qana, and declare the sympathy of the great Iranian nation with them.

"Greetings to the people of Lebanon, salutation to the victorious Hizbollah, and hail to the brave and faithful Arab leader, Seyed Hassan Nasrollah.

"So patiently preserve: for verily the promise of God is true:
nor let those shake thy firmness, who have (themselves) no certainty of faith (Sura 30, Verse 60)."

6:27 AM, August 03, 2006  

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