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Meditation, from behind and beyond the bars

On November 12, in prison, I wrote these thoughts. From the inside, for yesterday, for today, for tomorrow

It’s late, it’s dark. Between the four walls of this cell. Silence. I am alone, I am not alone. I see images of my life, of my past. This long road that brought me to prison. Nothing happens by chance. I seek meaning, the lessons.

Growth. For this, one must face the facts; refuse to feel sorry for one’s fate, to accept one’s mistakes without looking for excuses. As the Qur’an says, “O you who bear faith, you are accountable for yourselves” (5/105).

There were old wounds, tears and defeats. There were mistakes, errors. I do not deny anything and nothing justifies them.

I know and understand that some people are troubled, disappointed, and even angry.

Some are inhabited by incomprehension, others treat it as treason. I understand this profoundly and I am sorry and sad.

In going through this ordeal, I returned to the center, inevitably: I was unfair to myself, as the Qur’an states, and the apparent paradox is that the injustice, both judicial and political, that I suffered, finally allowed me to do justice to my heart and to my being, spiritually.

They wanted to stain me through the media, externally; but in reality God offered me cleansing and resilience, internally and intimately.

Some trials are blessings.

This experience is, and will be, my liberation.

I promise you that, insha’Allah, I will come out of it stronger.

For some of you, the challenge is a little different. It is important, with wisdom, to attach oneself to the Message, and not, emotionally, to the person; this is learned through difficulties and life’s suffering. This is how one can forgive and move on.

What does this message tell us today? First we must remember that trials are reminders and spiritually, signs of love.

Then, human beings must beware of any definitive judgment: only God knows the facts and their meaning.

Finally, one must remain upright, refuse injustices, and fight with dignity against lying accusations for one’s innocence, dignity, honor, rights and freedom. To never let that go.

It’s late. Silence. The heart calms down, confidence grows. Prayer. I am alone, I am not alone. We are not alone. Let’s do this!

 

Dr. Tariq Ramadan

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