The 2016 Presidential Election
In light of recent events, namely the results of the 2016 presidential election, it is our responsibility to process and discuss what has happened. We find that today, the morning of the 9th of November, many of us are in shock, and afraid after witnessing what has happened. After so many months of hearing hurtful rhetoric, to be presented the possibility that some of those words may now, in fact, be put into actions, it would be impossible not to be afraid. However, today is a day we must come together in hope and not feed the fear that may be generating. What happens to every one of us is not in the hands of an individual, but it is, and always has been, in the hands of Allah. We do not know what will happen in the future and it is our responsibility as Muslims to put our trust in Allah. We should also take this opportunity to remind ourselves of the timeless wisdom Allah gave us through his words in the Qur`an: “And it may very well be that you love something, and it is[actually] bad for you; and it may very well be that you detest something, and it is [actually] good for you. And Allah knows, and you do not know” (2:216). That is first and foremost.
As for our civic responsibility as Muslims and Americans, though we may be tempted to fall prey to the fear that the nation, as we know it, will no longer be the same, we must realize that the American Constitution, signed in September 1787, is a system that has now been in place for more than 200 years. One man being elected will not change that. In fact, it is through this very election that we see the power of the average citizen, and the influence that we, as people, can exert on our government. It is the very nature of this system, and we must not forget that. This means that while we should not be afraid or fear the worst, we should also realize that our duty as citizens does not stop at the election. Innate in our constitution is the ability, and, more importantly, the responsibility to hold our elected officials responsible for our best interests as a nation of citizens. Today nearly half the people who went to the polls of our country did not vote for Donald Trump, and that means as we move forward we must make sure the voices of that half are heard in the decisions of this country. So, as you sit this morning, in class, at home, or wherever you are, attempting to digest this news, know that there is no need to be afraid or scared. The election of Donald Trump as the next US president, though not ideal because of the ideas that he may be coming into the oval office with, is not the end of the world. He has to work in the same system as the 44 men before him. The same system that held those men responsible for the betterment of all people in America, and that will hold him responsible as well.
Lastly, remember to increase your interaction, and strengthen your bond, with Allah. He is the One who will not desert you when you need Him, will not turn away from you when you call upon Him, and will not draw away from you when you try to draw near to Him:
“And my worshipping servant asks you [oh Muhammad (Peace and Blessings be upon him)] about Me, then [oh my worshipping servant], without even the smallest amount of doubt, I am near; I respond to the call of the caller when he/she calls upon Me, so let them answer My call and believe in Me so that they may be rightly guided.” (2:186)
Ahmed Malik, Muslim Chaplain and MSA Advisor
Ibrahim Malik, Assistant Muslim Chaplain