My Speech At the 9/11 Memorial service.

In these turbulent times of Islamophobia, I am pleased that I am asked to say a few words, a small prayer perhaps, or offer a humble supplication today.

In case you are wondering, yes I am a Muslim, and my religion is Islam. These thoughts that I share with you are my personal thoughts. To some, Islam is a violent religion with a code of rules and regulations. But to those who understand, it is perfect vision of life.

In 2001 we saw this vision of our perfect lives crumble as we watched the skies and the ground and the unending smoke and debris from the felled towers. Our souls were fractured. Souls that were Muslims, and Christians and Jews. In one single sweep, the violence had silenced us and stunned us. The grief, fear and anger came later.

We were the United! We were the part and parcel of this beautiful united nation. Now we are thrown into a Them and Us category. This difference between them and us has to be erased, so we can claim the unity of the United. This will bring about peace and mend the torn tapestry of our souls. We need to build bridges, not walls that would separate the united us!

I pray that the grief and sorrow that we have felt, and the fear that we have seen in the eyes of people will be a distant memory.

At this time I ask you to remember that Islam is not a violent religion; nor was it responsible for the tragedy on September 11th 2001. It was the reprehensible and mean act of a few misguided men who called themselves Muslims, who by their sinister act, held a great religion as hostage.

I end with a prayer— Most Merciful and Compassionate God, bless this Nation, this state and this city and all the people who have sacrificed their time and lives on this day sixteen years ago.

Ya Allah, You have told us that we would have killed the entire humanity if we were to kill one innocent person, Ya Allah therefore, comfort and heal this nation as our wounds continue to bleed.

Ehdi nas siratul mustaqeem wo siratul lazeena unamta alyihim, ghyril maghdubi alyhim waladdaalin. Ameen.
{translation} Ya Allah, Guide us to the straight path. The path of those you have favored, not of those who have incurred your anger or those who have gone astray. Ameen.

After the program was over a photographer came over and said, “Oh Dr. Ali, I couldn’t take your photo while you were speaking. I was mesmerized by what you were saying and I totally missed the opportunity of taking the photo.” So she made me go back to the podium and stand there and took my picture. Another lady came up and said, “I wanted to give you a standing ovation, but I didn’t want to embarrass the others! your speech was outstanding!”

I don’t know about all this praise, and I shall take it with a grain of salt, but I think overall, it was well received, and i was congratulated by the police force, the Fire department, the Veterans and a host of others. There were some university students who came and shook my hand with just a “Thank You”, and didn’t want to let go of my hand! That was sweet!


About Zakiah

I write poetry and some fiction, have a book that was published in 2012. . . Stray Thoughts/Winged Words. I have four grandchildren, ages 16 and half to almost 16 months. I love the ocean, and grew up along the Indian Ocean in South India. I am a retired physician. Don't know much else to say. Thanks for reading. That has been my profile for so many years. My daughter Saadia a great poet and story teller, has two sons; the oldest grandson is now 21 years old, doing architectural engineering at Missouri S&T in Rolla MO. His younger brother is almost 16 and taking driving lessons seriously and is in High School. The other two grandsons, children of my son Sayeed, are 9 and 5. I have recently published another book titled Gulistan, A home of Flowers. It has stories and memories of my childhood and of a distant land which I still consider as my HOME., even though I have lived here in the US for more than fifty years. Hope to see you on my blog.
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9 Responses to My Speech At the 9/11 Memorial service.

  1. murisopsis says:

    Your words, written with a keen intellect and spoken with sincerity have the power to move souls closer to God. I can understand the student’s desire to hold onto your hand and not to let go! Thanks for sharing this with the WP community!!

  2. slmret says:

    Zakiah — this is a beautiful statement, and well deserves the praise you received!

  3. iampeacenow says:

    Your words are so beautiful and wise. I am glad you were able to share this with so many and have your words and your prayer so well received. How wonderful it would be to build bridges! peace always to you

  4. You told very well what must be told, Zakiah
    Love ❤

  5. Evil likes to create divisions in society. I think it preys on those who are angry, suspicious and scare. I know you’ve always stood firm against hatred and evil. Thank you for that.

    I sometimes wonder why people have such closed minds. Maybe they fear truth?

  6. Tree says:

    You are a wonderful advocate for your religion, and for worldwide peace. I hope we all learn to be more accepting.

  7. How wonderful!
    Thank you for sharing at such an important event, SweetZ!
    Your words are wise and needed to be heard! Yes, building bridges! I’m glad your words and prayer were so well received! 🙂
    People need to be educated and informed…so many are so ignorant and close-minded these days. 😦
    (((HUGS))) and ❤

  8. Absolutely deserved the praise you received. I am so glad you shared your speech with us. You are wise.
    I think (unfortunately) every religion comes w/those who misuse it and are misguided.
    9-11 always hurts my heart…so many died…so many heroes…so many broken…so many lessons. I hope we will remember and truly learn the lesson of being united.
    Love and hugs.

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