Tuesday, January 26, 2021
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Can We Mourn for Chadwick Boseman as a Muslim?

I’m a bit late to join the discussion, but this became sensational, and Muslims worldwide started wondering whether we can mourn for Chadwick as Muslims. Well, I don’t find any reasons why we cannot. At the end of the day, we are all humans, and mourning for someone doesn’t make you less Muslim. Also,

The Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) said:

“It is unworthy of a Mu’min [a person with faith] to injure people’s reputations, and it is unworthy to curse anyone, and it is unworthy to abuse anyone, and it is unworthy of a Mu’min to talk arrogantly.”

If you don’t find the act of mourning appropriate, you can choose to stay out of it. But it is essential not to hurt the ones who want to mourn. Besides, debating on whether to mourn or not over someone’s death seems a bit inhumane and insensitive.

Anyway, let’s take another dimension from this topic. One can derive many insights from Chadwick Boseman’s death so let’s look at them from an Islamic perspective.

Chadwick Boseman- The Marvel Superhero

He was only 43 years when cancer took him away after letting him battle for four years. This renowned actor was known for his Black Panther role that won millions of hearts worldwide. His power in representing marveled everyone because he was so good at it.

Black children found inspiration and role models through the fictional characters Chadwick played. His characters were strong and determined to set the right lessons for the kids to look up to.

However, the Muslim community’s response to Chadwick’s death was quite different. For some, mourning for his death was outright wrong, whereas the rest considered it a nudge to understand what’s happening around.

I belong to the latter, and I’m going to cover the insights we can derive from Chadwick’s loss.

1. Death is inevitable

His eternal rest is a reminder for us. That doesn’t mean there weren’t any other deaths that reminded us of our own. The reason why Chadwick Boseman’s death hit different was his accomplishment, social standards, and wealth. Regardless of your possessions, you’ll leave the world with only good deeds and character that you built. From Allah, do we come and unto Him is our return. We have no say in when and how it’s going to happen.  

Surah AL’Imran, verse 185:

“Every self will taste death. You will be paid your wages in full on the Day of Resurrection. Anyone who is distanced from the fire and admitted to the garden has triumphed. The life of the world is just the enjoyment of delusions”. [3:185]

Chadwick’s leave-taking hit hard because it was sudden. When thinking about it, people realize that death is inevitable. It’s a reminder that we too shall pass one day.

2. Look at the brighter side in all possible circumstances

In Chadwick’s words, “the struggles along the way are meant to shape you for your purpose.” It’s your turn to define your purpose and work for it. Some of the Muslims I’ve associated with are indolent and hardly utilize what Allah (SWT) has blessed them with.

Of course, worldly life is temporary, but that doesn’t give you the right to live your life in a good-for-nothing way. You must focus on leading a meaningful life that benefits yourself, community, and the world.  

He spread positivity regardless of the disease that was killing him. It shows the courage he accumulated through hardships. It is certain that after every hardship, there’s comfort. He turned the most challenging problem into a more significant opportunity to work harder and gain what he desired.  

But this doesn’t mean regardless of what you are going through, and you have to act in movies or write books. You don’t have to follow someone else’s path; instead, you have to focus on evaluating your capabilities and work for it.

It can be anything from personal development to career enhancement. Learn to see the brighter side of difficult circumstances.

3. Focus on the 70

Unfortunately, the majority of netizens are proudly engaged in body shaming, colorism, and whatnot! It’s hard for people to get away with harassments on social media, and Chadwick Boseman wasn’t an exception. He was attacked and trolled for his appearance, and I cannot imagine what he went through while fighting cancer. It’s super easy to make terrible judgments, but it takes thoughts, understanding, and time to feel what other people go through.

Don’t wait until someone passes away to react affectionately. Be kind to people, naturally. Think whether you really need to comment such and such. What would happen if you don’t comment at all? Wouldn’t it better than saying negative comments? People are fighting their own battles, don’t make it harder for them.

Another important insight is to spread compassion. This is exactly what Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) taught his community, and we are forgetting or ignoring it. You and I can definitely be compassionate for no particular reason.

As Islam suggests, we should make 70 excuses, 70 thinking, and 70 reasons before passing on comments or judgments on another person’s appearance or character. This basically says that we should altogether avoid making judgments.

4. Use your talents that Allah blessed you with

Chadwick Boseman made the world a better place as much he could through his marvel series. Although he was ill, he still utilized his talents to brighten up the lives of many people. This doesn’t mean you should over expect or taunt the sick. Instead, let them do what’s possible.

Utilizing your talent means you are offering your gratitude to the Lord, who blessed you with it. If you want to follow the prophet’s teachings, focus on developing yourself and succeeding in what you are good at.

One of the sayings of Chadwick Boseman that attracted most of us is, “Your very existence is wrapped up in the things that you are here to fulfill.”

This is an excellent reminder that we need to keep the purpose of our lives in mind.

5.Treat people with dignity while they are alive

Our lives are short, and the days are numbered. Instead of waiting for people to leave the world, try to appreciate, love, respect, and value them while they are alive. You can’t dream of tomorrow because it’s not promised.

May Allah (SWT) provide ease and comfort for the friends and family of Chadwick Boseman.

 “Every soul shall taste death,” كُلُّ نَفْسٍ ذَآئِقَةُ الْمَوْت (Kullu nafsin zaiqatul mauth)

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