Umm Sulaim's Thoughts

Thoughts Lead To Appreciation


My thoughts are with the families who lost their loved ones and whose loved ones survived the Connecticut shootings.

The sense of anguish for your loss and the pain that you now experience are natural and perfectly normal. Please do not put a brave face to your feelings, but reach out to those who care for comfort and solace. Please know I care.  Please exercise patience. Patience is not helplessness. Rather, patience is magnificent. [1] In patience, there is recourse, hope and comfort in Allah for to Him Alone should you present your broken heart. [2]

I can imagine the fear and horror your loved ones – children and adults – experienced during those frightening moments. Those would have been the longest minutes ever. Their experiences would be as if the earth despite its vastness all of a sudden had shrunk to constrain them within a narrow inescapable space [3] and their heart had tightened out of shock.

That the massacre took place in a school increases concern and questions over safety.  An academic environment is a place of learning in safety. These shootings have stripped safety from the minds of children and taught them that they can be harmed despite their innocence.

Families who lost their loved ones and survivors of this mayhem and their families need the comfort that our Lord and Cherisher has neither abandoned them nor is He displeased with them. [4] What they went – and are still going – through was unwarranted and was definitely not a Divine punishment.

Although, there is a debate over gun control, which may or may not be part of the solution and may or may not create fresh problems, similar tragedies can be averted in the future when individuals with psychological issues – depression, suicidal thoughts, thoughts of harming others, etc – consult a psychologist.

The massacre and terrorizing of helpless children represent the lowest form of the perpetrator. The consequences of unresolved mental health issues are well reported and documented both in ancient and modern history, the worst of which was the murder of Habil by Qabil, both sons of our ancestor and Prophet Adam. Qabil murdered his own brother out of depression and ended up even more depressed. Murder has never since been the way out of depression.

A similar murder plot was hatched by the brothers of Yusuf who thought a better idea would be to leave him stranded in the middle of the desert at the bottom of a well. If Yusuf did not die of starvation and heat exhaustion he would be picked up by travellers. In effect, Yusuf was sold into slavery by his own brothers. To cover their tracks, Yusuf’s brothers had to become liars; lies which their dad Ya’qub did not buy. Instead of gaining the love of their dad which was the primary motive behind their betrayal of their dad and their brother, they lost their dad’s trust and caused more depression in their family.

As alarming as these consequences are to those closer home, the effects of untreated mental health problems on strangers and those outside the perpetrator’s immediate social circle are beyond explanation. Parents and teachers wonder how and why a family issue spills over on innocent children and adults who played absolutely no role in the psychological disturbance and who were unaware of the existence of such a troubled mind.

The nationwide murder of male children under the Pharoah is worth a mention. Parents looked forward to the growth of their child, only to give birth and watch their child forcefully taken away to be murdered. This is closest to the experiences of the parents who lost their loved ones and the teachers who did their best despite the situation to protect their colleagues and children under their care. Imagine the state of mind of a trusting infant who instead of care receives the executioner’s axe and a child who hears and sees bullets fly past.

Depression and suicidal tendencies are a global problem. However, rarely do they result in the demise of anyone except the mentally ill or at most family members, parents or relatives of the depressed person who assumes his problems are caused by his relatives, whom he might accuse of witchcraft. It is completely incomprehensible that personal problems are imagined to be solved through the murder of family members leave alone strangers, and children at that.

As much as my empathy and compassion extend to individuals who suffer unnecessarily for the negativity of another person, I also extend a warm hand to individuals who acknowledge they need help to cope with the vicissitudes of life.  It is proven that having a healthy social life reduces stress and depression and increases the desire to live an optimal life. In today’s world of technology a good social life is right at the fingertips.

Do not undervalue the effect a good online friend can have on the well-being of your mind. If you wish to talk, do not hesitate to contact me. I care.

[1] Allah’s Words The Qur’an. Surah Yusuf: Aayah 83 (Chapter 12: Verse 83)

[2] –. Surah Yusuf: Aayah 86 

[3] –. Surah At-Taubah: Aayah 25 (Chapter 9: Verse 25)

[4] –. Surah Adh-Dhuhaa: Aayah 3 (Chapter 93: Verse 3)


  1. Evelyn
    December 17, 2012

    The horrific events of Friday have not gone from my mind and I am sure today, many parents either drove their children to school or sent them off by school bus or to walk to school with a tinge of fear and trepidation.
    Murder or attacking the innocent will not rid oneself of self-hate, negative thoughts, depression, anxiety or hate of others……
    Schools are a good place to start with EQ-Emotional intelligence becoming part of the curriculum to teach compassion, empathy, acceptance, feelings-identifying one’s own and others along with community service.
    Mediation from older students with younger students when there is an issue at school to teach much needed social skills and by allowing older kids to be the mediators they develop self-worth, self esteem and learn about leadership qualities.
    Integration between students with physical and mental challenges and so called ‘normal’ kids again teaches acceptance, compassion, empathy and that we are all human.
    We cannot rely on families and parents. Society-it is up to the place where youth spends between 6-8 hours a day and if all of this becomes part of the curriculum, part of every subject that is taught at school it is not extra work. Here in north America and I am sure much of Europe the norm is both parents work, other family members do not live nearby-so school personnel, daycare or after school care workers are the adults children see for much of the school day.

    Edited: Name section was edited to comply with the comments guidelines.

    Umm Sulaim


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