How I Met Kabir Qurban
Salaam alaikum. This is an Arabic phrase that literally means ‘peace be upon you.’ Yet what is peace? What is life without knowing peace? Without knowing humility? These are questions I ask myself every day.
During February 2022, I met a brother at the mosque who came to LA for a film project. He’s an activist and a digital storyteller (his words). This guy is not just any guy I’ve met, he’s a Muslim brother with brilliant energy. From the moment I walked into the mosque, I acknowledged this spiritual force from Allah. It started when I saw him waiting to do wudu outside of the bathroom. We were positioned to wait for the next person to exit due to social distancing measures. I was on deck and he was next in line, I acknowledged him by saying ‘salaam alaikum’ — he replied by saying ‘walaikum salaam rahman wa barakaatu’; I also recognized I ended up sitting behind him at jummah and then officially met him afterwards outside.
Recently, he shared with me the video he produced. It’s a short clip of him interviewing Apple customers about their purchases and how much they know about the oppression of Muslim Uyghurs happening right now in China. The implication is straight forward — many multinational companies are complicit in their business operations in China. China is a country that has been conducting oppressive tactics towards this minority group. My friend hasn’t spoken or seen his family in years. Once he shared this video clip with me, I was inspired to write this poem for my social media feed:
Morals over money,
People over profit;
If you see injustice
Make a stance to stop it!
Here’s another emotional video that hit my core: a PSA on PSA, it’s a public service announcement about prayer (salat).
I don’t care who you are and what your experience is like living wherever you may be living. Just understand that everyone has different days, we all have ups and downs. To omit the empathy necessary to understand the human condition is suboptimal. We need to be better people, better brothers, better sisters, better followers of our Creator. We only have one shot, do not miss your chance to blow because opportunity comes once in a lifetime. JAK for your time in reading this, hopefully, it helps spark the conversation we are all afraid to have right now. Allah knows best.
Life can seem impossible, but when you let go and let God, then doors open!