Note: On 9/30/2016, I was punched in the neck by some random dude as my brother and I were walking to Friday prayers. Given that I was to give the sermon that week, I was dressed in visibly “Muslim” clothing (hat+robe). This was a small post I wrote in the aftermath.
To everyone who has been asking, let me say that I am alhamdulillāh doing perfectly fine. My neck is pretty sore from where he hit me still, but because the punch landed right on my collarbone, I was able to take the hit without too much pain. I spent the past day and a half or so mostly just reassuring friends, family, and coworkers that all is well. So many people reached out, even people from way back that I hadn’t connected with in ages.
What’s truly remarkable from this incident is not that some random dude hit me, but rather that so, so many other people reached out saying that they were sorry for what happened to me, asking if I was ok, and that what happened was wrong and that such incidents must end. Family, friends, teachers, my wonderful coworkers, and Muslim civil rights organizations and activists— all of you have made me further realize how truly blessed I am.
A few things I want to make clear: what happened to me was very minor compared to what so many Muslims in America and abroad are going through in this vitriolic political environment. I just happened to be a guy with a Twitter account, and have no intention to make what happened to me a sob story. It was my honor to take one for the team.
I refuse to hide who I am just because of a one-off incident, and have every intention to wear a dope hat and cloak for this coming jumu’ah. You should try it too. Never let anyone intimidate you out of your Muslimness. It is noble and majestic and beautiful, a reflection of God’s perfect attributes and names.