We live in a world of symbols. Here was an evil mastermind of terror and mischief, brother to the great inhuman monsters, Hitler, Stalin, Saddam, whose face has graced many a T-shirt, for some as enemy, for others as hero.
But Allah early in the Qur’an, in the 7th verse of the second Surah, The Cow, right after proclaiming His Book for the believers, says: “Among the people there are some who say, ‘We have faith in Allah and the Last Day,’ when they are not believers. They think they deceive Allah and those who have faith. They deceive no one but themselves, but they are not aware of it. There is a sickness in their hearts and Allah has increased their sickness. They will have a painful punishment on account of their denial. When they are told, ‘Do not cause corruption on the earth,’ they say, ‘We are only putting things right.’ No indeed! They are the corrupters, but they are not aware of it.”
When the revelation of the Truth comes, God knows that some will use it for evil ends, turning even against their own so-called co-religionists, as Bin Laden has done to even a greater extent than he did against Americans. A great and sober lament should go out to all his victims over the decades, and wonder that the heart of someone could so turn to darkness, after beginning in Light (he was known as a pious student), and a prayer that all tyrannical killers might have their hearts softened if not frightened to death by the advent of his eradication from the human transaction.
Symbolically, however, for all those who will persist in thinking they “have faith in Allah and the Last Day,” when they have turned it into a dimensionless ideology of self-aggrandizement against humanity, and persist in thinking that only they are “putting things right,” we can only remain vigilant, turn to solving the huge open wounds that unfortunately engender such sad maggots of the soul’s confusion: all the injustices in the Middle East and the Israelis-Palestinian issue that will, if unresolved, continue to give birth to desperation and fanaticism for some time to come.
One dead Bin Laden does not a true closure make, however victorious and symbolically powerful a finale his death makes, his clones only too ready to continue their mind-and-heart blind battles in his stead. May Allah lead us all to Light and true humility and compassion for all humankind, and His sweet Justice over all.