19 November 2012
"I was walking out the shrine after my prayers, when I was hit by a big sound and fell down several feet behind. I felt dozens of needles entering my body. Minutes after, I was taken to a hospital where I stayed for 45 days. Currently, I am still in pain. Sometimes, I cry like a child. There is nothing I can do, pain is pain, but I am alive with one hope: that this accident will turn my life into a better one, Inshallah." Shamiza Nazir, 45, unemployed, injured in suicide bombing at Data Darbar Sufi Shrine in Lahore, Pakistan on 25 January 2011.
In recent years, Pakistan has been rocked by hundreds of attacks on civilians. From roadside bombs to suicide bombings and target killings, attacks take place on an almost daily basis in cities across the country, as a result of terrorism, sectarian conflict, and a mix of political, religious, and criminal violence. In the last ten years, over 5,000 people have lost their lives and some 10,000 have been injured in attacks perpetrated by militants in Pakistan. Of those lucky enough to survive, many carry physical disabilities or mental scars for the rest of their lives.
Suffering is far from unknow in a part of the world with a high rate of poverty, and also often hit by natural disasters such as earthquakes and floods. However, many devout Muslims embrace those tragedies as their particular fate. Pakistan is a majority Muslim country, where faith is the most sacred and precious thing in many people's lives, and where the devout believe in al-Qadr (Destiny) - that all that exists or happens is an expression of Allah's will. Believer's accept their fate because they trust in His will.