Earlier this week in NYC, Amar Diarrassouba, a 6 year-old boy, was killed by a truck as he crossed 1st  Ave. at 117th St. in Manhattan on his way to school.

The boy’s family are Muslim immigrants from the Ivory Coast; the Côte d’Ivoire, as its inhabitants themselves call it.

A newspaper recorded the reaction of Sidiki Diarrassouba, Amar’s father:

“I believe in Allah, so whatever Allah decides, He’s the one who give [Amar] to me, He can take him back. He’s the one who decide today was his last day.” [1]

This is the “iman” (faith) or “tauheed” (G-d’s oneness) that was described in the previous post.

I hope this doesn’t come through as unemotional. The father was grief-stricken, but he expressed willingness to at least attempt to accept G-d’s Will in the event, as tragic as it was. Expressions of acceptance of G-d’s Will might sound detached, but the inner experience is far from that. It’s a struggle. Anyone committed to a religious point of view — Jewish, Christian or Muslim (or any other religion) — who has undergone difficulty knows that struggle; even when the situation is far less heart-breaking.

But the attitude that the father expresses is also central to Judaism. It’s the deepest thing that Judaism has in common with Christianity and Islam, regardless of idiomatic differences, and differences with regard to fundamental scriptures. An example? After the death of a young hasidic boy, Leiby Kletzky, his parents made the following statement on July 21, 2011:

“…the ache in our hearts will remain forever. [But] We thank G-d for the nearly nine beautiful years that He entrusted us with Leiby’s pure soul… ” [2]

In Judaism, it’s expressed nowhere as well as in the brachah (blessing) on hearing bad news, “Dayan Emet” – “(Bless) the True Judge.” Nothing could be a better commentary on the brachah than the heartfelt words of Amar’s father or Leiby’s parents.

Whatever the other differences between Torah and Qur’an, the father’s words tell us the essence of what Mohammed taught.

Is it so different from Torah?

(For related posts, see:


[1] NY Daily News, 3/1/13; story begins on front page, continues on p. 8

[2] for full text and citation, see: https://rabbielimallon.wordpress.com/2012/07/01/7-1-12-handling-grief/