May you all be in the best of health and Iman InshaAllah. I don't have a set topic to write about so I just wanted to share with you some of my thoughts. This is, as most of you know, my last article for Hidaya for quite some time as I'll be off to medical school shortly InshaAllah. So first, please keep me in your prayers but most importantly, please keep my family and especially my mother in your prayers. May Allah grant her and my siblings sabr and the courage to move through this difficult time in our lives InshaAllah.
Now to what I have been thinking about. It's alot, maybe too much to write about because I don't want to burden you all with what I have to say, but the main thing that's been bothering me is us. Us as Muslims and how much, if at all, we're trying to follow Islam. It just seems to me that we're not trying hard enough as we always have to make up some excuse for something or another that we should be doing in following our religion. Whether it's recycling as Sr. Amani so nicely pointed out or whether it's considering all the bounties that Allah has granted us or whether it's our treatment of each other - is anything in our character and our day-to-day lives Islamic?
Many of us think of ourselves as God's gift to this planet yet when we look back at our history, and look at the lives of the true heroes, we see nothing of the sort. They were always so concerned about their future, their Akhirah, that they dealt with this world as little as possible. To them this dunya was nothing more than just a temporary resting point on their way to their home, the Hereafter and Jannah InshaAllah. Yet, WE live in this world as if this is the be-all and end-all of our existence because, if we did have the Hereafter in mind, we wouldn't spend such money on extravagance as we do. While it is allowed to live comfortably, of course not at the expense of our Deen, it is also preferred that we take as little from this world as possible if we truly want to achieve nearness to Allah (Glorious and Exalted is He). The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) told us, "Narrated Mujahid: 'Abdullah bin 'Umar said, "Allah's Apostle took hold of my shoulder and said, 'Be in this world as if you were a stranger or a traveler." The sub-narrator added: Ibn 'Umar used to say, "If you survive till the evening, do not expect to be alive in the morning, and if you survive till the morning, do not expect to be alive in the evening, and take from your health for your sickness, and (take) from your life for your death."(Sahih Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 76, Number 425) If we kept this hadith in mind at all times, we wouldn't make those grand plans that we all make - you know the ones where we plan for the future when we don't even know if we're going to live to see tomorrow. Speaking of which, why do people say that they'll start praying when they become older or 'I'll grow a beard after I get married' or 'I'll start covering after marriage or when I'm older'? Are we so sure that we'll even live long enough to get married? What if we die tomorrow? What will we say to Allah then? 'Oh I was waiting to get married' or 'I was waiting until I become older'. We're so afraid of the police or our boss because we know we'll get a punishment RIGHT AWAY. With Allah, because He doesn't punish us for our sins, we keep sinning and sinning. We should be thankful for that, because Allah knows how much we deserve His 'Azhaab.
We take His Orders to not be orders at all but just some recommendations to help us follow our religion better. If Allah says something, it means we have NO CHOICE. When he says to cover, it means to cover; when He tells us to not backbite, then that's exactly what that means. And remember brothers that the Prophet (peace be upon him) spoke only what he was told to speak by Allah. So when the Prophet ORDERED us to grow our beards, there really is no second opinion - it is WAJIB. For those of us who don't know what that means, it means we get sinned for not having a beard. For many of us, Islam is about picking and choosing what we like and leaving what we don't like. Are we so confident that we'll be forgiven that we can afford to do that? Remember Sayyidina 'Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) used to ask the Prophet ('alaihis salaam) if he was amongst the hypocrites. This is Sayyidina 'Umar! What then of us??? Compared to those beautiful men and women, all of us ARE hypocrites. We are so "busy" that we only have time to pray the fardh raka'ahs of our prayers. We can't take another five minutes and pray the sunnah raka'ahs of each prayer? Remember that on Yaum al-Qiyamah, when we run out of fardh prayers, it is our sunnah that will add to our good deeds. It is unfortunate however, that many of us don't even have fardh prayers on our records. Again it's because we don't see the punishment of Allah that we're so lax in our obedience to Him. May Allah grant us the taufeeq to worship Him in the best way InshaAllah.
As for our treatment with each other, that leaves even more to be desired. We think that it is OK to do anything or say anything when we are amongst people of our own gender. The way that brothers act with brothers is not Islamic at all and I touched upon this in my article on Haya. Just because we are with our brothers, doesn't give us a green light to say or do whatever we please. When there is Haya even when we are alone, then there HAS to be some sort of Haya amongst people of our own gender. We call each other by degrading nicknames or even out of jest, we say things that maybe the other person doesn't like. We don't even dress properly in front of each other - what is considered 'awrah is 'awrah when we are alone, when we are with other people of the same gender as well as when we are in front of everyone else. And remember, we are not supposed to describe each other to the opposite gender if that person is a non-mahram. This is especially important for sisters because they are supposed to cover themselves in front of non-Muslim women or in front of those Muslim women who they think will describe them to non-Mahram men. These are things we don't really consider as being important but remember the Prophet (may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him) said, and I'm paraphrasing, that the small sins, and not the big ones, will cause the Muslims to not be forgiven. If someone can quote the hadith, it'll be much appreciated InshaAllah.
My point in all this is that we lack ALOT in our practice of Islam and even in our EFFORTS to practice Islam. We live our daily lives content that whatever we're doing is enough, when NOTHING we could do will ever be enough. Nevertheless, that is not an excuse to stop trying because we all know that Allah helps those who help themselves. The least we could do is to start making du'a to ask Allah to help us in becoming better Muslims and for Him to allow us to get rid of our egos, because of which we can't hear someone criticize us for the wrongs that we commit. Islam is not something personal, our brother or sister has every right to take us to the side and tell us what we are doing wrong and that does not mean that he or she is infringing upon our privacy. May we also learn to respect authority and to truly learn Islam. Remember the Amir is our leader whether in the Islamic Society meeting or not, and if he tells us something then we HAVE to listen to him, granted that there is nothing against the Shari'ah in it. So if the decision was made to have a barrier put up in the meeting then what is the big deal? Do we really have to look at each other so badly that we can't spend 2 hours with a barrier between us? People say that 'it didn't exist during the Prophet's time'. If we ever decide to dress and act the way that people did during the Prophet's time, then maybe we have some excuse to not have a barrier. When brothers can check their Iman and don't have the urge to look over to the sisters' side or when sisters decide that now they are all going to wear hijab PROPERLY, then maybe we can decide a barrier is not needed. Until then however, in order to enforce the correct Islamic rulings, a barrier is definitely needed. We read a few hadith and have read one book on Islam and think that we know what we're talking about. We know NOTHING and that's why we have to choose our leaders carefully - people who are dedicated to better themselves in their practice of this Deen and people who are capable of being leaders. Just because a brother has a beard or is religious, does NOT mean he can be an Amir. There are certain qualities that come with being an Amir and many of us don't have them. So, instead of making the elections a popularity contest, we should seriously consider who we think can be the BEST Amir, one who knows the rulings of being an Amir and one who can take charge.
I can go on but I hope I made some of us think of our application of Islam in our lives. Are we being sincere or are we just not doing anything to better ourselves as Muslims. I'm sorry if I offended some of you but some of us really have to change how we think regarding Islam. It's not all fun and games - it's about sacrificing our nufoos to obey Our Creator. La ikraha fiddeen is only applicable when we are inviting someone to become Muslim. When we are already Muslim, then it's all about obeying Allah whether we like it or not and whether we agree with it or not. If we have some doubts about anything, then go ask a true scholar and be content with the answer. If we feel that we have some time, then read a book about some aspect of Islam, or better yet, read the Qur'an. It's the one book of which we never get tired and it's the only book that will ever help us in this life and the next InshaAllah.
And remember that the only true friend we will ever have is Allah, the Merciful so let's learn to talk to Him, confide in Him and ask Him for everything.
Whatever I have said that is right is from Allah, the Lord of the Worlds and the rest is because I know nothing.
'Allahumma a'izzal islaama wal muslimeen, wa azhillashirka wal mushrikeen wa dammir 'adaa addeen'
Asalaam Aleikum Warahmatullah Wabarakatu,
Subhan Allah brother. This was quite a moving article. There is nothing to say but that I agree with you fully...and truly if we are ever going to be united Muslims we are going to have to get over ALOT of these things which are pushing us down.
Insha Allah I want to give you some advice which may insha Allah help you in the future. When you go to medical school...get out...become a doctor...open a practice; I want you to keep in mind one thing...your obligations towards Allah. You will have the ability to save lives, and that should be always your goal. I had met a pakistani doctor on a trip once who told me that when he makes Hajj, all his time on the day of Arafat is spent literally saving lives. While others are worshipping he is worshipping AND doing good deeds...running around looking for unconscious dehydrated people literally just lying around on the floor, and looking for those with signs of heat exhaustion. THAT is what being a Muslim is all about...THAT is the kind of generosity and compassion we need.
Insha Allah brother I hope you get the chance to write some guest articles every once in a while...we can always use some good guidance. And also, I too thought I was the only one who reads whatreallyhappened.com. MashaAllah wa Alhamdulillah.
on April 26, 2004 2:53 PM
Salaam Warahmatullah Wabarakatu.
Assalam u alaikum Br. Ibn Muzaffar,
Mashallah, a great article and certainly complete in its eloquence. It is a sad truth that Muslims nowadays are silent spectators, watching their iman deteriorate without making an effort on their part. Instead, they shed their good deeds, whatever they are, with the use of petty things such as backbiting and arguing for the sake of arguing. May Allah(swt) give all of us Muslims hidaya and a re-juvenation of our imaan. Ameen.
Good luck on medical school and needless to say, Hidaya would always be in need of the little reminders, be they in the guest column.
Jazakallah khair and Waalaikum us salam.
As salaamu Alaikum
Just happened to bump into this site and so im not so sure if i am allowed 2 be contributing in this section if Im not an ISRU member ( Where is Rugters anyway?)but anyways Subhanallah this article and some of the others I have read are really inspiring and they really hit the nail on the head.Mashallah keep it up and may ALLAH grant us all sincerity and true Iman.Ameen.on April 26, 2004 4:44 PM
Jazakallah for the inspiring words Rami and Nadia and daughter of Abdul Khaliq. Rami Insha'allah I aspire to become such a doctor where I dedicate my life to helping and serving humanity. Bint Abdul Khaliq, you can contribute all you like (you may even write if you so please), and Rutgers is in NJ, it's the state univ of NJ.
Insha'allah I'll try to write whenever I can from down in the Caribbean :)
'work in this life as if you'll live forever, prepare for the Hereafter as if you'll die tomorrow'on April 26, 2004 4:51 PM
Anyone and everyone can post to the site... that it just happens to be a publication of ISRU is just the way things played out. Rutgers is in da von and only Joisey, by ze by.
on April 26, 2004 4:52 PM
MashaAllah akh... this is the kind of thing that needs to be read out loud to the youthful gatherings going on around the United States.
I'm not going to bother quoting stuff, because it needs to be read in entirety... and ditto to Br. Rami and Sr. Nadia's comments.
Way to go temporarily off with a bang akh...
Parting is a much lesser sorrow when one leaves his brothers and sisters with such Hidaya.
mashaAllah.on April 26, 2004 5:47 PM
Masha'Allah, very eloquent indeed. May Allah give you success in your studies abroad and the best in this life and the best in the Hereafter.on April 26, 2004 6:37 PM
As Salaamu Alaikum
Great to know that we can all contribute to this wonderful site.According to Ibn Muzzafar I can also write? Could anyone please inform me as to where I can submit anything that I would like to share.Jazakallah.By the way I'm from South Africa which is on the Tip of Africa and quite far away from New Jersey!
Fee Amaanillahon April 27, 2004 2:21 PM
This is your best piece of work yet. I dont think anything I have read from you has had 'this' much of a passionate tone in it, mashaAllah.
I was at a retreat this past weekend and am just now catching up with Hidaya. One of the things that was stressed over the weekend was how Allah, Glorious and Exalted, says in the Quran that His attribute of Forgiveness will be for those who are fearful and repentant. So if we wish to taste His forgiveness (which every one of us desperately needs to enter Jannah) we must be the type of people whose constant state is that of fearing His Displeasure in all things.
WasalaamuAlaikumon April 27, 2004 2:30 PM
Jazakallah Justoju. Honestly I thought after I wrote it that it wasn't very cohesive but Subhanallah, Allah is the Controller of everything.
My article last week was on Istighfaar and how our tongues should never be absent from it.
Where was this retreat by the way?
Sr. Bint Abdul Khaliq, I think if you look through some of the comments for other articles, you'll find how to submit something to Hidaya or just wait until our editor reads this and he will let you know InshaAllah.
May He guide us on the Sirat al-Mustaqeem.
Arif bin Muzaffar
'work in this life as if you'll live forever, prepare for the Hereafter as if you'll die tomorrow'
As Salaamu Alaikum
Jazakallah Khairan.Found the details in one of the comments section.It would be great to contribute to this site since I love to write(not that Im awfully good or anything!)If ALLAH so wills he will bring me to do it.
Its really inspiring to see young muslims being proud of their deen.Writing and reading articles like these help alot.May ALLAH guide us all on the straight path.Ameen
assalaam alikum wa rahmtulallah:
jazak allah khair for such a nice article- i agree with a lot of what you said. i think there is large disconnection between practicing islam and actually applying it. like you mentioned, unfortunately, many our day to day actions are not that of a good muslim, much less that of a good person. i think it is always useful to think back to the nabi (saw) and see what an example human being he was even before the revelation. i think that our actions are early the essense of our deen. of course, on top of that i would say prayer is also important. it sad that people feel that they are too much of a rush to pray sunnah, yet at the same time, i think we have to realize that , at least in my opinion, please correct me if i am wrong, but prayer is not enough...i think at one point, no matter how many ruka'hs you do, no matter how many duaa's you know, if you still turn around for example, and lie to people...then there is a problem. i am unsure of how to fix this problem, because it seems like many of these type of people are missing the point.
as for the barrier issue i do not go to rutgers and i do not know the situation there enough to comment on the issue- in which case like you said, it might prove useful to consult scholars in al-azhr or something since there seems to be a controversy around it. yet i would like to say just one thing if i may. i would hope that in such meetings the minds of our muslim brothers would be focused at the issue at hand, rather than, on well, something else. at the same time, i would also like to ask what would be the use of a barrier at a meeting if students see each other outside these meetings, for example, on the way to class? what i am trying to say is, build a barrier, there will always people who want it down, even if just to defy it. yet if we can actually CHANGE the MINDS of our muslim brothers (and in some cases, sisters too) then i think that would be stongest barrier of all- and in that case, everyone would deal with each other in calm, professional, islamic manner. again, i do not how to go about changing people's minds, but if anyone has any solution to the questions i put forth, please feel free.
wsalaam.on April 27, 2004 4:20 PM
"Where was this retreat by the way?"
MashaAllah Ibn Muzaffar u never fail to impress...JazakAllah kheir...for all your inspiring articles.on April 27, 2004 11:21 PM
aida no one has responded to your post, i think ppl are taking a little break from hidaya these days :)...i just wanted to say that you are absolutely right in what you said that these outward restrictions and rules are needed but there definitely must be a way to change people's insides...however, if we ever found out a way to do that, then I think most, if not all, of our problems would be solved...honestly tho, i think that's why alot of this is needed because we know how weak we are and thus such restrictions are needed....and u know about what you said about praying and then goin out and lying...there is an ayah in the Qur'an that says that prayer makes you stay away from fahsha and munkar...so we hope that by urging people to pray not only fardh but whatever is 'recommended' then insha'allah it will enable them to incorporate full Islam in their lives...
as for the barrier, that is needed whether we are pure from inside or not because we are only human and the opposite gender is our biggest weakness...even the Prophet (peace be upon him) said that the thing that he loves most in this world is women and also good scent...as for changing people's minds, remember we do what we can but in the end it's all in Allah's control...maybe someone will realize something and that will enable them to think differently and realize why we do what we do...
wa billahi taufeeq
'work in this life as if you'll live forever, prepare for the Hereafter as if you'll die tomorrow'