With the many twists and turns that life has to offer, it is truly unfortunate for the one who misses out on the opportunity to learn from the mistakes or trials of others and oneself. Without a doubt we live in a world that, on many levels, has come down to the survival of the fittest. Furthermore, entertainment today has served as a tool to desensitize humanity towards the sufferings both at home and abroad. The way I see it, the rich keep getting richer, the poor poorer, people are immune to the ongoing war and the word "terrorist" has made its way to the vocabulary of our preschoolers.
So here we are, the Muslimeen, the Ummah of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam), at the crux of the ugliness that has tainted the world that we live in. We have not chosen to be at the center of it all. Nevertheless, since we are a part of this world, we are, therefore, also part of its problem. This piece is not about the world at large nor is it about the problems that exist with the society that we live in, it is instead about the approach taken by many of the Muslimeen in regards to bringing about a much-needed change.
The essence of our Deen, and many may argue that the beauty of it, is that it has changed societies of the past with the pattern of bringing them from darkness to light. The Jaahiliyyah period emerged from the depths of darkness, in which idolatry as well as dishonesty flowed through the veins of society, and it eventually blossomed into a period of emanating light through which La Ilaaha IllAllah resonated throughout.
It was the recent AlMaghrib Class, “The Light of Guidance”, in which a thought dawned upon me. After learning from Shaykh Qadhi about how exactly it is that our Deen defines the term ‘Ibaadah, it was clearly evident that the actions of many of us today run contrary to what Allah (subhaanahu wa ta'ala) wishes. Perhaps this is why many have failed to learn from the mistakes of others and, furthermore, perhaps this is why we might be running opposite to the pattern that Islam has set in societies of the past. I feel the Muslimeen are living in a time that is returning to the darkness of Jaahiliyyah. Clearly there are evidences in the current situation that we are facing. However, I will try and focus on one of the main issues of concern, at least for myself.
Before delving into a composition that can fairly be categorized as ‘venting’ we must first define the term "‘Ibaadah." The Shaykh, most eloquently, taught the student that the condition for an act to constitute an act of ‘Ibaadah is that it be a command that pleases Allah (SWT). Therefore, we must, with a critical eye, analyze our actions prior to thinking, speaking, acting, etc.
Now that this definition has been relayed what concerns me most is the way in which Muslims treat one another. Gheebah, nameemah, physical, emotional, psychological pain, mistrust, suspicion, jealousy, envy, etc; these are some of the characteristics that describe the many ways in which we are hurting and failing one another.
What surprises me most is that after having done all of this, maybe even more, we expect the Kuffaar to treat us with respect or even better! Are we kidding ourselves? Truly disillusioned is the one who believes so. The Shaykh also taught the students that one of the fruits of Eman is an everlasting brotherhood in which the beautiful Kalimah binds and ties together unknowns as they were blood relations. Then why is it that this ugliness exists in the Muslim Ummah? I hesitate to call it a turning away from the Fitrah which is causing us to reap the rewards of our actions in the Dunya.
With no intention to generalize, stereotype, or even shed a pessimistic perspective on the trials that we Muslims are collectively or individually facing, I have witnessed with my own eyes the fitnah that has crept into the performance of many students who are working for the Deen. We have become a group of individuals that, on the surface, work for Allah (SWT) but, in our hearts, hold a poison that slowly but surely is eating away at the Deen.
Many marry for the sake of Islam but do not live according to its teachings; others learn for the sake of attaining closeness to Allah (SWT) but do not benefit from that knowledge. Some work for the sake of spreading the Deen but forget to teach it to themselves first.
This, my dear brothers and sisters, is the ugliness that we have created for ourselves. How can we even attempt at changing that which we see around us when, inside our brotherhood, we are so divided? So, alas, my venting has come to a close. It causes immense pain for me to see myself and others falling prey to the whisperings of Shaytaan and having that affect the efforts that we are putting towards our Deen. Let not the perfection of Islam be doubted by our actions nor let our actions cause our division.
It is prayed that we learn from mistakes of the past, from societies of the past and that we realize what ‘Ibaadah is accepted. Part of that ‘Ibaadah is keeping one another safe from the tongue and hands. So if we hurt one another then what do we expect from the Kuffaar? If we expect more then we are fooling ourselves.
I make dua for myself foremost that Allah (SWT) will help us to purify our hearts, forgive one another and truly benefit from what we learn both on our own and from our beloved shuyookh. If I have offended anyone in anything that has been stated above, I seek their forgiveness and ultimately that of Allah (SWT). Let the EMANRUSH that many of us are experiencing now from the current AlMaghrib class perpetuate throughout our daily actions and reflect in the way we treat one another. Ameen.
Emanrush indeed as i too am awaiting the 2 days of Al Maghrib Institute classes. 3 consecutive fire drills set aside (lol) Shayk Yassir put the term Ibadah in a beautiful context. I just found that so many muslims are in need to correct thier aqueedah. When in all actuallity there have just been so many misconceptions about the deen. On the way home i said to myself i wish the entire ummah could go to newark, new jersey for the class.
Do not be overly pessimistic. There are many good things occuring in our Ummah as well...its just that people tend not to notice them. All in all remember what Shaykh Qadhi taught us when enduring fitnah...
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said Tears are a sign of compassion and mercy and they are a sign of the softness of the heart.
- Mohammed Irfan Shariffon July 19, 2005 6:34 PM
So true, I didn't wanna come off as being overly pessimitic and I apologize if that was the case. It's just I see so much potential in many of our brothers and sisters and pray continuously for us to realize this so that our Ummah can flourish. InshaAllah Khayr
wasalaam Walyakumon July 19, 2005 8:12 PM
must...write...article...hard...to...follow...up...on...thison July 19, 2005 8:44 PM
I think it might have to do with the scary world we live in now. Mistrust is definitely now the bread of the world, and muslims are doing that to each other. Although, you are speaking in a general sense, but from what I gather in the post, do you mean that Muslims even those that are working for Islam do not benefit themselves by working for the deen? They do not build upon themselves good characteristics?on July 20, 2005 2:35 AM
JazakAllahu Khayr for posing those questions; yea i was speaking in a general sense based only on the observation from working with a certain group of people. This is not the case everywhere nor would I even attempt as saying who and how Allah SWT will reward or not for their actions. But what I am saying is that there are "TIMES" when (and based on my interaction with these individuals) that the Muslimeen treat one another in the ways mentioned above. Allah SWT is the Knower of the Unseen and therefore I can only speak from experience. However what we cant argue is that state of the Ummah today and that we need to, even more so, work on ourselves in order to attain a closeness to Allah SWT. I pray that cleared up the confusion.
May Allah SWT reward those who are truly working for His SWT's cause and may He SWT make the path easier for the Mumineen, Mohsineen, and Muslimeen. Ameen!on July 20, 2005 11:00 AM
Yeah i understand what you are saying...but remember that experiences must be expressed to the correct audience. (no offense to anyone) Time and time again we read/hear people "venting" about muslim interactions and all it does is further the disharmony.
The criticism must be for the sake of Allah (swt) if it is going to achieve anything.
Speaking out is a must, keep in mind the intention.....all in all your column is named, "I see therefore I speak"on July 20, 2005 12:42 PM
JazakAllahu Khayr for your comments, you are correct in your statements. May Allah SWT reward you for that.
The point of the piece was not to hurt anyone nor cause any discouragement. Hopefully those who read it might search deep within and make the proper niyyah before taking certain actions.
"The Light of Guidance" has it all:) and of course the Shaykh says it better than I do. But a reminder to myself and everyone is to stear clear of habitual actions that take place without the proper niyyah. We must always know why we are doing what it is that we are doing. So therefore let us never forget to that which Allah SWT commands and is pleased with. Aameen.
Wasalaam walyakumon July 20, 2005 10:49 PM
As salaamu Alaikum
Very inspiring piece alhumdulilah.
A comment about the 'venting'/disharmony...as has been stated in the article itself, we learn from our experiences, and anything beneficial that can come from a past experience alhumdulilah makes us better muslims.
To everyone their own application of the naseehah from someone elses experience. When I read this article, it made me more resolved to check my intentions before taking part in Islamic Activities or working for the deen, and to check them throughout, as well as to work to strengthen the unity.
Sheikh Muhammad alShareef mentions in Tafseer of Juz Amma that when we read verses of the destruction or mistakes of those before us, we should not leave it at 'bani israel' and other nations, we should apply those lessons to ourselves.
Could someone who has stopped listening to music pleaaase help!How do u get the love of this eveil habit outta the hart???on July 26, 2005 2:33 PM
You develop love for Allah. When you find Him in your heart, there will remain no room for the things that displease Him. The things that displease Him will become distasteful to you.
One of the best ways to engender love for Him is through shukr. Make remembrance of Him. Think of what He has done for you. Think of what He has saved you from. Acknowledge all the little miracles that make up your day and keep you from going over the edge. Acknowledge the day to day mercies through which we subsist. He is LOVABLE beyond human comprehesion. How can you NOT love and want to please Someone who is so meticulous in His care for one?
...and fear (and I mean FEAR) the day in which He decides to allow you your ignorant bliss and self-satisfaction and allows you to wander off into the path of your own making. You dont know HOW to take care of yourself or whats best for you. You cant make it on your own. This isnt kids stuff. Its 'bowel-movement producing' scary. You DONT want to push your luck...you are just a slave. Dont forget that. JUST a slave.
We are lucky He is so Merciful, subhanAllah.
If you listen to music to fill up the void, replace your usual faire with nasheeds and quran. The more you listen to them the less your heart will incline towards haram music. Its just the nature of things.
WasalaamuAlaikumon July 26, 2005 3:44 PM
I know a brother who kicked his smoking habit by hanging out with the right people, those who didn't smoke.
Also, increasing eman is one of the most effective ways to make any change in one's life.on July 26, 2005 9:15 PM
May Allah rewrd justoju and gillete for taking the time and care to reply and please make dua that Allah removes the love of this evil habit from my heart and replaces it with His Love and Love for our Beloved Prophet Muhammed (Peace Be Uon Him)...its everywhere music, i dont live in a muslim country and sumtimez its hard coz a song comes on and the nafs gets pleasure...what do u do then??? do u get sin if u know its wrong but u cant stop the music and ur nafs gets plaesure, like at the supermarket or sum place else?on July 27, 2005 5:01 PM
if you know it is wrong in your heart and you fill bad about it and struggle with it, then Allah will help you to overcome listening to music, in sha Allah.
It's true music is surrounding us, which is very distracting, but if you ignore it and dont pay attention to the words(because you are not purposely listening to the music), then slowly this wanting will go away and you'll wonder where it(the total absence of desire for music) came from, key is to ask Allah for strength and recognizing this and realizing that only Allah can change the state of the heart.
Like it was mentioned, if you love Allah and His messenger, then your desire to do things to please Allah will increase. May Allah help you and all of us to save us from music and other evils of society, amen.