Sunday, January 18, 2015

#WhoisMuhammad ?

In the wake of recent events of what is going on around the globe, one who knows nothing about Islam and who follows ONLY what the media dictates, can not escape the preconceptions of Islam being a religion of terror and violence.

Many ignorant Islamaphobes harassing Muslims, spreading false information about Islam, and even going to extents of killing innocent Muslims all because of their own arrogance to refuse to seek the truth. Since the incident that occurred in Paris, many non-Muslims have been trying to learn more about Islam and who was Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). There are many individuals who will very well enjoy educating themselves solely through FOX news (lol) and any other biased one-sided news channel and through these news channels are how Islamphobes are born. Those lazy individuals who do not know anything else except what their news anchor teaches them, are the ones who are only harming themselves. However, there are a good portion of individuals who are actually keen on seeking the REAL truth about Islam and who was the REAL Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). They know that there is more to these false lies and accusations that the media has formulated. Isn't ironic how media makes up all these lies and rumours based on their OWN understanding and their OWN perception of something instead of actually going to the ACTUAL source to clarify and to seek the truth? The media will just tell you what you want to hear but they themselves know NOT A THING about anything they are talking about! If you ask a reporter or a journalist what does tawheed mean or what the five pillars of Islam and 6 pillars of faith, they will have NO CLUE! They would not even know what it takes to become a Muslim (unless they are intelligent enough to open up their mouth to ASK an actual practising Muslim!) What a shame!

Though I could surely write a long paragraph about what Islam is and Who is Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), I thought it would be more engaging for me to share some short beneficial clips to help clear up your misconceptions because these people obviously can do it better than I can!

after watching these short clips, here are more verses from the Qur'an and from aHadith (prophetic teachings and sayings) about our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and what he used to preach . Please do not be biased just because you think what you hear and see on the news is correct. Open your heart and your mind and you will find the truth! :

 “O Messenger of Allah! It is a great Mercy of God that you are gentle and kind towards them; for, had you been harsh and hard-hearted, they would all have broken away from you”(Quran 3:159).

"The Prophet (pbuh) resembled a prophet who was harmed by his people. He wiped the blood from his face and said: ‘O God! Forgive my people, for they know not!" (Bukhari #3290)

"God has sent me to perfect good manners and to do good deeds."(Bukhari & Ahmed)

"The Prophet (pbuh) did not swear at anyone, nor was he rude, nor did he curse anyone. If he desired to reprimand someone, he would say: ‘What is wrong with him, may dust be cast in his face!" (Bukhari #5684)

The Prophet ﷺ said: “Allah is kind and likes kindness in all things” (Bukhari, 6601)

“He who wishes to have his provision enlarged and his term of life prolonged should treat his relatives well” (Bukhari, 5985)

Bahz b. Hakim, on his father’s authority, said that his grandfather told him that he had asked Allah’s Messengerto whom he should show kindness and that the Prophethad replied: “Your mother.” He asked who came next and he replied: “Your mother.” He asked who came next and he replied for the third time: “Your mother.” He again asked who came next and hereplied: “Your father, then your relatives in order of relationship” (Abu Dawud, 5120)

“The best house among the Muslims is one which contains an orphan who is well treated, and the worst house among the Muslims is one which contains an orphan who is badly treated” (Ibn Majah, 3679)

Another person said to the Prophet“0 Messenger of Allah! My relatives are such that although I cooperate with them, they cut me off; I am kind to them but they ill treat me.” The Prophet ﷺ said this in reply: “So long as you continue as you are, God will always help you and He will protect you against their mischief” (Muslim, 4640)

"Let us go to resolve the situation and make peace between them."(Bukhari #2547)

Ibn Abbas said:
‘The Prophet (pbuh) was the most generous of people. He was most generous during Ramadhan when he met Gabriel (pbuh); he would meet him every night during Ramadhan to practice and review the Qur’an with him. The Messenger of God (pbuh) was so generous, that he was faster than the swiftest wind in this regard. (Bukhari #6)

Thursday, January 8, 2015

A message to Adam Saleh fans

“And tell the believing women to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts) and not to show off their adornment except only that which is apparent (like both eyes for necessity to see the way, or outer palms of hands or one eye or dress like veil, gloves, headcover, apron), and to draw their veils all over Juyoobihinna (i.e. their bodies, faces, necks and bosoms) and not to reveal their adornment except to their husbands, or their fathers, or their husband’s fathers, or their sons, or their husband’s sons, or their brothers or their brother’s sons, or their sister’s sons, or their (Muslim) women (i.e. their sisters in Islam), or the (female) slaves whom their right hands possess, or old male servants who lack vigour, or small children who have no sense of feminine sex. And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment. And all of you beg Allaah to forgive you all, O believers, that you may be successful”

[al-Noor 24:31] 

As I browse some of my social media accounts, I can't help but notice the hot topic that keeps circulating around which has caught a lot of (unnecessary) attention...and that is "Adam Saleh" "3MH" and any other group this young man is in. In order to write about this, I had to familiarize myself with this individual. I watched a few of his youtube videos to try to better understand what all this Adam "hype" is all about. What really stuck out to me the most was the amazing amount of female Muslim followers whom all seem to be in their early to late teens. I noticed that a lot of  these young Muslimahs were very excited and shamelessly professing their admiration for Adam and his friends. Now, I am not here to lecture anyone about what is halal and haram because that is not the purpose of this post because we already know that it is impermissible in Islam to touch/talk/flirt with a non-mahram (male or woman not permissible for us unless marriage occurs) whether it is shaking hands, hugging, kissing on the cheek and/or any other type of physical and verbal contact. 

It was narrated that Ma’qil ibn Yassaar said: the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “For one of you to be stabbed in the head with an iron needle is better for him than that he should touch a woman who is not permissible for him.” 

(Narrated by al-Tabaraani in al-Kabeer, 486. Shaykh al-Albaani said in Saheeh al-Jaami’, 5045, that this hadeeth is saheeh. )

‘Aa’ishah said: Whoever among the believing women agreed to that had passed the test, and when the women agreed to that, the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said to them: “Go, for you have given your oath of allegiance.’ No, by Allaah, the hand of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) never touched the hand of any woman, rather they would give their oath of allegiance with words only.” And ‘Aa’ishah said: “By Allaah, the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) only took the oath of allegiance from the women in the manner prescribed by Allaah, and the hand of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) never touched the hand of any woman. When he had taken their oath of allegiance he would say, ‘I have accepted your oath of allegiance verbally.’”
(narrated by Muslim, 1866) 

But I wanted to remind us all about the true gift of Islam. The beautiful thing about Islam is that Allah has placed the believing Muslim woman on a pedestal and He has given her honour, dignity, and protection above other women. We can not deny that Islam has given us rights which most women in today's society do not have. We are considered as princesses and queens even without having to earn the title because of lineage. We are royalty because Allah has made us that way and He has blessed us with the beautiful gift of modesty and shyness. We are protected pearls preserved in our shells for Allah and the special mate that Allah has chosen for us! Allahu Akbar! How beautiful!! I never realised the true worth of a woman until I reverted to Islam. Subhana'Allah. All I knew was a society where women were seen as sex objects and were treated according to the way they looked and not for who they truly were or for their intellect. 

In the Western society (most) young women are brainwashed by the media to lose their dignity and honour by acting like untamed animals around young men. Society by the help of shaitan has molded young men into human idols to be worshiped by these young women. These poor young women know nothing to do except to follow the lives of these boys and become obsessed with them. Little do these girls know that these boys they are going "ga-ga" over, do not even know their full names, their place of birth, their date of birth, their last names, or their favourite colour! Yet the girls know everything about them and would give their lives for them (audhubillah!) they are trapped in their own bubble and have these fantasy stories in their minds that one day they will get married to them and settle down and live happily ever after! Surely these girls have nothing better to do than to fill up their time with daydreaming and fantasies that would never come true. Most of the Western teens have fallen into such a trap, not just in this present day but I was exposed to it even when I was a young teen!

Alhamdulillah for Islam and how our religion teaches us to value ourselves with true modesty and obedience to our Lord. We are a protected pearls who are valued for what we are and not what we look like. Our intelligence and capabilities to contribute to society are what makes us valued and unique. We are always treated with respect by our family and friends because that is what our Lord commands from each and every one of us. We save ourselves for the special man who will come and sweep us off our feet and who will respect us, value us, and treat us like the princess/queen that we are. We do not need to run around chasing random boys who will not give us the time of day. Alhamdulillah we do not need to throw ourselves at young men who would not even help our dying aunt in the hospital or pay for our university tuition. We have men who know how to protect us from harm and who would never allow any strange men to contaminate our purity by hugging us, shaking hands with us or even talking to us! The Muslimah values the commands of Allah and she loves to do things that please her Lord. She keeps things halal and she knows her boundaries. She never transgresses her limits and she understands her value in the household and in society! Allahu Akbar! How beautiful is the Muslim woman! Allah has truly made us a creation that supersedes other women ( don't deny it, you know it's true!). 

Since I became a Muslimah, I have really realised how women are truly supposed to be treated and valued by men and society (not the Western society lol). When I was a non-Muslim, I always thought that the less dignity you had, the more you were valued. It is just the way the Western world treats women. We can not deny it no matter how much we tried. It is evident all around the billboards, television shows, even your every day flyers in the mail! Women are seen as sex objects and are expected to run around gallivanting and throwing themselves onto men or anywhere they can make money by losing their sense of dignity and with no sense of shame whatsoever! Of course not ALL Western women are like this, but it is safe to say that a good majority have fallen into this large melting pot of shamelessness. It should really make us think and reflect upon the Commands of the Almighty! How He has favored us above other creations and have not made us to act like animals on a rampage! 

My dear deen queens, I wrote this post only because I felt obligated to remind us all (me included of course) the true status of the Muslim woman. I wanted to show you all that we are chosen by Allah and to represent Islam by being modest, truthful, pure, and shy. We should never imitate anything that is not from Islam! We should never try to be someone we are not and we should always remember our worth ! Our shyness and modesty are what makes us truly beautiful! We should never throw that away for any boy or man who is not willing to approach us in the manner prescribed by Allah the Almighty! We need to have that mentality of that woman who knows her status in Islam. She is not a cheap price for ANY or EVERY man. Her royalty can not be bought or bargained for because she belongs to the man who fears Allah and has high values and expectations of his Muslim wife. Never underestimate your value o' sister in Islam! Know your worth and know who you are in the Sight of Allah ! Remember He has created us to worship Him alone! 

In such a fast paced society like today, it is hard to remember where we stand in this world. We need to remember that we were not created for this worldly life but for Jannah ! The gardens in which beneath the rivers flow and everything is perfect and easy! We should busy ourselves with knowing what Allah Loves and Hates and so we can strive for that instead of striving for what the creation loves and hates. We should never idolize any creations of Allah because that is pure shirk (audhubillah!). We should remember that we are running through this world chasing after the Hereafter and not for this temporary worldly life! May Allah grant us understanding of His deen and may He open our hearts to knowing how beautiful and blessed we are to be Muslims! Ameen !

Friday, January 2, 2015

How to pass tests & exams

“Do people think that they will be left alone because they say: ‘We believe,’ and will not be tested.
And We indeed tested those who were before them. And Allaah will certainly make (it) known (the truth of) those who are true, and will certainly make (it) known (the falsehood of) those who are liars, (although Allaah knows all that before putting them to test)”
[al-‘Ankaboot 29:2-3] 

One of the beauties of being a Muslim is that our lives are never free from tests and trials. Many of us go through hardships on a daily basis while some of us handle them better than others, a good majority of us handle them with grief, sorrow and uneasiness. 

Lately, I have been going through many trials and tests that have really humbled me and made me realize just how weak of a human being I am. The hardships I am trying to overcome may not be something difficult or hard for others, but Subhana'Allah, Allah tests His creations according to each their own weaknesses and their capabilities. Everybody's tests are different and the Wisdom of Allah is UNLIMITED! He Knows what we can handle and He Knows us better than our own selves. Allahu Akbar!

"...Allah burdens not a person beyond his scope. He gets reward for that (good) which he has earned, and he is punished for that (evil) which he has earned" (2:286) 

Initially, I had become really annoyed and impatient with the things that I was overcome by (may Allah rectify my character and increase me in patience ameen!), but then I realised it was a time for me to turn to my Lord and to call upon Him for help and ease. It is hard for us to handle our hardships with patience and humility. I really struggle with this but at the same time I am also trying to realise that everything that happens to us, is already written for us and I must endure it and remember that these tests and trials are meant to shape my character into something that Allah Loves. When we are inflicted with something out of the ordinary and when we go through things that are out of our comfort zone, it is really an opportunity for us to self reflect on our character and our sins. I believe that these hardships sent to us from Allah are meant to make us stronger and to make us realise that we are also very weak individuals and we can not do anything on our own without the Help of our Lord! The tests and trials that Allah sends us are because He Loves us ALLAHU AKBAR! And they are for us to turn to Him and remain STEADFAST after He has helped us through the trials and tests. 

Day after day, I realise just how much this dunya is made to be a test. It is not something that is made to be enjoyed and it is by far no way meant to be a permanent abode of happiness. Every day is a struggle and we must really work hard to fight our desires and try our best to obey Allah's Commands! Remember the tests that Allah gives us is so that we can earn more reward and it can humble us into someone who can be better Muslims and insha'Allah it will be the chance for us to meet Allah with a clean and pure heart. 

: The Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said :
“Whoever Allah wants good for him, he puts them to test. He puts them through difficulties. Like a diamond or some metal that has to be burnt and then that which is bad from it is removed so that you have that which is the pure diamond or the pure gold or whatever. Put them to tests, trials and difficulties.” (As recorded in Bukhari and Muslim)

Most of the things that happen to us, we automatically think it is for the worst but Allah says: 

"..But perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you; and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you. And Allah Knows, while you know not." (2:216)

Also, this hadith and Qur'an verse are both such eye openers as to what we can learn from going through tests and trials! Subhana'Allah...If we were not tested by Allah, then we would never know what kind of person we are! Allah tests us to see who of us is faithful and true and who turns to His Lord during the trialing times of hardship! Alhamdulillah we have Allah to turn to unlike the disbeliever who turns to the alcohol bottle, drugs, and parties just to escape temporarily only to repeat the same deadly cycle day after day! Allahu Akbar! How Islam is such a blessing, where we can cry to our Lord with our pain and suffering and He will Respond with His Mercy. Only if we believe and if we have true tawakkul (trust in Allah). May Allah give us all tawakkul and firm conviction that He will help us get through it all! AMEEN!!

 The Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said :
‘The greater reward is with the greater trial or the greater the trial or difficulty of test or hardship is then the greater the reward. And when Allah loves a person He will tests them. So he who will be pleased and then He will be pleased. He who is displeased, then He will be displeased.'(Sahaba’s name not clear) ‘The people as long as they are in good health, good shape, good condition they are covered. You don’t know their true character because they are in good situation, they are in good circumstance. As long as they are in a good circumstances they are covered. But if a trial or difficulty or a hardship comes upon them, then you will see their reality. They will go to their reality. The Mu’min will run to his Imaan, the Mu’min will run to his belief, the believer will run to his belief, his Imaan and the hypocrite will run to his hypocrisy, and the hypocrite will run to his hypocrisy. “Without being shaken, you don’t not know what comes to the top and what goes to the bottom. Without being shaken you don’t know a man from those who are faking; you won’t know women from those who are faking. You won’t know those who truly believe from those who don’t. Those who make a claim o­n their tongue and is not really in their hearts and from their limbs from those who are willing to die for this matter. This can o­nly be shown by trials, the tribulations and tests and difficulties.” (As narrated by Tirmidhi and Ibn Maajah) 

“Allaah will not leave the believers in the state in which you are now, until He distinguishes the wicked from the good. Nor will Allaah disclose to you the secrets of the Ghayb (Unseen)”
[Aal ‘Imraan 3:179] 

Sometimes when I am tested, I wonder why Allah has tested me. I try hard to think about the blessings through my trials and that I will be rewarded more than I could ever imagine if I only stay patient and true to Allah, the Almighty. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves every day for the blessings we have and that we must continue to strive to be better. Remembering that every test is meant to purify us and to earn us reward. I know it is easier said than done, because for me, sometimes my mental state overpowers me and it is hard for me at that moment to remember Allah. I think that is my true test..because most of us, when we get caught up in the moments of our tests and trials, we are so absorbed in our problems, we forget that Allah was the One who put us in it in the first place! Subhana'Allah...O' what a test this life is ! A constant struggle to maintain happy during our trialing times during loss, illness, and mental unrest. But Alhamdulillah for the Qur'an and Sunnah that teaches us and reminds us how to handle ourselves in each and every situation: 

“And certainly, We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to As-Saabiroon (the patient).Who, when afflicted with calamity, say: ‘Truly, to Allaah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return.’ They are those on whom are the Salawaat (i.e. who are blessed and will be forgiven) from their Lord, and (they are those who) receive His Mercy, and it is they who are the guided ones”
[al-Baqarah 2:155-157] 

Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “No misfortune or disease befalls a Muslim, no worry or grief or harm or distress – not even a thorn that pricks him – but Allaah will expiate for some of his sins because of that.” (Agreed upon. Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5641)

What to take from this post is that we should constantly be striving to purify our hearts and to always remember that tests and trials are not meant to harm us but only to make us better and to purify us. Allah does not inflict His believers with harm and He is most Just! Don't let the moment you are on your death bed or the last minute of your breath on earth be the first time you reflect upon your sins and your relationship with Allah! Remember Allah has created us only for us to worship Him alone! We must always strive to be better and to use the hardships and trials inflicted upon us to help humble us and to purify our hearts so that we can meet Allah and He will Pleased with us. 

“And I (Allah) created not the jinn and mankind except that they should worship Me (Alone)” [al-Dhaariyaat 51:56]

“Say (O Muhammad): Verily, my Salaah (prayer), my sacrifice, my living, and my dying are for Allah, the Lord of the ‘Aalameen (mankind, jinn and all that exists)” [al-An’aam 6:162]

“Did you think that We had created you in play (without any purpose), and that you would not be brought back to Us?” [al-Mu’minoon 23:115]

May Allah make us turn to Him alone and may He give us the ability to trust Him and may He forgive us and purify us through all the hardships and trials. Ameen!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

My hardship.

 “And when an affliction touches a man, he calls Us (while reclining) on his side, or sitting, or standing. But when We remove from him his affliction, he passes on, as if he never called Us to an affliction that touched him. Thus is made fair seeming to the extravagant that which they have been doing.” (Qur'an 10:12)

When everything is going well and we are getting everything we need, we tend to forget about Allah. It may not necessarily be on purpose, but because we are so consumed with the things from the dunya, we forget that Allah is the One who gives us everything that we need in the first place. Sometimes we forget to be thankful and grateful, until when calamity strikes....

It is usually the case that when something happens in our lives, something that happens out of our comfort zone, we then turn to Allah asking Him for Help.  We do not realize the blessings we have until Allah afflicts us with hardship and trials. 
Lately, I have been blogging a lot about trials and hardships because I am going through them right now. Alhamdulillah for these tests that really help me see just how weak I am physically and mentally. I thought that my emaan was strong and my tawakkul was firm. I thought my worship was fine until Allah inflicted me with this difficulty. It made me realise that my emaan is not so strong, my tawakkul is weak and my worship is lax. Things that I used to take for granted have now become so difficult for me to do. Things that I thought would always be easy for me, are now a struggle. Every day has become a struggle and this trial is something that has really opened my eyes. I realise that I am not doing enough. I realise that I have become complacent with my worship and that I am just doing things based on routine. I had been so busy with worrying and stressing over "what if this or that happened" that I slowly started losing tawakkul in my Lord.

I remember when I first became Muslim and how I was so excited about the deen and I was so passionate about connecting with my Creator and my trust in Him was so strong and my emaan was high. As time passed, I began to feel less connected with Allah and I was wondering what happened to those feelings I once had. It is truly a blessing that I am experiencing these trials and I know that there is a lot of kheyr in this and it is Allah's Way of bringing me closer to Him. I feel that I have become heedless all this time and this is my chance to reconnect and strengthen that feeling I had lost. Though these trials are extremely hard to mentally overcome, I feel that it is Allah's Way of helping me get through the barrier of complacency. I am realising that every day is a blessing. I am also saddened for letting my worship become a routine and letting my fear for Allah become more than my love for Him. I realise that my Hope in Allah is not where it should be and I realise just how ungrateful I truly am. Please keep me in your duaas if you are reading this, that Allah helps me overcome this hardship and grants me shifaa and ease and may I never be heedless again. ameen) 

I hope this lesson will always be a reminder to myself and a reminder to you. We often strive to chase this dunya and we always ask Allah to help us get whatever it is we want. We worry so much about the things in this dunya that we often forget that the purpose of this life is to strive for the Akhirah. We ask Allah for more than we deserve and yet He still Gives! We become heedless and forgetful about the smallest of blessings (like our health). I never realised how important health is until I was afflicted with hardship. It made me realise that we really take everything for granted from being able to wake up in the morning and look out your window from being able to make wudhu and feel the water on your skin. Subhana'Allah, the Mercy of Allah is ENDLESS!  I just wanted to write post because I want to share my experience and what I have learnt through this hardship.
Always be grateful for the Blessings of your Lord! Even though they may not seem much to you (because by default we just love to compare ourselves to others astughfurAllah) the blessings we have are too many! Be thankful and grateful and you will never be sad or depressed. What I have learnt through all this is that as long as you have your deen and your health then nothing else in this temporary world should matter. Subhana'Allah ...if you don't have sound health and a clear mind, nothing else matters at ALL!!! So be thankful Allah has blessed us with the guidance of Islam for others look for guidance and happiness their whole life but some never find it and die as a disbeliever (may Allah protect us all from such a calamity). Be thankful you have your youth and your health and that Allah can take away this at any given moment. What a big lesson for me. I was taking advantage of my health and every little thing I used to do on a daily basis has now become a struggle! Allah is the Greatest. It just shows how weak we are and how we should never take advantage of this huge blessing and we should never EVER complain about anything!

“. . . then when (Sulaiman (Solomon)) saw it placed before him, he said: “This is by the Grace of my Lord to test me whether I am grateful or ungrateful! And whoever is grateful, truly, his gratitude is for (the good of) his own self, and whoever is ungrateful, (he is ungrateful only for the loss of his own self). Certainly! My Lord is Rich (Free of all wants), Bountiful” 
[Qur'an 27: 40]

We should always be hastening to repent to Allah for our countless sins that we commit knowingly and unknowingly every single day! Our sins pile up and then our hearts darken with heedlessness and disease and then we forget our Lord. This is truly the greatest calamity we can go through. We should repent before its too late...and I know it is cliche and we always hear "submit to Allah before its too late" ...I want to tell you sincerely from my heart, repenting and obeying Allah will only benefit you in the long run and we really need to do it before our health runs out. Be thankful for everything and remember Allah can so easily take it away anything and everything from you! Be thankful when in times of ease and be thankful when in the times of hardship.

It was narrated that ‘Aishah said: When the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) prayed, he would stand for so long that his feet became swollen. ‘Aishah said: O Messenger of Allah, are you doing this when Allah has forgiven your past and future sins? He said: “O ‘Aishah, should I not be a thankful slave?” 
Narrated by al-Bukhari and Muslim. 

Always remember that everything happens by the Will and Mercy of Allah the Almighty. He says BE and it IS ! So just remember that the tests and trials that come our way are only to help purify us and to help build us into someone better and more obedient. Allah loves us otherwise He would just leave us to the shaitan ad destroy us like He has with those mentioned in the Qur'an ! Never think for a second Allah does not love us because it is only that He does that He truly tests us to see which one of us is true to Him !!! Subhana'Allah ! 

May Allah help us all through these times of difficulty and may we never become heedless during times of ease and comfort! Alhamdulillah for everything and may Allah protect us all from trials and calamities which we can not handle! ameen.  

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Who am I to judge?

 "O you who believe! stand out firmly for Allah, as witnesses to fair dealing, and let not the hatred of any people make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just: that is next to piety: and fear Allah. For Allah is well-acquainted with all that you do. " [Sûrah al-Mâ'idah: 8] 

A really important topic that I most definitely need to address is the one that we all commit with or without knowing! For most of us, it comes naturally and it is only after we realise it, that we must remind ourselves that what we are doing is not right! I am talking about judging others. Many of us do it and again, I am no exception. In fact, I was brought up in a culture that did nothing but judge. Judged the amount of wealth you had, judged one based on their waist size, judged one by their abilities so on and so forth. I really can't blame people for judging but I do not encourage it either. Living in a Western society where media often promotes "bigger, richer, stronger" to its people, we are programmed to compete with each other and look down on others if they do not have something that we have. The media dictates to us that being the best requires one to have the top most luxurious brands in the world and if you are rich, then you are successful and everybody wants to be friends with the successful. We can't just be happy for people, we need to judge them. We are taught to have a sense of selfishness and that we are BETTER than everyone because we have something they don't have.

The (modern) Chinese culture is very materialistic and based mainly around status and wealth. They judge you based on what you have and don't have and they love to gossip about it behind your back. I never liked the Chinese culture and I always tried so hard to stay as far away from it as possible. But because of family members, it was hard to stay away from this mentality even if I tried. Judging people just turns you into a shallow human being who is  closed-minded and selfish. Judging people will never make you grow as an individual because you are too busy worrying about putting other people down! If we keep judging people and forgetting to worry about ourselves, then we will never succeed as an Ummah! 

Alhamdulillah for Islam, which has taught and continues to teach us how to live life as a good human being. Our beautiful deen always teaches us to focus on how to better ourselves and to learn how to follow the manners of the prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). Getting rid of old bad habits is something that we all should strive to do, especially if it causes harm between you and your sisters and family! 

So, the reason why I wanted to write about this subject is because it was something that I had really fallen into and I wanted to share with everyone how it destroyed me and was making me into someone that I really did not like to be. I became Muslim to exit out of all the bad habits but I found myself naturally falling into judging others. It started off with these reminders from the Qur'an and Sunnah : 

“You (true believers in Islamic Monotheism, and real followers of Prophet Muhammad and his Sunnah) are the best of peoples ever raised up for mankind; you enjoin Al-Ma‘roof (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam has ordained) and forbid Al-Munkar (polytheism, disbelief and all that Islam has forbidden), and you believe in Allaah” [Aal ‘Imraan 3:110] 

 The Prophet (peace and blessing
be upon him) said:  if one sees an evil action, let him change it with his hand [by taking action]; and if he cannot, then with his tongue [by speaking out]; and if he cannot, then with his heart [by feeling that it is wrong] – and ths of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever among youat is the weakest of faith.” (Narrated by Muslim, 49) 

“The Prophet(SAW) said, (three times), “The Religion is naseeha (sincerity and sincere advice).” We said, “To whom?” He said, “To Allaah, His Book, His Messenger, and to the leaders of the Muslims and the general people.”  [Saheeh Muslim No.55] 

and it began with pure intentions to really enjoin the good and forbid the evil. I really wanted others to be aware of their sins and faults so that they could change for the sake of Allah. I am sure that most of us begin with these intentions (and try to stick to them) but there is an art and etiquette on giving advice without seeming judgmental. I would worry about judging others while forgetting myself and my own sins. This can come off as arrogant (audhubillah) and definitely the person whom you are advising will not pay any attention to your words. I thought that I was doing something right but I later realised, because of all the negative feedback I was getting (from people who did not know how to advise either! lol) I knew that this way was not correct and it did not bring love amongst me and my sisters (for the sake of Allah) and I was not respected because I was not respecting others. I felt in my heart, this was not correct and I didn't want to continue like this because it could be potentially earning the Wrath of Allah (Audhubillah!) 

Alhamdulillah, Allah guided me to the correct understandings and I realised I needed to make many changes (hence why I stopped blogging for a long time). It really made me into an ugly soul and I really felt that this is not what Islam teaches. This is not the Muslim that prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) tried to be. I made excuses that I was allowed to be harsh because he (peace and blessings be upon him) would be harsh to some of his companions and to the people when it called for it! ! 

We really need to be careful and mindful on how to give our sisters advice, without coming off as arrogant. We should not abandon them either! And we should never call them kafirs and treat them like one (astughfurAllah!) as this is forbidden in Islam! 

1732. Ibn `Umar (May Allah be pleased with them) said: The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, "When a person calls his brother (in Islam) a disbeliever, one of them will certainly deserve the title. If the addressee is so as he has asserted, the disbelief of the man is confirmed, but if it is untrue, then it will revert to him.''
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Just because they sin openly or privately, it does not give us the right to call them kafirs. How do you know what is in their hearts? What if they have repented over and over to Allah and they are struggling so hard to change their ways? That is for Allah to Know and for us to leave! If we see a sister who wears too much makeup and she is advertising her beauty online, we should keep her in our duaas and advise her gently in private. She may not take heed initially, but it may get around to her eventually. Maybe your good manners will speak to her and she will consider what you have said! I know for a fact that most of these sisters get a LOT of hateful, rude, judgmental  comments on a daily basis and if those comments really worked as advice, then they would obviously stop what they were doing ! These judgemental comments can even cause a sister with weak faith to leave Islam completely (audhubillah!!!!!!) Of course, I do not support tabarruj (beautifying oneself in public for non-mahram) in any way, shape or form (as you all know lol) but I also do not think that being harsh and being a keyboard warrior would help either. They are still our sisters in Islam and WE TOO started somewhere. We were not perfect with hijab or niqab when we first became Muslim and even if we were, it does not give us the right to look down on others because they do not dress the same way as us. We all had that one sister who helped us along our journey and who never judged us, why not reciprocate for the sake of Allah and be that sister ? Maybe these ignorant sisters are just looking for a friend who does not judge them with everything and who is just looking for support!

I never truly understood "every body is at different levels of faith" until I came across some sisters who were extremely kind and even though could improve on their outward appearance, they still believed in the Oneness of Allah and were trying their best to be a good Muslim. So until I actually came across sisters who may not outwardly show their dedication, they still had better character than I did! 

O you who have believed, when you went forth in the cause of Allah, investigate; and do not say to one who gives you [a greeting of] peace, “you are not a believer,” aspiring for the goods of worldly life; for with Allah are many acquisitions. You [yourselves] were like that before, then Allah conferred His favor upon you, so investigate. Indeed Allah is ever, with what you do, Acquainted. (Suratul Nisaa: 94) 

Everybody starts somewhere and at the end of the day we are judged according to our own deeds. So wouldn't it be better to be judged for being kind and gentle to our sisters in Islam rather than being judgmental and rude? Another problem I noticed is that we all (and I am included) like to judge who is more righteous and knowledgeable than others! A lot of us judge each other based on the length of their beard (or no beard, and  lets not forget some men are not able to grow facial hair as easy as others, like my dad!), the colour of hijab, the niqab style etc...Just because one wears the niqab or has a beard DOES NOT mean that they are more righteous or religious. I have seen with my own eyes on many social networks, sisters in niqab claiming they are "salafi", mock others and post things that have explicit language ! So you can not judge someone just because of their outer appearance and claim them to be more righteous just because of the way they dress! And lets not forget the ones who claim they are more on the Sunnah than others! Many put others down because they think they have more knowledge than others. Knowledge is a BLESSING from Allah and we should be humble with it and never use it to flaunt to others because just as easily as Allah gave it to us, He can take it away. I will not go into full detail with this one because insha'Allah I want to dedicate an entire post on this issue! But I think we must be very careful in judging others just because they don't do certain acts of worship the way you do! Again, every one will be judged according to their own deeds and and surely, Allah is the One who knows who is righteous and who is not! 

Verily, your Lord knows better, who (among men) has gone astray from His Path, and He knows better those who are guided. (Surah Qalam:7)

Subhan'Allah this Hadith pretty much sums up everything about WHY we should not judge others. 
Narrated Abu Hurairah رضي الله عن ه: I heard the Messenger of Allaah (ﷺ) say: “There were two men among Banee Israa’eel, who were striving for the same goal. One of them would commit sin and the other would strive to do his best in the world. The man who exerted himself in worship continued to see the other in sin. He would say: ‘Refrain from it.’ One day he found him in sin and said to him: ‘Refrain from it.’ He (the other man) said: ‘Leave me alone with my Lord. Have you been sent as a watchman over me?’ He (the first man) said: ‘I swear by Allaah, Allaah will not forgive you, nor will he admit you to Paradise.’ Then their souls were taken back (by Allaah), and they met together with the Lord of the worlds.
He (Allaah تعالى) said to this man who had striven hard in worship; {Had you knowledge about Me or had you power over that which I had in My hand?} He said to the man who sinned: {Go and enter Paradise by My mercy.} He said about the other: {Take him to Hell.}”
Abu Hurairah said رضي الله عنه: By Him in Whose hand my soul is, he spoke a word by which this world and the next world of his were destroyed.
[Sunan Abu Dawood (4901) and graded as “Saheeh” by Shaikh al-Albaanee]

I can't stress this enough, but our Ummah is becoming more and more divided because we are becoming more and more judgmental. YES , we should not mix with everybody (i.e- the extremist sects who's shirk and extremism brings them outside the folds of Islam) but we should not abandon those who dress differently or do things differently because we should be the ones helping them and trying to show them that they are still our sisters in Islam and we should maintain respect and kindness among each other! We should try our best to think good of our sisters in Islam and we should not be judging them and making them feel uncomfortable. It will not please Allah and it is something that causes division and we are in a time now where we should be sticking together and helping each other. Islam is being criticized too much and we are not doing anything to show that Islam is the perfect religion! If we claim that we follow the Qu'ran and Sunnah then we really should start acting like it insha'Allah! We need to STOP judging one another, focus on working on our own selves and remembering that Allah will judge us all according to our own deeds. If you want to advise a sister, do it with kindness and wisdom and try to put yourself in their shoes. How would you like to be advised?  

the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: “Avoid suspicion, for suspicion is the greatest of lies in talk and do not be inquisitive about one another and do not spy upon one another and do not feel envy of one another, and nurse no malice, and nurse no aversion and hostility against one another. And be fellow-brothers and servants of Allah.” (Sahih Muslim, No: 2563)

May Allah grant me the ability to take my own advice and put it into practice and may He continue to guide us all and give us the ability to follow the proper teachings of our prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) AMEEN!!