To be a Muslim in this day and age is to subconsciously accept that a large portion of the west view us as somewhat subhuman, in the way they casually accept the spilling of our blood, in the way they monopolise negative terms and directly associate them with our deen. Muslims are often guilty of possessing traits of ignorance as, let’s face it, the vast majority of us were born and often raised in our respective nations where Haraam, Bid’ah and Shirk are widespread and consequently we ship that mentality to this country which coupled by our close proximity to Ahl ul Kitaab (Jews & Christians) Mushrikeen and Atheists, has a very evident and clear Impact on our very existence and understanding of al-Islam.
This brings me to my next point brothers and sisters, are the kafireen really responsible for the for the dire situation our Ummah is currently in? In particular us living in the west? Or are we the ones whom the blame should fall on as we have been given the tools of guidance but not acted upon that guidance therefore we find ourselves well short of the mark of a real believer and ultimately in the bowels of ignorance. During the course of this summer we witnessed many sad facts about our communities especially locally where the café’s were littered with brothers watching almost every single world cup match and struggled to shift from their seats in order to answer the call of the Adhaan from the Masajid. Aside from the sad reality that our brothers (and many sisters) plagued by the attraction of Nationalism glared at the TV screens hours on end urging their respective country towards victory in their games, they lost out on the sweetness of Ramadan and the precious moments Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala gifted us during this blessed month and instead they chose to watch a group of men running around in shorts exposing their awrah and sacrificing their siyam for a secular sporting tournament. How can we be this disillusioned with our lives? When the Qur’an and the Sunnah is ready and available to each and every single one of us? Allah made it clear to these people in the Qu’ran when He Subhanahu wa Ta’ala meantions:
وَمَن يُشَاقِقِ الرَّسُولَ مِن بَعْدِ مَا تَبَيَّنَ لَهُ الْهُدَىٰ وَيَتَّبِعْ غَيْرَ سَبِيلِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ نُوَلِّهِ مَا تَوَلَّىٰ وَنُصْلِهِ جَهَنَّمَ ۖ وَسَاءَتْ مَصِيرًا
And whoever opposes the Messenger after guidance has become clear to him and follows other than the way of the believers - We will give him what he has taken and drive him into Hell, and evil it is as a destination.
(Soorah an-Nisaa’ (4): 115)
I want to bring to your attention brothers and sisters, the fact that aside from the incredible amount of sins being perpetrated by many Muslims in our communities, our very mentality about living in the west and our lack of cohesion with Muslims of other ethnic backgrounds or even other ideologies and madhahab. Everyone is concerned about calling to their own groups and living in a bubble of safety which they have constructed in order to escape responsibility but as Muslimeen we have a duty to fulfil and not spend large portions of the day sitting in café’s and indulging in never ending kalam which serves absolutely no purpose to our lives; continuous and daily discussions about the politics of one’s home nation while not paying attention to your own families and the lives of your children who are in dire need of your help, guidance and umbrella of support as they struggle with peer pressure and the growing call to treacherous acts such as zinaa. Being a teacher myself it greatly perplexes me that when I ask my students who are often Muslims what they would like to be when they are older, that not one mentions an ambition to become an alim or an imam.
Simply sending your children to madrassas is not good enough, you have to be proactive in your child’s life and push yourself to be a righteous role model for your child and not dump the responsibility on the ustadh or imam while you make little to no effort to educate your children islamically and other than that. Al-Imaam ash-Shafi’ee said: “All humans are dead except those who have knowledge, and all those who have knowledge are asleep, except those who do good deeds. Those who do good deeds are deceived except those who are sincere, and those who are sincere are always in a state of worry”. As a side note many parents nowadays give absolutely no importance to their child’s Islamic education while they go out of their way to make sure their child excels in their secular studies as we have this misguided perception that true success is the attainment of a good secular degree from a prestigious university and an incredibly well paid job as that is what the vast majority of Muslims believe to be true success, when Allah azza wa jal has already given us the formula for success when He says:
قَدْ أَفْلَحَ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ
Successful indeed are the believers.
الَّذِينَ هُمْ فِي صَلَاتِهِمْ خَاشِعُونَ
Those who offer their Salat (prayers) with all solemnity and full submissiveness.
(Soorah Al-Mu’minūn (23):01-02)
Brothers and sisters who practise the deen are often viewed as extreme by the non-practising Muslims and furthermore they regularly suffer abuse, slander and attacks from the Muslims themselves whether it be on the street, media or even on social networks where their choice of lifestyle is belittled by other Muslims who have come tantalisingly close to imitating the kuffar in not only their dealings but their whole way of life. So what constitutes a Muslim in this day and age? Is it your eeman? Your worship? The external manifestation of Islam in your outward appearance? Or is it to simply be born into a “Islamic” household? These are critical questions that a muslim must ask oneself to check their Islam. Of what use will your Islam be to you on Yawm ul Qiyyamah (Day of Judgement) when it is mixed up with Shirk? With Bid’ah? Or even mixed up with Sikhism and Hinduism traditions? Will it be sufficient on the day to reply to Allah ta’ala with “My parents did it so I followed them” because you mistakenly consider it to be respectful to the parent to never doubt or question them? To these people Allah says:
وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمْ تَعَالَوْا إِلَىٰ مَا أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ وَإِلَى الرَّسُولِ قَالُوا حَسْبُنَا مَا وَجَدْنَا عَلَيْهِ آبَاءَنَا ۚ أَوَلَوْ كَانَ آبَاؤُهُمْ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ شَيْئًا وَلَا يَهْتَدُونَ
And when it is said to them, "Come to what Allah has revealed and to the Messenger," they say, "Sufficient for us is that upon which we found our fathers." Even though their fathers knew nothing, nor were they guided?
(Soorah Al-Maidah (5):104)
It is plain and clear to see for every individual with an open heart that this life is one big deception and foolish are those who allow themselves to be duped into believing it is everlasting or develop an emphatic attachment to this dunya to an extent that if you advise these individuals they think you are crazy, deluded, weird and/or relentlessly annoying and that is all due to the fact that they let ash-Shaytaan become an intimate friend of theirs. Parents need to wake up and smell the coffee or so to speak, do you not realise your children are suffering? You have countless teenage boys and girls who spend hours on end texting the opposite sex, on the phone all night to the opposite sex, developing dangerous relationships which in many cases end up in exceptionally negative circumstances such as unplanned pregnancies, the taking of each of each other’s virginities opening the door to more temptation and ever growing sexual frustrations. This brothers and sisters is not an isolated incident I am speaking about, this is the harsh reality of many and I strongly emphasise many Muslim youth in today’s day and age. The amount of horror stories you hear as a young person and many times witness with people around you would shock our elders to their core if they were exposed to these truths. Many times our sisters are not shamed by the acts they commit and casually hop from one relationship to the next, or in university halls where sisters wearing the hijab casually sit on their boyfriends laps in front of many people, this leaves a very sour taste in the mouth of a believer and one can only imagine what a non-Muslim seeing that must think, if it’s not “oh seems like Islam is very tolerant I might give it a go since it allows intimate acts outside marriage” then its most likely “what is the point of entering a religion which is supposed to promise a complete overhaul of your life when the people who profess it act just like me or even worse”. If we are not ashamed to sin due to a corrupt understanding which many people nowadays possess of “at least I’m not being a hypocrite and hiding it” we surely must wake up and realise Allah tabaraaka wa ta’ala hides our sins and short comings for a reason, and you exposing yourself after that are leaving yourself open to committing major sins.
We must allow ourselves to be criticised and not allow our nafs to get the better of us brothers and sisters, but that criticism should be done with love and care, with gentleness and wisdom and most importantly in private as to not leave the other person feeling he/she was dealt with unjustly. Al-Hasan Al-Basree said: “A believer will always be critical of himself in his food, drink and his speech whereas a sinner will not criticise himself”
Unfortunately advising people nowadays is like advising a wall to budge, it really and truly falls on deaf ears, the tongue says “yeah that’s true” or “yeah you’re right” but the heart and mind are still longing for the sin which you are being advised against. We don’t have the luxury of time on our side as al Imaam Al-Hasan Al-Basree said: “The dunya is made up of 3 days: As for yesterday, it has vanished along with all that was in it. As for tomorrow you may never see it. As for today, it is yours, so work for it.
Wasalaamu Alaikum WaRahmatullahi WaBarakatuh