I understand the struggle.
It’s so much easier to tell our children “people are watching” than to remind them the rewards of doing only that which pleases Allaah azza wajal.
It’s easier to do the former because the concept of pleasing people is easier to understand than the the concept of pleasing Allaah - an unseen existence.
But just because the latter is harder does not mean we succumb to the easier, less rewarding, poor intention understanding of life. We have to work hard to develop a backbone in them based on the rewards of the pleasure of Allaah.
And what we fail to realize is that love for Allaah, understanding of Him, being grateful to Him, wanting to please Him are traits learned not by words, but by actions.
We must teach by example. And that means working on ourselves every single day. The daily struggle, the constant strive for personal improvement are characteristics that can best teach our kids what is right and what is wrong.
There is only so much words can teach us and actions speak louder than words.
From the morals and manners of the Salaf was that they would advise one another sincerely. Remarkably the elder person would not be offended if advised by the young one. The young people would know how to advise the elders with good manners, humbly and respectfully while the elders would accept such advice in the best way and with thanks.
This may be one of the most dangerous things I ever post on my blog.
Any spam regarding “Salafi” or “Devient scholars” etc will most likely be ignored. BarakAllaahu feekum.
Excerpt by Sh. Yasir Qadhi. I encourage you to take a quick read, even if you reject it (or him). If you choose to scroll past, I understand - I too, once, considered myself strict on the most righteous path and naively considered countless scholars to be “deviant.” May Allaah azza wajal guide us all towards truly understanding His deen on a more spiritual level and with greater understanding. Ameen
The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was not a Deobandi, or Salafi, or Ikhwani, or Ahl-e-Hadees, or Tablighi, or Sufi, or any of these modern groups and movements.
Each of these trends is a *human* attempt to try to recover the infinite Sunnah. And each of them is closer to the others with respect to the Sunnah in some aspects, and seeks to concentrate on one area of the Sunnah more than the others do, but none of them embodies the full Sunnah, because the Ummah that our Prophet (SAW) came to teach is broader than any one of these groups.
The irony is that each member of a group is able to recognize that the OTHER groups are fallible, having been created and modified at specific points and times, and subject to the context that they live in, yet such a member fails to recognize that his OWN group is just as fallible and human as the others.
And the even sadder reality: a very small fraction (perhaps less than 10 %) of the Ummah actually categorizes itself into any of these categories, yet this small fraction is so disunited in its own internal disputes and abstract differences that they neglect what unites them is far, far more than what divides them, especially when these groups compare themselves to the 90% of the Ummah who really couldn’t care less about these internal differences, and are just struggling to pray five times a day and live decent, spiritually fulfilled lives.
Allah will not judge you based on a label you defend. Be sincere and conscious of Allah and love the Prophet (SAW) as much as you can, fulfill as many rituals as you can, live your lives as Islamically as you can, and then *you* will be following the Sunnah as best as you can.
I’ve spent a large portion of my life living in the naivety of those terms and alhamdulillah I feel I’m at a much higher level of spirituality and connection to Allaah and what He truly expects of us than ever before. I’m still no where near perfect and my opinions still aren’t written in stone, but I am on a path in which I care more about what His deen has always focused on teaching us - instead of falling into the squabbles my closed-mind was victim to before.
I love the Salafi concept in terms of its discipline, akhlaaq (practice), and non-questioning mimicry of the exact visible sunnah. I love the Soufi concept in terms of its tazkiyaah (self-purification) and tasawuf (inward connection). But how can I consider one more worthy than the other?
Many self-proclaimed Salafis and Soufis practice things I don’t completely agree with and thus I will never return to labelling myself as one or the other, inshaa Allaah. But the concept from which Salafiyyah (following the footsteps of the pious predecessors) stems, and the concept of Soufism (developing a deep, internal, spiritual connection with the Creator) stem, are both beautiful and necessary branches of Islam. We are not condemned to follow one method. Nor is one method all-inclusive of every aspect of Islam.
Argue me if you will, but it’s more beneficial you use your mind instead of your mouth - trust me on this. When I stopped talking and trying to explain myself, I started thinking more. And alhamdulillah I’ve developed a deeper understanding. May He continue to increase us all in understanding and make the path easy for us and full of reward. Ameen.
In a certain culture, in a certain time and place, it was considered very disrespectful to cross your legs in front of your elders.
It is very easy to for youth in that culture to exclaim that “Islam does not forbid me from crossing my legs in front of my elders, so I am certainly allowed to cross my legs in front of my elders and, thus, I will.” But is this act full of reward?
On the one hand, the youth is performing daa’wah, albeit lacking necessary manners and etiquette - which takes away from the rewards of daa’wah. And on the other hand, he is being inconsiderate and perhaps disrespectful towards his elders’ sensitivities.
Almost any one can agree that this youth may have the best intentions, but it is not necessary for him to belittle and disrespect his family. And there is nothing wrong in showing respect to his family by avoiding crossing his legs in front of his elders. If anything, it is rewarding to respect the manners of his society and show respect to his elders in the form they would most appreciate and understand it, even if Islam hasn’t explicitly mentioned anything about “crossing legs.”
Is it not, then, acceptable to follow the cultural norms of the society in which you live so long as it does not compromise your religion?
If you are denying yourself and your family a part of their culture or society simply because certain acts aren’t explicitly “Islamic” (or more oftenly, Arabic - which cannot be used interchangeably with Islamic) then you are denying yourself of that which Allaah azza wajal has not denied you of.
So think carefully the next time your society or culture is doing something - buying chocolates on certain dates, or flowers on certain dates, or gifts on certain dates, or convocations, fireworks, other celebrations, and consider what Islam truly teaches, encourages, and discourages.
Apologies aren’t always an affirmation of your wrong-doing. Perhaps you weren’t wrong. And perhaps you aren’t apologetic of your decision or act. But perhaps an apology is still necessary.
No, it doesn’t make you a liar, or fake.
It means that you realize that even if you were right, your decision and your act are not as important as the person you’re apologizing to.
Even if you were right, there may have been negative consequences to your decision. Perhaps your etiquette, or your words, or your insensitivity may have left someone else wounded. Perhaps your execution was absolutely perfect, but for some reason, someone still felt hurt. Perhaps you have no idea how someone could have felt hurt or attacked. But perhaps, someone was hurt. Someone felt attacked. And at that point, you don’t apologize for what you did intentionally. You apologize for hurting them. You apologize for causing them any distress. You apologize for the result of your actions, not the intention.
You can admit that you still stand by what you did. But you can also confess that you didn’t intend a consequence such as hurting someone’s feelings or making them feel small, insecure, unsafe, neglected, demeaned, or simply uncomfortable.
An apology never makes you fake. It never makes you a liar. It never makes you small. It makes you real. It makes your relationship stronger. It makes you stronger, and wiser, and humble.
Apologize even when you never intended to do someone harm. Apologize because you’ve got nothing else to lose, except that someone if your ego holds back your apology. Sometimes a sincere sorry can save someone or something. And an apology doesn’t require you to take back what you said or did. It is simply a confession - that you never wished to hurt someone, that you didn’t intend for this to be a consequence, that you didn’t realize this could be the outcome. And you’re sorry that it turned out this way.
An apology is only fake if you don’t realize what you truly need to apologize for.
This is simply one opinion of many.
To put “celebrations” into perspective, let’s consider if it is wrong to attend your convocation ceremony after you have graduated from a university. Is it wrong to be proud of this achievement? Is it wrong to be proud of any achievement? Has Islam forbidden us from celebrating achievements? Do we not feast when we are happy? Do we not feed others in celebration when something good has come our way - perhaps as an act of charity to others or gratitude to our Lord Who has provided us with the happiness?
Another example is Christmas… During the “holiday season,” everything goes on sale. If I happen to buy something from a store because it’s being sold on an excellent deal, is that forbidden? Am I now suddenly celebrating Christmas? I’m definitely not taking part in any worship.
So far, I haven’t spoken about Valentine’s at all. I’ve only mentioned whether or not it is permissible to celebrate something, and whether being a part of non-religious consequences of another religion’s observance is acceptable.
It is up to you what you choose to take part in. And if you choose to make forbidden what Allaah azza wajal has not - and He hasn’t forbade us from observing cultural norms as long as it doesn’t compromise our religion - then that is your choice.
In North America, women prefer white dresses on their wedding day, whereas where I’m from, they prefer exotic colours such as red and blue. And the way we decide what colour we want to wear is based on our culture and society.
Many can argue that Valentine’s rooted from a religious cause and that’s fair enough. No one is forcing anyone to observe Valentine’s, or boxing day sales, or to even go to your own convocation (although the latter two forms of observance/celebration aren’t related to religion).
But to be honest, if my husband happened to grab flowers for me on the 14th of February, just like he did on the 12th and 26th of January, and 9th of December, and many dates prior, then I will not turn to him and say “Astaghfirullah.” To treat Valentine’s day like any other, and simply take advantage of the fact that on this random day, flower bouquets are inexpensive, then that is far better than trying to avoid Valentine’s which makes Valentine’s something you’re actually noticing and observing by trying to avoid it.
If I can take advantage of post Halloween chocolate sales, and pre-Christmas clothing sales, then he can take advantage of 14th of February flowers and chocolate sales.
I don’t observe religious practices of Christmas, or Hanukkah, or even take part on anything Halloween or Valentine’s as a personal preference. But I will celebrate my convocation, and I will celebrate my wedding, and I will feast on days other than the two ‘Eids because there is much to be thankful for. Yes, ‘Eid is our truest and most spectacular festival and it is the most cherished and respected. But I will take advantage of family day and go see my parents because they have a day off from work and I from school.
I will behave according to my society and culture as long as it does not compromise my religion. I don’t buy chocolates because it’s Halloween, but because they’re cheap and my husband loves chocolate. I don’t buy dresses because I wish to observe Christmas, but because it just so happens that these two weeks in December, beautiful things are going on sale. I will dress according to the trends of my region, as long as I fulfil my obligations of hijab. I will eat according to what is eaten where I live, as long as I fulfil my obligations of what is permissible to eat. And I will enjoy and celebrate things such as my convocation with giving gifts, and every juz my child completes with a feast, and every good report card my child receives with a gift. I will do what my religion allows - within its limits, and without compromise - while observing the norms of my society. Observing societal norms does not mean compromising the religion.
Let’s not make difficult what our Lord has made easy for us.
Real men, real addiction, real intimacy, and real romance explained maturely and accurately. This article thoroughly defines what our expectations should be and where our standards should lie. It explains how warped our concept of romance can be due to what the “hypes” are.
Although a sensitive topic, we need to start discussing this more (and in appropriate settings). It can no longer be a taboo. The miscommunication, misunderstandings, unrealistic expectations, and abnormal fear regarding sex, romance, and relationships in Islam need to stop.