We often question and doubt many concepts in Islam as we mature, such as, why can a Muslim man marry outside of Islam (ie: Christian or Jewish women) whereas a Muslim woman can’t do the same? And what is so different about dogs than cats that we can keep one in the home and not the other? And why can a man marry multiple women at a single time, but a woman can’t do the same with men?
The problem is that the society we live in is blind and we’ve become accustomed to the traditions we’ve seen growing up. We view marriage as a relationship of love and trust between one man and one woman. We view dogs as domestic and loving animals, just like cats. We don’t question what we’re used to; we question the things we haven’t seen or can’t understand because they aren’t a part of the society we grew up in.
We don’t question why humans can’t fly, or why the sky has to be above and the ground has to be below. We don’t question why the sun is brighter than the moon and why Earth is the only liveable planet. We don’t argue that a man should be able to bear children and give birth. We don’t argue why women have more adipose (fat) tissue than men.
We don’t question or doubt these things because we’re used to them; we grew up with these concepts as basic, every day ideas that we don’t have a problem with because we’re used to them.
But there is more to life than we’ve seen, and Allaah has seen it all and knows it all, and He has created the religion to be all-encompassing - even of the things we can’t understand.
When you’re in doubt or confused, gain knowledge and seek refuge in Allaah. Have faith that He is the best planner and the Creator of all that we know and all that we don’t.
When you gain knowledge of the religion, you will understand that just like women can give birth and men cannot, women have more patience and men have more protectiveness/jealousy and this is why men are allowed more than one wife at a time. But our minds can’t grasp this concept because we’ve grown up seeing homes and weddings where only two people are involved in a love relationship, and so we’re not used to polygamy. When you gain knowledge, however, you’ll understand that polygamy was used as a method to protect widowed, orphaned, disabled women who in that era could not take care of themselves, and there weren’t nearly enough men for every woman. You will learn the prophet, peace and blessings upon him, always married due to a commandment of Allaah, either to set an example or develop a ruling or to protect a woman/family or prevent fitnah (uproar).
But until you gain knowledge about what is out there that you aren’t aware of, you will question things and you will doubt things and Allaah has created you so He understands that these things will happen. That’s why He has commanded for us to gain knowledge.
It’s okay to be doubtful, it’s okay to be confused. But don’t let yourself stay that way and don’t let it pull you away from the religion. Do something about it. Seek help and counsel from scholars. Seek forgiveness and understanding from Allaah.
May He guide us all and grant us knowledge, wisdom, and understanding, ameen.
If you were at your lowest low in life - you were expelled from your college, your spouse abandoned you, and you had no job - and a person you respected - perhaps even a religious figure in your community - came to you and said “come, let’s hurry to jannah,” what would you do?
Many people in that position would join the respected person, because he’s respected, and appears to love and practice Islam, and you have nothing to lose and nothing worth living for any way…
After joining the person, if he told you one hadith after the other and one sunnah after the other about the benefits (and necessity) of an Islamic state, of how threats aren’t “forceful” and therefor permissible, of how this and how that and continuously bending your realistic perspective of things into a warped understanding of Islam… Gradually, you will become brainwashed. I’ve seen this, myself, happen to followers of ISIS.
Has a friend ever convinced you that chicken without undergoing zhabeeha methods is halal when you initially considered it haraam (or vice versa)? Has an imam ever convinced you that nutmeg is haraam? Has a scholar ever convinced you that you are forbidden to speak to the opposite gender unless it is a life and death situation and you are certain you can do something to save their life?
We’ve all faced situations like that and we’ve all experienced - at least once - being convinced of things that would usually appear unrealistic and incorrect to us.
This happens because we aren’t very firm in our faith and we are even weaker in our understanding of the religion and what Allaah truly wants from us. If we don’t work hard to understand Islam, we will easily be mislead by people - especially when we are in vulnerable phases of our lives. And everyone faces vulnerability.
So learn the faith. Learn the lives of the various prophets and their followers, a’alayhis salaamu waradiAllaahu anhum, at various times of existence. And learn from a variety of sources and a variety of scholars from a variety of backgrounds. Expand your understanding of the world and the faith. Allaah azza wajal has commanded us to learn both and for very obvious and wise reasons.
May He guide us and forgive us, ameen. May He protect us from shaytaan and his persuasion and may He grant us jannah for our efforts and intentions, ameen.
I didn’t have any expectations for my marriage.
I always had a very pessimistic view on marriage - especially Muslim marriages. And I never hoped for anything in mine.
People often ask me if I’m happy now because I had no expectations to begin with, and I don’t know what to say.
Being pessimistic about marriage is not the Islamic way. Allaah azza wajal has described marriage as a source of tranquility and as a blessing and to view it otherwise is to neglect the intended purpose of it. So I was probably wrong to be pessimistic. But to say that because I had no expectations I am content with what I have now is also not realistic.
Of course you should have expectations - not just of your spouse, but of yourself. You should expect that they will be a source of happiness, but you should also expect that you will work hard to achieve that happiness and the effort doesn’t rely solely on your spouse. You should expect that a spouse will remain loyal to you, and honest to you - because you are not being fair to yourself if you are with an unfaithful and dishonest person. But you can’t expect they won’t make mistakes - because they will. Some forgivable, and perhaps others not.
But most importantly, the expectations you do have must be realistic!
Don’t expect things that aren’t necessary. Don’t expect things that are your preferences. Don’t expect that their mood won’t affect their behaviour, or that the passion will never be lessened, or that you will be able to change them into exactly what you want. And don’t expect you’ll find your soulmate in your spouse right away.
You should expect that they will continue to grow and develop alongside you, that they will remain faithful, that they will befriend you. But don’t expect that even these minimal expectations will always be met - because everyone is human after all. And when even these minimal expectations aren’t met, you must expect from yourself to have patience and wisdom to stay by their side and help them overcome the challenges they face.
That’s marriage. And every marriage is different. So don’t expect your marriage to be just like another’s you’ve seen. And don’t expect your marriage to be something you’ve only imagined.
Just be realistic. This is the dunya (world) after all and it wasn’t meant to be perfect.
ayojadilebihbaik said: May I ask you? What is zabeeha?
Salaam a’alaikum. Zhabeeha is the method of slaughtering meat in order for it to be considered halal (permissible) for consumption. Zhabeeha is only one of the various criteria required in order for meat to be considered halal. It involves reciting a dua’a on the animal before/during slaughter, and it is slaughtered in the name of Allaah azza wajal.
There are certain animals that are halal for consumption and others that are not. Pig is an example of a forbidden meat - no matter what we do with it, we cannot consume it without sinning. Other animals, such as cow, goat, chicken, camel - you name it - are halal animals for consumption. However, before we can consume these halal animals, certain criteria must be met:
This is a very brief list as there are various other criteria depending on specific situations and animals etc that need to be met in order for even halal animals to be considered halal for consumption.
There are certain people, however, that believe that the zhabeeha method of slaughter is not necessary in order for the meat to be considered halal. I can’t recall where this fatwah came from, but there is an imam (not from North America) that claimed that because finding zhabeeha halal meat in North America is near impossible, it is acceptable to consume meat that hasn’t been slaughtered upon the zhabeeha method. In order to process meat the halal way (ie: with zhabeeha), we usually need to have our own Muslim slaughter houses and this may be difficult in cities where the Muslim population is so small that the business would not be supported. Although the imam must have had the best intention, this is one reason why we must listen to imams of our time and our region. Because he is not from our region, perhaps he didn’t realize that there are many places in North America where zhabeeha halal meat is provided - most major cities have zhabeeha halal meat these days.
Because of this issue, there is a conflict about whether or not it is acceptable to consume meat that has not undergone the zhabeeha method of slaughter. But… Many people, myself included, feel that since we do have access to zhabeeha meat, we have no excuse to make the haraam halal. And Allaahu a’alim.
you’re sitting amongst the women (imagine you are a woman if you aren’t) and another woman comes in with her children and all of the children are going around from one woman to the next, extending their hand for a shake and saying salaam. Imagine one of the children is a young boy whose age you can’t determine… But he seems to be somewhere between 8 and 14. You shook every other kids hand, but now you’re worried whether he is an adult in Islam and whether or not it is appropriate to touch him, considering he’s not your mahram. He extends his hand out to you… What do you do?
you are driving in a freezing hail storm and you’re stopped at a stop sign, and your long-time friend’s son - whom you know to be an adult in Islam, let’s say 13 years old - runs to you from the side walk, completely drenched and shivering. He asks “Aunty! I’m so glad I ran into you. Can you please drop me home? I was totally not prepared for this weather!” He is not your mahram, but he’s known you since he was a child. He’s drenched and the weather is worsening. What do you do?
What do you do
when your new mother-in-law says a white lie in front of you?
What do you do
when you’re at a Muslims friend’s house and you’re eating their food and casually in the middle of the conversation, they mention they believe chicken - without zabeeha - is halal?
What do you do
when the wind is blowing so hard and your scarf is being pulled off your head and your skirt is being pulled up your legs and you don’t have enough hands to cover both hair and legs?
These are every day situations Muslims face and these are difficult decisions we have to make regularly. In order to make the right decision, we must understand what Islam is truly about. It isn’t about blindly following one rule after the other, without putting any thought and consideration on the specifics of a situation. It’s about using all of the knowledge and wisdom we have and making a decision that is best and most fitting for the specific situation.
Don’t let the way you practice the religion take away your sense of judgment, morals, and humanity. This is the most common mistake we see in the ummah today. May Allaah protect us from it, ameen.
2014-08-07; 12:05 am
Whenever I feel the cold breeze from the open window against my bare arms… I remember you.
I remember you because I hate the window open at night. And I remember the nightly arguments about whether or not it’s too cold for the window to be open. I remember losing that argument. Every night. Because you hold me close to you and whisper “I’ll keep you warm. All night.” And you hold me close to you, wrapped in your embrace… All night.
Whenever I’m under these sheets alone, and I look at to my side and see your spot empty and cold… I remember you.
I remember you because it’s not worth sleeping unless it’s next to your warmth… Your face… Your shaking the bed with your constant fidgeting.
Whenever I open our closet… I remember you. I brush my fingers along your clothes and smile. I imagine you wearing them. I imagine you putting them on and complaining about how hot it is, or tight it is… I imagine you taking them off and seducing me with your clever charm and sexy confidence… With that look in your eyes that resembles more a beast or an animal rather than a man.
Whenever I try to sleep… I remember you. Because your absence is so noticeable… Even when my eyes are closed and I can’t see anything… I can still feel your absence… And the cold that accompanies it.
When I wake and see you’re not next to me… When I return from the bathroom and see you’re not in bed and in need of me dragging you out… When I make breakfast for one person rather than two… When the entire day feels like a daze because you’re not there to push me forward, to get me going, to get me excited for the day… When I go about my day alone between classes and work and errands… Without you by my side, holding my hand along the way, offering me coffee every so often… When I return home to an empty apartment… When I sit on our couch alone… When I turn the tv on because if you were home, it would be on in the background… When I change my clothes and realize there’s no one to impress with something sexy so I grab whatever my hands touch… When I eat dinner alone… And when I try to fall asleep alone… I remember you.
I always remember you.
And it isn’t because I’m lonely…
These things I’ve always enjoyed doing alone… I enjoy doing them with you now. Drinking coffee, sitting on the balcony, staring out the window, reading, lazing about on the couch… It’s not fun without you now… It’s not… anything… without you.
Why is it… that you’ve stolen the little things I used to enjoy so much?
Why is it… that I miss you so much.
What is it about you… About us… About… this… that makes even a moment in your absence so long, so lonely, and so in longing for you.
Why is it… that I remember you so much.
I remember you. With every breath I take… With every heart beat.
The essence of my being comes from you… And you… you are there and I am here. And there doesn’t know how lucky it is. And there is so far from here. And if there was here or here was there, I could be with you. And we could do absolutely nothing and I could be absolutely happy.
Because doing nothing with you means absolutely every thing to me.
Because you mean everything to me.
And so… I remember you.