I wanted to name this post as reverts versus bornos, then I realised it was never a competition. However, observing certains trends in Muslim society disturb me. Viewing from outside, I assumed only illiterate or poor muslims did not practise Islam as it should be. It was a misconception. Stepping into their society, I realise that the privileged ones are no better.
They like to term themselves as moderate Muslims. Basically, they choose few commands of Allah over others to suit themselves. I wonder what they wish to express by terming their way of practising Islam as moderate. Are they saying that Allah erred in codifying the shari’a or the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wasallam) was shortsighted to not know that Islam would be too much for Muslims today. Nauzubillah. May we be forgiven for such grave errors.
I came across a beautiful definition of moderation in religion by Shaykh Uthaymeen (Rahimullah). He said, “Extremism, leniency and moderation, all the three relate back to the Shari’ah (law of Allah), so whatever is compliant to the Shariah is the moderate-balanced path, and whatever goes beyond it is exaggeration, and whatever reduced from it is leniency. So the criterion for all of these is the Shariah, and the meaning of al-e’itedaal (moderation) is conformance to the Shar’iah, whatever is according to the Shar’iah is (the path of) e’tidaal” [Fatawa Ulama balad al-Haram p.211]
This will make it easier for us to now classify ourselves into leniant and moderate muslims. In sha Allah.
Let us list a few things we have observed in leniant muslims, that they need to take more seriously:
- Purdah: It always tops my list. My revert friends struggle for hijab. They look for every opportunity they can adorn the hijab, cover themselves up and walk with honor. I know of women who do not meet their cousins without their hijab. However, majority muslim women born into muslim households do not do hijab. It is sad. They forget the privilege Allah gave them. Society, culture, parents, husband, children etc etc etc. Shayateen will always give us reasons why we cannot do it. However, for a true muslim one reason is enough, “The pleasure of Allah”. There is always an excuse of being “good muslims from within”. However, there is no rotten tomato that is sweet from within. Even the ones who observe hijab, compromise. They meet neighbors, servants or extended family non-mahrams freely without hijab. Some even marry the “brother like” non-mahram. Gasp
- Gaining ilm: Most women limit their lives to cooking, cleaning and running behind kids. Only to be doing exactly the same 20 years later. Whether they are high school educated, graduates or post graduates. They do not want to do any better. The role of islam in their lives in limited to 5 salahs and fasting in Ramadan. The Quran in their homes are for the old to recite or perhaps we recite it now and then too. But what about opening it and knowing the meaning of what Allah revealed? What about knowing the tafseer, doing hifdh, reading scholarly opinion about matters that affect us? How will we learn hadith? Is there no ambition in our lives at all to know Allah, get closer to Him and become His favorite? We assume that we know Allah. But the fact is majority of us die without having clear concept of Tawheed even. We think we know tawheed but if I ask you the classification of tawheed and how common men err in it thereby entering into shirk, most won’t be able to comprehend an example beyond grave worship and amulets. There are people who spent ages in just understanding a single concept of deen and here we are so casual about it. Where do we stand in our race to earn Jannah? Are we even trying for it?
We are so full of bid’ahs like Quran khwani, reading quran for the dead (Quran bakshna), Chaliswa of the dead, Fateha, Shab-e-baraat etc. Not once in our life did we try to learn what worship (ibadah) in real sense is in islam. We are following Islam like cattle without any knowledge.
- Preparing Children to be dear to Allah: We prefer sending our kids to western schools rather than islamic schools. No, I am not speaking of the traditional madressah system which confines outlook of children making them devoid of wordly knowledge. Both are important. However, today there are modern islamic schools or even classes to impart true authentic knowledge in an updated fashion.
None of us aim at sending our children to Medina to become scholars. That is not even a remotely considered idea. We treat kids as an investment for dunya. It is our foolishness. They can be a great investment for akhirah. Only if we give them correct ilm, which they will not get amply from the maulana who comes to your home and teaches them to recite Quran without correct tajweed even. Oh yea! I see most reverts striving to learn tajweed and many bornos have even forgotten to recite Quran fluently
We will not give them good books to clear then aqeedah, we will not make them aware of prophets and their stories..but they will know everything about fictional stories. We work so hard to make them fit and pleasing for the world and equally displeasing for Allah.
- Working on Simplicity: We are so desperate to be recognized as someone superior. Our complete focus is on good clothes, furniture, car, fancy restaurants, holidays etc. On one hand there are those who give away every bit only to follow tawheed. The reputation, society, degree, profession, money and sometimes their names are tossed away simply for the sake of Allah. Then there are people finding it hard to stop listening to music, celebrating birthdays, watching movies, wearing revealing clothes ….these are such simple things to stop. Most reverts stopped it the day they came to know these are haram. Why does it take years?
- Choosing righteous spouse: This is something that has kept me in awe. Especially when it comes to daughters. Most reverts wait for years, despite being severely reprimanded by family, for a righteous spouse. Deen is something they do not compromise on. Some girls reach their 30s but do not prefer anyone less in deen. However, when it comes to people born into deen, it is sad that parents choose their spouses based on color, caste, creed, wealth and religion. Even when the kids do want to marry righteous spouse, but they are in hope of some miracle that they will find someone great in deen as well as satisfying all the criterion of their family. Sometimes girls are married off to someone way lesser in deen but good in all other aspects. What we do not realise is that perhaps they secured their kid’s dunya (in sha allah) but that marriage will not help them much in akhirah. Why can we not choose spouses who will open doors to jannah for our offspring?
- Balance deen and dunya: People go for extremes. It is a wrong notion that if we gain ilm, follow the commands of Allah, work for deen then we will lag behind in wordly aspects. You can be rich, successful in profession and be very good in deen at the same time. You can be highly educated, smart, beautiful, modest and kind at the same time. Neither is an option against the other. Why are we so desperate to seek recognition through haram means? Do we not trust Allah that He is the One who grants us rizq and success? So how can we be successful by shunning his commands? Indeed he is the biggest loser who thinks he is progressive by sidelining Islam. Instead, we must wonder whether all the success and wealth so attained will be a reason for us to enter fire. Will our families, homes, society, or wealth be willing to shield us on the day of Judgment? Do they even have the capacity to? Will we have the audacity to give them as an excuse for disobeying our Master?
- Blind following: Most of us consider Islam to be an outdated religion. Whereas it is quite contrary. Sadly, we take Islam from people who do not even belong to the religion. We assume an islamic lifestyle to be confined and seek liberty in ways that Allah does not appreciate. We neglect the role of women in redefining the society. The foundation and revolution that women create. Their role is limited to kitty parties and spending money. Everything that leads to decrease in IQs. Just because most do not make money. The role assigned to women by Allah is larger than this. More than what we can imagine. Muslim women are expected to be intelligent, well read, sharp and active. We choose to be dull women whose spare time is spent watching serials, or sleeping. Everything but reading and imparting knowledge. How will we find peace and liberty in Islam, when never in our life did we try to understand and study it as a subject?
What do we gain in the end? Amidst all the happiness, when our life in dunya is on closure, we feel scared of death. We waste decades that could have been used for our benefits.
- Mutual respect and Peace: There is this weird aggression in many of us. Tolerance is zero. In small matters we pick up brawls, start gossiping about people who offended us, try to make lives miserable, and do everything except keeping love for Allahs sake a preference. We expect everyone to treat us superior to them. Marry when we want, attend programs that we want, run around for errands for us, never say a no to us, always have time for us, always receive our calls, be quiet when we in argument, and listen to our allegations quietly.
- Not being scared: why are we so scared? So scared to be recognised as muslims. So scared to speak the truth. Scared of taking a stand for the sake of Allah. Scared to choose haqq over baatil. So scared of telling a phrase about Islam to make people aware. Why do we not have tawakkul on Allah? That He is The Mightiest and it is He who protects us. It is He with whose permission can harm be inflicted upon us or be prevented. Why is jannah and jahannam such an abstract term for us? Allah, angels, qadr, akhirah…why is our imaan not firm on these things? It again comes back to the fact that we have not read and learnt enough about it. How will we feel anything about something we do not know about? And how will we know about anyone without learning about Him? We suffer from complexes. Inferiority complex. Thus, the constant effort to prove oneself “normal”.
Remember, Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Islam began as something strange and will revert to being strange as it began, so give glad tidings to the strangers.” [Sahih Muslim, 145]
So, do you find yourself a stranger or one amongst many?