I was having a conversation with my Ammie today about Muslims living in Muslim countries, and we were wondering why on Earth the Muslims in these countries are more “modern” than many Muslims who live in the west!? I understand this is a very cliché topic, but I just had to write down what I was feeling; I guess to vent. I want this to be a reminder to myself first and don’t want anyone to take offense to anything I have written.
I fail to understand how Muslims who have all that they could need (Islamic Universities, Teachers, Masjids) are irreligious. Do they not realize that some Muslims in the west have to drive 20 minutes to reach the nearest masjid?! Do they know that Muslims in the west have to struggle to learn Arabic and Islamic Studies?! Do they know how difficult it is to maintain your Muslim identity in a place where you are constantly being bombarded with fitna 24/7 from the time you are a child?! I mean Muslims in the west can’t even go to school without seeing or hearing something haraam! One example I can give is from where I went subbing today: a public elementary school. Children were talking about which girl to date and who was going to ask her out! Do the Muslims in Muslim countries not know that many Muslim children have to face this day in a day out, while still holding on to their religion. I was asking my Ammie why I’ve seen Muslimas in Pakistan wearing capris, sleeveless and of course, no hijab!? What are they promoting and who are they copying? Why are the youth forming bands and why are there whole channels dedicated to them! In fact the very second I am writing this, a channel from the Muslim world is showing a fashion show and a rock concert by local youth! Alhumdulilla for the off button. Of course the problem goes deeper than clothes and music. Why is it possible for Muslims in the west to be more Islamic? Why is it that religious and practicing Muslims in Muslim countries are looked down upon or mocked?! Why are students not encouraged to go into studying and serving the deen? What will these ultramodern people from Muslim countries be like if they live in a non-Muslim country? No one is here to babysit them, there is no hijab police or mulana saab. I’m sorry, but it’s a shame that these countries are called “Muslim” countries.
The mentality (of many of the Muslim youth worldwide) is that Islam is for the old. I have heard with my own ears, young people saying things like, “I don’t need to practice my deen until I am old.” I’d like to ask these people a simple question: Where did Allah promise you that you will live to old age? Show me your contract which states so! Your life can easily be cut short in your prime years! Do you know where and when you will die!? Do they not know that Allah will shade 7 different groups on the Day of Judgement and that one of these groups is the one who practiced Islam as a youth?! The last time I visited a Muslim country, some youth I knew did not even pray! Do they not know that leaving the prayer intentionally is kufr! You are taken out of the fold of Islam. Don’t these people live in places where the adhaan is called in public, outloud! You wake up to the sound of the Fajr adhaan, and it’s not from a CD! SubhanAllah, how many Muslims in the west would love to hear that?
Of course, we Muslims in the west are not excused from our behaviors because we live in non-Muslim countries. The same questions I raised about Muslims in Muslim countries are applicable to Muslims in non-Muslim countries. How much has Allah asked of us? NOT MUCH. Allah asks us to fulfill simple tasks and we fall short. Our excuse cannot be that we are living in a non-Muslim country. What is stopping us from praying, reading Quran, studying our deen, dressing according to Islamic standards, and practicing our religion? We are in a country which guarantees us religious freedom! People cannot stop us from praying at school and no one can deny us the right to wear hijab, Alhumdulilla. I know it’s not perfect, but relatively it’s better here than other places. Ask the Muslim women of France or Turkey. Compare that to the Muslims in the time of the Prophet(saw) who were persecuted for their deen or to the Muslims who were expelled and killed in Spain!
Why is it that we know Muslim brothers and sisters who are involved in such heinous acts such as smoking, drinking, free mixing, dating and wearing obscene clothes? Many of them hide these actions from their parents but did they remember that you cannot hide anything from Allah. Allah knows where you were, who you were with and what you were doing. Also it doesn’t matter if you are free mixing with other Muslims; it’s still not allowed. Muslims dating Muslims is not halal.
Why is it that many Islamic lectures and classes only turn up a hand full of people? One class I attended had about 150 people, Mash’Allah; but there are more Muslims on that university campus than those who attended the class. There are more Muslims in the metropolitan area; I know there are.
We cannot say that our religion is in our hearts and we don’t have to be Muslims on the “outside.” Iman is our manifested in our actions! Do not be afraid to show outwardly that you are a Muslim. Wear the hijab (WHOLE HIJAB) and grow the beard. Make a pure and sincere intention to improve yourself. Make du’a to Allah and ask Him to make it easy for you to fulfill what is required of you. Another point I’d like to put out there: Islam is not a video game. You do not have to reach level 55 before you can start practicing Islam. You do not have to be at a higher “level” to wear the hijab!
My main question is: Don’t we all claim to be Muslim? Can any of us (Muslims in Muslim or non-Muslim countries) raise our hands and say that we are not Muslim? We all love Islam and love the Prophet (saw). Then why is it so difficult for us to show our love? Why can’t we do what is required of us?
Stop and reflect: Why has Allah made me Muslim? Why was I born Muslim? Why did Allah guide me to Islam? Why did Allah choose me? You are special. (I know that sounds corny, but it’s true) You are special for being a Muslim. We are blessed with this deen while at the same time given a responsibility. What did we do with the Islam that we were given?
I guess the point of me writing this blurb is not to just complain and vent about why the Muslims are the way they are, but to urge people (including myself first) to become the best Muslims we can be. We all have to study Islam, just as we study for any subject in school. We will all get a grade eventually. We have to improve ourselves. I guess I just can’t make this point clearer. We must all remember that death is the killer of all desires. This is not our permanent abode. We must not become attached to this dunya, because Allah has promised us something much better.
May Allah forgive us and guide us all to become the best Muslims we can be. Anything I wrote which is of any good is from Allah, and any mistakes are from me. I hope anyone who reads this can Insha’Allah take it as a reminder and encouragement, just like I will.