Sunday, February 6, 2011

It's just how they kill the cows

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

You are what you eat. So true mayne.

Cows + multiple stomachs = one heck of a digestive tract. But as far as people go....Let's just say that people tend to easily digest whatever they're fed in the news, or by other people for that matter.

Now it's not just the "turban-wearing boogeyman chillin in a cave" concept they throw at you. (You see, I really think there's a numerically organized manual somewhere that they use to re-direct people's attention from what's really going on.So for example, midterm elections roll around, let's use #456: "Ground Zero Mosque is a National Security Threat"; or how about #237: "The Democratic Presidential Candidate is really an African Muslim"; or what about #339: "Mexican Immigrants Threaten America's Cultural Heritage". And then, there's my personal favorite, #842: "Al-Qaeda and Saddam are Homeboys". I'm almost positive that one of these days they'll come out and say that Hamas killed off all the dinosaurs.)

In fact, I'm starting to think that all of those crazy conspiracy theories were actually put out their on purpose to keep everyone quiet; just another way to keep peoples' confidence down, and attention diverted from what's really going on.

I mean..aliens interbreeding with humans....really?

Now I know what you're thinking...and yes, there really are people who believe that.

But even if is true, I’m not too concerned about E.T. coming down and rummaging through my fridge.

I’m more worried about how dumb we’ve gotten (and I mean that in the nicest way possible). Hasn’t anyone wondered why they have referred to the situation in Egypt as “protests” for the longest time, instead of calling it a “revolution"? The former definitely sounds a lot more chaotic, and a lot less significant, no? I know the regime has not officially changed yet, but let's be real about this.

And I'm not going to be naive here, because I'll acknowledge that the politicizing can go on in both camps. The trick is to use your brain to see past all that fuzzy stuff, and recognize the real stuff. You truth, justice, equality, fairness..etc, etc.

So at the end of the day, best be careful; because Halal or Kosher, the beef might just all be the same.


"O ye who believe! stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be (against)rich or poor: for Allah can best protect both. Follow not the lusts (of your hearts) lest ye swerve and if ye distort (justice) or decline to do justice,verily Allah is well-acquainted with all that ye do.” (Al-Qur’an, 4:135)

Any goodness in this post is from The All-Knowing, The Just, and you should be thankful to Him for that. Any weakness or shortcoming in this post is from me, and I ask The Eternally Besought, and the people, to forgive me for that. Ameen.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Misery Industry

I see billboards on the horizon, I can't imagine what they'll tell me, what to wear, what to drink, where to eat, it's so easy not to think for yourself anymore, so naive, you don't do anything anymore.

--New Found Glory-No News is Good News

The sad (and inconvenient) truth of globalization and consumerism is the detrimental affect it has on society and ultimately the individual. No matter how “civilized” and advanced we think we may be, we are surrounded by pollution. This pollution not only includes chemical pollutants, but also audio pollution (indecent music, vulgar jokes,etc.), visual pollution (pornography, indecency, etc.), physical pollution (illicit sex, vulgarity). This pollution becomes a spiritual, physical and mental toxin or poison that slowly kills us.

When we often think of these vices we come to think how distracting these pollutants become. They essentially have become drugs—which have ultimately distracted us from our ultimate goal of pursuing getting closer to Allah, spiritual betterment, and living productive and meaningful lives. In the Quran Allah mentions our distraction and our constant striving to gain more and more:

1. The mutual rivalry for piling up of worldly things diverts you, 2. Until you visit the graves (i.e. till you die). 3. Nay! You shall come to know!

(Surah at-Takathur:1-3)

We’ve essentially become programmed to think a certain way about our bodies, our lives, our very existence has been defined by corporations that create trends that everyone must follow in order to become “successful” and happy. But, does real happiness come from material things? We’re all victims to this misery industry. These corporations, drug companies, etc. tell us how bad our lives are and how much better they could be if… buy their products. There is nothing with wrong with advertising for your business, but there is everything wrong with deceptive advertising. We are foolishly deceived by airbrushed models, computer-generated images of people in movies, advertisements, etc. We are bombarded with what the definition of true success and beauty is. A man or woman can gain everything in the world, but ultimately has lost everything if it is devoid of Allah or a higher spiritual meaning to their lives.

This misery industry has had detrimental effects not only on our physical health (the food we eat is injected with all sorts of chemicals and unhealthy proportions), but also our psychological and mental health. We’ve been told that white is beautiful (look at India and Pakistan and the growing trend for face-whitening creams). We’ve been told that being extremely skinny is beautiful. We’ve been told that perfect skin, perfect teeth, perfect eyebrows, perfect ripped/slim body are the essence of beauty. However, none of this is realistic or even possible to attain, yet we run after it like an elusive mirage.

1. The mutual rivalry for piling up of worldly things diverts you

This misery industry has made us less intelligent individuals as we get caught up in the advertisements and the definition of success and beauty. Guys expect their future wives (or current wife) to be super model thin and girls expect their future husbands to look like a guy out of a GQ magazine. Unfortunately, once we wake up from this dream we realize this really isn’t realistic. We’re all victims to this brainwashing and constant barrage of advertising and ultimately have become people with no minds of our own.

Many problems arise from this. We see mental and physical issues such as anorexia, bulimia, anxiety, fear, peer pressure, etc. We all want to fit in, yet the misery industry constantly tells us we cannot attain it until…… buy their product. The biggest impact of the misery industry is the insecurity that it causes most people. Girls want to fit the pictures they see in magazines and movies and are under immense pressure by society to look a certain way or else they won’t be seen as beautiful. However, true beauty lies not in the skin or the physical, but lies in the character, morals, and personality of the individual. That isn't to say basic attraction isn't important....but to emphasize the physical over the spiritual isn't the right approach. Guys also are affected as they believe that they need to look a certain way and dress a certain way. We see the gyms filled up. Why? For health purposes of course. WRONG. Most men work out for aesthetic reasons. “If I can get a ripped body, I’ll look good for the girls.” Gross exaggeration, but we all know it’s true to a certain degree. These impossible standards for beauty are literally driving us to invest our hard earned money into cosmetics, clothes, etc. that we really don’t need. Also, these impossible standards cause tensions in relationships as a man has a certain impossible image of beauty and the woman can barely keep up with that image always. We expect women to look in perfect shape 24/7, yet we men can take a break after working out for most of our youth…

Sadly, the misery industry turns people into mindless drones and we foolishly buy into it. Literally BUY into it. We go to the stores, consume the products, and waste thousands of dollars on things we often don’t need. We look to the poorest of people and you see they’re so content with the little they have, yet we want to consume more and more and get things we don’t need. We’re told we NEED to get a certain product. But the question becomes, are our wants becoming our needs ? Our nafs is certainly out of control and this creates a spiritual dilemma for most of us. We lose our dignity, our sense of purpose of life, and honor when we constantly chase after this dunya. Our insatiable greed and nafs moves us to work harder for dunya, work longer hours, perhaps get more than one job. Often times we see this hurts families as both parents are working to sustain an expensive lifestyle----they become slaves to their nafs. They rarely have time for their children and it hurts the family and ultimately society. The misery industry is destroying society morally and ethically one family at a time. Our kids become drones raised on TVs, movies, video games, etc. while parents work like slaves to satiate an insatiable nafs. In this rat race, we ultimately we lose ourselves and lose our focus and stray from our path to getting closer to Allah.

1. The mutual rivalry for piling up of worldly things diverts you

Mental sicknesses also increase when we buy into this misery industry. We see people delving into mental states that affect children from young ages to older people. Kids are growing up faster than usual and are exposed early on to more mental junk than previous generations were. Kids already are addicted to TV screens, video games, etc. Thus, we have generations of unintelligent kids with attention disorders and lack of social or verbal skills. Girls are brought up to think that Hannah Montana or some super model or actress is their role model. We get so mentally beaten by the misery industry we turn to drugs, get caught up in anorexia, bulimia, and other health disorders. Teenagers and older individuals turn to suicide often when societal pressure becomes too great. This misery industry is literally killing us, yet we’re killing ourselves for it.

Anas (Radi Allah Anhu) reported Allah's Messenger (sal-allahu-alleihi-wasallam) as saying: "If the son of Adam were to possess two valleys of riches. he would long for the third one. And the stomach of the son of Adam is not filled but with dust. And Allah returns to him who repents." [Sahih Muslim : Book 5, Book Name Kitab Al-Zakat, Number 2282] (i.e. the only thing that will satisfy/end Man’s craving for more will be death)

A sheikh once gave me the parable of this dunya. It’s similar to you standing with your back against the sun and chasing the shadow(i.e. dunya), however if you turn around and see the sun and go towards the light that is more attainable (i.e. light/sun represents deen/good/Allah, etc.). So this dunya is elusive and fruitless. To run after dunya will get you nowhere---it’s as elusive as the shadow and it’s temporary. To run after akhihrah and after closeness to Allah is better.

So let’s unplug ourselves from the misery industry and start thinking for ourselves, because to a certain degree we are all victims of the environment we are brought up in and are unfortunately affected in more ways than one. We need to watch what we eat, watch what we hear, watch what we see, and most importantly start to THINK for ourselves. Let’s unplug ourselves from this rat race and stop killing ourselves for the misery industry before it kills us spiritually, physically and mentally.

“Generation Diva”

Micah White's Thought Bubble: Junk Thought

Rise of the child women: The new breed of girls as young as ten who dream of manicures, diets and breast implants

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

So I couldn’t stop starting at this tree as I drove home from work.

I mean, it looked normal…but there was so much more to it. Half of its leaves had already fallen off.

I knew it looked like something…but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it…

AHA! Now I remembered what it reminded me of!

Have you ever seen a diagram of a human lung? Well in case you haven’t, here:

The branches, and the twigs, and the few remaining leaves on the tree, looked exactly like the bronchi and the corresponding bronchioles, with the Alveoli hanging off at the end.

And then I thought to myself, just like the lungs are the respiratory center for the body, so too are the trees for this place called ‘Earth’.


And then I thought about all those leaves that die annually during this time of the year…all of them falling to their graves. It’s funny how the extraordinary beauty of their changing colors is just another symptom of their terminal illness.

And just like those same leaves that are ultimately blown off the trees by the freeblowing wind, so too are men destroyed when they heedlessly follow nothing but their desires, going wherever their whims take them…

Look past the illusion.

“Behold! in the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the alternation of Night and Day,― there are indeed Signs for men of understanding.― Men who celebrate the praises of Allah standing, sitting, and lying down on their sides, and contemplate the (wonders of) creation in the heavens and the earth, (with the thought): "Our Lord! not for naught hast Thou created (all) this! Glory to Thee! Give us salvation from the penalty of the Fire.” (3:190-191)

Any goodness in this post is from The Creator, The Bestower of form, and you should be thankful to Him for that. Any weakness or shortcoming in this post is from me, and I ask The Most Glorious, and the people, to forgive me for that. Ameen.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Young Die Good

In the Name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful

8.1 million.

According to recent estimates by the United Nations Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation (IGME), that’s how many children under age 5 died in 2009…8.1 million…more than 22,000 children a day.

So much innocence lost….

You see, one of the beautiful things about kids, is their innocence. When we see them, we naturally gravitate towards them because we see something we like. The human soul is naturally inclined towards good; it’s part of our fitrah. It’s how we were created.

We like it when a toddler asks you a question but can’t pronounce the words properly.

We like it when that 7 year old girl flashes a beautiful smile.

We like it when little kids are running around all over the place.

We like these things…and in my opinion, one of the reasons why: their complete innocence.

What actually made me think about all this was a recent reflection on the story of Moses (peace be upon him) and Khidr found in Surat al-Kahf in the Qur’an. In this Qur’anic account, Moses (peace be upon him) meets Khidr (who is regarded as either a prophet or a pious person in the Islamic tradition) so as to learn some knowledge that Khidr had been taught. Khidr agrees, and tells Moses (peace be upon him) to not ask him any questions, until he (Khidr) speaks to him (Moses, peace be upon him) about it.

So there end up being 3 particular incidents that the Qur’an makes mention of. At each one, Moses (peace be upon him) is aghast at the seemingly evil things that Khidr is doing, and when he speaks out against it, Khidr reminds him that he (Moses, peace be upon him) is not supposed to ask questions. At the end of the third incident, Khidr finally explains to Moses (peace be upon him) what’s going on, and the wisdom behind his actions.

But of these three incidents, it is the second one mentioned that is of prime importance here.

Essentially, Khidr murders a young man:

“Then they proceeded: until, when they met a young man, he slew him. Moses said: ‘Hast thou slain an innocent person who had slain none? Truly a foul (unheard-of) thing hast thou done!’ He answered: ‘Did I not tell thee that thou canst have no patience with me?’” (18:74-75)

Later on, Khidr explains his actions here:

"As for the youth his parents were people of Faith, and we feared that he would grieve them by obstinate rebellion and ingratitude (to Allah and man).”So we desired that their Lord would give them in exchange (a son) better in purity (of conduct) and closer in affection.” (18:80-81)

A few important points I want to make here:

1) Notice Moses’ (peace be upon him) response; it emphasizes the innocence of the young boy

2) As for Khidr’s explanation, it shows some of the knowledge that he had been given by The Creator

3) And lastly, the most important point – In a lecture I recently listened to, a prominent shaykh points out how Khidr’s actions actually helped out the young man himself

But how?...

You see, in the Islamic tradition, young children, before they reach puberty, are not accountable for their deeds. They’re forgiven. In other words, they’re innocent…and as for those young souls who depart from this world before they reach that point:

Ibn Katheer (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: With regard to the children of the believers, there is no dispute among the scholars. Al-Qaadi Abu Ya’laa ibn al-Farraa’ al-Hanbali narrated that Imaam Ahmad said: there is no dispute concerning the fact that they will be among the people of Paradise. This is what is well known among people (i.e., the majority of scholars) and this is what we are definitely sure about, in sha Allaah. (Tafseer al-Qur’aan al-‘Azeem, 3/33).

Imaam Ahmad (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: who has any doubts that the children of the Muslims will be in Paradise?!

Imaam al-Nawawi said: the reliable Muslim scholars agreed that any Muslim child who dies will be among the people of Paradise, because he was not responsible (i.e., had not yet reached the age of account). (Sharh Muslim, 16/207).

So the point being made was that Khidr’s actions were not only a mercy to the parents, but to the boy himself…He was saved from a troubled future…Subhan’Allah (Glory be to Allah).

Now in all fairness, there is a difference of opinions for children born into families of other faiths, although this apparently seems to be the majority view:

That they will be in Paradise. Some of them said, they will be in al-A’raaf [a place between Paradise and Hell]. And the reason why it was said that they will be in Paradise is because this is the ultimate destiny of the people of al-A’raaf. This is the view of the majority of scholars, as reported from them by Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr in al-Tamheed, 18/96.

(Please see for more info on this topic, including the differences of opinion on this latter subject matter…and The All-Knowing knows best)

But the point of this post is not to get into a theological debate, which I am quite frankly, unqualified to get into. Instead, I just wanted to write something that, Insha’Allah (God-willing) helps us out a bit when we see these images on t.v., or read about these stories in the newspapers…about these young kids dying because of war, or violence, or disease, or poverty, or famine, or drought, or even before birth…whatever the case may be…just something that helps us get through the day…something that reminds us not only of the infinite Mercy of The Creator, but of His infinite Justice as well…just something that helps us out a bit when we feel overwhelmed by the loss of so many innocent babies…just something when these things make us weep…just something so we remember why children are so precious…just something to help us think about the infinitely expansive beauty and majesty of our Creator…just a little something to reflect on…just a little something, Insha’Allah.

Peace be unto you all.

Any goodness in this post is solely from Ar-Rahman (The Most Gracious), Ar-Raheem (The Most Merciful), and you should be thankful to Him for all of that. Any shortcoming in this post is solely from myself, and I ask Al-`Adl (The Utterly Just) and the people to forgive me for that. Ameen.

This post is dedicated to all those young kids who died innocent in all the occupations and wars…all those child victims of crime and violence…all those little ones who passed because of disease and starvation...all those young ones who never got to see their dreams…all the fallen kids…the dead babies...the little girl who will be questioned for what sin she was buried alive…all those young souls…

The young die Good.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Allah's Dawah

So we’ve all seen the growing Islamaphobia in the US with the recent Quran burnings and Park 51 controversy. My question is so what’s new? The religion of Islam has been under attack ever since the time of the Prophet Muhammad SAW (oh wait…come to think of it it’s always been under attack.. since Noah, Moses to Jesus to the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon them all).

If we to turn to the seerah and the Quran we’ll see many solutions to the growing problem of Islamaphobia (and other answers to the many many problems we have). I cannot think of specific ayahs or surahs for us to reference, but reading the Quran we can find many instances in which the same rhetoric has been said before by people who hated the Muslims and Islam during the time of the Prophet Muhammad SAW (i.e. he’s a madman, if Allah wanted to make us Muslims why didn’t he already? Why weren’t angels sent with him? He’s a poet, etc. etc.), but I encourage you to seriously look into the Quran and start to parallel today’s current Islamaphobic rhetoric with that of the rhetoric of the past---it’s amazing how similar it is.

Where our problem lies is the apathy, laziness and lack of pro-activism in the Muslim community. We are a very reactionary people overall. When someone does take action we often criticize (much like the hypocrites of Madinah did whenever the Prophet SAW used to do things in Madinah and propagate Islam). In the eight years President Bush was in office and the hatred of Islam and Muslims was at its peak in the world and in the US, Muslims were scared and looking everywhere for help frantically. We’re a people with short memories and forget easily the things we take for granted. We never feel pain or the reality for those who are incarcerated unjustly (i.e. Ahmed Abu Ali, Sami al-Arian, etc.), tortured, and killed unjustly until it hits home. When it happens to us that’s when we wake up and get active, but very rarely as a people do we come up with positive and productive solutions to our problems. We’re quick to point fingers and criticize, but are the first to step back when told to take action. Unfortunately, we have the characteristics of the hypocrites of Madinah who said they believed in Islam, yet did not believe and merely criticized every action taken by the Prophet Muhammad SAW.What's important is for us to continually educate people about Islam and Muslims and not just become reactionary people. Keep up the dawah people!

Another element to our reactionary nature is our emotions. We’re a very emotional people and the xenophobes/Islamaphobes are very aware of this emotional element of the Muslims. They know exactly what button to press to make Muslims behave or react a certain way. What’s needed is for Muslims to show composure, dignity, and honor in these times of hardship. We need eloquent leaders who speak for Muslims and are aware of the Islamaphobes’ rhetoric and tactics---you’ll see whenever they’re cornered or defeated in a debate they’ll either switch the topic or say “We have nothing against Islam”---yet their entire rhetoric is blatantly anti-Muslim or Islam. What’s needed by Muslims is for Muslims to not necessarily avoid bigots or Islamaphobes, but rather address these people in an intelligent manner, but after this come up with a harder campaign against Islamaphobia.

One piece of advice I’d like to give Muslims is to educate themselves fully about issues that Islamaphobes bring up BEFORE engaging them (if they’re given the opportunity). But, as a rule of thumb most Islamaphobes are not willing to listen to intelligence or not really looking to learn more about Islam. The people you should engage are the genuinely ignorant people about Islam. There are what I’d like to call the Islamaphobe ring-leaders and then there are the ignorant masses who follow---it’s these people you’d like to educate because the ring-leaders are pushing for Islamaphobia for political reasons, so your success rate with educating them is a lot less than with the ignorant masses. Let the more qualified people deal with the ring-leaders like imams, Muslim media experts, etc.

One mistake Muslims can make though in defending Islam is watering Islam down when certain touchy/controversial issues come up. It is here I’d advise people to talk to imams and scholars on how to best express and address these issues, but as a whole Muslims need to educate themselves prior to engaging Islamaphobes, because for the layman Muslim many things Islamaphobes say can really shake your faith if you’re not strong in knowledge and faith.

Now a few solutions to the problem of Islamaphobia: Start of simply by reaching out to your non-Muslim neighbor and talking about Islam to them, ask your local masjid to hold an educational event to educate non-Muslims about Islam, talk to co-workers, fellow students about Islam, hold events with your local MSA. THINK!

Now back to our issues at hand with the rise of Islamaphobia in the US. We’ve seen in recent history the Danish cartoons, the ban on niqab/hijab, the xenophobia in Europe, the indiscriminate hatred/torture/killings of Muslims, and now the Quran burnings and Park 51 controversy---again I ask what’s new? This stuff was inevitable and is a growing trend---so what? Let’s deal with it intelligently as the Prophet Muhammad SAW did. We can complain about how bad life for Muslims or……we can change it. Allah says in the Quran:

“Verily never will Allah change the condition of a people until they change it themselves (with their own souls)” From 13: 11

However, I want to draw our attention to the beauty of this growth in Islamaphobia. Yes, I said BEAUTY. Subhanallah, if you’re to look at the positive things that have come out of this you’ll see a lot of good coming out of it---namely it forcing Muslims to think about their identity and religion and go back to their religious texts. You’ll see Muslims who really not practicing before becoming better Muslims due to this. You’ll see non-Muslims although initially having bitter hatred to Islam becoming interested in Islam. You’ll see people converting to Islam. I kind of feel this is Allah’s dawah in a sense because as a whole the Muslims have been lacking in doing dawah. What does that tell us as Muslims? Are we truly serving Allah’s deen to our utmost ability? This is really a mercy of Allah upon the Muslims that he’s bestowed us with this challenge of Islamaphobia because it’s forcing us to search deep within ourselves to figure out who we are, where we stand on issues, and forcing us to come back to Allah. Allah’s dawah is two-fold, it’s calling Muslims and non-Muslims back to Islam. So let’s not be emotional about the pictures, the words, the actions taken by Islamaphobes---they’re looking for a fight, don’t give it to them and take the higher ground. Let’s look to Quran and Sunnah for answers of how to conquer this Islamaphobia. We certainly should know that we’ve been blessed by Allah’s dawah so let’s answer Allah’s call!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Straight off the dome piece like a loose kufi

In the name of the Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Usually when i write these, it's a long drawn out process where i revise and edit everything in Word, and then copy and paste, and look over it again and again....but with Ramadhan basically here, I chose to write straight from the heart, whatever is on my mind, straight into the text edits, no revisions, no overview.

There's a lot of static in the world right now...a lot of black and white. A lot of killing and shooting...a lot of abusing and raping...a lot of looting and pillaging...a lot of starving and dying.

And even beyond the old cliche argument of "holding hands and saving the world", we all have our own issues to deal with, i.e. school, work, family, personal issues, etc.

It certainly seems like Ramadhan came at the perfect time...but when doesn't it?

That's what makes this month so special. For 29-30 days, it's almost like being in another world. Even amidst the issues that our world is facing in these times, there's a certain peace of mind during this month that I can't quite explain.

I'm amazed at how every year, around/during Ramadhan, so many people's Facebook profiles and statuses all of a sudden become so socio-conscious, or just disappear all together, even amongst people who may not be like-minded throughout the year. But I'm not amazed because I think of some people as being any less...Quite the contrary. I'm amazed because it shows the beauty of the human character in its innate nature...when it doesn't dwell on the negative and perverted elements of our world...when it lets that beauty pour out.

Let's showcase that beauty for the rest of our peeps on this planet. At the very least, it'll give them something else to watch on TV besides the black & white static they see everyday.

God Bless. Ramadhan Kareem.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Footsteps of Shaytaan

O you who believe! Enter into Islam whole-heartedly; and do not follow the footsteps of Satan, for he is to you an avowed enemy. (2: 208)

So we’ve probably all heard this Quran ayah many times before, but recently something hit me when I read this ayah again.

As we can see it says “do not follow the footsteps of Satan.” When we remember the words of Shaytaan to Allah:

"Then will I assault them from before them and behind them, from their right and their left: Nor wilt thou find, in most of them, gratitude (for thy mercies)." [15:17]

Thus Shaytaan will find any way to guide us and mislead us. So one trick of Shaytaan is to not blatantly whisper “Go do xyz sin” rather he will lead you gradually towards that sin i.e. you will follow his footsteps towards that sin. So what exactly do I mean by this?

Ok as an example (I’m going to get a lot of flack for pointing this out, but whatever :P) , let’s mention the gender relations between guys and girls. So we may say “salaam” to a certain brother or a sister with pure intentions (that’s ok). However, what happens sometimes is Shaytaan whispers to us and says “ask for his/her email/screenname, etc.” (got to email her) And then you ask her for her number (got to ask her for notes). And then you ask her to meet you somewhere for a project (got to do school work). And then you start chilling outside of an MSA atmosphere. And as you see these are all ways Shaytaan tricks us to lead us down into temptation and sin. These are the footsteps we follow and don’t realize until it’s too late.I’m not saying we can’t work with others in a halaal manner, but often times it reaches that point where it becomes questionable.

We’ve all done this to a certain degree and we’re all guilty. Maybe not this specific scenario, but we have fallen into sin similarly. For others it may have been cheating on a test, justifying lying, etc.

I’ve heard so many excuses for some actions, one of which was “it’s ok we’re liberal” or one was “only God can judge.” People will come up with every excuse to justify their action and will be around those who support them in their sin or disobedience. Think about it… you won’t hang out with pious people and feel compelled to back bite or slander people. But you will feel more comfortable with those who are backbiting and slandering as you are. Those people will not keep you in check or call you out for your backbiting. People’s egos sometimes are far too strong for them to receive naseeha (sincere advice) from others or perhaps they may be having trouble overcoming that sin. Therefore it’s crucial for them to find better company to pull them away from that sin and also pull them up spiritually and increase their imaan. Sometimes giving naseeha to someone who is not ready can backfire and cause more harm than good if not done in a positive manner.

That was just one example, extreme maybe, but it’s a scenario that happens frequently. As for other examples, there are plenty. We just need to do some soul-searching and self-evaluation to see that we ourselves justify. It’s a slippery slope from when you initially make the haraam seem more halaal.

Another further example is when we can’t control our tongues when we keep company with the wrong people. Certain groups of friends may engage in backbiting, slander, or mockery of other people and you either join in or keep silent. Most of us join in and end up accumulating sins—very rarely do we step in to tell our friends or family to refrain from this. We may be the best of Muslims and pray, fast, pay zakah, even stay up all night in prayer but one sin such as backbiting might eat up those good deeds immediately, thus negating all of our good deeds.

We sometimes become lax in the commandments of Allah and find short cuts to fulfill some commandments. We pray salah late or in a rush, we sin and say “Allah is Merciful” and have this arrogance that somehow we are entitled to jannah, we lie, cheat, and hurt our own brothers and sisters (Islamically and biologically), fathers, mothers and relatives and think that in the end that we will be forgiven. Little sins eventually build up and will become a huge burden on the heart of a Muslim. We claim to be Muslim yet we neglect foundational commandments of Allah and His Messenger. How can we claim to be Muslim when we neglect to tell the truth, treat our own families and friends harshly, and commit the most heinous of sins with no remorse. The Prophet SAW’s character was the reason many turned to Islam and heart’s were inclined to the Truth. If we neglect to purify our character and continually justify smaller sins then who is to say we won’t justify the larger sins? Who is to say our smaller sins won’t lead us to Hell?

It’s a scary thought if we think about it. We’re essentially representatives of Islam and most importantly of the Prophet SAW and his message and if we are not acting in accordance to his teachings and the commandments of Allah then we are not adequately representing Islam in its truest form and are doing a great disservice and dishonor to the sacrifice of the Prophet SAW and his efforts to give us the beautiful gift of Islam.

Let’s not be those mentioned in this ayah:

And others have confessed their faults, they have mingled a good deed and evil one; maybe Allah will turn to them (mercifully); surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful (9:102)

We need to check our intentions as well as our actions when we approach any situation. Because what we may think may be innocent may actually turn out to be completely haraam or dangerous for us spiritually. Once you justify that sin or bad deed it leads to further bigger sins and problems for you spiritually and it can lead to diseases of the heart which are often hard to cure. Small sins will essentially chip away at our imaan and ultimately fall into Shaytaan’s trap and move farther away from Allah.

We should never say that “Allah is all Merciful and will forgive us” thus sin and do everything against Allah’s commandments and disobey the orders of His Messenger (SAW). If even the Sahabah (Companions of the Prophet SAW) trembled and were fearful of whether they’d be permitted into Paradise and forgiven for the smallest of their sins where does that put us in relation to them and their fear? Has our fear of Allah left our hearts? I speak to myself first and foremost when I say that we need to check our intentions, be careful of our actions, and lastly and most importantly ensure we are not following the footsteps of Shaytaan, rather we should follow the footsteps of the Prophet SAW.