Judging Islam Negatively by the (In)Actions of Humans: A Note to Muslims

A news broke on Twitter that reminded me that we need to talk about this. It was about a high profile Nigerian pastor allegedly having affairs with some of his congregation.

Whether that news is true or not, is not the point of this post. That story is just to give a little context to my point, which is that there is a need for us as Muslims to learn how to separate the bad things that Muslims do, away from Islam as a whole.

In the history of sexual abuse in the Catholic church, you’ll hardly find Christians (or even non-Christians) condemning Christianity as a whole. Look around at any other religion and see if the whole religion gets bashed for the actions of its followers.

You know why that hardly ever happens? Because unlike us, when a non-Muslim does something bad, people don’t bring the whole religion into it.

But Muslims…

When someone shares their experience about being sexually assualted, we reply with “it happens in the Ka’bah too”

When a child is molested, we reply with “and these men claim to pray 5 times a day”,

When popular Sheikhs are outed as alleged assaulters, we reply with “oh so much hypocrisy. And they act like they’re not sinners”

Every single time a Muslim does something, we drag the deen of Allah (تعالى) into it.

You know what happens when we do this? We belittle the deen of Allah, and we teach non-Muslims how to talk about Islam.

We give people the leverage to attribute so many negative things to Islam, and we turn around and wonder why the world sees us in a negative light.

Evil deeds are not religion specific. There is nothing bad that a Muslim has done, that someone from a different faith has not done.

But what separates us from non-Muslims is how we react to these issues by parking our whole deen under the bus.

The rights and rites of Allah (تعالى), and His deen, are far above the actions or inactions of humans, whether positive or negative. And we need to start judging people based on what they did, without bringing the deen into it.

We can make the argument that some people commit atrocities using the deen as a cover. But does this make the deen faulty? Or does it make that person a human who finds excuses for their evil deeds?

The deen of Allah (تعالى) is perfect, humans are not. Let’s not give people a reason to label the deen using the actions of humans, except when those actions are positive.

As my Yoruba people will say “ti onigba ba se pe igba, ni won se ma ba pe”, which loosely translates to “the way you honour your thing, is how other people honour it for you”.

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Don’t Focus on the Noise

My Yoruba people have a saying that “you focus on your reason for being in the market, you don’t look at the market noise”

Simply put, recognise your priorities and ignore distractions.

How does this apply to us as Muslims?

We are a nation with a specific purpose on earth – to worship Allah (ta’ala). But we are also a nation who has abandoned that purpose in favour of the distractions of this world.

Continue reading Don’t Focus on the Noise

Be Like Khadijah, Be Like Muhammad 

Quite too often, Muslim men and women love to play this game of putting the responsibility of acting right on the other gender. Especially when it comes to issues related to hayaa and marriage.

Men say that our generation of women need to be more like Khadijah (ra), the Prophet (‎ﷺ)’s beloved wife. As history tells us, she was humble, submissive, respectful and with absolutely every trait desirable in a woman.

Continue reading Be Like Khadijah, Be Like Muhammad 

Lessons from Ramadan

I am sure that there is hardly any believer who doesn’t feel sad at the fact that the month of Ramadan has come to an end. The month where the Muslim Ummah comes close to our factory setting, worshipping Allah (ta’ala) as much as possible and rushing to do every good deed we can lay our hands on.

It really was good to see Muslims be at their absolute best for the last 29 days. But as we bask in the euphoria of Eid, I can’t help but reflect on Ramadan and what lessons I have personally learned from it.

Continue reading Lessons from Ramadan

If You Were Born a Muslim…

I’ve always been a Muslim. I was born into a generation of Muslims, and it has always been the first label that I identify myself with.

Everything that has to do with Islam has become second nature to me, and people like me. Fasting, praying salah, using the hijab, saying the salaam, etc. This is everyday living for us.

But there is one danger with being born Muslim, and it is complacency. When you are so set in a way that you do not improve. You are comfortable with your level of faith and you hardly see the importance of seeking knowledge or improving your eeman.

Continue reading If You Were Born a Muslim…