This is part of my installment of old posts from 2008 and early 2009 which I have chosen to republish. Some links may be dead and I will try to fix them as I go.
I am so tired of having to break it down for people, I swear (cue the auntie chorus saying “It’s not good to swear in Islam”). You know what I will never understand? People who engage in the haram and then go stand before God and pray and bug out because they missed asr. Um you missed asr because you were at the casino. Bygones.
1. As a muslim, you should try to protect your own Islam. That’s number one. You protect your own Islam by trying the best you can to follow the tenets of the religion and striving to be a better Muslim. That doesn’t mean Insta Holy Pious. It means TRYING. It means worrying about saving yourself from hellfire before trying to give fake ass nasihah to someone who might just need it less than you.
2. Once you have worried about yourself, then you worry about your Muslim brothers and sisters. But you don’t “worry about their Islam” by acting superior, doing fake “enjoining the good” and telling them to pray all their prayers when you darn well saw them do all the fard prayers so stop with the superiority already. You worry about them by treating them like your brothers and sisters in Islam. You worry about them by following the example of the Prophet salli alahou alayhi wa salam and being a good spouse, parent, friend, whatever. Not by acting like you are the Queen of the Holy Pious and then having the nerve to call it nasihah.
3. Once you have numbers 1 and 2 down, you should also concern yourself with making non-Muslims want to be Muslim. You do this by making Islam attractive to people. By following number 1, you ensure that you won’t act the damn fool and make the non-Muslims skeered. By following number 2, you make non Muslims say, “gee these Muslims are totally awesome with each other.” You CANNOT draw people to Islam, do number 3, without worrying about your own Islam first and treating other Muslims in a manner in which they deserve to be treated.
I also have beef with people who think it is ok to treat lapsed Muslims or non-practicing Muslims worse than the so called “practicing” Muslims. One of my friend’s shaykhs said (and I don’t know if this was just him or a hadith or what) that you don’t know who the walis are among us, that the ones who God loves the most aren’t necessarily the ones with the longest beards or the blackest niqab. The person who has Islam figured out could be your hippie friend or the quiet dude you see praying at the masjid but no one really knows what his deal is. For me, the people that make me want to be Muslim and happy to be Muslim aren’t the usual suspects. I try to put that into practice, and when I see a lapsed Muslim, I try to give that person the very best so that he or she doesn’t feel judged. It doesn’t mean excusing someone who is chillaxin with a forty and a ham sandwich, but it means making that person feel like if s/he wanted to come back into the fold, at least one person would be there and happy to be there. I had a Muslim tell me the other day that she had never done Ramadan. Bad experience when she was little and ever since she was traumatized, but no obvious health problems. Just never had anyone talk honestly without judgement about it. Any other person would have been like “astarghfirullah” and I’m like, “yo, just do one day. Give one day a shot. Make it a Sunday. Try it here in a few weeks instead of waiting until Ramadan.” Ditto for praying. If there is one group of Muslims I cannot stand, it is the prayer police. Astarghfirullah. For realz, y’all. If someone doesn’t pray, that’s on them (and PLEASE IF SOMEONE DOES PRAY DON’T GO AROUND TELLING PEOPLE THEY DON’T k thx bai), same tactic- dude, just try one. Don’t act like an asshole when this person walks into the masjid and be like, “astarghfirullah brother you have to do two sunnah rakats, didn’t someone ever teach you anything?” I agree, you can’t make excuses for people, and you have to enjoin the good, but you’re dealing with people who need not to be judged. Becuase if you sit there and judge them, they are going to be like “screw these judgemental Muslims, I haven’t prayed or fasted for thirty years and I’m not dead yet.”
Now if you excuse me, I am not going to sit around and judge people, I am going to go off and protect my Islam. Or as I like to call it, “Check my Intention.”
19 April 2009 at 10:42 pm
Just I agree… Usually I would have something to add, but today I just have to say I agree. Didn’t anyone ever tell those people the more flies with honey thing?
20 April 2009 at 1:52 pm
21 April 2009 at 1:58 am
Ah, you speak the truth my sister.
22 April 2009 at 10:22 pm
Right on! Sister you should write a book on this subject! Love you.
23 April 2009 at 7:27 pm
great post. i hate prayer police. i heard you’re supposed to make excuses for ppl if you see them doing bad things. like oh maybe she’s on her period or this or that..
24 April 2009 at 5:09 pm
I’m in Egypt for work, and a friend who’s not in hijab gets judged on her Islamicness. She’s more Islamic than most of the women in hijab though
I constantly get rebuked for not covering my feet.
Live & let live is what ppl should do.