Had a conversation this weekend with a Muslim friend of mine who means a lot to me. We disagree a lot on Islam, however, and our latest conversation was no exception.
“Yeah so I met this brother the other day and he was going on and on about how he bought an apartment for his mom and he is bringing her down for Ramadan so I thought he was a good brother, right? Then I saw him having champagne at a office party and I was like, soooo hurt. And he always acts like he doesn’t want to hang out with us, he never comes to jummah with the crew. ”
Well maybe he is a good brother, I said. Maybe he has a little weakness for the sauce (been there). Look at all the stuff he is doing for his mom. He can’t be all bad, I argued.
“Well where is the logic in drinking champagne and then going on and on about Ramadan?” Friend asked.
I wanted to cut the conversation short because we had been down this road before (whereby I pull out my “judgemental Muslims who live in glass houses really fucking piss me off” card) and politely asked to change the subject.
Friend wouldn’t let go. Said, “No, before we stop the conversation, what is the logic of someone who does Ramadan but drinks?”
OH. HELLZ. TO. THE. NO. Let’s go:
1. What is the logic of some asshole who beats his wife or cheats on her but goes to jummah every Friday? The brothers at the masjid probably think he is a mighty fine brother because he never misses a week. Look at homie, he does all five prayers and doesn’t drink, ma sha Allah! I’m supposed to give him a cookie for that? I mean, I’m just saying. It’s not like being booze-free=holy pious.
2. RAMADAN IS A PILLAR OF ISLAM. That means it is incumbent upon all responsible Muslims. That means NO EXCUSES. Alcoholics don’t get a free pass out of Ramadan. So I am going to go down the road of thinking that this champagne drinking-dude said his shahada and he is doing his Ramadan like people are supposed to. So tell me, holy pious dude, is our drinking buddy not supposed to do Ramadan or pray because he drinks? Astarghfirullah. And yes, I know the hadith about the prayers not being accepted if alcohol is in the stomach or the person is intoxicated but are you still telling me that you would tell a Muslim not to PRAY? Are you effing kidding me?
3. One of our goals as Muslims is to make other people wanna be Muslim and make other Muslims happy to be Muslim (see: dawah.) I don’t know how you can give dawah to someone when you are being all Hypocrite Judgy McJudgerson. What problems do you have in your black, black heart which only Allah swt sees and are far more toxic than a glass of bubbly? And you know what? Champagne dude is probably feeling the judgement which is why he doesn’t want to hang out with the Muslims.
In my limited experience (still a good ten years) as a Muslim, I have seen more people turned away from Islam due to hypocrisy and judgemental behavior on the part of the Muslims that were supposed to love and protect them and form their communities. I know a sister born into a Muslim family with practicing parents. She goes to the mosque one Eid as a teenager and the Holy Pious Police start bitching about her hijab, about how she prays, about bacon or skittles or who knows what and guess what? Sister has never been back. I don’t know if she even identifies as a Muslim any more. High five to the peanut gallery at the mosque for enjoining the good and forbidding the evil. People are responsible for their own religious choices, I’ve been through a messy situation with the Muslims in my personal life and I chose to stay where others would have left, but that is my point: being one of the causes for turning someone against Islam rather than bringing that person to Islam is SERIOUS BUSINESS on the Day of Judgement y’all. Don’t forget it. That is why the Prophet (saw) enjoined Muslims to be on their best behavior. And isn’t it sad that, again in my ten years as a Muslim, the biggest assholes with the blackest hearts I have met were the ones who were prayer police, hijab police and pig police. The Muslims with the biggest hearts were ones who the Holy Pious Crew would judge for drinking, no hijab, having a boyfriend, whatever. I, like most people, follow the philosophy of “Do as I say not as I do” doesn’t even work for kids, and if you aren’t walking the walk, STFU. I don’t want to hear someone talk to me about how champagne is bad when I know for damn well he has a couple girlfriends on the side. There are very, very, very few people (I can count about five, and two of them are Imams) I allow to give me “constructive criticism” in deen.
So what would I have done had I seen the brother drinking champagne? I would have gone and talked to him, given him a big salam, and invited him and his momma over for dinner. If he made some excuses about his beverage, I would have just said, “I gave you my salams, what you do is between you and God, and if you ever wanna talk deen, I’m here. And in the meantime, come over for iftar.”