…that this attitude that everything is up for debate and is ‘modernizable” is very ingrained in western thinking…


…even when you come to Islaam some of that kufr stays with you in your habits and behavior, in America the culture is very vulgar with many haraam things and it takes time to get that out of your head.

Answer to a young believer on choosing Islaam.

I use to  think that as Western Muslims, we found it easiest to practice Islam purely and without all the cultural baggage that you will find Muslims from the Muslim world carrying. I was wrong to assume that as Westerners we do not have our own cultural baggage that henders us from adhering strictly to the Quran and Sunnah the way that the companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) understood and practiced. It did not occur to me that the western mindset is indeed a huge obsticle that prevents many Western Muslims from fully embracing Islam as it ought to be. The people of this mindset judge Islam according to their ‘aql. This differs from the morals and manners of the Salaf  – who feared horrible that mistakes would enter into their knowledge,  practice and in their directing the nation (Ummah)  to what is good in the world  and the Hereafter. Every Muslim desiring to return to Islam in its true sense, must grasp what the Prophet, upon whom be peace, and his Companions were upon, in all aspects of life. Only then can we move further towards establishing Islam as our way of life.

As Westerners we like to boast of our freedoms. Our freedom to do whatever we so desire. Our freedon of speech. Our freedom to challenge those in authority. We embrace change (is it not the U.S Democractic Canadate’s slogan?). We want to reinvent the wheel. And we want the rest of the world to bow down to us and recognize how superior our way is to the rest of the world.

That in itself is not all bad. However, when you come into Islam and can not let go of that mindset it can be damaging. The very people who put down cultural Muslims are usually the ones that carry the most Western Cultural baggage. They can not accept the fact that their reformist ideas are not needed in Islam.  Islam is a way of life given to us by Allah, it cannot be put on the same level as other man-made ideologies or corrupted revelations. Imam Malik bin Anas rahimahullah, the scholar of Madinah spoke the truth when he said:

“The latter part of the Ummah will never be reformed except by that which reformed the former part.”

This is the only way that will reform the rest of the Ummah. The Muslim who has been blinded by his modern and westernized ideals won’t be able to appreciate this. They would rather follow a system based on human whims and desires. One that is ever changing, contradicting, and conflicting. They call this freedom – I call it a hot mess!

I’d like to use the example of the case of women not being allowed to drive in Saudi. This is not an Islamic issue, but a cultural one. Now women of the western mindset (note I did not say western women) yeall and shout how this is oppression. Is it really? Or could it be that women driving is more of a western standard to start with. That’s go a step further and say driving period. I have spoke with many women living in Saudi from all over the world. The only women who seem to feel that women not being allowde to drive here are women of western mindset. To the majority of the women, it makes them no difference Has the person with this mindset considered that having a car is a luxury for the majority of the world. A luxury that many can not afford. Of the women I have spoke to from various parts of the world, like Africa and Asia – they have said that they do not drive in their own countries and that most people men included walk everywhere. So how exactly are women being oppressed on international standards, when internationally owning a car is a privildege reserved for the wealthy?

Another favorite (since it seems as though the focus of the people with theie western baggage is to liberate the poor oppressed Muslim woman) is the hijab. I remember watching a Prime Time special around 1998 about a girl name Lena. Lena was the daughter of an American woman and an Iranian father. The special was called ‘The Americanization of Lena’ or something equally repulsive. I can’t recall. They showed Lena in Iran fully covered plaing at the beach with her family and friends. Every time they showed Lena in Iran she was happy, but covered. With the help of the shows staff, Lena’s mother was able to hire some men to kidnap and smuggle Lena out of Iran. Later the show showed the new and liberated Lena going on prom in a short dress, with her date, and in my opinion looking shy and awkward. They acheived their goal of stripping Lena of her Islamic attire and flaunting her new found freedom of showing off her body and dating. It broke my heart.

They can keep their freedumb, along with their rape whistles, mace, and pepper spray on a keychain! The sad part is that these ideologies are readily accepted by some Muslims from the Muslim world and imported here. Today, I watched as non-Saudi Arabs sent their daughters off to ‘International ‘schools in itty bitty uniforms. Mini skirts and dresses, boys and girls mixed on the bus, and a secular curriculum.

This leads me to yet another problem that the progressive Muslims and non Muslims like to though out. They claim that due to the ‘extreme’ gender segregation of Islam (and particularly Saudi Arabia), that the Muslims have high cases of homosexuality. I will not argue that their is a`problem with homosexuality in the Muslim world, but I will beg to differ the cause. If gender seghregation is the cause then how do you explain homosexuality in the West? I mean in the west you are free to get your freak on with whoever or whatever (woof woof) you desire. So do you see how their ideaology makes absolutely no sense?

The practice of vices and sins – homosexuality or otherwise – can be explain in the following statement of Shaykh ‘Abdul ‘Aziz ibn Baaz rahimahullaah.

The Muslims were only afflicted when they did not adhere to their religion as they should and when most of them do not understand its reality. This is because the Muslims turned away from their religion, did not seek to understand it and the scholars fell short in explaining its virtues, bringing out its goodness, wisdoms and secrets, they were also deficient in their truthfulness and patience in giving da`wah and in enduring harm for its cause. As a result of this is the occurrence of the divisions, differences, ignorance of the majority with regard to the laws of Islaam and confusion of affairs witnessed in our present times.

There is a lesson in this for me as well. Last year I bought my children some secular books on manners. I wanted them to know ‘proper’ manners. Sure I had taught them Islamic manners, but I wanted them to know general manners, like elbows off the table (which now that I think about it there is a hadeeth that already covers that and I had already taught that to them. The hadeeth is about not reclining when eating. I applied that to eating on the floor and didn’t realize that ‘elbows off the table’ is merely an extension of that for table manners – until now). So in one of the ‘Little Emily’ books it mentioned manners in regards to passing gas. I was thrilled, because I had yet to find anything in islam concerning the manners for this. The book said that when someone passes gas, ignore it. Do not laugh, do not tease, don’t talk about how it smells or who did it. That’s not polite. Now just yesterday, I was surfing the net and not even looking for this but look what I found:

From the lowly traits of jaahiliyyah is the act of a person laughing at someone who passes wind.

The Prophet (sallallaahualayhe wa sallam) referred to this and said:
“Why would one of you laugh at something he himself does?!”

It was collected by al-Bukhaaree (4942) and Muslim (2588), on the authority of ‘Abdullaah ibn Zam’ah (may Allaah be pleased with him).

An-Nawawee said in his explanation of Saheeh Muslim, “This is a prohibition of laughing at someone who passes gas aloud. What is binding upon a person (who hears another pass gas) is to ignore it and continue talking or doing whatever he was doing without paying it any mind, as if he has not even heard it. And in this hadeeth are good manners and a nice way of interacting with people.”


I will conclude this with the words of an excellent daiiyyah and blogger, who basically summed up what I wanted to say:

Does this mean Islam condemns or discourages us from using our intellect? Definitely not! In numerous verses of Qur’an, Allah azza wa jal has asked us to reflect, think and ponder:

لعلكم تعقلون  “So you understand”

لأيات لقوم يعقلون “Signs for the people who understand”

أفلا تتفكَّرون “Why don’t you ponder”

أفلا تذكرون  “Why don’t you remember or reflect”

Abundant verses in the Qur’an tell us to use our intellect to realize the sovereignty of Allah azza wa jal and understand the need of submitting to Him and Him alone. Islam encouraged and called for the usage of human intellect centuries before the age of enlightenment. We Muslims think, ponder, reflect, and use our minds to understand the truthfulness of Islam, to find our way to Islam, and to appreciate the guidance of Islam. But once guided to Islam, we surrender and submit to what is revealed. However, and what is ironic, is the audacity of those who use this very intellect to challenge the Revelation in the name of “pure rationalism,” “intellectualism,”  “humanitarianism,” or whatever “ism” it maybe! It is difficult to categorize and discuss in one article each and every way people have used to object to the Revelation.  Some have denied the Divinity of Qur’an and some have rejected the status of ahadeeth, but each one of them leads its way to the underlying concept of “reason/intellect over Revelation.” http://muslimmatters.org/2008/10/09/authority-of-sunnah-part-4-intellect-and-beyond/

We ask Allaah Almighty that He sustains us with guidance and firmness, instills in our hearts our correct direction, protects us from the mischief of our own selves, that He does not allow our hearts to deviate after giving us guidance and that He bestows on us Mercy from Him, for He is the Most Generous.

All Praise be to Allaah, Lord of the Worlds, and His Blessings be on the most noble of the messengers.