Thursday, July 31, 2008

Reverting to........

It is said that when we accept Islam, that we are reverting to Islam. That we were born Muslims and coming back to it. Alhamdulilah.

I don't think my story of reverting is that much different than anyone else's. At first I thought I would never cover, wear hijab or fast! It took about 3 months for me to even go to the Masjid. I would cover to pray but that was it... I still wore mini skirts, and tight shirts. As time passed and I learned more and more, I began to understand what my Lord wanted from me... and who was I to question it? There were stages, I didn't just jump into an abaya and niqab... it took time. But I did for the sake of Allah. My husband was pretty much the same. He didn't suddenly grow a grizzly adams beard... but eventually he did... as he saw it as a requirement sent down by Allah to our messenger.

From Abu Sa'id al-Khudri ra : Rasulullah s.a.w said : "If one of you sees (something) bad, he should change it with his his hand ; and if he is not capable of that, then with his tongue; and if he is not capable of that, then (he should detest) it with his heart; and that is the weakest faith". ( Muslim )

As a Muslim we are supposed to fix things that are wrong. First with our hands, then if we can't with our tongue, and if we can't do that we are to dislike it in our hearts. As I've mentioned in other posts, I participate on a lot of forums. If a question is asked about Islam, I will do the best I can to answer it according to the Quran and Sunnah. This usually means going to scholarly sources for answers, I don't just make it up myself! If I see someone else answering and it might not be right, I will try to correct that error. This seems to cause issues with some of my more liberal brothers and sisters. I think what I need to learn is to state what I know, and leave it alone. Some people see these mild corrections or advice as shoving it down their throat. When all it is, is the duty of the Muslim to protect the Ummah from misguidance. Perhaps they even feel threatened by it. Knowing in their hearts that its right, but they are not ready yet to give up the temptations of the dunya. I would have to admit this happened to me. I remember being so mad with someone for pointing out that I would have to cover my hair... I was just not ready to hear it. But in my heart I knew they were right.

There are many view points in Islam. Some are taking a more liberal approach to being Muslim. I don't follow that point of view. I believe that Islam is pure and beautiful now, as it was 1400 years ago. Its hard sometimes when people take your devotion to following the Quran and Sunnah as being 'extreme'. Its sad that when you are trying to help and inform people that you are accused of showing off or boasting of your knowledge. Its sad when a brother with a miswak in his pocket, or a sister wearing abaya is mocked... by other Muslims.

I have a lot to learn. I can admit when I'm wrong, and I have been wrong. Reverting to Islam was the best thing I have ever done. I only want to honor Allah by being the best Muslim I can be. I constantly ask him for forgiveness for my failings, and guidance to keep me on the straight path. May Allah guide us all.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

A Quick Word

We all grow and evolve in Islam. When I first started this blog I ranted about how forums can be such a problem and that they can't do any good for dawah. I was wrong about that.

I've recently become more involved in a forum and I'm starting to get the real idea behind it. Sure there are still a lot of trouble makers, but its nice to really talk about Islam and help new and non Muslims understand it too. This was really brought to light to me over the last few days while participating on another forum that really has no dawah direction at all. It really showed me how much good can be done with the right intentions. Its exciting to me to be able to help people understand Islam. I get discouraged sometimes when I see other venues twisting it all around, but Allah guides whom he wills. I can only make dua for them to be guided to the straight path.

Finally. I'm at peace right now. Some really icky things happened over the last few days but I'm feeling such a sense of relief and calm right now. I thank Allah for everything that he gives me. Inshallah I can continue to learn and grow and be a better Muslim.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Salafi Bashing

Over the last week or so I've had quite the time with Salafi Bashing. I'm not the basher.. I'm the bashee (if that is even a word). I would never call myself Salafi, because technically it is wrong to attribute such a title to yourself. But I do follow the way of the Salaf. I am not one for modernization of Islam, and I am careful about who I take knowledge from.

Firstly, whenever I have a discussion with someone about an Islamic topic, I tend to pull my understanding from who I consider to be true scholars of Islam. When I do this, I get told I'm not seeing both sides and I'm being too Salafi. Is this supposed to be an insult? I mean the people I take rulings from have studied Islam all of their lives. Not just a few years here and there, but their WHOLE LIFE. They have not only memorized the Quran, but its tafsir as well. They can tell you, from memory, 1000's of hadiths with their full chains of narration. They sat with some of the best scholars of their time, and those scholars sat with the best scholars of the time before. So why.... why should I not take what they say as a valid opinion? Why should I take an opposing view instead? The same people that are asking me to do that, are not considering the opinion of the scholar that I take from, so why the double standard? And if they are considering it, they are just blownig it off as 'too Salafi'.

Next, I have issue with people who cannot forget and forgive. We all make mistakes. All of us. And when a brother or a sister makes a mistake you are to give them 70 excuses. Especially if they have asked for your forgiveness and admitted their wrong doing. When I finally think something is over, and behind me, I see it pop up again. Now perhaps I'm being paranoid, but I don't think so. I'm smart enough to know when someone is writing about me without actually saying my name. I'm not sure, but this sounds like backbiting to me.

In one of my previous posts I talked about going to a conference with close to 1000 Muslims that were on the Quran and Sunnah. I didn't see one oppressed women there. No one was being told they could not smile... no one had marbles or rocks in their mouth to distort their voice. I only say these things because of some of the ridiculous rants I've been reading lately.

Now I do understand that there are people out there that call themselves Salafi and do some horrible things, but that does not make the true followers of this path worthy of such attacks. For me, personally, its about doing the best I can, to follow the commandments of Allah, and live as a good Muslim.

Finally, I'm very concerned about this watered down version of Islam that is running rampant in the US these days. There are entire groups of people that seem dedicated to twisting and changing the true meaning of Islam. Once they find a venue for their ideas, and others to wrongly confirm them, they go crazy. I worry that people looking for answers... Muslims and non Muslims alike.... will be mislead terribly by all of this.

I ask Allah to guide us all.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Things DO work out for the best!

A few posts ago I talked about the happy Muslimah who was very disappointed when she was told she could not fulfill a role assigned to her at a dawah event. Well if you haven't already figured it out... the happy Muslimah is ME! Anyway, back to the story... as it turns out we did not go to the event at all, but as doors close, others open.

Some very good friends of ours were going to a conference in New Jersey that same weekend, and asked us to come too. All 3 of us got in the car Saturday morning and drove down to the conference, getting there at about 1:00 in the afternoon. The hotel was very nice, but what made this a really special event was that there were close to 1,000 muslim brothers and sisters there all on the same deen. 95% of the sisters were niqabi and there was not a clean shaven face to be seen on any brother over 18! Now I know that some will argue that wearing a niqab or growing a beard does not make you a better Muslim, and they could be right in some cases, but when its done with the correct intention, it is a wonderful thing.

The conference's focus was on misconceptions in Islam. The speakers were excellent, and we purchased quite a few CD's of the lectures that we had missed. All of the vendors selling books had authentic material. No need to worry if you were buying something a bit 'iffy'. There was separate shopping times set up for sisters and brothers so if you wanted, you didn't have to feel uncomfortable in the crowd. There was also halal food served with separate times, so that the sisters could eat in the room with their veils up.

This was a very nice experience, and I thank Allah subhanhu wa 'tallah for giving us this chance to attend this event.

Oh and one more thing. It was only $10 a day to hear the lectures. Not $30-$60 like for other events.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Nature - The Art Of Allah

Its this time of year when the plants really start to bloom that I find my self praising Allah for the beauty in Nature. It also serves as a true sign that everything is created by Allah. If you look closely at even a simple leaf you can see the most amazing detail and beauty in the patterns of the veins. The petals of a flower hold such rich and beautiful color... how could this be by chance? Only the mighty and majestic Creator of the alameen could produce such perfection.

I have a background in photography, and while I trained in commercial photography, I always wanted to capture images of nature. They are no substitute for the real thing. No one can duplicate what Allah has created.