Have you ever gotten into a discussion with another Muslim that insists that they are taking the middle path? Their idea of the middle path can consist of not covering all the way to rejecting hadith.... Lets talk about the middle path. There was a hadith that talked about 3 men. One said I will fast all the time and never break my fast, another said, I will pray all night and not sleep and the 3rd said I will not marry woman. When the Prophet sallalahu Alayhi wa salam learned of this, he went to these men and said, I fast, but I break my fast, I pray but I also rest and I marry women. Who told you to be so extreme?
The middle path is not going to extremes that the Prophet told us not to go to. It does not mean just do what ever you want. If you take the extreme the other way you fall into not obeying any of the commands of Allah and the prophet, or just choose the ones that you like. Then we come to those who can't quite justify what they are doing unless they reject hadith for one reason or another. I know that they are fabricated Hadith out there, but the great scholars of Hadith, like Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawood etc knew the science of hadith better than anyone. They knew how to classify, research and substantiate what the collected. Who are we to just come along and say...eh...I don't think I'll follow this one. I don't like it.
Finally, and I've said this before, you can find a ruling on the internet that makes just about anything permissible... You need to find scholars that are highly qualified that you trust. Mind you, not the ones that come up with rulings that YOU like, but the ones that give the best proof and have the most knowledge. Lets use the example of men and women shaking hands. There is a site that says this is permissible. They actually even quote the hadith that is proof that it is not, but then go onto say that if you don't fear that it will cause fitnah then it is ok. This puts the opportunity in our hands to make a ruling based on what we feel, not on what is right.
My next thought comes from revert Muslims identifying themselves as American Muslims. Yes, I am Muslim and I am American. But that does not give me any special licences to ignore the commands of Allah or the Prophet. My 'culture' or lack there of, does not make it so I can do things I should not. In fact it is a part of our test that we live as American Muslims everyday. Not that its so hard to do, but that we are tempted with thoughts that we should still do all the things that all other Americans do. We get sucked into useless holidays and celebrations. We long for what we once had... when in fact we should be happy to leave those things behind, because Allah has guided us to the truth. We have a wonderful, peaceful, happy way of life. Why do we need to try to be like the disbelievers? We all have weaknesses, and it is a struggle everyday to overcome them. Sometimes we fail. But we should make an effort to be happy with what we have and not strive for the dunya.
Another thing I hear a lot is 'I'm not Arab so why should I act like one?'. Well You shouldn't. Those things that bother you about Arab CULTURE are very similar to the things that we should avoid about American culture. They are not the same issues but it is the same concept. Unfortunately, this gives people the excuse not to follow things that they deem as Arab, but are actually just a part of Islam. For example, covering properly. People always say that they are not Arab so why dress like one? You don't have to dress like one, but you still need to follow the commands of modesty. It just so happens that an abaya or jilbab covers those requirements pretty well. It should not matter what culture you think they are from. American fashion does not fit the bill. You can take a long dress and put a long shirt under it and pants but you are most likely still showing the shape of your body. Those cute little stretchy dresses cling... helloooo. Not everything in a person's culture is bad, but we need to avoid falling into the trap that we have to stay true to our culture at all costs.
Finally, what is the deal with people freaking out about cheese? I mean really. The process used to make cheese can use certain enzymes that might be derived from an animal that was not killed in a halal way, but then we are talking about the unknown. We are not supposed to dig so deep as to try to identify the origins of the enzymes in our cheese. Ibn Taymihah gave a ruling saying that the rennet used to make cheese is permissible because the milk of the animal that had not been slaughtered properly was drunk by the companions after the battle of Iraq. In any case, even if you think you should not eat doritos or what ever else scares you, would you really yell at someone who does? I witnessed a sister get red in the face when she thought another sister was going to have a microwave pasta meal with cheese sauce. These are the same people that say that capri sun juice boxes are haram because of some flavor carrier that may of been extruded using alcohol. Who comes up with this stuff?
So, I guess this is it for now. Inshallah I didn't say anything wrong, and if I did, may Allah swt forgive me.