Friday, February 10, 2012

Holier-Than-Thou Attitude

They are ashamed by the state this Ummah is currently in. They desperately try to guide people, using quotes from everywhere and from whatever little they have learnt. They squint their eyes, looking for problem areas in all individuals, and rush up to them, informing them harshly of their wrong-doings. They go into details about punishments of Hell-fire, and about the torture the wrong-doer will go through after death. In fact, they go to the extent of calling people kuffar for some acts they've done. 

They are the Haram Police. 

We've all encountered them some time or another. People who tell us we are wearing our hijab wrongly, or praying wrongly, and pretty much every time they meet us we are doing something wrong. Who would want to hang out with such a person?

Those of us who are fortunate enough to have gained some Islamic knowledge need to realize one thing. Knowledge is not everything. There is something else that goes hand in hand with it, and that is hikmah, or wisdom. If we looked at the life of our beloved Messenger (SAW), we would see that he preached by setting an example. Implement the teachings of Quran and Sunnah in your life and people will automatically be attracted to you. So what are these teachings? The Prophet (SAW) always had a pleasant smile on his face, and was well-groomed and clean. This makes a person much more approachable. We see the "Haraam Police" these days with frowns on their faces, "tsk tsk-ing" the day away and looking down at the state of other people. He was soft-spoken, not aggressively shouting at people to tell them that they are wrong. Today we see the hardened faces and hear harsh voices instead. He was kindhearted and always offered to help out those in need. He gave away everything he had to the poor. But in the Haram Police we mainly see people looking for mistakes others are making so that they can "correct" them. Trust me, the mistake will not be corrected in this manner. It will continue, but the "culprit" will just avoid being near the accuser next time. 

Islam is not a strict religion that tries to makes people's lives miserable. It is a religion of love, peace and and tranquility within us. Instill love of Allah in the hearts of others by encouraging them to reflect on this life, not fear of Hell-fire. Preach by changing your own character to what the Quran and Sunnah actually teach us, and see how people come towards you, wanting to be like you. They will want to learn more about Islamic teachings themselves. I do understand the perspective of the finger-pointers, though. They are deeply worried, wanting everyone to change and live their lives according to the Book for their own benefit. They tell people that there is little time in this world and they have to change right now. But what wisdom teaches us is that things don't work this way. You have to be gentle, patient and see what the situation calls for. Each situation is unique in its own way, and that is where hikmah of those with knowledge comes in!

Another thing we need to realize is that we can never judge a person based on their outer acts. Maybe in the future they will become much more closer to Allah than we currently are, and be His beloved. We simply do not know where we stand in the eyes of Allah, and should constantly work on ourselves rather than pin-pointing others. Instead of telling others they are doing something haraam, we need to make dua for them and try to set an example for them. 

May Allah (SWT) give us the tawfiq to use wisdom with our knowledge, and may we truly be able to be like our role model (SAW). Ameen.