Back then...

>> Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sometimes I feel like it's too hard to practice Islam correctly now. Everywhere we look- the movies, the magazines, the t.v., the Internet, everything is stocked with sinful things. If you look at the people before, like in the 1st and 6th centuries, they led such pure lives. So many times, I wish I was born back then when it was easier to be Muslim. Those people were so lucky. I sometimes wonder why Allah made me live in this time. Why couldn’t I have lived when they did and led a pure life like them?

Dearest Sis,

I'm sure all of us have had that thought cross our minds before. If only we could have lived with the Companions...If only we could have lived at the time with the Messenger Sallah Allahoo alyhee wa salam or the early generations. Everything would have been perfect then. We would have been perfect Muslims.

 But the question is...would we really?

Would everything really have been that easy?

Let's step back a moment and really picture what life was like back then. People back then didn't have running water or air condition. They didn't have paved roads, either. Imagine fasting in the desert with temperatures of 100 degrees Fahrenheit (40+ Celsius) and not having air condition. Imagine trying to just make wudu for the 5 prayers with no running water. Imagine walking on rocks/sand/mountains without proper shoes. There weren't any supermarkets, either…so getting food was a difficult process, too. Our beloved prophet, sallah Allahoo alyhee wa salam certainly didn't eat the way we eat today:

Narrated 'Aisha:

The family of Muhammad did not eat two meals on one day, but one of the two was of dates.

 What else? Well, getting from one place to another took months…..And what about giving birth back then?

 And you know what?
 The concept that we have today of "freedom of religion" did not exist back then.  People fought for the right to believe with their lives...And, they fought for the protection of Islam WITH their lives.

Among the believers are men true to what they promised Allah. Among them is he who has fulfilled his vow [to the death], and among them is he who awaits [his chance]. And they did not alter [the terms of their commitment] by any alteration - (Surat Al Ahzab 23)

 In fact, one of the companions Radiya Allah Anhoo felt that things were very difficult for them. He asked the Prophet why he didn't pray to Allah to grant them victory Think about that. Really think about it. The fact that the companion felt that the prophet should supplicate for them to have victory clearly shows that things were not easy back then. They were being sorely tested!
And wait...listen to what the Prophet sallah Allahoo alyhee wa salam responded with:

Abu 'Abdullah Khabbab ibn al-Aratt, said "We complained to the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, while he was using his cloak as a pillow in the shade of the Ka'ba, saying, 'Why do you not ask for victory for us? Why do you not make supplication for us?' He replied, 'Among those before you there was a man who was seized and put in a hole in the ground which was dug for him. Then a saw was brought, put to his head and he was sawed in half. Then he was raked with metal teeth through his flesh and bones. None of that turned him from his religion. Allah will complete this business so that a rider will be able to travel from San'a' to Hadramawt fearing none but Allah and wolves against his sheep, but you want to make things happen too quickly." [al-Bukhari]

 There's another story, too that occurred during the time of Fira'wan (which some scholars have authenticated and some have considered "da'ef or week"...) But it goes like this:

It was narrated that Ibn Abbas radiAllaah anhu- said: The Messenger of Allaah -

sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam said: On the night on which I was taken on the Night

Journey, a beautiful fragrance came to me. I said: O Jibreel, what is this

beautiful fragrance? He said: This is the fragrance of the hairdresser of

Pharaoh's daughter and her children. I said: What is their story? He said:

Whilst she was combing the hair of Pharaoh's daughter one day, the iron

comb fell from her hand and she said, Bismillaah (in the name of Allaah).

The daughter of Pharaoh said: You mean my father? She said: No. My Lord

and the Lord of your father is Allaah. She said: I will tell him about that. She

said: Yes.

So she told him and he summoned her and said: O So and so, do you have a

Lord other than me? She said: Yes, my Lord and your Lord is Allaah. He

ordered that a cow made of copper be heated up, then he ordered that she

and her children be thrown into it. She said: I have a request to make of

you. He said: What is your request? She said: I would like my bones and my

children's bones to be gathered together in one cloth and buried. He said:

This will be done for you.

He ordered that her children be thrown into it in front of her, one by one,

until they came to the last one who was an infant boy who was still being

breastfed. It was as if she wavered because of him, but he said: O mother,

go ahead, for the punishment of this world is easier to bear than the

punishment of the hereafter. So she went ahead.

Can you honestly even picture that?

The truth is that back then people sacrificed their lives, wealth, children, money....everything to raise the flag of La ilaha illah Allah. Women woke up in the morning and buried their husbands, sons, and brothers in the afternoon.

You see, sister, the purpose of this life is to be a test. It was a test for them. And it was a test for us.

The Qur'an says:

  • "We will test you until We know the true fighters among you and those who are steadfast" (W47:30; H47:31)
  • "We will test you with a certain amount of fear and hunger and loss of wealth and life and fruits. But give good news to the steadfast," (W2:154; H2:155)
  •  Blessed be He in whose Hand is the Kingdom, He is powerful over all things, (1) who created death and life that He might examine which of you is best in deeds, and He is the Almighty, the Forgiving, (2) (Surat Al Mulk)

The truth is Allah subhanoo Wa' Tala chose the "best" time for each of us. Perhaps if we had been living in that time, we would have deserted the Prophet sallah Allahoo alyhee wa salam in Uhud, for example .

The other thing to consider is that that just as we have many opportunities to sin now, we also have equal opportunities to do good. These days, we can turn on the television and catch a lecture on an Islamic t.v. channel or website. We can search the whole of Sahih Bukhari with a click of our fingertips (Compare that to back then when they had to cross thousands of miles to learn what one scholar thought of a particular hadith). With our ipods, we can listen to the Qur'an wherever we go. With our cars, we can drive to a nearby mosque and pray Fajr/ Isha within minutes. We can start our days with an Islamic reminder on Facebook.

 I'm not denying the fact that we are bombarded with "opportunities" to sin, though. But I do want to point out that we also have many more tools available to us to allow us to do "good". The choice is ours.

 The last thing to consider is that the Prophet sallah Allahoo alyhee wa salam did tell us that a time would come when there would be many  moredifficulties but our reward would be much greater.

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Ahead of you are days of patience, during which being patient will be like grasping a hot coal. The one who does good deeds then will have a reward like that of fifty people who do such deeds.” And, someone else added, they said: O Messenger of Allah, the reward of fifty of them? He said: “The reward of fifty of you (Companions)!” (Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidh).

I don't know if we made it to that time or not, but the fact still remains that Allah is Just and He rewards us according to the difficulty of the tests we are given. (The greatness of the reward is related to the greatness of the trial…) Never ever forget that!
I also want to say one more thing. Even if you've lived a "not so pure life", or made a mistake, the door of repentance is open for you just as it was open for the people before us. Allah is All Merciful and Forgiving, and He doesn't expect "perfection" from you but that you do your best and turn back to Him. So just turn back to Him :)
With love,

9 wonderful sprinkely thoughts:

Anonymous,  November 5, 2012 at 8:49 AM  

Jazaki Allahu khairan, ya little auntie.
This post reminds me of a dilemma I am suffering from. I hope it is not inappropriate to share this and I am sorry for my poor English.

I often pray to Allah that 'Please, my LORD, let me know what do you want me to do in this situation.'

That means, when there is a funeral of my parents, I know it is prohibited to go to non-muslims' funeral. But I am sure that if I don't go to the funeral my families and relatives will be greatly angry at me. Our family tie will be nearly cut. (My parents are still alive, Alhamdulillah. May Allah bestow them hidayah)

Also, when I am so bored and depressed in my house and I want to talk to somebody, is it better to attend tea party to refresh where there are many boys, or I'd better stay house and keep stay lonely?

Is it better to go gender mixed arabic school or avoid to go? I am going to the school right now and while learning Arabic, I am gaining knowledge from well-qualifed teachers and I feel more confident as a Muslim.

Is there a rule like:
To do little haram things to live normally/happily and to do greater good deeds is OK'?
If there is I hope somebody will tell me. I feel very confused sometimes. :(

Lou'lou'a November 12, 2012 at 6:43 AM  

Assalaamu'alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa baraakatuh dear sister anonymous,

I hope you are feeling lovely and well. With regards to attending your non-Muslim parents' funeral, it is not Haraam. Also, we are instructed to keep good ties with our family, so socialising with them as long as this does not include the disobedience of Allah, is recommended and is a good deed AND a form of da'wah. I hope that's cleared that up.

Like Allah swt say in the Qur'an regarding alcohol, (therein lies benefit, but the harm outweighs the benefit and therefore it is Haraam {2:219}), I generally use this as a guide. If I want to do somethiing, I try to see (with our limited capacity) the benefit and harm, and if there is more religious benefit then I consider that action in that particular situation to be good.

For example, With regards to attending a gender mixed school, I live in the UK, where universities are ALL gender-mixed (or co-educational, as we say, if I had the option of going to a female-only university where the standard of teaching was similar, I would definitely attend as that was what I did for secondary school. However, if nothing else is available in your area or online, and your intention is sincere (learning to improve your level of Eemaan and to ultimately please Allah), and you are aware that Allah is watching, then I would think that attending the school and learning Arabic is ultimately good for my faith, obviously adhering to Islamic principles of modesty and conduct.

And darling sister of mine, there's no need to stay at home and be lonely, is there not a community of Muslims where you live? or just girls, who like to hang out together, they don't have to be Muslim?

I hope that what I said makes sense and helps...

Lots of love and hugs from me to you..

May Allah forgive you, help you and guide you. Ameen xx

Anonymous,  November 14, 2012 at 12:52 PM  

i would really like to see a whole article from little aunties on the questions asked in the first comment by Anonymous.

sis m,  November 14, 2012 at 3:55 PM  

Assalaamualaikum aunties, Im sorry for posting here but i couldnt find another way to contact you, Im struggling with my imaan, its been low for so long now that im having a hard time even imagining being in the really good state i was during ramadan. my imaan low is the lowest ive been at so far since ramadan.

i recently found this quote below:

“O you who carry knowledge around with you; are you only carrying it around with you? For surely knowledge belongs to who ever knows and then acts accordingly, so that his action corresponds to his knowledge. There will be a people who will carry knowledge around with them, but it will not pass beyond their shoulders. Their inner most thoughts will contradict what they display in public, and their actions will contradict what they know.”
— Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib

The people that are described in this quote- :Their inner most thoughts will contradict what they display in public, and their actions will contradict what they know.”
- describes me perfectly at the moment and i dont know what to do. i read islamic stuff constantly and try to govern my actions but my inner self has become cynical or bored-i dont know. all the inspiring islamic things i read seem to have no effect except for the occasional tear or heart-stutter but thats it, im stuck.
i would really appreciate some advice with how to get out of this situation, it feels like my whole life is on hold and im not going anywhere spiritually, emotionally, physically etc.

JazaakAllah Khair.
sis m.

Little Auntie November 19, 2012 at 8:27 AM  

Dear Anonymous (One),
I'm sorry for taking so long to respond to you. I saw Musaktk's comment and thought about keeping it for an article, but then realized that we were already swamped with I would just try to sum it up here :)

You wrote the question: Is there a rule like: To do little haram things to live normally/happily and to do greater good deeds is OK'?

We're actually not told of such a rule. What is forbidden is forbidden for a reason/ hikma from Allah. In some cases, we are told to stay away from what could even LEAD to haram (and is not necessarily haram, in itself):

“And do not approach (avoid all situations that might possibly lead to) unlawful sexual intercourses. Indeed, it is ever an immorality and is evil as a way.” Qur’an, 17:32.
“O you who have believed, indeed, intoxicants, gambling, (sacrificing on) stones alters (to other than Allah), and divining arrows are but defilement from the work of Satan, so avoid (distance your self from any thing remotely related to) it that you may be successful.” Qur’an, 5:90.

“What is lawful is clear, and what is unlawful is clear. And in between the two are doubtful matters [whose rulings] many people do not know. He who guards against the doubtful safeguards his religion and honor, and he who falls into the doubtful falls into the unlawful,just as a shepherd who grazes his flock around a preserve will likely soon graze them in it. Indeed, everyking has a preserve, and the preserve of Allāh are the things he has declared unlawful” (Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī).

We do know that in times of necessity, the rule becomes: save your deen, your life, your intellect, your lineage, and property. These are known as Al Maqasid of the Sharia.

For example, if you're stranded on an Island with no food but wild pigs, it would be okay to eat the pigs/ other dead animals not killed the Islamic way. This is because taking care of your life would take priority over eating what is "customarily halal".

That said...we, as Lou'lou'la mentioned, have limited capacities for understanding. That's why, it is imperative that we ask those who have more knowledge than us. We can't always "rationalize it" or figure things out, by ourselves....and it's even a major risk to do that.

Little Auntie November 19, 2012 at 8:28 AM  

The Qura'n tells us:

If you follow the majority of people on the earth, they will lead you astray from the path of God, for they follow only conjecture and surmise. (6:116)

And most of them follow nothing but conjecture. Certainly, conjecture can be of no avail against the truth. Surely, Allah is All-Aware of what they do. (10:36

So what we should do is ASK scholars when we come across issues we need help in or are unsure of.
We should also search for permissible Islamic alternatives. Think outside of the box. You don't have to go to a mixed party...As Lou'lou'la said, why not meet up with just girls?

About the funeral of non-Muslim parents:

hope that helps a bit :)

Little Auntie November 19, 2012 at 8:30 AM  

Dear Sis M,
Having an "imaan dip" is hard. Here are some of our previous tips on dealing with the iman roller coaster:

Anonymous,  November 25, 2012 at 4:05 AM  

I am anonymous 1.
Thank you for the response all of you. Especially sister Loulou'la and Little Auntie, May Allah reward you with good

What Little Auntie said:

What is forbidden is forbidden for a reason/ hikma from Allah.

is actually what I wanted to hear.
I strongly believe in that(forbidden is forbidden) and told others so as well. Just I was not wise and knowledgeable enough to make it easy to follow rules. So I tend to overburden myself and others thinking why everything is so difficult. Maybe this can be the trick of Shaytan?

and Alhamdulillah...! I am just very relieved to know that I and attend my parents funeral...
I am nearly crying. Why couldn't I know this earlier and attend my grandfather's funeral.
(Islam QA fatwa is one of the most reliable source of hukum as far as I know...)

About the girls only gatherings, the masjid I used to go was under remodeling for a week, and my friends were not around as they went to Hajj. But sister Lou'lou'la is right, I should have try harder to meet other female friends.

I think I will keep go to Arabic school at least till this semester. But I won't justify it as a permissible thing... I will keep seek forgiveness of Allah.

Please pray for me that I could practice Islam more easily ,be a happy muslimah, love/forgive myself and all other muslims. Thank you again for your kindness and spending time to write for me.

Little Auntie November 27, 2012 at 8:51 AM  

awww, sister, we all sometimes tend to feel like things are difficult....That's where we have to stop, take a deep breath, and try to think outside of the box for another solution or talk to a scholar and find out what he/she thinks is the best course of action to take.

And I'm sorry to hear about your grandfather :(

About the Arabic school, I think it would be best to just ASK your local Imam, if possible...He would be in a better position to answer whether it's better for you to go and learn Arabic in a mixed setting than not learn it, at all, inshaAllah.

Big HUGS for you.

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Asalamu aialkum!
Well, what do you think? You know, you're part of the team, as well. Please help a sister out and share your own advice/experiences/etc. One for all and all for one =)
P.S. I reserve the right to remove any disrespectful comment ;)

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