Muslimahs just wanna have fun!?

>> Wednesday, November 20, 2013

I want to be a better Muslim, but I have this fear that if I were to commit, I would no longer be the fun person I am. Would submiting to Allah not take away my freedom,would i stil be happy and do fun things or would I have to be all 'religious' all the time?

 “Allah did not send me to be harsh or cause harm, but He sent me to teach [people] and make things easy [for them].” (Saheeh Muslim: 1478)

Assalamualaikum wa rahmatulahi wa barakatu!!!!
 My dearest sissy! Masha'Allah how wonderful to receive a question like yours which I could totally relate to! I actually was struggling with this EXACT same challenge not long ago, so when I saw your question, I thought I had to definitely reach out to you right away bidhniAllah!

First things first, Alhamdulillah that you have intentions to want to strive to be a better Muslimah. This is a very wonderful goal and I think we should all be striving to achieve this! We must always strive to be the best Muslimah in the sight of Allah Subhanahu wa ta'ala and we must always strive to follow the correct Qur'an and Sunnah as best as we can and aiming to have the mother of believers (May Allah be pleased with them all) as are role models!

Secondly, pleasing Allah, The Almighty, is something that will result in true happiness. The real bliss comes from remembering Allah and doing things that will please Him, and Him alone.

That said, I really want to let you know about my personal experience my dear sissy, and maybe you can even relate to how I once felt  !  When I first converted to Islam, I was so excited and had so much zeal with learning the religion. I practically ate, breathed, sleep-ed (is that a word!) Islam ( I mean even though we should be incorporating Islam with everything because it is a lifestyle and not just a 'cultural practice" contrary to what many believe!) I was so absorbed into the religion and I rushed to study and learn as much as I could and I even set unrealistic goals for myself!  In the end, I burnt myself out and I became even more overwhelmed and stressed. I started feeling lazy and exhausted and I neglected the most important part of being a Muslim, and that is BEING CONSISTENT AND MODERATE with every aspect of worship! 

That is why he also noted, “Take upon yourself only those actions for which you have the strength to carry out consistently.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree: 1100)
I was so strict upon myself to keep seeking knowledge and I made it a top priority because I thought that Allah loves those who surround themselves in seeking knowledge only! I would leave all my hobbies and dedicate all my time to reading and learning and then I started asking myself why I was feeling so stressed and I even became depressed at one point (astughfurAllah!) but then a dear sister of mine gave me the most valuable advice I could ever receive and it has helped me soooooooo much with all of my affairs!!!! She told me that Islam is a religion of moderation and balance and that I should not overburden myself with all this learning to the point that I lose myself and forget about who I am as a person! Yes, Alhamdulillah I am a Muslimah first and foremost, but I am by no means even close to being a student of knowledge. I thought that the only way to get close to Allah was through seeking knowledge 24-7 and being so strict and "boring" ! Alhamdulillah Allah guided me to the straight path and gave me the tawfeeq to realize that Islam is a lifestyle and it is not something that should feel like a burden or change you into some strict, boring person! Islam teaches us to excel in the things that we are good at and it helps to perfect our personalities and character to that of our beloved prophet (peace be upon him).

Islam doesn't dismiss desires, it just disciplines them.

So as you can see my dear sissy, you are free to pursue your hobbies and be yourself (as long as it does not mean jeopardizing your religion or doing haram things) and you are free to be the sweet sister I am sure that you are! As long as we know that we are not doing something that displeases Allah (i.e- being immodest, cursing, slandering, engaging in TOO much idle talk, listening to music, and doing the things not permissible for us) then we can even do it with the intentions of worship and be rewarded for it!!!!! For example, we can listen to the Qur'an while doing some embroidery, sewing, or any crafts you are interested in and you can use that finished product and donate it as sadaqah and at the same time memorize the Qur'an all at once! I know that for some, sitting at a desk and memorizing the Qur'an can pose as a challenging and frustrating task, even though we are doing it for the sake of Allah, we can still find ways that are better suited to our learning style! Playing the surah over and over while you are unconsciously focusing on a task such as embroidery, crocheting, or even knitting can really really help you absorb and learn the Qur'an that much easier!  There are so many things that you can do that is productive and all the while counts as worship to Allah, the Almighty! The opportunities are endless but you just have to get a little "creative" and make sure you don't do anything haram or outside of Islam! Be yourself and have fun! Enjoy the life of a Muslimah ! It is so rewarding!

Islam is made to be easy and Allah does not burden a soul beyond that it can bear…” (Qur'an, 2:286) Though it is important to live our lives as Muslims in this dunya, we must remember that we are ultimately striving for Jannah and all our actions and goals should be to earn the pleasure of Allah and a home in Jannah Insha'Allah!!!

Remember, everything in moderation! 

Anas reported that some of the Companions of Allaah's Messenger (SAW) used to say: "I will not marry women"; someone else said: "I will not eat meat"; and someone else said: "I will not lie down in bed". (On hearing this): The Prophet (SAW) praised Allaah, and glorified Him and said: "what has happened to these people that they say so and so, whereas I observe prayer and I sleep too. I observe fast and I break my fast; I marry women also. And he who turns away from my Sunnah (i.e., my example or lifestyle), he has no relation with me" [Narrated in Saheeh Muslim vol. 2. p703. no. 32361].

“Beware of extremism in religion, for the only thing that destroyed those before you was extremism in religion.” (Sunan Ibn Maajah: 3029)

Don't wear yourself out with excessive worship to the point that you will leave it completely (audhubillah), and find things that you love to do and do them with the intentions for earning the Pleasure of Allah, the Almighty! Observe proper hijab (clothing as well as attitude) in public and in private (with your friends and family) you can be the fun person you truly are as long as you know and always remember that Allah is All-Seeing, All-Hearing, and All-Knowing, then you will not overstep your boundaries and behave inappropriately! Being a Muslimah is a fun and easy job! We just need to know how to do it! Starting a crafts club, a halaqah pot-luck, or even a small workout group for your friends at home are just some fun and exciting ideas that you can pursue! Focus on your favorite hobbies and excel in them all while remembering to include Allah in your intentions! I guarantee you will not feel stressed or that Islam is "too strict" and you will even find yourself being happier then ever and and the best thing is that your emaan increases and so does your knowledge! May Allah grant you success !

May Allah forgive me for anything that I've said that has offended you, anything good I've said is from Allah and anything bad is from my own self and I seek refuge in Allah from shaitan the accursed. Ameen! 

Please also see this older post called "Is everything Haram":


To Advise...Not to offend :)

>> Monday, November 11, 2013

I have a question. There's a couple of girls in my class who are Muslims because of their family but they don't act like it, since they disregard a lot of Islam's basic rules and principles. Now, theoretically, I know that I'm not responsible for their actions and that it's their fault for not trying to be better people, but I feel guilty that as a classmate and a fellow Muslim sister who knows them well that I'm not helping them. But my problem is that I don't even know how to. Like would they even want to listen to me...and is there even a point, really, when they don't seem interested at all? Do you have any advice on what I should do?

Salaam Alaykum and Hi sis!

Your desire to want to help your classmates, rather than turning a blind eye to the situation is very admirable. Wanting to help someone better themselves; in any way, can never be considered a bad thing. In fact, as sisters in Islam, we should always seek to help one another and reach out a helping hand. 

Here’s a beautiful hadith portraying this:

On the authority of Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him) from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) who said, ” Whoever relieves a believer’s distress of the distressful aspects of this world, Allah will rescue him from a difficulty of the difficulties of the Hereafter. Whoever alleviates [the situation of] one in dire straits who cannot repay his debt, Allah will alleviate his lot in both this world and in the Hereafter. Whoever conceals [the faults of] a Muslim, Allah will conceal [his faults] in this life and the Hereafter. Allah is helping the servant as long as the servant is helping his brother. Whoever follows a path in order to seek knowledge thereby, Allah will make easy doe him, due to it, a path to Paradise. No people gather together in a house of the houses of Allah, reciting the Book of Allah and studying it among themselves, except that tranquility descended upon them, mercy covers them, the angels surround them and Allah makes mention of them to those in His presence. Whoever is slowed by his deeds will not be hastened forward by his lineage.” [Muslim]

And, here’s another: 

“He who removes from a believer one of his difficulties of this world, Allah will remove one of his troubles on the Day of Resurrection; and he who finds relief for a hard-pressed person, Allah will make things easy for him on the Day of Resurrection; he who covers up (the faults and sins) of a Muslim, Allah will cover up (his faults and sins) in this world and in the Hereafter. Allah supports His slave as long as the slave is supportive of his brother…” [Muslim]

And, what could be more wonderful than seeking to invite others to learn more about the deen and helping one another through our journey? 

Supporting, encouraging and helping each other are things the ummah should always strive to do, even in the smallest of deeds. And the virtues of doing so are just incredible – in return for helping one another, Allah promises to help us. What more could we want?? 

However, in situations like this it’s important to be tactful and compassionate of someone else’s situation. 

As you say yourself – you are not responsible for their actions – but just as you’ve been observant of their behaviour, perhaps they’re aware of yours. Be the best person you can be and ‘practice what you preach’ by conducting yourself in a pleasing manner. Try to be a good role model and maybe these sisters will notice the way you conduct yourself and follow your example. You may not even need to say anything at all – your company and friendship itself could be a good influence on them.

So often we can mistakenly assume the worst of someone or jump to the wrong conclusions. Keep an open mind and give them the benefit of the doubt. They may be completely unaware or ignorant about the way they’ve been acting or they may even be remorseful of it but unsure of what do. While you may be offering them advice with the best of intentions, allow them to speak freely and be open to dialogue. You might think they won’t ‘seem interested at all’ but you may be surprised by their reaction and find your thoughts are very welcome! 

I understand it can be quite nerve-wracking trying to find the right time and the right words to approach a situation like this. I know you may be worried that your classmates will look at you negatively or think "Great the Haram police". The thing to keep in mind though is that Allah made us all protectors of each other, meant to help each other. None of us is perfect and that is why we should remind each other...

The Noble Qur'an - Al-Tauba 9:71 
The Believers, men and women, are protectors one of another: they enjoin what is just, and forbid what is evil: they observe regular prayers, practise regular charity, and obey Allah and His Messenger. On them will Allah pour His mercy: for Allah is Exalted in power, Wise.

Start off my by making it clear you don’t mean to hurt/offend anyone and just want the best for them. Something along the lines of “I hope you guys don’t take this the wrong way, but I really ...” and work from there. You could also be proactive and invite them to join a good Islamic group you may know of, or suggest books you’ve read or talks you’ve listened to. 

I want a share a quick story with you - it was brought to my attention by Little Auntie herself who’d written the article and it’s all about our obligation in correcting mistakes we see ... 

It’s the story of Ashab Al Sabt and it goes like this ... Allah (Subhanoo wa' Tala) ordered the people to take Saturday as a Sabbath day as the means of a test. This meant they weren’t allowed to fish that day, and that was the exact day that Allah would provide for the fish to come to them openly.

“And ask them (O Muhammad (peace be upon him)) about the town that was by the sea; when they transgressed in the matter of the Sabbath (i.e. Saturday): when their fish came to them openly on the Sabbath day, and did not come to them on the day they had no Sabbath. Thus We made a trial of them for they used to rebel against Allah’s Command (disobey Allah).” [Surah An-Nisa 4/154]

But, some of the people conjured a plan to try to “trick Allah”. They would cast their fishing nets on Friday and then collect them on Sunday – thereby catching all of Saturdays fish without actually going fishing on Saturday. 

Witnessing the disobedience towards Allah (Subhanoo Wa Tala), the town was divided into two – one group decided to speak up against this group, advising them against their plan and warning them of the punishments for their actions i.e. they commanded good and forbade evil. 

The other group of people however, felt it wasn’t really their responsibility – they thought Allah would just deal with them - and chose to remain quite. 

The Quran says: And when a community among them said: “Why do you preach to a people whom Allâh is about to destroy or to punish with a severe torment?”
How did the first group reply?: “(The preachers) said: ‘In order to be free from guilt before your Lord (Allâh), and perhaps they may fear Allâh.’” (4/155)

The first group of people had acted for 2 reasons 
– 1) for forgiveness from Allah (Subhanoo wa' Tala) by fulfilling their Islamic duty 
-  2) it might make the transgressors take heed and think twice about their actions.

And, as a result, it was  this group of people – the callers to obedience of Allah’s commands– who survived. 

That’s just one example of the duty we have to speak up when we see someone saying/doing something wrong. Check out the article for many more wonderful stories and examples!

I know you’re wondering ‘is there even a point’, and while it may seem like ‘it’s not our place’, if we see someone doing something wrong then we have a responsibility to speak up. We’re put in others lives for a reason and sometimes it’s okay and correct to step in or speak up if you don’t agree with something. 

You say you know them well, so perhaps that puts you in a good position to speak to them. They may understand where you’re coming from and that you just want to help. It’s obvious you care about these girls and their wellbeing, and hopefully that will come across. But, in the end all you can do is offer them advice - it’s up to them whether they want to take it.

And, never underestimate the power of dua. Remember to keep them (and the entire ummah!) in your duas and pray for the best. Ask Allah to help them understand you and not take your advice the wrong way and ask Him for guidance for us all :) 

All my love,



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