When You’re Gay and Muslim – Finding Allah’s Meaning in All of It

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/altmuslim/2017/07/when-youre-gay-and-muslim-finding-allahs-meaning-in-it-all/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaignFBCP-MU&utm_content=altmuslim

Waheed Jensen is a Muslim male in his mid 20’s, struggling in this world with being young, open-minded and gay, trapped in a global community of Muslims who claim to follow Islam but lack the application of its most basic tenets. Working to make the world a better place for Muslims and non-Muslims alike. A version of this article appeared on Altmuslimah and VirtualMosque.com.

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Ever since I began trying to understand life, one of the crippling realizations about the Muslim communities I reached was this: We tend to bury our problems in a dark hole, dismiss them and hope they will never come back to haunt us. But they often do. We overlook many of our familial, social and cultural issues until they multiply and are about to explode in our faces; at that point, we are notorious for pointing fingers and crying over spilt milk.

Our room is filled with elephants that we barely have an inch to stand, yet we remain oblivious and hope things will get better.

Allow me today to describe one of those elephants. A strange elephant. Allow me to dissect it and hand it over to you, that you may ponder and hopefully open your heart and mind.

Let me start off by saying these three words: I am gay.

Even though you do not know who I am, and maybe the mere fact that I just came out to you right this instant may offend you, confuse you or drive you away from reading the remainder of this article. Let me assure you, this is not one of those articles that tries to promote homosexuality or deliver an airbrushed and Islam-oriented version of all those pro-homosexuality arguments.

Yes, I am gay and I am Muslim, and I am here to offer you a small glimpse into a journey of struggles, passions and hopes. I do not intend to delve into the story of Prophet Lut and his people, talk about the evolution and progression of the LGBT community during the past century, present arguments for or against same-sex relations, or even try to prove my own opinion. I really hope you can read and reflect, and I pray that this small effort of bringing the picture a little closer to you might make the slightest bit of difference in raising awareness, and hopefully open healthy discussions on the topic.

I wholeheartedly believe, in concordance with Islam and its teachings, that sodomy is a major sin. I am against same-sex marriage and intercourse, and I am not in favour of any progressive movements that attempt to explain Quranic verses about People of Lut or sodomy from a modernist or post-modernist approach – in other words, arguments that try to find a leeway and claim that that is a legitimate Islamic perspective.

I hope that this will not drive away readers who are excited about the topic but may be uncomfortable with my statements. I have adopted this position after years of introspection, research, counselling and personal prayer, and I am coming forth today to share with you some of those experiences.

Why Am I Different?

Homosexuality has been present in humanity for centuries, and for as long as it has been there, homosexuals have been struggling with themselves, their families and society at large. To me personally, there was always something different. I could feel it in me from a very young age. Something that I could not explain to others because I thought they would not understand, let alone accept, or maybe because I was too young and immature at the time that I was not entirely sure what ‘it’ was.

It crystallized around puberty; when all the raging hormones started kicking in, those tendencies became obvious. And then the real struggle began.

The struggle led to an explosion of questions. “Why am I different? Why am I not like the rest of my friends or family members? Is this even normal? Am I sick?” Not finding the proper answers, I kept on putting these questions aside. “Maybe it’ll go away. Maybe it’s just a phase.” In my case, it never went away and it was not a phase.

With time I learned that this is something abhorred religiously, culturally and socially. So I tried to adapt. “How do I balance between the feelings and tendencies I have with what my religion, culture and social norms dictate?” So I began a journey of self-exploration and interacting with others, learning from religion, media as well as prominent persons, like religious scholars and major social figures. My schemas kept changing, and I kept on adapting.

Many of us may be brave enough to rebel against what others seem to ‘dictate’ on us, while others suppress their urges, often hiding their identities from those closest to them, generally out of fear, or maybe because they are not just ready to come out yet. I belong to the latter group.

To this date, I have never had the courage to tell my parents or close family members, but I have come out to a close friend of mine a few months ago, and he was extremely supportive Alhamdulillah (all praises to Allah).

One of the most dangerous pitfalls I have personally experienced was thinking that God hated me. He was mad at me. “I must have done something wrong in my life to deserve this ‘punishment’… If God does not accept homosexuality, then why am I a homosexual?” Whether Muslim or not, people struggling in silence can be more prone to deviating to dangerous paths.

So, you find many struggling homosexuals also dealing with bullying, drinking problems, substance abuse, domestic violence, poor academic performance, career problems, pornography or sex addictions, sexually-transmitted diseases, mood disorders like depression and anxiety, and many other issues. (1) I had my own share of bullying, academic problems and mood disorders. Our struggles multiply with time, and many even contemplate suicide.

This is especially true in cases where the individual tries to discuss the issue – often it is just those desires or thoughts that are tackled, not the actual act – with his/her parents or family members who are not receptive to those ideas. If not shown sympathy, care and love, he/she is often shunned, harassed, scorned and sometimes even tortured.

A lot of gay men and women are forced into arranged marriages, taken to local Imams to ‘heal them from their calamity and wrath of God’, or even killed. (2) Some of them take their own lives by themselves. Others live in constant torment while some flee their homes and families in search for a more welcoming environment. That and many have not even yet engaged in any sexual acts whatsoever.

Why We Have Difficulty with Other Muslims

This is why I, along with many fellow homosexual Muslims, find the Western alternative very striking: It offers acceptance and understanding. Things that we dearly miss in our communities, even though we may realize deep down that there is something terribly wrong, the fact that there is someone who accepts us and fights for us and not against us is incredibly more appealing. When we try to talk to other Muslim seemingly-pious and God-conscious brothers and sisters about our sexuality and are shunned by their lack of empathy, respect and understanding, would you find it surprising that we take comfort in talking to non-religious people about our struggles in hopes to find an open mind and a loving heart?

Ironically, the spirit of Islam is all about empathy, tolerance and understanding, yet the practice of Islam carried out by many Muslims shows the opposite.

Trust me, I understand that it is a difficult topic to open up with others, especially people coming from conservative backgrounds. It is difficult news for you to receive, just as it is difficult for me to handle, let alone share with others. However, the fact that I choose to come out to specific people means that those people are exceptionally special to me. To us.

It takes a lot of courage, incredible determination and a full dose of anxiety and fear to even think about coming out to someone, that you can imagine the damage we have to endure when the other person dismisses us or shows no empathy or mercy. It seems like a lot to handle if you ask me.

I remember the first time I decided to come out to someone, I was going through an overwhelming period in my life, yet Alhamdulillah I had some seeds of piety and religiosity inside me. I was around 18, and he was a non-religious psychologist and counsellor. I went to an appointment with him, tried to beat around the bush but ultimately came out to him. And, he was accepting. Later on, I found out that many struggling homosexuals came to him for advice and counselling.

I was hoping that, with the aid of therapy, my orientation would change – this is scientifically known as reparative or conversion therapy; while many studies have been conducted on it and some patients have reported success, a great number of psychiatrists and counsellors have reported failure and more harm done to the patients than good. The progress of my visits culminated in him putting forward the idea of accepting who I am and going all the way with it – in other words, experience my entire sexuality without restraints.

At that point I was really uncomfortable with his proposal, as it was against my Islamic beliefs and my own virtues.

During that same period, I was doing my own reading and researching, trying to find a proper Islamic “solution,” crying for help and praying that I am guided to what Allah pleases. One of the most heartwarming responses was given by a psychiatrist who also has a profound knowledge of Islamic shariah (legal rulings). He was hosted on a TV show, and he was speaking so graciously, so open-mindedly, that his words hit the right chord and I was immediately awe-struck. I cried after finally having found an answer with which my heartfelt ease.

That was pure bliss, Alhamdulillah.

Why Am I Homosexual?

The gist of the talk is the following: Homosexuality as an orientation is a disorder in one’s fitrah (human nature and disposition). “Treatment” of such a disorder involves therapy, familial and social support, personal discipline and a whole lot of other things. However, this therapy, which is tailored on a case-by-case basis, may or may not work. The mode of therapy is different between individuals, just like every case of homosexuality is different between people.

Mind you, the term “therapy” here is used loosely to mean dealing with the issue from different aspects rather than reverting one’s sexual orientation.

If many of us, homosexuals, dive deeper into our childhood and upbringing, we can pinpoint certain events that have taken their toll on us one way or another. Many of us have experienced child abuse, be it sexual, physical or intense emotional abuse that was brutally damaging to our body and soul, or lived in dysfunctional families that ultimately caused a lot of psychological damage. (3)

I, for one, had my own share of psychological and sexual abuse as a child from people closest to me and witnessed intense domestic violence that crippled my mind for a decent period of time. Such events were so incredibly powerful that they became ingrained in my psyche and took their toll on my thinking and behaviour.

Others have been desensitized to issues related to sexuality and gender roles from a young age, that their perception of masculinity and femininity is quite erroneous. I can recall several stories of struggling homosexuals I know who grew up in homes where one parent was more dominant in their life (e.g. present most of the time while the other was absent, provided greater emotional, psychological and social support while the other did the exact the opposite), such that either parent’s gender became more dominant on their lives and personas, and hence their perception of gender and sexuality deviated from the normal.

It is worth noting, however, that many people grow up in normal environments with no such issues during childhood, yet end up finding themselves attracted to the same gender. So there is no discrete thumb rule or cause as to whether someone will end up identifying as a homosexual or a heterosexual. It is not a simple black or white situation.

In addition to the above, it has been asserted that there are other acquired causes – we are bombarded on a daily basis with sensual and sexually-explicit material, from billboards, magazines and newspaper articles, to online material on social media websites. Sex and sexuality are heavily emphasized in TV shows, readings and discussions, whether openly or not. We have become accustomed to seeing semi-naked and naked bodies, our concepts of beauty, femininity and masculinity have radically evolved over time and we have become desensitized to these matters. (4)

There is an unbelievable amount of time and resources spent on creating better bodies: muscular, dreamy and good-looking men, and gorgeous women with “perfect” facial and body features. In addition, many of the inter- and intra-gender boundaries have drastically changed over time. Taken together, these matters overwhelm the human mind, and the effects are undoubtedly palpable.

Again, these and countless other events affect people’s heart, mind, body and spirit differently. People struggle to cope in different ways. Some people, like myself and countless others, may eventually find themselves with a specific worldview, having had a culmination of experiences, as well as a specific orientation that may or may not be modifiable. Just like these examples are struggling in and of themselves, homosexual thoughts and tendencies are no less than struggles as well.

Will I Have a Partner in Life?

When I see married men and women sharing affection, enjoying companionship and raising children, it hurts. A lot. Not the jealous I-hope-they-lose-all-that kind, but the painful realization that this is not something I can ever attain. Because of my situation, my ibtila’ (struggle in life), the idea of marrying someone from the opposite sex is not practical at all or even fair for me or my potential spouse. Many shuyukh advice homosexuals to get married for their tendencies to dissolve; while this may work with a handful of people, a large number of us does not find it physically or mentally plausible.

Many of the things other people, including those shuyukh themselves, take for granted – like relationships, marriage and having children – are the exact things we struggle with day in and day out. Personally, and unlike Muslim heterosexuals, I do not have safe and lawful options through which I can channel and fulfil those desires. Therefore, I try my best to remain steadfast and struggle for the sake of Allah. If that is not incredible Jihad, I do not know what counts as such.

While it may seem unfair and even preposterous to some people to keep struggling and not fulfil our desires, especially in this time and age, that is where the beauty lies. Within Islam, we are not held accountable for our thoughts, feelings, desires and tendencies as long as we do not act upon them. There are three ideas worth mentioning here.

First, Allah has promised in the Quran that He “does not charge a soul except [with that within] its capacity” [2:286]. Taken in line with Islamic teachings, this means that Allah knows how painful my struggle is and knows that I can handle it. Every time I ponder upon this idea, I am overwhelmed with incredible awe and gratitude. Of all people across centuries, He has chosen specific people for this particular test. Indeed, life is nothing but a few years and the True Life is in the Hereafter, so no matter how agonizing the struggle is, there will be an end to it.

Second, there is an immense reward and unimaginable blessings, both in this life and the Hereafter, by staying true to God’s decree and struggling for His sake. The greater the struggle, the more the rewards in sha Allah (God willing).

Third, and just like the popular saying goes, “when God closes one door, He opens another.” So, if issues like intimacy and procreation may seem like dead ends for Muslim homosexuals, we find openings in other aspects of life. Many homosexuals across history have been known for incredible gifts in writing, public speaking, music, cinema, scientific discoveries, literature and art. (5) Studies have reported that homosexuals exhibit high levels of empathy and compassion compared to heterosexuals. (6)

Because we have suffered and are constantly struggling, we have big hearts that know no boundaries. If we utilize our God-given gifts wisely and for the greater good, we can do wonders inshaAllah.

We All are Trying to Find Answers

Of course, there are Muslim homosexuals and pro-gay rights advocates who adopt a completely different perspective. Some try to balance between their religious duties while keeping in line with their orientation; in other words, they carry out their desires yet remain true to their duties. Others denounce Islamic rules altogether arguing that in modern times, such rules do not apply, hence they call for a reformation in Islamic laws taken for granted as solid foundations of religion.

Others are still struggling between balancing Islamic law and their own sexuality, searching for answers that provide them with ultimate satisfaction.

I am in no way trying to prove myself right and others wrong. This article is solely intended to highlight some of the struggles I go through as a Muslim homosexual, and I have taken the liberty at some points to speak on behalf of fellow struggling homosexuals because of our shared tribulations. Whatever your position is on this matter, I respect you and love you as a human being, your desires are legitimate and in no way make you less of a human being.

However, based on my beliefs, I do not accept specific actions that you may do which go against Islamic law. And there again, you are no less of a human being, and I still respect you as an individual. This falls at the heart of Islam – if someone like me who is struggling with his/her own desires can adopt such a stance, then so can everyone else. Maybe if we focus less on demonizing other people and concentrate more on helping one another, things would start to change for the best.

If you are a homosexual reading this, please know that my heart is with you. I of all people understand the daily struggles you are going through, and I salute your bravery and high spirit. Please remember that Allah is Merciful and Forgiving, no matter how much people tell you otherwise. Stay strong, and if you ever fall into the traps of Shaytan (the devil), repent to the Almighty with a pure heart and know that He accepts and welcomes the sincere. Pray to remain steadfast. Fasting is a powerful weapon so try your best to fast regularly.

Also, try to do sports and channel your energy in healthy ways. Surround yourself with the good company of pious people, and keep daily companionship of His Book. Pursue a higher purpose in life, for you are already on a high track. Trust me, I understand that the struggles may reach excruciating levels – it is at those moments that our inner cores are tested.

Make your struggles entirely for His sake, and they will be worth it. You will come out stronger and braver than before. With today’s explosion of sexuality and acceptance of same-sex relations, do not swallow the bait. Keep yourself in the company of Him for that is all that ultimately matters.

If you are a heterosexual reading this and assuming you may be uncomfortable with such a topic, I understand that this may be overwhelming for you at first glance. Take it easy on yourself, and certainly take it easy on others. We all have our own struggles, so let us make this journey we call life a little bit less difficult for one another. Let us shift our focus from pointing out each other’s faults and instead work together for more empathy, compassion and love.

There is a difference between respecting someone and accepting his/her actions; the former must be there at all times. If we disagree or have different lifestyles, and certainly if we make mistakes, please do not judge us. Bear with us. Listen to us, be there for us, for if you ever need us we will be there for you.

Even though we may not get the chance to experience what it means to have a spouse, be intimate or even raise a family in this life, I pray that Allah accepts our struggles for His sake and fulfil our desires in the Hereafter. Yes, I am a gay Muslim, and I am proud – proud that Allah has chosen me and many other brothers and sisters for this particular struggle in this life. And for that, and for all His countless blessings we say, Alhamdulillah.

“I hope that the world turns and that things get better. But what I hope most of all is that you understand what I mean when I tell you that, even though I do not know you, and even though I may never meet you, laugh with you, cry with you… I love you. With all my heart, I love you.”
(V for Vendetta)

1. Lee, R. (2000). Health care problems of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender patients. Western Journal of Medicine, 172(6), 403–408.
2. Kesvani, H. (2015, April 18). Meet The Gay Muslims Living In Straight Marriages. http://www.buzzfeed.com/husseinkesvani/gay-muslims-in-straight-marriages
3. Schneeberger, A. R., Dietl, M. F., Muenzenmaier, K. H., Huber, C. G., & Lang, U. E. (2014). Stressful childhood experiences and health outcomes in sexual minority populations: a systematic review. Social psychiatry and psychiatric epidemiology, 49(9), 1427-1445.
4. Qadhi, Y. (2009, April 13). Dealing With Homosexual Urges: Yasir Qadhi to Muslim Student. http://muslimmatters.org/2009/04/13/dealing-with-homosexual-urges/
5. Rictor Norton (compiler), “The Great Queers of History, Part 1: Born before 1800″, 1 May 2004 <http://rictornorton.co.uk/greatgay/greatgay.htm&gt;.
6. Salais, D. A., & Fischer, R. B. (1995). Sexual preference and altruism. Journal of Homosexuality, 28(1-2), 185-196.

Unapologetically Telling The Truth Is A Terrible Thing to Admire

Why do we value “unapologetically telling the truth like it is” so highly? When did this become an actual thing that we lionize and aspire to? Why do we celebrate those who do this?

What’s the point of telling it like it is, even if people hate it? And what does it say about us as a community if this is how sincerity and authenticity is expressed? When did it become some type of significant accomplishment that is lauded by others?

There’s obviously an immediate benefit. You gain notoriety, fans, social media engagement, and maybe even just enough of a following to leverage a career (or presidency) out of it.

I have noticed a trend lately, particularly in discourse about Islamic issues online, where people are being heralded and promoted for telling it like it is.

This culture appears to be an overreaction to another problem (as most extremes often are) – speaking about issues without any principles, or watering down and politicizing them. When something in regards to the religion is watered down, the perception is that this is done from a position of weakness.

By speaking the unapologetic truth harshly, a person may feel they are taking on a task for the community that others are not. They are giving voice to a perspective that may otherwise be silent. They are providing objective and accurate intellectual analysis without any emotion or sugar-coating.

Validation follows. Others encourage them for speaking up and saying the things they are unafraid to say. This makes the person feel they are taking on an important task on behalf of the ummah, and continue to do so. Then they get more fans and comments, and the cycle continues.

This validation loop, particularly online when it is in the form of likes and comments, makes it challenging to engage criticisms of this approach objectively. After all, everyone is telling you this is incredible – why should you listen to the few uptight people who are so focused on tone instead of the unapologetic truth bomb you are dropping on people?

This justification comes from prioritizing the utility of giving a correct point of view over how it is delivered – especially when this point of view is drowned out by all the people with the wrong understanding.

When given real feedback on tone or etiquette, people who pride themselves on being unapologetic or authentic will respond by deflecting this advice. Focus on the intellectual merits of the argument they’ll argue. Or they will deflect it by pointing to some type of bad character on the part of people who hold the opposing viewpoint as them. Don’t worry about my bad attitude, worry about that other person’s character instead. Or they’ll appeal to authority and declare that they already have teachers or mentors that give them advice, so they are free to dismiss comments no matter how legitimate. For people who pride themselves on being objective or intellectual, these are all profoundly childish responses.

What is billed as being authentic or unapologetic is really a mask for laziness and ego.

The Qur’an lays out a model that we’ll refer to as the ‘high-competency’ approach:

By an act of mercy from God, you [Prophet] were gentle in your dealings with them—had you been harsh, or hard-hearted, they would have dispersed and left you—so pardon them and ask forgiveness for them. Consult with them about matters, then, when you have decided on a course of action, put your trust in God: God loves those who put their trust in Him (3:159).

Where in this ayah does it appear that the approach of telling the cold hard truth would fall?

Telling the unapologetic truth without regard for how people take it is the easy way out. Anyone can do that. The problem is that it does not work. It causes people to get turned off. Those who lionize this approach will counter by saying, “so what?” They put the blame on the people who can’t handle the message instead of taking responsibility for how they deliver it.

That’s why it’s lazy. It’s a low competency form of delivering a message. The only people who celebrate it are ones that already agree with it. It does not accomplish the ultimate task of winning hearts and minds or changing someone’s viewpoint.

Instead, it puts the focus on the person giving the message – how courageous, authentic, and direct they are. This makes the communication inherently ego driven because the intended audience is now ignored. The actual content of a person’s message also gets lost as they start to craft their identity around speaking forcefully instead of effectively. They show no concern for the recipient of the message, only in themselves.

The task of winning hearts and minds, or changing someone’s ideological worldview, is not done through a hot take on Facebook. It is done as the ayah above indicates – with kindness in dealings with them.

Giving hot takes on social media builds fans and followings, not relationships. The ultimate irony is that unapologetically speaking the truth actually prevents people from developing the relationships to affect positive change in the community because no one wants to be around them.

“How well you take criticism depends less on the message and more on your relationship with the messenger. It’s surprisingly easy to hear a hard truth when it comes from someone who believes in your potential and cares about your success.” –Adam Grant

It requires the hard work of building relationships with people and building community. True leaders understand that this requires years of investment into people – not all of which will be documented on social media. Success means playing the long game.

It means going to a tyrant like Fir’awn, and still speaking kindly because the ultimate intent is different than to just tell it like it is.

It means that when the young man walks into the masjid of the Prophet (s) and asks permission to commit zina (adultery), that the Prophet (s) takes him and teaches him kindly. He could have easily reminded him about the jurisprudential rulings about adultery, and the prescribed punishment – no doubt that would be unapologetically speaking the truth. But it would not have achieved the intended outcome, so the Prophet (s) had to take the approach that would actually produce results.

But wait, what about all the times in the life of the Prophet (s) when harshness was used? Didn’t he speak the truth clearly? Yes. There are always going to be situations where this is called for strategically as a tool intended for a specific result. The problem we are highlighting is not of speaking the truth clearly, but one of expressing it in a harsh way such that people are turned off. And worse, people who respond to the harshness with cheerleading and zealousness instead of genuine care and concern for the one who is wrong to gain some sense of rectification.

There is something deeper at play here than ego or taking the easy way out. Authenticity.

Authenticity is the buzzword we use to express sincerity. When I tell it like it is, I am being authentic and sincere. Not fake. Not a sell-out.

Authenticity presents a paradox: Do you do what’s effective, or do you do what is true to yourself? We might reach a certain level of success and influence by being a certain way. The challenge is getting to the next level. If that means suddenly changing how I communicate or speaking with what I term to be watered down political jargon, then no thanks. This is the mindset that allows us to morally justify our unapologetic approach, and actually double down on it when told to act otherwise.

Authenticity is a barrier to personal growth. We use this idea of it representing sincerity as an excuse to keep from changing. We have to shift from delivering the information people need to know (low-level) to creating the conditions of increasing learning (high-level).

This requires putting in the work to change our approach and character.

The Prophet (s) said that ‘the two characteristics that led the most people into Paradise were consciousness of Allah and good character’ (Tirmidhi).

Don’t let anyone subvert this in the name of unapologetically speaking the truth.

Low competency individuals are drawn to telling it like it is. High competency individuals are attracted to painting the vision of how things could be – and building the bridge to help and serve people in getting there.

https://www.ibnabeeomar.com/blog/unapologetically-telling-the-truth-is-a-terrible-thing-to-admire

 

he-tells-it-like-it-is-paul-not

I don’t wear a Hijab, but my heart is clean!”

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

170720-brands-selling-hijabs-feature“All of my Ummah will be forgiven except those who sin openly…” [1]

Sinning privately is between Allah and His servant and a struggle that only He knows about and which In sha Allah He will give His servant the Tawfiq to repent for. Openly sinning with no remorse is tantamount to a public challenge to Allah and it doesn’t just remain between a servant and his Lord, but with the people too. One is to unashamedly disobey Allah and then to further justify the sin, but “Allah will not help a people until they help themselves.” [2]

Lately, I seem to have come across many sisters who give reasons for their Hijab – or lack thereof!

“I’m not ready for the Hijab yet!”
“So what if my hair is uncovered? My heart is clean!”
“Don’t tell me to wear Hijab, only Allah can judge me.”

Naturally, it led to many debates where not everyone agreed. Hence, this is merely an opinion.

At random, I started looking at other commandments of Allah. His order to fulfil the obligation of Salah comes with the condition that one has reached the age of puberty, is sane, and is a Muslim. Similarly, the donning of Hijab becomes compulsory once a woman reaches the age of puberty. But why are sisters so quick to make excuses like, “I’m not ready yet” and, “But my heart is clean,” when we don’t make the same excuses for our Zakah and fasting the month of Ramadhan?

My mind is at awe with the women around my Nabi ﷺ who dropped all they had in order to comply to another commandment of Allah with the hope of coming closer to Him. Fatimah Al-Zahrah (R), the queen of the women of Jannah, was the epitome of modesty at the time of Nabi ﷺ and continues to serve as an example until the end of time. Similarly, Umm Khallad (R) who upon hearing of the martyrdom of her beloved son on the battlefield, rushed to it whilst veiled. When asked how she managed to cover in such a state, she responded, “I have lost my son, but I have not lost my modesty.” [3]

Such women had the purest of hearts and yet they did not make the excuses we make because it is not befitting for a Muslim woman to ask for a concession in a matter that Allah and His Nabi (S) have ordained for us!

It may be true that a sister without the Hijab may have a heart purer and Taqwa stronger than that of a sister fully covered. However, when a Muslim woman CHOOSES not to wear the Hijab out of her own free-will (without a valid Shar’i reason), she becomes another fallen brick in the wall that divides us as an Ummah because she has chosen to hide her identity. Those who wear the Hijab (despite their struggles) are then labelled fanatics and extremists because another side has presented a “liberal” image which shows the world that it clearly isn’t mandatory to wear the Hijab and it can’t really be part of the faith! And so in this manner, she makes it harder for her “Hijabi” sister to practice her faith.

Those who refuse the Hijab claiming only Allah can judge them, remember that indeed Allah WILL judge them. Let’s help one another to become stronger in our faith and show the world that we are proud of our identity. May Allah help each of us in our struggles and only He knows what they are.

Do you agree? Disagree? All comments welcome, but please be courteous.plain-chiffon-hijab-plain-chiffon-charcoal-hijab-1_large

[1] Bukhari and Muslim
[2] Surah Ra’ad (13:11)
[3] Abu Dawud

Zainab Bint Husain (Allah protect her)

10 Muharram 1440

Patience

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

screenshot_2017-11-19-14-54-13.png
We should all prepare a place in our hearts and minds where we can accommodate all the current tragedies and then further disasters which will sooner or later come to our lives, but this is an economy that few people care to practice.
I’m not trying to be pessimistic. Our Prophet ﷺ was not seeking forgiveness all the time because he was a sinner, and neither did His Lord command him regularly to be patient because his entire life was a completely unrelenting tragedy.
It wasn’t.
But it would be a real tragedy for *us* if we were only to think that to be in a blessed state of humbling ourselves before Allah, or to be told to be patient, is only applicable when we are in a bad moment, or a rut in life, or a mid-life crisis.
Patience is realism. It is understanding that whatever we are experiencing at the moment – whether we perceive it to be good or bad – is all ultimately a test on whether you stay *real* or not, whether you correctly attribute the blessings you can and cannot see, to the One who gave them to you. And thank Him for them regardless.
That’s why being patient and worshipping your Lord in a consistent, deep, quality manner during your good times is far more difficult than in the bad times. You can’t see the problem. You can’t feel the grief you need to be patient with. The heart doesn’t feel enough pain to kick in the patience reflex. You don’t feel the need to thank Allah because things are so good “without Him”.
That’s why Shaykhul Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (Allah have peace on him) termed this type of patience the more challenging and the more rewarding. Think about it: the majority of the world’s population have failed in this type of patience. And worse, Allah tells us that He continues to bless them with the dunya and good times and that they’ll continue in their heedlessness and leave this life whilst actually being content with their disbelief.
That is why when we see those who have been blessed with so much in this life and yet they still preserve their values, their Deen, their thanks to their Creator, and their thanks and connection to the normal folks around them, then we still call this “patience” even though it may not seem so. And what do we say about this person? “He still keeps it *real*.” That’s why patience is a permanent state we must incorporate in our lives, and we must create that space where we are always alert and aware. As I said, patience is realism.
This is thus the development of patience. This is why anyone who truly understands patience, has truly understood Islam, reality, and life itself.
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#ProtectThisHouse Shaykh Abu Eesa Niamatullah
سئل الإمام أحمد بن حنبل : ألم تصدك المحن عن الطريق ؟!
قال : والله لولا المحن ؛ لشككت في الطريق ..!
ان الله لا يبتليك بشيءٍ إلا كان خيراً لك .. وإن ظننت العكس ..!
أرح قلبك .. فلولا البلاء لكان يوسف مدللاً في حضن أبيه ..
ولكنه مع البلاء صار عزيز مصر ..!
ومن المنفى رجع موسى نبيا…!!!!
ورجع سيدنا محمد من المهجر سيد الخلق فاتحا..!!
أفيضيق صدرك بعد هذا ؟!
كونوا على يقين أن هناك شيءٌ جميلٍ ينتظركم بعد #الصبر
ليبهركم وينسيكم مرارة الألم
Imam Ahmed was once asked: ‘ did your trials not stop you from keeping steadfast on His ( Allah’) path? ‘
Imam Ahmed replied: ‘ if it were not for my trials I would have doubted this path, Allah only tests us with what’s good for us, even if we think otherwise’.
Put your heart at ease… if it were not for trials Prophet Yusuf AS would have been spoilt in the arms of his father but his trials made him the Chief of Egypt!
And out of exile musa AS returned a Prophet!
And Prophet Muhammed return from Hijrah a messenger to the whole of creation, opening Mecca and many other cities.
Never have doubt that what befalls us maybe better for us and what never doubt that something beautiful awaits with patience….
( Mini Mission Reminders )

“Why Me?”

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

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By Arthur Ashe
The legendary Wimbledon Player who was dying of AIDS , which he got due to Infected Blood he received during a Heart Surgery in 1983. During his illness, he received letters from his fans, one of which conveyed:
“Why did God have to select you for such a bad disease?”  To this Arthur Ashe replied:
⁃ 50 Million children started playing Tennis,
⁃ 5 Million learnt to play Tennis,
⁃ 500 000 learnt Professional Tennis,
⁃ 50 Thousand came to Circuit,
⁃ 5 Thousand reached Grand Slam,
⁃ 50 reached Wimbledon,
⁃ 4 reached the Semifinals ,
⁃ 2 reached the Finals and…
when I was holding the cup in my hand, I never asked God:
“Why Me?”
So now that I’m in pain how can I ask God:
“Why Me?”
Happiness…keeps you Sweet, 
Trials…keep you Strong,
Sorrows ..keep you Human,
Failure…keeps you Humble,
Success…keeps you Glowing.
But only, faith…keeps you Going.
Sometimes you are not satisfied with your life, while many people in this world are dreaming of living your life.
A child on a farm sees a plane fly overhead dreams of flying, while  a pilot on the plane sees the farmhouse and dreams of returning home .
That’s life !
Enjoy yours…If wealth is the secret to happiness, then the rich should be dancing on the streets .
But only poor kids do that .
If power ensures security, then VIPs should walk unguarded .
But those who live simply , sleep soundly .
If beauty and fame bring ideal relationships , then celebrities should have the best marriages .
Live simply, be happy, walk humbly and love genuinely.
WHY ME ?
A beautiful message not just to read and forward but to apply practically in our personal life .
Arthur Robert Ashe Jr. (July 10, 1943 – February 6, 1993) was an American professional tennis player who won three Grand Slam titlesAshe was the first black player selected to the United States Davis Cup team and the only black man ever to win the singles title at Wimbledon, the US Open, and the Australian Open. He retired in 1980. He was ranked World No. 1 by Harry Hopman in 1968 and by Lance Tingay of The Daily Telegraph and World Tennis Magazine in 1975.[3][4] In the ATP computer rankings, he peaked at No. 2 in May 1976. In the early 1980s, Ashe is believed to have contracted HIV from a blood transfusion he received during heart bypass surgery. Ashe publicly announced his illness in April 1992 and began working to educate others about HIV and AIDS. He founded the Arthur Ashe Foundation for the Defeat of AIDS and the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health before his death from AIDS-related pneumonia at age 49 on February 6, 1993. On June 20, 1993, Ashe was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by the United States President Bill Clinton.arab

“Your difficult job is the dream of every unemployed, your annoying child is the dream of every infertile, your small home is the dream of every homeless, your little money is the dream of every debtor, your health is the dream of every ill, your smile is the dream of every sad. Allah concealing your sins is the dream of every exposed. So, let gratitude and contentment be your methodology of life.” Alhumdu Lillah!

Lessons On Marriage

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1. EVERYONE YOU MARRY HAS A WEAKNESS
Only God has no weakness. Every rose flower has its own thorn. If you focus too much on your spouse’s weakness, you can’t get the best out of his/her strength.
 
2. EVERYONE YOU MARRY HAS A DARK HISTORY
No one is an angel, therefore, avoid digging one’s past. What matters is the present life of your partner. Old things are passed away. Try to forgive and forget. The past can’t be changed. So focus on the present and the future!
3. EVERY MARRIAGE HAS IT’S OWN CHALLENGES
Marriage is not bed of roses. Every shining marriage has gone through its own test of hot and excruciating fire. True love is proved in time of challenge. Fight for your marriage! Make up your mind to stay with your spouse in time of needs. Remember this is the vow you made on your wedding day!
4. EVERY MARRIAGE HAS DIFFERENT LEVELS OF SUCCESS
Don’t compare your marriage with anyone! We can never be equal, some will be far in front and others far behind. To avoid marriage stresses, be patient, work hard and with time, your marriage dreams shall come true.
5. TO MARRY IS TO DECLARE A WAR
When you marry, you must declare a war against enemies of marriage. Some of the enemies of marriage are: Ignorance, Rumours,  Prayerlessness, Unforgiveness, Adultery, Third Party Influence, Stinginess, Stubbornness, Lack Of Love, Rudeness, Wife battery, Laziness, winning, nagging, PRIDE,  Divorce etc. Be ready to fight to maintain your marriage zone.
6. THERE IS NO PERFECT MARRIAGE
There is no ready made marriage anywhere. Marriage is hard work, volunteer yourself and perfect it daily. Marriage is like a MOTOR CAR with a gear oil, gear box, etc If these parts are not properly maintained, the car will break down somewhere along the road and expose the occupant to unhealthy circumstances. – Many of us are careless about our marriage… Are you? If you are, please pay attention to your marriage.
7. GOD CANNOT GIVE YOU THE COMPLETE PERSON YOU DESIRE
God gives you, her or him in form of raw materials in order for you to mold what you desire. You may desire a woman who can pray for 1 hour but your wife can only pray for 30 minutes. With your love, prayer and encouragement, she can improve.
8. TO MARRY IS TO TAKE A RISK
You cannot predict what will happen after marriage, as situation may change, so, leave a room for adjustment. Pregnancy may not come in the next 4 years.. You may get married to her because she’s slim but she becomes a little fat after a child. He may lose his beautiful job for years that you have to take the financial responsibility of the family until he gets a new job. But with God by your side, you will smile at long last.
9. MARRIAGE IS NOT A CONTRACT, IT IS PERMANENT
Marriage needs total commitment, love is the glue that makes a couple stick together. Divorce starts in the mind. Never think of divorce! Never threaten your spouse with divorce. Choose to remain married! God hates divorce, though it’s permitted only in extreme cases.
10. EVERY MARRIAGE HAS A PRICE TO PAY
Marriage is like a bank account. It is the money you deposit into your bank account that you can withdrawn. If you don’t deposit love, peace and care into your marriage, you are not a candidate of a blissful home. There is no free love in marriage, You cannot love without giving and sacrificing.
May God grant us the grace and wisdom to succeed in it. Amen!!! Send it to married and single people on your contacts list.
Anonymous
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“Only God Can Judge Me!”

Dear Friends,

I’ve never liked this statement, nor do I agree with it. It is wrong and flawed in so many ways.
Firstly, if someone commits a crime in a country which goes against the law of the country, will they not face trial and prosecution? Will evidence and witnesses not be presented to ‘judge’ them? Will they not go to a courtroom and face a ‘judge’ and a jury, which will eventually sentence a punishment?

Secondly, if you don’t commit a crime, but rather a sin or an act of indecency, people can and will ‘judge’ you. To say at the point ‘only God can judge me is stupendously funny. It does not say in any law book or holy book people cannot judge you… Rather I have always believed, people will judge you and CAN judge you by your words and actions. If you judge someone on what you see there is absoTOTALutely nothing wrong with that. Being “judgemental” is when there is no evidence present and you accuse someone of a crime/sin. Even though that is common sense!

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My point being if you really don’t want people to judge you, don’t behave immorally. Behave sensibly and show your maturity and intelligence.

I take it those who say it really and truly believe in God/Allah? Whether you’re a Muslim like me or follow another religion, please quit using this statement. Don’t stop because I say so! Rather remember, when God does finally judge you, you will not have a leg to stand by. It doesn’t matter if you are the Pope or Her Majesty, the Queen. In front of God, we are nothing. So please stop being foolish and acting proud. God is Great, the Greatest, the Supreme.

I do believe this is a plot of Shaytan, to stop us from preventing evil. As Muslims, we have an obligation to command good and forbid evil. If you see evil, you stop it. It is not judgemental.

Finally dear friends, remember that the world will always judge your outer appearance no matter what your intention is. It is not sufficient to say God knows my intention. . . Simply because we (the people of the world) are not God! How can you expect someone to know what your intention is?

Yours Truly,

Ismail Ibn Nazir Satia (One who is in dire need of Allah’s Forgiveness, Mercy and Pleasure).

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