Helloالسّلام عليكم ورحمت الله و بركاته
I was successfully posting even during my exams. Now that everything is over, I’m hoping to continue with my blogging schedule with more enthusiasm.👊🏻
Since I did miss my Eid special post, I’m feeling the urge to do a post on a topic in Islam that I’ve wanted to pen about for a very long time.
If you’ve ever tried to practice Islam on strict note or even tried to adhere to some of its principles, you must’ve encountered some degree of strangeness from the people around you. Those looks SOME people give, the snare, sometimes it comes out of their mouths as nasty comments or sometimes it’s just that isolation they make you feel. Not everybody is like that. No. I’m not taking it negative. But I guess that’s so much true that nobody will agree to disagree completely .
I’m drawing your attention to a hadith (narration from Prophet Muhammed(S)) where he beautifully congratulated ‘those’ who go through this. In an authentic narration by [Sahih Muslim :The Book of Faith (Kitab Al-Iman): Book 1 : Hadith 270], who said:
« بدأ الإسلام غريبًا، وسيعود غريبًا كما بدأ، فَطُوبي للغرباء »
Bada Al-Islamu ghariban wa sa ya-‘udhu ghariban kama bada`aa fa tooba lil ghuraba
(Islam began as something strange and it will return strange as it began, so glad tidings for the strangers).
In the early days of Islam, people weren’t easily going to give up their idol worship and flock towards Islam. The transition wasn’t an easy one. Those who came to choose the truth were tried and tested. They were murdered. They were forced to flee from their homelands. But a couple of years later, Islam did manifest. Tables overturned. Power was on the side of Muslims. Islam spread far and wide over continents. There was a golden age for Islam too. But was this going to remain forever?
No. What is around us speaks for itself. Even in Muslim lands, how difficult is it to find a practicing muslim! How few are the people who stick to the teachings of The Prophet, contrary to the Arabic name they carry! Followers of the Prophet who was called ‘The trustworthy’ and ‘The honest’ even before he attained Prophethood, don’t we see them caught for cheat and robbery? How difficult is it for the Muslim parents to find a practicing spouse for their children? How ironic is it that the same people who say, ‘ There’s no God but Allah’ bow before those who claim divinity? Hasn’t Islam become Strange like Our beloved Prophet predicted?
This is what is meant by’ Islam began as something strange and will return to strangeness’. Also take a note that I keep mentioning practicing Muslims whenever I’m referring to the so-called strangers. Strangeness isn’t going to be in terms of number. Islam is already the fastest growing religion across many countries. What we are going to terribly lack is people who stick to the beauty of the religion and it’s teachings.
There’s no denial in the painful reality that those who religiously follow Islam are looked to with a frown on the forehead of muslims themselves. As long as you tend to camouflage between the gangs and groups around, the stare is going to last. You are going to be poked fun at. The gatherings you discard to protect your faith are going to be a subject of ridicule for you. Your beard and hijab are aways going to stick out. All kinds of accusations and stories are going to made up by haters. Young people at schools and colleges, men and women at workplaces, they are people who face this every single day of their life. But do you know what keeps them smiling and keep them going?
Well, the narration I mentioned earlier ends like this, ‘fa-tooba lil Ghuraba’. It means ‘tooba’ to the ones who undergo this strangeness. Tooba in Arabic is commonly translated as, glad tidings. It’s encompasses meanings, such as:
* Goodness and honour;
* A great tree in Paradise;
* Joy and happiness;
* The entire expanse of Paradise
Isn’t this going to be enough of a compensation for the ‘strangers’?
And Ibn Al-Qayyim summarizes the meaning of the entire hadith as follows:
فَهُوَ غَرِيبٌ فِي أُمُورِ دُنْيَاهُ وَآخِرَتِهِ لَا يَجِدُ مِنَ الْعَامَّةِ مُسَاعِدًا وَلَا مُعِينًا فَهُوَ عَالِمٌ بَيْنَ جُهَّالٍ صَاحِبُ سُنَّةٍ بَيْنَ أَهْلِ بِدَعٍ دَاعٍ إِلَى اللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ بَيْنَ دُعَاةٍ إِلَى الْأَهْوَاءِ وَالْبِدَعِ آمِرٌ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ نَاهٍ عَنِ الْمُنْكَرِ بَيْنَ قَوْمٍ الْمَعْرُوفُ لَدَيْهِمْ مُنْكَرٌ وَالْمُنْكَرُ مَعْرُوفٌ
He is strange in the affairs of his world and his Hereafter. He will not find support or cooperation from the masses of people, for he is a scholar among the ignorant, a companion of the Sunnah among the people of innovation, a caller to Allah and His Messenger among those who call to desires and innovations, commanding good and forbidding evil among people who view good as evil and evil as good.
[Source: Madārij al-Sālikīn 3/189]
Abdullah ibn Amr reported: The Messenger of Allah, صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم said,
“We are now in this day. Blessed are the strangers.” It was said, “Oh Messenger of Allah, who are the strangers?” The Prophet said, “Righteous people among many evil people. Those who disobey them are greater in number than those who obey them.”
(Musnad Ahmad – 6612)
Every one of you who undergoes some degree of alienation and condescending looks because of the love for their religion, Congratulations!
You are not missing out on anything. You are not being the jerk. You’re already of those who have received the congratulations of The Prophet Muhammed( May the peace and blessings of Allah be Upon Him).
I’m clearly not going against all other people. There’s always been very supportive people from other communities. There’s so much beauty in the idea of living in harmony with each other and respecting each one’s beliefs keeping those differences aside.
What I want to tell myself and my fellow readers who are ‘strangers’, is to NOT develop too much of an attachment to this world. In this foreign land, we are just strangers longing to go back home. Yes. You must work so hard, freaking exhaust all the resources available at hand , excel and become Number 1 here but at the same time earn your plot in the gardens of Jannah- because we’re all going to die someday.
Ibn Umar reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:
كُنْ فِي الدُّنْيَا كَأَنَّكَ غَرِيبٌ أَوْ عَابِرُ سَبِيلٍ
Be in this world as if you were a stranger or a traveler along a path.
[Source: Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 6053]
I also wish to start a new series describing details of Paradise with evidences from the Quran and Sunnah. I hope you benefit from the message I was trying to get across. جزاك الله الخير
I’ll see you in my next post.