Asalaam Alaikum Warahmatullah Wabarakatu,
How are you? In sha Allah, all is going well with you and your life. This is probably where I should mention that I miss you but based on your actions over the last year, months and weeks, you probably don’t care. If you did care, we’d probably still be friends and this letter would not need to be written. Ideally though, it would be nice to know that you still think of me occasionally and miss me as well.
It’s been a couple of months since we’ve spoken and although this isn’t the first time that that’s happened, something tells me, this time is different. This time, it’s definite. The last time we stopped talking, or more accurately- you stopped talking to me, I probably shouldn’t have responded when you finally decided to reach out but nevertheless, I decided to anyway, and now, we’re here again. Who would’ve thought that a day would come where our phones weren’t going off with notifications from WhatsApp messages, Instagram tags and mutual Facebook comments? A day where I’d be laughing on the phone and my husband wouldn’t ask “Are you talking to again?”.
I remember when I first met you, I didn’t think we’d be friends and actually avoided you for some time. We didn’t become close friends until about two years after we initially met and I remember thinking “I should’ve hung out with her sooner”. Never did I think we’d get to this place.
You were one of the few people that I thought I could sincerely count on. We’d joke about taking vacations together once we were both married. We joked about being ‘aunties’ to each other’s children. You were someone that I thought I could tell almost anything to. Now, I’d second guess even telling you the most superficial of details about my life. I thought you’d always be be a phone call or text message away. Then you stopped answering. You were supposed to be one of few people that I could trust. Then I learned about the judgements and things said about me to others. I thought our friendship was based on mutual respect, admiration and love for the deen. Instead, it seems as if I was only there to fill a certain temporary role. I thought we’d be friends in this life and the next. Instead, we’ve grown apart.
I guess that’s just life.
We don’t talk anymore. I don’t know how your life is going or what you’ve been going through. I have my suspicions based on the past, but that’s not the same as knowing. Are you happy? Are you where you want to be in life? How are your siblings and parents doing? How are your studies going?
Even though we’re no longer friends(I think it’s safe to conclude that we’re no longer friends but you’re welcome to correct me), I want you know that I don’t dislike you and that I do still care about your well-being. You were what I’d consider a best friend and despite how things ended, I will always love you for the sake of Allah.
I still randomly come across things that remind me of you and thanks to Facebook’s “On This Day” feature, I still see some of our old interactions. There are times when I’ll read an article and think about how in the past, I would send it to you and then we’d delve into a long discussion on our thoughts. Now that I’m expecting, there are instances where I’ll remember something that we previously discussed about having kids and I’ll laugh and think to tell you about it. Fortunately, these moments are happening less and less and eventually you’ll just become a distant memory.
We all choose our own paths in life and it seems we’ve come to the point where ours no longer intertwine. I hope you’re happy. I hope you’ve found someone else to engage in long discussions with. Someone else to banter about proper etiquette guidelines with. Someone else to vent to and to celebrate your accomplishments with. Someone else to share new insights or knowledge about the deen with.
Knowing you the way that I do, you’re probably going to disregard this letter. I’d actually be surprised if you read it till the end.
I’ll end by saying: I do cherish the memories we made and hope that your life is filled with success, prosperity and happiness. As always, you are still in duas.
Your former ‘friend’.
To seal a friendship for Allah’s sake indicates the obligation of establishing relationships of love and trust for His sake; this is a friendship for the sake of Allah. It also indicates that simple affection is not enough here; indeed what is meant is a love based upon alliance. This entails assistance, honor, and respect. It means being with those whom you love both in word and deed.”
The last two months has been a whirlwind of intensity of me religious-wise. Alhamdulilah, things have been going great as far as my personal practice of Islam but I have come in contact with a lot various things that have made me question and reanalyze how I process and engage in things when it comes to Islam.
Four months ago, I started wearing niqab and Alhamdulilah, no surprises, I loved it. I felt so much more modest that when I was wearing just a khimar and jilbab and the level of taqwa that I felt was immense. I have since taken it off for a couple of reasons. Looking back, the entire whirlwind started with niqab. Once I made the decision to start wearing it, I spoke with #themister about it and started wearing it, I decided to start reading more and more about it. One of the first things I read is the Four Essays of Veiling. It’s a great book and many sisters tend to recommend it to each other. After reading that book, I began listening to some lectures on niqab which then led me to listening to lectures on other things.
I don’t want to get too lengthy so I’ll try to be as succinct as possible :) As I was listening to these lectures, I started to take in a lot of what was being said and wanted to implement the teachings in my life, especially in regards to aspects that were specific for women. As I listened to more lectures, I started noticing things that didn’t sit right me, as well as things that were contrary to what I was taught from the Qur’an and the various Ahadith that I have read. I continued to reflect on these lectures as well as various books(including the Four Essays book mentioned above). I started noticing that in a lot of these lectures and the like, very little Qur’an and Ahadith are mentioned. Yes, an ayah or hadith was mentioned here and there but for the most part, I found that the ayah or hadith used, loosely applied to the topic at hand.
Eventually, I started to feel as if I was being ‘pressured’ to practice Islam a certain way that didn’t necessarily mesh with the Islam I learned from the Qur’an and something was off. At first, I started to rationalize it with myself and say “maybe I’ve been missing something” or “maybe I’m just being difficult and just don’t want to change myself for the better”. As I listened to more lectures, I began picking up on things being shared that definitely contradicted the essence of Islam. I discussed my thoughts with a friend and started researching the speakers behind these lectures more and their institution. To my dismay, there were many people who felt how I felt and many ‘reputable’ warnings to stay away from them.
After this experience, I became extremely wary of lectures and speakers. There’s just so much fitnah with all the information that is passed around that I’ve decided to just stay away from most lectures and books. I just really want my life and experience with Islam to be as unadulterated as possible. I want to keep things simple and practice Islam to the best of my ability. So far, I’ve been feeling much better Alhamdulilah and in sha Allah, I hope this continues. I’ll be sure to keep you posted :)
What exactly does someone mean when they say "I'm Salafi"? Generally what they're saying is “I follow the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger, based on the understanding and practical implementation of the Salaf as-Sālih (i.e. first three generations)”.
There are a lot of people who like to treat Salafiyyah as if it's a sect or some exclusive group. It's not and it shouldn't be treated as such. I first became familiar with Salafiyyah seven years ago. I remember thinking that it made perfect sense and that it was very self explanatory. Why shouldn't Muslims only follow the Qur'an and Sunnah. I think what turned me off was the fact that so many so-called Salafis treat it as a sect/group and spend so much time badmouthing others. They used the term "Salafi" as a tool to elevate themselves in the eyes of others. So needless to say, I didn't associate myself with Salafiyyah but identified myself simply as "I am Muslim and believe in following the Qur'an and Sunnah".
Fast forward a couple of years and doing more research, I came across Salafiyyah again. Still, I was turned off by the lack of adab many Salafi proponents exhibited, the "obsession" with badmouthing other Muslims who didn't fit their "standard" and the sheer lack of discourse and dialogue among Salafis- every question was answered with a ruling-no feelings, no humanity, no discussions or acknowledgement of the real life difficulties and stressors that come with them. In summary, I found it hard to relate to these people. They seemed to lack a lot of the attributes that many of the Sahabah had.
Fast forward a couple more years, getting married and gaining more knowledge, and my thoughts are about the same. However, I've come to accept that my problem isn't with the methodology. The problem was with the people. I will say that I agree with and follow the Salafi methodology. As a Muslim, I strive to adhere to the Qur'an and Sunnah and utilize the examples of the Sahabah, the Tabi'in and the Tabi al-Tabi'in. My husband and I generally use Salafi "sanctioned" resources when researching, attend a Salafi masjid and most of my good Muslimah friends ascribe to being Salafi. With that being said, as long as a fellow Muslimah is along the same mindset, then I'm all about being her companion. I don't believe we should tell someone that they're "off the Deen" simply because they don't claim to be Salafi but do everything accordingly nor should we assume someone is good or accept everything they say simply because they claim to be Salafi.
May Allah keep us all on the straight path.
What are your thoughts on this subject? I'm very curious :D
Asalaam Alaikum Warahmatullah Wabarakatu
I'm having one of those nights where I can't sleep. The zawj is fast asleep and normally on nights like this I either call up a friend who's sure to be up, get some work done, read an article or read Qur'an. Tonight though, I decided to write.
I've been thinking a lot about friendship lately. Most who know me know that I'm not one to believe that having friends is "necessary". I enjoy meeting people and socializing at times, but I've never been one to really depend on friends. I enjoy the company occasionally and I enjoy the dialogue but if a friendship fails or doesn't grow, then fine, I move on.
I listened to two Islamic lectures in the past week that touched upon friendship. One lecture discussed the 7 under the shade of Allah and the other discussed the importance of good companions. In both lectures, the key message was that loving someone wholly for the sake of Allah and having good companions is extremely important.
Although I am fine with having friends from various backgrounds, I throughly enjoy my Muslimah friends that are on the Straight Path. Having friends who you can discuss aspects of the deen and everyday life with is so amazing. Being able to share our experience and get each other's advice on things that only a fellow Muslimah who understand allows us to share a special bond. This bond, when based off of a strong foundation in the deen, should be unbreakable.
For me, having righteous companions is something that I value. I appreciate having friends who I know will advice and steer me in the right way. I enjoy having friends that I can exchange knowledge with. Friends that will cheer me on when I'm going through something difficult but beneficial. Friends who want nothing but the best for me. Friends who, when I have kids, I'll look forward to mine playing with theirs as I know they will also be raised righteously. Friends that are kind-hearted, open-minded and are thoughtful. Friends that are always reminding you to engage in acts of Ibadah. These are the types of friends I want to surround myself with. These are the types of friends that all Muslims should strive to be and aim to have.
May we all be blessed with righteous companions.
I’m going to use this post to introduce myself. In sha Allah, knowing more about me will allow you to understand my posts a bit better. So, where do I start? Well I’m a 23 year old Nigerian Muslimah living in the US. I was born and raised in a Muslim household and come from a pretty big family. I enjoy cooking, reading, learning and traveling. I am married, Alhamdulilah. My husband is American and reverted to Islam six years ago. We’ve been married for a year and currently do not have any children but in sha Allah, someday, we will.
I studied Islam, politics, development and economics in school and I've previously worked for non-profit organizations. Currently, I spend my time being an awesome wife, managing Striving For Modesty, being a matchmaker, working as a Younique Presenter, volunteering with various community organization, and now, contributing to Striving For Clarity. You’re probably wondering why and how I do all these things. Well 1. I love being busy and 2. There are so many things that I want to do and I believe that if I prioritize and manage my time well, I can do them all. Alhamdulilah, I have so far been successful in all of my endeavors. You’re probably also wondering how a ‘proper’ Muslimah can be a Younique Presenter. The simple response to that is- Islam has guidelines and boundaries and as long as one stays within them, all is well. There is nothing impermissible about makeup in itself. What can be impermissible is the manner in which it is used, such as being tabarruj(adorning ones self in the presence of non-mahram). I take care in ensuring that I don’t fall outside of the boundaries. I’m sure I’ll go into more details about this in a future post.
Islam is something that I consider an integral part of my life and I’m always striving to be a better Muslim. I love learning new things and I am always interested in discovering new knowledge about Islam. When I am introduced to new knowledge, I generally research it more in depth and if I find that the information is authentic, I ponder over how I will incorporate it into my life.
With that being said, it’s important to mention that I am extremely cautious of where I get knowledge from and who I ‘listen’ to when it comes to religious advice. My husband and I believe in following the Qur’an and Sunnah and practicing Islam in the manner endorsed by the Pious Predecessors. Most people would probably characterize us as strict or conservative. For the most part, we are conservative and prefer ‘adherent’ over strict.
We don’t celebrate or observe un-Islamic holidays(notice I said UN-Islamic and not non-Islamic) such as Christmas, Halloween, etc. in any way. We try to limit interactions with members of the opposite gender and outside of work and family, avoid gender mixing. We generally read the Qur’an everyday and discuss the ayat we read. We try our best to adhere to the deen and not look for ‘loopholes’. We pray, we fast, we engage in charity work and overall, try to represent Islam in a positive way.
I do observe hijab by wearing a headscarf and an abaya/jilbab. I previously wore niqab but I no longer do. At the moment, I am working on memorizing more of the Qur'an and preparing for Ramadan. I have grown over the years in regards to my adherence to Islam and I, in sha Allah, hope to grow and improve even more.
Overall, I look forward to contributing loads of interesting ‘tidbits’ to my “corner”. I love getting feedback and engaging in dialogue so please leave comments on my posts and ask questions!
About "Life Gems"
Welcome to another addition to "Lady_Meansie's Corner". This portion of my corner is essentially my blog. The posts will be short but packed with important reminders for fellow Muslimahs. Remember to leave your thoughts in the comments. I love engaging in dialogue with my fellow Muslimahs.