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.
Islam is a very important part of my life and practicing it to the fullest is a priority for me. Every Muslim is different and unfortunately, not all are on the proper path. A quick glance into any masjid or any ‘Muslim’ Facebook group and you’ll see how diverse Muslims can be in regards to aspects of the deen. Everyone has a different opinion and everyone thinks they’re right. In these Muslim groups, most people tend to be split among the following groups:
I am very careful of whom I take advice from when it comes to Islam and matters of fiqh. My husband and I definitely fall into the third category. We practice Islam by adhering to the Qur’an and Sunnah while following the guidance of the righteous predecessors. With that being said, we aren’t fond of labels and generally don’t label others.
While I enjoy engaging in dialogue with Muslims who practice differently, I will admit that it is difficult at times to discuss aspects of Islam with those who have a flawed understanding due to misguided information. If the source of your information is incorrect, then the conclusions you derive from that information will also most likely be incorrect.
I love learning and learning/discovering new things in Islam is something that excites me. Sharing new knowledge with my fellow Muslim sisters and having them share knowledge with me is an integral part of my best friendships. Whenever I come across something new, I take the time to research it more in depth and then think about how I can apply this new knowledge to my life. Now that I am married, whenever I learn something new or decide that I want to look into things further, I approach my husband. We both then individually research the topic and then discuss it together. We’ve recently delved into the subject of celebrating birthdays and niqab(in sha Allah, I’ll do a post on our findings later). After researching and discussing the topic, we follow the ruling that appears to be the most sahih(authentic). Sometimes the ruling that seems to be the most authentic and accurate is not what exactly what we’d like to do or might not naturally fit into our current routines but we know we need to follow it.
The important thing to remember when seeking out information on Islam, especially when it comes to fiqh, is that there is a ton of information out there and a lot of it is wrong. Always ask for proof! Which ayah in the Qur’an or what hadith was used to derive this ruling, what is the educational background of the person giving the ruling, where did the person receive their ijazah from- these are all questions that you should have answers to prior to ‘taking’ from someone and following a ruling.
This Hadith is constantly being quoted by Muslims. Interestingly enough, I don't think many who use it have actually read the Hadith in its original form. Often times when it's used, it's from those who try to excuse wrongdoings or acts that we are told to stay away from by saying "my intentions were good". I think we forget that this Hadith doesn't generally reply to just wrongdoings but even things that might be good to do. Our deeds/actions should match our intentions but if our intentions aren't pure but our deeds are 'good', we're missing out on getting the full barakah.
I attended a lecture once and the Da'ae spoke about a friend he knew who always gave great lectures to the ummah. After a while, his friend started realizing that his intentions for doing these lectures were not simply to improve the ummah or guide them. While these were part of his intentions, he knew that he also did them because he was liking the attention he was getting. He liked that people were referring to him as righteous and pious. He liked that he felt as if he was better than them. He liked being their 'reminder' to do better. After this realization, he stopped speaking. He didn't stop speaking publicly because there was something wrong with people thinking he was righteous and pious. He stopped speaking publicly because he started to realize that part of the motivation behind him giving his lectures was the recognition. His intentions were no longer primarily for the sake of Allah(SWT) but for admiration from the creation.
This is something that we as Muslims, especially those who consistently give advice, need to remember. This is bigger than just giving advice though. Whenever we're doing anything, we should check our intentions. Why are you observing hijab? Why did you stop listening to music? Why do you pray tahajjud regularly? Why do you want to become a hafiza? All these actions/deeds are great and Alhamdulilah, we should all strive to do them but the why is also important. Are you doing it to adhere to Allah(SWT)? Are you doing it to praise him? Are you doing it to become a better Mu'min? Are you doing it so people can say "mashaAllah, Aisha is so pious" or so you can say "Alhamdulilah, I am better than Khadijah"? Why did you feel the need to announce these actions on social media? It's important that we keep our intentions pure and don't get caught up in labels and 'worldly' categories/accolades.
I personally constantly think about the intentions behind all of my actions in relation to Islam. If you're doing a noble act for the wrong reason, the solution isn't to stop doing the act but to sit down, reflect, and find ways to adjust your intentions. Keep praying tahajjud, continue observing hijab, keep limiting non-mahram interactions, continue working on memorizing the Qur'an. Just make sincere dua to Allah(SWT) that your intentions remain pure and sincere.
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.