I know I said that I would take a break from blogging thoughts and what not, but I have been holding this under my hat for a quite a while now, and to be honest, I'd love to share. So, today will be my last official personal/my thoughts post until Eid Insha'Allah. Besides, school starts tomorrow, so I'll be rather busy with school and Ramadan. I will continue the "186 Rules for Ramadan" next week perhaps.
My cousins have been in town visiting me from the UK for the past few weeks. Alhamdulilah, despite the miles of ocean between us, we very close to one another so much so that we stay awake all night talking about everything under the sun from school to work, marriage and our personal lives, and the list goes on. With us, nothing is off limits.
When my cousin arrived, her first question to me was "Do you mind if I use your internet?" I jokingly call her a facebook junkie, and she admits it. Anyways, after about a good hour of catching up on photo comments and writing on peoples walls, letting her friends know that she has arrived in the states safely, she proceeds to show me her friends and catch me up on her life. And what I learned was rather horrifying to me, but apparently its no big deal where she comes from.
My cousins grew up in London but when they grew older and were of high school age, their father decided to uproot the family and move to Blackburn. Apparently it has a larger Muslim population - I saw the difference between London and Blackburn on my trip there about 4 years ago.
So, as we sat in our pijamas on my bed she went through her facebook pictures, dscribing to me who everyone in the pictures were and who was married to who, who was engaged to who, who was dating who, etc. (yes, I said who was dating who!). Now, many people maybe thinking whats the big deal, right? You know, its sad for me to even say this, but perhaps I could swallow this pill a little easier if the pictures of who was dating who were Muslim girls and boys who did not look religious, did not wear hijaab, were not Hufadh, not Alimahs, etc. I'm not saying that all of these types of people are saints. For goodness sake, any man can grow a beard and any woman can put on a hijaab. On the flip side, I am absolutely not saying that every non-hijaabi sister or every non-bearded man is involved in fitnah. As a matter of fact, I know a lot of people who don't necessarily fit the physical description of what people might think is "religious" who are very religious and have completely managed to stay away from fitnah all their lives.
I beleive that it is every Muslims duty to act like a good Muslim, whether you are young or old, a hijaabi or non-hijaabi or if you have been Muslim your whole life or only for the last 5 minutes. But for goodness sake, if you are wearing a hijaab, or have a long beard with a kufi, please, please, please ACT MUSLIM!! I am not saying that it is always easy, I have been there, but it has to be done and insha'Allah the reward will be sweeter in the hearafter.
Amid all this, the thing that baffles me more is that these "students of knowlege" are so open about their sin and in doing so, they are giving off the vibe to their "less educated" peers that its all good, when in fact it isn't! When my cousin was like "My friend the Alimah goes out with this guy, he's a hafidh" I had to clarify what she meant by go out, becuase to me the only going out that should be going on between the two of them is chaperoned "dates" with her father, brother, or other mehram. When she explained they were going out in the western sense of the word I gave her this look and she responded with "The way I see it, you can't help who you fall for. When you wanna be with someone, you just wanna be with them." I can't say that I don't agree, but why not "be with" that person the halal way? Why not have your nikkah done and then be with them? She continued to show me pictures of girls and guys hanging out in the same appartment near the University, I didn't see any parents in the picture and people were definitely in eachother's bubbles - I jokingly asked her if the Hafidh remembered any of the Quran that he had memorized (because I heard that you forget Islamic knowledge when you commit sin), but she didn't get the joke - it wasn't really meant to be funny, I was really curious.
My cousin is interested in wearing hijaab but one of her concerns is that people in her community will think that "she's like every other scarfie" and wears hijaab but acts like any other person on the street. She tells me that where she comes from a hijaab and an abaya is nothing and that she was rather suprised that wake up for fajr and refuse to go out to hookah bars and other things that good Muslims don't do. She's shocked at my desire to learn more about Islam and to spend time in the Masjid.
I don't know what is when you go to places like England where there is a high population of Muslims. When I went to England 4 years ago, I fell in love with it, mainly because I met someone who I thought to be religious, but I think it has lost its lustre as far as I am concerned. While I was there, I noticed that the youth had a lot of freedom, perhaps its becuase all the neighbors are Muslim? Parents never asked questions as to where their kids were going and what time they would be home or even who they were going with. Its a shame that parents have forfeited their rights to know what their children are up to.
My father always says "I am so happy that I did not raise you in England!" and I never knew what he meant, until now. Needless to say (but I'll say it anyway) that this is not only a problem in England, we probably have the same problems here in the US, I just don't have an account of it. My concern isn't to back talk the British - I love them - especially their accents, my point is to point out what is going on...I'm sure its in my backyard too. It just makes me sad. I think parents really need to step it up a notch and start asking questions. Just because you kids are with Muslims doesn't mean anything, because Shaytan will work harder to throw a Muslim off his course.
Please keep the Muslim Youth and the entire Muslim Ummah in your duas.