Hello and Assalamualaikum!
Today I want to share with you all a situation I’ve been going through and offer advice based upon it. Alhumdulilah I’ve been born into a Muslim family, but the issue comes up when you are on different levels of deen. This can cause arguments and it makes day-to-day activities difficult. For example, I live in the United States and when it comes to food I don’t eat out at non-zabihah restaurants, but everyone else in my family does. When I first quit eating out, it became a big issue in the family because my family had to start compromising. I would get yelled at for it, and something I constantly heard is “just eat it, just say bismillah! Nothing’s going to happen!” Now I’ve gotten even more educated or “extreme,” whatever you want to call it, and noticed that there are many haram ingredients in simple things you buy from the grocery store (such as yogurt, juices, candies, cakes, etc.) it’s absolutely insane the amount of unnecessary and weird ingredients that are put into these things! In fact, the other day I was looking at tortillas from Kroger and there was an ingredient called L-cysteine which is apparently deer or human hair. Gross! So I started making sure each ingredient is halal before eating or buying something which has become yet again an issue for no apparent reason. If I want to withhold myself from eating something, please don’t make it hard for me.
When it comes to following the rulings of your deen, it’s important to support one another. It’s important to comprise, and especially educate yourself before being upset with someone’s practices. It’s also important not to force your practices upon someone. Even though I don’t force my practices on others, I still get some crazy comments. Guys, we are an ummah, don’t make someone’s religion hard for them. If you’re in the situation I’m in where you’re trying to follow your deen, but people keep causing unnecessary issues, my best advice is to just remain patient, sabr is key. Allah is watching our struggle, and this is a test from Him. Allah loves the patient, he loves those who struggle to please Him. He is with us. Your reward is with Allah, don’t compromise your faith for anyone, keep going. If people in your family, or whoever you are around most of the time don’t understand, it’s okay. Keep going, keep holding on to what you think is right no matter how fumed they get. Eventually they will realize that there is not point for them to try to stop you and will compromise. My family has gotten to that point now, though I still hear comments about how I’m being “extreme,” but that’s okay. They’re much more accepting of my practices, and that is because I stayed patient and persevered, and I advise the same for you.
Lastly, I want to point out that if you’re one of the people who go up to others and make a baseless argument where your main point is “Islam is easy, you’re making it hard,” then you need to know that once you make Allah priority, throwing away your desires for the dunya is in fact not that hard when you know you’ll be rewarded by Allah. The only thing that is hard is confronting you, who make things complicated instead of supporting someone who is trying to please their Lord. Please don’t make this argument, I find it to be one of the most, if not the most, ignorant comments. When I take a step towards my deen, I take it after a lot of research, and it makes me happy that I’m doing this for my Lord, and when someone comes around saying “what’s the big deal, Islam isn’t that strict or hard” you’re the one being problematic. Islam isn’t making things hard for me, you are. If you don’t want to join me in whatever I decided to do, that’s okay, but don’t try to convince me that I shouldn’t do what I’m doing. We would appreciate support rather than these comments, the world would be a much happier place if we could just support one another. Don’t judge me, I’m not judging you, simple as that. We are an ummah. Stay as an ummah.
However, if you do think that someone is doing something wrong and has interpreted an Islamic ruling or topic in the wrong way. Do your research, find hadiths, verses, scholar opinions, etc. and go to them with a clear argument on why you believe what they are doing is wrong or extreme. Keep in mind: please do not be biased in your research, if there are conflicting opinions among scholars, consider all of them, not just the ones that you hope to be true. Finally, do not yell when making your argument, be clear, soft, and try to keep your advice as an advice and not an argument. If the other person is arguing, tell him/her straight off “look, I’m not trying to argue, I just want to discuss this issue, hear me out and then tell me what you think and we’ll go back and forth with it.” It is our duty to guide one another, but we really need to work on how we guide one another.
I hope you enjoyed this read and I’ll write again Tuesday in sha Allah.
Take care and have a great day/night in sha Allah!