Another Reader replies to "Reader finds the imposition of culture [that is assumed to be Islamic], disturbing"
Assalam-u-Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuhu Sister,
I was reading the e-mail you received from one of the brothers about the imposition of culture in Islam, and I thought I might put in a word.
ISLAM IS A WAY OF LIFE
First of all, as most Muslims already know, Islam is a complete way of life, and not just a set of beliefs. So, one cannot say the reason why Muslims have beards(or there are restrictions on dancing)is because of the culture at the time. All these things form a part of Islam, and we cannot get away saying the practice is because of culture. Allah has set the limits regarding how we are to live our lives.
However, the requirement of the beards is not mandatory, but(as mentioned in the articles) highly recommended. So, if our goal is to gain the pleasure of Allah, we should grow beards(I mean men :)). And what better way to gain Allah's pleasure than to stick to the Sunnah? There is a hadith in which Rasulallah(SAW) has asked all Muslims to hold on to the Sunnah like you bite something with your teeth, and including your canines, so that when you try to pull it out, it would tear.
MANKIND IS IGNORANT ABOUT MOST THINGS
Moreover, very frequently, we come across the case when something is good for us, and we dont realise it initially, and this is mentioned in Al-Quran Al Karim . I dont know the exact words. It says what translated means "And it may be that you may not like a thing that is good for you" (forgive me, I dont know the location of the verse. I think this was revealed when the believers were asked to fight against the disbelievers). As human beings, we are unable to comprehend what is the purpose behind various Islamic practices, but Allah knows what is best for us. Good examples of these are the Islamic method of slaughtering animals, circumcision for male children, cutting nails to keep yourselves clean, to avoid overeating, to wash hands before eating, and many more. You would be quite surprised to know that even your Salaat is healthy for you(as mentioned in the Qur'an).
SHAVING BEARDS IS A MODERN EFFEMINACY
When people shave their beards(and this is my opinion), they dont look like women, but atleast they inspire evil thoughts among other men who are looking at them. The hadiths tell us that Rasul-Allah(SAW) used to lower his gaze when he used to pass by clean-shaven men. Why do you think he did that? Rasul-Allah did the best thing that anyone could have ever done - he lowered his gaze to prevent himself from getting any evil thoughts. And this only leads me to believe that such evil thoughts occur among all men. It is only a question of what you desire - whether you want to worship your lusts or worship Allah.
I sometimes wonder if the US would have such a big fraction of a gay population if everybody had beards. And actually, that says something else to me - that we are only suffering the results of what we have done. By shaving our beards, we create a kind of imbalance in our society, which has its negative effect on the society as a whole. This again points to the fact that growing beards is the fitrah, the true nature of man, and any attempts to alter this, will have its impact on society.
Please feel free to correct me. It may be that I have made a mistake somewhere in my reasoning.
LISTENING TO MUSIC
I don't think listening to Music is a good idea for Muslims, because what they sing in songs is *mostly* utter nonsense from an Islamic point of view. Every line of most songs is un-Islamic. Muslims are people who submit to the will of Allah, and they cannot listen to beliefs that they do not hold. And I dont think it is easy to find a song which is not contrary to Islamic beliefs.
TRUE ISLAM - A GRADUAL PROCESS
Many non-Muslims would feel that restrictions in Islam are too many. But we as Muslims should strive to follow Islam strictly as per the limits set by Allah. But we should bear in mind that Islam was not revealed overnight, and all of the Prophet(SAW)'s companions didnt start abiding by the rules of Islam overnight. Islam was revealed over a span of 23 years, and hence the transition to Islam was gradual. I think that we should also hope to, Inshallah, abide by all Islamic injunctions someday. The Quran says what means "We have not created religion so you may be depressed". So there is no reason for us to depress ourselves by following all injunctions overnight, but rather we should go a step at a time, at our own pace, increasing our Iman gradually, Inshallah. We should also give dua to Allah that He may make us die only in a state of Islam.
Thank you for all the beautiful articles you put up on your web-site.
Jazak Allah Khayr.
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