THE SUNNA IN THE CONTEXT OF WESTERN SOCIETY

Muslims in Western societies live in a culture which is `alien’ in its spirit. To live in this type of culture is your own choice and your own decision. In many instances, you have no other option for the West is your home. Unfortunately, the same can be said for people living in Muslim countries since Western culture is slowly weaving its way and replacing genuine Islamic culture in these countries also.

To survive and prosper in western society requires great courage to stand up for your beliefs and ideals. You need to have a clear appreciation of the true nature of Islamic culture. The true spirit of Islamic culture lies in an understanding that the ‘real’ realities of life are all beyond the perception of physical senses. The beginning of Sura al-Baqara states that its guidance is for: Those who believe in al-ghayb [what lies beyond the perception of physical senses). [al-Baqara 2:4]

So all that is ‘real’-Allah, His Angels, Prophethood, the Day of Judgment, Heaven and Hell – are all beyond any measure of physical testing. They all lie beyond human capability to see them, to smell them, to measure them, or to find their real situation.
Western culture as it exists and as it has spread now throughout the world, in this ‘global village’, has perpetuated the view that, only that which can be materially measured or found out is ‘real’. Whatever cannot be measured has no value. Therefore, both Islamic and western cultures are diametrically opposed.

Once you have chosen to live in a ‘Western type’ society, the only source of light for you is the Messenger of Allah. He was also faced with an almost similar situation. As he came down from the cave of Hira, after his experience of receiving the light of Divine guidance, be re-entered a culture and society which were quite ‘alien’ to his Message. His Message began by linking the whole of life to the name of Allah. That was the starting point. All knowledge, all culture, all civilisation and all human action must be centred on one pivot and that is the name of Allah. This was a totally strange Message for the society in which he had to operate. So, we need to look at the Prophet’s Sunna in the context of operating in an `alien’ society and see how we can practise a genuine Islamic culture.

[Quoted from In the early hours, khurram Murrad]

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The more evils will open up before them

“The more people increase in comfort and luxury and the more they open up before the people [with the Dunya], the more evils will open up before them. It is comfort and luxury that destroys a person. Because if a person was to concern himself with comfort and luxury and providing enjoyment to his body, he will become negligent of providing enjoyment to his heart, and his greatest worry will become providing enjoyment to this body that is doomed to become worms and rotten.

This is the ordeal, and this is what has harmed people today. You can hardly find anyone except that they say: “What is our palace? What is our car? What is our furniture? What is our food?” Even those who study [Islamic] knowledge, some of them only study in order to gain rank or status to reach the blessings of the Dunya. As if man was not created for a significant purpose. The Dunya and its blessings are only a means, nothing more. We ask Allah to make us and you use it as a means.

Ibn Taimiyyah, may Allah have mercy upon him, said: “A person should use money as he uses a donkey to ride, and as he uses the toilet to relieve himself.”

These are the ones who know money and its value. So do not make money your greatest worry, rather ride on money, for if you do not ride on it, it will ride on you, and your worry will become the Dunya. For this, we say, that the more the Dunya opens up before the people, and they end up concerning themselves with it, they will lose as much of the Akhira as they have gained from the Dunya.

The ProphetSalla Allahou Alayhi wa salamsaid: “By Allah, I am not afraid of your poverty,” meaning I am not afraid of poverty for you, for the Dunya will open up before you, “but I am afraid that you will lead a life of luxury as past nations did, whereupon you will compete with each other for it, as they competed for it, and it will destroy you as it destroyed them.” [Bukhari & Muslim].

The Messenger Salla Allahou Alayhi wa salam spoke the truth. This is what has destroyed the people today. What has destroyed the people today, is their competing with one another for the Dunya, and them being as if they were only created for it, and not it created for them. So they have preoccupied themselves with what was created for them over what they were created for. This is backwardness. We ask Allah for protection.”Source: Explanation of Riyadh-us-Saliheen [Chapter 10: Hastening to do Good Deeds, Hadeeth #92]

About Fame, A Personal Life, and Responsibility by Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan

A very sensible approach to tackling such issues by brother nouman. MashaAllah

Al Muqarraboon

Bismillah walahmdulillah

A well-written, honest piece about what it’s like to have spotlight, and how to keep a clear perspective through all of it. I really appreciated this article. I think anyone who has had a taste of fame and has seen the effects it had on them will be able to relate. It’s also for those of us who don’t know how to find a balance in the way we look at people (all good or all bad). I’ve personally experienced both of these things. I won’t say more; the article will speak to everyone differently. Check it out:

http://muslimmatters.org/2014/07/31/about-fame-a-personal-life-and-responsibility/

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