Why is it that “freshmen” in Islam become so hard on themselves and hard on others? You know those who are in their very early stages of their “Hidayyah” [guidance]. They suddenly become secluded and miserable. They decide to deprive themselves of all the Halal [permissible] that Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) has offered. They put the Deen in one hand and their happiness in the other, and are unable to reconcile the two or strike a balanced stance. This not only reflects badly on the person, but it reflects badly on our religion. It makes our religion seem so uptight. It makes it seem that our religion brings upon those who practice it worry, sadness and depression.That this religion makes our choices/options in everything very limited.
The fact of the matter is that this state contaminates the purity of one’s relationship with Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala), which is meant to be beautiful and enjoyable. The Prophet (Salah Allah Alayhe Wa Salam) describes how the journey to Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) and ultimately Islam should be, “Indeed this religion is strong. So delve into it gently.” (Musnad Ahmed) “Gently” is the keyword. Why then do some become so harsh, judgmental, and critical of themselves and others. They put themselves on self-surveillance , as well as others.
Let’s reflect on the behavior of those who are uptight in this Deen. This is not to be judgmental, but rather to look into ourselves because we might have some of these in us as well. So, here goes:
1) Those who always take with the hardest and most difficult of opinions in this religion. Even if there is an easy , permissible way, they prefer the hardest. They will go as far as consider the opinion they follow to be the only unacceptable one and anyone who takes an easier, although permissible route, is worthy of their criticism. They can go as far as saying others are not Muslim enough if they don’t follow them in this.
2) Those who believe that their opinions about Islam are the absolute truth.There is absolutely no room for differing opinions. Opinions in Fiqh are black and white, either a yes or no, permissible or impermissible, in all matters. No ifs, ands, and buts.
3) They force their opinions on others and should people resist them, or not do with their opinions then they get angry.
They assume that those who do not take with their opinions are are not serious in their Deen. That they are too lenient and lax. They may even question the Islam of others, and say they are not true Muslims.
Let’s reflect on some of the reasons, behind why one might fall into this undesirable state. These are just reflections, so feel free to add to them or disagree with me. These are just my thoughts. But here they are:
1) They are the product of their environment. They have very limited exposure to Islam through a single Sheikh/Scholar with extremist views. To take this a step further, they are loyal to this one Sheikh/Scholar and listening to others is betrayal.
2) Their knowledge about Islam is very limited, so they don’t have enough information to come to the realization of the vastness of opinions in Islam.
3) Fitnah-Phobia, in that they are so afraid of Fitnah to the point that it has become a phobia. So, as a result they isolate themselves from the rest of society. In their mind, all of society is misguided and they are the guided and hence have to always protect themselves.
4) They only attribute honoring and glorifying Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) with fearing Him. To them Allah’s ability to punish and torture is at the forefront and is paramount, and His compassion and mercy are either non-existent or marginal in comparison. This causes them to constantly live in fear of Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’la), and society.
There’s still a lot to talk about regarding this, so we’ll reflect on it some more tomorrow In Sha’ Allah the 16th of Ramadan . . .