By Imam Abdullah El-Amin, MMNS
A famous general/politician once said, â€œThe only thing we have to fear is fear itselfâ€. That may be true if you are speaking in generalities only. If you are afraid of the scrutiny of other people or their criticisms, then you will have a fear of them and be under their power, unable to utilize your own.
But if the only fear you have is the fear (respect, regardfulness) of ALLAH, you are empowered over everything in creation.
In my leadership at the masjid I often see people hold back from expressing the truth about a situation simply because they are afraid of the gaze or scrutiny of another person. That is the wrong fear.
People will also not pursue their dreams because someone told them they were unqualified and so they back up and let it drop and it is probably something they are very good at or at least something that can be sharpened. They drop their dreams because this naysayer appears to be stronger or smarter than you. But when you really look at this person you will probably find they are actually weaker than you.
Suppressing the talent ALLAH blessed you with is actually being ungrateful to Him. If you suppress your Islam so as to not let non-Muslims see you, you are being ungrateful of the greatest gift bestowed on mankind.
Alhamdullilah, we are at the advent of another Ramadan fast. We look to this month as a period of rejuvenation of our souls and our spirits. Almighty ALLAH orders us to abstain from food, drink, sex, and vain talk as a submission to Him so as to strengthen our iman. It is an excellent time to re-visit, study, and, strengthen some basic Islamic principles.
Ramadan is also the time when ALLAH affords us the opportunity to eat with each other more often. At Maghrib time, you can be sure most Muslims are scurrying around to find something to eat. During the rest of the year, with our busy schedules, it is difficult for some families to find time to eat together.
This Ramadan, we should focus on utilizing this time to do â€œDawah at the dinner table.â€ When we have fear of ALLAH, it will be easier to combat the following weak behaviors.
Muslim men and women need to pay attention to how we live and practice our religion. This society makes a big point out of irresponsible men and loose women seeming to be normal. I know some Muslim males who have fathered children and never taken care of them. They have gotten to the point in their life where the sin of such action escapes them. In some communities the men go from woman to woman as though they were expendable collateral. To father children and not â€œmaintain and protect them,â€ is in direct conflict to the directives of ALLAH. Men are also charged with maintaining and protecting the community. Adhering to basic directives like this is necessary to have a stable productive community.
Females also need to be reminded of basic Islamic principles. ALLAH orders women to not expose their breasts and not draw unnecessary attention to their bodies. Yet I am noticing increasing numbers of Muslim women exposing cleavage and wearing form fitting jeans and dresses with not enough top piece to cover their forms. And it is ironic that at the same time they are wearing a scarf. What do you think the men inside and outside of the mosque are looking atâ€¦the scarf?? I think not.
Female breasts are sexual body parts. Thatâ€™s why ALLAH orders women to draw a veil over them. But I see lots of Muslim females from teenagers to young women â€“ and even some â€œseasonedâ€ women showing cleavage just like the women on TV.
Dawah at the dinner table will help those guilty of this.
Men, if you have babies with women and you havenâ€™t financially, materially, or emotionally supported them, start doing it now â€“ for the sake of ALLAH â€“ if you believe. You cannot continue lying to and using women just because you can â€“ because they are the weaker sex. Repent to ALLAH and ask for His forgiveness; and from then on, strive to be upright.
During this month I would like to see more men standing up to their obligations to our women and children. Start with what you have and ask ALLAH to make it easy for you to fulfill you duties.
And I donâ€™t want to see any more females showing cleavage. I donâ€™t want to see it at any mosque – or if I happen to see you at CVS pharmacy. If you donâ€™t demand respect, you will not get any.
Letâ€™s talk to each other for real. Do dawah at the dinner table â€“ itâ€™s the best place.
As Salaam alaikum
Al Hajj Imam Abdullah El-Amin