I am sure you have all heard this saying, ‘900 chohay kha key billi hajj ko chali.’
This has always intrigued me to a great extent but I almost always refrain from talking about it because it usually ends up in a really nasty debate. But well, isnt my blog the best place for controversies? It has always been so why not start a new one 😉
A friend of mine said to me just yesterday, “If you want to make enemies, try changing something.” Although it was said in a completely different situation, it fits quite well over here too.
We belong to a society where people like to poke their noses into everyone’s affairs, love to interfere and give unwanted/unasked for advices. So obviously when they see you doing something new, they will almost always shower you with not only stares but also offensive and lousy comments. The comments become even more coarse if your attempt is towards becoming a better muslim. And the best way to malign people trying to improve themselves is by reminding them of what wrong things they might have done in the past or they might still be doing, and it all might include the above mentioned saying.
Now, I would like to ask, if improvement is so loathsome, they how did Hazrat Omar (RA), who was once the greatest enemy of Islam, became one of the most loved companions of the Prophet (SAW), one of the most respected Caliph ever and of the Ashra-e-Mubashira? And to remind you all, Hazrat Omar (RA) was not at all like Hazrat Abu Bakar Siddiq (RA) who simply just believed whatever the Prophet (SAW) said. He had an inquisitive mind and always asked a lot of questions. An example is the time wen he was contemplating whether intake of alcohol is permissible or not:
“When the prohibition of alcohol was [being] revealed, Hazrat Omar (RA) said, “O Allah! Clarify for us the [matter of] alcohol with a clear statement,” thus the verse which is in Baqarah was revealed, “They ask you about alcohol and gambling. Say: In them is great sin…” So Hazrat Omar (RA) was called and it was read to him and he said [again], “O Allah! Clarify for us the [matter of] alcohol with a clear statement.” Thereafter the verse in Al-Nisa was revealed: “O you who believe! Do not approach prayer while you are drunk…” Hence, the herald of the Messenger of Allah (SAW) would call out when the prayer was about to commence, “Let no drunken approach the prayer,” and Hazrat Omar (RA) was called [again] and it was read to him. He said, “O Allah! Clarify for us the [matter of] alcohol with a clear statement,” so the verse was revealed, “…so will you not refrain?!” Hazrat Omar (RA) said, “We refrain.” (Al-Trimidhi)
So what will you call Hazrat Omar (RA)? I am sure this does not change your opinion about him as one of the best people to have served Islam. So why are we now so reluctant to accept people who are trying to change themselves in this era? Why do we have to call them terrorists? or brainwashed? or rigid? or mulla? On the other extreme are the people who would always tell you that you arent doing enough. They will tell you, in the most unpleasant manner that you are not covering yourself properly, getting eye brows done is haram or simply even using the Internet is haram (Unique has a great post on this here). Please, can we see them as humans trying hard to fight temptations? And why do we want people to be simply black or white? Why cant there be shades of gray? If things were so easily changed by 180 degrees over night, then why was Qur’an revealed in 23 years? Why were the greatest Muslims, the people who had the biggest motivation, the Prophet (SAW) himself, right in front of their eyes not forced to change themselves over night? Because, changes that happen slowly and steadily with time are more stable, firm and dependable.
So next time you see someone trying to make a positive change in his/her life, try to stay quite if you have nothing good to say. Dont be a demotivating factor if you cant be a motivating one.
Note: Unique has another post which somehow relates to this topic. Although its about a TV show which is about Non-Muslims ‘behaving’ like Muslims, I think its very relevant because most of us, even though born in Muslim families hardly know anything about Islam. So when we, personally, decide to follow Islam, it is pretty much like a Non-Muslim, with a Muslim name, trying to grasp concepts. You may also like to read a post on maqasid which talks about the same program.