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 Guilt Trip to Islam by Haider Shah

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mshirazi

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Number of posts : 154
Birthday : October 14 1988
Registration date : 2007-02-01

PostSubject: Guilt Trip to Islam by Haider Shah   June 14th 2007, 1:43 pm

Here is a wonderful article a shia friend wrote, its also on facebook:

Guilt Trip to Islam
By Haider Shah

Bismihi Ta'Ala
In the Name of the Creator and Sustainer

May Allah protect us from the evil that pervades



61:2 O ye who believe! Why do you say that which you do not?



Lately there's been a lot of realizations I've been having about the realities and problems of the vast majority of Muslim youth. Unfortunately because of a greater concern for reputation, many of us so-called religious folks (as always, I include myself first and foremost) tend to keep our distance from the youth who are actually struggling with Islam. Not to say that this is always done out of selfishness; I'm sure that most are just trying to maintain good company as per Prophet Muhammad's (saw) advice. But I think that the line between sincere following of his advice in keeping good company and selfishness becomes gray when one's personal interests are at stake; yet at the same time this may simply be a lack of understanding about the advice.

I definitely believe it is of the utmost importance to keep a constant surrounding of pious people, but this should bare minimum consequence on the struggling youths. It's important to create circles of piety and committed religious people, but they should never become exclusionary. These exclusive clubs and their apparent effects on communities is what I wish to discuss.

I've noticed personally that once after establishing a religious circle of committed youths, the goal thereafter becomes quite unclear. The result of this lack of communal vision is almost an immediate barrage of internal politics, mistrust, greed, and power mongering.

The goal of these 'religious groups' should be to constantly work at bringing other youths into Islam by understanding the difference in appropriate standards for the religious youth and the youths who may not yet be motivated into placing Islam highest on their priority list.

Often times, and I wrote about this before, unknowingly the same standards that religious youth have already struggled to meet are applied to those who have not even begun their own religious journey. I'm sure this is done out of a sincere desire to see all of our peers on the same or a greater level then we are, but this simple lack of understanding has created an enormous gap in countless communities.

Youth leaders need to understand that though they may sincerely be trying to push their peers to higher levels of religious commitment, everyone's personal journey is entirely unique. To have generalized expectations and standards without leniency has been the beginning of the end of so many youth groups. Eventually these groups become self-serving where the attitude is about patting your own back and feeling good about your 'religiosity,' while many youths unfortunately go unnoticed as they gradually regress out of religion.

More specifically, I feel that for the sisters in so many communities, this is all too familiar. When groups come in to power in the mosques and begin to run programs, camps, conferences, the sisters are often given minor petty tasks, if not excluded altogether. Eventually when the brothers decide to remove their blind eye, we often see such a degraded state in which the sisters have devolved into, largely due to an incredible amount of exclusion from the brothers. Then in turn we say, 'Who can work with those sisters, they hardly practice Islam.' This vicious cycle is having an enormously devastating effect on many sisters in communities and we need to realize that they are our future wives, mothers, Sunday school teachers, and cornerstones of the Islamic centers.

Though I'm not promoting an all out mixing of the genders, I feel that brothers in the community really need to take responsibility in their obvious alienation. We should fill in the gaps for the sisters whenever needed in order to spark the motivation required to get the ball rolling.




The other issue I really wanted to write about was the guilt trips often forced upon those who are struggling with Islam.

1) Often times when a brother or sister is having a difficult time with Islam for whatever reason, you will find some from the youth community who will do everything to make the person feel guilty about their past or current situation. They may not outright blackmail the individual, but you will always hear little reminders of their past regrettable decisions.

2) Not only that, but when someone is actually progressing in the right direction, there are those who will continue to cast doubt on the individual, such that the community should not receive the youth with open arms. This is done purely to maintain one's own personal status in the eyes of others. After all, if I make sure that everyone else looks like a hypocrite, by default even the little good I have will look spectacular relative to my surroundings.

3) Even more, if for example you have a youth who has realized his current state and wants to progress, but may not be ready to do so all at once, there are those who expect 100% change immediately. And when they don't see such a change, you will hear things like, "Oh Ali, he still talks to girls man, that guy's not sincere." Or, "Fatima? Religious? Please man, she still has the audacity to walk around without hijab after claiming to be trying to practice Islam."



Unfortunately these, among many other types of judgmental attitudes are incredibly prevalent in our youth communities. I personally sincerely apologize if I have ever made anyone feel this way, and I'm sure I have. I pray that Allah and you may forgive me for my injustice.

This issue can never be solved until those who are actually the ones committing this injustice come to realize their mistake. Only through sincere introspective reflection can someone point the finger at themselves to realize their piety is actually only superficial, and they have a long ways to go.

The only thing I can say is that for those who are actually going through guilt trips brought on by the 'religious' in the community, know that your struggle is only between you and your Lord. His Mercy is far greater than one can ever imagine and His justice is impeccable. Don't become discouraged by the glares of others because when you realize your full potential as a Muslim, and once you fall under the protection of Allah, no one can stop you.

You should be ready to expect such injustices, because they are inevitable in any community. Always remain patient and remember to understand that many times accusations against you may be true and that Allah is allowing such a test to happen for a reason.

Be ready to embrace the trials with patience and trust in Allah, always be repentful and keep paradise in your sights. Remove the love of praise from your heart and point the finger at yourself, and Allah will reward you beyond what you can imagine.

As Allah says, you are only tested to the degree which you can handle. Know that the more difficult the test, the sweeter the rewards.
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PostSubject: Re: Guilt Trip to Islam by Haider Shah   July 28th 2007, 12:10 pm

Both a good article, and good advice.

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The world is telling lies
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