One significant fact arises in observing the outcome of this ongoing pandemic and that is the Almighty is staying the hand of the pious as well as the aggressor.
He Suubhanawataala is giving us time to reflect in the privacy of our homes or tents alike, of the consequences of our thoughts and actions.
We have a choice of rebelling the “stay home” order and getting all worked up about the restriction or we can use this as downtime to allow those things to surface that have been suppressed either by being “busy” or by “deliberate distractions” so as not to have to deal with them.
The bottom line is that The Divine has given the people of this world “TIME OUT” in the corner of their homes.
This is a famous hadith that has been used by all and sundry sometimes with a great amount of zeal but without wisdom with long acting consequences. Huge dissertations of tafseer have been written about it.
I thought I would bring a simple observation from my life and share it with you.
IV HADITH. MUSLIM 78 OR 49 (Ramadan lesson given by Mufti Adnan Kakakhail al Burhan.org)
NEHI AND MUNKAR ( disobedience)
- if you see a disobedience then stop it with your hand If you have the power ( the fore most power is that of the Ruler and “power” resides in each person over those whom she or he has jurisdiction)
- If you cannot stop it with your hand then voice it being wrong (If somebody points out your deficiency don’t feel bad and do not be resentful of him).
- If you cannot do that at least think of it as wrong in your heart that this is disobedience and that is the weakest form of emaan.
Discussion: One should never support, endorse or accept sinful acts, and the three methods are given above.
MY OBSERVATIONS FROM MY LIMITED EXPERIENCES
CORRECTING A DISOBEDIENCE
THE FINE LINE BETWEEN DESENSITIZATION, AGGRESSIVE CORRECTION AND LAISEZ FAIRE
Each one of us has heard this hadith many times and interpreted it for our self in our own individual way.
The first part of the Hadith is:
- if you see a disobedience then stop it with your hand If you have the power ( first power is that of the Ruler and “power” resides in each person over those whom she or he has jurisdiction)
The key word here lies in the word:”power” : if you see a disobedience then stop it with your hand If you have the power ( first power is that of the Ruler and “power” resides in each person over those whom she or he has jurisdiction)
Thus, power means “jurisdiction” not physical power to break the law or violate the rights of others or defame them verbally or by publications.
I have lived in the west and over thirty years of going to the mosque which grew from a one room in a clubhouse to a fully endowed mosque that accommodates over a thousand people. However, one thing has not changed. It is the zealous nature of my pious Muslim sisters who feel they must correct their fellow sisters whether they know them or not. They are well intentioned but sometimes unaware of the consequences of their zeal.
Just as we see in Hajj thus all the muslims living in the west are not uniform and may belong to different schools of thoughts and one may mistake an action on the basis of limited knowledge of all the aspects of faith and its practice.
Sensitivity to this variance of accepted practice of Islam is a key point,
HERE IS A SIMPLE EXAMPLE WITH LONG REACHING CONSEQUENCES
A active practicing sister in full hijab, well versed with the fiqh of salah and dress, see a young American girl or convert praying but her head covering may have slipped from her forehead and some section of her hair may be showing they will in the process of her prayer will pull down her head cover to cover the part which is uncovered.
How does that affect the recipient and the person who did this action?
THE RECEPIENT OF THE CORRECTIVE ACTION
She is deeply concentrating in prayer and struggling to keep her concentration and she is rudely interrupted dispersing the flow of her recitation, if she is weak in the memorization or it is new memorization as for a young girl or convert the words may completely escape her and her prayer would be destroyed, leaving her angry, disgusted, and self-deprecating for forgetting the prayer and resentful of the woman who pulled her head covering.
THE ONE ACTIVELY CORRECTING THE MISTAKE OF SOMEONE’S DRESS DURING SALAH
For the woman who saw the partial hair uncovered of a girl in prayer she feels she has to correct this disobedience of Allah in salah otherwise this Salah will not be accepted by Allah and will go to waste.
Thus, she in haste pulls the head covering of the one who is praying thus disturbing this girls salah. Such a persons who in her enthusiasm to correct a disobedience in prayer has earned a sin by actively disturbing the salah of another.
In addition if the recipient is a fledgling in her faith and becomes resentful and stops coming to the mosque or worse stops praying, this may heap another sin on the do overseen worse is if this person whose head covering was corrected during salah was a convert and in disgust becomes a murtad then the sin of that rejection of Islam falls on the shoulders of the woman who was trying to correct the head cover.
Thus, one has to carefully think of the consequences of one’s actions both by the doer and the receiver and wait for the appropriate time, evaluate one’s status with the person we are correcting and the degree of beneficial effect.
Thus, the key question before correcting someone with your hand is to ask “ Do I have Power or jurisdiction over this person?”
The other extreme is to watch and say nothing and do nothing and go on one’s merry way and say it is none of my business. That too is incorrect attitude of a Momin.
A HUMBLE SUGGESTION ON HOW TO HANDLE THIS GRACEFULLY:
In my humble opinion I suggest the following for the above case:
FOR THE ONE WHO IS CORRECTING THE DISOBEDIENCE
Usually this comes from a person who is well meaning but is impetuous. So, my message to her is:
- If you don’t know the person who is partially covered refrain from handling her dress. Not only will it disturb her salah earning you a sin but in the west, it is considered an invasion of privacy.
- If you don’t know her find someone who knows her and convey help without appearing to be a tattle tale
- If you know the person buy her a book or a hijab that covers her completely
- If you don’t know her find someone who knows her and give her the hijab and the book which has instructions for salah to transmit it to the person whom you saw with her hair partially covered.
- Get to know the person who made the mistake, become friends and then advise her if she is receptive.
SUMMARY: Show her by example and provide resources
FOR THE ONE WHO IS RECEIVING THE CORRECTION OF THE DISOBEDIENCE
- Rein in your Nafs that will raise its ugly head and rant against the woman who corrected you
- If you can bring yourself go to the person and ask her for instructional material that you can review.
- If you can without anger explain to her that you lost the thread of your salah when she pulled down your headcover and then pause and give her time to apologize, if she does not let it be.
- Let each correction lead to a review of the subject from authentic sources to have the sincere intention to correct oneself and not to rationalize one’s disobedience
- Do not relate the incidence to others except as in an ILm format to obtain instructional advice otherwise it may be considered Ghaibah or back biting which is a major sin.
- Know that when something happens good or bad, Allah has put a wisdom behind it, look for the reason.
SUMMARY: Learn to control your Nafs and look beyond the act for goodness and good intentions.
FOR THE ONLOOKER
- If you are that third person who saw this happening what you do is going to depend on how well you know the recipient and Sister who corrected her headcover.
- If you know the recipient soothe her nafs and give her instructional videos and an easy foolproof hijab as a gift.
- If the recipient complains then just listen but do not side with either of them. You can quote Imam Shafis famous quote “ whenever I find something irritating, I look for it in myself and usually find it” and encourage her to make this an incentive to explore study and improve
- For the one who corrected the headcover of the girl in salah: you know her well you can explain the pros and cons and ask her to keep extra hijabs and instructional salah books with her to give out after the salah and not interrupt during the salah, so as she does not earn the sin of obstructing salah.
All of the above needs a clean purified heart which is not driven rough shod by the Nafs, pride and arrogance.
Thus, in my humble opinion and from what I have learned we must start with our own heart and put in place a methodology, a schedule and an awareness that we must learn to live within the envelope of “Tazkiyah tun Nafs”
DUA: May Allah all prepare our hearts to become “Qalb e Saleem” before we meet Him.
Here is Allah’s promise if we get it right:
وَلْتَكُن مِّنكُمْ أُمَّةٌ يَدْعُونَ إِلَى الْخَيْرِ وَيَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَيَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ ۚوَأُولَـٰئِكَ هُمُالْمُفْلِحُونَ ﴿١٠٤﴾
And let there be [arising] from you a nation inviting to [all that is] good, enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong, and those will be the successful.
Here is the commandment in the Quran:
And here is the global benefits:
- I am deeply indebted to all my teachers who taught me Ilm ( The Knowledge of Deen) but then also demonstrated with examples.