Tag Archives: Sunnah

Form vs Function – Unrealistic Body Images of Men in the Modern Media

basmillah

O children of Adam, take your adornment at every masjid, and eat and drink, but be not excessive. Indeed, He likes not those who commit excess.
Quran translation, Surah al-A’raf, 7:31

Assalaamu Alaykum brothers and sisters,

We’re all used to hearing about an unrealistic body image being promoted for women in the modern world and yes this is a terrible problem, leading to depression, anxiety, eating disorders (over as well as under eating) and suicides among many, including our young (and sometimes not so young) sisters. We cannot deny how huge an issue this has become but are we not guilty as a society of the same when it comes to men?

bodytalk-male-bodybuilder-sTHE UNACHIEVABLE MALE BODY IMAGE

Given these same eating disorders are now affecting males, as well as physiological problems relating to health and fitness I think it’s fair to state now that modern media, social media, artwork and overall society is promoting just as an unhealthy body image of men as  they’ve done in the past with women. Body images which are just as unreachable as those female equivalents that are now so widely recognized as so damaging on the minds and bodies of women that we see some city authorities wanting to ban from the public space so should we not recognize the dangers to men also?

STRUGGLING WITH DEMOTIVATION

This unachievable male body image was something which disheartened me recently as I’ve looked into getting back to a more healthy state. I just knew I am never going to be thin nor will I ever be the right shaped human to get that V upper-body figure most men crave.

I’m a human being, and as I read article after article on health and fitness it affects me on some level seeing the accompanying images (most likely photo-shopped),  a body image I’ll never achieve no matter how long or how often I worked out or did sports.

This was something which can be a huge downer and as I read others blogs and online material I know it is something which can make many, men and women, want to give up almost before they start. I think if it was not for the fact I know I’m failing in my Islamic obligations by being so out of shape I’d have been far more tempted to give up myself by now after just a few weeks or eating more sensibly and a wee bit of regular exercise.

Narrated by A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) who said: “The first calamity for this nation after the Prophet’s death is fullness of their stomachs; when their stomachs became full, they became obese and their hearts weakened and their desires became wild.”
Sahih al Bukhari

Thinking about all of this brought my wandering and desperate thoughts back to my favourite part of the Quran, a couple of verses I come back to again and again when faced with difficulty in life.

Do think the people that they will be left because they say, “We believe” and they will not be tested?
And indeed, We tested those who (were) before them. And Allah will surely make evident those who (are) truthful and He will surely make evident the liars.
Quran translation, Surah al-‘Ankabut, 29:2-3

So I knew I just had to keep going, even with the occasional slips, and disheartening as it is get to the best I can be and in every instance of being tested we have difficulties, and I find if you keep looking at a problem from different angles you’ll find a way through the problem.

AN EPIPHANY THROUGH FACEBOOK

So I kept walking as I do when I want to think, or just to relax and still this problem would trouble me, I couldn’t think of a way through until one day on opening facebook in the morning the following image came up.

form-vs-function

I looked, and looked again and it hit me that the 1st image on the left, that is something I can never achieve, but the 2nd image, the one of the right, yes I could see myself looking like that after plenty of work.

Guidance from Allaah comes sometimes in the strangest places, one conversation, one quote, one meme or picture can change our perception for us, Allah opens up our minds and allows us to view things from a different perspective.

As I continued to think about the problem I realized there is no one ideal body shape, or even just a few different body images, each difficult or almost impossible to achieve for myself and most others. Instead each of us has our own ideal size and strengths we can work towards.

As I read more about this  topic I realized more and more the ‘healthy’ body image given to us is actually unhealthy, and almost impossible to achieve hence why men are now increasingly resorting to plastic surgery to get that ‘perfect’ muscle structure implanted into their bodies.

You may be small, wiry, you’ll also never achieve that V upper body, but maybe you’ll run marathons one day which I’ll likely never do. You may be large like myself and aim to be strong and healthy in a different way. Each is good, none is wrong, none are ideal for everyone, each of us needs to tailor our health and fitness to best suit the hand we’ve been dealt.

Though the Sahabah all sought to be healthy, as taught in the Quran and by our beloved Nabi Muhammad ibn Abdullah (Sallallahu alayhi wa salam), they were a differing bunch of people as we all are today.

Some thin like Abu Bakr As-Siddiq (may Allah be pleased with him), some large like Umar ibn Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him), some tall and some short, differing looks, differing physiques, they strove and struggled just as we do today and by living a moderate life according to the guidance given to them and us they achieved a balance in such matters of health and fitness as they sought balance and a moderate path in all areas of life.

So for myself I know I need to keep working hard, striving for the sake of Allah and know Allah doesn’t measure me against others but against myself, knowing what I am personally capable of doing.

My health didn’t get so bad in just a matter of weeks, it took years of neglect and it will take many more months and years to get back to something approaching acceptable and I have to accept that and keep going.

For those of you in the same boat as me, all need to remember it’s not just a physical battle we’ve got going on here, but a mental, emotional, even spiritual battle as well to get ourselves and keep ourselves in the best possible health and I think we need to put to one side and maybe ignore many of the things we see around us, instead aiming for a body image which is personal to us, the best each of us can be.

Assalaamu Alaykum,

Gingerbeardman

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The Majority is Not a Proof that Something is Correct – Shaikh Saalih Al-Fawzan (hafidhahullaah)

sheep-flock

 

From the characteristics of the people of the Days of Ignorance is that they would view the majority as proof that something was true and the minority as proof hat something was false. So according to them, whatever the majority of the people was upon, that was the truth. And whatever the minority was upon, that was not the truth. In their eyes, this was the balance used to determine truth from falsehood.

However, this is wrong, for Allah says: And if you obey most of those on earth, they will mislead you far away from Allah’s path. They follow nothing but conjecture, and they do nothing but lie. [Surah Al-An’aam, ayah 116]

And He says: But most of mankind doesn’t know. [Surah Al-A’raaf, ayah 187]

And He says: And most of them We found to be not true to their covenant, but most of them We found indeed to be evil sinners. [Surah Al-A’raaf, ayah 102]

So the balance is not the majority and the minority. Rather, the balance is the truth. So whoever is upon the truth – even if he is by himself – he is the one who is correct and deserves to be emulated. And if the majority of the people are upon falsehood, then it is obligatory to reject them and not be deceived by them. So consideration is given to the truth. This is why the scholars say: “Truth is not known by way of men, but rather men are known by way of the truth.” So whoever is upon the truth, then he is the one we must follow and emulate.

In Allaah’s stories about the prior nations, He informs us that it is always the minority that is upon the truth, as Allah says: And no one believed with him except for a few. [Surah Hood, ayah 40]

And in a hadeeth in which the nations were presented to the Prophet, he (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said that he saw a prophet who had a small group of followers with him, and a Prophet who had a man or two men following him, and another Prophet who had no one with him. (Sahih Al-Bukhari).

So consideration is not given to which opinion or view has the most followers. Rather, consideration is given to its being either true or false. So whatever is true, even though a minority of the people or no one is upon it – so long as it is the truth – it must be adhered to, for indeed it is salvation. Falsehood is not aided by the fact that it has a majority of people following it – ever. This is a determining measure that the Muslim must always abide by.

The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:
“Islam began strange and it will return back to being strange as it began.” (Saheeh Muslim)

This will occur at the time when evil, calamities and misguidance increase. So no one will remain upon the truth except for the strange ones amongst the people and those who extract themselves from their tribes (for the sake of their religion). They will become strangers in their society.

The Messenger (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was sent while the whole world was submersed in disbelief and misguidance. And when he called the people, only one or two answered his call. It was only until later on that they grew to be many. The tribe of Quraish, not to mention the whole of the Arabian Peninsula and the whole world, was upon misguidance. And the Messenger of Allaah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was the only one calling the people. So those who followed him were few with respect to the entire world.

So consideration is not given to the majority. Consideration is only given to what is correct and to achieving the truth. Yes, if the majority of the people are upon correctness, then that is good. However, the way of Allaah is that the majority of the people is always upon falsehood.

And most of mankind will not believe even if you desire it eagerly. [Surah Yoosuf, ayah 103]

And if you obey most of those on earth, they will mislead you far away from Allah’s path. They follow nothing but conjecture, and they do nothing but lie. [Surah Al-An’aam, ayah 116]

* [In his sharh (explanation) of Imam Muhammad ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhab’s (rahimahullaah) statement: From the greatest of their principles was that they would be deluded by the majority, using that to determine the correctness of a matter. They would also determine the falsehood of something if it was strange and that its adherents were few. So Allaah brought them the opposite of that, clarifying this in many places of the Qur`an.]

Source: Sharh Masaa’il-ul-Jaahiliyyah (pg. 60-62) of Shaikh Muhammad ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhab (rahimahullaah), via al-Ibaanah.

Post Courtesy: Maher ibn Ahmed

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POLYGAMY SURVIVAL GUIDE – A CO-WIFE’S EXPERIENCE

Taken from the ‘Pathway to Jannah’ blog – http://pathway2jannah.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/polygamy-survival-guide-co-wifes.html

Polygamy is often seen as the end of a happy marriage, but it need not be that at all. Take it from me, I’m a happily married first wife and I’m friend with my co-wife, Masha’ Allah; in fact she’s sitting in the same room while I’m typing this. Polygamy can work if the husband and both or all wives go about it in the right way.

I have heard many horror stories about polygamy gone very wrong, and in all those cases, at least one person in the marriage was not following the Qur’an and Sunnah, usually the husband. Polygamy requires us to adhere to everything that Allah has taught us about marriage, and to follow the example of Muhammad and his wives.

This is the foundation upon which any marriage, monogamous or polygamous, is built, but with polygamy, it’s even more critical. Without this foundation, it isn’t going to succeed. While polygamy is frequently seen as benefiting the husband to the detriment of the wives, the reality is that it’s far more difficult for the husband.

He has to not only fulfill the rights of both wives and support both families financially and emotionally, he has to juggle his time between them, settle any disputes and difficulties that arise, and all the while ensure that he’s being just and fair.

The penalty for him failing to treat his wives equally is being raised up on the day of Judgment with half his body paralyzed.

The Qur’an strongly warns men that if they can’t be just between their wives, they are truly better off with only one. For men that take Islam seriously, polygamy is a huge and weighty responsibility and it’s an arduous task to get it right.

Meanwhile, each wife has no more responsibility than a monogamously married wife, and in some cases (e.g. where the wives choose to share accommodation) they can end up with a lot less responsibility than monogamous wives, as they share the running of the household and help each other out with the children.

Sharing love

One of the biggest fears women have of polygamy comes from a misunderstanding about the nature of love. Love is seen as something finite which has to be shared between people, so if a man takes a second wife, it’s assumed that he must love his first wife less because of it. The truth is that love is infinite and does not need to be shared between people.

Just as when a mother has a second child she still loves her first child as much as ever, when a man takes a second wife he still loves his first wife just as much.

Good Muslim men who choose polygamy do so because they truly want to love and protect two or more women. If he really didn’t love the first, divorcing her then remarrying is a much easier option for him both financially and emotionally than having two wives.

 

Sharing time

What you share in polygamy is your husband’s time. Whether spending less time with your husband is a good thing or a bad thing depends on your outlook. Of course, it’s natural to want to spend plenty of time with people you love, but we also need time for ourselves.

On the days when he’s with his other wife, there is no benefit in sitting around missing him. Instead, treat it as a time for you, and a chance to enjoy things that married women find it hard to make time for.

On your nights with him, you have a husband to share your bed with; on the other nights you get the whole bed to yourself and can snuggle up with a good book and have some “me time”.

Plan your evenings when you’re not with him to do things that you enjoy, so you look forward to your evenings without him as much as your evenings with him.

Co-wife rivalry

Try not to see your co-wife as a rival. Instead, try to focus on strengthening your relationship with your husband. If you don’t feel secure in your relationship, then it’s only natural that you’d see the other wife as a threat. If you are sure of your relationship with your husband, then ask yourself why you feel threatened, and remind yourself of what you have.

If your husband is going to love you and stand by you no matter what, then what can she take from you?

A useful piece of advice I heard from a brother is “the insecurity of the first wife is that the second wife is her replacement and he doesn’t love her any more. The insecurity of the second wife is that the first wife is his first love and he’ll never love her as much as he loves his first.”

This reminds us that the other wife has her own doubts, and to see clearly what we have instead. Look at why your husband loves you and try not to dwell on what he may or may not feel about her.

No love triangles in Islam

Focus on your relationship with your husband as a single entity, disconnected from his other marriage. Islamic polygamy is not a triangular relationship; his marriage with you and his marriage with your co-wife are two separate relationships.

You are not obliged to have anything to do with your co-wife, but if the two of you choose to be friends, then that’s a third and discrete relationship.

This means when you’re with him, the two of you need to act like the other wife doesn’t exist.

Enjoy your time with your husband and do all the same things a monogamous couple would do together.

If you are friends with your co-wife, don’t discuss your husband when you’re together, and spend time with her when he’s not around.


Tackling jealousy

Jealousy is best tackled by focusing on what you have. “Jealousy is when you count someone else’s blessings instead of your own,” (anon). If you feel jealous about anything, ask yourself if it’s over something that you really want, or whether you desire it simply because your co-wife has it.

If it’s the latter, then try to forget about it and remind yourself that you don’t actually want it.

If it’s something you really want, then focus on how you can get it for yourself because you would like it, not because she has it. If it’s the relationship you’re jealous of, concentrate on building your own relationship with your husband as though she’s not in the picture.

If you feel that he loves her more than you, then maybe he isn’t giving you enough attention or affection, and frame this as a problem in your own relationship that you need to talk to him about and resolve, rather than as a problem with your co-wife. These things won’t eliminate jealousy altogether, but they should minimize it.

Remember that even ‘A’isha had times when she was jealous of Muhammad’s other wives, and even broke a plate because of it.

When things go wrong

If your husband is not dividing up his time fairly, or not fulfilling your rights in Islam then he is the guilty party so don’t blame your co-wife for this.

This applies whether it’s something minor or very serious. Speak to him about the problem and tell him how you feel.
If he’s a good husband, he’ll do something to rectify the situation.

If he doesn’t and you’re having significant problems in your marriage because of it, then you need to go about dealing with it in the same way you would if you were monogamously married.

Marriages fail either because one partner is not fulfilling the rights of the other (or worse, abusing the other), or because the two partners are not compatible.

This is the same in monogamy and polygamy. Relationships fail sometimes in spite of one or both partners putting in their best efforts, and that’s why divorce is halal.

Sometimes men try to fix a failing monogamous marriage by taking a second wife – in my opinion this is like trying to put out a fire in the living room by starting another fire in the kitchen.

Other men want all the benefits of polygamy but refuse to accept any of the responsibility and end up treating their wives very badly. There are some situations where staying in a marriage is not in anyone’s best interests. If you find yourself in such a situation, then you do need to know when to call it a day.

An important thing to remember is not to blame polygamy itself for the marriage failure. The failure is due to incompatibility, or one partner systematically failing to fulfill their responsibilities to the other.

Polygamy, when done according to the Qur’an and Sunnah can work and indeed be beneficial to the wives, and it’s my opinion that it doesn’t need to be feared.

We should fear Allah, and be good spouses to each other.

We should remember to show our husbands our appreciation of them and all that they do for us, and they need to do the same for us. This is the key to a happy marriage, whether polygamous or monogamous. Insha Allah, by following the advice above, this happiness can be maintained in a polygamous marriage, despite the specific challenges this type of relationship may bring.

VERY LATE EID GREETINGS!

Eid-Mubarak-Images

 

Assalaamu alaykum readers,

And a belated EID MUBARAK! TaqabAllahu minna wa minkum, May Allah accept from us and from you. OK I’m late, I know but been a bit too busy with family in the past couple of weeks to post anything and the blog is not my full time job or anything so forgive me on that.

So I hope you all had wonderful Eid celebrations and not too many of you spent your time and money throwing a welcome back party for Shaitan as too many do these days, throwing away your good deeds.

If you did… then make tawbah and remember the purpose of Ramadhan. It’s is meant to be time of purification, and I am not talking about a one-month detox before you spend the other 11 months on one big bender kinda-purification. No, instead Allaah states in the Quran:

O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous
Quran translation, Surah al Baqarah, 2:183

So now use all those times you got into the habit of making du’a in Ramadhan by doing so again now, asking Allaah to forgive you, follow up an evil deed with a good deed.

On the authority of Abu Dharr Jundub ibn Junadah, and Abu ‘Abd-ir-Rahman Mu’adh bin Jabal (may Allah be pleased with them) that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) said: “Be conscious of Allah wherever you are. Follow the bad deed with a good one to erase it, and engage others with beautiful character.”
Related by Tirmidhi

I ask Allaah that he accepts your deeds and my deeds this ramadhan and forgives us our shortcomings, helps purify our deeds and intentions and makes us better believers for the whole year, not just one month, ameen.

Now…

eid over back to work

 

BE FIRM – SHEIKH IBN UTHAIMEEN

Sheikh Muhammad bin Saalih al-Uthaimeen رحمه الله

“Be FIRM, and DO NOT change (your stance) because of the large number of attacks on you nor due to (their) being offended by your words. As long as you are upon the TRUTH then be firm, for truth is never budged (by falsehood). Thereafter, defend (the truth) if you are in a weak position. There is nothing lesser than defending (the truth).

But if you are in a strong position, then upon you is to attack (the falsehood). For the days take turns (sometimes in your favor and sometimes otherwise).
But (remember) the most important thing is that even if you are in a weaker position, then you should remain firm. And never say: ‘Oh, all the people are in opposition to this.’ Rather, be firm, for Allaah سُبحانه وتعالى aids His Deen, His Book, His Messenger throughout the ages.
No doubt that you will face harm (from the people).

Here is Imaam Ahmadرحمه الله , he was dragged by a mule in the market and was whipped. But he was patiently firm.
And here is Sheikh-ul-Islaam (Ibn Taymiyyah)رحمه الله , who was driven around in the market on a cart and was thrown in the prison, but he remained firm.
It is not possible that the earth will always be a carpet of roses and flowers for a person who clings to the Sunnah (for he will face opposition and will be harmed by the people).”

[Sharh al-Nooniyyah of Ibnul Qayyim by Sheikh Ibn al-`Uthaimeen (3/270)]

FOLLOWING THE QURAN AND SUNNAH BUT NOT THE SAHABAH

Shaykh-ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah, may Allāh have mercy upon him, said:

“Whoever thinks that he can simply take from the Book (the Qur’ān) and the Sunnah without following the Sahābah (the companions of the Prophet ﷺ, may Allāh be pleased with them), and pursues a path other than theirs, is from the people of innovations.”

Source: Mukhtasar Al-Fatāwā Al-Misriyyah p556

MANAGING THE WORK-LIFE-DEATH BALANCE

WORK LIFE DEATH BALANCE

 

The purpose of this article is not to offer any clear-cut instruction; rather, the aim is merely to provoke the reader into contemplating the various issues being discussed.

In the western world we often lament our lack of time. We often observe people who exist within our stratosphere that appear incredibly busy and we look at ourselves in self-depreciating disgust.

I have a few questions related to this image;

  • Does effort and toil necessarily equate to productivity?
  • Is an overwhelmingly demanding schedule the right approach for you?

I will start by offering an example from my own experience of the corporate world. There are colleagues who will put me to shame in their work ethic. Some take on an incredible amount of responsibility and are thus pulled from every sector of the working environment to offer their insights and guidance. Others are limited, or limit themselves to a small working area that they invest a heavy amount of time in.

Often we gravitate towards the former. The celebrity employee – always included in every email message, always in demand to attend any significant meeting and affecting everything and nothing at the same time. The demands on this person’s time, from every angle, can very easily lead to someone who can influence many factions infinitesimally but generally will struggle to achieve anything of significance.

Compare this to the worker who mines a solid hole through a stack of projects. His influence is limited to that particular area but that person’s achievement has the potential to echo throughout the business. An argument can be made that the former is required to tie the work of the latter and this is true. But only one can exist without the other and it is not the celebrity.

Similarly I look towards those brothers and sisters who appear fantastically productive in Islamic activity. They involve themselves in anything that seems productive for their ākhira and sacrifice attaining any form of a professional life in so-called ‘secular sciences’. Dedicating themselves to acquiring knowledge and supporting the dawah. These pantheons of society are examples to the rest of us as we aim to emulate them. For me, when I interact with such a person I find myself hating my pathetic limitations and weak drive. I vaguely ponder over the circumstances that will lead me to be as active.

I am reminded in this scenario of the “Professional Muslim.” This is a person who has the opportunity to be employed in a role that is directly related to the Hereafter. Is it indeed better to work to worship? For example, the employment in an Islamic organisation and the consequent ability to worship Allāh through your work creates the “perfect” scenario. I can see that for those with a thought to their Hereafter, this presents a potentially ideal situation and for those in that situation they are potentially at an advantage.

But, before we lament our loss at the lack of job opportunities in the Islamic Sector (does this even exist?) perhaps we should take a moment to think about that first question again. Does effort and toil lead directly to productivity? Productivity, in this case, being results in the Hereafter. I invite you to think about whether our īmān is capable of maintaining the correct sincerity or Ikhlās balance that we need for such employment. Are you able to demand the comfort of that higher pay rise for example? This is not to say that Islamic organisations should not pay you enough but do you, for example, already earn enough? Are you now carrying out your work because it is your job or because you want to please Allāh? These and other similar complications are perhaps more straight-forward in a job that is not directly associated with an Islamic Organisation. When you volunteer your time it is maybe easier to resolve your sincerity within your own mind when financial compensation is not involved. This is not to say that one is easier than the other. Rather, different people will thrive or struggle in different situations.

This vague example that involves “maybes” and “potentials” directly links to our pursuit of the correct work, life and death balance. There have been many articles written warning readers to strike the correct existential balance where we do not put work above our personal life and unintentionally sacrifice both in pursuit of one. As Muslims we should perhaps temper these studies with our knowledge of what is required of us to hit our over-arching target in this life: the pleasure of Allāh in pursuit of admittance to Jannah.

Is effectiveness perhaps what we should strive for? By effectiveness, I refer to continuity as opposed to achievement. I give you the example of ʿAbdullāh b. ʿUmar (raḍiy Allāhu ʿanhu). It is reported that he spent 14 years memorising Sūrah al-Baqarah. With that in mind, and with our knowledge that the person to lead the Salah is the person who has the most knowledge of the Qur’ān, if we were to hypothetically exist during his memorisation period, would our ḥufāth of today be comfortable leading the Salah ahead of Ibn ʿUmar? I would hazard a guess that they would not. So, is it the appearance of achievement that is our aim? Or is it the continuity of pursuit that we aim for? Allāh will not judge us on results. If so, then we, as a Muslim Ummah, will perish miserably on the last day. Allāh is Al-Ḥakīm. Thus, we will be judged on our efforts and sincerity not on our achievements. Perhaps to judge ourselves, private continuity of effort is the most telling sign. How consistently do we pray those two prostrations of night prayer without a soul being aware? How do we set up our learning and knowledge-seeking processes so that they will continue well into the future.

I give you the example of the Muslim youth scene. We are blessed with a variety of options for the knowledge seeker in the UK. Structured weekend learning programmes are available every week, online courses are also widely available, many of which are free. Alḥamdulillāh many of our youth whole-heartedly engage in these activities. But, what happens when our youth grow older? Time constraints are an inevitable aspect of growing older and, as such, we find we suddenly cannot fulfil our desire to engage in these activities. No longer can we travel around the country; no longer can we perhaps neglect our university studies for a short period of time to commit to organising an event. What then? Do we simply reduce our activities to accommodate our increased time constraints? Some may say that this is where the benefits and fruits of working in the Islamic sector can be seen. But my counter-argument is that the Islamic sector is nit weak. Knowledge and access to knowledge is a thriving “industry,” and I mean industry in a pure form. There are now countless institutes for learning and countless aid organisations. Our Ummah is most definitely in its ascendency, albeit it seems slowly. However, can a successful Ummah be built upon a population of scholars? The Prophet’s (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) Saḥāba were nothing less than scholars and they were the most successful of nations. The Saḥāba are more than 100,000, the ones recorded are numbered at around 5000, of those we only have detailed life stories of a handful. Guess which ones we have detailed life stories of? The best ones: the scholars. No doubt that these are the catalysts. But also no doubt that Allāh facilitated that the likes of ʿAbdul Raḥmān b. Awf would donate 2000 awqiyah of gold towards the war effort in Tabūk. As such, we have catalysts and we have facilitators, each as important as the other and neither of them mutually exclusive.

What is wrong in being successful in your professional ‘secular’ field? What is wrong with being able to open doors and give advice to your Muslim brothers? How amazing it is, when you see someone of responsibility and power in the corporate world, someone who is in demand all over the industry and professionally impeccable, practicing his religion to the best of his ability. What doors can this person open for the Ummah? Is it not significant for someone to open a business that turns into a conglomerate that provides a livelihood for Muslim brothers and sisters and pays a multi-billion pound zakāh every year? Imagine the ramifications, politically and economically, if there were several of these conglomerates that we could be proud of as Muslims? Imagine the impact on Dawah when many industries are questioned about ethics but this company has employees who will refuse to work for the company if they are not ethically compliant? Imagine the reward for the owner of such a business to create prayer facilities for all his employees where Salāh becomes the means by which profitability is sought.

This article opens a discussion more than any conclusive argument but, as was mentioned at the beginning of this article, the aim is to provoke thought. Where we expend our efforts and how we seek our wealth are questions that we all ponder from time to time on an individual basis but, perhaps, we should adopt a society-focused mentality wherein we look for what the Ummah needs and try to match our skill-set within that.

Just imagine….

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