“We must live together as brothers or perish together as fools.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.
Once upon a time ago, someone had asked me, “Sister, are you Sunnah?”. “Huh? What?” I gave this person a blank look. I mean, I have heard of Sunni Muslims and Syiah Muslims and I have been asked in the past as to which group I belong to. Even back then, I politely replied, “Only God knows” which basically means, ‘none of your business!’.
However, to ask me whether I am Sunnah or not is something completely new to me. Sunnah means teachings of our beloved Prophet SAW. Is that another sect of Islam that I don’t know about? So, I asked this person to explain her question. She replied that she basically wanted to know if I am a Sunnah follower and if I am then I’m a ‘Sunnah’. Hhmm……I could feel my irritation slowly rising then. I was appalled and insulted by the question actually.
Since I have made a promise to myself not to be a puppet of satan and also I made a promise to the Wise Owl to be in better control of my temper, I didn’t roar or breathe fire on this poor sister. I gave her my sweetest smile and simply replied, “only God knows!” which means ‘none of your business’ if she knows how to read between the lines. Why should I declare if I religiously follow Sunnah or not to another human being? I don’t even need to declare it to God Al Mighty! The only declaration that I need to make on a daily basis is ‘there is not God but He’ and even that is done in private! What is the purpose of asking me such question? Is it to judge me? No human is qualified to judge another.
What has happened to the Muslim society now? Since when do we go around labeling ourselves or each other? I mean, if I were to reply to her that I don’t follow Sunnah, then will I be called “Anti-Sunnah” instead? Geezz…..!!! I mean, seriously!
That is the problem of the Muslims today. We are too busy judging and labeling each other that we have lost the true spirit of Islam i.e. brotherhood.
“ The believers are nothing else than brothers (in Islamic religion). So make reconciliation between your brothers, and fear Allah, that you may receive mercy.”
Al Hujurat 49:10
The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said: "You will not enter paradise until you believe, and you will not believe until you love one another. Shall I not guide you to something which if you carry out you will love one another? Spread salaam amongst yourselves." [Muslim]
The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said: "Do not have malice against a Muslim; do not be envious of other Muslims; do not go against a Muslim and forsake him. O the slave of Allah! Be like brothers with each other. It is not allowed for a Muslim to desert his brother for over three days." [Muslim & Tirmidhi]
All Muslims are brothers and sisters. We are one huge family. We are suppose to be united instead of compart-mentaling ourselves into sects. It is rude to ask a person if he or she follows Sunnah. It is also rude to ask a person if he or she reads Quran every day. Why should that person declares what he does in his own private time? The relationship between a slave and his Creator is a private one. The details of the ‘relationship’ is not be broadcast-ed to the general public.
A person who openly declares that he or she is ‘Sunnah’, to me, is actually showing off. Showing off means pride and arrogance. Be very CAREFUL…..
“The Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Whoever has pride in his heart equal to the weight of a mustard seed shall not enter Paradise.” Someone asked, “A person likes to wear beautiful clothes and fine shoes.” He replied, “Allah is beautiful and likes beauty. Pride means rejecting the truth and looking down on other people.” [Sahih Muslim]
Abu Hurairah (radhiallaahu ‘anhu) heard the Messenger sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam say:
“the first of the people to be judged on the Day of Judgement is a man who was martyred. He will be brought in front of Allaah and Allaah will remind him of the blessings He gave him. The man will recognize it and Allaah will say to him: “What have you done concerning it?” He will say, “I fought for your sake until I was martyred.” Allaah will say to him, “you have lied, you fought that it be said you are brave (and it was said).” Then he will be ordered to come and will be dragged on his face until he is put in the fire.
(Another) man who learnt knowledge and taught it and recited the Qur’an. He will be brought in front of Allaah and Allaah will remind him of the blessings He gave him and the man will recognize it. Allaah will say to him, “What have you done concerning it?” He will say, “I learnt knowledge for your sake until I taught it and learnt the Qur’an for your sake.” Allaah will say to him, “you have lied, but you learnt that it be said you are a learned man. You (also) recited the Qur’an that it be said you are a reciter (and it was said).” Then he will be ordered to come and will be dragged on his face until he is put in the fire.
(Another) man whom Allaah had blessed with wealth and gave him from all the different types of wealth. Allaah will remind him of the blessings He gave him and the man will recognize it. Allaah will say to him, “What have you done concerning it?” He will say, “I have not left a path of goodness that You love except that I was charitable towards it for your sake.” Allaah will say to him, “you have lied, but you did that so it be said – such and such is generous (and it was said).” Then he will be ordered to come and will be dragged on his face until he is put in the fire.”
Why do we need to declare if we follow Sunnah i.e. teachings of Prophet SAW or not? It is enough to know that we must follow ‘Sunnah’ if we want to declare ourselves as his ummah on Judgment day but there no need to declare it out loud or put someone on the spot by asking such question. We just need to ask ourselves that question not others.
If the intention is to encourage others to follow the teachings of Prophet SAW and also Quran, then perhaps another method should adopted. We should instead share with others the beauty, without asking or judging a person’s state of eaman, about following the teachings of our beloved Prophet Muhammad SAW and its rewards. We can also share the rewards and ‘perks’ of reciting Quran every day without the need to ask if the person knows how to recite the Quran or not. By asking such personal questions, you are actually indirectly shaming that person. That is NOT Islam.
No one should be force or made to confess about one’s weakness or inability to another human being. It could be that the person has trouble learning or was ignorant or faced obstacles in trying to follow. It could also be that the person follows to the tee; each and everything teachings by our beloved Prophet SAW but he or she chose not to tell a soul. So, my advice is, don’t be nosy or rude. Don’t ask personal questions about other’s people state of eaman. Just concentrate on yours….
Islam is about beauty and not interrogation. Islam is about gentleness and not brute force. Islam is about humility and not pride. Islam is about what’s really inside your heart and not what you declare out loud…………….