Archive for category For the Family

*An Appeal to My Sisters in Islam: Take the Pictures Down*

Bismillah walhamdulillah

wasalamu`alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatuh,

I have been wanting to say this for a long time, and yesterday I had that final push. That thing that happens that makes you wish you said something sooner.

There was an event at my University that was informing the masses about a movement to divest in a country that was oppressing Muslims. To make a long story short, the event became a huge controversy and some people had to wait in line for hours, in the cold, in order to attend. Metal detectors were set up. Protestors from both sides stood holding their signs and shouting their slogans. They were encircled by metal bars, with police officials surrounding them. There were news cameras left and right, and reporters were eager to catch a shot of the people waiting in line to attend.

Being one of the first people on the line and being very visibly Muslim, my friends and I were approached many times for an interview or a picture, etc. When we were asked, we thanked them for asking and politely refused. When we weren’t asked, we made sure the picture was deleted and the video camera did not have a shot of us (not quite as politely…). Later on in the day, when I had moved to another line (last minute change of rules), I stood with another group of sisters. I knew almost all of them from the college. They were my sisters in Islam and I felt comfortable standing amongst them. I was the only niqabi in the group this time. Usually that is of no import, but it is relevant to this story.

A man with a camera approached us for a picture. I immediately thought of what message he was going for (“a group of young Muslim girls waiting in line for the event”) and felt annoyed. To add to that, I experience instant annoyance at someone who is so eager to get a picture of Muslim women, being that the majority of us wear some type of obvious religious garb, because of the feelings it evokes (“I think you are strange looking, but oh so interesting!”)

“Could I get a picture of you?” he asked, drawing parentheses around five of us, outlining the frame of the picture with his hands.

My face, which he couldn’t see, immediately went straight and cold.

“No, not of me.”

I forgot everything around me. I forgot that I was standing with sisters and tuned everything out. I was focused on making sure he knew he wasn’t getting a picture of me. As I began to walk backward, away from his camera, one of my friends on my right shoulder spoke.

“I’m trying to remind you that you wear a niqab,” she said, smiling in an almost motherly-way.

I still couldn’t fully tune her in, I was focused on getting away. I continued to make my way to the back, while the rest of the sisters moved up to be in the picture. A second later, I leaned against the metal bars that surrounded the building and looked in, my heart breaking at the fact that these sisters had so willingly allowed this man to take a picture of them. Of their faces, of their eyes, of their smiles.

Later on I wondered why they did not stop to think to themselves, “if this sister whose face is covered is refusing to have her picture taken, there must be a reason.”

So this incident was the push. I need to get this message out there to all sisters.

I ask that Allah swt allow my words to enter your hearts, and that He swt protects us from the whisperings of Shaytan, who is an open enemy to man.

Sisters, regardless of what opinion you follow regarding the niqab, or of how you currently feel about abaya or hijab, regardless of what you think is correct or necessary in regards to a woman’s dress, regardless of what you envision your future to be (in terms of religion and dress), regardless of what you think of photographs; regardless of all of that, I advise you with the following:

  1. Don’t allow strangers (or even acquaintances) to take pictures of you.
  2. Don’t post your pictures on Facebook (yes, even if your profile is private).
  3. Keep track of who has pictures of you, and the best way to do that is to keep track of who is taking pictures of you.
  4. Be mindful of pictures that you have of other sisters, and what you do with them. If they are on your phone, put a pass code on it. Don’t post them up on Facebook,  (yes, even if they give you permission to do so).
  5. If you already have pictures on Facebook, do what you have to do, but get them off of Facebook and any other social media site.

I’m sure more than one person reading this has already thought to themselves, “Wow, this sister has gone off the deep end.” So I hope that they will be open-minded, and that I will be given a chance to explain. This post is not written with the intention of convincing sisters to cover (if this is what you are looking for, you can listen to this); I have a different goal in mind today. I don’t know many of you who are reading this, but I love you simply because you have imaan in Allah swt and His Messenger, Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam). So allow me to begin…

Six years ago, I would have never thought that I would be wearing a niqab one day. Never. I was an average Muslim girl in high school. Picture-taking was no big deal to me; in fact, it was a disgrace to not have a lot of pictures in the Yearbook. Posting pictures online and on Facebook was the thing to do. If your profile picture wasn’t a picture of your face, either you were unhappy with the way you looked or you were too religious. This was the mindset. (You know it’s true.)

When I began to cover, it was a process that took place over time. First the skirts, then the abayaat (long loose dresses), and then finally the niqab. Taqabbal Allah (May Allah accept, ameen). During the time this change was unfolding, I had a Facebook. I may have deactivated it here and there, but for the most part, I was on it.

And I mean… I was really on it – my pictures were on Facebook. Old pictures, from before I began to wear niqab. Of course, I had deleted the ones that were on my account; may Allah swt forgive me, He is the Most Merciful of those who show Mercy.

And I don’t remember now how it happened, but I had deactivated my account for a long period of time and when I came back on it, I saw pictures of myself, pictures that I was “tagged” in, on other people’s accounts… My heart sank. There were still pictures of me out there. I was mortified.

I still remember the winter mornings when I would sit at my desk and make lists in my blue spiral notebook. I would make a list of names of the people who had a picture of me on their profile, whether I was in the forefront or in the background. I would find the album name, as well. And I would send them private messages, asking them for their email addresses.

I would email them (or private message them if it was easier), ignoring the social unacceptability of what I was doing – I was asking people that I hadn’t spoken to for years, to take down my pictures, and for religious reasons. Many of them were understanding and compliant, but not all of them. I remember one old “friend” who just did not want to take my picture down (it was a picture of me and her), and we went back and forth. I had even gave her alternatives: “Okay, what if I just crop myself out for you?”

Finally, she complied as well. Another one, even after earnest requests, ardently refused, because the album was “private.” It just goes to show you, that there is a possibility that someone may refuse to take your picture down when you ask them to!

And whenever a picture went down, I crossed it off of my list. Some mornings, I would dread opening up my blue spiral notebook, and I would dread even more, opening up my Facebook account. But I knew I had to do it. So I pushed through the discomfort and ignored that annoying knot in my stomach.

And as a disclaimer, I actually did not have that many pictures on Facebook; much less than any average Facebook user today. Yet, this is what I went through to have my pictures removed. So what will others go through? Do you think you could take them all down in a matter of minutes? Because mine certainly did not come down that quick.

Anyway, the pictures were taken down one by one, walillahil hamd.

But I couldn’t stop thinking about it: what about all of the people who had seen them? I knew that couldn’t be undone. And I could only hope that Allah swt would forgive me and have mercy on me, and cause those people to forget.

What about you, my dear sis?

Do you want to go through what I went through? You may be thinking, “but I don’t plan to wear niqab, or to cover, and it doesn’t bother me that my pictures are on Facebook.”

To that I would say: I was saying the same thing just a few years ago. You don’t know what Allah swt has in store for you. You don’t know, perhaps Allah swt will guide you to Him, and will guide you to wearing abaya and then niqab. You don’t know, maybe one day you will wish that your pictures were not plastered in so many places. On this person’s account, and in this album. In the front of this picture, and in the background of that one. But by then, it will seem like an impossible mission for to you to take them down, and you may find yourself giving up before you even try.

And by the way, I know Facebook was mentioned throughout this post, but I am referring to pictures on any online source (WordPress, Twitter, yes even LinkedIn!) because the world-wide-web is exactly that – it’s a WORLD WIDE WEB – an enormous mass of disentangled boundaries.

Sister, you don’t know who is looking at your pictures (yes, even if your profile is private; this is 2013, please wake up!) and with what intention they are looking at your pictures. As shaykh Omar Suleiman once mentioned at a class: “You can put up the most decent picture of yourself, wearing hijab and abaya…but now, what if a 50 year old man is looking at your picture lustfully?” (paraphrased)

I know this is something that is so widely accepted in today’s world, and that to some, this sounds like the rantings of an extreme Muslim woman. For the record, I don’t know of a single person, Muslim or NonMuslim, who knows of me personally, who would call me “extreme.” I am your neighbor, your classmate, your friend and your sister. And I am a Muslim, so please don’t add any qualifiers.

And I am writing this to save you from what Allah swt saved me from. No one advised me of this, ever. Even up until today, I have never heard of these words coming out of another sister’s mouth. Do you know why? Because those of us who wish to say it, are afraid that others will be offended and will not wish to listen to anything we say in the future. We are afraid that you will just brush it off as just another thing that the “strict Muslims” don’t want you to do; just another pleasure they are trying to take away from you.

Think about it. What will I get from you listening to this advice?

And have you ever stopped to wonder why Shaytan places so much animosity in people’s hearts towards “strict Muslims” (whatever that means). Could it be that he will gain from that? Yes. Do you ever stop to think why there is so much shamelessness in the media, and yet, at the same time, the hijab is being banned? Did you ever stop and think about how insane that is? Did it cross your minds that today’s society is heading in a very specific direction, one that is far from what Allah swt prescribed for His slaves? When I stop to think of what is out there in today’s world, in terms of fitnah, I become depressed, but then I put myself together and push forward even harder. Don’t just follow the crowd:

“And if you obey most of those on earth, they will mislead you far away from Allah’s Path. They follow nothing but conjectures, and they do nothing but lie.” Surah Al An’aam

Be a leader and make the change, in yourself, and in others.

* * *

I do not normally request for my posts to be shared like this, but I am asking you to please re-post this and spread the message as wide as you can (you don’t have to include a link going back to my blog, in fact I prefer you don’t). Muslims are in a humiliating place today. We claim that we want the oppression to end. If we want victory for the oppressed Muslimeen all over the world, then we cannot have that until we change ourselves for the sake of Allah.

For each (person), there are angels in succession, before and behind him. They guard him by the Command of Allah. Verily! Allah will not change the good condition of a people as long as they do not change their state of goodness themselves (by committing sins and by being ungrateful and disobedient to Allah). But when Allah wills a people’s punishment, there can be no turning back of it, and they will find besides Him no protector. (Surah Ar-Ra’d, ayah 11)

Protecting the honor of the Muslim woman is a big step towards that change, a much bigger step than you know.


“O My Slave, Weren’t You Ashamed?” – Sh. Mukhtar Ash-Shinqeeti

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One of the Seven Shaded, inshaa’Allah

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Discipline & Time Management

“Your entire life should follow a precise order…You will have to discipline yourself if you want to get through this successfully…” Nouman Ali Khan


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Paid in Full?

Bismillah walhamdulillah

People think that religious people are always missing out on life. When I went to the UK this summer to attend a family wedding, I’m sure my extended family was thinking this about me. One lady even said to me, “You don’t like getting ready, you don’t even put any [makeup] on.” Right…I cover my face, but you want me to put layers of makeup on the only part that shows…good idea. Hey, when I’m done, can I borrow some earrings? I wanna hang them from my hijab. So I answered her, “No, I can’t get ready because it’s not properly separated.”

I would pray Salatul istikhara before every part of the wedding, to seek Divine Counsel on whether or not I should even attend. At times, some of the women would say things like “You’re not going, are you?” They probably meant well, knowing that I would hate the environment of the music and mixing, but it wasn’t their decision to make. The decision wasn’t always a simple one. And I knew that there were times when it was better that I come along, just so that I could pull my family away, and so that I could remind them when they forgot. So I would pray istikhara and then I would attend with these intentions in mind. I would put on my abaya, and my hijab and niqab. And I would pray and hope that the stereo system would break.

I attended 5 days like this, entirely covered, sitting away from the men, and often darting outside hoping to get as far away from the music as I could. Others may have looked at me, seen my discomfort with the surroundings, and felt pity for me. But I always felt more pity for them, because they didn’t feel discomfort. And I fully expected a reward from Allah swt for all of my efforts. And I fully trusted the fact that if you leave something for the sake of Allah, He will grant you something better than it.

But I didn’t expect to be paid back so soon.

Within the very same summer, and only weeks apart from these 5 days of struggle, I was invited to:

1 bridal shower

1 henna

1 walima

1 wedding

1 wedding

Total: 5 days

Five days…just like those 5 days. Except these were entirely separated and without music, and would be attended people I knew and loved.

“… And whosoever fears Allah and keeps his duty to Him, He will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty). And He will provide him from (sources) he never could imagine. And whosoever puts his trust in Allah, then He will suffice him. Verily, Allah will accomplish his purpose. Indeed Allah has set a measure for all things.

Surah At Talaq, ayaat 2-3

Allah swt is Al Kareem, The Generous. And He swt rewards His believing slaves in this world and in the Hereafter (I still anticipate a better reward in al Aakhira, inshaaAllah!). And He swt shows them miracle after miracle to increase them in imaan. And yet the slave still hesitates to put forth those good deeds. You still hesitate to be different, and to be singled out, and to be seen as a stranger. You dread being left out and missing out on anything. Have you ever stopped and thought about the terrible agony that you would be in when you are standing on Yawm al Qiyaamah, and believers are pouring into Jannah in front of your very eyes, but you are held back from entering because of your sins? Wallahi, that should be enough to make you weep.

Mark my words…No one on this entire planet (or under it or above it) will ever appreciate what you do the way that Allah swt appreciates it; He is Ash-Shaakir (The All-Appreciative), Ash-Shakur (The Most Ready to Appreciate). So stop chasing people that you cannot please. Instead, chase Allah subhanahu wa ta’aala.

As for those who strive hard in Us (Our Cause), We will surely guide them to Our Paths (i.e. Allah’s Religion – Islamic Monotheism). And verily, Allah is with the Muhsinun (good doers).”

Surah Al ‘Ankaboot, ayah 69

And Allah Knows Best.

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Mind the Gap – Improving Family Relations – Abdulrahman Murphy


4 Tips:

1. Don’t talk back.

2. Give a positive presence in the home. (Have a merciful body style, i.e. not tense, worried, or harsh)

3. Approach them with kind words that are loving. (If you do this the relationship will bloom).

4. Huge test: Make this dua for them. (English translation) “O Allah, have Mercy upon them, for they nurtured me when I was small.” You’re admitting the fact that when you were young, even though you don’t remember it, they were merciful to you.

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Music: Seeking to Make it Lawful by Abu Abdissalam

Regarding music, below are some random thoughts and points:

1) Music is clearly haram by the Qur’an, Sunnah and consensus of the early Muslim scholars:

a) Qur’an

“Do you marvel at this statement, and laugh and do not weep, while you saamidoon? Rather, prostrate before Allah and worship Him [alone].” Al-Najm (59-62)

Ibn ‘Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, said that the word ‘saamidoon’ in this verse is talking about the mushrikin who would sing and play music loudly whenever they heard the recitation of the Qur’an so they could drown out the sound so others would not hear verses of the Qur’an.

“And there are among men those who purchase idle talk in order to mislead others from Allah’s path without knowledge, and who throw ridicule upon it. For such there will be a humiliating punishment.” Luqman (6)

Ibn ‘Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, said that the phrase “Lahw al-hadith” as “Huwa al-ginaa wa ashbahuhu” (it is music and the like). Hasan Basri rahimahullah, who died in 110AH, said that this ayah was revealed about music and the flute. In fact, the great scholar Mak-hul said, “Because of this ayah, I will not read the Salah al-Janazah over the one who buys a singing girl to sing and amuse him and continues this till he dies.”

b) Sunnah

The Prophet sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:
“There will come a people from my Ummah who will seek to make lawful zina (fornication and adultery), the wearing of silk (for men), the drinking of win and the use of musical instruments. Some people will stay at the side of the mountain and when their shepherd comes in the evening to ask them for his needs, they will say : ‘Come back to us tomorrow’. Then Allah will destroy them during the night by causing the mountain to fall upon them while He changes others into apes and swine. They will remain in this state until the Day of Resurrection.” [Bukhari]

Note that nowadays we do hear many Muslims seeking to make lawful music, as mentioned in this hadith.
The Prophet sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam also said:
“A people of my Ummah will drink wine, calling it by other than its real name. Merry will be made for them through the playing of musical instruments and by the singing of female singers. Allah will cleave the earth under them and turn them into apes and swines.” [Ibn Majah and Abu Dawud]

It is also reported that the Prophet sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:

“Music grows hypocrisy in the heart just as water causes the crops to grow.” [Bayhaqi]

C) Statements of the Early Muslim scholars

When ‘Umar Ibn ‘Abdil ‘Aziz, may Allah be pleased with him, sent his son to his teacher, Suhayl, he wrote:
“The first lesson to be taught to him is hatred of musical instruments, which begins from shaytan and ends with the wrath of Allah. I have heard from reliable scholars that to be present in gatherings of music and to listen to it causes hypocrisy to grow in the heart like water causes grass to grow. By my soul, it is easier for an intelligent person to save himself from the evil of such places than to allow hypocrisy nourishing in the heart.”

Al-Hasan said: if there is music involved in a walimah (dinner invitation) then do not accept it.

Ibrahim Nakha’i, may Allah be pleased with him, said: “We used to go searching from road to road to take away and tear the musical instruments away from the children.”

Abdullah, the son of Imam Ahmad, said: “I asked my father about singing and he replied: ‘Singing makes hypocrisy grow in the heart; I hate it’. Then he quoted the words of Malik: ‘the fasiqs among us do that.””

Al-Sarakhshi, the Hanafi jurist, said : “The testimony of a singer, who gathers people and is accompanied by people for the purpose of such entertainment, will not be accepted.”

Ibn al-Qayyim said: “Listening to the music of a strange women and a beardless youth is one of the greatest prohibited acts. Imam Shafi said regarding the owner of a female slave that if he gathers the people to listen to her then he is a foolish person whose testimony will not be accepted and above this he is regarded as a ‘Dayyoos’ (cuckold, i.e. one who is married to an unfaithful wife!).”

He also said: “How strange! What type of faith, light, insight, guidance and knowledge can be gained from listening to tuneful verses and music in which most of what is said is haram and deserves the wrath and punishment of Allah and His Messenger? … How can anyone who has the least amount of insight and faith in his heart draw near to Allah and increase his faith by enjoying something which is hated by Him, and He detests the one who says it and the one who accepts it?”

Al-Qurtubi said: “The addiction of the sufis to the listening of music with melodious instruments, like the reed flutes, tambourines, strings (of the musical instrument) and the piano, which has been innovated by them is Haram.” (p. 54/4 Tafsir Qurtubi).

Ibn Taymiyah said: “Whoever plays these instruments as a form of worship is undoubtedly misguided and ignorant. However, if he does it as a form of entertainment, then the view of the four imams is that all musical instruments are haram. It is proven in Sahih al-Bukhari and elsewhere that the Prophet sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said that there would be among his ummah those who regarded zina, silk, alcohol and musical instruments as lawful, and he said that they would be transformed into monkeys and pigs.”

Al-Albani said that: “the four imams are united that all musical instruments are haram”

2) If people claim there is a difference of opinion regarding this issue, then it is clear that the difference was not from the early Muslim scholars, but it was rather from those from this ummah, as the Prophet sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “who would seek to make lawful”, among other things, musical instruments.

3) The exception to this general prohibition of music is the playing of the duff (drum). The scholars have differed here whether it is allowed for everyone all the time, just for women all the time, or just for women at happy occasions like Eid and weddings, etc.

4) Regarding those who play music loudly and broadcast it to others, they are acquiring extra sin: firstly for listening to it, and secondly for making / encouraging others to listen to it.

5) Regarding eating in a restaurant that has music or hearing music without choice
, see this full article by Shaykh Munajjid:

Question :

I have previously stopped listening to music, by me not putting it on, but I hear it at school and other places, where I try not to enjoy it but sometimes I do?
Would that count as listening, and would I be accounted for it or not?

Answer :

Praise be to Allaah.

There is a difference between the one who listens to music and the one who hears it. The one who listens to songs hears them deliberately, wants to hear them and enjoys that, whereas the one who only hears the sound that reaches him, without wanting or intending to do so, such as when riding in an airplane or a bus in which there is music, or who goes to the marketplace and hears that from some stores without wanting or intending to listen to it. There is a difference between the latter and the one who sits down to listen to and enjoy this haraam thing.

Hence Shaykh al-Islam (Ibn Taymiyah) said: The command and the prohibition have to do with listening. Merely hearing something is like seeing; it has to do with the intention behind seeing, not what happens without a person choosing it…. The same applies to committing sin through the five senses of hearing, sight, smell, taste and touch; the commands and prohibitions are connected to what a person intends and does, but whatever happens without him choosing it, there is no command or prohibition with regard to that.

(Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, part 5, p. 566)

One has to denounce that evil as much as possible, but if he cannot do that, then he should denounce it in his heart. One of the things implied by denouncing it in one’s heart is not remaining in a gathering or a place where that evil is happening, if one is able to leave.

With regard to listening to it, one must strive against that as much as possible and seek refuge with Allaah from the Shaytaan, and remember Allaah. Then Allaah will take that away from you. If that makes your heart attracted to it, then you should keep away from those parts of the school. If it will not cause you a lot of trouble to miss some of those classes in which these things happen then you should not attend them. You have to remember that Allaah is always watching and fear Him, for whoever fears Allaah, Allaah will give him a way out. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And whosoever fears Allaah and keeps his duty to Him, He will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty)”

[al-Talaaq 65:2]

And Allaah is the Source of strength.

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Better Be the Best to Your Parents

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“They never let me go anywhere!”

Bismillah walhamdu lillah

This complaint is one that is probably more common from the sisters. I know for me personally, when I first decided to be serious about the deen, I had this tremendous desire to attend lectures, take notes in my Islamic notebook and be surrounded by other serious Muslims. I would make sure not to miss any of the events or lectures that were offered by my college MSA. But when it came to attending stuff outside the small perimeter of the campus, the answer from my parents was usually a “no.” At one point, it became such that the answer was even a “no” for events on campus! I mention this not to complain, but because I am pretty sure there are other sisters out there who are going through something like this. I felt like everyone else had it so easy. They probably just had to “tell” their parents they were leaving, not even asking them for permission. This is how I used to think.

This post is not so that I can tell you that it gets better. Even though it does get better, assuming you meet certain conditions (patient perseverance, among other things) inshaa Allah. But if your family is like mine, it will still take some time. And when you are someone who has just been granted hidaya, you can’t help but feel sad when you think about all the time you spent doing wasteful and/or impermissible actions. Now you just want to be left in your room to read books and articles and pray and make du’aa. The last thing you want to hear me say is, “it will take time.”

So hear this: Sisters (or brothers, if you have a similar problem), if you are sincere about learning the deen, then stop fighting with your parents so that you can attend the local classes and sit in the gatherings. There are plenty of resources online that we can utilize, and the person who fails to take advantage of that which is available to them, needs to question their sincerity in seeking knowledge. Is it really to gain a better understanding of Islam, or is there some other motive involved? I know for me, sometimes I just wanted to go out there and see for myself that I wasn’t alone. That there really were other “practicing” Muslims out there. But honestly, that reason was/is not enough. I am telling you, you’re not alone. There are others out there just like you.

Now that we understand that, begin to take advantage of what you have available at your fingertips. You can order Islamic books online instead of going to the bookstore. You can listen to online lectures and full series on websites. You can even attend classes and earn degrees, right out of the comfort of your home! It really is an amazing time that we are living in, in terms of technological advancements and using it to learn the deen.

This doesn’t mean that you should give up attending Islamic courses and gatherings of dhikr. Don’t completely isolate yourself from the community. Attend, but with moderation. And continue to make du’aa and appeal to your parents. But don’t sit around and wait for them to say “yes,” when you know that you have other outlets of Islamic knowledge that they would be more accepting of. (You can check out my right-side bar for links that will lead you to what you are in search for inshaa Allah.)

waAllahu Alam


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Two ‘extreme’ perspectives (Part 1)

Bismillah walhamdu lillah

While giving halaqaat or a short talk, I’ve come across many different sisters, but I noticed these two “extremes” (and I use the word “extreme” to describe their unhealthy thought processes).

Sister # 1

On the one hand there is the sister that, no matter how much you emphasize at the beginning of the talk: “Sisters, I caution you to look at your own faults and your own shortcomings first, before anyone else’s. This talk will benefit you most, if you hear it in light of your own mistakes. The burden of your sins on your shoulder should be greater than those of anyone else’s sins, because those are the sins that you are going to meet Allah s.w.t. with.

No matter how much you emphasize that, she still spends the majority of the talk thinking about how much her cousin/friend/neighbor needs to hear this. This sister is being deluded. She overlooks her own faults and places a magnifying glass over the faults of others. It’s difficult to get through to her with these subtle warnings, because she will always be thinking of someone else who needs to hear that warning.

Sister # 2

On the other hand, you have the sister who attends the halaqah/talk, and she thinks that you somehow spent the night meticulously fashioning your talk to be completely directed at her and her shortcomings… in order to humiliate her. Because she feels like it was done out of spite, this is something I would term paranoia. Every warning of yours is an arrow pointed straight at her. Now, for a sister to listen to a talk in this manner: thinking that it is directly linked to her and her well-being, would be great. However, she takes it too far if she leaves the talk feeling like you just executed a personal attack on her. She feels too humiliated to act upon the advice that was given. She may or may not approach you to confirm her suspicions, but if she does, that’s your chance to recognize and address the sister’s problems (whatever they may be), inshaa Allah.

Sister # 3

The middle path is a sister who, and alhamdu lillah I know sisters like this, when you caution them to focus on their own flaws, they do that. Then they take in every piece of advice, asking themselves “How can I apply this knowledge in order to improve my relationship with Allah swt?” This is the sister that benefits the most from the talk, and this is the attitude that I encourage myself to aim for. When you hear advice, don’t be like the first sister whose arrogance led her to brushing it off as something that is meant for someone else. And don’t be like the second sister who let her paranoia blind her from following the advice.

And Allah SWT knows Best.

Part 2 of this post will describe Sister # 3 in greater detail, and in a different context, inshaa Allah.

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