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Why the Yearly Request ‘Forgive me if I’ve done Something Wrong Knowingly’ Bothers Me a Little 

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 7, 2016 by amanisma

Every Ramadan social media is flooded with request for forgiveness. We ask others to forgive us if we have done something wrong knowingly and unknowingly. Now the unknowingly part I get. Sometimes we do things that hurt others and we are unaware. In these cases we, the “wrongdoer”, aren’t given a chance to apologize or correct the mistake because we simply are not aware we have done something wrong. It’s completely understandable to cover that base and seek forgiveness because it’s unknown. 

Now for the knowingly part, why can’t we apologize to the people we have wronged? We know when we backbite or slander each other. We know if we have divorced and left children behind and refuse to take care of them. We know if we cut family ties, i.e. preventing a father from seeing his children. We know know if we have fought with a Muslim. We know when we lie on someone to make ourselves look good. We know if we run a business and hurt the communities by selling alcohol and synthetic drugs. We know when we are profiting from cheap unfinished products. We know if we have instigated an issue and caused problems for our sister. We know! We know! We know! 

In these instances we are aware of the wrong, so why wait until Ramadhan (or traveling) to toss out the request for forgiveness? It seems it’s become more of a ritual to ask in this manner. It’s become expected that before Ramadan and during Hajj season there is an influx of such request. I’m sorry but I’m truly giving the side eye to the “knowingly” part. Let’s make this year we accept the wrong we do to others and give our Muslim brothers and sisters their rights. Apologies are much more sincere when we accept what we’ve done and make necessary changes. 
Here are some alternative solutions to seeking forgiveness for the knowingly examples of wrongs mentioned above: 

1. If we backbite/slander a Muslim, go to the person and apologize. If you don’t have the guts to do that then speak good of them in the same company in which you tarnished their name. If you can’t do that, then get them a gift.  If can’t do that then stay quiet. 

2. If you have a child you do not  take care of then change your life. Get a job. Support your children. There are no excuses for not taking care of your children. Asking for forgiveness only works when you stop doing the wrong that you are apologizing for. Asking for forgiveness yearly as your child suffers seems a bit fake. 

3. Cutting family ties specifically between children and their fathers. Sometimes marriages don’t last but that doesn’t mean the children must suffer. Honestly, if there wasn’t abuse involved then there really isn’t any good reason to keep a child away from their father. Reconnect the child with their parents. Allow them to figure out how they feel on their own. 

4. Fighting with Muslims. Does this really need an explanation??? We know when there is either a verbal or physical altercation but rarely offer an apology. In fact, the dispute doesn’t end there. Too many times we quarrel and the first thing we do is call a friend and discuss what “just went down” ultimately inviting others to backbite. We could handle the issue in a more mature manner. Accept that anger has momentarily taken over and follow the sunnah when it comes to removing the anger. 

5. Telling lies on others to make ourselves look good. All I can suggest is stay calm and speak the truth. May Allah protect us all from hypocrisy and telling lies. Ameen

6. Can this be the year the Muslims stop selling alcohol and synthetic drugs? Aside from the clear evidence from the Quran telling us its wrong, statistics prove drunk driving is the cause many deadly accidents. Also there are many videos online showing reactions to the harmful synthetic marijuana K2. Now, I’m not saying selling real marijuana is any better but I mention the K2 because it is legally sold in many convenient stores along with alcohol. This is knowingly harming others. There isn’t any good that can come from either of these substances. 

7. Profiting from cheap products. If I purchase a pricey abaya from a Muslim business there is no reason I should have to literally retrace every single stitch because it’s falling apart. That shouldn’t happen after the first wear. On top of that having a “no return” policy. Come on! This is not right and if we sell any type of product then we should charge according to the quality. High quality should be high priced. Enough said. 

8. Instigating problems between Muslims. This goes along with backbiting but I’ll just say this, we should not be going back and forth with the “he said she said”. Such a mentality should have ended in grade school. Let’s solve our issues with each other and leave it at that. Let Islam make adults mature again. Ya Allah, Ameen! 

I know we all make mistakes. This is what makes us human. All I am trying to get across is that we refrain from being of those who act out certain rituals depending on the times of year. Let’s try to be better people for the sake of being good and pleasing our Creator. We all do things that unknowingly hurt others and for that I ask forgiveness for as well. As for the pain we knowingly cause let’s try to correct those faults instead of throwing yearly requests that feel a little phony. Especially if we don’t change our ways. May Allah make us all more sincere and courageous…Ameen 


Top reason you don’t hear Muslims condemn violence

Posted in Religion with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 20, 2015 by amanisma

I always hear the question asked: Why don’t  Muslims condemn terrorist groups? This question has always annoyed me as I do not expect Christians to condemn crimes committed in the name of Christianity. Seriously, it’s not like Muslims across the globe somehow hold meetings and agree upon the acts of terror. It’s pretty illogical to think every single Muslim has anything to do with such violent activity. There is never a good enough reason to blame an entire group of people because of the actions of some, yet Muslims are.

There are millions of Muslims here in the United States and as far as I have seen Muslims are the ones being attacked! Most recently was the shooting in Chapel Hill, North Carolina where three young Muslims were murdered execution style by a neighbor who was known for his anti-religious Facebook rants. Prior to this incident a Muslim man was strangled to death in Chesterfield, Virginia. In Kansas City, Missouri a Muslim teenager was murdered because of his religious beliefs. Although no one was injured an Islamic institute in Houston was purposely set on fire days after the Chapel Hill shooting.

Aside from these  vicious attacks, Muslims (more specifically Muslim women who wear hijab) face endless harassment. It is very rare that I leave my home and do not deal with negative comments and dirty looks. Most recently in a grocery store a woman gave my girls, who wear hijab, a look of hate and when I caught her evil gaze she turned to her shopping companion and asked loudly had she “seen American Sniper”.

In my opinion this is what makes people perceive Muslims as less human. They watch Fox News and movies that portray Muslims as violent terrorist. There is no clear distinction  between Islam and extremism in the media which totally preys on the ignorance of the general public. People who do not take the time to read and inform themselves suddenly feel qualified to talk about “what Islam teaches”.

The ill informed individuals  seem to be the same ones asking why Muslims don’t condemn terrorism. To this I ask, how many Islamic events have you attended lately? How many Friday prayers have you been to? How many Muslims do you personally know?  I have been Muslim my entire life and have ALWAYS heard the leaders condemning violence.

It is very possible the TOP reason the condemnation of terrorist activity is not heard because those asking are absent when its being spoken.

Every Islamic event attended has been a public event and regardless of what hateful Islamophobic individuals will have you believe, there are no secret rooms in Islamic Centers grooming young Muslims to be terrorist. Mosques are public buildings. With that being said, I would like to personally invite every reader to a Jummuah (Friday) prayer at your local Masjid/Mosque/Islamic Center. You may learn something new.

Peace be with you.

Celebrate the living.

Posted in Inspiration with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 13, 2014 by amanisma

Once while going through an extremely difficult time in college I felt like giving up. I was overwhelmed and stressed by the day to day demands of driving back and forth to school, working, parenting, etc. I just didn’t want to do anything anymore. A friend of mine came over and was sitting at my computer desk while I worked on an assignment. We’d previously discussed the hardships I was experiencing. When she left I noticed a letter addressed to me sitting on my desk. I opened it and read all these kind words she had written. It was very encouraging and helped me get through that rough patch.

Many times we wait until someone is not around to appreciate them. While they are present we may not necessarily mistreat them but we have a hard time letting our loved ones know what their presence means. Often an unexpected departure, either temporarily by relocating or permanently by death, moves us to speak highly of others. Why must it be that way? I’d bet that there would be less ill feelings and negativity if we could celebrate life by letting others know what they mean to us. So from now on I would like to challenge myself and everyone reading this to praise our loved ones by telling them what they mean. Don’t wait until the unexpected happens to tell the whole world that your best friend was the coolest person or that so and so was amazing. Do it now. You never know what affect your words may have.
There are many ways you can get this message across. Here are a few suggestions:

1. Write letter. These days everyone sends text, Facebook, or email messages. Writing a letter has become a thing of the past but I think it shows that one has put more of an effort and thought into what they wish to convey.

2. Send a card. Cards aren’t just for birthdays or special occasions. You can add to a message already printed in the card. Show someone they are deserving of such kindness whether they are right up the street or far away.

3. Status update. I saw this on Facebook just yesterday. A friend of mine tagged a few people in a status update to tell them about their unique qualities. I thought this was amazing because I see more status updates about qualities disliked rather than admired traits.

4. Random text messages. In my opinion it takes the least amount of effort to send a text message but it’s always nice to receive one.

This is just a reminder to myself and others to celebrate those who are in our lives. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Everyone needs a word of encouragement and to hear they are appreciated every now and then. Just because a smile is worn assuming all is well is still an assumption. Peace and blessing.

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