Posted by: Dawud Israel | December 23, 2007

Relationships of a Believer

There is an eery climate of depression present among practicing Muslims. I can’t doubt that everyone feels sad every once in a while (I personally think its the weather) but regardless there is still something troubling about this. Most of the practicing Muslims I know are only social amongst their own kind (i.e. practicing Muslims) who are admittedly few. And so the believer finds himself often alone.

On the other side, the not-so-religious Muslims that this believer knows make him uncomfortable to be around. He doesn’t like their company even if they are his brothers and sisters. They think him/her to be “boring” and this is true. The believer is boring, but the one who is away from Allah is even more boring. The believer is like an adventurer, always immersing himself in new situations and confronting new trials–whereas the rest encounter the same thing over and over again. And so the believer is left on his own yet again silent with Allah as his closest friend.

There is something admirable and sweet about this as it pushes one closer to Allah but at the same time there is something morbid about it as it can make things unbearably difficult. I hear of Muslims who feel comfortable on their own in the world, but there are times when a person needs a social atmosphere and the downside of that exposure is that one longs even more for it when it is gone.

This problem is compounded upon even more in a society where love and true friendship is a myth. It starts out small, with a person’s first love which is quickly crushed and then they lose all hope turning to the life of sin. No one loves, so why should they?

What do you do?

You love. You show the love that is so badly wanted by all types of people. I remember dealing with a Muslim who had some suicidal tendencies. I didn’t know exactly how to deal with this but I found myself acting more like a role model or almost a father-like figure to her despite the fact she was almost 10 years older than me. And it was simply because I treated her with the same understanding a mother would treat a child. Harsh at times, yes, but still with a love that teaches. (We were classmates and the only person I knew in this class was her). It was weird and amazing now that I think about it, that nothing haraam occurred or even came to mind for that matter because I found myself in a new role.

You see, there are people who will simply be as they are. But rather than oppose them immediately you can do things to show them you understand and this consoles them as well as transforms them. There is a documentary about the emotions of animals and there are images where a baby dolphin goes near a boat, only to have it’s mother come to her and push her away and beat her into the sand of the ocean’s bottom to teach her that she could get hurt. And then immediately after the mother dolphin start hugging the baby as if to say, “It’s OK!” It’s ironic that people can’t even do something as natural and soothing as this with their own family and friends.

And then there is the issue of family vs. friends. A brother was telling me his situation. He is expected to marry someone from his own culture and religion (which is understandable), however because his social life is completely saturated with family events (as they have a very large extended family) he rarely got a chance to socialize with people in his age group, let alone meet or hear about someone that he could marry. For this reason, you will find it is better for a Muslim to have a social life outside of family as it will give one more friends and open up the door to marriages. (This is not to say that it is a good thing to socialize with the opposite sex but the little that occurs (that can’t be helped) is sufficient to open the prospects of marriage).

Beyond relationships with ones friends, “enemies” and potential spouses is the issue of relationships with one’s own child. And this is something that is very difficult. From the early days of Islam we have the examples of Abu Bakr (ra) and then you have the example of his son, Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr who attempted to kill Uthman (ra). Even today you see pious parents and lost children. And this is a situation that can’t be easily changed because the children live in environments where they can’t value Islam as it is all around them and choose to value what is not around them, sin. A child will eventually rebel against his parents in one instance or another and parents will never be happy with their child. If they were happy, than chances are something is indeed wrong! In all honesty, this is something I don’t know much about but I am encountering old friends whose parents want me to bring them back to the deen and I am confronted with a new situation trying to learn from my previous mistakes and successes.

May Allah grant us the best relationships with Him, his servants and send us loving and pious companions and spouses who will be the comfort of our hearts and eyes. Ameen.

Subhana kallahumma wa bihamdik ash-haduana la illaha illa ant astaghfiruka wa atubu ilayk. Ameen.


Responses

  1. […] Dawud Israel of Muslimology discusses the different relationships that a believer may experience: There is an eery climate of depression present among practicing Muslims. I can’t doubt that everyone feels sad every once in a while (I personally think its the weather) but regardless there is still something troubling about this. Most of the practicing Muslims I know are only social amongst their own kind (i.e. practicing Muslims) who are admittedly few. And so the believer finds himself often alone. […]

  2. Assalamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullah
    I pray that you are in the best of health & imaan.
    This is a short message to notify you that this entry has been selected for publishing on IJTEMA, a venture to highlight the best of the Muslim blogosphere.
    To find out more about IJTEMA, and how you can further contribute, please click here.
    May Allah bless you for your noble efforts.
    Wa’salam


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