Muslims focus so much on the stupid things Non-Muslims say.
Yet, it's best to look to the plank in our own collective eye. We say some pretty stupid things too.
Here are some of the most irksome to me:
"God will forgive me."
Actually, we have no idea what will be forgiven and what won't. If we are truly sorry for a bad deed, then we get clean from the moment, pray and in sujud ask forgiveness. We promise to not do it again AND WE DON'T.
"He's going to Hell"
or the converse
"He's going to Paradise"
We don't know. Only children who die before maturity are promised Jennah. Okay, ya, and martyrs shaheed. Here's the deal on that: only Allah knows our intention or nia when we died. Were those killed really shot while fighting for the cause of Islam? Only God knows. If anyone tries to second-guess the weighing of a believer's good and bad deeds, then that is shirk (trying to add co-equals to Allah SWT, who needs no partners). I'm tired of so many people declaring the end result of a long life. We don't know. We don't even know our own fate! And we lived it! How can we pretend to know the lives of someone else?
"We're like husband and wife."
But you're not exactly, are you? I will never forget the woman who told me this for years. No, she had not gotten legally married and there were many complicated reasons why she could not. No, she couldn't leave him because she had "invested too much time to walk away now." So, she stayed. She tried to be patient. She got pregnant. He didn't want the baby in his already full life. It was then that she understood how "like" was very far from the truth.
This idea of being almost halal for one another takes place between fiancees as well. Yes, you are in the process of getting married. However, Islam really doesn't practice any kind of engagement process as such. You don't become more halal (and thus more intimate) by degrees. You either are married or you are not. If you are only engaged, then you are still unlawful to do anything physical. It's the only time in your (inshahallah) long life together in which you can explore the other ways of closeness so why not focus on those?
"He's like my brother."
But he's not. He's maybe your brother-in-law or your best friend. However, there is a firm "yes" or "no" in regards to blood relationships. You either are or you are not. There is no reason to pretend who is your bro. God knows! Truly, if he isn't your biological brother, then you could marry him---even your brother-in-law! Take care! Rasullulah (pbuh) actually called the social mixing of a woman with men related to her by marriage "death". Maharam, those prescribed as our protectors by Allah, are mentioned in The Quran. We know who they are: our grandfathers, father, uncles, brothers, husband, sons, and sons of our husband. Anyone else is a marriage possibility and therefore a fitnah or temptation to wrong-doings.
"I'm not an angel."
"I'm not the Prophet."
Nobody said you were! Look, we are moderate people who don't need to be angels or devils. We don't have to live every second by the sunnah but we also don't have to go around discounting The Prophet's wisdom (peace be upon him). Shrugging off our misdeeds by a dismissive "whatever" is severly limiting our greater potential as people. Why act like bettering ourselves is next to impossible?
"That verse in the Quran was for long ago and for a country far away."
No, it was for all times and all places. If God had wanted to exempt a particular place or a particular time, he sure could have but He didn't. So, realize that God's way makes your life easier and just do it.
"You're so lucky!"
Luck is what non-believers want to cling to. They want a kind of life lottery in which the wheel magically turns and prizes are awarded accordingly. This thinking avoids logic, cause and effect and an All-Knowing Creator.
We can still wish people well. "Allah with you" Allah mak. It's a lot nicer because it helps us all to remember God at times of hoping for better.
We can still exclaim in excitement over someone's improvemed state. "Alhumdulillah! Allahu Akbar! God is Great!" Remembering God in times of happiness feels sweeter and brings the moment into perspective. The new change is part of God's plan and not from chance (no matter how much the blessed individual thinks it).
"What sign are you?"
The alignment of the stars and planets is from Allah. That's all good.
The divination of future events due to the alignment of the stars and planets is from Shaytan. It's all bad. Let's stop playing around with horroscopes like children who don't know right from wrong.
Is there some truth within the attributes? Sure! Within every lie, there is a grain of truth. So, do you keep going with the whole lie because one part smacks of truth? No. Drop it. Drop it because you fear Allah.
"I'm in hejab."
If I can see your butt, then you're not.
Hejab is an outward covering which Allah has mandated for us women. It is to a blessing from Allah which protects us. When we walk around in tight clothes which show our shape, then we are cheating---ourselves. Why not accept Allah's protection?
How do we know if what we're wearing is nullifies our hejab? Simple! If you were to walk outside in that outfit, could the whole world describe your body? If I could describe the color of your hair (from the little bit you carefully have allowed to show), the slimness of your neck, the size of your breasts, your waist measurement and the circumference of your thighs, then that's T.M.I. too much information!
Show less and be more at peace that your scarf is actually a hejab.
Kuffar is the term for a non-believer---not a non-Muslim. To call a Christian or Jewish person a "kuffar" is ignorant. A believer is anyone who prays to the one, true God; a monotheist.
Some people have never been given the knowledge of Al-Waheed so you can't really hurl this word at them. Chill! If and only if a person receives the information and then choses to disregard it, could they be called kuffar.
However, I'm afraid of loaded guns and loaded words. I truly don't use this term and bandy it about like others who claim to be above reproach. Live and let live. If someone is not sure of their faith or is questioning how they could worship, then it makes sense to keep a hand held out to them. You never know who could come to Islam.
Remember that our beloved Second Caliph Umar ibn Al-Kattab (ra) once wanted to assassinate our Prophet (peace be upon him).
"Saudi Arabia is a Muslim country"
No, it's not. How can a kingdom be a Muslim country? Think about it: we are the people who believe that each individual has to be viewed by their merits; not by their blood lines. A dynasty goes completely against our beliefs! Actually, the U.S. with its democracy (albeit through the Electoral College) is closer to Shariah Law than Saudi.
"Halloween is really just a fun time for the kids so I let them dress up and go trick-or-treating."
"I miss Christmas so we still put up a tree in December."
"Valentine's Day is really a holiday about love so that's OK."
"Easter isn't religious any more so we color eggs and do the baskets of candy."
So many special days make the two Eids less special. We are Muslim. We have two special times of the year called Eids. Eid Al-Fitr (the ending of Ramadan) and Eid Al-Adha (the ending of Hajj). Often converts bristle at giving up all the fun celebrations throughout the year. It doesn't seem necessary! Why not just do the activity without the same feeling as before?
Why not? Because it isn't possible. We bonded to these occassions before with the ties of kinship. We did what our forefathers did---exactly as it says in the Quran. We were blindly following what had been done for years and the traditions comforted us. After coming to Islam, we are not allowed to live unexaimed lives. We have to ask ourselves why we do this or that. Does it serve us? Does it get in our way?
Honestly, the many religious and secular holidays take us away from our Islam. It reminds us of Jahaliliya, the sinful time before Islam. We have haram memories of these holidays. There is no reason to hold onto them. Let them go! That was then and this is now.
Make new memories. Bake cookies! Create crafts to give as gifts! Invite people over to celebrate! Do it, however, in the name of Allah, instead of doing it so removed from the straight path.
Did I leave anything out?
Write to me in the comments section if I did.