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Lesson 4: What is Right? (Part I)

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Lesson 4: 

What is right is not what everyone else does.


Although popular opinion rules in many matters, when it comes to Allah’s laws it has no chance, especially if it runs against Allah’s commands. For example, Allah (S.W.A) ordains that our outfits should conceal our body outline for the sake of modesty and chastity.


“Say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty. That they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands fathers, their sons, their husbands sons or their sisters’ sons or their women or the slaves whom their right hands possess or male servants free of physical needs, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex, and that they should not strike their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments. And oh ye believers! Turn you all together towards Allah that you may attain bliss (24:31). Oh prophet, tell thy wives and daughters, and the believing women that they should cast their outer garments over their persons. That is most convenient that they should be known (as such) and not be molested. And Allah is most forgiving most merciful (33:59)


Nevertheless, despite Allah’s above revelation, the fad today is wearing tight fitting, hip hugging pants and miniature belly revealing T-shirts. Almost all women in teenage and marriageable age nowadays wear like this. It is the fashion and it is cool. Does the popularity of tight pants and tight shirts make them an acceptable outfit before Allah (S.W.A)? Unfortunately it does not. Allah (S.W.A) has promised that even if the whole world rebelled against him he will punish us all –(Qur'an). If we break Allah’s dress code, we must be ready to answer for our actions. We may enjoy whatever comes with wearing tight fitting clothes, but we must prepare ourselves for the consequences that come with it. Not only with Allah (S.W.A), but here in this world right now. Is it really worth it to bear the burden of these little clothes? I don’t think so. What I feel is that we are moving with the fashion fad, and we pay little attention to the full implication of our actions. When we wear tight fitting clothes, I don’t think we intend to contradict Allah (S.W.A), but probably we are just lazy to do the right thing because of peer pressure, or a weak Will power that cannot deny itself the forbidden. Laziness does not only afflict the physical being of the body, but it also affects the mental and the spiritual beings. Mental and spiritual laziness are the worst. They are not easily detected and yet they are the most potent obstacles to the obedience of Allah (S.W.A). Be aware of these two. Our father Adam (A.S) fell prey to them. When the devil tempted him to disobey Allah (S.W.A), he did not give serious thought to what he was hearing and the implication of his actions. He took Shaitan’s advice by its outwardly glitter – without deep and serious thought. Just a reminder, thought requires effort. Our father failed to exert himself to think. This one time mistake of laziness in thought (mental laziness) landed the whole humanity into the mess it is in today. Think about it – it’s not what prophet Adam (A.S) did that caused trouble (the eating of fruits from a certain tree), but what he didn’t do (his inability to think critically). Allah (S.W.A) says,


“We had already, before hand, taken the covenant of Adam, but he forgot: and we found on his part no firm resolve. (20:115)”


Resolve comes from conviction and conviction comes from hard thinking, which he didn’t do.


Nevertheless, despite what our father did or didn’t do, we cannot whine over that forever. After all who are we to judge him? Maybe even us wouldn’t have done better, had we been in his place. How many little sins do we commit without even thinking about it? Don’t we miss salah unnecessarily even though we know that abandoning salah is equivalent to denying Allah (S.W.A)? How many times do we disobey our parents or talk back to them angrily when Allah (S.W.A) forbade us to utter the smallest word of disrespect to them? My friends let us get over what our great father did and instead learn from him. The first lesson is, never ever be disloyal to those our trust is a natural obligation. Second, we should never follow anyone or do anything blindly or passively without thinking deeply about the consequences of the events we are invited to. Third lesson is to ask Allah (S.W.A) for forgiveness when we error. Immediately after our father realized his mistake, he bowed to his creator and asked for forgiveness. Qur’an has it thus,


“Then learnt Adam from his Lord words of inspiration, and his Lord turned towards him; for He is oft-returning most merciful (2:37)”


So our father is forgiven, but as for us, the noose is still in our necks. When we hold on Allah’s way, and to asking for forgiveness for our mistakes, we get freer from the noose. However, If we take the ‘do as we please’ attitude to life, without thinking about the consequences of our actions and end up sinning, the noose gets tighter and tighter. We can’t afford that. Time is precious, and we can’t lose any. So my friends let us wake up and employ our intellectual prowess to survive our father’s big mistake. Although we have to share in his mistake, we are not part of his forgiveness. We have to brave the strong waves in the way of obedience to Allah (S.W.A) on our own. We should do or not do something because we are convinced it is in accordance with Allah’s Will. We should never follow anyone blindly. Anyone can give us his or her opinions, but the final decision is ours to make, and this decision we should bind to the fear of Allah’s displeasure and desire for his pleasure (Taqwa).