I once knew a beautiful Muslim woman full of confidence and charisma. Almost Every Friday, she and her husband would get out of their car and walk to the masjid hand in hand. He would lean down and give her a peck on the cheek before they parted ways, he to the men’s entrance and she to the women’s entrance.
One day, as she entered through the women’s entrance and stood to pray her two rakats to greet the masjid, a sister called out to her “Ya Khaltu” (Oh Auntie), don’t you and your husband know that holding hands in public is a sin, much less kissing! AstagfirAllah!! AstagfirAllah! At your age you should be ashamed.” May Allah guide us all!”
She stood still for a few seconds and then raised her hands and said the takbeer beginning her prayer. The younger sister smirked thinking that she had done her duty well. As Khaltu prayed, hushed whispers filled the room, each woman entering getting an ear full of the juicy gossip of the moment and the tale of how “khaltu” was given a good dressing down by the younger sister (who sat basking in the attention).
When Khaltu finished her prayer, she turned around, tears in her eyes, but nevertheless dignified. All the sisters quietened eagerly waiting to hear what Khaltu would say, itching to hear an argument so that they may go home and burn up the phone lines with the jumah gossip.
However, what they got was not an argument. Khaltu simply said:Perhaps, you think that I am crying because of the “advice” given me. No, I am crying because as I was making dhikr, I heard all the hushed whispers,no doubt spreading the gossip. I was crying because I found out how eager my beloved sisters are to eat my flesh. She faced the younger sister and continued, “And what is your proof from the Qur’an and Sunnah? Do you have an ayat, a saheeh (authenticated) hadith?” The younger sister thought for a few seconds before starting “I once read in a fatwa….” “No,” Khaltu cut her off. “I follow the Quran and Sunnah. What does the Quran and Sunnah say prohibiting it?” The younger woman couldn’t answer. “Well, I believe that settles it, correct?” Khaltu finished with a tone that made it clear she was finished with the issue.
Now, Why is it that so many people are quick to judge? Itching to show one another up to see who can deliver the most stinging blow. Why do people think that they can prove their righteousness by analyzing their fellow muslims for any sign of weakness or mistake so that they may come back and throw it in their face in the most horrific manner possible. What does this accomplish other than division, hurt feelings, and rancour?
It is human nature not to agree on every single point. The companions (the great sahabiyat and tabieen) did not even agree on every single topic. Did they react by treating each other badly? No, because they feared Allah and knew the seriousness of such actions.
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t advise people. I’m not saying that you have to accept all other opinions. All I’m saying is, when disagreeing do so in a good way. A way that will unify rather than divide, a way that doesn’t leave people trying to avoid you at all costs.
We need to recognize that people are going to follow different madhabs, people are going to have different opinions, but as long as they say la illaha ill Allah, Muhammad ar Rasool Allah. They are your brother and sister and you owe them their rights and your kindness.
Sometimes, you just have to say: You follow what you deem best and I will follow what I deem best. And leave it at that.
Secondly, It is a sad fact indeed that SOME (NOT ALL!!!!) Muslims feel that they can show one another no affection in public and in some cases act like they do not even know one another! I’m not talking about making out or anything lewd. But what is wrong with holding hands, linking arms, or a small peck on the cheek? I don’t get it. Will the world end if my husband stops walking hand in hand with me down the street? No. But it’s nice and it shows our children that we care about one another and it shows others that most Muslim men are not opressive to their wives but instead we are actually very well cared for and loved. As long as it is happening behind closed doors that’s all that counts. Yes, I have heard that and I get it. But this is just one of those things that I don’t believe is wrong and I have failed to see concrete evidence that it is wrong. Trust me, if someone brings me a hadith or verse of the qur’an saying “do not hold your wife’s hand in public, do not link arms, thou shalt not give your wife a peck on the cheek…..” I will stop it. Until then……leave me alone.
*Story told w/permission from sisters involved*