We finished watching and listening to Nouman’s Quran Cover to Cover of Surah Rum this past Friday, and the last ayah really made a statement, especially to us in today’s context.
So be patient. Indeed, the promise of Allah is truth. And let them not disquiet you who are not certain [in faith].[Surah Ruum 30:60]
The surah began with
The Byzantines have been defeated [ Surah Rum 30:1]
In the nearest land. But they, after their defeat, will overcome. [Surah Rum 30:2]
Within three to nine years. To Allah belongs the command before and after. And that day the believers will rejoice [Surah Rum 30:3]
In the beginning, Allah mentions the defeat of the Romans and their eventual victory later on. This is an encouragement for the Muslims who at the time were still suffering the persecution of the Quraysh in Makkah. This parallel example of the Roman’s defeat followed by victory is a hint at the Muslim’s current oppression and future victory over the Quraysh, specifically at Badr.
For them, victory would seem to be the farthest from reality at the moment, but Allah tells them to hang on.
At the end of the surah, Allah again tells them to hang on, and while ‘hanging on’, to not let the situation, or people shake their faith, or belittle them in their conviction. The word يَستَخِفَّنَّكَ comes from the root خ ف ف. The word خَفِيف means light. So it means, “do not let people take you lightly’, ‘do not let them belittle you’, ‘do not let them make you a mockery’, ‘do not let them make you feel insignificant’, or in my kids’ words when I asked them to explain this,
“Don’t let them think you’re lame for being a Muslim and obeying Allah.”
Lame = Not cool.
Today, this is what we Muslims are made to feel indirectly and directly. The sunnah is looked on as being ‘backward’ by non Muslims and consequently, Muslims. The hijab is viewed as a symbol of oppression, as opposed to the modern concept of liberation. I was reading this article
today, and it’s a nice thought-provoking article that presents the *gasp* the possibility that the hijab is not oppressive after all!
For youth, being good may bring on some
“You’re too good! Loosen up! Have some fun!”
Unsolicited advice from relatives and family members when a sister decides to put on hijab may be,
“How are you going to get married?!”
“You’re still young. You have nice hair. Why cover it up now? You can always cover it up later on after you get married!”
“You’re not going to get a professional job ever with that thing on! It makes you look uneducated!”
These ‘put downs’ don’t also have to be in verbal utterances. They can be in gestures or body language. Sad to say, the female species is very good at this. I always say,
“Girls, when they are mean, they are really cruel. That goes the same for grown women who still act like petty girls.”
It’s the “I’m popular, you are not. Look at your attire, your skin, your fashion style,” kind of attitude that can be conveyed by side glances, a roll of the eye, a twitch of a facial muscle, and various very subtle body language that only the female species can understand.
The sister who is always clad in solid colored abaya are not as fashionable as those clad in the latest Muslimah fashion. The sister who is always quiet is looked upon as inferior than the sister who is always speaking her mind.
Girls will usually encounter this, but, like I said, women will also encounter this, even though women are supposed to be more mature thus wiser thus better behaved.
To be fair, it also happens to the male species, in ways that are specific to them. The boy who doesn’t have an IPod is ‘missing out’. The boy who always has to revise the Quran is not as cool as the boy who gets to explore all the latest apps on his IPhone.
I grew up in an environment where you strive to get an education in the professional, secular field. If you end up studying shariah or any other Islamic field, you’re ‘second class’. It’s not stated explicitly, but it’s implied explicitly enough.
Parents will encourage their kids to become engineers, accountants, doctors, etc. But when the Islamic Field is talked about, even the words ustaadh or ustaazhah are uttered with a tone of derision, sarcasm, and mockery, such as,
“Wow, you’re an ustazdh now.”
In other words, “You can’t do better than that?”
It reminds me of when the people of Lut alayhi salam said to him,
But the answer of his people was not except that they said, “Expel the family of Lot from your city. Indeed, they are people who keep themselves pure.”[An-Naml 27:56]
So, no, don’t let people put you down. Don’t let their words bring down your morale. Islam is not lame. Being good is not lame. Not participating in backbiting is not being lame. Not listening to music is not being ‘goody-goody two shoes’. Dressing in a manner that obeys Allah is not being in the 14th century. Staying home is not wasting your education. Being quiet most of the time is not necessarily due to lack of social skills.
Sometimes or many times, people will make you feel like you are second class. Be patient. Trust in Allah’s promise. Behave towards them with Ihsan and maintain your dignity with humility, for striving to behave as such takes more character than lashing out and dishing out tit for tat.