Thursday, December 14, 2006

There is a firestorm brewing about this sister Iktimal Hage-Ali winning an award and then raising a glass of champagne to toast. She has been targeted by responders on many Muslim websites as being unislamic for drinking champagne, wearing makeup, and not wearing hijab. I think that the whole affair illustrates a valuable lesson. I would first like to say that I know and personally feel that consuming intoxicants is haram. With that said, I also realize that each individual is different and that we have different levels of iman. Instead of publicly berating her for committing haram acts and not properly representing Islam to non-Muslims, we should take her aside and explain the value and wisdom of observing the haram and halal. What is a trial for one person may not be a problem for another, so we should make allowances for the shortcomings of others and say a dua that we all will be rightly guided. It is easy to become self-righteous to someone that we don't know and amplify their faults when we have not corrected our own. I know that we are to enjoin the good and forbid the bad, but that does not mean that we need to do it in a public forum. In many cases, this will only make the person more resolved in their error, because they feel that they are being attacked. This could lead to someone who is borderline already, leaving the deen.
Now, as for Ms. Ali, she should understand that as Muslims in non-Muslim countries we are the living breathing example of Islam to those whos' only other exposure to it are the associations that the Media/Government want them to have. Independent of this, she should realize that the only award the matters is the pleasure of Allah and entering Paradise. I understand that personal goals have their place in the dunya, but they should never eclipse our ultimate goal (Paradise).

All that I have said, I tell myself first and inshallah I will be able to live it.

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