This is something I wrote on my All poetry blog a few days back. A small story regarding my experience there and how people misinterpret Islam through organizations, when they should seek knowledge first.
“No, never!…” Emma texted back.
“Did someone ask you to?” she again texted to know whats going on.”You know that I’ve been going with Ayse to that Islamic course right? The first day I reached there, It came to my knowledge that it is organized by J-group. Tomorrow is our last day there. The organizers handed over a form today to associate with the group. Before you jump to any conclusions, I won’t associate with the group”. She answered back and waited for almost fifteen minutes for Emma to reply back but she didn’t.
Trying to break the ice, she texted again asking, “Why won’t you? Tell me the reason”.
“Look dear, I have been to these courses and from day one these guys teach you not to sin, not to backbite and so on… What, in your opinion, do you think J-Group is?” Emma replied.
“Well, as far as I know like any other society within our university the members of J-group organize different seminars, hand over scholarships to the needy, organize different book fairs and events, keeping within religious bounds”, she texted.
“Do you think that’s what all these guys do? No, dear, these guys, just like other political parties have taken over the cafeteria near our department. They won’t even let any couple sit together. These guys abuse and get their pamphlets and flyers printed for free.. You wanna teach people religion, go preach. My sister is doing charity work these holidays, she teaches children through an organization, there are many other organizations which arrange food for the homeless and needy during the month of Ramadan join those, not J-group”.. Emma texted trying to justify her point.
Emma was quite angry this time and she could sense it from her words.
Trying not to show remorse at the thinking of her bestie, she texted back.
“I am not a child, I have seen some of these guys do wrong activities. Like getting their flyers printed for free. My answer is still “NO”, not cause of the political association with the name.
You see when we join an organization, we represent it. And it’s background represents us. Everything is not good or bad in itself, its how we use it. I could even help people by associating with it, it’s all up to me. And for the last time stop thinking so narrow of me”.
Trying not to associate her and Emma’s past problems in this discussion; she continued to write, “I want to help humanity not Muslims. I won’t be teaching people to offer prayers, to fast or not to associate in immoral activities, I won’t be telling young boys and girls to not sit together except for studies. They should know what is good and what is bad themselves.
Muslims, can only help themselves or Allah can. I cannot guide any one without purifying myself first.
When we see wrong and when we see injustice, it does not bother us, when we lie and when we cheat, our conscience does not fight back. Until I guide myself and my family I won’t go guiding others about religion. Charity begins at home”.
There was a long silence and Emma didn’t text back… Already knowing the outcome of this discussion, she said to herself, we should highlight the good in others not bad. And I was trying to do so. I wish Emma thought the same way..
Focus on yourself dear… You ain’t perfect either, she said to herself praying to Allah for guidance.
There is no doubt that the heart becomes covered with rust, just as metal dishes—silver, and their like—become rusty. So the rust of the heart is polished with dhikr (remembrance of Allah), for dhikr polishes the heart until it becomes like a shiny mirror. However, when dhikr is abandoned, the rust returns; and when it commences then the heart again begins to be cleansed. Thus the heart becoming rusty is due to two matters: sins andahafah (neglecting remembrance of Allah ). Likewise, it is cleansed and polished by two things :istighfaar (seeking Allaah’s forgiveness) and dhikr.”— Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah