Muslim Identity, the Honour that Islam Brings and the Danger of Blindly Following Non-Muslim Cultures that Clash with Islam and the Sunnah

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In the name of Allah, Most Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy.

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All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all creation. May Allah praise our noble Prophet Muhammad in the highest company of Angels, and grant him peace and blessings―likewise, his family, his Companions and all those who follow him correctly until the establishment of the Hour.

Our Religion is complete, and all of it is good and were the Muslims to cling to it and practice it properly, then the whole world would be in need of them. The people would come to the realisation that they are not in need of anyone besides Allah, the sole deity worthy of worship. He (the Most High) would give them honour and raise them. For this reason, Allah (the Most High) stated:

وَلِلَّهِ ٱلْعِزَّةُ وَلِرَسُولِهِۦ وَلِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَلَـٰكِنَّ ٱلْمُنَـٰفِقِينَ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ ٨

“But honour, power and glory belong to Allah, and to His Messenger, and to the believers, but the hypocrites know not.” (Al-Munāfiqūn: 9) 

And He (the Most High) said:

وَأَنتُمُ ٱلْأَعْلَوْنَ إِن كُنتُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ ١٣٩

“And you will be uppermost if only you were true believers.” (Aali ‘Imrān: 139)

And He (the Most High) said:

إِنَّ هَـٰذَا ٱلْقُرْءَانَ يَهْدِى لِلَّتِى هِىَ أَقْوَمُ وَيُبَشِّرُ ٱلْمُؤْمِنِينَ ٱلَّذِينَ يَعْمَلُونَ ٱلصَّـٰلِحَـٰتِ أَنَّ لَهُمْ أَجْرًا كَبِيرًا ٩

“Verily, this Qur’an guides to that which is most just and right, and gives glad tidings to the believers, who work deeds of righteousness, that they shall have a great reward.” (Al-Isrā: 9)

Shaikh Al-Islām Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahallāh) stated: “Allah revealed upon the tongue of the seal of the Prophets (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) those deeds that are for the benefit of the creation in a most complete way. And that is the perfection mentioned in the saying of Allah (the Most High):

يَوْمَ أَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِينَكُمْ 

‘This day I have perfected for you your Religion.’ (Al-Mā’idah: 3) And it is for this reason that the āyah was revealed on the day of the best of celebrations of this upright ummah that is established upon Tawheed because there is no ‘Eid that is greater than the ‘Eid that brings together the noblest location and the noblest of times ­– and that is the ‘Eidul-Nahr (i.e., ‘Eidul-Adhā). There is no appointed day greater than this day upon which Allah’s Messenger (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) stood before all the Muslims (at Hajj). And Allah negated unbelief and its people[1] and He confirmed the regulations of the Sharī’ah which are sustenance for the hearts and the cause of their strength.” (Cited in Al-Khutub Al-Mimbariyyah by Al-Fawzān, 1/160-161)

If you consider the human body, you will see that when it is hungry it will take enough food to suffice it, and it will stop there because it is not in need of more, and in fact taking more will harm the body. Likewise, if a person performs deeds not legislated in the Shariah from customs and practices that are not from Islam thinking he is in need of them, or that the Religion is in need of the, then his desire for Islamic practices will decrease and diminish to the extent that he substitutes what is in the Religion for that which is not from it. But this is not the case for the one who acts with desire and vigour according to the Religion and the Sunnah. So, his love of the Religion increases the more he practices the Sunnah and likewise, his benefitting from it –– so in this way he perfects his practice of the Religion.

For this reason, you will find that most people who listen to music have little desire to listen to the Qurān, to the point that they dislike listening to it or reciting it. People who visit shrines and tombs to show veneration and to worship at them have little desire in their hearts to perform Hajj or ‘Umrah. In fact, they’ll visit these shrines (even if they have to travel hundreds of miles) more regularly than visiting the Masjid Al-Harām in Makkah. One who is impressed by the philosophies of the ancient Greeks, the Europeans and Hindus loses his desire for the knowledge, guidance and wisdom found in the Book and Sunnah.

Whoever busies himself with the stories of the rich and famous, the actors, musicians and sports personalities loses the desire to study and emulate the lives of the Prophets and their true followers. And examples such as these are numerous. So, the life of a Muslim should be filled with pursuits that benefit him, and he should not introduce into Islam, practices and ideas that have no foundation in the Quran and Sunnah. The Prophet (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) said: “People never introduce an innovation (into Islam) except that Allah snatches away from them the Sunnah to the same amount.” (Al-Musnad of Imām Ahmad, 4/105, and Ibn Hajr graded the chain of narration as ‘good’ in Fathul-Bārī, 13/253-254)  

So resembling and imitating people outwardly leads to resembling and imitating them inwardly (in beliefs and doctrines). This takes place through the slow and hidden eradication of their culture, practices, beliefs, likes and wants; it is done through re-education (designed indoctrination) — it takes place gradually over time, and over generations. So participating in their outward practices such as their celebrations, festivals, anniversaries, birthdays, national days and amusements, even if it is a little, will eventually lead to adopting their habits for which they are cursed by Allah (and threatened with His punishments) such as fornication, immorality, homosexuality, drinking alcohol, taking drugs, visiting clubs, pubs and bars, and then following their atheistic beliefs, superstitions and pagan practices. The Prophet (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) said: “Whoever resembles a people is from them.” (Abu Dawūd no. 4031, graded sahīh by Al-Albāni) And Allah (the Most High) stated:

وَمَن يَتَوَلَّهُم مِّنكُمْ فَإِنَّهُۥ مِنْهُمْ ۗ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَا يَهْدِى ٱلْقَوْمَ ٱلظَّـٰلِمِينَ ٥١

“And if any amongst you takes them as awliyā (allies in their religion) then surely he is one of them. Verily, Allah guides not those people who are the wrong-doers and unjust.” (Al-Mā’idah: 51) This āyah shows how a person can fall into disbelief if his desire to resemble the unbelievers, and following their ways becomes inculcated in his heart to such a degree that he loves and defends idolatry, the worship of false gods and participates with them in their idolatrous practices –– or that he believes in atheistic doctrines such as evolution (that man evolved from apes, etc.), or he believes that Western political philosophies are superior to the Quran and Sunnah.

Abdullāh Ibn ‘Amr Ibn ‘Aas (radiyallāhu ‘anhu) said: “Whoever builds his home in the land of the polytheists, and takes part in their celebrations and festivals, and he continues to imitate them until he dies upon that, he will be raised with them on the Day of Resurrection.” (Al-Bayhaqī. 9/234)

So beware and be careful, O Muslims, and be grateful to Allah that He has guided you to Islam. Hold fast to it, and you will find happiness and salvation in this life and the next.

[1] Allah (the Most High) revealed on this day:

ٱلْيَوْمَ يَئِسَ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا مِن دِينِكُمْ فَلَا تَخْشَوْهُمْ وَٱخْشَوْنِ ۚ ٱلْيَوْمَ أَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِينَكُمْ وَأَتْمَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ نِعْمَتِى وَرَضِيتُ لَكُمُ ٱلْإِسْلَـٰمَ دِينًا

“This day, those who disbelieved have given up all hope of your religion; so fear them not, but fear Me. This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islâm as your religion.” (Al-Mā’idah: 3)

Further reading: Al-Khutub Al-Mimbariyyah by Shaikh Al-Fawzān, 1/158-162.

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