Freedom Found
At the time of my Shahadah(declaring belief that there’s only One Allah and the Prophet Muhammad, pbuh is Allah’s final Prophet and Messenger) I knew La Ilaaha Ill Allah (There’s no God except Allah), I knew Al-Fatiha(The opening chapter of the Quran). I knew the pillars of Islam. I knew the articles of faith. I knew that once one takes his or her Shahadah the previous sins are forgiven and one starts new. I’m not too sure how much I believed that part only because I felt as though I’d done so much evil that I’d exceeded the “forgivable amount” of sins. I knew that I hated everything about my lifestyle and that living Islamically was completely opposite of my lifestyle. But what attracted me the most was that in Islam a woman is one to be respected. A wife is to be protected. A mother is to be honored. It gave women a dignity and class that I wanted, that I felt I deserved to have. I knew that I was tired of being a “liberal” or “modern” woman. I used to talk to my best friend about becoming Muslim. We both agreed that we wanted to make changes in our lives. I felt Islam was the answer. She didn’t agree. Her argument was that Islam takes away a woman’s freedom and respect. At the time I wasn’t equipped to properly argue this case. Islam DOES NOT disrespect women. INCORRECT MUSLIMS disrespect women. And that’s the case in all walks of life. To generalize like this is unfair and untrue. But what I did ask her was what freedoms she was referring to. Her answer was Islam makes you cover your body even when it’s hot. And if we became Muslim we couldn’t have boyfriends anymore. She said that if we became Muslim we couldn’t go dancing anymore. Basically we would cease having fun.
My only response, being that I knew little about Islam yet, was to ask, “Aren’t the results of those freedoms the reason we’re unhappy? Aren’t those very ‘freedoms’ the reason we’re talking about making life changes?” They were for me. Those very “freedoms” that she mentioned, dressing cute, going to clubs, partying and fornicating were the reasons I was unhappy. And the unhappier I was, the more damage I’d do in the pursuit of happiness. For me it was a downward spiral. As I continued to read any and every book on Islam, I came across a quote that seemed to make my point exactly:

This is from In The Shade Of The Qur’an, Sayyid Qutb
He’s talking about surah 79 An Nazi’aat (The Pluckers):

….There are two types of freedom. The first is the one achieved through scoring a victory over one’s desires and releasing oneself from the chains of caprice. When a man achieves such a victory he finds himself able to fulfill these desires and caprices in a controlled and balanced way, which emphasizes man’s freedom of choice. This type of freedom is the human type, the one which suits the honor Allah has bestowed on man. The other type is the animal freedom, represented in man’s defeat, his enslavement by his desires, and his loss of control over himself. This type of freedom is advocated only by those who have lost their humanity, so they try to cover their slavery with a dress of deceptive freedom……
Until choosing to live as a Muslim, that’s all I had been doing, covering my slavery with a dress of deceptive freedom.


Anonymous said...

Salam aleikum. Thank you for the encouragement. Now that I know of your blog, I enjoy yours, too.

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