Dislike of western culture
Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,
As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)
One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
Many of your replys indicate a hidden dislike towards the western world and western culture and lifestyle. Have you ever lived in the west or ever travelled there? If no then how can you condemn it? From one of your answers it appears as if the whole issue of equality between men and women is something the west has given us (2 ceos in the house?). Did it occur to you that many women in muslim countries who have not been to the west can actually think for themselves and see when something is wrong or right? And that they dont need the west to tell them that. You are a poor advocate of women rights it appears. So do you dislike the west and everything that seems western? Try not to censure this but answer it.
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Dislike of western culture
In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad(saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.
The root of the issue is not whether the culture is Western, Eastern, etc. Whatever act or ideology is in accordance with the Divine Guidance of Allah Subhanah, is right, and the believers must strive to adopt it wholeheartedly; and whatever act or ideology is against the Guidance of Allah Subhanah is wrong, and the believers must strive to abstain from it.
There a lot of things in the Western culture which are good and in accordance with the Guidance of Allah and His Messenger (saws). For example, the advancement in education, technology, accountability, advocation of human rights, etc. which are found in the Western culture and absent from some of our eastern countries, must be adopted and used for the betterment of mankind.
And all the things which are evil in the Western culture and against the Guidance of Allah and His Messenger (saws), must be recognized as evil and harmful to mankind; and the believers must strive to abstain from adopting them. For example, vulgarity in the guise of modernity and fashion, the free mixing of sexes, the disobedience of parents, the alcohol culture, the music culture, the Hollywood culture, etc. are their evils and against the principles of Allah and His Messenger (saws); thus is would be purer and better for the believers to distance themselves away from these and all evil.
My respected sister in Islam, the truth of the matter is that there are three thoughts prevalent in the society today regarding the adoption of the western culture:
One thought is that everything western is bad and must be avoided!
One thought is that everything western is good, and everything must be adopted!
And the third thought is the balance of the above two extremes: adopt the good and righteous from the Western culture, and abstain from their evils; and this is the one that should be adopted by the true believers.
Now to answer your direct questions:
Your question: Many of your replys indicate a hidden dislike towards the western world and western culture and lifestyle.
I would humbly like to disagree with this allegation. As a believer in Allah and His Messenger (saws), we wholeheartedly accept anything from any culture, as long as it does not go against any guidance of the Quran and Sunnah. There are indeed many things which we like and respect from the Western culture as they are in accordance with the guidance of Islam; and there are many things which are evils in their culture, which need to be recognized and avoided.
Your question: Have you ever lived in the west or ever travelled there? If no then how can you condemn it?
Allah is my witness, I have traveled more times to the US and Europe than I care to remember! Allah Subhanah has blessed me with four children, and all of them were born in the United States, if that is any consolation!
Your question: From one of your answers it appears as if the whole issue of equality between men and women is something the west has given us (2 ceos in the house?).
Contrary to the Western ideology that man and woman are absolutely equal, Islam guides the believers to the Truth that man and woman are not equal, but rather balanced. Each have been given a set of duties and responsibilities according to their distinct nature; and each will be Judged according to the fulfillment of their duties.
Rather than being equal and separate, Islam guides the relationship to be balanced and united!
Your question: Did it occur to you that many women in muslim countries who have not been to the west can actually think for themselves and see when something is wrong or right?
Allah Subhanah has given each human being, be they men or women, two things which He has not bestowed on any of His creation (except the Jinns):
Intelligence and the Power of Reasoning,
A free will to choose whatever path they want for their salvation.
The men and the women, who with their intelligence and of their own free will choose to determine the Right and wrong from the Criterion provided by their Creator; believe and do righteous good deeds, they will deserve the Mercy and Grace of their Lord.
The men and women, who with their intelligence and of their own free will choose to determine the Right and wrong from themselves or from popular culture without guidance from the Quran and Sunnah; they will have a severe accounting in the Presence of their Just Lord.
Allah says in Chapter 2, Surah Baqarah aayat 185:"Ramadan is the month in which the Quran was sent down: this Book is a perfect guidance for mankind and consists of CLEAR teachings which show the right way and are a Criterion of the Truth and falsehood."
Thus it is imperative, whether one is a man or a woman, that they use the intelligence and power of reasoning provided to them by their Gracious Lord, and choose the path that is Straight and Right.
Your question: And that they dont need the west to tell them that.
Indeed! For the believers, the Quran and the Sunnah should determine the Right from the wrong; not a prevalent or existing superpower culture. We absolutely agree with you here!
But sister, honestly, look around our society and see whose culture have we adopted? The Western culture, or the culture of Islam?
Do we see the majority of our men proudly dressed with a beard; or do we see them clean-shaven?
Do we see the majority of our women proudly covered in the noble uniform of Allah; or do we see them displaying their beauty to all who would care to admire?
Do we see the majority of our brethren hymning the Praises of our Lord; or do we see them humming tunes of popular music?
Do we see the majority of our brethren answering the call of the adhaan five times a day; or do we see them answering the call of the latest movie releases?
Do we see the majority of our brothers imitating Prophet Mohamed (saws), or do we see them imitating their movie, rock, or sports stars?
Do we see the majority of our sisters imitating the character of Hadrat Khadijah and Hadrat Fatema (r.a.); or do we see them imitating their movie, rock, or fashion icons?
Most people would not attend a Quran learning class for free; but would stand in line to pay $8.00 to watch the latest Hollywood or Bollywood releases!
Honestly sister, whose culture have we adopted? The Western culture or the culture of Islam???
Your question: You are a poor advocate of women rights it appears.
If truth be told, then there can be no better advocator of womens rights, than the One Who Created the women and Decreed her rights! Beloved sister, the believers are bound by their covenant of slavery to their Owner and Master, and thus they can only advocate what their Owner and Master Commands them to advocate. Neither is it legal for the believers to give one right which their Creator has not Decreed; nor does it behove a believer to take away a right which the All Wise, All Knowing has Declared!
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 33 Surah Ahzaab verse 36:It does not behove a believing man and a believing woman that when Allah and His Messenger have given their decision in a matter, they should exercise an option in that matter of theirs. For whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger, has indeed strayed into manifest error.
If ever it may have appeared that we are poor advocates of womens rights, then the weakness is indeed in my writings, not in the Divine Guidance; for it is our firm belief and conviction that Allah Subhanah has indeed honored the believing woman and provided her with every single right due to her! He is High, and Far Exalted from ever being unjust to any in His Creation.
Your question: Try not to censure this but answer it.
Dear Respected and Beloved Sister in Islam, we never censor anything asked by our brothers and sisters on the forum. Censorship is used by people who have something to hide; and when we have the Truth to propagate, falsehood will have to disappear by itself!
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 17 Surah Bani Israel verse 81:And declare, The Truth has come and falsehood has vanished. And falsehood is a thing that must by its nature, vanish!
If one trusts, obeys, and follows the guidance and commands of Allah and His Messenger (saws), he can be assured of never ever being misled; but if one believes, obeys and follows any other guidance, other than that of Allah and His Messenger (saws), he can be assured of being led astray.
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your Brother in Islam,