The Difference between Culture and Islam

695951_dream_catcher_1.jpgAssalamu-Alaykum (Peace be Upon you)

Well here we are again, trying to separate religion from culture. Trying to separate the facts from the myths. Trying to re-inject the common sense of the way of life of Islam and dissuade the masses from the mindless rituals of culture.

A point which cannot be overstressed I think is the fact that Islam is not just a religion but a complete code of conduct.

For a Muslim, his or her Islam applies when eating, sleeping, drinking, socialising, during trade and business, events like marriage and funerals, when going to the bathroom – even mid-coetus!

And the observant ones amongst you will have noticed that, therefore, Islam does not just apply to worship, and I would go on to say that yes, you are spot on – Allah did not bless us with the gift of Islam so that we shut it up in the Masjids (Mosques).

Allah gave us the Gift of all gifts so that through our practice of it, humanity can see the common sense, simplicity and purity of Islam. Which way of life teaches that its adherents place emphasis on washing themselves after they relieve themselves? Or which way of life teaches a Dua (supplication) even at the time of sexual intercourse?

Verily, the life of a Muslim must be filled with Dhikr (remembrance) of Allah and the lesson of Islam is that it must not be confined to Masjid, but rather that we do not forget Allah whether we are in the market place or at home; whether with a group of friends or alone; during times of sadness (funerals) or during times of joy (marriage) – we must never forget He who created us.

And it is easy – so easy…

How do we remember Allah when eating, sleeping or relieving oneself?

By following the guidance of our Prophet (SAW) – his Sunnah (methodology).

How do we remember Allah at times of extreme happiness like marriage or exam success?

By thanking Allah and by conducting our marriage according to Sunnah and not falling prey to mindless customs (whether they be Western, Indian, Pakistani or any other), and empty cultural rituals.

That’s because remembering Allah comes in the shapes and forms which are proscribed by our dear Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), and the way of the Prophet (PBUH) is nothing but guidance through and through.. And by practising Sunnah and discarding culture and ritual, we are actively remembering and giving preference to Allah, and automatically we are involved in the most special of Islamic practices – the practice of Da’wah (propagation of Islam).

So there you have it – the bliss of the way of life of Islam compared to the stress and illogicality of the baseless cultures we sometimes find ourselves in.

May Allah give me, and everybody the Taufiq (Divine aid) to act upon this and become a means of bringing peace and tranquility to humanity. Ameen.

And I must take this opportunity and request every one of my readers to make Dua (supplication) that Allah makes my up and coming wedding such that it is pleasing to Him and according to Sunnah, and that He put love and Barakah (blessings, abundance, there is, no exact translation) in my marriage. Ameen. Jazakallah.

And Allah knows best.


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