we all have our faults. ‘Hate the sin not the sinner.’

Q: As-Salaamu Alaikom Imam,
I have been trying to become  a better muslim sister by trying to surround myself with more muslim sister.  I use to have ton of non-Muslim friends, so I try to change that by surrounding my self with  more muslim sisters and joining an Islamic organization. I’m very disappointed to find that the Muslim ones gossiped, talk about boys and to boys etc all the things that I have been trying to avoid.  If I wanted to be surrounded by all this I would have just stuck with my non-muslim friends. When I confront them about what they are doing they say i’m judgmental. When I see them walk around campus they do not return my Salaam. I don’t know what to do?
I suppose I am the fool for assuming that just because they wear a cloth on their head that makes them good.
Time: Wednesday March 23, 2011 at 8:12 pm

A: وعليكم السلام ورحمة الله وبركاته

I appreciate the time you have taken to send us your query. I can tell that you are wanting the best for yourself and those around you. Do not let the discussions of others affect your faith. Remain strong in the good your are doing. Here are some suggestions we could all use.

  • Birds of feather flock together (or at least they should for good reasons.)
  • The problem you are facing is not uncommon. Humans by design are filled urges and desires. When people are together, in order to feel great about themselves some feel they should fill the time with talking. These talks are most often is at the expense of others. When we talk about others, we forget we are giving value to people we despise. Always visualize your good deeds leaving you for the one you are talking ill.
  • If your faith is not going to be affected by weak spirited friends, meet them and share a few kind words and assist them in making comments they can be proud of. Every person has some good quality we can focus upon and make mention off. When your friends gossip look for something positive to say about the one whose reputation is being tainted. This would turn your negative rewards by virtue of the environment into a positive outcome due to you not supporting the vice of unwanted chatter.  Be brave and subtly assist in changing the topic to something more beneficial.
  • If your ‘friends’ persist in wrongful chatter, politely excuse yourself from such a negative environment. Such removal should only be to the extent of: ‘until we meet again.’ Removing oneself entirely would isolate you and this is not the way of a believer. Total removal only must occur when the faith is jeopardized.  Our belief is that we are to live in this world without accepting the pollutants getting into us. No different from a ship in water.

Your last statement was a little disconcerting. To ‘wear a cloth on their head‘ is a good thing. If it was not possibly for that ‘cloth on their head,’ matters could have been nastier. Sometimes the little good we adorn saves us from the greater evils of society. Just as you are offended with others judging one another,   you and i should also not rush to judge the reason for others wearing specific garments.

As i heard my teacher repeatedly say: ‘hate the sin not the sinner.’

Allah Certainly Knows Best

8 responses to “we all have our faults. ‘Hate the sin not the sinner.’

  1. ASA,
    How can one hate the sin and not the sinner? Don’t they go hand in hand? What if you have repeatedly told the person to stop what their doing, i.e. gossiping and they know what they are doing is wrong but they keep doing it? What if the person doing the sin is a person of high status or a prestigious organization? I don’t believe it is necessary to taint a persons reputation but don’t you think that sometimes it is the person who is tainting their own reputation? Sorry I just did not understand your answer.

  2. You hate the sin that’s been done, and do not have ill feelings towards the sinner because the person is a human just like you, and the person is as imperfect as you are. There are a lot of people out there that might avoid you for your faults and you may not know it, and they might avoid you because they are having a bad semester, so you really can’t tell why they are avoiding you, and you never know they might be working on getting rid of their sinful actions but it’s taking some time…. it’s not always about you… When you maintain the Islamic beautiful manners, your actions will speak louder than your words, because it’s not what you say, it’s what you do and stand up for. So focus on your business and ask Allah to help you correct your own faults.
    P.S. having ton of non-Muslim friends is not something to brag about. Don’t be selfish and focus on finding the best BBFs, you need to find the friends that at least say La Ilaha Illa Allah, because they are better than living your day with friends that claim God has a son, and eat Haram.
    Not rude, but realistic.

  3. Naimatallah

    A person’s Imaan (faith) is completely dependent on their relationship with Allah. The more they strive to improve this relationship, the more steadfast they will be on their faith. If you make it a priority in your mind that you want to strive to be the best Muslim girl possible, you will achieve this goal without even realizing it! We all have the Shaitan (devil) in us, but it is our responsibility as Muslims to fight these temptations and urges by increasing our faith and spirituality. I would definitely advice taking the guideline above seriously. Assalamu-alaikum means may peace and blessings of Allah descend upon you. Where can you find a better greeting than this?? NOWHERE!! A man asked the Messenger of Allah (SAW), “What is the best thing in Islam?” He said, “Feeding others and giving the greeting of salaam to those whom you know and those whom you do not know”(Bukhari). Salam alaikum from this Hadith, we can see one reason of many as to why saying Salaam is very important. Just by saying “Assalamu-Alaikum” you get 10 hasanat. How merciful can Allah (SWT) get??? Who would want to miss out on these rewards? Sister, please continue saying salaam to them whether they reply or not, don’t get tired of it; saying salaam is one of the best things in Islam.

  4. Your sister in Islam

    Assalama Aalykum sister, I have been in a similar situation as you are and just like you, to help myself become a better Muslimah I also once decided to keep only Muslim friends. Just like you, I felt disappointed as time passed with my Muslim friends. As days went by, I felt out of place because I didn’t like the gossip, talking of the boys etc. After I started analyzing my life, Alhamdullah I was able to realize that the problem was not them but rather me. It was that, I went in these friendships with lots of expectation from the muslim sisters. I unknowing had this notion that If I became surrounding with Muslim sister it automatically meant it would make my struggles to become a better Muslimah easy. However, the more time passed the more I realized that I was attracting friends that were just like me. After all, birds of a feather flock together. Which made sense because, how can I attract group of friends that are different than me when the only change in my life I have made was just change in my friendship network. The more I analyzed myself; I realized how much time I have wasted on socializing with friends. The fact was that the time I was spending with these friends was time I had as a result of negligence of responsibilities such as ibaadats, family responsibilities and student responsibilities. Thus, gradually I started paying attention to these responsibilities. As a result, my spiritual connection with Allah(s.w.t) improved alhamdullah, my relationship with my family improved as well to the point that now I consider my sisters my best friends . In addition, my grades also improved at college. After all these progresses in my life, I hardly had time for excess socialization with girls whether Muslim or non Muslim anymore. Subhanallah, these changes in my life brought peace of mind that I have never felt with hanging out with friends.
    One important lesson I have learned from this was the more excess socialization you do, the more you tend to bump heads with people you become close friends with. However, I found the case was different when it came to family and the more time I spend with my family the better my relationship became with them. Therefore, I learned to prioritize my family not just by words but rather by actions which meant spending time with my family.
    So sister, I think you seem frustrated in this new friendship group you are in and the advice I will give you is analyze your relationship with Allah(s.w.t), your family and studies because if these are strong I can assure you that you will not have too much time to socialize and thus, feel frustrated with friends. May Allah(s.w.t) make it easy on you and on all of us inshallah. Ameen.