When You Decide To Change Yourself
When You Decide To Change Yourself ᴴᴰ – by Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan
Maybe you were a person that wasn’t very religious at all, and you were living life like the rest of your extended family. But something came in your heart and you said, ‘you know what, I’m gonna take this guidance seriously.’ I don’t know how it happened. Maybe Allah made it happen through some YouTube video or a friend or… However it happened, But you decided to make a change for better in your life. And when you start changing the behavior in your life, the first people to see a change in you will be your own family. They will notice it! They will notice that you are not the same anymore. You don’t talk the same, you don’t act the same, you don’t go to the same place, you don’t even have the same friends anymore. And this necessarily happens. When you take a turn towards Islam necessarily you start losing friends because your old friends used to do pretty bad things, and now you can’t do those things with them anymore, so you suffer a loss of friends. And at the same time your family starts saying you are acting a little too weird. And for the young man the family might say, ‘what’s that thing on your face? You forgot to shave? What happened to you?’ And the girls starts wearing hijab and the family might even be in shock, and this is a Muslim family, mind you. They’ll say, ‘take that thing off your head! You’re gonna go out to the wedding looking like that? I can’t sit in the car with you like that. What do you think we are? Who do you…all of a sudden you are the Islamic role model? Who died and made you sheikh? That all of a sudden we should be looking up to you. Remember what you were like last year, man. You were the party animal. Now you’re gonna go make Salaah? Yeah, seriously, please! We know what you’re really like.’
In other words, every chance they get they say something to you. And you’re in the middle of all of this and it becomes hard to hold on to your religion in the middle of all of this. It becomes hard. Because it’s not the enemy of Islam that’s pulling you away. Who’s pulling you away? You own family, your own parents, your own husband, your own wife, your own brother, your own cousins, your own in-laws, they are the ones pulling you away. So how do you deal with that? The most inappropriate response to this pressure is anger. And you know what, that is the most common response too. Your parents start yelling at you for growing you beard, and you’re a young hot blooded guy, and what do you do? ‘(You say) Oh yeah! It’s the Sunnah, you can’t tell me what to do, you’re following culture and I’m trying to follow Islam.’ And you slam the door in their face. Way to go! Because that’s what Allah wants you to do.
What was Ibrahim’s father talking about (alaihissalam). Was he talking something small or something big? ‘(He would say) Go make Sajda to Idols, boy.’ And does he loses his cool? – Does he get angry? We have to learn how to be with our parents, even when they are calling you away from deen. It doesn’t matter if they are Muslim or not.
Allah tells us, if they struggle against you, and make you follow what they themselves have no knowledge of, don’t obey them, while at the same time accompanying them in the most dignified fashion. Obeying them is separate, respecting them is separate. Just because you didn’t obey them for the sake of Allah when it came to matters of halal and haram, or when it came to matter of eeman and shirk or kufr, just because you didn’t obey them, does not give you the right to get angry at them, you can’t!