I’m too Afraid to Wear Hijab or Pray in Public
Channel: Omar Suleiman
File Size: 11.11MB
Shaykh Omar lends some support to those of us feeling like we cannot openly participate in our Religion’s beautiful practices.
So now why would a cat so dear brothers and sisters, just with everything that's been going on, obviously,
you know, whether it's here in the United States, or it's in Europe, or wherever it may be. These are times where Muslims find themselves in the position where they start to question whether or not they're able to give up certain things that they've been doing their entire lives because they're genuinely afraid for themselves. And, you know, this particular video, the reason why I'm making this particular video is because there's a sister that that walks into my office and this morning, and she's an absolute, you know, just panic, and she's crying, and she's
traumatized. And she's saying that this was the first time in her life since she was seven years old, that she actually took off her job and went out in public without a job. And she was wondering whether last patch, I was going to punish her or so on so forth, whether or not she did the right thing. And it's a very legitimate question, I have to say this from the very from the onset of this video, that I'm not going to judge anyone's individuals standing in the sight of a loss penalty. That's not for me to do or for anyone else to do. how a person carries themselves is between them and Allah subhana wa Tada. And what we're doing here is clarifying how we should be reacting to the
situation and coping with the fear that we feel as a result of the situation that we've been placed in. And, you know, I started my whole talk yesterday, something that I found extremely powerful and inspiring. I was actually talking to a Seif at an interfaith conference and he said something really powerful to me, because you know, that community has been targeted by islamophobes. Because an islamophobe can't distinguish the Sikh for a Muslim, he comes up to me and he says to me that, you know, Islamophobia has made us better Sikhs, I hope it's made you better Muslims. Islamophobia has actually made us come closer to our religion. I hope it's made you come closer to your religion, I
hope it's made you better Muslims. And you think about that statement. And you know, these are people that have been discriminated against for being Muslim, even though they're not being Muslim. What is that? What position does that place us in, and what obligation has a loss of hundreds out of placed on us and what's what's sort of standard has a loss given to us as a result of the faith that he's given to us now, fear is very difficult to quantify loss patterns, it says in the cold and wet and blue and the commission in mental health, he was very well documented. And while he went unfussy with them a lot, especially the slavery in Allah mentions and sort of bacala that he's going to test
you in regards to your to your feeling of safety. So he's going to test you with fear, with hunger, taking away from your wealth, taking away some of your lives, taking away some of your crops, and so on, so forth. And he says, Give glad tidings to the patient. And it's very powerful, because there might say here that the only thing out of those categories that really cannot be quantified in any way, shape or form, is fear. Hunger is something that, you know, there's a certain level that's recognizable, that this person is hungry. It's not as subjective as fear. When you talk about loss of wealth, obviously, it's very, very clear, you know, your bank account tells you whether or not
you're in poverty, or if you don't have a bank account in the first place. I mean, how much money you have is a clear indication of your financial status. Right? There are casualties and there are there's loss of crops, those are things that are very obvious, but fear is extremely subjective. I don't know how safe I feel, or I don't know if my fears are just imagined, or if they're legitimate fears. I don't know if the fear that I feel, gives me the the roof so it gives me the license to start to act in a certain way to do things that are ordinarily prohibited or to abandon things that are usually obligation, I don't know. And it actually complicates You know, this, this Maxim that is
the most abused Maxim in Islamic law. A lot, a lot. So we have a lot. It's a very famous Maxim that
that dire need makes that which is ordinarily prohibited, temporarily permitted for that particular individual. Why is that because what is considered Lola is an absolute dire need a loss pantai recognizes in the whole ad, five times lost parents out of mentions this concept of being forced into a position of dire need. And it's actually recognized very early on as we're reading in the last half, and sort of buckle on certain, certain amount either. It's very powerful because the last pennants, Allah says, feminine total available in one ad, and it's merely that when a person is forced to do something that they don't want to do, let you know that they're not looking for that
they're not desiring it. And that's something that we should be very careful when we see people in certain situations, doing things that they don't want to do partying from certain obligations, and so on so forth. We should not assume that that's something that that person desired. Last pantai says is very painful for some people to do away with certain aspects to resort to things that they ordinarily would not resort to lay in a bath. And when I add and they don't desire that situation, nor do they seek to transgress, and that's where there is no sin on that person. A loss.
antis recognizing the intentions of a person. However, the problem with that is that for someone to actually be in a state of law individually and collectively, that's very difficult. It's very difficult to fulfill those conditions. We have to accept to an extent, whether we're talking about praying in public or having Muslim names or wearing Hijab or, you know, in some cases, the brothers that design decide to show solidarity, right? They've got the beers they fulfilling that they're wearing a Koofi, maybe whatever it may be, we have to accept that at some point. You know, we're going to be faced with tests and challenges for being Muslim. It's something that's prophesized by
the quarter and the sooner I messenger slice, and I'm told us that we would be strangers that we would be insulted that we would, we would have to face some level of fear for being Muslim. And last pants I mentioned that at the onset of sort of the anchor Buddha has given us on your throat and your guru, Amanda homelight. Afternoon do people think they just say we believe, and they're going to be left alone, and they're not going to be tested. So we have to have a certain level of perseverance with anything that's thrown our way.
And and recognize that that does not give us an excuse to abandon our faith altogether. If that was the case, if we could use that Maxim of not a lot to do away with all public aspects of our faith, then Islam would have disappeared in Mecca. But in fact, what we see in Mecca, in that in the early Mecca Sierra, we find that the Prophet sallallahu Sallam and the companions strategically at times, publicly displayed their faith, to show that it wasn't going away. It was it was a form of protest to go to the to the cabinet and read the Koran to say, hey, look, that's my right, this is the house of Allah subhanaw taala, I have the right to come and recite the Quran here. It was a an act of
civil disobedience to go out there and pray. But it was a sign that we're not going anywhere, but not every Muslim was was placed in the same situation, we have to recognize that that not every Muslim is going to be able to face a certain amount of pressure, some people will panic very easily, some people will be more vulnerable, some people will live in more difficult context, I mean, inevitably, you know, there are going to be people that are watching this video that are going to not, you know, be living in a different context, either a more severe or more lenient climate than that which we have in the United States. And you know, to each person is their context and to each
person, not necessarily just their level of faith, but their circumstances, the prophets license wanted certain people to go out there and to publicly express their faith even more so than what was required of them. And he wanted other people to not do so because he feared for them. So I will Beckett was not in the same situation of the law and was even Mr. Little De Alon, I will record when he was when he recited or and publicly, he wasn't going to face what a poor companion or someone that was in a more difficult situation would face. But there was a time where they had to do that as well. And so everyone had to go through some level of public not not necessarily torture all the
time, but had to go through some sort of humiliation had to go through some sort of oppression had to go through some sort of verbal insults in order to maintain their faith. And that was something that was to be expected of the Muslims. Now, how do we apply them that Maxim in regards to fear? Because once again, fear is so hard to quantify, because these acts of order were actually revealed in regards to hunger, for the most part, it starts off with hunger that you know, you have to eat something that you ordinarily would not eat. But how do we how do we quantify it when it comes to fear? First and foremost, the scholars say that other that harm is of different levels, that when it
comes to a chatroom, or sub, you know, insults and cursing, and people making derogatory remarks, people saying things to you that they're not that are disturbing, you know, someone harassing you, as you're walking out of the grocery store, someone flipping you off, as you're driving, you know, those are things that as Muslims, we should just accept that, except not in the sense that we shouldn't do anything about them, no, but that we have to live with. And we have to make it a point to say, you know, what, we are going to hopefully respond to that ignorance with a sense of grace and Salaam and peace in a way that that person would think twice next time they see a Muslim in a
vulnerable situation. So that's something that doesn't give us the excuse to abandon anything of our faith, right? That fear of just being insulted, and so on, so forth. And let's face it, in most contexts, Muslims are going to face that, right in most contexts, we're going to have some level of that. And that's a fear that we're going to have. Now when it becomes a level of violence when it becomes a fear, a genuine fear. And it becomes a norm where you don't have legal protections where you don't have civil liberties when the norm is that if you are dressed in a certain way, if you're praying in public, if you have a Muslim name, and so on so forth, that you're going to be attacked,
and that you're going to be harmed. Then at that point, that's when that maximum plays a role. When you don't have the legal protection when you don't want when it becomes the norm. When it's not, you know you're going to be targeted for being a Muslim.
That's something that, you know that fear always exists and somehow a lot. Even with the profit slice, I'm in Mecca, at the times when they did publicly declared their Islam, hoping that they would not be attacked, at times they were still going to be attacked, it's going to happen. And especially when we're talking about this day and age, if a disability center is not safe, an elementary school is not safe, then, you know, safety is in the hands of Allah subhanho wa Taala, we're going to find ourselves in difficult situations. But the norm needs to be that we are safe, that we are able to practice our faith, the way that a loss pantai commanded us to practice it, and
that we are not in a position where we're being told either leave your obligations or face harm or face abuse. And that's something that's very delicate. And that's something that's very important for us to understand. And again, it can be very subjective. Why because, look, there were people before 911 that said that it's a dangerous situation, you know, you can't be wearing hijab, you can't be praying in public, you should change your name, right to something that's, that's going to help you assimilate better, and so on, so forth, that that existed before 911, after 911, there were some people that said you shouldn't be going to the masjid, you shouldn't be doing this, you
shouldn't be doing that. And then obviously, as Islamophobia got uglier and uglier than the calls for certain things became more normal and became more mainstream. And it's become more and more tempting, and appealing for us to leave certain things. So we have to understand that at times, we need to take advantage of the protections that have been given to us. I always give this example when it comes to prayer in public, for example, that there was a group of brothers and some of you may have heard me tell the story before, I think it's a very powerful lesson, a group of brothers in an airport that decided that you know, it was to that. And this was right around that flying moms
case. So they were worried that if they pray in public, then something's going to happen to them. So they decided that all eight of them, were going to pray sitting down in their chairs, they weren't going to do the salaat the way that they were supposed to do the salon, they all prayed sitting in their chairs. And when they all pray, sitting in their chairs, the TSA agent came to them. So they were trying to avoid security. And because they were all praying in their chairs, you got eight people going up and down in their chairs, and TSA guy comes to them. And he says, Hey, what do you guys doing? They said, we're reading scripture. He said, what scripture? What are you talking about?
They said, we're praying. So what religion are you? And they said, we're Muslim. And the TSA guy goes, you know, why don't you pray like all the other Muslims pray? You know, what's different about you? And you think about that, that, you know, that fear at that moment? I don't want to say it was an imagined fear. But instead of going to the TSA agents, instead of informing the security, like, hey, look, we need to pray, no me alarm, can we pray in this corner, they instead assume the worst of the situation. And we have to be careful not to do that. Right. There are genuine situations of fear. And there are situations where it's not it's not our paranoia or imagined fear, but we're a
little more insecure than we need to be in those situations. So when it comes to our public displays of faith, we need to measure each and every single each and every context, in a separate fashion. Now, when it comes to digital arts, however, and dealing with situations, one thing that we need to note is that a loss of patterns, Allah has permitted us in those situations where we're not necessarily at that dire need, but we still are in fear, we still are in hardship, to basically do everything we can to still hold on to that obligation, and fulfill what we have to even if it's not ideal. So I saw some sisters that posted for example, and I was asked about this, you know, wearing
a beanie or wearing a baseball cap, or you know, especially when you're when you're in an alley, or you're driving and you have the sense of fear, you know, to wear a hoodie, if you're in an intense situation, basically, where you're still going to be covering your outdoor, you're still going to be covering what you have to cover, but at the same time, it's going to make you feel a little bit safer, it'll make it less obvious that you're a Muslim. That's not something that's how long that's not something that's forbidden. And if that's what's going to keep you you know, fulfilling that obligation, then do so, right. You don't need to be confrontational, not everyone is going to be
able to go out there. In their certain situations, maybe they're in a different city and a different environment, not everyone's going to be able to go out there in the same fashion, right? Not everyone is going to be able to walk proudly in that fashion. So if that's your situation, if that's what's going to help you. And if that's what's going to help you overcome your anxiety, then do so. Right do so as a last resort, even though it's not ideal, because you're still fulfilling your obligation in that case, right. You don't have to resort to the, you know, to completely abandoning the obligation, but instead doing things that will help you and obviously, you know, taking external
measures like carrying mace or pepper spray and, and self defense classes and all that type of stuff or not put you know, trying to make sure you're traveling with a group or that you're walking with a group, you're not alone. You're not vulnerable, all of those things are praiseworthy, all those things are good. Then do that and shell lots out. That's not a lack of tawakkul on your part. That's not a
Lack of trusting Allah, for anything, you know, again, these are things that, that show your dedication that showed that you're trying really, really, really hard to fulfill your obligation. And look, if you want to be one of those people, if you're in that situation where you feel comfortable and safe, you know, still going out and doing what you do, that's fine and handed it out. I mean, you don't have to do any of those things. But we shouldn't look down upon people that choose to do those things, if that's what's going to safeguard their obligations. Another principle we take from that, by the way, that every law you put through, because we have, which What that
means is it's given its do estimation. So let's say that a person genuinely found themselves in a situation of fear, right, and they had to resort to something that was how long they had to resort to the route to getting away from an obligation they should do, it's only for the amount of time that they absolutely have to do it. Right. Meaning what, there is no such thing as a wholesale obligation or abandoning of an obligation, right, that I'm just not going to fulfill this obligation anymore. I'm not going to do this anymore, I'm not going to do that anymore. If you're praying in public, and you feel like someone's coming after you, or you feel unsafe, and you have to stop your
prayer, then, you know, you wait until the situation pans itself out. But you still have to pray in public, you still have to do what you have to do. So abandoning an obligation, or putting yourself in that situation, you know, temporarily or, you know, while the threat is imminent, is what is allowed is to keep yourself safe in those moments, and nothing further than that. Right. That's actually a principle that curves, the first Maxim that I actually mentioned, which is a lot, a lot to be heard a lot. Now, in a situation, this is something that I just want to say, particularly to the brothers and to the sisters. Look, we need to recognize that as individuals, when we insist upon
practicing our faith, the way that Allah subhana wa tada has commanded us to do so and the way that the law of this land allows us to do so, you know, especially if you're in that context where you have religious liberty or the law does afford you certain protections, that when you insist as an individual, you're actually making your community safer collectively. Why? Because if each of us start to abandon our practice publicly, right, because we want to feel safer on an individual level, then we make our brother and sister that's going to insist less safe instead, they're half you know, that group of people has to insist that they're not going to give up their faith because of fear
that they're not going to allow fear to dictate their faith. And so you're doing something that Allah subhanho to Allah has given to you, not just for yourself now, but you're actually making your community safer in sha Allah tala. by insisting on your community's presence. Now, again, you find yourself in that individual situation, and you need to you know, you don't want to be in a situation of vulnerability. You don't want to be confrontational, that's fine, but at the same time, recognize that inshallah tada by maintaining that obligation by going forward by continuing to do the things that last pantai commanded us to do in public that Allah subhanaw taala directly would insure us as
protection. So I want to end with this with these few points inshallah for you to take home especially for Muslims that are in a time of fear. Number one, the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, he tells his nephew of an Ibis fo La Jolla, be mindful of Allah, Allah will protect you be mindful of a lot, you'll find them in front of you. This is the time to get close to a loss of handling time. This is the time to build your spiritual connection to a loss of habitat. And that will help you persevere in this time of adversity both as an individual and collectively as an owner, the profits licenses, wireless and the nostre masaba know that the help of a lot comes with
patience, and that alpha Raj Mercado, that relief comes with affliction. Well, no mercy and ease comes with hardship that no one will be able to harm you. Unless the last parents out permits it. No one will be able to benefit you unless the loss pans out permits that continue to hold on to your obligations and know that there's always light at the end of the tunnel that Allah subhanaw taala is going to make a way out for you he's going to see you through and especially when you are doing things that are pleasing to Him for His sake. And that's something that's very powerful because Allah in the Quran, not only does he Connect, you know, fulfilling your obligations and practicing
to safety a lot actually connects to safety actually being at the forefront and calling people to good and establishing what is right loss as well as mountains either in a common public health another laughter is Aleta La Jolla, similkameen. And that's a lot of tells the prophets lie Selim and the believers by extension to convey the message that Allah has commanded us to convey and as a result of that he will protect us from the people. So he connects bellows mountains in a lake with will allow single commanded us, convey to the people what Allah commanded you to convey to them. And Allah will protect you against those who wish you harm. So a lot connected doing Darwin actually
being at the forefront and actually establishing what is right to protection coming directly from the divine subhanho attack.
Also what we need to recognize is that when we are in the cause of other people, that is a means of guaranteeing a loss parents eyes help for us. And so the Prophet slicin him says that a lot isn't the cause of his servant so long as he's in the cause of his brother. When you help other people that are being targeted when you help other people that feel unsafe, when you try to better your society as a whole, a loss of hundreds Allah betters your community specifically, so we need to not just talk about the Muslim community we need to also ally ourselves with, with other minorities that are being targeted. We need to not just talk about bigotry towards us, but we need to address
bigotry as a whole poverty as a whole racism as a whole gun violence as a whole. These causes have to become our causes collectively, and that ensures a loss of contact protecting us and Shalom. When we stand up for other people, Allah subhana wa tada sends His angels to stand up for us. So we need to recognize that as well. And inshallah to Allah look, you know, more than anything else, there is always light at the end of the tunnel. This is a religion of hope. The Prophet slicin taught us to never be pessimistic, man. Holla Holla can naspo Allah, the Prophet slicin said, Whoever says the people have perished, or the people have no hope. He is the most hopeless of them. And another
narration, the prophets licensors, who elected him, he's the one making them hopeless, we should not be talking about becoming extinct, and the religion disappearing and we're all going to be wiped out. Even if every bigot on you know, in the media, every politician, you know, in the right wing starts to target the Muslim community, Allah Subhana Allah will protect this religion, he will protect its people. And we need to recognize that inshallah tada and persevere, whether we're men or women, whether we're practicing our faith, privately and publicly, we will see this through inshallah, tada, as other groups have seen it through, in fact, in our context, and they've been
placed in a position now where they're reaching out to us and we hope that when, when we make it through this, and shallots are these dark phases of Islamophobia, that when the next community is targeted, that we're able to actually help them and reach out to them. So let's let's try to to persevere inshallah, and I mean, this, if anything I said, was offensive to you all, these are just my thoughts, obviously, with everything that's happening. Anything I said was offensive, please forgive me. It wasn't my intention to be judgmental, to to, to tell anyone what to do, or how to do it. Instead, this is the religion that allows penta has given to us. And this is the expectation of
Allah and His Messenger slices of his entire community of believers that we persevere, and that we be, and that we move forward, even when there are people that wish to set us back because they cannot set us back unless Allah Subhana which Allah allows them to set us back so we will move forward in sha Allah. May Allah bless all of our sisters, I tell my wife this all the time that you know that she's my hero, and that sisters that go out there and they wear the hijab, in particular, you know, you really are the heroes of this community you are, you know, you are putting it all out there for the sake of Allah subhanaw taala and don't think that that's going to go unrecognized by
By Allah, may Allah bless you and for those sisters that are that are struggling, may Allah subhanho wa Taala help you it's and we recognize not easy man last pantai grant to strength and for those brothers as well that are struggling to pray in public and do the things that they're supposed to be doing in public. May Allah help us all in Shell outside to be able to fulfill our obligations publicly and privately, no matter what's going on. Zack malachite on Salaam Alaikum.