I still love Kinder Eggs…
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
I know. You might be thinking “What? What does this topic have to do with a Ramadan blog?”
Or you might be thinking “What on earth is a “Kinder Egg”?
Second things first then.
This is a Kinder Egg:
[If you’ve never met me, you might be wondering if I’m actually 12 years old. I can assure you that I am not.]
So, what does my love for Kinder Eggs have to do with a Ramadan blog?
Firstly, what is the purpose of this blog? It’s to help us to sustain the Ramadan spirit i.e. we want to be more like our “Ramadan selves” the rest of the year.
Secondly, when we imagine ourselves in Ramadan, we imagine ourselves as being very righteous, and that’s fine.
However, the problem is that when we imagine our future righteous selves, we think of completely different people. This future personality does not resemble us whatsoever – except perhaps the hair colour.
Confused? Okay, let me explain it in a different way.
I only started to really practice Islam around 2003-2004. When I look back, I can see two Umm Muawiyahs: Pre 2003-2004 and Post 2003-2004.
I always saw them as being two very different people.
That was, until the day I ate my niece’s Kinder Egg. Then, it struck me. A decade and a half earlier, I used to eat my nephew’s Kinder Eggs.
I was still the same. [Yes, I know. It’s quite a dreadful habit as well.]
Well, no. I wasn’t still the same. For example, I prayed on time now, I covered fully and I didn’t listen to music.
However, there was a part of me that was still the same.
I’ve loved Kinder Eggs since I was a kid and I still eat them. Actually, my favourite chocolates now are still the same as when I was a child, and so are my favourite animals.
I still love any IT-related stuff.
I still love photography. The only difference now is that I only take landscapes and nature photographs and not living things (as there is a difference of opinion over its permissibility).
What am I getting at?
Well, too often, when we start practicing Islam, we think we need to change EVERYTHING about ourselves. This happens especially with new Muslims.
So, we try to change everything because we feel we need to be different from our pre-Islamic selves and in the process, we completely exhaust ourselves.
Why do we do this? Well, I think that it has to do with three things:
1) Many of us seem to think that there is only one type of Islamic personality.
Yes, there is only one Islam but not one type of personality.
Proof? Look at all the Prophets (alaihimissalam) and the Sahaabah (radiallahu anhum). They all had different personalities. Of course, all of these personalities were within the confines of the Shariah (Islamic law) i.e. all of them were worshippers of Allah yet they were still different people.
Look at Dawood (alaihissalam) and his son Sulaiman (alaihissalam). Two prophets but two different people.Yet, they were both great slaves of Allah.
Look at Musa (alaihissalam) and his brother Haroon (alaihissalam). Yet again, two prophets but two different people. Yet, they were both great slaves of Allah.
Look at Umar (radiallahu anhu) and his son Abdullah (radiallahu anhu). Father and son but two completely different people. Yet, they were both great slaves of Allah.
Look at Amr ibn Al-Aas (radiallahu anhu) and his son Abdullah (radiallahu anhu). Father and son but you’d have to see their names to figure that out. The father was a great warrior and the son was a great zaahid (ascetic). Poles apart in terms of personalities but they both had the same objective: to worship Allah in the best manner possible.
So, we shouldn’t imagine that that all Muslims are required to have one personality. We are not.
However, we are required to follow the same religion (i.e. Islam) and therefore the same way of worshipping Allah.
2) We don’t realise that we need to only change our bad qualities.
When a person enters Islam, that is when they start getting rewarded for their good deeds whereas prior to that, they did not (due to an absence of tawheed).
So, we need to keep our good sides and change the bad sides.That’s what “starting afresh means” – stopping the evil deeds, not the good ones.
Do you like to shower every day? That’s excellent. Keep doing that because cleanliness is very important in Islam.
Do you like to visit your family and neighbours? That’s excellent. Family and neighbours have rights over us. However, just make sure that there is no free mixing.
Do you like to have chicken burgers? That’s fine. Just make sure that the chicken has been slaughtered in the Islamic way.
Do you like to have frog leg soup? Sorry, you can’t do that because we are not permitted to eat frogs.
Do you have a cat and a dog as pets? You can keep the cat in the house but not the dog.
So, we don’t need to change our whole lives, just the parts that contradict the Shariah. So, we can keep the halaal (lawful) but we need to dispose of the haraam (unlawful).
3) We want to distance ourselves from our pre-Islamic lives as much as possible.
Well, removing the halaal won’t distance us from our past but removing the haraam will.
[If we really want to distance ourselves from the past, we need to increase in our ibaadah (worship). This is what the Sahaabah (radiallahu anhum) used to do.]
Remember: No matter what you do, you’ll still be you to some degree or another, and that’s fine as long as you are not disobeying Allah.
So, I’ll still be having those Kinder Eggs, if you don’t mind.
[Note to the Kinder Egg Company: You need to put better toys in the eggs. The current ones are no fun at all.]