Some tips on how to navigate the drool…
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
First let me explain the title so that you understand where “navigate the drool” originated from (and no, it was not my brain) and what it means.
So, my teenage niece had come to Dubai this past month. One day, she mentioned how my 6 month old nephew (her cousin) had tasted all her clothes.
[Now, my nephew is a drool factory if there ever was one (and his drool production rises exponentially if he sees any FOOD).]
So, I showed the poor girl how she could hold him without getting covered in baby drool herself.
“Oh, so that’s how you navigate the drool!”, she said.
[To quote Sebastian the crab: “Teenagers.”]
So, you might be thinking that this post is about how to hold babies. However, this a Ramadan blog, not the online version “What to expect the first year”, so no, this post is not about babies.
What I meant, by the title, is how we could navigate away from the drool of the fitnah (trials and tribulations) that is engulfing our ummah today.
Think about it. We’re stuck in between all these situations and we don’t know how to navigate through them.
Okay, so what does this have to do with my nephew’s drool?
Actually, it has absolutely nothing to do with it. I just wanted to give you a likeness (between the drool and the fitnah). Also, I wanted to have a nice flashy title. If the title was something like “How to avoid fitnah”, then nobody would bother to read the post.
[It’s amazing. We’re always worried about keeping our bodies and clothes clean but we don’t worry as much about keeping our iman high and our aqeedah (creed) clean from any errors. Fitnah is something that has destroyed many a person’s aqeedah and caused their iman levels to plummet so we should all be careful as to how we deal with these trials and tribulations.]
So, how can we “navigate the drool”*?
[*So to clarify, according to Umm Muawiyah’s Dictionary of Self-Invented Words, that means “getting out of fitnah with our iman and our aqeedah intact”.]
Here are some short tips:
1) Do dua
Yes, there’s nothing quite like it. Only those whom Allah guides, are guided.
And remember, we should continuously be doing dua that Allah keeps us steadfast on the Straight Path.
2) Seek Knowledge
Too often, when people are warned about books or lectures that contain serious errors, they say: “But we didn’t hear/read anything wrong.”
Just a question, brothers and sisters: How would we know what was right or wrong without having any knowledge of Islam?
I hear so many people say “I think that…” when it comes to Islamic matters. However, what we think does not matter, rather what matters is what Allah has revealed in the Quran and the Sunnah.
So, we don’t have the right to decide what is right on our own, rather we need to keep referring back to the Quran and the Sunnah.
Also, I should point out that when we study the Quran and Sunnah, we need to refer to the books of the people of knowledge so that we don’t misunderstand the ayah (verse) or hadeeth due to our own lack of knowledge.
Now, you might say: “How would I know who the people of knowledge are?”
Well, I would say:
a) Ask Allah to guide you to them.
b) Do istikhara (the prayer for guidance) before joining any Islamic courses.
c) Start reading the books of the universally accepted scholars like Imams Bukhari, Ibn Kathir, Imam An-Nawawi, etc.
3) Keep company with the right people
“Right people” would be those of sound aqeedah (i.e. they have the correct understanding of tawheed).
It would also be those who busy themselves with beneficial matters and not with matters that do not concern them.
4) Avoid reading too many websites or forums or newspapers
This is something that I know from personal experience.
I used to frequent quite a lot of Islamic forums a few years ago. I would read all the different opinions on various issues (many of which had nothing to do with me).After this, I would feel that my heart had died.
Why did I feel that my heart had died? Well, I would read about one side of a topic (related to creed) and then read the other side elsewhere else on another forum and then I would get very confused, and I would get a very uneasy feeling in my heart.
I wasn’t the only one. I found out that quite a few people went through the same experience.
After a lot of thought, I realised that this was not beneficial knowledge and that I had to learn the basics before reading up on these deep issues.
So, I would advise everyone to seek beneficial knowledge. I see many brothers and sisters discussing the Islamic view on current events and other political issues, when they many of them don’t even know how to recite Surah Al-Fatihah properly or know how to pray according to the Sunnah.
Why worry about advanced issues that do not directly pertain to us when we don’t know much about the basic issues that we will be questioned about???
5) Do as many good deeds as possible
One of the things that happens to many people during the time of fitnah is that they spend far too much time dwelling on issues of no use (as I mentioned above) and cease to do good deeds.
Why waste one hour reading a blog or forum post about an advanced issue that confuses us when we can read a few pages of the Quran?
So, don’t waste your time with issues that are unclear to you, rather spend that time on deeds that you know that you will be rewarded for like prayer, charity, seeking knowledge, etc.
6) Keep silent
If we don’t know about an issue, we should just remain silent, because then we won’t be held accountable for what we’ve said.
من صمت نجا
Abdullah ibn Amr (radiallahu anhuma) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (salallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Whoever is silent, is saved.” [Sunan At-Tirmidhi, Hadeeth No. 2501. Graded “sahih” by Al-Albani in Sahih Sunan At-Tirmidhi, Hadeeth No. 2501.]
This hadeeth is general and refers to all situations. So, if we were silent, we wouldn’t get into backbiting, tale bearing, etc.
[A point to note: The people of knowledge mentioned that saying good things is better than keeping silent.]
I think that if we followed the above tips, we should all be able to come out of the current events drool-free, insha-Allah.
PS. I certainly hope this post made sense. If not, at least you learnt a new term today…