Intimate Issues

Vol 3-Issue 2 Intimate isuuesAllah (swt) created sexuality not just for procreation but as a means to attain physical and emotional fulfillment. Sexuality must be expressed and sexual well-being must be an integral part of healthy human development. Islam, being a comprehensive way of life, guides us with the Quran and the Sunnah in this important area of our lives. Let us look at:

  • Expression of sexuality;
  • Perceptions about our bodies;
  • Sexual health education.

In Islam, sexuality is a part of our identity as human beings. Allah (swt) has distinguished us from animals by giving us reason and will – we can control behaviour that in other species is governed solely by instinct.

Although sexual relations can result in reproduction, which ensures the survival of the human race, our capacity for self-control allows us to regulate this behaviour. Also, the fact that human beings are the only creatures engaging in sexual relations beyond the physical capacity for reproduction is what sets us apart from all other species.

Concept of Marriage

The Prophet (sa) said: “Marriage is my tradition. He, who rejects my tradition, is not of me.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

Islam encourages marriage as a socially responsible way for sexual expression and as a shield from casual relationships. The disastrous effects of non-committal intimacy on the health and emotional well-being of individuals, families, and society as a whole can be seen not just in the West but across the spectrum of the Muslim Ummah. Marriage provides space for safe intimacy “that will keep one free from diseases, infections, and dysfunctions.”

The marriage of a man and a woman is not just a financial and legal living arrangement. The goal is to create tenderness between two individuals and satisfy the basic human need for companionship, intimacy, physical and emotional fulfillment.

Allah (swt) says: “And among His Signs is this, that He created for you wives from among yourselves, that you may find repose in them, and He has put between you affection and mercy. Verily, in that are indeed signs for a people who reflect.” (Ar-Rum 30:21)

“They are your garments, and you are their garments.” (Al-Baqara 2:187)

The Prophet (sa) himself, while not divulging all aspects of his own intimate life, was known for his nature of a loving husband, who was sensitive and physically demonstrative. In several Hadeeths, he speaks about the importance of foreplay and speaking in loving terms during intimacy moments. One Hadeeth advises husbands to let their wife achieve fulfillment of her desires first. Sexual dissatisfaction is considered legitimate grounds for divorce on the part of either wife or husband.

Intimacy Outside of Marriage

Allah (swt) says: “And let those, who find not the financial means for marriage, to keep themselves chaste, until Allah (swt) enriches them of His Bounty.” (An-Nur 24:33)

Extra- and pre-marital intimacy is not allowed in Islam. Allah (swt) does not simply forbid or allow behaviour whimsically – He does so considering our best interests: guiding us away from potentially destructive behaviour towards a path that allows us to achieve our utmost potential.

Allah (swt) says: “Should not He Who has created know? And He is the Most Kind and courteous (to His slaves), All-Aware (of everything).” (Al-Mulk 67:14)

Modesty and Perceptions about our Bodies

The Prophet (sa) said: “Haya and Iman are two companions that go together. If one of them is lifted, the other is also lifted.” (Hakim)

Islamic perspective on sexuality, body image, and self-awareness is based on the concept of Haya, which loosely translates to modesty. Haya is usually misunderstood and regarded as a one-dimensional concept meaning shyness or bashfulness. Media rhetoric has further narrowed the vision of Muslims and non-Muslims alike into believing that Haya is a sign of backwardness or lack of confidence. When the popular slogan is, “if you have it – flaunt it,” it is inconceivable that a person would choose to be modest.

Haya is actually an inner spiritual protective device that makes a person avoid transgression and behaviour that may lead to it.

The Prophet (sa) said: “Every religion has an innate character. The character of Islam is modesty (Haya).” (Abu Dawood)

And: “From the words of the previous prophets that people still find are: ‘If you feel no Haya, then do as you wish.'” (Bukhari)

Pertaining to sexuality, the manifestation of Haya is an attitude that reflects a Muslim identity – men and women, who are confident about their bodies but choose to exercise control over their sexuality in accordance with the Quran and the Sunnah.

Islam encourages men and women to dress and behave modestly, in order to minimize unwarranted display of sexuality. This is not just for curbing extra-marital relations or suppressing women’s sexuality. The Chaddar and Chahardiwaree concept of women’s repression is totally alien to Islam.

Display of sexuality has a deep impact on the way we perceive our bodies and our sense of self. An excerpt from an article by a 17-year-old high school student from Toronto, Canada, eloquently illustrates a contemporary Islamic interpretation of modesty in dress and self image.

“The concept of the Hijab, contrary to popular opinion, is actually one of the most fundamental aspects of female empowerment. When I cover myself, I make it virtually impossible for people to judge me according to the way I look. Compare this to life in today’s society — we are constantly sizing one another up on the basis of our clothing, jewellery, hair, and makeup. What kind of depth can there be in a world like this?
Yes, I have a body, a physical manifestation upon this Earth. But it is the vessel of an intelligent mind and a strong spirit. It is not for the beholder to leer at or to use in advertisements. It is a myth that women in today’s society are liberated. What kind of freedom can there be, when a woman cannot walk down the street without every aspect of her physical self being checked out?
When I wear Hijab, I feel safe from all of this. I am first and foremost a human being, equal to any man, and not vulnerable because of my sexuality.”

Sexual Identity and Homosexuality

Dostoevsky said: “Without God, everything is possible.”

Human beings are capable of many forms of sexual expression, orientation, and identification. However, to date, no researcher has claimed that genes can determine sexual orientation. At best, researchers believe that there may be a genetic component. Sexuality, like every other behaviour, is undoubtedly influenced by both biological and societal factors.

The potential for behaviour, such as homosexuality, does not mean that its practice is acceptable in the eyes of Allah (swt). We also have the potential for deviant and violent sexual behaviours, such as pedophilia and rape. However, responsible human beings do not act upon all their dormant impulses.

The argument that consenting adults can do what they please is contrary to the very essence of Islam. Submission to the will of Allah (swt) is what it means to be a Muslim. Even consenting adults need Allah’s (swt) consent in all matters. Homosexuality and other forms of sexual relations outside of heterosexual marriage are prohibited in Islam.

The story of Prophet Lot (as) in the Quran categorically condemns homosexuality.

So when Our Commandment came, We turned (the towns of Sodom in Palestine) upside down, and rained on them stones of baked clay, in a well-arranged manner one after another; marked from your Lord; and they are not ever far from the Zalimun (polytheists, evil-doers).” (Hud 11:82-83)


This method of self-gratification does not correspond with the ethos of Islamic teachings.

Allah (swt) says in the Quran: “And those, who guard their chastity except from their wives or (the slaves) their right hand possesses – for then, they are free from blame; but whoever seeks beyond that, then those are the transgressors.” (Al-Mu’minun 23:5-7)

A Hadeeth indicates that those, who seek sexual gratification from other than their legal partners, are transgressing set limits. Scholars interpret that this refers not only to adultery but also to masturbation. Another Hadeeth reads: “We were with the Prophet (sa), while we were young, and had no wealth whatsoever. The Prophet (sa) said: ‘O assembly of youths; whoever among you possesses the physical and financial resources to marry should do so, because it helps him guard his modesty, and whoever is unable to marry should fast, as fasting diminishes his sexual power.'” (Muslim)

If masturbation was permissible, the Prophet (sa) would have named this as a remedy.

Sexual Health Education

In Islam, education about sexual health is not just recommended but mandatory.

Allah (swt) says in the Quran: “Say: are those who know equal to those who know not?” (Az-Zumar 39:9)

In reading Hadeeths, one is impressed about the Prophet (sa)’s ability to discuss all issues, including those dealing with intimate matters. He was not embarrassed by such inquiries but strove to guide the Muslims who asked.

Umme Sulaim asked the Prophet (sa): “Oh Messenger of Allah (swt), Allah (swt) does not shy away from the truth. Does a woman have to make Ghusl (bath), if she has a wet dream?” The Prophet (sa) stated: “Yes, if she sees liquid.” (Bukhari)

The concept of Taharat is so comprehensive in Islam that its equivalent is not found in any other religion or culture. It loosely translates to physical and spiritual cleanliness. We cannot achieve the state of Taharat without understanding our body, its physical functions, and changes that occur at different stages of maturity. Issues relating to our psychological and emotional development alongside the physical changes are equally important to understand.

It is the responsibility of parents to prepare and educate their children about all aspects of their lives, including the intimate matters. Other responsible adults in a child’s, pre-teen’s or teenager’s life can also be involved in this learning process. Educators must keep in mind the Islamic position on issues relating to sexuality and provide age appropriate information to children at their discretion.

Salahuddin Ayyubi

Vol 3-Issue 2  Salahuddin AyyubiThe name of Salahuddin Ayyubi, also known as Saladin in the West, stirs up memories of Muslim valour, decency, and zeal to serve Allah (swt).

Salahuddin Yusuf Ibn Ayyub, was born in 1137/38 C.E. in Tikrit, Iraq, in a Kurdish family. Upon his birth, his father, Najm-ad-Din Ayyub, moved the family to Balabak, Lebanon. Here he took employment with Imad-ad-Din Zangi, the Turkish governor of northern Syria.

Salahuddin’s interest in learning the art of warfare began, when he joined his uncle, Asad-ad-Din Shirkuh, in military expeditions into Egypt to protect it against the Latin-Christians (Franks). Shirkuh was a military commander of Nureddin, who was also the son and successor of Zangi. After his death, Salahuddin became the commander of the Syrian troops in Egypt and vizier of the Fatimid Caliphate.

In 1171, he abolished the unpopular Fatimid Caliphate in Egypt. For some time, Salahuddin represented Nureddin in Egypt, but upon the latter’s death in 1174, he declared himself Sultan. He ruled with a firm but just hand, brought an end to the corruption in the government ranks, and made many strides in developing the economy and public welfare.

The Spanish Muslim traveller Ibn Jubayr, in his travelogue describes a hospital that Salahuddin established in Cairo. It housed hundreds of beds for patients and a separate ward for female patients. There was a section of the hospital, with high walls, which was reserved for mental patients. The Sultan himself took keen interest in the management of the hospital and visited it often. He also built a big hospital in Alexandria, established colleges and mosques, and encouraged scholars to write on Islamic topics.

Salahuddin was a true believer in pursuing Jihad against the crusaders. Employing diplomatic tactics and a disciplined army, he first united the Muslim lands of Syria, Iraq, Palestine, and Egypt, where there had been infighting and useless rivalry among Muslims.

Having thus strengthened his forces, Salahuddin commenced Jihad against the crusaders. On July 4, 1187, he fought them at Hittin, near Tiberias in northern Palestine. The crusaders suffered huge failures and losses; and the Muslims gained almost the entire Kingdom of Jerusalem. Within three months, areas including Acre, Beirut, Sidon, Nazareth, Nabulus, Jaffa, and Ascalon (Ashqelon) were also conquered. But the high point of his military endeavours was achieved on October 2, 1187, when Jerusalem surrendered to Salahuddin’s army after 88 years of the Franks’ rule.

The Christian conquerors ruthlessly massacred the inhabitants of Jerusalem upon entering the city. Salahuddin’s and his army’s compassion and courtesy towards the city’s population on this occasion is recognized and applauded by Muslims and Non-Muslims up to this day.

After their defeat, the Christians gathered again to launch the Third Crusade (1189-1192), in which Salahuddin’s forces met those of King Richard I of England. In 1192, an agreement was made that allowed the crusaders to form their kingdom only along the Palestinian-Syrian coast, leaving Jerusalem under Muslim control. Salahuddin then returned to his capital, Damascus.
On March 4, 1193, Salahuddin died in Damascus after a short illness. Ibn Shaddad, one of his close companions relates: “In faith and practice, the Sultan was a devout Muslim, ever conforming to the tenets of Islam … he also performed the voluntary prayers during the night.” At the time of his death, he possessed only one dinar and 47 dirhams, not enough to cover even his burial expenses.

The Ayyubid dynasty founded by Sultan Salahuddin Ayyubi continued to rule over Egypt and adjoining lands until the Mamluks took power in 1250 C.E.

Mercy during War

Image Prophet sa humourIslam did not conquer lands and enter hearts by inflicting torture, raping helpless women or killing the innocent. Indeed, 1400 years before the Geneva Convention or any other War Crimes Tribunal was formed, the Prophet (sa) and his companions (rta) displayed a great sense of mercy and justice, when dealing with the enemies of Islam, which is prominently absent nowadays. The horrific stories of savageness today put every human being on earth to shame. Tribunals and other organizations appear either feeble or ineffective in delivering justice. Looking back at Islamic history, we encounter remarkable examples of Islam’s magnanimous soldiers.

After the victorious battle of Badr, upon Prophet’s (sa) orders, a ransom was set with consideration of the financial circumstances of the captives. As a result, some poor captives were released even without ransom. Others were allowed to work for their freedom. Given that the polytheists of Makkah were literate as compared to the Muslims of Madinah, the Muslims would ask the literate Makkan captives to teach the younger generations of Madinah literacy in return for their freedom. Accordingly, they were entrusted with ten children, and as soon as the children were proficient, the prisoners were set free.

The Prophet (sa) encouraged Muslims to treat prisoners humanely, so much so that Muslim captors would give to them the most valued item in their meal-bread-and keep only dates for themselves. After the battle of Badr, the Prophet (sa) ordered to burry the dead bodies of Islam’s enemies in a dry well, rather than leave them around for birds and beasts to prey on. This he did out of respect for their dignity, as well as out of mercy for the family of the dead. On the contrary, the disbelievers mutilated the dead bodies of Muslim soldiers in the following battle of Uhud. Prophet’s (sa) uncle’s Hamza’s (rta) heart was cut out by Hind bint Utbah, Abu Sufyan’s wife, out of barbaric vengeance. Prophet (sa) simply forgave her and never avenged her even later in life, when she converted to Islam.

Another extraordinary example is of when the Prophet’s (sa) son-in-law Amr ibnul Aas (who was yet a disbeliever) was captured in Badr fighting against Muslims. The Prophet (sa) did not make any distinction between his relatives and strangers. The Prophet’s (sa) daughter Zainab (rta) sent her late mother’s Khadija’s (rta) necklace to secure the freedom of her husband Amr ibnul Aas. Though this gesture greatly saddened the Prophet (sa), reminding him of his late beloved wife.

Likewise, before the commencement of the battle of Uhud, Allah’s Messenger (sa) gave his sword to Abu Dujanah (rta). The companion demonstrated incredible valor before the enemies. As he was moving into the thick of the battle, he rushed to kill a person, who was inciting the enemy to fight the Muslims. Upon this, that person shrieked. It was a woman, Hind bint Utbah. Abu Dujanah spared her saying: “I respect the Prophet’s sword too much to use it on a woman.” Though she was actively involved in the war, a sense of compassion took over Abu Dujanah (rta), comprehending the Prophet’s (sa) merciful nature.

Once, the Jewish tribe of Bani Nadir revoked the treaty they had agreed upon with the Muslims and attempted to murder the Prophet (sa) by deception. Consequently, the Prophet (sa) and his troops lay siege on Bani Nadir’s fortresses for a considerable time. Eventually, the Jews began to despair of any help from their allies, and Huyay agreed to go into exile with his people. The Prophet Muhammad (sa) allowed them to take all the possessions that their camels could carry, except for their arms and armor, as well as safeguarded their departure from Madinah.

Bani Nadir loaded their doors and even their lintels onto their camels. As they made their way through the crowded market of Madinah, the camels were objects of wonder, both for the richness of their trapping and the wealth of their load. Women displayed garments of silk or brocade, most of them laden with ornaments of gold, rubies, emeralds, etc. Muslims permitted their enemies to march off with pride.

The battle of Mu’tah was the beginning of great Muslim conquests into the lands of Christians. It all started, when the close ally of the Roman Empire, Amr al-Ghassani, beheaded the Prophet’s (sa) messenger, Al-Harith Bin Umair (rta), while delivering a letter to the ruler of Basra. The killing of an envoy was grounds enough for Muslims to declare war. But the Prophet (sa) suggested that the Muslims invite the enemy to profess Islam first, and then, based on their response, they would decide whether to wage war or make peace.

Islam also condemns any purposeful destruction of the enemy’s property. The Prophet (sa) always ordered his army: “Fight the disbelievers in the name of Allah (swt), neither plunder nor conceal booty, kill neither children nor women, nor an ageing man, nor a hermit be killed; moreover, neither trees should be cut down nor homes demolished.” (Zad Al-Mad 2/155, Fath Al-Bari 7/511)

A translation from the Quran states: “And indeed whosoever takes revenge after he has suffered wrong, for such there is no way (of blame) against them. The way (of blame) is only against those who oppress men and rebel in the earth without justification; for such there will be a painful torment. And verily, whosoever shows patience and forgives, that would truly be from the things recommended by Allah (swt).” (Ash-Shura 42:41-43)

Obeying Allah’s (swt) instructions to attain the level of Ihsan (a beautiful deed), Muslim soldiers made a great impact on the lives of many non-Muslims. Indeed, there is a famous saying: “History has never known more merciful conquerors than the Arabs.” It was this mercy that allowed Islam to relieve nations from cruelty, injustice, and barbarism and introduce a civilized way of life.

The Call Towards Allah (swt)

Vol 3-Issue 2 Dawah The call towards Allah swt“The Bedouins are the worst in disbelief and hypocrisy, and more likely to be in ignorance of the limits (Allah’s (swt) Commandments and His Legal Laws), which Allah (swt) has revealed to His Messenger. And Allah (swt) is the All-Knower, the All-Wise… And of the Bedouins there are some who believe in Allah (swt) and the Last Day, and look upon what they spend in Allah (swt)’s Cause as means of nearness to Allah (swt).” (At-Tauba 9:97 & 99)

According to Tafsir Ibn Kathir Allah (swt) states that there are disbelievers, hypocrites, and believers among the Bedouins (nomadic tribes / villagers in Arabia). He also states that the disbelief and hypocrisy of the Bedouins is worse and deeper. They are more likely to be ignorant of the commandments that Allah (swt) revealed to His Messenger (sa).

Ibn Abbas (rta) reported that the Messenger (sa) said: “He who lives in the desert becomes hard-hearted, he who follows the game becomes heedless, and he who associates with the rulers falls into Fitnah.” (Ahmad)

Similarly, once a Bedouin man gave the Prophet (sa) a gift. In return, Allah’s Messenger (sa) had to return the gift with many to satisfy the Bedouin. The Prophet (sa) said: “I almost decided not to accept a gift, except from someone from Quraish, Thaqafi, the Ansar or Daws.” (An-Nisai) This is because these people lived in cities: Makkah, Taif, Madinah, and Yemen, and therefore their conduct and manners were nicer than the hard-hearted Bedouins.

Even today, human psychology remains the same. The merciless circumstances of life turn some of the villagers into callous humans. They teach their pupils harshly and mould them into stern and heartless individuals with questionable ideologies that have no roots in Islam. Secondly, they also lack exposure to the scientific advancements and cannot portray themselves as role models for the Ummah, because of the wide gap that lies between them and the educated masses. Our children want to explore Allah’s (swt) galaxies, while some Imams from the village can talk only about cattle and rice fields.

Unfortunately, the educated urbanized society does not feel the necessity to learn and understand the Quran, to address their spiritual needs, and develop spiritual leaders with a well rounded perspective of life. Since the Quran contains pre-figured phenomenon, it cannot be understood without staying abreast with modern advancements. Allah (swt) continually invites us to read and reflect, so we can draw closer to the Creator by unveiling the hidden meanings in the Quran. It is about building relationships and not just harping on a few do’s and don’ts in Islam, like unfitting clerics with limited comprehension.

The Prophet (sa) and his companions were men of extraordinary intelligence and mannerisms. They were the crème of the society who advocated Islam. If Allah (swt) had assigned the job to the illiterate and ignorant, would Islam ever had attained its glory?

Ali Bin Abu Talib (rta) said: “The hearts of the people have desires and aptitudes; sometimes they are ready to listen and at other times they are not. Enter into people’s hearts through their aptitudes. Talk to them, when they are ready to listen, for the condition of the heart is such that if you force it to do something, it becomes blind” (Al-Kitab al-Kharaj by Abu Yusuf).

I doubt if any of the religious clerics from the rural areas are imparting Quranic knowledge with this level of wisdom and sensitivity.

If we wish to develop a balanced and self-motivated Ummah as was prevalent in the Prophet’s (sa) time, we will have to integrate our worldly contemporary education with Quranic studies. This will lead to a more capable and dynamic breed of Imams and religious scholars, who will be able to guide their people in the future, while retaining identities and roots. We can’t simply leave’s Allah (swt) message in the hands of those, who are incompetent for conveying it with sublime purity.

The State of Nafs

Vol 3-Issue 2 The state  of NafsWhen I think about meeting my Rabb (Lord) on the Day of Judgement and being asked about my actions, it occurs to me that my biggest sins, transgressions, and flat out rebellions are tied to my Nafs (whims, desires, emotions, lusts) and my ignorance.

Nafs is a powerful force influencing our actions and behaviour. For example, there are men willing to take great risks in pursuit of a woman’s sexuality-to the point, where they would be ready to jeopardize their time, money, family, children, and even their wives.

Lust for material things in life is also well known. Often times they are not necessities but indulgencies that we desire. These lusts and desires have to be seriously re-assessed with the understanding that we will be asked about them by Allah (swt) on the day, when no excuses will be accepted. We will not even be allowed to speak.

Allah (swt) says: “Then on that Day you shall be asked about the delights (you indulged in, in this world).” (At-Takathur 102:8)

“And verily, he is violent in the love of wealth.” (Al-Adiyat 100:8)

“This Day, We shall seal up their mouths, and their hands will speak to Us, and their legs will bear witness to what they used to earn.” (Ya-Sin 36:65)

According to social scientists, lusts or tastes fall into the social category. They are conditioned by the particular society that one lives in. For example, people brought up in the West have strong sentiments for freedom and individuality. Although cultures are becoming more and more global, we can still say that the value of freedom and individuality is higher in the West than in the East. The point here is that we come to like what we like based on long years of socialization or conditioning.

All of this leads me to consider the causes for my shortcomings on Yawmal Qiyamma (Day of Judgement). It is not the lack of understanding that certain actions are Haram, but it is our failure to control our lusts/desires for such actions.

Looking at our children, we see the effects of our Nafs. We desire better for our children than for ourselves. We want them to be Hafiz of the Quran, Amir of Jihad, have the Iman of Umar (rta), and show extraordinary patience in times of difficulty, as Islam demands. However, the question that we must face is – what are the effects of being conditioned by systems that are not based on Islam?

Whether we realize it or not, any system (political, social, economic, etc.) that is not based on Islam is Kufr. The entire world lives under Kufr systems – democracy, capitalism, pseudo-socialism, pseudo-Islam, etc. The ideology of Kufr is spread through textbooks, television, magazines, constitutions, advertisements, radio, schools, etc. These values and lusts are further re-enforced through other social agents, such as family members, friends, associates, and teachers.

Let us think back to when we first began to like what we like. If we think carefully and hard enough, it is the result of a particular idea given to us by someone or something (for example, radio or TV). This idea became a concept, in which we now believe and act upon.

You might be saying: “Yes, brother, this is why we need to work on ourselves.” This is certainly true, and we must make Tawbah (sincere repentance and intention not to make sins again). Yet, is it the whole truth? Working to re-socialize (defined as an intense, active process) one’s self is part of our Shahadah (testimony of faith). Our Shahadah indicates that we would not make our Nafs our God – only Allah (swt) alone is our Rabb. We must also understand that Islam has a system based on this Aqeedah (creed). When we said our Shahadah, we agreed to accept His laws and systems.

Allah (swt) says: “And so judge (you o Muhammad (sa)) among them by what Allah (swt) has revealed and follow not their vain desires, but beware of them least they turn you (O Muhammad (sa)) far away from some of that which Allah (swt) has sent down to you. And if they turn away, then know that Allah (swt)’s Will is to punish them for some sins of theirs. And truly, most of men are Fasiqun (rebellious and disobedient to Allah (swt)).” (Al-Ma’idah 5:49)

Cleary, the Arabic Ahkum baynahum bi Ma Anzala lllahu (So Ahkum (Rule or Judge) baynahum (between them) bi Ma Anzala llahu (with or by what (ma) Allah (swt) has revealed) is talking about the Quran. Our Shahadah indicated that we would live our lives according to this oath to Allah (swt). Anyone, who appreciates what socialization or conditioning builds in an individual, should yearn to be under such a system that will culture us with Islam instead of Kufr or Shirk. We should wish for our children to grow learning to lust for Jannah. Don’t we desire for our children not to have frustrations about what society tells them and what Allah (swt) has said?

Living in an Muslim society is a mercy to the Muslim, who wants to attain the mercy of his Rabb. Allah (swt) says: “O you who believe! Ward off yourselves and your families against a Fire (Hell) whose fuel is men and stones, over which are (appointed) angels stern (and) severe, who disobey not, (from executing) the Commands they receive from Allah (swt), but do that which they are commanded.” (At-Tahrim 66:6)

Would any Muslim deny that it is not a mercy to live under systems of Islam, which from the beginning condition the baby Muslim that he is not free but a slave of Allah (swt)? Who would deny this? Would we deny that it is harder to look at a woman, if she is covered by Islamic dress? Would we deny that it is easy to engage in sin under Kufr as compared to Islam?

The Islamic guidelines are a mercy from Allah (swt) for guiding us away from the Haram and towards the Halal. Remember what social scientists have said – values, whims, lusts, and desires are all social. They are created by the creeds or ideologies that the people live under. This being the case, it is clear that if we want to have good Islamic values, we must be conditioned by Islam in its entirety from the beginning.

I believe we must broaden our understanding of what it means to work on our Nafs. Our understanding should be based on the ideology and systems that feed us our thinking in the first place. Secondly, we must consider our family’s fate under systems other than Islam.

Let us work on our Nafs by bringing back the system of Allah (swt), which will be a mercy for us on the Day of Judgement. May Allah (swt) guide us in this work, forgive us our sins, and help us to desire nothing but what He desires for us, which is submission to His complete way of life.