WHY I AM A BAD MUSLIM

I am not the speechwriter for General Kayani nor indeed do I believe that Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff would have plagiarized material from my writings. This stated, the similarity between our two perceptions is uncanny.

For one, we both believe that the decision whether one is a good or bad Muslim is solely within the purview of our Creator. Fellow mortals neither have the right or the ability to assess others. I actually go one step further than the worthy general; I do not believe that there can be good or bad Muslims.

One is either a Muslim or not. If you are a Muslim, you are, by definition, good.

And yet there are those who would make this pronouncement on their fellow beings. There are those amongst us who take a perverse delight in labeling others as being good or bad Muslims and it is for these individuals that I write this piece. There are those who would consider me a ‘bad’ Muslim and it is these self-righteous, misguided and misinformed individuals that I address. I need them to know why I choose to behave the way I do.

I am a bad Muslim because I fail to understand why some Muslims can celebrate religious events on different days across the planet. I fail to understand why a motley group of bearded individuals huddle together in a windowless room to determine when religious events will take place. Why do we fail to recognize the Quranic edict that He has placed the heavenly bodies in preordained, predictable orbits and that there exist today scientific means and instruments for figuring out moon phases. I fail to understand national frontiers present insurmountable barriers to Islamic beliefs. Why is it that if the new moon is visible across the Wagah border but not in Lahore, this is an invalid sighting? Most of all, I am at a total loss to understand how the event of Hajj can be observed by Muslims as taking place on a day different from the one on which it is actually happening in the plain  of Arafat. This really boggles my mind.

I am a bad Muslim because I do not subscribe blindly to the social practices that were in vogue when Islam was revealed.

I do not ride around on a camel. I earnestly believe that had Mr. Henry Ford lived and invented his horseless carriage prior to the advent of Islam or indeed if Mr. Kiichiro Toyoda had started making Land Cruisers circa 600 AD, the Arabs, including my glorious Prophet (may peace be upon him) would have opted for that mode of conveyance in favor of the horse or the camel.

It is for the same reason that I do not sport a flowing beard. Had Mr. Gillette lived and invented the safety razor before Islam, the tedious and hazardous chore of shaving would have been overcome; shaven faces would have been in vogue. I do not subscribe to the belief that a free flowing beard enhances religious stature.

I do not wear my trousers above my ankles simply because my dress does not trail along the ground as I walk. Nor indeed do I tread ground that is undeveloped or soiled as it used to be before pavements and concrete were invented. Indeed I find it amusing that many, obviously good Muslims, hike their trousers above their ankles but wear socks that extend well above those joints. Or, remove shoes and then stand on them at a Namaz e Janaza. By the way, I also find it unacceptable to say my prayers in golf shorts which are, surprisingly, very Islamic in design.

I do not use stones and lumps of earth to cleanse my body after relieving myself. Muslim showers and toilet paper; nonexistent then are now available. Likewise, I have no religious reservations about using all technological advances to ease my worldly existence.

I am a bad Muslim because I cannot reconcile with the concept that I can take a Christian or a Jew to be my spouse but I cannot befriend either one.

I am a bad Muslim because I pray only the ‘Farz’ rakats.

I am a bad Muslim because I have performed only one Hajj and have no intention of doing so again.

I am a bad Muslim because instead of repeated Umrahs, I prefer to give that money to charity or send someone else less fortunate on this noble journey.

I am a bad Muslim because I do not give alms to professional street beggars.

I am a bad Muslim because I do not use the phrase ‘Inshallah’ knowing full well that I cannot or will not honor my commitment.

I am a bad Muslim because if I come across a suffering human being, I do not stop and ask if he or she is Muslim or not. I help in whatever way I can.

I am a bad Muslim because I prefer to be a good human being.

Let Allah be the judge of my “Muslimness”. Let Him decide.

I have until Judgment Day to prove to Him my worth.

I have a sneaky suspicion that He already knows.

9 thoughts on “WHY I AM A BAD MUSLIM

  1. My dear Friend in life, in profession, and in shared faith, if you are a “Bad Muslim” than God only knows what I am because as a Christian I have always sought to follow your example and seek your approval in the conduct of personal honor, in the presentation of character, in leadership skills, in professional bearing and the full blown natural abilities as a fighter pilot. Sir it has always been and will remain a great personal high-water mark to have served with you and to enjoy your respect and friendship which is returned in many fold.

    • Chuck, Sharia Law is an extremely harsh moral code which scares everyone but the plain truth is that it can never be implemented. Those that preach Sharia conveniently ignore the qualifications required of the Qazi or Judge. These are many but they have all been most succinctly summed up in one short sentence by Prophet Eisa, peace be upon him (Jesus Christ). “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone”.

      I do not think that there is anyone who can pass this test; most definitely not the wild eyed, illiterate deviants who are currently trying to do so in our part of the world.

  2. If on the basis of what have said with regard to your general conduct and practise then you are a very good human being. Affirm your belief in the words of Kalima Tayyaba,and you are a Muslim.
    That is my belief.
    There cannot be a subdivision in areas of belief. There can’t be “good” or “bad” Muslims. People can perhaps be good or bad human beings.
    There is no need to flount the qualities of you character or degree of your belief in public.What for?? That is your personal affair. Quranic injunction in this regard is ” To you ,your religion, to me my religion.God bless you you.
    Zafar

  3. If on the basis of what have said with regard to your general conduct and practise then you are a very good human being. Affirm your belief in the words of Kalima Tayyaba,and you are a Muslim.
    That is my belief.
    There cannot be a subdivision in areas of belief. There can’t be “good” or “bad” Muslims. People can perhaps be good or bad human beings.
    There is no need to flount the qualities of you character or degree of your belief in public.What for?? That is your personal affair. Quranic injunction in this regard is ” To you ,your religion, to me my religion.God bless you you.
    Zafar

  4. Dear Sir, I loved every word of your article. I felt as if I have written that article myself. As a matter of fact I am even a worse Muslim because I befriend and love even Kafirs like Hindus, Budhists, Jains, Ahmadis etc. simply because they are human beings (some times far better human beings than, at least, me) and have also been created by the same Creator. He, therefore, must surely love and care for them also. If He loves them and cares for them, we don’t seem to have an alternative left. I will just make sure that he starts loving all Muslims after meeting me.

  5. I believe most of the educated muslims think the way Shahid thinks. Unfortunately, Ijtehad allowed in Islam is missing. There is a lot to be done in this direction..When and how will it start is a big question. The debates in these directions might lead us to somewhere which is badly needed for entire Ummah.

  6. You are a good human being and a good Muslim. Tragedy of our country is
    that morality has been hijacked by religion.

  7. SKK it so wonderful to read your article, your flair for writing is as fantastic as your thinking and thought process. May HE bless you and keep enlightening us all. This is what we need.
    Cheers
    Tan

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