Thursday, August 11, 2005

Wearing the beard

My friend who just came back from spending a year in the UK studying wanted to get a piece of software from me, so we agreed that I'd drop by her at Beano's cafe tonight to drop it off.

So I go meet my friend infront of Beano's and after a few minutes she asks me what's with the beard? so I answer that I'm growing it to get closer to God by following the prophet's Sunnah, and then I ask her when she might find the light and wear the hijab again herself.

She used to wear the hijab a couple of years ago. Back then, we went into a discussion and I told her with great reservation my view about hijab, and we had a good discussion about it. A month or so later, she told me she took off the veil! Well, I was shocked and was hoping that our discussion had nothing to do with her decision. She assured me that our discussion had nothing to do with it, and that she already had it planned.

Anyway, so my question if she's planning to take the veil again pissed her off, kind of, and she tells me that my beard looks really ugly (which it does). I tell her that that's the point, so that it decreases my attractiveness and so reduces the temptations! I ask her why she looks pissed, and she says that I used to have a different/certain perspective on things, but now I'm conforming, am becoming a 'typical believer'. Well, I'm conforming to God's will. I certainly still have my mind, but what's wrong with conforming to God's orders in trying to be more devout?!

Well you know, I'm very weary of people who show a certain image, and usually it doesn't reflect a real core, she says. Excuse me, are you talking about me?! No, just in general, the outside should reflect what's inside. Well, that's what I'm trying to do, work on the inside, and in parallel reflect the proper image, and conform. Can't I do both at the same time? Do I have to wait?! on one before the other, can't I just work on the inside along with the outside? Plus, its not just an image, the veil for example is a Godly order, I argue. She says, sure, but we elevate it to much higher levels than it deserves. Isn't taking good care of our parents (berr elwaledein) a more important thing to work on for example. How come we're giving more importance to the veil and the beard than stuff like that, which certainly has more emphasis. Well, sure, I say. Other stuff are more important, but this stuff is important too.

So tell me, she asks, what made you change? I tell her that I didn't change, I just evolved, with the help of good friends, brothers who showed me the light, the rightuous path. Tell me more, tell me more. Ok, guys I've met at that Quran halaqa in the mosque helped me value more being closer to God, value committment and iltizam and realize how this makes us better people, having a better life and a good afterlife. So what are you doing different now, she asks? Well, hmmm, ummm, and I point to my beard! She bursts into laughter. Then she asks me to work on her like my friends worked on me and helped me out. I tell her no, you are hopeless! May God help you.

During the chat, I ask her to hop in my car to take her to Diwan bookstore as she was planning. She asks me if I'm sure I want her to ride, and I reply that we are required to be gentle with our fellow Muslims and so its okay to be nice to her and give her a ride, but I warn her to be careful with the books she's getting because I'll be censoring them. In Diwan, the guy working there asks me about the CD I have wanting to take a look at it! I tell her, see, devout Muslims are always targetted. I actually told the guy that the CD is with her not me anymore, and then told her loudly that she shouldn't try to hide stuff from the bookstore like that. Shame on you!

We go to Cilantro cafe (I look really ugly in that mirror, must be a bad mirror!), and she gets really serious explaining why she took off the veil. So its not fun anymore and so I tell her that I was just joking and I'm planning to shave my beard before I get back to work next week. Then she goes, so if its not a religious thing, and you knew you were meeting me after months of me being away on travel, why didn't you even bother to shave your beard and clean up before we meet?! Huh! (didn't see that one coming).

Walking away from Cilantro, we notice that heavy bearded guy who's working in the adjacent liquor store! I tell her that seeing that bearded guy selling liquor, I can now go in and buy some beer from him. Must be halal if he's selling it.


Mohammed said...

I sort of miss it ya mohamed.
which parts are sracstic and which are not.
I just hope they didn't get to u!

Mohamed said...

I dunno, its actually a true story (like everything here). I went out with that friend of mine today, she asked me about my beard, and the first thing that popped to my head was that answer, and then I just went with the flow afterwards. So I was kidding with her. I thought it was fun, don't you think?! She SMSed me after going home thanking me for a nice evening (despite the beard she said!).

Everytime she asked me what else I'm doing in my life to be closer to God and be more devout, I kept pointing to my beard. People were actually watching us burst in laughter! I kept hiding my beard with a napkin, asking her if that makes me a better person in her view?

jessy said...

I think it's extremely cool what you did, because it is so easy for one to judge the other based on something like a beard, or a piece of cloth a woman uses to cover her hair. One thing I notice is that society is so quick to judge based on an image, and its the same everywhere. Whether its a woman wearing the hijab in the west, or a westerner wearing a pair of jeans here in the arab world. I'm not saying arabs don't wear jeans, i know its become veery common, its just the idea. A westerner is noticed, and immediately some kind of judgement is formed. It drives me crazy sometimes, but I guess everyone is judgemental to a certain extent. Just the simple act of observing, something arabs are very good at, let alone staring, lets us create a whole opinion, perspective about someone we don't even talk to.
Still, very cool what you did!

yokoo said...

in islam we shouldnt judge people on appearance may be their hearts are different,but again we cannot judge the beard or the viel based on people which means if a person prays well steals the problem with him stealing not with his prayers if a woman wearing a veil did something wrong the problem is with the woman not the veil which is obligatory in islam to protect the women not to decrease their attractivess for the beard some scholars say it is obligatory others say it is Sinna'h but in all cases we cant judge people based on that and not any person who has beard is doing this for religious reasons ,people are really good deep inside why we judge on appearance why u care that ur girlfriend will not like the beard if u r doing this for ALLLAH and she should like the person behind the beard or the veil i am sure each person has a lot of good qualities to look at and good behaviors and manners to learn and show how good people we are it is very nice to have friends from opposite sex but u need to keep ur limits even being nice has its limits ALLAH never puts a rule that will hurt us but the opposite Allah is merciful so everything HE says is a must for our benefit and welfare

Sammy Alfayed said...

well ilike your story alot but i note that you don't have to puss on anyone alot in DA3WA cause preaching only comes from your behave and i do believe that you know that Mohamed peace upon on him soul , he spent many years just to prove to people that there is only god , so things comes step by step ,
Abdelfattah Sammy Alfayed , London , uk

Biersh said...

Agree with Yokoo & Mohamed , i lost you man, but kinda understand it before u say your joking coz, i your Multazim as u said , you wouldn't take her in your car alone ... caprenda

you have nice blog keep it on

Anonymous said...

well, this is my first time to blog and I actually got in hear due to a wrong key-phrase on google , but the topic really drove my attention and I think I'm gonna ISA blog again .

The first thing that I noticed is that most of us now days adopt many westren vocabulary and terminologies ( wich I can to some point understand )and to be fair I do it too, but it's really serious when those westren terminologies gets mixed up with our religion and faith , words such as " oh , Jeeeesus ! " or " Dear God!" can't just pass by !! I've heard it alot and I guess you might've heard it too and I wonder why do we adress Allah in such a name while it's very clear in his holly book the Quran that " wa le Allah al2asma2 al 7osna fad3ooho beha " , if you read that verse again you'll simply understand that it's a command " Fad3ooho beha " , out of all his almighty 99 names we chose to to adress him "God" ! it was really a pitty when I heard a muslim friend of mine saying " jeeeesus! " when we saw a car accident . Have we really reached that point !? Did we really forget !? Or is it that we were brain washed !!?

I totaly agree with Yokoo , saying " in islam we shouldnt judge people on appearance may be their hearts are different,but again we cannot judge the beard or the viel based on people... "

and again I agree with her sayin " ...the veil which is obligatory in islam to protect the women not to decrease their attractivess " , well the same thing applies with the beard ( I mean it's not to make you look any worse or to decrease your charm ) , in fact some men look even more handsome when bearded , my dear fellow muslim the beard is one of what is called " Sonan Alfetra " but for I don't want to get into arrguments about that I'd just repeat what has been said " some scholars say it is obligatory others say it's a sona " , so If it really does matter to you then I guess the right thing to do is that you ask the right pepole , read and follow what you believe in even if the whole world became against you , and last I would like to remind with what the prophet Mohamad ( sallah Allah 3alah wa salam ) said " bada2a haza aldeeno 3'areeban wa saya3oodo 3'areeban , fa tooba lel3'oraba2 "

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