Many of us growing up, we do as we are told from the way we eat, to how we eat, to the activities in our lives. When it comes to Islam, we think what we are taught either by our parents or our madressa (school) teachers, we think it is correct. There is no doubts in our minds that these things, what we are learning today, are correct and these people will not mislead us because well, they are people of knowledge. Come on, our parents teaching us the wrong things? That would never happen! Well, it does happen and happens quite often within homes because what they have been taught, they never questioned it, they never openly asked questions, they just kept quiet and just kept following it. They never asked, did the Messenger of Allah do this? How did he and his companions (may Allah be pleased with them all) do it? Is it true? Is it authentic? We never had the courage to ask that nor did it ever cross our minds because we automatically assumed it was correct. I’ll tell you how I was following which I thought was from Islam, which was not but in fact either innovations or would have led me to shirk because I blindly followed without having a mind of my own.
I was introduced to or taught as a child that wearing a taweez (amulet) would protect you. It was something from Islam and just as a child would believe everything the parents or teachers at madressa taught them, I would follow along. It was only then, a few years ago where my family was introduced to a pious man. You know how pious people look, right? Beard, kufi, thobe and would speak very gently. They told me, he would know whether people had ayn (evil eye) or sihr (magic) done on them. I was amazed. I was like wow, really? So, my family and I went because of how he would find out. He would sit you down in a dark room, attach a screw driver into a hole of a slipper, tell you to put your finger on it and then ask you your name and your mothers name. Next thing you know, the slipper starts spinning. My family and I were shocked, like really? Did that happen? He gave us all a taweez, all taped up and had told me to carry it every where as it would protect me. Ignorant right? I was extremely ignorant.
Months passed by and I some how stumbled across a lecture by Abu Muhammad who performs ruqya in the UK. That lecture was a real eye opener because if you don’t know as of yet, anyone who asks for your mothers name is a magician. Yeah, that’s right, my family was introduced to a magician who claimed to have a cure, when there was nothing wrong with us but alhumdulilah, none of us have been afflicted.
Taweez (amulets) are not what you think they are and they do not benefit you in any single way. People are so misguided these days that they believe there is a cure in everything but wont look to pray their salah or read Qur’an. Last year, I was in the UK visiting a family friend in Leicester. He was having a lot of migraines all day, so his aunt had ordered taweez so they could stop. After researching for months about taweez and how to destroy them and reality of it, I had asked his mom for them, since she had put them away. I had asked her, what are these for? What did the individual tell you to do with them? She said, a few of these pieces of paper in water, then drink them and the other, he has to burn and inhale them. I had informed her, if he had done that, his situation would have gone worse and he could have had magic done to him. He could have been possessed by a jinn. I gathered all of them and destroyed them in front of her, educating her family about the dangers of it.
Once again, taweez are not what you think. Anyone who does ruqya or even does a bit of research on them, you would get scared as to what these sick magicians in disguise of pious people do to you. They are not there to protect you, they will actually harm you. The only protection is from Allah and believing in taweez as a form of protection is shirk. They are not permissible in Islam. So don’t go wearing one or asking for one to cure your problems. You need to have tawakul in Allah, pray your salah, read the Qur’an and read the morning and evening adkhars (supplications) everyday.
Another thing I was introduced and just blindly followed along because my family participated in it, was khatums. If any of you don’t know what a khatum is, it is when a family member dies, people gather in your home for literally weeks and recite Surah Fatiha, Surah Ikhlas, Surah Yaseen and each individual will read 1 juz of the Qur’an and give the rewards to the dead. I didn’t know what I was doing, all I knew was that this is what my family members do and this is what is taught in the community as well, so it must be right, right?
Nope! That all changed one night when Dr Bilal Philips had come to Toronto. He was an imam for several months at one of the masjids. I had attended one of his lectures or I believe he was recording a video for his Islamic Online University class. After the class was over, he had asked us if we had questions, so I asked a bunch of them and one of them of revolved around the virtues of Surah Yaseen that they teach you about as a youngster. If you ever open a Surah Yaseen book, you’ll find all these virtues about it and you are like wow! That is amazing for such a surah!
He clearly told me, that every single hadith about Surah Yaseen and its virtues are all weak or fabricated. I wasn’t in disbelief to hear that because I had looked it up on Islamqa for months trying to comprehend whether it was true or not, I just needed a confirmation. Same thing with khatums, they are not apart of Islam but since everyone has done them for so many years, probably decades, no one took time to find out whether it was permissible or not so they just blindly followed everyone.
Once again, all the virtues of surah yaseen are either based on weak hadiths or fabricated. Also, khatums are not from Islam and was introduced by sufism. Qur’an is for the living and not the dead. We are upon the way of the Salaf and if they had not practiced it, we should not either as these things will not be accepted. The Prophet Muhammad (Peace & Blessings Be Upon Him) sad: “Every newly-invented thing is a bid’ah (innovation), every bid’ah is a going astray, and every going astray will be in the Fire.” [Reported by al-Nisaa'i]
Now, you would think that leaving these things that are not from Islam or based on weak or fabricated hadiths would be easy for me, right? That leaving how you were taught to pray salah since you were child and then praying it according to the Sunnah would be easy, right? You would think, the people who also practiced these things would listen with an open mind and also follow that way too. Everyone doing things according to the sunnah and not blindly following what has been taught since a young age. Wonderful world, isn’t it?
Nope! Only thing I have run into has been backlash. I either get called a salafi, which we all are. We are upon the way of the salaf or I either get called a wahabi. Some how, these ignorant people listened to others and thought, these two words are “bad.” When they are not. Muhammad Ibn Abdul Wahab (may Allah have mercy upon him) did not create his own sect. The term Wahabi was created by the British in the 1900’s. I get called hard headed, a lost cause, someone whom is misguided and so much more.
I’ve learned that no matter how much proof you gather against others to show them the right way, if they are inclined to follow their desires, their way, the way of their forefathers, nothing will change that unless they change that within themselves and by the will of Allah.
The straight path is covered in things that are beautified by shaytaan and by other misguided sects, whom practice things out of the norm, while making it look beautiful and amazing, trying to trap you in. As a Muslim, it is your obligation to be aware of these things that look beautiful to you, while they are nothing but misguidance. Following the straight path is not an easy one and not many individuals will follow you. Many will question you, as to why you’ve decided to leave what the majority are doing.
Allah SWT says in Surah Al’Anam: “If you follow the majority of people on the earth, they will lead you astray.”
I am not writing these things to confuse you, I am here telling you about what I went through and continue to go through, leaving the misguidance I was introduced to, to now following the way of the salaf, to the best of my ability. I am not perfect. I probably have sins more than you nor am I pious. I am just normal. I have many shortcomings you don’t see. There may be many things you are practicing that you think it is from Islam but it is not. You’ve questioned these things as well but many times you’ve got the same answer that it is but proof shows otherwise.
You have a mind, an intelligent mind, so use it to guide yourself to the best of your ability towards the straight path. It will not be easy and you will be questioned and you may not be accepted. People may call you names, people may abandon you and people will go against you but all that doesn’t matter if what they are doing or what you were doing is not pleasing to Allah.
Make duaa and ask Allah SWT to guide you to the straight, actually all of us.