I was asked a question today, and I felt it to be a great topic to share with all of you. Be sure to leave your comments below, and if you know anyone else you think may benefit from this, please share it with them and your friends on places like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and any other social media network you may be on. Thank you and jazakallahu khairun.

Question:

Salam Nadir, how are you? I’m sorry I ask soo many questions but this has been bugging me. In Islam, we constantly are told what not to do. And of course it’ll make us look into it and makes us want to do it. What are we allowed to do? Its a super silly question but being a teenage girl, I feel as though I don’t have much choice. Then culture comes in and even going out for a walk seems like a complete sin (to my parents at least). What do you think I could do?? Jzk 🙂

Answer:

Wa alaikum assalaam 🙂

I’m doing well, alhamdulillah. Insha Allah, things are going well on your end, as well. Let me start by saying that there is never a reason to apologize for asking me questions. I’m here to help the best I can, insha Allah, and I will always try my best to do so.

Islam doesn’t necessarily constantly tell us what not to do. It instead tells us the virtues of doing certain things and the consequences of doing other things. Islam has been prescribed to us as a way of life, and its guidelines have been laid out through the Quran and Sunnah of the Prophet (SAW). That is an understandable and highly beneficial gift, considering most live their lives trying to figure out their path in life, while we as Muslims have been blessed with a clear and detailed life manual.

When it comes to what we are and aren’t allowed to do, my way of understanding it is using this:

“When it comes to matters of our Deen and its practice, everything is haram except for what the Prophet (SAW) and his companions did and taught us based on the Quran and Sunnah. When it comes to matters of our duniya and our interaction with it, everything is halal except for what has been forbidden to us in the Quran and Sunnah.”

Your question of, “What are we allowed to do?” is one that comes with a very lengthy and tedious response if not put into context. So, the first thing to figure out is what you’re asking specifically…meaning, what are we allowed to do concerning what exactly? This isn’t a super silly question; it’s not even a silly question. It’s simply a question, and a valid one at that. Islam being a religion of justice, on the condition that you practice it to the best of your abilities, will never place you in a position of feeling unjustly treated. The reason I included the condition of practicing it to the best of your abilities is because if taken out of context, or if not looked at with a sincere desire to please Allah, to gain His Mercy, and to reserve a place in Jannah, we can easily misconstrue the Quranic verses and the Prophetic traditions (of the Hadith) into something that could cause us far more harm than benefit.

Taking out the time and effort to better understand why you are facing these struggles that have been placed in front of you in the falsely claimed name of Islam is a reflection of your desire to seek out the truth, and that is an admirable trait in anyone, especially one in this day and age. Depending on where you live, there are definitely some places of the world where certain rules are placed on individuals or groups in the name of religion, when in fact they hold no place in religious fact, but instead are based on cultural and societal norms. Sometimes, it may not be the places we live, but rather, those who are in our lives that compel us to stick to certain rules that hold no place in religion. That said, depending on who those people are, we should be wise in how we approach them in regards to these matters. When it comes to most people in society, unless you are risking your own safety, don’t bother with the opinions of others. Focus instead on developing your own identity, while being conscious of the judgment of Allah, following the example of the Prophet (SAW) and his companions, and being kind to and obeying your parents.

In the case of parents, let’s be honest, there are hardly any people in the world that haven’t had some disagreements with their parents. In fact, because every parent was once a child, your parents too probably had some disagreements or conflicts with their own parents. Your parents probably went through similar things as you are now, and so they’re trying to protect you from making the same mistakes. It’s the circle of life, and though they may know that you have to go through your own struggles to become the best version of yourself, it’s part of how Allah has created them, for them to care immensely for you. This isn’t always the case, as some parents just don’t care about their children, so if your parents are pestering you about something, be grateful that they’re there with you, and recognize that their pestering is a reflection of their love. That said, it’s important that we remember the verses of the Quran:

And We have enjoined upon man [care] for his parents. His mother carried him, [increasing her] in weakness upon weakness, and his weaning is in two years. Be grateful to Me and to your parents; to Me is the [final] destination. But if they endeavor to make you associate with Me that of which you have no knowledge, do not obey them but accompany them in [this] world with appropriate kindness and follow the way of those who turn back to Me [in repentance]. Then to Me will be your return, and I will inform you about what you used to do. – Quran (31:14-15)

Notice how Allah tells us to be kind and obedient towards our parents, but reminds us that our return is to Him? Always be good to and patient with your parents, because the reward for it is limitless in the Hereafter, and because we cannot repay how much our mothers alone went through to give birth to us. A companion came to the Prophet (SAW) once and asked him, “Oh Prophet of Allah, I have just finished performing the pilgrimage while carrying my mother on my shoulders. Have I repaid my debt to her?” The Prophet (SAW) replied, “You have not even repaid her for one labor pain.” Subhanallah!

Try to do the most you can of what you aspire towards, but if your parents ask you not to for the sake of their concern for your safety, or for any other valid reason (as long as they’re not holding you back from fulfilling a command of Allah like praying your salah, wearing hijab, or things like that), listen to them. Allah will reward you for it, insha Allah, and who knows, it may be that Allah is protecting you from something harmful through having them hold you back from doing something. Like it says in the Quran:

But perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you; and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you. And Allah Knows, while you know not. – Quran (2:216)

Talk to your parents, ask them why they would advise you stay away from what they’re prohibiting, but ask with wisdom. Ask kindly, and explain that you’d like to know so you can understand and grow from the matter. If that doesn’t work out well, then say Alhamdulillah, accept what they’ve asked of you, and go on with your day. Make dua asking Allah for guidance, and talk to Him. He is our greatest counselor, and the greatest weapon of a believer is dua.

I hope this answers your question, insha Allah. If you’d like to discuss this further, or have any more questions, you can email me at mail@nadirkeval.com, and we can set up an appointment to talk, insha Allah. Take care.

Wassalaamu alaikum,

Nadir Keval (www.nadirkeval.com)