How Not to Talk at a Muslim Student College Event
Invite them to the way of your Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious: for your Lord knows best, who have strayed from his path, and who receive guidance. Qur’an (16:25)
This post is directed at Muslims who speak on public forums, more specifically at college institutions. This past week I had the opportunity to attend an MSA (Muslim students association) event at my college. It was Islamic revival week and alhumdulilah the turnout was great for most of the programs. It’s good to have your emaan boost whenever possible since most of us have busy schedules in this short life.
So this speaker was invited to come speak on “Paradise and Hell”. I learned some interesting stuff, for example: Did you know that the first meal of the people of Paradise will be Extra-lobe (caudate lobe) of fish-liver? Yea I didn’t know, I guess all of you nemo sea food loving believers have something to look forward to, =).
By the way, you can’t imagine what it taste like because the pleasures of the Jannah are well, let me be creative in my vocabulary, it’s “unimaginable”.He mentioned his source for that hadith and others, if anyone can find it please share it.
While he did touch on a few good points, it got very disturbing when the Q and A session came. I’m not sure what type of group or Islamic brand he classifies himself a part of, but his rhetoric was way out there, I felt like I was listening to a dog barking. He said things like everything in the college is against the Shariah (Islamic law) and basically pointed out the brothers who didn’t have beards and wear their jeans below their ankles are in the fire. First of all, I don’t think that’s the deciding factor for someone to enter into jannah. Secondly, the hadith that speaks about people who wear their jeans below the ankles is specifically for those who wear it like that out of arrogance.
Of course societal pressures can change people for better or worse, but it’s not like the college requires you to sin to study. So making a statement that this college is against the shariah is non sense. What the water fountain is against the shariah? How about the fact that you can come to this college and speak your mind? These people really need to wake up and get out of their bubble. One of my friends even challenged the speaker and said ” He has come closer to Islam from attending college, now he has the ability to participate in the MSA and attend meaningful events. On top of that, many students convert/revert to Islam on campus, Subhan’Allah.
Oh and the most surprising thing he said was when he spoke about the sisters that were talking during the lecture behind the divider. On the loud mic, he told the sisters that hes “old enough to be their father and they are belligerent” in other words aggressively hostile.
What a foolish thing to say. There is a time and place for everything, on top of that not being conscious of the fact that their were non Muslims at the event that came to learn about Islam. Hmm, I wonder what their perception is going to be now.
While I do recognize that everyone has short comings, I raise the question where are these people being trained and how can you spread negative messages like that. In a time where the majority of Americans have a negative view on Islam, this is the last type of Islam we need to be spreading.
We should all be productive members of society and when we speak realize who we are speaking to and what methodology/tone we should adapt when giving lectures.
It’s important that those who are on the MSA board check what type of people are coming to speak.On the flip side, we do have a shortage of speakers and the renowned respectable scholars are for the most part booked, I guess that forces us to produce more intelligent and dynamic speakers who have a a more holistic understanding of Islam in America.
That brings this post to an end, sorry I haven’t written a blog post in a while. Insh’Allah I’ll try my best to change that habit.
May Allah swt guide us all to the straight path and make us true representatives of Islam, Ameen.