The other day I was talking with one of my managers at work and we ended up discussing religion. He’s very philosophical, so he’ll say things like “there are many different ways to get to the top of the mountain”. I don’t climb mountains, I’m scared of heights. Definitely some Buddhist influence there.
Anyway, so we’re talking and obviously I mention Islam and he responds “oh yea, Islam, yea I have a lot of Muslim friends, they don’t eat pork or drink”.
Immediately, it got me thinking, how come whenever I mention Islam to a lot of my non-Muslim friends, the first thing that pops up in their mind is the dietary restrictions and not anything related to the 5 pillars.
Which leaves me with a couple of conclusions/assumptions:
- Wherever they heard about Islam, that person that was conveying them the message prioritized those particular restrictions when talking about the deen, which is stupid.
- Perhaps they’re so attached to pork and liquor, once they hear that, it’s the only thing that sticks in their mind and it’s enough for them to be like “chill, I don’t want to give none of this stuff up so becoming Muslim looks kind of tough.” Like Sheikh Hamza said, “we don’t drink liquor, we do dhikr”.
- Since drinking is so common (happy hours) at or after work, I’m sure their are instances when non muslim co workers invite their Muslim co-workers and they aren’t interested, so it’s a shocker to them. Afterwards they’re thinking “wow, I can’t believer this dude doesn’t drink”.
Yea we don’t drink that rum, we drink the zum-zum.
So I thought about it some more, and to me it was troubling because assuming it’s the first thing their hearing about Islam, that’s counter-productive to giving Daw’ah. As Muslims, we gotta prioritize the creed, which is Tawhid.
Not to belittle anything that is ha’raam. However, we gotta take into context who we’re speaking to and what phase/exposure their at when it comes to the deen. Everything in Islam is important.
We need to prioritize when inviting people. Think about it, if a person hasn’t heard the message about the oneness of Allah (swt), then there’s no point in talking to them about not eating pork and telling them “hey, if you become Muslim, you gotta give this up asap”.
At that time, Islam in their minds becomes a very abstract thing that doesn’t accommodate people from all walks of life that are struggling with specific habits, whatever they maybe.
I hope that made sense, May Allah (swt) forgive me If I said anything that was off. May he guide us to the straight path and be exemplars of the Sunnah.
Please keep me in your dua’s, I will do the same for all of you, insha’Allah.