Diversity – [What to Bear In Mind When Informing Muslim Children About Diversity]


In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.

Ascription to a Nation or Tribe

Allaah [The Most High] said:

يَـٰٓأَيُّہَا ٱلنَّاسُ إِنَّا خَلَقۡنَـٰكُم مِّن ذَكَرٍ۬ وَأُنثَىٰ وَجَعَلۡنَـٰكُمۡ شُعُوبً۬ا وَقَبَآٮِٕلَ لِتَعَارَفُوٓاْ‌ۚ إِنَّ أَڪۡرَمَكُمۡ عِندَ ٱللَّهِ أَتۡقَٮٰكُمۡ‌ۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ عَلِيمٌ خَبِيرٌ۬

O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Verily, the most honourable of you with Allah is that (believer) who has the most fear of Allaah. Verily, Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware. [Surah Al-Hujuraat. Aayah 13]

[لِتَعَارَفُوا – that you may know one another]: Meaning: So that you may know one another and how close you all are to one another in lineage, but not out of boastfulness. Then Allaah informed us that the most elevated amongst them [i.e. the children of Aadam] are those who fear Allaah the most. The Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] said: “Learn your lineages so that you can maintain ties of kinship. (1)

Ascription to a tribe and a nation is affirmed in Islaam. The companions of the Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] used to ascribe themselves to their tribes and their people in the presence of the Messenger [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him], and he never disapproved of that. (2)

The Basis of Virtue

The Messenger [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] said: Indeed, Allaah [The Most High] has removed from you the pride of the pre-Islamic period and its boasting about ancestors. One is only a pious believer or a wretched sinner. You are sons of Adam and Adam (was created from) dust. Let the people abandon boasting about their ancestors, for they are merely fuel in Jahannam; or they will become more insignificant in (the sight of) Allah than the beetle which rolls dung with its nose. (3)

The Messenger [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] said, ‘’Whoever is held back by his deeds, his (nobility) of lineage will not push him forward.” (4)

Imaam Nawawi [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said, ‘’Its meaning is that the one whose deeds are deficient and he does not catch up with the performers of (good) deeds, then it is obligatory upon him not to crown himself with nobility of lineage and the virtues of his forefathers, whilst he is lagging behind in (performing good) deeds.” (5)

Customs and Cultural Practices

Imaam Ash-Shaatibee [may Allaah have mercy upon him] stated in Al-Muwaafaqaat that customs are many different types- some are good and others are corrupt. The good customs are those that neither oppose the Sharee’ah texts nor lead to losing an affair deem to be beneficial by the Sharee’ah, nor lead to an affair which the Sharee’ah deems to be corrupt. As for the corrupt customs, they are those that oppose the evidences in the Sharee’ah or some of the principles of the Sharee’ah, such as some of the customary dealings in usury and those deeds deemed to be evil by the Sharee’ah which the people engage in during occasions of happiness (or rejoicing etc). (6)

Imaam Ibnul Qayyim [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said: Hardship is only encountered by the one who abandons the Ma’loofaat and Awaa’id [i.e. those habitual things, deeds, practices, customs etc] for other than the sake of Allaah. As for the one who abandons them truthfully and sincerely from the bottom of his heart- for the sake of Allaah alone- then indeed he does not encounter any difficulty due to abandoning them except in the beginning, in order that he is tested as to whether he is truthful or untruthful in abandoning them? If he exercises a little bit of patience, its [i.e. that abandonment] will alternate into pleasure. Ibn Seereen said that he heard Shurayh swearing by Allaah that “A servant does not abandon anything for the sake of Allaah and finds a loss in that.” And their statement [i.e. the people of knowledge] that ‘whoever abandons something for the Sake of Allaah, Allaah will replace it with what is better.” This is true. This compensation is of different types and the best of that which a person is compensated with is: the desire and yearning to get close to Allaah, seeking after Allaah’s pleasure, love of Allaah, and the heart granted-by way of it- tranquility, strength, enthusiasm, happiness and being pleased with its Lord [The Most High]. (7)

Imaam Abdul Azeez Bin Baaz [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said: It is obligated on every Muslim that he does not depend on custom; rather he presents it to the pure Islamic legislation [to be judged], so whatever the Islamic legislation affirms is permissible and whatever it does not affirm is impermissible. The customs of the people are not proof to determine the lawfulness of anything. All the customs of the people in their countries or tribes must be presented to the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] for judgement, so whatever Allaah and His Messenger made permissible is permissible, and whatever they forbid, then it is obligatory to abandon it even if it is the custom of the people. (8)

Imaam Muhammad Bin Saaleh Al-Uthaymeen [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said: The customs cannot make something that is not legislated (in the divine revelation) as something legislated, because of Allaah’s statement: [وَلَيۡسَ ٱلۡبِرُّ بِأَن تَأۡتُواْ ٱلۡبُيُوتَ مِن ظُهُورِهَا – It is not Al-Birr (piety, righteousness, etc.) that you enter the houses from the back] [Surah Al-Baqarah. Aayah 189], despite the fact that it was something they took as their custom and considered it to be an act of righteousness. Whoever takes something as a custom and believes that it is an act of righteousness, then it should be presented to Allaah’s divine legislation. (9)

Imaam Muhammad Bin Saaleh Al-Uthaymeen [may Allaah have mercy upon him] also said: Extremism in related to customs is stringent adherence to old customs and not diverting to what is better than them. As for if the customs are equal in benefit [i.e. the ones judged to be permissible by the divine legislation], then a person remaining upon what he is upon would be better than going along with the new (or emerging) customs. (10)

Languages

Allaah [The Exalted] said: [وَمِنۡ ءَايَـٰتِهِۦ خَلۡقُ ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٲتِ وَٱلۡأَرۡضِ وَٱخۡتِلَـٰفُ أَلۡسِنَتِڪُمۡ وَأَلۡوَٲنِكُمۡ‌ۚ إِنَّ فِى ذَٲلِكَ لَأَيَـٰتٍ۬ لِّلۡعَـٰلِمِينَ – And among His Signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the difference of your languages and colours. Verily, in that are indeed signs for men of sound knowledge].[Surah Ar-Rum. Aayah 22]

Shaikhul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said, “The one who does not know the language of the Prophet’s companions- the language they used when speaking to (one another), the (language) used by the Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] when he spoke to them and the manner in which they spoke in general, he will change words from their right places. For indeed many people are nurtured upon the idioms of their people and their customary usage of words, so he finds those words in Allaah’s Speech or the speech of Messenger or that of the Prophet companions and thinks that what Allaah intends or what His Messenger (intend), or what the companions (intend) is what is intended by the people of his custom and their oral expressions, even though what Allaah and His Messenger intend is the opposite of that. This occurred from a group of people- the people of philosophical rhetoric, the people who spoke about Fiqh, the people who spoke about the Arabic language, the common people and other than them. And there are others who deliberately devise other meanings for the words of the Prophets and that of their [true] followers-meanings that are in opposition to their (true) ones. Then they spoke with those words whilst intending to aid themselves, saying: ‘’Indeed, we are in agreement with the Prophets.’’ This is found in abundance in the speech of the heretical philosophers, the Ismaa’eeliyyah (Rawaafid) and those similar to them amongst the heretical philosophers, rhetoricians and the soofees. The one who (truly) knows the Prophets and what they intend (by their speech) he will know by necessity that the (speech of those heretics) is not what is intended by the Prophets”. (10.1)

Traditional Foods: [Do Not Be Bad Mannered And Be Sensitive to Other People’s Feelings! Either Eat or Leave It, But Never Criticize, Frown, Mock etc]

Narrated Abu Hurairah [may Allaah be pleased with him]: The Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] never criticized any food, but he would eat it if he liked it; otherwise he would leave it. [Saheeh al-Bukhaari Number 3563]

Imaam Abdul Azeez Bin Baaz [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said: This is from his [i.e. the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) noble manners. He would neither say that it is salty nor the opposite of it. Question: What if one says the food is such and such in order to warn (or notify the people)? Answer: There is no harm in doing so, for warning (or notifying) is something else because it is done to educate (people about food etc). (11)

Ibn ‘Umar [may Allaah be pleased with him and his father] reported that there were some people with Allaah’s Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] among his Companions, Sa’d [may Allaah be pleased with him] being one of them. There was brought to them the flesh of the lizard when a lady [may Allaah be pleased with her] amongst the wives of Allaah’s Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] said: ”It is the flesh of the lizard”. So Allaah’s Messenger [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] said, ”Eat, for it is lawful, but it is not my diet”. (12)

Ibn Abbaas [may Allaah be pleased with him and his father] reported: I and Khalid bin Al-Waleed [may Allaah be pleased with him] went to the apartment of Maimoonah [may Allaah be pleased with her] along with Allaah’s Messenger [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] and there was presented to him a roasted lizard. Allaah’s Messenger stretched his hand towards it, whereupon some of the women who had been in the house of Maimoonah said: Inform Allaah’s Messenger what he intends to eat. Allaah’s Messenger lifted his hand. I said, ”Messenger of Allaah, is it forbidden?” He said, ”No. It is not found in the land of my people, and I feel that I have no liking for it”. Khalid said, ”I then chewed and ate it, while, Allaah’s Messenger was looking (at me)”. (13)


Ref 1: Reported by Imaam Tirmidhee (rahimahullaah) Number 1979 & declared authentic by Imaam Albani (rahimahullaah) in Sahih Sunan At-Tirmidhee]
[Ref2: An Excerpt from ‘Silsilah Ar-Rasaa’il Al-Manhajiyyah Fin-Nus’hi Wal Irshaad Wat-Taw’iyah’ pages 47-49’. slightly paraphrased]
[Ref 3: Reported by Imaam Abu Dawud (rahimahullaah)’ Hadith Number 5116. Declared ‘Hasan’ by Shaikh Albaani (rahimahullaah) in his checking of Sunan Abu Dawud. Pages -766-767.Publisher: Maktabah Al-Ma’aarif’ 1st edition]
[Refs 4 & 5: Saheeh Muslim…part of hadeeth in ‘The Book Pertaining to the Remembrance of Allah, Supplication, Repentance and Seeking Forgiveness. Sharh Saheeh Muslim: Hadeeth Number 2699; Vol 17, page 18]
[Ref 6: Al-Muwaafaqaat 2/283]
[Ref 7: Al-Fawaa’id page 166]
[Ref 8: Majmoo Al-Fataawas 6/510]
[Ref 9: Tafseer Surah Al-Baqarah 2/299]
[Ref 10: Majmoo Al-Fataawaa 7/7]
[Ref 10.1: Majmoo Fataawaa 1/175]
[Ref 11: Al-Hulalul Ibreeziyyah Min At-Taleeqaat Al-Baaziyyah Alaa Saheeh Al-Bukhaari’Vol 3’ page 120’ footnote 2. slightly paraphrased. Source:]
[Refs12and13:http://www.sahihmuslim.com/sps/smm/sahihmuslim.cfm?scn=dspchaptersfull&ChapterID=823&BookID=21%5D

Salafi Centre Appeal 2020

Search

Newsletter

Follow Us

Donate

Back to Top

More Articles

Basics

Aqeedah

Manhaj (Methodology)

Fiqh (Rulings & Jurisprudence)

Women & Family

Innovations in Islam

Share The Knowledge
Shares