In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
Quote: Sharif laments how some view her as not British enough, as others in her community believe she is not sufficiently Somalian. In her parents’ birthplace she is dismissed as diaspora….
What is The Perfect Solution to This Problem?
Firstly, the basis of virtue is neither that a person is a British citizen nor any other nationality, neither that a person is a member of particular tribe (clan, social class) nor because of his or her skin complexion. Allaah [The Exalted] 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. Verse 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 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.” [Ref 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)
Secondly, a Muslim is not forbidden from embracing and appreciating the customs of other nations as long as such customs are not judged to be un-Islamic. 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)
Shaikh Abu Khadeejah [may Allaah preserve him] stated: A principle: In a Muslim’s worldly (non-religious) conduct, he or she is allowed to wear, eat, drink, and drive whatever they want. They can live whatever lifestyle they choose so long as it does not contradict any Islamic law. These laws are made clear in the Quran and Sunnah. Read full article here: https://www.abukhadeejah.com/muslim-lifestyles-choices-and-adopting-non-muslim-practices-that-conflict-with-islamic-teachings-islam-4-1/
Finally, as for those who seek to turn people’s lives into messed up identity crisis and saying to our children that they are neither British enough nor cultured enough to be called Somalian, Nigerian, Pakistani, Benghali, Gambian, Jamaican, Black, White and so on, then do not preoccupy yourselves with their views if what they intend is that you follow their way and oppose the Book of Allaah and the authentic Sunnah of the Messenger [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him]; rather appreciate all customs and cultural practices if they do not oppose the way of life ordained by Allaah, and live alongside non-Muslims with fine conduct.
As for those who persist and seek to vilify your children, then indeed one must remember the fact that seeking to please the people is an unattainable goal. Read: https://salaficentre.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/The-Dangerous-Unattainable-Goal.pdf
As for the subject matter regarding FGM, read on the link by Shaikh Abu Iyaadh [may Allaah preserve him]:
Fatwa of the Permanent Committee on the Harmful Practice of Female Genital Mutilation, An Explanation of the Medical Benefits of Hoodectomy (Khitān) and a Refutation of Those Who Blame Islām For the Harms of Local Culture (PDF 8 pages). Download here: http://www.aboutatheism.net/articles/kflqsjb-on-female-genital-mutilation-culture-and-islam-a-refutation-of-ayaan-hirsi-ali.cfm
May Allaah bless us with the knowledge and firmness that is beloved to Him Aameen.
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]