The Muslim society is facing so much push backs from different cultures. And this often settles on the shoulders of young muslims who want the tag “American Muslim”.
The advent of technology and globalization has led to easy assimilation of cultures. Consequently increasing the feelings of belonging, acceptance and seeking validation from a wider community.
Many of these cultures often go against the foundational principles of Islam. Cultural practices are being curated into music, film, fashion, finance, education for instance. In short, all areas young people are enthused about.The “American dream”.
The young muslim in their quest to navigate life find themselves in this “world” not made for muslims. They sink into the dilemma of embracing their Muslim identity while imbibing other cultures and trends to seem woke. This balance they seek is often unachievable because Islam by nature is independent of cultures that goes against its doctrines.
For instance, a young muslim’s ability to pray five times a day but still go to the nightclub . Stay away from pork but take alcohol. Cover your hair but wear figure hugging clothes. Listen to the Quran but also know every latest song. Keep the beard and quote verses of the Quran and Hadith but also wear mini shorts ,among other scenario will afford you the name ” American Muslim”.
That is to say, you are “Hip, Funky, Modern” and have a balance of Deen and Duniya.
As a result,Muslims who are striving to do the barest minimum are considered “too serious” or “fake” because then, they are not showing their “true colors”. True colors being the human need for belonging and acceptance.
Self discipline and restraint have been shoved under the carpet. Failure to show the slightest form of indiscipline in the same vein, would be considered too serious.
Sadly, anytime the conversation about doing better with our relationship with Allah and islam comes up, we remember verses of the Quran. A way to defend the ego, that, “Faith is in the heart”. We ridicule those who are visibly muslim, not just jalbab/khimar wearing. But also those forbidding haraam publicly. Calling them hypocrites.
We pass comments like, “they are publicly muslims but they commit a lot of evil in secret”. That there are people who engage in haraam(taking alcohol, dressing inappropriately, gambling etc) but are consistent in prayers. We applaud them because they are trying and doing what is most obligatory ,”salah”. We forget that, Allah would rather we commit sin in secret. This prevents the replicating effect of sin.
This is a characteristics of a hypocrite.
Many young people would rather be an “American Muslim” because it gives them the circle of friends. It affords them the feelings of belonging/acceptance/validation they so desire. This feeling is valid. But misplaced.
However, what it does is, to rid them of their identities and ability to discipline themselves. Build on their relationship with Allah and getting to the next best level.
This is not to say that it is bad to practice faith that comes easily to us. This is to point out that we are not seeking for growth in our spirituality and relationship with Allah.
We want to do the barest minimum for the maximum reward. It is important to do more than just having a limit we do not cross in faith. Let us see the urgency in the need to strive for the next best level.
Muslimaatin, Muminaatin, Qaanitaatin, —-Thaaihaatin and it goes on.