Part of being Muslim, especially a Muslim woman, is to understand solidarity. It’s something we have no problem doing when someone from the outside attacks us. We were all able to get on the same page when Palestine was the center of the news cycle.
But what about now? What about in this month when we’re all mired in a similar struggle? For those who are fasting, we’re dealing with being hungry together. For those who opt not to fast, we’re dealing with the judging glares of the hungry. And in between the fasting and the glares, what is it that we’re saying to each other?
Because we’re so busy constantly trying to protect the whole community, that we’ve got no time to work inside the community. How many times have we all seen other Muslims, whether it be online or in real life, chastise other Muslims for something? Hair showing, shirt’s too tight, gazes in the wrong places, not understanding hadith, not speaking Arabic — there are a million reasons to pick on your brother or sister. Reasons that we all pick up and throw at each other whenever the mood suits us.
Outsiders already know that Muslim women are talking back. The problem is that they also know that our voice is one of dissonance.
Interfaith dialogue is when we do things like #Muslims4Lent to be unified with our Catholic counterparts. But INTRAfaith dialogue is what needs to be on the agenda for this Ramadan.
The first bullet on the 1.6 billion point plan is to stop the slander. We need to all agree that during this month, while the devils are chained up, we will chain up our negative speech.
Second bullet, we all need to agree to talk to each other and get on the same page about things.
You know why Christians are so powerful? Well-executed branding. They’ve got one central message, and they are pumping it out to the world at rapid speed. What we need is the same thing. We’ve got to pick a message and push forward on it together. Personally, my vote is that we really invest in creeping sharia. But that’s just me.
What’s an actual suggestion that we can send to the test groups? How about the simple fact that we’re God followers? For some reason there is a shroud a mystery around who we’re all bowing to five times a day, and I think it’ll make everyone else a bit more comfortable to know that the same Lord we’re talking about is the same Lord they’re loving. Just my humble suggestion.
It’s also a good time to start blurring the lines between ‘progressives’ and ‘conservatives’. Those are just labels that continue to keep us separated. We are Muslims. We are all trying to get to the same place. One God, one goal. Arguing over petty things like clothing and head coverings is a detriment to the greater good. When we have these arguments and cause fractures in our own community, it creates a space for everyone else to squeeze in and break us without us even noticing.
To anyone who’s been guilty of slander, consider this your sign that it’s time to stop. Freedom of speech is all well and good, but it should be trumped by the responsibility of freedom of speech. Be responsible with your words. Ask yourself if what you’re about to say or type is something that you’d want the Prophet to hear or read. When Judgement Day comes and the scales are set before us, will that mean comment be worth it?
For those of you suffering from the slander, I leave you with this bit of guidance. Your relationship with Islam is your own personal business. People that try to diminish that are only hurting themselves . You just need to keep your shine on. In fact, try talking to those people. Be part of the operation to get everyone on the same page and get your taqwa up to a ridiculous amount.