Islam is a “Yes” Religion!
From Karim Serageldin
When I was seven years old, I was visiting halaqa (religious lesson). We will find out what I would call Islam "no" today. One summer day after entering the class, my teacher and I entered into this dialogue.
“What is this?” My teacher looked at the shiny bracelet around my tanned wrist.
“This is a bracelet; my grandmother got it for me, ”I said lightly.
"Didn't I say that jewelry haram [forbidden]?
“But it is silver. Boys can wear silver. My grandmother got it for his birthday.
"Didn't I tell you that this haram celebrate birthdays? His expression was more serious.
"But all we did was go to McDonalds and eat chicken nuggets."
“Didn't I tell you that McDonald’s haram?!
Seriously, that's what happened. Growing up, many Muslims constantly heard the word "no." “No, you cannot do this”, “no, you cannot eat it”, “no, you cannot see it / listen to it / touch it”. One day I heard a joke that some masjids (mosques) should be called "Centers without the permission of happiness." Of course, life needs boundaries, but what happens when we focus fully on them?
When we are constantly reminded that we are forbidden to do, we develop relationships with God, which are based on fear and anxiety. A self-destructive trend is developing psychologically: a tendency to fear punishment, anxiety about going to hell and a constant feeling of guilt that overcomes the joy of presence and the blessings of God in our lives. Because of this trend, some of our brothers and sisters have developed severe obsessive-compulsive disorder. This term is called scrupulousness, and it is a dangerous and sad state of being. One day I consulted a brother who was supposed to make an hour voodoo " (ablution) and two to three hours to pray. He repeated the rituals again and again until he received them perfect. He did this out of fear that his prayer would not be accepted because of his misconception about God as powerful and subjective. I personally worked with clients who had psychotic disorders as a result of this mentality. May the Divine help us.
One way to help such people is to ask clients to reformulate their perception of Islam as “Yes, religion”. All by default halal (valid) except what has been done haramIslam is not just a religion of rules and deprivations. We must look to the “yes” side, plus the side, the blessings and gifts that God really gave us. Living Islam is a way that gives far more than is required.
Think about it:
- We receive 24 hours a day, and we are expected to spend about 25-30 minutes of the day connecting the prayer to our Creator. This is 1.7% of the day in prayer. The rest is our time. We have twelve months a year. Only one month in the year, God asks us to practice self-discipline through fasting and focus on His worship. Thanks to this fast, we can still eat and drink at sunset and gain physical and psycho-spiritual benefits. This is 92% percent of what we have to eat when we want.
- Yes, God asks us to give about 2.5% of our wealth to those in need, those who are less privileged than we are. But you still get about 97.5% of your wealth and assets.
- If we are financially and physically capable, God calls us to make a pilgrimage to Mecca only once in all our lives, in exchange for His forgiveness! Not once a year, not once every ten years, but once in our life. If you live before the age of 80, hajj It takes only about 0.017% of your time. We can eat and drink everything except a few things that are bad for us: pork, alcohol, and carnivores, such as lions, tigers, and bears, which in any case are not a common source of food for humans. Besides this, you can enjoy all kinds of food and drinks.
There are many more examples showing that Islam is “Yes, religion”. The Prophet Muhammad said “yes” to almost all the requests that came to his mind, as well as:
- Forgiveness of people and patience in the face of misconduct.
- Flexibility and tolerance for the culture and customs of other people
- Allowing everyone to take da`wa (appeal to Islam) in due time, without making judgments
- Help and support for others
- Being optimistic, friendly and meeting people with a smile
It was even said that if it were not for “no” in shahada (there is no God except God) The Prophet ﷺ may have never used the word.
I urge you to reconsider your point of view and make your own list of how Islam gives more than is required. Focus on the fact that Islam offers more than it prohibits. Let's go back to this “yes” mentality. Let's acknowledge the gifts and blessings and appreciate all that God has given us. Let's turn to God with love. Let's pray because we want. Let us find joy in existence and look forward to meeting our Lord.
Karim Serageldin is a dedicated psychologist with many years of experience working with the Muslim community. His practice is called Noor Psychology, and he promotes life seminars, counseling and coaching, with an integrated approach of Islamic spiritual values, modern psychology and scientific research.