An Open Letter to My Fellow Muslims in the West

February 2, 2022

بسم لله الرحمن الرحیم

For any of the brothers and sisters who may feel as though this letter is being too harsh, please at
least read the last paragraph before closing it.

وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَنْ يَشْرِي نَفْسَهُ ابْتِغَاءَ مَرْضَاتِ اللَّهِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ رَءُوفٌ بِالْعِبَادِ۝

And there are those who would dedicate their lives to Allah’s pleasure. And Allah is Ever Gracious to ˹His˺ servants.

Surah al-Baqarah: [2:207]

For one century, the Muslims have lived without a central unifying Imam. Along with that,  colonization of our homelands has taken the prizes of our Ummah and stored them in the banks  of their occupiers. After taking our lands and wealth, those imperialists slowly began to chip  away at our Iman. When we see old photos of the Muslim lands, whether it is Bosnia, Egypt,  Turkey, the Arabian Peninsula, India, or any other countries, almost always we would see images  of men with beards and women veiled. Our youth were taught the book of Allah from a young  age, and the practice of Islam was a lot more widespread. Then came the occupiers, and they  humiliated our people. The amount of people who prayed Salah, let alone prayed Salah in the  masjid, has dropped.

Despite how bad the situation is in our homelands, the Muslim community in the West is in a far  worse situation. Our glory has been brought down to nothing but an aesthetic. Our fear of being  blamed by those around us has led to us watering down the deen. Our love for this life has  caused us to give an impression of Islam as a lifestyle no different than the one followed by our  peers in the West.

The two main reasons for this is the taking of those who disobey Allah as our closest  companions, along with the prevalence of ignorance among our communities. As a brother who  went to a high school in the United States with a considerable population of Muslims, it is a  matter of sadness when I saw how lax some Muslims were in their lives. Just to name some of  the things I experienced is here:

  • A brother tried to argue with me that the girlfriend he had (who at the very least herself  was a Muslim) was permissible in Islam
  • A sister wearing a hijab was close friends with a mushrik boy whom she used to spend time alone with
  • Another brother claimed that the close friendship he had with a mushrik girl was  permissible so long as they did not date
  • There was one brother who used to give and sell drugs to his friends (again, often kuffar)
  • The worst was a boy who I cannot even tell was a Muslim or not, who had multiple  girlfriends, did zina with many of them, one of which on the bus regularly, who took both  marijuana and alcohol

I used to tell my younger brother who was in middle school at the time about how prevalent drugs were, specifically mentioning the last boy, and he genuinely did not believe me. Mockery of the deen was something else that was widespread at the time, something that many of us took lightly. Alhamdulillah, I made two friends in the Muslim Student Association who ended up being the friends who I am closest to after graduation, who helped fix me when I myself was a jahil student.

The sad thing is, many of those people I listed (except obviously the last boy I doubt was Muslim  anymore by the time I met him), were also exposed to the type of friends I had. I remember  seeing that there were sisters wearing the niqab who were apparently the daughters of scholars,  and some of the brothers were hufaadh of the Qur’an. Sadly, without a close attachment of the  deen to begin with, it is hard to give advice to those who go far in their sins.

Abdullah ibn Mas’ud, may Allah be pleased with him, said:

“Remember Allah Almighty often. You must not accompany anyone unless they help you remember Allah Almighty”.

This is in the form of our closest friends  and relatives. Yet, if the ones closest to your  hearts are those that distract from the remembrance of Allah, then it is not something that can  reap good for you. This does not mean an extreme that you may not be with someone unless they  are  in  a  constant  state  of  dhikr,  rather  we  know  the  Sahabah رضي ﷲ عنھم  used  to  work  in  their  businesses and also used to enjoy themselves. Rather, the point of this Hadith is that our closest  companions should not be those who cause us to compromise our obligations to our creator.

Every example I gave prior is a result of what happens when the remembrance of Allah is not  important for our closest companions. Obviously for the brother and the sister who were close  with the mushrik of the opposite sex, they partook in sinful activities (though there was no  discernable evidence that zina was committed by them). The brother who argued with me about  his girlfriend was among the group of popular kids, who were by and large not Muslims, and thus  did  not  have  care  to  not  cross  the  boundaries  of  Allah ﷻ.  Similarly,  the  brother  who  sold drugs was also in this group. The final boy whose Islam I doubt had me was the only  Muslim he regularly ever talked to outside his own home, and by the time I started taking the  deen seriously I was already starting to move away from him.

All of these examples show how important your closest companions are. The excuse can not be  made that dawah was being made, because how can dawah be made if you are following in the  footsteps  of  those  you  are  giving  dawah  to?  When  our  Nabi ﷺ   gave  dawah  to  the  mushrikeen of Makkah and Madinah, they offered to him that while the mushrikeen would  acknowledge  Allah ﷻ,   the  Muslims  would  have  to  acknowledge  their  false  pagan  gods.  Muhammad ﷺ  absolutely  refused  this  offer,  and  instead  continued  to  call  upon  the  worship  of  Allah ﷻ  alone.  Similarly,  the  Prophet ﷺ  did  not  take  part  in  the  sinful actions of the idolaters like gambling, drinking, etc. He kept doing what was allowed of  him to do, and refused to do what was forbidden.

As a result, Muslims should be very careful with who they take as their closest companions. There is sadly not enough care taken in this, and it leads to such disasters for the Iman of our fellow Muslim brothers and sisters.

 The next great catastrophe for this Ummah is the lack of knowledge. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ  said,

 “Verily,  Allah  does  not  withhold  knowledge  by  snatching  it  away  from  his servants, but rather he withholds knowledge by taking the souls of scholars, until no  scholar remains and people follow ignorant leaders. They are asked and they issue  judgments without knowledge. Thus, they are astray and lead others astray” .

Never like  before have we seen this like we see it today. Muslims, especially in the West, have taken to  justify so many sins. There was already the defense of the Haram relationship from that boy  mentioned before, but I have seen Muslims defend or try to normalize abortion, homosexuality,  not wearing hijab, even zina. SubhanAllah it is shocking to me to what extent things have gone.  People have gone so far with sinning that they want to delude themselves into thinking they are  not sinning, so they try to contort the deen in a way that makes them seem as though they are not  sinful, which rather ends up becoming kufr.

The Muslims do not go to respected scholars, male or female, for their opinions. Instead, they rely on journalists, bloggers, TedTalk speakers, and more. With all due respect to the education that these thinkers may have, something that they do not have is knowledge of Islam. On TedTalk for one, I saw a speaker claim that the word “hijab” is never mentioned in the Qur’an, despite the fact that the word “ بخمرھن ” in Surah al-Noor, Ayah 31, refers to covering of the head and the fact that there are multiple Sahih Ahadith regarding the Hijab. What these people have in PhDs, Masters degrees, etc. is empty in what they have in terms of actual knowledge of Islam or the Arabic language that the Qur’an was revealed in. People now completely disregard scholars over mistakes, not realizing the mistakes they make themselves are far greater than the mistakes of these scholars.

More dangerous than these intellectuals are surprisingly random people without any fame on  apps and websites like Twitter, Discord, TikTok, Instagram, Reddit, etc. I have seen the worst opinions on the deen from these places. I have seen people argue that Christians and Jews are not  actually kuffar, that Islam is apparently a communist religion, that alcohol is okay, that the  Hadith are not necessary, etc. It is genuinely shocking how much some of these people water  down the religion, because some of these things are absolutely clear cut, but instead they choose  living in this world’s pleasures rather than truly submitting to Allah.

Without knowledge, obviously you have people defending having girlfriends, or thinking that it is okay to spend time alone, have physical contact, and have close companionship with a mushrik of the opposite sex. They were never able to learn this in the first place. No knowledge without good friends is a dangerous concoction which destroys Iman.

The question now is, how do we solve this issue?

For those who are not reverts to Islam whose  parents still live, a lot of blame lies on parents for not teaching their children. Were parents more  involved  in  teaching  their  children  about  the  deen  of  Allah ﷻ,  these  issues  would  not  occur.  Parents oftentimes get so caught up in the worldly success of their children, they forget about the  afterlife. To those parents I say, be patient. It is okay to worry for your child’s success, but it will  not  go  away  with  remembrance  of  Allah ﷻ .  Encourage  your  kids  to  practice  at  a  young  age,  as  only  Allah ﷻ  is  al-Razzaq,  the  provider  of  sustenance.  There  are  thousands  of  doctors,  engineers, businessmen, and other successful Muslims who not only practice the deen with deep  sincerity, but many times are also scholars of the religion, like the case of Dr. Muhammad  Muhsin  Khan رحمھ ﷲ  who  famously  translated  the  Qur’an  and  Sahih  Bukhari  into  English.  To  this day, not only did he become a doctor and win in this life, but he was a scholar, and every  time a Muslim gains knowledge from reading his books, he wins more in the afterlife.

Along with that, one very important thing to do is to remember and pray the five daily prayers.  The prayers are a medicine for those who are sick with their faith and are the best way to return  to  Allah ﷻ .  Do  not  fear  that  you  will  be  seen  as  a  hypocrite,  as  Allah ﷻ  does  not  see  his righteous slaves the way the general people do.

The final message I have to give is to those this letter is most dedicated to, whether you read in entirety, or skipped to the end. From the bottom of my heart, as your brother in religion, as someone who went through the same experience in a West which is trying to destroy Islam, I ask you to please think of your akhira. It pains my heart to see Muslims do certain things, and know that those things are not permissible in Islam. Please, turn to Allah ﷻ. I know how hard it is for those who are attached to something not good for them. I know it is hard to give that thing up, but for you I have this Hadith,

“You will never  leave something for the sake of Allah, but  Allah will give you something better in return”

Many  of us may have close friends who are  bad for us, many of us may give up an item that is prized to us, and I know it will hurt. I know  there will be tears and sadness. Stay strong, and know that for every bit of sorrow you feel, every  pain  you  feel,  every  time  you  fight  a  desire  to  return  to  what  is  forbidden,  Allah ﷻ  only forgives your sins and rewards you.  

“Nothing afflicts a Muslim of hardship, nor illness, nor  anxiety, nor sorrow, nor harm, nor distress, nor even the pricking of a thorn, but that Allah  will expiate his sins by it”

Sahih Muslim and Sahih al-Bukhari.  

May Allah allow us to be on  his righteous path, forgive our sins, protect us from the punishment of the grave and the fire, and  allow us to enter his blessed paradise .  Ameen.