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The following post is in response to recent experiences that I and my husband have had, in dealing with secular Muslims. I’m going to be my regular, not-so-tactful-self right now, and make the following statement: if any of this offends you, or you feel as though I am being rather “unfair” or “harsh,” perhaps this should be taken as an opportunity to take a good, long look at yourself in the mirror. Islam is a religion, and as such, was never meant to be secular.

Dear Secular Muslim,

I am writing to kindly request that you please stop trying to force your anti-religious views not only on me, but on Muslims everywhere. You have found support in like-minded individuals, those people who essentially become Muslim in name only. I know how fond you are of them, and how it is your sincere wish that all Muslims would become more like them, and ultimately, you.

I care a great deal not only for my own iman, but also for my children, and any subsequent grandchildren, InshAllah. For that reason, I will ask you now to never attempt to be an influence on my children. Contact with them will be limited at best, and ever always under my watchful eye. If for a moment, I suspect that you are whispering things in my daughter’s ear such as, “hijab on the inside matters more than the outside,” or telling my son that it’s really not necessary for him to marry a Muslim girl, becaus, after all, the Quran says that he can marry a Christian or a Jew (this ayat, as well as the one that says there is no compulsion in religion seem to be the only ayats that you know), then your contact with them will be nonexistent.

I know that your influence is far reaching. You have cleverly disguised yourself as friends, family members, cornerstones of the community, etc. The secular Muslim is to be found everywhere, in every form. I must be vigilant, and ensure that you do not ensnare my young and impressionable children.

Now, I would like to be a little bit more direct, if you will permit me. I would like to address some issues than have arisen lately. No more beating around the bush, shall we say. As the expression goes, “the gloves are off.”

For various personal and religious reasons, my husband and I have decided to make hijrah. This is something that baffles, and perhaps even offends you on some level. You seem to be of the opinion that all of the problems that Muslims are facing in non-Muslim countries are because of some fault of the Muslims. I know that you look at me, in my headscarf (which I wear every single time that I leave the house), and you don’t like what you see. You don’t like it at all. And now you see that I’ve taken to wearing abaya, you like it even less, in fact, you have come to feel disgust at the very sight of me. After all, I am doing the exact opposite of “integrating,” or “finding my identity.” You have done everything in your power to appear as though you are exactly like everyone else, and here I stand, not like anyone with which you wish to associate.

Recently, when we try to have conversations, I bring up something that stems from Islam. Maybe it was during Ramadhan, and I was hoping to find Laylatul Qadr, and all you wanted to do was complain about some stupid garbage on TV. Or maybe I just didn’t agree with your ideas of how to be productive with the precious little time that we are given during this life. Whatever the issue, it was obvious that we had radically differing views, and rather than discuss this with me, you chose to withdraw, and ignore it. I guess it’s easier to remain secular if you never try to discuss what is being said, or figure out that there was something of good religious value that was being given to you.

Now, I am not saying that I am a perfect, or even a good Muslim. But what I am saying is this: there is no such thing as “secular Islam,” or “spiritual Muslims” (which is the term people use when they don’t think it’s fardh to fast, or pray, or do anything else that Muslims do). Yes, Islam is spiritual, but that does not mean what the secular Muslim takes it to mean. A spiritual person longs for the Divine, and does all that they can to be closer to Allah subhanu wa ta’ala. They do not ignore their Islamic duties, nor do they dare to tell people that they are not important.

In short, your secular views are not inline with the teachings of Islam, and I find them to be greatly offensive. And in conclusion, I would greatly appreciate if you keep your secular views to yourself. It may make you feel uncomfortable that I choose to live my life this way, but honestly, that’s your problem, and not mine.

Sincerely,

A Muslim Trying Her Best To Live Islamically

PS I will discuss more about hijrah in an upcoming letter, InshAllah. Don’t think for moment that your very disparaging remarks will be ignored.

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