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Good Muslims Do Bad Things Too

What Is It That You Really Want?

I think this is a question that each of us must honestly ask ourselves.

Do you want your brother and sister to live a life dedicated to pleasing and serving Allah? Or do you want them to live a life dedicated to pleasing and mimicking you?

This might sound like a rhetorical or even sarcastic question, but it really isn’t.

Most of us, myself included, would like to think that we genuinely want our brother or sister to dedicate his or her life to pleasing and serving Allah when we “advise” them on certain matters.

But what do our hearts and actions attest to?

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This is a difficult question to answer, at least for those who truly wish to be honest with themselves.

Many of us have enough Islamic knowledge and life experience to understand that, outside of adhering to foundational and clear, indisputable requirements in Islam, pleasing and serving Allah simply will not “look” the same for each individual Muslim.

Why then do we keep perpetuating “Islamic” environments that are more focused on creating clones of ourselves than on fostering close relationships with Allah?

No, it isn’t right for a girl to memorize and teach Qur’an then turn around and remove her hijab, hide her Islam, and try to hook up with a boy.

But it also isn’t right for us to tell Muslim girls and boys that they can’t wear hijab or memorize Qur’an if they have these struggles or inclinations.

Being human is a part of life. And our humanity doesn’t disappear simply because we love doing righteous deeds.

Yes, we need to remind and advise each other toward good and away from sin.

But we also need to understand that as we strive to do good and avoid sin, we should feel free to memorize Qur’an, wear hijab, and engage in any righteous action, even as we’ll always have faults and sins to tend to.

These righteous actions just might one day be the means through which we overcome the very faults and sins that people say a hijabi or memorizer of Qur’an couldn’t possibly be doing.

And yes, we could even benefit from more Muslim Girl-type fiction stories in books.

Because we have more than enough Muslim girl [and boy] true stories in real life.

And given that so many Inayas of the world feel suffocated by modern “religious” culture, castigated by Islamic preaching, and unwelcomed in masjids, I think they at least deserve the opportunity to sit alone in their homes, open a book, and learn that yes, pleasing and serving Allah is possible after all—and that even if you’re a “good Muslim,” you’ll sometimes do bad things.

And, even then, so long as you don’t give up on your soul altogether, Paradise is for you too.

This article is from our archive, originally published on an earlier date and highlighted here for its importance.

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About Umm Zakiyyah
Umm Zakiyyah is the internationally acclaimed author of the If I Should Speak trilogy and the novels Realities of Submission and Hearts We Lost. To learn more about the author, visit ummzakiyyah.com or subscribe to her YouTube channel.