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I have heard a view saying there are more vital issues to discuss than the issues of nisfu saq, beards and hijab in Islaam. People who air this kind of view do so with so much confidence, and it is very unfortunate. The question I often throw to holders of this view is; is there any evidence to show that Allaah will not punish anyone who fails to comply with shari'ah injunctions on dressing properly in the society? 

As Muslims, we should know that the most vital issue of our deen is that which relates to 'aqeedah (creed, belief or faith as enshrined in the Qur'an and Sunnah). Without sound belief in Allaah, the ibaadah (acts of worship) an individual cannot stand. In fact, ibaadaat (plural of ibaadah), if done according to the Sunnah are part of the significant signs of sound faith in Allaah. All acts of obedience to the dictates of Allaah and His Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم are forms of ibaadah which attract rewards in this world and in the hereafter. Apart from this, a Muslim is expected to have sound akhlaaq (characters) towards people. Then, his mu'amalah (transaction) with all manners of people must be excellent. No wonder, the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said in a hadith that he was raised to perfect excellent virtues. The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم was very good to all manners of people, including those who were not even Muslims. His values and virtues made many who were hitherto non-Muslims to accept Islaam. This shows how important good character is, in the practise of Islaam. Islaam, being a comprehensive religion also laid down principles on criminal justice, human rights, trade, family affairs, inheritance, divorce, endowment and so on. 

Consequently, it is from the signs of sound 'aqeedah to always take proper care of obedience to Allah and His Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم in all matters, no matter how small it sounds to us. There is no way we would discuss compliance with the dictates of Allaah and the Rosul صلى الله عليه وسلم that proper way of dressing in Islaam will not creep in. When we are meeting someone for the first time, appearance is an important factor which determines our opinion of the kind of person he or she is. No reasonable job seeker, no matter how brilliant, connected or influential he or she may be would attend his or her interview wearing bathroom slippers. If proper care is not taken, he or she may not be allowed to take the interview. So, he or she cannot say "hey, don't judge me by my appearance, I am brilliant upstairs". This case is like that of a Muslim who claim to be very religious inwardly and says his or her appearance does not matter. The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said in a hadith, reported by Abu Dharr رضي الله عنه:

"‏لا تحقرن من المعروف شيئاً، ولو أن تلقى أخاك بوجه طلق‏"‏ ‏(‏رواه مسلم‏)‏

"Do not disdain a good deed, (no matter how small it may seem) even if it is your meeting with your (Muslim) brother with a cheerful face." [Muslim]

This goes further to show that: as we cannot overlook any ihsaan (good deeds) that fetches us rewards no matter how small, we cannot overlook any sinful act, that can attract punishment(s) no matter how small it may look. This is one of the vital principles of the People of Sunnah. This is one of the reasons why the People of Sunnah are different from other people. They do not trivialize any act of goodness or evil no matter how small it look. That which you think is small may be big in sight of Allaah. You would agree with me that people who trivialize Islamic standard of dressing are close to nothing in matters of 'aqeedah. Someone with firm understanding of taoheed will not belittle any aspect of Islamic faith. 

When you examine the whole situation we find ourselves today; you will find out that the problem is that many Muslim of this generation do not like to display their Islamic identity. The western ways of life and some barbaric customs and traditions have infiltrated our society. Some people even hide their Islamic names, so that people would not know they are Muslims or for one political reasons or the other. Some ladies refuse to wear hijab because they want to attend certain events where their families and friends dress against Islamic injunctions and they do not want to look odd in their niqob, gloves and socks. Some brothers do not want to wear nisfu saq (jumping trousers) because they do not want to look odd in the midst of family and friends at public gatherings. 

We are all carried away by the deceit of this ephemeral world that will end one day (sooner or later). Many youths feel they are still young, they need to enjoy their lives. The old ones have no time to think of how many years, months, weeks, days, hours, minutes and seconds is left for them to spend on the surface of the earth. Their close friend and associates are dying, and yet they haven't learn. The situation of the present day ummah is so disturbing to the extent that some Muslim cannot even say "Assalamu Alaikum" or reply tasleem of fellow Muslims in public. 

On every Saturday, an investigative visit to all kinds of weddings and social gatherings in our society would show that it is as if some people do not even believe there is hereafter (paradise or hell) at all. Our reaction towards enjoyments of life and the words of Allaah shows that we don't care. The worst thing is that when you try to correct some people; they feel their own sins are smaller compared to some other people. Is this how a reasonable Muslim should think? A Muslim should know that everyone of us would bare his or her own burden on that Day. There will be no comparison whatsoever. If you do good, you will see it no matter how small. And if you do evil, no matter how small, you will face the consequences alone.

May Allah include us among His righteous servants


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