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THE PERSON, NOT THE LOOK




By
Sanni K. Yusuf

Islam without morals is like living without life, talking without the tongue, body without limbs. The absence of emulative characters in the makeup of any muslim is like stew devoid of salt. Such will obviously make no experientially sumptuous delicacy.

Islam is sunnah, and sunnah, apparently, is attitude. Why? Because its emblem, Prophet Muhammad was an embodiment of how the muslim should healthily relate and socialise with people – muslims and non-muslims alike. What qualifies anyone to be ahlus-sunnah is character, not only the exalted look. Allah describes the holy Prophet as the best in character. Therefore, whoever lays claim to the sunnah (deeds) of the Prophet must correspondingly demonstrate sound, exemplary characters.

The possession and exhibition of good characters is an act of worship – respect for elders, reciprocity of same for the respecters, greeting appropriately, obedience to parents and constituted authorities etc. All these cum many more are the characteristics an ahlus-sunnah is expected to possess. It was in this vein that the holy Prophet said:

“Anyone whose religion (sunnah) and charater are pleasing to you may have your daughter’s hand in marriage…”

Sunnah and character are inseparable twins as reflected in the aforementioned tradition. This therefore, implies that the physical outlook of sunnah isn’t the only required standard expected of a muslim. Good character, attitude, behaviour and any other alternative word preferred by you must go with it in pari pasu.

If any ahlus-sunnah is found wanton in character, he, the person is to blame, not the look – not the trousers, not the beard, not the hijab nor the niqab. Doing that is like blaming Islam for the shortcomings of a muslim. And no one does that except a cheer hater of sunnah and Islam. Why would you hate the sunnah? What for? If you hate the sunnah, you invariably hate Islam. You automatically hate the Prophet. Subhaanallah! Check yourself. Don’t get subjugated or defeated by shaytan. He is the whisperer of such a straying and destructive thought. Did I hear you say a’uudhubillaahi minash-shaytaanir-rajeem? You had better do.

Wearing the trousers to the middle of the legs (nisfus-saaq) or down to the ankles (ka’bayn) was not only instructed by the Prophet, it was well practised by him, together with his companions (the sahaabah) whose entry into paradise had been guaranteed even before their demise. Therefore, labelling one an extremist, even by fellow muslims, for that matter, on account of dressing sunnatically is as bad as doing name-calling on the Prophet himself.

You hate the sunnah-inclined trousers, but you loved that of late Michael Jackson whose trousers would even fly up above the ankles. You liked Michael’s style, but dislike Muhammad’s. Hmm! What a bad state of mind! You passionately love Wizkid’s carrot trousers which fly up like that of Jackson despite placing the band beneath the waist in the name of sagging, but you hate Muhammad’s heavenly prescribed one. You don’t only wear the carrot trousers, you buy them for your children. But if any of them subscribes to that of sunnah, hell is let loose by you, because he has automatically become an extremist, a fundamentalist, or even a terrorist. Subhaanallaah! With Wizkid’s style, you are sociable. But with Muhammad’s, you are uncivilised. Hmm! What a sorry state of mind! Your situation is worryingly critical, because you are gradually oozing out of the can of faith – for detesting the sunnah – Islam invariably.

Dressing the sunnatic way is no licence to appear shabby like a scavenger. Islam abhors untidiness. The ahlus-sunnah should clad himself in the most elegant way. The clothes should be shiningly clean, exquisitely ironed with well contoured creases and worn so befittingly. If any practitioner of sunnah is dirty and rough, his person should be blamed, not what he represents.

Keeping beard is an integral part of the sunnah. In fact, it is one of the easiest ways to identify a muslim, even though there are copious persons today – muslims and non-muslims whose chins and cheeks are filled up with hairs, just for fashion. The Prophet of Allah did not only keep beard, he commanded the muslims to do same. It baffles to know that some people, muslims inclusive, despise you for keeping beard in the name of sunnah. When they see you bearded for Allah’s sake, you will get the most unbearable, unpalatable sobriquets of your life. Some may even liken you to an animal, thereby labelling you Mr Goaty. Meanwhile, these same people love Lionel Mercy’s so-hairy beard toped up with bushy moustache. Beard is okay on artistes, models – the so called celebrities, but that of Islam is display of extremism. What an injustice! What about Charles Darwin’s so-long, thick beard, or that of Wole Soyinka, the Nobel laureate? Those ones are okay, because they aren’t for Islam. Hmm! What a pity! What an egregious state of mind! While Jay Jay Okocha was still in active football, many people across the globe, including muslims, followed suit hook, line and sinker when he chose to keep beard for a style. He was a star. So it was okay.

Hijab is a beautiful garment that beautifully beautifies the beauties that beautify themselves with it. The cover is God-ordained - the same God that demands good character as a prerequisite to become inmates of the Paradise. Wearers of this divine garment aren’t angels. They are bound to commit behavioural blunders like any other hijab-less women. They are fallible. They may fall short of even acts that are inimical to their religion. Blame the person, not the look. If the hijab wearer is loose and can tongue-lash anyone, blame the person, not the look.

If the niqab user is rude and can abuse anyone, blame the person, not the look.

If the man in sunnatic trousers treats his wife inhumanly and beats her indiscriminately, blame the person, not the look

If the bearded brother is unkempt and is usually unfittingly attired, blame the person, not the look.

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