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Sunday, May 1, 2011

Muslim Culture vs. Pop Culture: Halaal Alternatives by Zainab (AnonyMouse)

Well, here’s another relevant subject for all of us living here in the West: for teenagers and young adults especially, there is so much haraam going on around us… we have to struggle with such basic things as food, clothing, and entertainment. There is such a great deal of fitnah that sometimes it can be very hard to resist it all, and some of us even fall into the trap of giving in to Shaytaan and his whispers – may Allah protect us and strengthen us, ameen.

This subject and the suggestions I’m about to post below have been taken from the IslamWay Sisters forum (SISTERS-ONLY!!!! – in case you couldn’t figure that out on your own!)

Eating out (McDonald’s, KFC, etc.): Go to a halaal restaurant if there is one around; if there isn’t, stick to what we’re allowed to eat (veggie wraps, salads, seafood).

Music: Qur’aan and anasheed (without musical instruments).

Movies: Ummah Films! Make your own halaal movies – all you need is a video camera (and maybe someone with video editing skills!)

Novels (for those of us who like to read): Islamic novels – surprisingly, there are several Muslim writers out there who’ve written works of Islamic fiction. The Jinn in the Clock, The Wicked Wazir, and Umm Zakiyya’s “If I Should Speak” trilogy are amongst my favorites!

Clothing (guys have it easier than girls!): The best solution to our numerous clothing issues: Wear an ‘abaaya or jilbaab! That way, you don’t have to worry about whether your skirt or blouse is long enough or simple enough; wear whatever you like and just throw on a lovely, simple ‘abaaya/jilbaab over it! There are so many great stores around – online and in many areas in Canada/ the States/ the UK – from where you can buy great quality and great looking ‘abaayas and jilbaabs. If you know of any great online stores, please leave a link in the comments section!

Dating: MARRIAGE!!! Mind you, there’s a lot more to it than just going out and getting married to the first random Muslim dude (or dudette) you meet on the way to the Masjid; keep in mind the many different issues each individual faces! But, for those of us who can’t get married ASAP: fast!

The Prom/partying: Have a sisters-only party! Dress up, wear sparkly hijaabs, blast anasheed from the boombox, play fun and silly games (cheesy classics are classics for a reason – they’re ALWAYS fun!), and take a moment to read aloud some ayaat or ahadeeth to remind ourselves of our ultimate purpose on this earth. Errrr, right – let’s not forget the brothers! Ah, well, I’m sure their Xboxes and Wii’s are keeping them plenty entertained…

Shopping: Mind you, there’s nothing wrong with shopping in moderation… but far too often we find ourselves doling out moolah on things that are neither necessary, nor even wanted. Why not spend that money fee sabeelillaah (for the sake of Allah) instead? Donate to your local masjid, food bank, or any other beneficial cause, and invest in your ASP (Aakhirah Savings Plan)!

Makeup: For sisters, please keep in mind that we’re only allowed to wear makeup in the home, in front of our mahrams. And you know makeup isn’t all that important anyway. One of the amazing benefits of hijaab is that it liberates us from the culture of cosmetic judgment, from people liking us based on our ability to look like Barbie dolls.

Gossiping: Instead of saying mean things about each other, why not find GOOD things to say about each other? Remember the old adage: “If you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say anything at all!” And: “He who fears Allah and the Last Day, should speak good or keep silent.” Let’s work to strengthen our Islamic brother- and sisterhood, not weaken and destroy it!

Teen/ tabloid/ shopping magazines: Instead of stupid things like Cosmo Girl, get a subscription to al-Jumu’ah Magazine or SISTERS magazine for Muslim women. These are amazing efforts by our Muslim brothers and sisters, with a great deal to benefit from in every way. So, rather than wasting money on something that’s ultimately useless (do we need to know whether TomKat’s marriage is holding up, or what Paris Hilton’s latest misdemeanor was?), let’s spend our money flipping through pages of benefit, insha’Allah!

And now, dear readers, it’s up to you! List your own halaal alternatives to the above habits/ hobbies, or mention other habits/ hobbies and halaal alternatives for them!


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