Day Thirteen: Salawat?

If you are like me, salawat is sort of a formality. Its something you recite when necessary, and mark using great internet abbreviations like (SAWS) or (PBUH). Despite knowing that salawat help to bring us closer to our Lord and develop a real love for the beloved Messenger of Allah, I almost NEVER recite them. 

Yet, we know that is you recite one salawat for the Messenger of Allah, Allah swta will send 10 blessings, erase 10 sins, and raise us 10 ranks. [reported by Abdullah bin ‘Amr bin Al-’As (May Allah be pleased with them)Muslim]

Today, I got a first-hand demonstration of why simple things like this are so important. There was a video on YouTube talking about the issues with the laws regarding women and domestic abuse in Saudi. A young woman, presumably non-Muslim, questioned the legitimacy of infantilizing adult women under the law. It’s a legitimate question and a real issue with possibly deadly consequences. 

Almost immediately a man, presumably Muslim, since he kept referring to “our religion” began to berate her. He boasted of the superiority of supposedly “pure” Muslim women over “western women” who all lost their virginity as soon as they reached puberty (according to him). He went on to make a few other points, using the crudest language possible, until I stepped in and reminded him that his behavior was unbecoming of a Muslim and his “facts” were in fact erroneous. 

But, what bothered me most was this man’s reply. He honestly believed that he had a right to treat this woman that way. That he felt he had the right to use that kind of attitude and language with anybody IN DEFENSE OF ISLAM baffles me. 

I think I am a rather formidable opponent in any kind of confrontation. I know I can get violent in defense of my children. But, when it comes to defending my religion I am always more cautious about my behavior. I remind myself of the humiliation and abuse that our beloved Prophet endured without ever losing his cool. I remind myself of the command in the Quran not to revile the sacred places or texts of others lest they return the favor. I remind myself of the verse that tells us to return their criticisms with something better. And then I remember that Islam is not in need of defending. As long as there is even one person who says “la ilaha il Allah” Islam won’t be extinguished. I remind myself that Allah promised that the munafiq couldn’t extinguish Islam with their mouths (or keyboards).

I say all of that to say, that one of the ways in which I keep this remembrance is by making some kind of dhikr a part of my daily life. I don’t recite salawat nearly as much as I should, considering the great benefit it has on the heart. Both dhikr and salawat soften the heart and bring us closer to Allah swta. Considering the fact that reciting durood is something you can do even while washing dishes or walking in the park, there isn’t really any excuse. 

So I am setting myself a goal. A tiny daily goal for reciting salawat. It’s not impressive at all, but you never know which deed will be the one that saves you from the fire (or lands you in it). I encourage you to do the same. Take two minutes on your drive home to recite salawat, read ayat al kursi, or make dhikr. See if it doesn’t do wonders for you.

And as for the man who behaved so badly online. Thank you. I never would have thought about this thing if you hadn’t been such a jerk.

I hope you enjoyed reading my reflection. If it is of any benefit to you, please like, comment, share and subscribe. And as always, any goodness is from Allah swta, and only the mistakes are mine. 

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