Monday, February 22, 2010

Fakeness is for Barbie. MAN UP.

Over the past few years I've learned something about myself - I can hold mean grudges. I try to play it off or make it seem like it's no big deal. But the fact of the matter is that I'm a grudge bank.

A few years ago when AlMaghrib was first starting up in Toronto, I took this course called "History of the Khulafaa" taught by Muhammad AlShareef. It was one of the best learning experiences I've ever had. And he brought up indicents in our early history where the companions of the prophet (peace be upon him) were at major odds with one another. You know, just day-to-day disagreements.

For example, many of you may know that the first caliph, Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him), denied the prophet's daughter Fatima her "inheritance" after the prophet died. (This was because prophets don't leave material inheritances behind - they only leave the legacy of religion). So they argued majorly about that. But here's the thing - although they argued and there was "bad blood" there, they reconciled and resumed a good relationship afterwards.

The gem that Sh Muhammad brought out of this story is this: although the sahaba had major contentions with one another sometimes, they were honest about it. They said what they really felt and didn't shy away from telling others that they were in the wrong. I think there are quite a few instances in our history that you can turn to for proof of this.

Don't get me wrong, it's not like they insulted each other or were malevolent towards one another, but they were honest.

And we don't have that today. We're so absorbed in niceties - and we think being absolutely polite all the time is the "Islamic" thing to do. Who ever said that? We do need to be gentle, truthful, benevolent - yes. But we definitely do not need to cover up our feelings when someone has wronged us, or lie and be fake with people.

I hate being fake. I hate pretending that someone didn't hurt me & keep smiling at them as if it's all fine, when in reality I'm sad or seething inside.

I also don't believe true forgiveness can come from hiding things and covering them up until they disappear. That's not forgiving, that's just a form of forceful forgetting. And we all know that forgetting is what the mind does - not the heart. Oh yes, the heart remembers.

Like if someone had beef with me, I wish they would just tell me to my face so I can understand & some real healing could happen. That's what I do - if someone has hurt me, I tell them straight-up. And this has backfired on me several times in my life. But believe me, when I get that off of my chest and both me and the other party are hurting in the reality of the situation, THAT is when forgiveness really happens.

Believe me, I know. I forgave someone recently - I had tried to ignore my grudge towards him before for many months, and I pretended like I had forgiven him, but it was an absolute lie and my heart knew it. I couldn't live like that anymore. We finally had a conversation and he said awful things to me & he meant every word. And I'm almost glad he said what he did. Later on, he kept trying to apologize but I wouldn't accept those apologies. And the only way I was finally able to do that was to get it all off my chest. I hid nothing, I had no pride to maintain - I was honest, brutally honest with that person. And he was brutally honest with me. And following those exchanges, there was some bad blood there for a few weeks...but subhanAllah, I can't speak for the other person, but those negative feelings don't exist in my heart anymore. It's like they evaporated after all those months of keeping it in and pretending like it was okay.

You know why I was able to move past this grudge? Because I threw politeness out the window and I was true to myself, true to what I felt. And so was he. I didn't "protect" myself by tip-toeing around the issue. I shot it straight in the heart. I was willing to have my ego hurt in order to stop harboring ill feelings towards my brother in Islam. And it worked - alhamdulillah.

In short, stop being so fake. To be a good Muslim, and to have true brotherhood and sisterhood, you need to have honest relationships with people. That's my take on it anyways.

Happy fighting! =)


Nauman said...

Good job... did you bite his head off the way the female cookie did to the male cookie? ;)

Anonymous said...

It is I, the one who has been forgiven.

I just have to say, :D .

Good job Asmaa! Salutations soldier!

Asmaa said...

Nauman, haha yes I really did.

Anon, lol thanks buddy. How do you know I was talking about you, though? I have A LOT of fights. Haha.

Anonymous said...

I trully believe that's how things are supposed to be done. But, while i really wish i could be a 100% honest with the person who hurt me i dont think he'll do the same. Few are those who accept honesty and the plain truth. I guess they just keep on denying that they wronged anyone or hurt them. They fear confrontation!

Too bad, but ive become indifferent. Sometimes, of course; cause i didnt get past that hurt my heart aches and aches. Then i try to pretend they done exist anymore. Sad, innit?

Asmaa said...

Anon, is he really afraid of confrontation, or are you?

Who cares if the person is not going to "accept" honesty? You tell it like it is, and what the other person does is nobody's business. You're only responsible for your own actions...

Don't become indifferent! Your life isn't magically going to become better, your heart isn't suddenly going to heal. Your life is what you make of it. It's scary, but sometimes you have to take those risks.