"O you who have believed, avoid much [negative] assumption. Indeed, some assumption is sin. And do not spy or backbite each other. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his brother when dead? You would detest it. And fear Allah ; indeed, Allah is Accepting of repentance and Merciful." (Quran verse 49:12)
I recently wrote an article about the Muslims who make you sad. These ones were the ones who drink alcohol, gamble, fornicate, wear tight and revealing clothes, do sinful movie scenes and sinful dances. What I didn't mention was that we cannot judge others, no matter how big their sin is. BECAUSE there could be reasons they commit those sins. This is something I really want to make clear.
A few years ago I read a news article about the Italian Prime minster (Berlus... something) who was being investigated for sleeping with an under age prostitute. It turns out the prostitute came from a Muslim family (her name is Karima). Like many Muslims, I felt pretty upset at how a Muslim woman could resort to such a thing. Other commenters flat out threw insults and names. But later on, it was revealed she came from a very abusive household. Her uncles repeatedly raped her for years. And her mother knew about it but told Karima not to tell her father otherwise he would kill her. She ended up fleeing from her house and started working for night clubs, and is now engaged to a non-muslim night club owner. Are we seeing what just happened? It is because of her family she lives the life she does now. Her parents, in the name of Islam, caused this girl to become a prostitute. Could this have been prevented? Doesn't it make sense that if her family was good, loving, and caring, she would be standing as a pious Muslimah today?
A couple of days ago I stumbled upon a site called the student room. It's a british-based site where students come on and talk. There was a thread started up by a Muslim girl who said she was tired of being Muslim and wanted to live like her non-muslim friends. She revealed that she came from a very strict household (chewing gum for girls is haraam, girls playing sports is haraam, girls not cooking or cleaning is haraam, and, yeah, too much education is haraam). She also told how her parents forced her to memorize the Quran, and she wasn't allowed to ask about the Quran, because that was also haraam. Furthermore, her parents beat her quite often. Add this all up and what happens? She NO LONGER wants to be Muslim. Its in her head now that being a Muslim means you can't do such little things. Obviously, those of us who know Islam will understand that NONE of what she mentioned is haraam, and forcing our kids to do things which are not mandatory (memorizing the Quran) is just against Islam. And then there were other people on there too, who no longer call themselves Muslim, trying to encourage her to leave Islam. They all spoke about their experiences of being Muslim, and how oppressive their household was. And now they live a life of boyfriends/girlfriends, fornication, marrying non-muslims, drinking, and so on.
There was one woman on the site whom I admire though. She grew up in a tough and very strict household too (her mother put a knife to her throat when she was eight years old, and said killing disobedient children is not sinful and Allah will give her sawaab (she'll get good deeds if she does kill her). She was also told having friends is haraam, and many other things). Surprisingly, she still hangs on to Islam. Even though she says she has a non-muslim boyfriend and has committed fornication many times, the fact that she says she still does her prayers, and her taraweeh prayers tells that she still is a Muslim. Many others in her position would have ditched Islam (like the above people I mentioned). It also turns out she's praying that she gets into some kind of law firm. Lets just hope Allah helps her out both in this world and the after, and may he help other Muslims in that are in her position.
If we see another Muslim drink, fornicate, gamble, and dress in tight revealing clothes, lets remember verse 49:12. Because there could be A LOT MORE to them that we do not know. I recently ranted about Pakistani models and actors doing haraam scenes and dressing haraam, but I didn't realize there may be reasons why they chose this path. It might be they were never taught Islam (if that's the case, then they won't feel anything in their conscience when doing sinful acts). Or they might be doing this because its a response to how they were brought up. I know in Pakistan, the families can be very strict and dominating. I know that there are mullahs who back the families because they're too concerned about the hell fire, so they're willing to have oppressive families cause incredible pain to their children, which might cause them to leave Islam later on in their lives. Great job, mullahs!!
We also need to consider that the people who openly engage in haraam acts COULD CHANGE as early as the next day. They could even become more religious than us regular Muslims. Have a look at verse 24:46 (Sahih International translation) "We have certainly sent down distinct verses. And Allah guides whom He wills to a straight path." This is saying God guides whomever he wants. He can guide the worst Muslim to become a better Muslim within a split second. I have seen Muslims who use to drink and fornicate become people who no longer do that stuff. This verse could also speak about non-muslims. Many of them who converted to Islam were previously having the time of their lives drinking, fornicating, gambling, wearing haraam clothes etc. Now many of them are standing examples of what it means to be a true Muslim.
Also, we don't know what is in the hearts of other Muslims. We don't know how strong their faith could be, even if they don't show it externally. They could have more fear in Allah, they could have more confidence in our religion than anyone else, yet we won't care about all that because we're too busy criticizing them for their dress, the way they talk, or the way they act. They might be doing something God really likes.
So I'm not recanting what I wrote about Muslims who disappoint and sadden, but just that we have to be mindful not to judge.