The big picture
Oh did you just see Tania? What was she wearing today? So Out of fashion, like Oh my God! I would never even wear it while sleeping! oh that french braid doesn’t suit her at all. Looks like she is having a bad hair day..
Welcome, my friends, to your own sweet world.
I am Nida Ali, your travel guide for the day and I will show you your own world a little more closely. Please fasten your seat belt and get ready for the journey ahead. Warning: The enjoyment of the journey is not guaranteed!
Let me start from the very start. The dialogue you happen to read on the very top is from a very typical setting where girls get together and talk about “random stuff”. For e.g. the prettiest girl in school, Tania, is looking a little less pretty today and other girls couldn’t be more happy about it. They are having fun discussing her, aren’t they? And as long as Tania isn’t there, everything is fine. A few laughs wouldn’t hurt anyone.
Lets go to another setting. Looks like we have entered Mountainous region. Oh wait, these are books. Mountain of books! And look, there is also a skinny boy with glasses working over there. What is he working on? Wait over here while I go and ask about his project.
“What are you working on?” I ask
” Free lance assignment” says the boy, giving me a nerdy look.
“Aah, free lance assignment? You mean the assignments that you do for the students abroad who don’t want to do it themselves and then they pay dollars and pounds to get it done by somebody else and then submit the assignment in their own name?” I ask
“Oh Alright. Thanks buddy”
So he is working so hard to earn a little money. I don’t see anything wrong with it. Do you? The teacher doesn’t know but that’s okay. And he is only trying to “help” those students. Who knows what problem they have.Fair enough.
So now let us go to the third place in our journey. This place looks like a happy place. People are celebrating, laughing and enjoying. And there is this girl too over there. She is the bride-to-be. I think the household is having a pre party before the wedding. That room over there is extra crowded, thanks to the display of marriage dowry in that room. It is full of latest clothes, jewellery, shoes, bags.. what not. And relatives, neighbours, friends are all invited to have a look at all of this stuff.
Amongst everyone praising everything, I can see this girl , looking at everything wide eyed. . She doesn’t really look very happy. Somebody told me she is bride’s cousin. She lived a financially difficult life and didn’t go to big schools like her cousin. She is also about to get married soon. I wonder why she is upset.
my dear companions, I will take a break here and will take you again on the rest of this journey soon later sometime and leave you to analyze your journey from Islamic perspective. I hope you have a good time 🙂
You just visited three different places and saw three different settings. You saw the case of girls talking about another girl, you saw a boy doing freelancing and you saw a house having marriage celebrations. If you notice closely, in all the three instances someone somewhere was being harmed.
The first setting is a pure case of backbiting that is existent in this form in our society today. In the face of it, nobody is harmed.but if the girl (Tania) comes to know of what was being talked about her behind her back, she would be hurt. Allah SWT has created everything in balance. However, when such ill words are spoken by anyone in the society about a fellow human being, some kind of dis balance appears in the society. Someone at the end of the whole chain is being hurt and Allah hates this act so much that He has said that until and unless the backbiters go and ask apology from the person against whom backbiten is done and he/she forgives, even He will not forgive. Just imagine how Allah wants us to take care of the third party even though he/she is not present there and that Allah wants us to look at the big picture.
Similarly, in next situation, even though the boy is working hard himself to earn money, somebody at the end of the cycle is being harmed. In this case, it is the teacher who is being fooled that the assignment was done by his student and not by anyone else. Only if the student informs about this “help” to the teacher and the teacher is fine with it would the act be justified. Otherwise, this is cheating.
Some may hold the opinion that the boy is putting his hard work and he is not doing anything wrong but then there is a very famous hadith of prophet S.A.W to counter this:
The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Allaah has cursed alcohol, the one who drinks it, the one who pours it, the one who sells it, the one who buys it, the one squeezes (the grapes, etc), the one for whom it is squeezed, the one who carries it and the one to whom it is carried.” Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani as stated in Saheeh Abi Dawood, 2/700.
If we even take only one person’s role from this, for example, “the one who carries it”, we will understand everything better. The one who carries alcohol is neither selling, nor drinking alcohol. He is only putting his hard work into earning money. Why is he still cursed? Because he is facilitating the whole chain! Islam doesn’t want us to even facilitate this chain. Again, the big picture perspective is taken care by Allah SWT. You and I are not supposed to do any kind of work that will harm anyone anywhere in the society whether we know him/her or not. And in this free lance assignment, the teacher is at the disadvantaged end. In fact even other students since it is also not fair on them too.
The last situation is again where, unintentionally, someone is again being hurt. Islam dislikes all such ostentatious acts because it is the less privileged ones in the society who feel the pain, in this case the girl whose parents could obviously not afford to give her as much as was given to her own cousin. Unfortunately, most of such acts have become a part of our culture in Pakistani society and families do them, sometimes unwillingly. We should try our best not to let such happen as much as we can because we might never know who we end up hurting.
An important thing to note is that just the way Allah dislikes any act which harms anyone anywhere, Allah also likes any such act which will benefit anyone anywhere. The acts of Sadqa-e-jariah is the perfect example.So I may burrow a seed in the soil today, and hundred years later, when I am not even alive, someone comes and stands under its shade and eat its fruit, I am still rewarded. SubhanAllah!
Islam takes the 360 degree approach to everything. We are so human that we cry on the things Islam has forbidden forgetting about the wonderful ways in which we can be rewarded too. And even when Islam asks us not to do something, it is because of a reason either our eyes cannot see or our little brains couldn’t comprehend. We should pray to Allah to help us understand Islam. Ameen
Indeed, Allah is Al-Aleem (All knowing) and Al-Hakeem(All Wise)