Contents Under Pressure, Author: Issa Abbasi


It’s no secret.  This Sunday is the biggest day for all (American) football fans.  Yes, that’s right; many hours will be spent (and have already been spent) analyzing the big game, before, during and after the big game, Super Bowl XLIV (44).  But besides all the analysis and hype leading up to the big game, one thing is for certain; Super Bowl parties will be rampant.  If you so happen to be invited to and intend to be at a Super Bowl party be warned, your nafs’ (soul’s) contents may be under pressure.

Let’s take the following scenario.  You are invited to a Super Bowl party by a non Muslim friend.  This friend can be as trustworthy as any Muslim can ask for in a non Muslim, but what about that person’s friends?  What if you were going to this party and didn’t know who was going to be there?  Even if you knew who was going to be there, what’s to stop someone from casually asking you to enjoin in a small drink? Don’t be naïve; alcohol and football go together like peanut butter and jelly.  This is the company you want to stay away from because this is how the shaytan gets to you.  Have you ever heard of the expression “the devil is in the details?”  It’s so true.  Think about it.  The shaytan (devil) tempts you into something small by saying “oh it’s okay; it’s only a sip of beer.”  But then, that sip turns into two and then three and four sips.  Before you know it, you’ve just ingested a whole red cup of beer and now the taste is wearing on you and you like it.

The above scenario can apply to anything from alcohol to smoking and drugs.  But, what was the point of this story?  Peer pressure is created when you are put in a compromising situation.  I am almost sure that you can find a Super Bowl party in your community hosted by Muslims if not one in a local Masjid.  If you can’t find one, try to host one yourself and you will be a lot more comfortable at the end of the day.

The best example for all mankind, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) once said in an authentic hadith, “A person is likely to follow the faith of his friend, so look whom you befriend.” Not only will you follow the same faith of your friend, but you will also take their good and bad traits as exhibited by the following hadith of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

“The example of a good companion and a bad companion is like that of the seller of musk, and the one who blows the blacksmith’s bellows.  So as for the seller of musk then either he will grant you some, or you buy some from him, or at least you enjoy a pleasant smell from him. As for the one who blows the blacksmith’s bellows then either he will burn your clothes or you will get an offensive smell from him.”

Can you imagine smelling like your friend?  The meaning of this metaphor shows that friends are so close to you and whatever their scent is, you will pick it up, whether good or bad.

Ibn Abbas said: “No one may taste true faith except by this (i.e. building relationships for Allah’s sake), even if his prayers and fasts are many. People have come to build their relationship around the concerns of the world, but it will not benefit them in any way.”

Ibn Hazm said: “Anyone who criticizes you cares about your friendship. Anyone who makes light of your faults cares nothing about you.”

Finally, don’t think for a moment that selecting good friends is a bad thing.  It’s quite the opposite; when you enjoin with friends in good and forbid the evil, a lot of people around you will respect you for that and will even take an interest into our principles.  So go ahead, watch the Super Bowl this weekend if you want to, but enjoy it with the right crowd for a better experience and sense of relief.

“And (remember) the Day when the wrong-doer will bite his hands and say: Woe to me! Would that I had taken a path with the Messenger. Woe to me! If only I had not taken so- and-so as a friend! He has led me astray from this Reminder (the Qur’an) after it had come to me. And Satan is ever a deserter to man in the hour of need.” Qur’an 25:27-29

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~ by Yousaf on February 5, 2010.

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