The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Written by: Hamzah Moin

As Muslims, we should be optimisitc by nature. However, I decided to look at the “bad side” of things to see how good things can go bad… or ugly.

The Good: You swore by Allah (SWT) that you’ll become a better Muslim.
You wake up one day and say to yourself, “Wow do I suck… I need to become a better Muslim.” By Allah (SWT) you swear that you’d become a better Muslim. Praying all the prayers! No swearing! No interest accumulation! No random murdering! This is it! Going clean.

The Bad: You didn’t really fulfil that oath.

Unfortunately, a tactic of that pesky Shaitaan is to overburden yourself so you fail your goals and feel depressed. Unfortunately you don’t take the fact that you failed too well…

The Ugly: You just swore. Period.

You let off a flurry of curse words at your failure. Nearly every curse word in the dictionary was uttered. Biggest swear-fest in history.

The Good: You join someone praying in solitude.
Sometimes when we walk into a mosque or musallah, we might see someone praying by themselves. It’s most likely a fard prayer and you join them. Praying in congregation means more rewards so it’s a win-win combination for everyone…

The Bad: He seems to really, really, really like long prayers.

…unfortunately you have to catch a bus in 5 minutes and the guy you are praying with seems to be practicing Sura Bakarah or something. In fact, you stood there for so long that it doesn’t even seem like the guy is praying.

The Ugly: He isn’t really praying. He’s just standing there with his arms crossed.

Crap. You didn’t realize that the person you just joined is just standing for no reason (albeit in prayer posture) but in actuality he’s just standing there peacefully, staring at the floor.

The Really Ugly: The person you “joined” isn’t even Muslim.

To make it even worse the person you just joined isn’t even Muslim. He’s just awfully confused that some random dude is standing next to him. He later converts to Islam as a result of this encounter.

The Good: You show up at an Islamic anti-war demonstration.
Muslims are all against killing randomly and against stupid wars for no real cause (ie. Iraq). Showing up to anti-war demonstrations is what we’re all about. Peace baby. Peace.

The Bad: You end up on the front page of next day’s newspaper and you are now on the “must-harass” list at airports. Hippie.
Unfortunately for Muslims, our names are flagged once we do anything too out of the ordinary. I switched my ice cream flavours from mint chocolate chip to vanilla after 9/11 and as a result “they” are tracing all my calls and e-mails. Paranoia at its finest. At airports, the customs people will find dumb reasons to interrogate you and somehow trace you to Osama bin Laden.

The Ugly: The supposedly Islamic anti-war demonstration was really a KKK meeting.

Unfortunately you MapQuested the wrong address and found yourself smackdab in a KKK meeting. You just thought that there were a lot of niqabis out today. At least you have matching outfits.

The Good: You ask your Islamic queries and questions to scholars and sheikhs because they are of the people of knowledge.
We all have questions and stuff about various things in this world. That’s why we have scholars and sheikhs. So we can ask them opinions and such because they’re the ones with knowledge and actually took the time to study the religion.

The Bad: You ask your Islamic queries and questions to Hamzah “Maniac Muslim” Moin because you think he knows stuff.

Unfortunately people feel that a sarcastic, mysterious guy on the internet can answer all their fiqh-related questions. Whenever I get a fiqh related question in the e-mail I reply with: “Shut the fiqh up”.

The Ugly: You propose to Hamzah without ever meeting him and ask for his pic.

Anyone who has seen this site’s guestbook will know about it. I don’t mind marriage proposals but I just ask for the people asking them to finish junior high school first. Coming fresh off of elementary school is quite daunting but hang in there.

The Really Ugly: You aren’t even a girl.

God help us all.

The Good: You attend an Islamic conference.
Despite what some folks of the community say, I think Islamic conferences do more good as a whole and really help Muslims get on the right path. It’s a nice spritual shot in the arm.

The Bad: You spend three hours getting ready for it and have your clothes picked out three months in advance.

What to wear? What to wear? Although we don’t get excited for proms as much as our non-Muslim amigos, we seem to get a wee-bit too thrilled going to an Islamic convention. Does your kufi match with your thobe? Does your hijab match with your shoes? The answer: nobody cares.

The Ugly: You don’t attend any daytime sessions … just the “after-hour” ones.

To top it all off, some folk don’t even attend the conference and just hang out in hotel lobbies while they put their game on. They exchange AIM Screen-names then it moves on to exchanging hotel room numbers and whatnot. People who do this have one name: losers. I could make a whole article about people like this.

The Good: Your mosque recently had an election and the Shura board was voted in.
The notice your mosque is stable and many people from around the community took up some leadership positions. However something fishy is going on.

The Bad: It has been the same Masjid board for the last 20 years.

It seems the same ol’ people are in charge of your joint for a very long time. You don’t agree with their views and they seem to be really exclusive. You are not too thrilled about this. You vow to get involved by next elections. But….

The Ugly: You never knew there was an election in the first place.

The weird thing is that the elections seemed really downlow and nobody knew about them. The board claimed they announced they were having an election last Thursday at Maghrib. Unfortunately only 2 people were at Maghrib: an 8-year old boy who is inelligble to vote and his father who for some reason feels that voting is haram anyway.

The Really Ugly: They declare Eid on the opposite day of what it should be.

The entire continent decides to pray Eid on one day but your mosque feels that everyone is wrong and goes on the opposite day out of spite.

The Good: You have a friend call you at Fajr time to wake you up.
Fajr is definitely one of the hardest prayers to get because it is at sunrise. For most people, waking up in the morning is ridiculously hard. To help yourself out, you make a buddy system where your friends call one another to wake everyone up at Fajr time. Buddy systems = key.

The Bad: Your friend is of the opposite gender and you just talk away.

Unfortunately you pick someone from the opposite gender on your buddy system. You start off the conversation with topics like “The importance of Fajr” and “Jinns” then move on to things like “American Idol” or “The sale at the Gap”. Fajr looks bleak.

The Ugly: You miss Fajr and talk until Zuhr.

To make matters worse, you missed the Fajr window and you’re still talking with your “Fajr buddy”. You become more than buddies and fall madly in love. Your parents then see your cell phone bills and you get kicked out of the house. Pick the right Fajr buddy… or ELSE.