I will first remind you of the source of the title offered to me , “following the lizard” comes from the hadith narrated by Abu Saeed (R.A) in which the messenger essentially warned us
“no doubt you are going to follow the legacy of those who came before you (people that came before us) and companions asked the messenger are you referring to Jews and Christians so then he said who else I am referring to and then he showing us the extent that we will follow the nation before us. The messenger gave the parable/ example if someone is going to fall into, crawl into something like whole of lizard then you would do the same”
You know crawling into any animals’ hole isn’t logical for human beings, doesn’t make any sense. So what are the clear implications of this parable is that the people before you who do things that don’t make any sense but still you will do the same and also there is something else, it is imitation of animal, you see an animal behaves like other than human being. Allah has dignified human, children of Adam. Most of u have heard a khutba, a hadith about imitating people of the before. Most of you have heard this hadith before the khateeb who will try to remind you that we shouldn’t follow them in certain ways e.g. The way they dress if they dress inappropriate we shouldn’t follow that way. Allah said those who believe we shouldn’t imitate them in certain culture. Something I thought would be different in south, like high school in United States. I visited different Muslim communities and it’s the same culture. There is certain attitude that’s almost horrifying. If we have certain kind of walk then that’s respectable, basically it projects you as arrogance full of yourself. But there is something to looked upon .
There is an entire industry, entire genres of music where song writer and singer will sing nothing but about praising himself , if I can do this, If I have this much money I will do this, I will get a car, I will get a ring on my finger, I will get my watch and this is horrifying and if u compare this what Allah has revealed “we glorify Allah and we humble ourselves” and this is going in exact opposite direction, so there are Muslim kids that are going to Sunday school that are turning the khutba at a masjid and they have an iPod in their pocket and in their iPod the khateeb is talking about the humility and humbling yourself before Allah and khushoo in the Salah and after the khutba they hit the play button in mp3 and here is somebody singing about themselves how great they are, the irony of the whole thing. It’s the one way of following.
Our Deen teaches that clean up the way when we speak. You can’t even mention, discuss certain things after having eeman, it’s disgusting by mentioning certain things. Every other joke has to do with something disgusting, something to never talk about, something never to entertain by, or Allah tells us about those in which one nation makes fun of other nation and what are we calling them nowadays is imitation of Chinese people, or how the Chinese speak or how the Arabs speak or how the Indians speak. That’s comedy for you, he imitates good so therefore it must be a great comedian and we say to ourselves chill out brother it’s just comedy, it’s all fun, just entertainment, you don’t have to make a big deal out of it so what I am trying to tell you is we are following and being basically victimized by a legacy we don’t even realize.
Youth is joking among themselves by homosexuality , they might find it funny, they might joke about it, oh that movie was really gay and have the reason to laugh, yet when we use these words, who make this word, terminology mainstream, this is the word, idea that Muslims would never consider it in the conversation much less joke about it and yet it’s become the part of culture, we have incorporated into our daily conversation , this is a sign that there is deterioration occurring , there is a problem that’s happening , we are desensitized but at the same time I do want to let you know that concern of my to share these ideas with you is not to condescending to Jews and Christians by the end of talk inshaALLAH that will become clear.
In the ways we follow other nations is ayah in which Allah shows us, criticizes, and wakes us up in Al-Baqarah ” do you intend to question your messenger like Musa (A.S) was questioned before” and this tells us from another hadith of messenger (S.A.W) “one of the three things that Allah doesn’t like is too many questions” , if you look at a change in mentality, on one way you have the companions of messenger (S.A.W) they come to Rasool (S.A.W) and they ask him what can I do more to please Allah , tell me something that will get me into Jannah , tell me the zikr that has the most reward. These are the questions sahabi are asking .you go to the Muslim world to a scholar who reminds the people, who gives them something from the Deen , he tells them the words of Rasool (S.A.W) and we go to their QA session and what to do we ask, people don’t ask what more we can do for Allah, people ask what more dunya we can enjoy , can I have that , can I do that ,is that halal. Meaning instead of asking what more can I do for Allah we ask what more of dunya we can legitimize for ourselves. The change in mentality, the complete shift.
Allah asks a rhetorical strange question in Surah At-Tauba “you!! You are these with this world over the next . it’s understandable that Allah isn’t pleased with this , the horrible things that we will be eating in hell fire we don’t know and have only this dunya that’s understandable but you know and u r content with this dunya , what’s wrong with u . “Those who believe what’s wrong with you”. So now this is one way of asking too many questions that loosen our relationship with this deen.
Another interesting legacy is within the Christian tradition. In Christian tradition originally e.g. Catholicism that dominates Christian world was in other worldly kind of thing. Don’t marry it’s an evil thing, if you wanna be on highest stage of spirituality then be a monk and they have almost an allergic reaction to this Christian community, with the rise of priest movement and with the end of this movement you know what we have, is basically a new Christianity and in this Christianity the more dunya you have the more God loves you. if you listen to a preacher or anybody else on a Sunday afternoon they will tell you to go get that promotion God bless you live well , go get that 2nd mortgagee , get a new car you need to show that God blessed you. And this mentality seems its way to Muslim minds . When we start thinking that I should throw a party that I just bought a house , I’m gonna throw a party to show my new car, the more dunya you acquire the more you will celebrate the favors of Allah but we have forgotten that all the favors of Allah are not actually the reason for celebration . What we should celebrate is obedience to Allah , we reached the end of performing the hajj, obedience to Allah , not dunya . Allah gave us much better than dunya to celebrate. I must be really good Muslims because Allah grant me a really good job and good health. Just like 2 gardeners mentioned in surah Al-Kahaf . So this is one way we follow other nations, our mentality changes Allah says” The day of Taghabun! that is the actual day of losing and winning “not this dunya.
One of the main points that we follow the nations before us and this is the scariest one. This one thing, the relationship that this Ummah has with the book Quran . the great gift, the revelation. Messenger of Allah SAW tells us an authentic hadith “ People of Quran don’t become lazy with Quran . Read and follow it as it deserves to be followed , in hours of night and day and spread it and unify it . Reflect deeply in it so that all you may succeed”.
Allah talks about Bani-Israel (the people before us) and the relationship they have with their book (Taurah) He says “And among them are unlettered ones who do not know the Scripture except in wishful thinking, but they are only assuming.” (Quran:2:78). They just make assumptions. Ibn-e-Abbas (R.A) and Qattada (R.A) says about this ayah “Amani in this ayah means that all these people will only do the tilawat (memorizing and recitation) and qiraat (recitation), they are very happy when somebody recites it to them” this is description of sahabi ( mufassir of Quran). The topic was going into lizard’s hole i.e. what do we do with our book. Best majority of well-educated people has no idea what the book says they just memorize and recite it. May Allah make us truly the people of Quran.