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In the Name of God بسم الله

How to stop culture, if we can, from influencing Muslim practices?

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tri-star

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11 hours ago, tri-star said:

As many of you know and understand Islam tends to be implemented culturally. This of course does not exclude Arabs as they are major offenders (I'm Arab) but we like to pretend that we don't implement Islam culturally as we speak Arabic. I even had a relative tell me that we are superior to people who aren't born speaking Arabic as their first language just because its the language of the Qur'an which angered me. But anyhow in cultures things are halal but culturally are "haram" and vice versa. Many eastern cultures still teach women to think that they are inferior to men because that is what their culture taught them and what they translate the Qur'an to be (4:34, 2:228). 

Of course, I do acknowledge that some variations are due to sects in Islam but many seem to be culturally influenced such as the way women wear hijab and what is an acceptable and unacceptable dress code for women. 

Anyway I hope you understand what I'm trying to say (I know its pretty loaded) but my question is how do we tackle these issues? Is there even a way to tackle them because many people seem to identify with nationalism and their culture as much and sometimes even more than they identify with their Muslim identity so if you try to speak to them about this they get angry with you. 

I am glad that someone decided to make a thread about this as it is a major issue especially within the Muslim community amongst the youth.

I actually agree with @Kaya, however I must say that alot of parents have failed to teach their kids Islam the correct and strategic way. Eventually you start realising this when you get older. The problem is that families care alot about reputation, which is understandable as our communities tend to get the wrong ideas and won't keep their mouths shut. It is always the eldest daughter who holds that honour and dignity infront of others, therefore parents are usually more strict on her. 

They also have high egos, which really bothers me. They judge on so many levels, from how they dress to how they act or how well they adhere to their religion. We don't know how they're like at home, or what their intentions are and yet you have these egoistic families who think they're superior to others. 

How should we tackle these issues? Honestly I ask this question to myself because I really do not know. All I know is that for them to slowly start opening their minds will take quite a while. They will even be forced to accept the changes within us later on. I'll give an example. My parents for a long time forbid me from doing my eyebrows, and it killed me as it was my biggest insecurity. The problem with me is that I can be very stubborn, so although they disliked the fact that I still did them, they were forced to accept it. Alhamdullilah 3ala kul hal.

Nevertheless, one thing we should be grateful for them is that they have taught us where our boundaries and limitations lie. Being raised in the West is very important to maintain those barriers.

Thing is I do not bother trying to have debates with them, because like you said they'll get angry. And I'm the type to yell, so I choose not to open up these topics. But inside it torments me, not being understood or being treated differently from my brother.

Parents also have a talented skill in guilt tripping their children as a means of attempting to keep them in line. If there is one aspect within our parents upbringing that has negatively impacted our lives of youth would be in terms of religion by using guilt ineffectively. An example would be forcing a child to pray, or forcing them to wear the headscarf. All that force only does more harm than good, but sadly some parents do not realise that. God does not intend to make our religion difficult to pursue, therefore Islam is a religion of encouragement and not force. Each Muslim is on their own journey, their own pathway into seeking the truth and strengthening their will regardless of what stage they are in. If our parents weren't so compromised towards their communities' vile perceptions and clinging onto idiotic cultural taboos then I doubt majority of us would be in such a position. Now that we have identified the truth, we will be the generation to alter the ways we have been taught by them.

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How to stop culture, if we can, from influencing Muslim practices?

We can't. Each individual can only look after themselves. And even that is an endless and arduous struggle.

Culture requires a group of people with similar values, likes and dislikes. Foreigners and foreign influences will always affect it to some degree. Take for instance a culture of fungus which yields an edible mushroom you like, since I grow mushrooms I will use this parable. I have to isolate the culture first, make sure its pure and strong. Then I have to disinfect the place it is supposed to live and thrive in. Disinfect it of other fungii like green mould, and of all but friendly bacteria, and protect it from virii. The rule of thumb is to give it enough respite devoid enough of competition and harm from other 'cultures'. If the others are present significantly then it becomes a losing battle or too long and not worth it.

So one way would be to be like mormons perhaps. Isolated in a jungle. The rest is all wishful thinking.

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11 hours ago, The Green Knight said:

We can't. Each individual can only look after themselves. And even that is an endless and arduous struggle.

Culture requires a group of people with similar values, likes and dislikes. Foreigners and foreign influences will always affect it to some degree. Take for instance a culture of fungus which yields an edible mushroom you like, since I grow mushrooms I will use this parable. I have to isolate the culture first, make sure its pure and strong. Then I have to disinfect the place it is supposed to live and thrive in. Disinfect it of other fungii like green mould, and of all but friendly bacteria, and protect it from virii. The rule of thumb is to give it enough respite devoid enough of competition and harm from other 'cultures'. If the others are present significantly then it becomes a losing battle or too long and not worth it.

So one way would be to be like mormons perhaps. Isolated in a jungle. The rest is all wishful thinking.

Maybe I'm wrong but I did see that consistently over the history that nationalism (encouraged by all cultures) has been pretty toxic and caused racism and a lot of people to die for no good reason. 

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42 minutes ago, tri-star said:

Maybe I'm wrong but I did see that consistently over the history that nationalism (encouraged by all cultures) has been pretty toxic and caused racism and a lot of people to die for no good reason. 

Mushrooms have various varieties, edible mushrooms, many hundreds of them. Out of these the Oyster mushroom is a reasonably strong species and does not cost a lot to disinfect, care and grow. When it spreads it assimilates other microbes and even corpses of insects and uses them as food! Similarly a culture with strong and attractive values will require less care. It will assimilate others though. Other way, the other will assimilate your culture. Through cheese burgers, jeans, modern art, heavy metal, drugs. bombing your cultural monuments, burning your books, enforcing their languages over yours by paying your officials, by enforcing their standards, by treating you as lesser for not conforming, by letting you live as a worker class / slaves, by sabotaging your culture in limitless ways and over the course of centuries. But you can care for nationalism and not breaking any eggs in the process and be assimilated. This is why the Button mushroom culture is very delicate and requires a lot more care and investment compared to Oyster. Something goes wrong and it will die out. Perhaps it is also too merciful.

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1 minute ago, The Green Knight said:

Mushrooms have various varieties, edible mushrooms, many hundreds of them. Out of these the Oyster mushroom is a reasonably strong species and does not cost a lot to disinfect, care and grow. When it spreads it assimilates other microbes and even corpses of insects and uses them as food! Similarly a culture with strong and attractive values will require less care. It will assimilate others though. Other way, the other will assimilate your culture. Through cheese burgers, jeans, modern art, heavy metal, drugs. bombing your cultural monuments, burning your books, enforcing their languages over yours by paying your officials, by enforcing their standards, by treating you as lesser for not conforming, by sabotaging your culture in limitless ways and over the course of centuries. But you can care for nationalism and not breaking any eggs in the process and be assimilated. This is why the Button mushroom culture is very delicate and requires a lot more care and investment compared to Oyster. Something goes wrong and it will die out. Perhaps it is also too merciful.

What? I am confusion 

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You can't... This battle is mostly fought on the familial level and most parents don't raise their kids well and won't admit it either (but get all surprised when their kids aren't as religious as they'd like).

There is a saying.... Parents have 3 battles to fight over their kids: their social cirlce, their school life, and their home life. They need to influence at least 2 of the three to win.

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