• Alwia

Dear Haram police

Haram police: Noun- One or more insufferably preachy individuals bent on scrutinizing the behavior and religiosity of others.

e.g The haram police is here! Hide the Haribos!

Don't you just hate the haram police?

Of course he's totally annoying. He's the haram police.

Recognizable qualities of the haram police:

Constant tutting.

Furrowed brows and concentration wrinkles from peering into your soul.

Neck aches from continually shaking their heads.

A strong connection to the word: Astaghfurulla

If the individual before you exhibits 2 or more of these symptoms, run now.

They will judge you.

You all know what I'm talking about. But let's talk seriously for a minute.

The haram police exists in all religions and cultures. What can I say...Self-righteous, preachy individuals have long plagued this planet. It's a universal issue. You have your preachy mothers who judge the way you bring up your kids. Preachy divorcées, preachy old aunties and preachy dumb people who have no clue what they're talking about. These, by far, are the worst.

In the Muslim world, this issue is exacerbated by the concept of 'enjoining good and forbidding wrong'. Individuals are encouraged to to 'help others' stay on the 'right path' and avoid 'sinful acts'. This concept works beautifully in a monolithic society with a set of principles that everyone agrees about. Or, when it comes to universal ethical issues.

Yes, if you catch someone beating their wife, stealing, damaging public property, this is a good time to bring awareness and encourage people to do good and avoid wrongdoing.

Unfortunately, what we're seeing these days is something entirely different. Enjoining good and forbidding wrong is frequently used as an excuse to judge and scrutinize others on subjective matters.

What? What blasphemy is this! There is no such thing as a 'subjective truth' in Islam. There's right and there's wrong.

I'm sorry to say this, but people who believe this are simply ignorant or in denial.

The Muslim world is full of different scholars with varying opinions on many topics. Some forbid music, some don't. Some forbid gelatin, some don't. Some interpret a quranic verse one way, some have an alternate interpretation. Some believe in the validity of a hadith, some don't. Yes, even if it was narrated by Al-Bukhari sweetheart.


Because the Quran is deep and complex.

Because studying the line of narration of hadiths isn't straightforward.

Because humans are fallible, so there will always be differences in opinion.

Because this is the way of the world. It's time to get used to it and respect our differences.


It's time for the haram police to grow up.

I mean, come on. If the 'Truth' was obvious, all Muslims would agree on what it is all the time. But we don't. Thank God for that too. Because there are Muslims out there who believe it's okay to blow themselves up and kill innocent people. These people can take their 'hadiths', their little nasty books and throw them off a cliff. And maybe follow them swiftly after...

So to the haram police, I have a few things to say:

Dear haram police, you are NOT an expert on Islam. It takes a lot of arrogance to assume you are in a position to preach the 'Truth' to others.

I don't believe in your interpretation of this and that verse of the Holy Quran. But I don't shove my religious views down your throat. So please give me that same respect.

I don't believe in the validity of these 'hadiths' of yours. Well, sometimes I might, but not your interpretation of them. So don't waste your breath. I don't view your interpretation as evidence for anything. It's YOUR interpretation. YOUR way of seeing things. Not mine.

You will never change me. My beliefs are based on research and the scholars I follow. But there is someone you can change.


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