Those strange Muslims (Part I)

Us Muslims are strange, but in a good way. We have so many little things taught to us by our Prophet (peace be upon him} which we try our best to implement in our daily lives. Obviously, most of these things are not very apparent to outsiders. However, sometimes you may come across a Muslim who is practicing his or her religion, but you find the act or behavior very strange. I’ll mention a few things that we practice that might appear strange to Non-Muslims.

One very important rule in Islam is that Muslims cannot shake hands with the opposite gender (or touch them, for that matter). So, say, if you are a male interviewer and a Muslim lady in hijab and jilbab (the long outer garment that covers the body) walks in for the interview, it’s best not to extend your hand. But, let’s assume you forgot or you weren’t aware of this, and you offer the handshake, please don’t be offended if she politely refuses the handshake. It’s not that she’s having a bad day or she thinks your fingers are odd-shaped, she’s just trying to follow her religion. (Just to let you know, we actually practice how to most politely refuse the handshake without appearing to be impolite, in case the interviewer is of the opposite gender). Same thing goes for men, too. They can’t shake hands with women.

Of course, we can shake hands of our mothers, sisters, aunts, etc., (for men) and fathers, brothers, uncles, etc., (for women) because they are our close relatives. And, obviously, women can shake women’s hands, and men…yeah, you guessed it. So, what’s the reason for this? Imagine, if you had a very rare diamond, you most likely wouldn’t want people touching it, except those who are very close to you. Well, our mothers, sisters, wives, etc., are even more precious to us than all the diamonds in the world! We believe women are so precious that only their close relatives have the right to touch them.

Another thing that you might encounter is a Muslim praying. If you have never seen a Muslim praying, you can just look it up on YouTube to familiarize yourself with it. So, don’t be alarmed if you see a bearded man bowing and prostrating several times. Relax, he’s just praying. I’ve heard people even call the police just because they thought a group of Muslim men praying was “suspicious activity.” When it’s time for prayers and we’re not at home, then really, we can pray almost anywhere – on the sidewalk, at the office, public park, the beach, the airport, even the airplane! Oh, and we’re not allowed to talk while we’re praying.

Prayer is one of the most important act of worship for a Muslim. So, when the time for prayer comes in, stop, drop (everything), and pray!

Something else you might see is that Muslim men wear their pants above the ankles. This might not be very obvious and not many Muslim [men] practice this, but it is something taught to us by the Prophet (peace be upon him). So, there is a chance you might come across a Muslim man who, on a cold day (or any day), is wearing his lower garment above his ankles. This is how the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to wear his lower garment and we love him so much that we try to emulate him in every way we can. The best part is, all of this is rewarded!

These are some of the “strange” things we do. But, in reality, they are not really that strange if you understand the purpose behind them. So, I hope this brief article has given you some insights in to Islamic lifestyle. More to come on Part II, Insha’Allah.

Article submitted by Brother Anonymous

One response to “Those strange Muslims (Part I)”

  1. MashaAllah, very nice article indeed. May Allah Grant you Jazaa of this in both worlds. Ameen !

    Btw, Those who are reading this article should spread the word. It is written in such a way that it can surely create awareness to both muslims (practicing,otherwise) and non-muslims. JazakumAllah !