*******‘Are you are anti-social?’, he asked.
‘Me, ANTI-SOCIAL!’, I thought. That question was like hitting me below the belt. Though it is not the first time I have been told that. Two times in a row I have been presented with the award (though no plaques) for ‘ALWAYS INDOORS’ in the hostel I reside in school. My younger brother has accused me of being a bore (when he saw the title I gave this piece, he acceded). Am I truly anti-social?. I do not see myself as a religious person (I try my best to fulfill the obligations in the deen) but even though does being religious mean being anti-social? I recall that some brothers in Darul Haqq would say I laugh too much and then when I am in some other gatherings I hear I am anti-social. No doubt we are social beings and nobody wants to be lonely. Little wonder prisoners are kept behind bars away from the society and the worst of them are placed in Solitary confinement. It’s all about keeping them lonely. Seeing people every day is one of those things we take for granted. You could ask those who remained in school after the Okada-Mopol incident in school last year. I am not in the category of those who think Muslims should go and live in the bush neither am I in the league of those who think it is okay to be around people all the time. There are times you need your ME time (you know those times you just want be alone). It is true many of what people call socializing are not Islamic values like clubbing, drinking and all that and this also confirms Allah’s words:
‘O ye who believe! take not into your intimacy those outside your ranks; they will not fail to corrupt you. They only desire your ruin: rank hatred has already appeared from their mouths; what their hearts conceal is far worse. We have made plain to you the Signs if ye have wisdom.’ Q3:118
Yet sometimes people see your trying to save yourself from being corrupt like you are arrogant, anti-social or that you discriminate and I am not just talking about non Muslims some Muslims also feel that way. Sometimes you can’t blame them since some people truly behave in such manner(arrogant or discriminate) and at other times it’s so untrue. I recall when I noticed that there was this distance between a friend and I so I queried him and he replied that it was because of the new principles I had started from the Sharia. I had told him I was still a fun-loving person provided it was Halal (sign me up!). I was still me but now come to think of it some of us truly shut down our fun loving sides because of some DON’Ts in the deen. Some of us never even joke, yes it’s true that we should not tell lies even if it is a joke but does that mean we should not have any sense of humor. Any ‘DON’T’ we know is in the deen it is incumbent we try to find the Halal substitute (though I know it’s not always easy to find one, even in some cases you might not find any) but then a good number of us just turn off completely and the only time we’re excited is when issues about the deen is discussed. I will grab a gamepad to play Pro Evolution Soccer (@ TAOFEEK ALLI, when are you going to accept my challenge?) or watch any TYLER PERRY produced Movie. In the end I am still me. I want to be a balanced person, I want to stick to the middle path because that’s the Sunnah, and though I might be anti-social to some nevertheless I don’t want to be boring either.