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  1. I unfortunately, am one of the Muslims who despite my best intentions, miss salat, don’t wear hijab, and don’t read the Quran on a regular basis. Does that make me a bad Muslim? To some people that makes me an unbeliever. I say not. I am a police officer in the states, and my department doesn’t allow female officers to wear the headscarf with the uniform. I wear my khimar to prayer when I can make it.I already dress modestly. I work the midnight to 8 am shift so while I’m sleep I miss at least two prayers. I try to make them up on my days off, which in of itself is hard to do. I am a new revert so I don’t know everything that I need to know, and that bothers me tremendously. I am productive at work, I have no choice, people don’t stop committing crimes, and I have to arrest them, so I am always at court. What I am trying to say is that sometimes it can be extremely hard to balance the worldly duties with the spiritual ones. No one is perfect and this is why Allah(swt) gives us challenges to test us to see if we give it the old college try or just say the heck with it and let things fall by the wayside. He wants us to at least make the intention, to try, and if we succeed in everything, more reward will come, and if not less reward will come. This is how it was explained to me. Astaghfirallah, if I am wrong, and please forgive me if I offended anyone, as this was not my intention.

  2. Sr. Aliya,
    Your concerns are valid and it has to be clarified in great detail and therefore I would advise you to visit any Islamic Center near to you for further counselling.

    ISLAM is a way of life and we all need to understand the pillars of Islam in the first place & then practice it and finally propagate it.

    May Allah (swt) guide us on the right path, sirat-e-mustakheem. Aameen!

  3. salam sr. aliya,

    I hope Allah makes things easy for all of us and forgives all of our sins. You said some interesting things -I hope to help you. Read a good english translation of the Quran often – it will help you with dealing with difficulities more than anything else.

    "What I am trying to say is that sometimes it can be extremely hard to balance the worldly duties with the spiritual ones."

    Your spiritual duties are worldy in a sense that they are carried out on this planet, and they are set to please the Creator – every action is ‘spiritual’ in that sense and no action is done soley for an entity of this world- which would be associating partners in your actions, all your actions are done for the sake of God. You are a police officier that stands for the rights of the people and the rights of the state, but you can’t stand for the rights of the one that created you from nothing in your prayer? Allah has placed on us various responsiblities that come under the one purpose of worshipping him alone without partners. God didn’t just tell us go pray, he told us to work as well, and these commandments are not contradictory both are given to us by our Creator and He knows us and our limititaions, and He is Just and Fair and does not put a burden on an individual beyond it can bear.

    As a police officier you should know you have religous rights in this country that should allow you to follow your religion and even wear hijab (take them to court!). And if your work prevents you from praying or wearing your headscarf or following the commandments of your Creator on you then you should quit that job and get another one! Remember that Allah is the source of sustanance and He is powerful over all things and worthy of all praise and respect and adherence to commands, and surely He is able to reward handsomely and punish severly and forgive all sins, so ask Him for sustance, guidance, reward in paradise, protecttion from the hellfire, and forgiveness of sins.

  4. and ask him for good in this life :) and good in the hereafter, and protection from the fire. Also ; the best english translation I have came across is ‘The Quran’ by M.A.S. Abdel Haleem published by Oxford World’s classics, it’s available in Borders.

    And the prayer is obligatory, God as commanded it- and is command is worthy of adherence above anyone else, and it is the most important devotional act for a muslim. Seeking forgiveness for past sins do not allow you to return to them, and seeking forgiveness is a great act in the sight of God but it must be sincere.

    Quran translation:
    003.133
    And hasten to forgiveness from your Lord and a garden as wide as the heavens and earth, prepared for the righteous
    003.134
    Who spend [in the cause of Allah] during ease and hardship and who restrain anger and who pardon the people – and Allah loves the doers of good;
    003.135
    And those who, when they commit an immorality or wrong themselves [by transgression], remember Allah and seek forgiveness for their sins – and who can forgive sins except Allah? – and [who] do not persist in what they have done while they know.
    003.136
    Those – their reward is forgiveness from their Lord and gardens beneath which rivers flow [in Paradise], wherein they will abide eternally; and excellent is the reward of the [righteous] workers.

  5. Thank you for your reply. I can’t quit, I need to pay my bills, and I have a son to raise and a daughter I’m putting through college. One officer here did take it to court and lost. It’s all over the web, her name is Kimberly Webb , you can google it. Very interesting read. The department I work for said it was a hazard. I have an English translation Quran, the one by Yusef Ali, on my iphone I read while on down time at work, it has a wonderful reciter feature to it. I have the same translation at home I try to read regularly when I am home.
    I go to a masjid near my home and have already talked to them and they do help me. The sisters and brothers there are wonderful people! Everything I do is for the sake of Allah, especially at work, my job is extremely dangerous. An officer just got shot here not to long ago. In my department, 9 officers have gotten shot at or killed in the line of duty in the past 18 months. I trust in Him to provide for me, and he does.
    Salaams

  6. Bismillah
    Sallamu alaykum,
    SubhanAllah this is an extremely beautiful reminder, How true what was said!
    JazakAllah

  7. Salaam Sister Aliya…Your situation is one that many modern day Muslims encounter when trying to balance the life of this dunya and our spiritual life. Wearing a hijab is a choice that each woman has to make, like the women in French educational establishments (where hijab is also banned), you unfortunately do not have that choice. That doesn’t mean that you cannot wear it outside of work, if you so choose.

    As for praying, fasting etc…although it is often difficult to accomodate into a Western work ethic, it’s not impossible. Try and pray at least the two Fardh of Fajr prayer in your break…if it’s really unfeasible, then pray them once you come home, or with your Dhuhr prayer.

    I don’t think it’s necessary to give up your job in order for you to fulfil your spiritual obligations…it’s all about making subtle changes in how you utilise your time. May Allah make it easy for you. Salaam.

  8. Thank you RedBerries. I do pray at work the Fajr prayer, it comes around the time when the radio calls start to slow down and people finally go to sleep, :-).I have a prayer rug in my locker at work, and I pray in the ladies lockeroom. I am starting to wear my hijab, when I am home and off of work, isha’allah, things will get easier for me. The prayer I miss the most is the Dhuhr. I make it up before the Asr prayer comes if i wake up in time. I’m trying to get off of this awful shift, nothing but the shaytan is out past midnight in Philadelphia! The detective exam is coming up soon, and if I get promoted I can wear regular clothes and not a police uniform! No patrol either, just investigative work behind a desk. And more of a normal life. Jazakallahu Khayran for all the help everyone has given me.
    Salaams,

  9. Salam. This article is truly inspiring. About a year ago, I was flying high with my career and when I was at the peak – unfortunately I transgressed to the extent of forgetting everything that has actually brought me so far. Cutting it short, I was only saying my prayers (not all of them), as and when permitted by work environment. And reading the Quran was just a practice during the month of Ramadan. Alhamdulillah I have been so blessed, that I was given the opportunity by Allah az Zau’jal to see the Light – I’ve tried to correct myself from last Ramadan. I strongly feel I was able to correct myself in due time because I never let go of my prayers. Salat is extremely important for a Muslim: of all the revelations that came to Prophet Muhammad SAW, Salat was given to him in heaven whilst the rest of the message came through Angel Gibrael. I request all brothers and sisters to start their Salat, make it a goal for the month of Ramadan. We should be prostrating and thanking Allah for everything we have been endowed with- the five senses and a beautiful life. And please make another goal: to continue Salat even when Ramadan is over.
    The typical life of a productive Muslim is one where he/she prostrates to Allah in Salat as prescribed in the day and at night, offers Tahajjud, and disciplines himself/herself for work throughout the day. If we can abstain from the non-value adding activities like gossiping at work, window-shopping and watching over-rated dramas in the television – we actually end up doing ourselves a big favor or ‘cleaning up’ the ‘tight schedule’ we otherwise run.
    Concluding, I’d like to request all brothers and sisters, for whom it is possible, to spend as much time with parents and elders since it is said in Sura-Al Isra, Ch 17, Verse 23: "And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect, nor shout at them but address them in terms of honour."
    Let us be true followers of our beloved Prophet Muhammad SAW so that on the Day of Judgement we are re-united with him in Jannah.
    Jazakum Allah Khairan.
    Musarrat Siddiqi
    Dhaka, Bangladesh.

  10. Sister Aliya, your effort is an example for us all. My sister, Allah tells us to refrain from the Haraam, and not try your best to. He tells us to try our best to do the extra actions that bring us closer to Him.

    We understand that Allah has created us and that we are here to worship Him. And so we keep away from anything that keeps us away from His worship. It is clear that your job keep you away from worshipping Allah as you’re not permitted to wear the hijab for example.

    I’d like to take you back to what you said:

    "I can’t quit, I need to pay my bills,
    …I trust in Him to provide for me, and he does"

    My sister, can these two statements really go together? Allah promises to sustain us and provide for us.

    It is Allah that gives you sustenance. Do you think Allah would let go if you if you quit your job for His sake? If you quit your job fearing Allah’s punishment then Allah will take care of you:

    Allah says: “And whoever fears Allah, He will make for him a way out, and provide for him from whence he could never imagine.” [ Sûrah al-Talâq : 2-3]

    The question is not to quit or not to quit, it’s to worship or not to worship. And so whatever stage you come to in your life, always ask yourself, am I worshipping Allah. To take care of your children is a form of worship. Would you like that you raise your children with the money you earn whilst disobeying Allah?

    I want to add something regarding the job as an officer and whether it is permitted:
    The police force does not enjoin the good and forbid the evil. Rather, they protect the freedoms of people. If a father forcefully brings back his daughter who has decided to run away with a man, who would the police force arrest? Arrest the daughter for disobeying Allah, or the father for bringing back his daughter and taking away her freedom? Does an officer thus act contrary to what Allah swt says?

    May Allah swt make us Productive Muslims. Ameen.

  11. @ Musliimah,
    Salaams sister,
    In the society we live in, not everyone is Muslim. I grew up with a saying that I think is a constant in all faiths/religions, " God helps those who help themselves" This came from my Nana, who was a devout Christian.I was attracted to the pure monotheism of Islam,the beautiful way that worship is performed, and the message that it gives but as of late things that have been said to me are frankly scarring me. My statement "I can’t quit, I need to pay my bills, I have a son to take care of and a daughter I am putting through college …I trust in Him to provide for me, and he does" does not contradict. Allah swt has provided me with a job so I can take care of my family, and the common sense and strength to work through the difficult obstacles. I have faith but I also have common sense. If I were to quit my job, are you going to provide for my family? What do I do to sustain my family? What profession do I choose? Potentially everything in this world is haraam. Even using a credit card, to opening a bank account, living in the West, according to some! The Internet can be haraam!
    To irresponsibly discard an honorable profession as being a police officer, one that protects the rights and freedoms of all people regardless of faith or lack there of, would be a disservice. If it were not for people like me, people like you would not be able walk the streets safely, or voice an opinion about things such as this on this wonderful forum. The laws of society, do have a place with the laws of Allah swt. They do not contradict, in fact, they complement each other.
    To your analogy," The police force does not enjoin the good and forbid the evil. Rather, they protect the freedoms of people. If a father forcefully brings back his daughter who has decided to run away with a man, who would the police force arrest? Arrest the daughter for disobeying Allah, or the father for bringing back his daughter and taking away her freedom? Does an officer thus act contrary to what Allah swt says?" Whats wrong with that? I didn’t know Allah swt condoned kidnapping! We are not going to argue whether the laws of Allah swt contradict societies laws. It is against the law to abduct someone for what you stated, and yes I would arrest the father. Allah alone is the judge, she will have to answer for that.
    The police does enforce the good, It is against the law to rob, steal, rape, murder,abduct or attempt to, attempt to murder, attempt to rape, rob or steal, and infringe the freedoms or rights of the people. In the Us constitution, it says that we have the right to freedom of religion, as long as it doesn’t infringe on the rights of others.I help to protect along with My Creator, the rights of the people who otherwise would not have a voice. Allah swt may not need my help, but I am glad to offer it nonetheless. When I respond to a radio call where a muslimah has been beaten half to death by her husband, and I offer salaams, a smile, and a kind word, I know what I do to sustain my family has meaning. I may not agree with everything my government does or says, or for that matter what my employer does or says, but I have the freedom to say something about it, and try to do something about it.

    I do not live in an ideal society, no one does, none of us lives in a bubble separate from the world, if I wanted to live like that, I would have become a monk, or a nun.

    Salaams

  12. Salaam.
    In my opinion, there are some tasks such as that of a policeman, doctor, firemen etc that are not just worldly acts. These are also linked to faith. When one helps keep the street free of crime or saves lives, they are not just doing a worldly act. When a task involves saving or helping other human beings, it is liked by Allah swt.

    As for praying Salaah, consider a case when a doctor is performing an operation in a operation theater to save a life, there is permission for him/her to pray the salaah at a later time. Likewise, if the sister is on duty, she can pray the salaah later but at the earliest possible time. Insha Allah, if the intent is there, Allah swt will accept her prayers.

    Insha Allah, the sister will soon become a detective and be able to pray Salaah on time.

    Wassalam.

  13. My dear sister Aliya,

    May Allah grant you, grant me, and all of us, utmost strength to trust in Him,
    even under the most difficult situations in this life

    May Allah love you and bless you and reward your best intentions and efforts!

    With love,
    your sister in Islam

  14. Thank you all for your words of wisdom and encouragement! I was considering "leaving" but I just could not bring myself to abandon what I felt in my heart is the truth. This is a test for me, and insha'allah, I will be triumphant! I am studying for the detectives exam, and I know with Allah (swt) help, I will be promoted.

    Salaams,
    Aliya

  15. Sallamu alaykum sister,

    I just read your post. I am also from Philadelphia. I took my shahada on Oct. 27, 2010. I work as a Correctional Officer and I am not able to wear the hijab at work. I put it on as soon as I leave and only take it off when I get to work. There are a lot of muslimahs in your position. Ones who have families to care for. Since I am a new muslimah I cannot really give advice, but know that others are going through the same thing. Women have tried to fight for the right but failed.
    Insha Allah, you will pass the dec test. I am looking to chang jobs as soon as I finish school and insha allah I will find a job where i can wear the hijab.

    Sallamu alaykum

  16. Mashallah! wonderful article. jazak Allah kheir for saying the situation so bluntly and for offering solutions to this issue. Inshallah we can all be productive Muslim monks!
    Barak Allahu feek.

  17. Mashaallah, great article. JAK for the insight. Subhanallah, reminds me of something that happened at work. Over the time I’ve worked with the same people (>1 yr) They’ve come to find out that I pray 5 times/day, go to Jum3ah, fast for a month, have dietary restrictions… etc. and they have been supportive. Finally, recently, I told my manager that if he was to introduce me to a female, to tell her in advance that I don’t shake hands. He said “That’s ok, I’ll tell her his name is Monk.” :) He wasn’t mocking… he followed it by “more power to you… in following your religion strictly”

    Alhamdulillah!

    • mashaAllah! may Allah always keep you steadfast in your actions. great comment to reflect upon. 
      jazakAllah brother.

  18. Asslamualikum,
    mashallah, great article.. fell at peace reading this.
    one correction
    “fast during the night and so on”
    shouldve been fast during the day..

  19. salams, Can I just say jazakallah for this post and this website is absolutely excellent and I find it truly inspiring!please continue to make updates on this website as this the only thing that will motivateme to become more productive and spiritually practising!jazakallah again!