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Putting People on Pedestals

written by Theresa Corbin for About Islam

Pedestals are for Prophets and plants. This has been my mantra since I nearly let someone destroy my heart with their short comings. I put someone high up on a pedestal and it was unfair to them and to me.

Pedestals are unstable structures. And that inevitable fall from a pedestal is hard and painful.

Learning about pedestals

As a child and a young woman, many of the men in my life were untrustworthy, abusive, and dangerous, with the exception of one shining example. I looked to this one man to restore my trust, to restore my faith in men, to be that perfect example. I created a perfect idea of him and put that fiction up on a pedestal.

When that idea of this last man standing finally fell from the pedestal, as it was always meant to fall, it nearly broke my heart. I became bitter, angry, and hopeless until a friend reminded me that I had put him in a place only the prophets are meant to be.

Taking this to heart, I began to do the work of learning about the Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) perfect character. His life story gave me hope. The more I learn the more I understood what a real man’s character should and CAN be. The more I learned about him, the more I healed. And I started to slowly put him and all the prophets in that highly esteemed place to the exclusion of all others.

Honestly, I am so glad that Allah (SWT) allowed the image of the last man I trusted to fall from the pedestal. I am even grateful for the pain it caused me because painful lessons are the best teachers.

As Yasmin Mogahed writes in Reclaim Your Heart , “That broken heart and that pain are lessons and signs for us. They are warnings that something is wrong. They are warnings that we need to make a change. Just like the pain of being burned is what warns us to remove our hand from the fire, emotional pain warns us that we need to make an internal change. We need to detach. Pain is a form of forced detachment. Like the loved one who hurts you again and again and again, the more dunya hurts us, the more we inevitably detach from it. The more we inevitably stop loving it.”

And so I told myself pedestals are only for Prophets and plants.

Trusting

What happens when we put someone on a pedestal is that we put all our hope in another flawed being, we trust an imperfect person to perfectly pass all the tests of this world, or we imagine that they are here as a perfect example for us.

And in the end, we don’t even realize that the object we put on the pedestal is a flawed being- a human. That is until the image we have of them falls and breaks our hearts.

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In Defense of the Prophets (PBUH)

Written by Theresa Corbin

This post is one that I wrote in September 2012 about the anti-Islam video “The Innocence of Islam” and subsequent murders and riots. I know that it is no longer a “current event”, but the issue remains and has been relevant since the first prophet, Adam (peace be upon him).

 

It is important to understand why Muslims are/were angry

Muslims try to honor the prophets and follow their example. The prophets were patient, honest, and steadfast. Overall they were the best of mankind. They suffered, were harassed, and tortured for the message they were chosen to deliver.

So, when people slander a prophet, Muslims should and do take it personally. It is worse than a “your momma …” joke. Any good Muslim (or human being for that matter) will protect the honor and reputation of Abraham, Isaac, Moses, Jesus, Muhammad, and all the true prophets (peace be upon them all).

Much respect

One lie about the prophet named Muhammad (the last and final prophet- PBUH) that particularly angers Muslims, is the claim that he was a child molester because of his marriage to Aisha (RA). To say that a man in the 7th century CE was a child molester for marrying someone who had reached puberty (as the Innocence of Islam claims) is absurd!

This kind of marriage was common practice in both the East and the West during a time when people died very young. If people then waited to marry like we do in our time, the species would have died out. Besides, people only estimated their ages back then. They didn’t have birth records or birthday parties at Chili’s.

Five centuries after Muhammad’s marriage to Aisha, 33-year-old King John of England married 12-year-old Isabella of Angoulême. The only difference is that in Islam the bride-to-be had to (and still has to) give her approval of the marriage before it was (is) valid.

Whereas, a woman’s consent in the West was not even considered!

Historical facts need to be put in historical context. And not misconstrued to the level of vile slander.

However… and this is a HUGE however,

the reaction to the video was unfounded and un-Islamic.

Lives are phenomenally more important that some ignorant idiot’s video/cartoon/words/etc.
It is NOT OK to kill people. Especially over a flippin’ video; especially people who had nothing to do with it; especially when the sin of murdering one person is like the sin of murdering all of mankind.

I am ASHAMED of the Muslims who are committing these and other similarly atrocious acts!

Nothing can be solved this way, Nothing!

Would the Civil Rights movement have made an inch of progress if they had employed these tactics? Absolutely not. And we would all suffer from a lack of civil liberties in America today.

**Muslims need to remember that the Prophet Muhammad (Peace and Blessings Be Upon him) was insulted during his life, and he bore these insults with patience and returned them with kindness. Let us defend the prophets reputations’ by emulating their example.

So, as Amphion was said to move stones with his poetry to build Thebes, the prophets have moved men’s hearts to build empires of faith. Let us honor them by not tearing nations further apart.

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