By: Iftikhar Islam
The term “Sunnah” refers to the way or tradition of the Prophet. When we say ‘Sunnah’ - in Islamic terminology - it is understood that we are talking about the way of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). On the contrary a “profession” is a vocation founded upon specialized educational training. Here, I am referring to the profession of worldly affairs.
We are witnessing a massive boom of education in our society. Every youngster has a dream of becoming something – a professional! In this journey of acquiring education, every Muslim – male or female – has to come across the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him). And to our astonishment the same Sunnah becomes a hurdle to those who are “keen” in marching towards “securing” their place in this professional world!
We come across youngsters who are Doctors, Engineers, Managers, Chief Executive Officers, Managing Directors, Representatives and what not! Even they have to abide by the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and it becomes a subject of great concern for them whether to accept the Sunnah or gain hierarchy in Profession. We have a misconception in our mind that when we accept the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him) we need to leave our profession. In fact, you are more valued for your ethics and culture. It is your attitude and behavior that matters, which will help you in becoming a successful professional and you can achieve this by holding on to the Sunnah of Prophet (peace be upon him) in your life.
There are youngsters, Alhamdulillah (All praises is due to Allah), who clutches on to the Sunnah strictly and are Doctors, Engineers, Managers, etc and are performing well in their field of expertise. On the contrary, there are youths; when we ask them, why don’t you cling to the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him)? We get the lame excuse of being a “professional”. When we ask them why don’t you sport a beard, wear trousers above the ankle, and dress-up in a modest way? We get amazing replies, “I am a Doctor and I have to be in the hospital, what will my colleagues say?”, “My patients will make fun of me”, “I am a manager and I have to be in the office, I have to meet clients” and so on and so forth.
Even when we ask our sisters, why don’t you observe Hijab? We get the same lame excuse of professionalism. On the contrary they witness with their own eyes, their other friends observing hijab and performing works better than them. It is not the Sunnah which is the hurdle in your career; it is your own perverted mind which is an obstacle in accepting the Sunnah!
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “Whoever forsake my Sunnah is not from us.” And we are busy in destroying the way of Prophet in the name of Profession. We are least bothered about what Prophet (peace be upon him) said. It is the money and the status which is more valuable to us, even more worthy than the way of the Prophet (peace be upon him).
We know and believe that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the only unparallel and ideal role model for us. And yet we are roaming here and there in search of role models. We make those people our role models who are useless, they don’t even know how to utilize the brain given by God Almighty, and they don’t even bother to know about God and his messenger – the perfect paradigm to all.
Now it is upon you to decide, Sunnah or Profession – your choice…