About 3 years ago, I brought my friend to the masjid to take her shahadah. I approached another sister to ask if she would be the second witness. I said the shahadah for her to repeat and alhamdulillah, she was muslim. The sister started giving her advice and the statement that stuck with me the most was when she said, “Follow the religion, not the people.” I see and hear so much that is culture and not religion and I always wonder why do muslims mix the two?
Some women who don’t cover say, “In my country, women don’t wear hijab.” Do you follow what Allah says, or what the people do? Some people ask me if I really have to walk 10 paces behind my husband. Come on, really?
Islam is plain and simple. Clear on every matter. There is no room for culture in Islam. It is only what’s in the Qur’an and authenticated sunnah. Following what the people say and do will lead one to commit many bid’ah (innovations). When someone tells you something new to you it is upon you to ask where they got this from, of course nicely. Islam deals with proofs and evidences. It is not based upon culture or ones’ opinion.