By Ruth Nasrullah

Originally posted on Ruth's blog in the Houston Chronicle

The blogs and news sites have been busy assessing Sunday night's debut of the new TLC reality show “All American Muslim.”   Many Muslims are disappointed by the lack of diversity; in fact, that's probably the most common complaint about the show that I've heard.

The show's title is misleading.  It is not a pioneering study of the lives of Muslim Americans. It is a bid to entertain us with the stories of five families of Lebanese-Americans in Dearborn, Mich.

Put the show in context: It is produced by the same company that chronicled Sarah Palin's “everyday life” and the tasteless “Toddlers and Tiaras.”

I am a hardcore reality TV watcher.  I'm familiar with TLC's formatting. Their bread and butter is programming about the odd, uncommon or extremely challenged.  Its fare includes “Hoarders” (and its criminal cousin, “Animal Hoarders”), an exploration of people with a shocking and disabling psychological disorder.  In essence, the people whose lives and relationships are inescapably challenged write their own scripts.  I do give TLC credit for minimizing freak show voyeurism and incorporating a healthy amount of compassion in their coverage.   We witness Bill and Jen of “The Little Couple” facing challenges ranging from how to comfortably sit in restaurant seats as tall as they are to strategizing fertility options.  If you are interested in people, you'll find a takeaway from most of these shows.

The other type of reality show is the contrived “Real Housewives” brand.  TLC doesn't produce the Housewives shows, but they do use similar editing techniques.  The dialogue isn't always linear and the scenes aren't always in context.

And the producers clearly alter their subjects' lives.  Jim Bob Duggar doesn't support his family of 21 by picking up a briefcase and driving to a 9-to-5 job, yet after a couple successful seasons the family moved to a huge house more accommodating of their needs. I loved Jon and Kate when they shopped at Sam's Club.  When Kate became an organic food snob I didn't really care anymore.  What was under the microscope became something TLC contrived.

So knowing how reality TV is done, I didn't expect much from “All-American Muslim.”  However, one story really engaged, and disturbed, me: Jeff McDermott's conversion to Islam. Jeff is engaged to one of the main characters, and the show reveals that he plans to convert to Islam.

I am a convert to Islam, and I know many converts' stories, often starting with their very first interest in Islam. Not a single one of them came to Islam lightly.  For many it involved loss: loss of tradition, loss of family relationships, loss of certainty in what one was raised with.

The show presented Jeff's conversion as expedient rather than heartfelt, something meant to make his bride's family happy.  I'm not going to comment on Jeff or the other characters because I don't know them.  I take issue only with how his conversion was portrayed.

Two aspects of conversion to Islam were emphasized: how easy it was to do and how challenging it was to his mom, who is presented as a lone figure in the midst of a huge extended family.

“I feel like this is all crashing in on me,” we see her weep – but unfortunately we get few other details.  She makes simple remarks about change, but seriously, an Irish Catholic converting to Islam is a big deal, and we only hear from her that Jeff is a “big boy” who can make his own decisions.  But through her tearful confessional shots I had to wonder if her heart was breaking and we just didn't know it; instead we got an eyeful of the belly dancers at the couple's wedding.

We don't ever get a full understanding of Jeff's experience either.  We see him sit in the backyard with his future father-in-law, who slips him a phonetic cheat sheet so he can practice saying the Arabic words that will enter him into Islam.

Yes, it is easy to convert to Islam.  As the show points out, all it requires is to say the shahadah: to bear witness that there is only one God and that Muhammad is His messenger.

But it's not that simple.  The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said that all actions are by intentions.  I can't comment on Jeff's heart and I pray that he was sincere, but the show presented his conversion as a cultural thing, which is quite different from saying the shahadah intending to submit to God, which is the definition of Islam.  The story of the Muslim convert – especially an “all-American” one – is a story of challenge, and the most disappointing thing about the show is that we don't get any real insight into Jeff's experience.

“All-American Muslim” is about five Lebanese-American families in Dearborn, and I'll leave it to that demographic to decide if the show reflects their lives accurately.  My expectations for the show aren't high, but I'm pulling for Jeff.  He has the most to lose by sharing his story on the airwaves, and I hope TLC – and the viewers – turn a compassionate, rather than a voyeuristic, eye toward him.

107 Responses

  1. AbdulQ

    I was literally just expressing the same feelings to my family. My friends who’ve seen the episode, I try and encourage them to watch the conversion stories of many a famous shuyookh like Imam Siraaj Wahhaj, or Yusha Evans, and base their notions of conversion on that

    I really do think the show is titled inappropriately, it seemed to have very little to do with the preservation and practice of Islam in the melting pot that is american society. Instead what I saw was a group of people who from the outside looked and sounded exactly like their not-yet muslim counterparts (with a dash of hee-jab and spoonful of sobriety). It felt like TLC was trying to say “these muslims are JUST like you and me”. I don’t think we ‘re JUST like everyone else…we’re different, and that should be good enough. But heck maybe that’s just my radical Canadian values speaking.

    I take solace in the fact that “Little mosque on the prairie” is coming back soon! You want a real north american muslim show, check it out iA!

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    • abu takfir

      Canadian values? Read the survey in today’s Globe and Mail. Most Canadians want immigrants to shed their cultural baggage and adopt/accept Canadian values. Not much of a mosaic eh.

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      • Saher

        Gosh…I don’t even know where to start about this inconclusive survey :/.

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      • AnonyMouse

        The Globe and Mail is notoriously anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant, and anti-anything that isn’t white and worships Harper.

        As a Canadian Muslimah, I’m fully confident that my fellow citizens aren’t entirely that racist. Or at least not on my island (Vancouver Island). In my view, Western Canada remains the hippest and most chilled-out (dodgy racist editorials from the National Post and the Globe and Mail notwithstanding).

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  2. RCHOUDH

    Great post! I’m a little wary about this series turning into something like Jon & Kate + 8 (start out educational then veer into trashy tabloidy territory) since it’s on TLC and all. With that said I think that there does seem to be alot of room for improvement. If they continue making this series perhaps they can highlight other Muslim communities throughout the US based on race, ethnicity, class, immigrant/2nd gen/native, geographic distribution (NE US vs. the South).
    And while I have no problem with them focusing for now on the familial, marital and childbearing experiences of Muslim women, I would also like to see more examples of their intellectual pursuits as well as some more introduction to the tenets of Islam (they could show for example how much giving to charity is emphasized through the Deen by showing Muslims volunteering/donating to various causes). Other ways they could show different perspectives of being Muslim in America: they could show revert Muslims, multiracial/ethnic Muslims and their families as well as Muslims who chosen to home school their kids or send them to an Islamic school/public school. Speaking of revert Muslims I agree with your concern above about how they depicted Jeff’s conversion. It does seem to have been rushed through just for the sake of marriage. Hopefully in later episodes they’ll reveal how the conversion plays out in his life ( eg. whether he starts trying to perform the Ibadaat or not; whether he tries to seek a greater understanding of the Deen).
    Finally I have a question is this show mainly about Muslim women? They shouldn’t neglect focusing on Muslim men too! There’s so many things they could show if their intent is to educate the mainstream populace.

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    • Lin

      But aren’t these paper conversions like Jeff’s a fact of life in the Muslim community? The community itself makes these fake conversions a necessity by disapproving (through social censure/backbiting) of marriages between Muslim women and non-Muslim men. I know Islamically it is forbidden, but when these religious/cultural expectations are placed on non-practicing Muslim women (who for all intents and purposes are secular like Jeff’s fiance), what do you expect? In many cases they will have been dating (in all senses of the word) for many years and might even be secretly living together, but all hell breaks loose when talk of marriage and meeting family comes up. Maybe if overbearing Muslim parents let their non-religious/non-practicing Muslim children just marry their partners without bringing religion into it, these fake conversions would disappear, and people would convert ONLY when they actually believed in the faith. Because at the moment, insisting that the non-Muslim partners of similarly irreligious Muslim women ‘convert’ in order for the families to ‘save face’ in the community will just result in more ‘fake conversions’. Wouldn’t it be more honest to just let non-practicing Muslim women (and men) marry their non-Muslim partners in secular ceremonies (like Huma Abedin did) rather than insisting on a religious ceremony to please the parents and lie to the Imam while you’re at it? I feel that fake conversions for the purpose of marriage due to pressure from Muslim families and communities do not promote religious integrity and religious feeling at all, rather it makes a mockery of Islamic conversions. (In this respect, I think more stringent conversion courses/processes such as those associated with Orthodox Judaism, would be more useful if bringing genuine and dedicated converts into Islam was the goal rather than paper conversions for marriage). As for non-Muslim partners who don’t particular care and just want the certificate, it seems much more honest to just let them marry their non-practicing/irreligious Muslim gf/bf (those ‘born into it’ types who couldn’t care less) in a secular ceremony without the community kicking up a fuss.

      One thing I will say about TLC, it seems to be giving a realistic view of the disparity in religiosity, practice and belief amongst people from Muslim backgrounds and some of the issues they have to grapple with, which is quite refreshing. More diversity in terms of ethnic origin, class, immigrant/non-immigrant, sexuality, gender and born vs. convert would have been interesting too like Rchoudh says above.

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      • Ruth Nasrullah

        Hi Lin. How do you know when a conversion is fake unless the person converting makes a public declaration that they reject Islam – in which case it isn’t a conversion anyway?

        The fact that we can’t see into people’s hearts is why I said in the post that I won’t comment on Jeff, only on the way the show portrayed his experience. For all we know he had been doing research and talking to other Muslims and made a wholehearted decision to enter Islam. Because it’s a reality show, we just can’t know. And I’ve seen many cases of a Muslim and non-Muslim “dating,” and after the non-Muslim’s conversion he or she ends up being even more practicing than the born Muslim.

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  3. Regular Baba

    Salam

    You know, we muslims in America need to be making our own shows like this.

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    • June

      waalaykum assalamu,

      I thought the same thing!

      When a customer mentioned to me there was this new show premiering I asked her if it was made by Muslims. She didn’t seem to know and I had my strong doubts that it would be even close to an accurate representation of Islam. I simply warned her that what Muslims do and what Islam teaches can sometimes be completely different as I finished her transaction.

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  4. jamila.n.y.c

    salam, i also agree with the writer,this seems to be a very limited view of muslims lives. i am a revert, just a little over a yr now,alhamdouliah!!! and it has been the most wonderful thing to ever happen to me…but i have also had challenges..i decided to wear hee-jab almost right away and i think that was the hardest part for my family bcz they saw plenty of muslim sister who by their choice do not wear it,only for prayer and they wondered why i had to..i tried to make them understand i did not have to or was forced to but that my understanding was it was commanded by Allah(swt).. one of my sisters uninvited me to her birthday b.b.q if i intended on wearing my head cover..some family and ppl didnt like my change in dress or that i was praying 5 times a day…and they would say muslims are terrorists..hmmmm it hasnt been easy,and my response to all the craziness is plze anytime u like read my quran or come with me to the masjid,..u see im still on a journey and learning and trying to improve my deen inchallah..hmmm wow i didnt think this would be so long,sorry ppl
    just a lil personal info..im frm a jewish mom and catholic dad, so my journey has been strange to say the least!!!
    anyway,i just hope they can try to show different experiences and struggles of our very diverse community
    ma asalama to all :)

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    • Ruth Nasrullah

      Walaikum asalaam, jamila. I have a Jewish dad and Christian mom (though both are secular now), so I know how unusual religiously “blended” families can be – lots of holidays, though!

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  5. UmmAzam

    I was really excited to watch this show but extremley disappointed. I started to watch but when I saw half naked women I realized that it is just another trashy show and has nothing to do with Islam or Muslims in America and turned the TV off.

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  6. Cartoon Muslim

    As others have said, I would have really loved to see more diversity. I would love to see an African American Muslim family followed, since they make up most of the Muslim in the united states. It would also be interesting to see the story of a person who converted to Islam by choice and how this person deals with his/her non-Muslim family. There is so much potential to tell such a rich and diverse story about Muslims in America. I know for a fact that there are Muslims in Dearborn, MI who aren’t just Lebanese Shia Muslims and I’d like to hear their stories too.

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  7. ummhassan

    I don’t understand why Muslims are getting so offended by the show. It’s the creation of a nonMuslim entity that is trying to highlight the lives of 5 Arab Muslim families that live in Dearborn. Besides, there are all kinds of Muslims at all level of iman and practice. This show is very real when it portrays that. If they only focused on the pious, hijab wearing, beard sporting Muslims, they would not be accurately representing the Muslim community either. If anything, I think the only problem is the title of the show. It’s misleading. However, I do agree with Sr. Ruth, that they missed a golden opportunity to highlight the story behind Jeff’s conversion. So many Muslims enter Islam through this path and it would have been a good opportunity for our nonMuslim peers to see his story in more depth. Maybe they will focus more on that as the season progresses.

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  8. Yasmin

    I completely agree that this show has its fair share of imperfections. However, I think that this is a good start to open up further dialect!

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    • Soriyah

      I agree completely. I’ve been surprised at how many non-Muslims have mentioned the show to me and how much they said they enjoyed it. One (non-Muslim) lady even keep going on and on about how one of the people on the show reminded her so much of her sister.

      Nothing seems to get to the heart of America like a reality show.

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  9. Soriyah

    I was at first surprised at the negative backlash to the show, then I wasn’t when I remembered how we never quite seem happy with anything in the media relating to Muslims or Islam.

    Most of it seems to be that Muslims want to present a very clean cut and flawless portrait of American Muslims (a la Little Mosque on the Prairie) and this show didn’t do that. Many Muslims are like the ones shown in the program and we have to realize and accept this. The ironic thing is that that these ARE American Muslims so too much criticism about the show’s premise seems a little unfounded. I don’t think anyone could expect to show the depth or range of our community in a few reality show segments.

    It is the flaws and characters of our community (that many American Muslims don’t seem to want to show) that will ultimately give us humanity in the eyes of the public, not some sanitized version showing how perfect (or “diverse”) we seem to think we are.

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    • Mustafa

      Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

      There is no reason to have the lives of any one exposed on t.v. Let people live private lives like they have been doing for hundreds of years. We were fine, doing good deeds and avoiding bad deeds when our lives weren’t exposed.

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  10. sister em

    I completely agree with soriya. And I havent watched the show and if I did I am sure I will feel as disappointed as any muslim. However, everyone is complaining about its only arab culture and everyone will get the wrong impression. Maybe if I would watch it, it would be like lookin in a mirror even tho Im not an arab. Maybe it would give me the reality of our ummah. The foam on the ocean and who put (blank) culture into Islam. And honestly blaming anyone but ourselves for the existence of this show is unfair. What have we done to change ourselves. Shame on us.

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  11. farah

    actually, the reason so many muslims, including me, do not like the show is that it really only shows one group of particular muslims – muslims who in no way shape or form practice islam, these are their own words. A real show about “American Muslims” would be following muslims who actually practice Islam…ones who pray, fast, give zakat/charity and who show modesty and how practicing real islam intertwines with the day-to-day life in America…not mindless women who obviously don’t seem to understand the fundamental principles of Islam. When people see a ridiculous show like this, they will think…”well, this is how Islam is…why do other women cover their head or wear modest clothes or why do they always go pray, they don’t have too, they must be extreme” For people defending this show as a good start…please. Again, follow people who actually practice Islam and how this affects their daily life…because to me…most (not all) of the people on that show place Islam last on their list of priorities and that is not Islam. And I totally agree about the conversion…the way they portrayed it totally ignored what a huge decision this is and how your life should change when you convert to Islam.

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    • Ruth Nasrullah

      You make some good points, Farah – I would only take issue with assuming that even the least modestly dressed women don’t follow the fundamentals of prayer, zakat, etc. As with so much of the program, we just don’t know what they don’t show us.

      I was at a women’s interfaith get-together a couple nights ago where there were three Muslim sisters: me (hijabi), a niqabi and a woman who doesn’t wear a headscarf (although modestly dressed otherwise). One of the non-Muslim women prefaced a question to us by nodding at me and the niqabi and saying “well, you two are obviously more conservative”…I’ve heard this before and I never agree because I want non-Muslims to learn about Islam from the bottom up and not base their understanding on clothing. Obviously some of the women on the show don’t follow rules of modesty, but we can’t make assumptions about their practice of Islam.

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    • burqabarbie

      “not mindless women who obviously don’t seem to understand the fundamental principles of Islam”
      Why only the women? The men were breaking the laws of modesty as well. Not to mention, but be realistic, no American (except for extreme Christians such as the quiverfull) is going to find value in double standards of modesty. Theyve had their victorian era and they dont want to go back. There was a huge controversy recently within the liberal feminist sphere because a group of female Christians were asking men how they could dress so as not to turn them on.
      http://therebelution.com/modestysurvey/

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  12. RCHOUDH

    Someone upthread mentioned we should take this as a cue to start producing our own shows and I agree. I believe programs like this can only be beneficial if they’re used for purposes of giving dawah to others. We should make people understand the reality of what Islam is as a way of life, not just show Muslims living “ordinary life” without much influence from Islam. And depicting Islam as a way of life doesn’t mean we have to show Muslims being “perfect practitioners” of the faith. We can show various Muslims in their journey towards practicing Islam. So we can show both Muslims who already pray five times a day and those who are on the way towards praying all prayers but not quite there yet. We could show Muslimahs who wish to cover but something or other is holding them back (family pressure, work, etc). The point is to show how Muslims want to incorporate the faith because of their belief in it being the best way of life, even if they fall short of doing that. I see glimpses of this in this show (like with the hijabi sister explaining how she never thought of taking off the hijab because she was never intrigued by the thought of living life without it). But then you have the sister who wants to open up a nightclub, as though doing something haraam is no big deal…ultimately I don’t believe that shows produced by any one other than Muslims will be aimed towards giving Dawah. I believe it’s up to us to do that.

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  13. chuck hird

    I don’t know what to say. The intent of the show is important, and needed. However, I was not convinced that they achieved their intent. I will continue to watch, with hope that it will make a difference, bringing Muslims, Christians, Jews, and unbelievers closer together.

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    • abu takfir

      Muslims cannot be closer to “unbelievers.” Unbelief is anti-thesis of belief. You are playing with fire when you decide to bring them “closer.”

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      • chuck hird

        Abu Takfir, I am saddened to get this response. The attitude that you express, if true, confirms many islamaphobes misguided attitudes twards all Muslims. I refuse to believe that there is little hope.

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      • Joyce

        as a Muslim, i agree, I refuse to give up hope. Bringing people closer and fostering understanding, respect, common goals, and dialogue is indeed something to hope in. And for those who will quote verses which referred to specific people at war with the early Muslims, i believe God quite nicely clarifies the issue in what roughly means “Allah forbids you not with regard to those who fight you not for your faith, nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them. For Allah loves those who are just. Allah only forbids you with regard to those who fight you for your faith, and drive you out of your homes and support others in driving you out, from turning to them for protection (or taking them as wali). Those who seek their protection they are indeed wrong- doers.” and as if thats not enough we have only to look to the example of P. Muhammed (saw) and as he was a mercy for all people, so we too should strive to be. <3

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      • burqabarbie

        Calling people kuffir and telling them theyre going to burn in hell isnt going to make any positive impression.

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      • Amad

        Chuck
        We will be putting “Abu Takfir” on automoderation list and he will be soon banned if he doesn’t know how to deal with believers of other faiths.

        thanks.

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      • chuck hird

        Thank you. It is a relief to know that the attitude of Abu Takfir is in the minority. Yes we all have our mean spirited minorities. I am a novice in understanding the relationship between Muslims and Christians, among others, but I am sincere in wanting to understand and change the situation.

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      • Mustafa

        Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

        Amad I’m a bit curious. I understand banning people who don’t speak politley. But why is it that we should become closer to Jews and Christians? Become friends and watch as the fall into hell? There is a difference between being friendly and having good Muslim character and taking disbelievers as close friends.

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      • burqabarbie

        But remember, they all think youre going to hell too.

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      • Sister

        brother Mustafa said the truth. It is quite disturbing we try to please the kuffar and have baraa towards our brothers and sisters and walaa for them in the delusion that we are giving dawah. The best example for us was Ibrahim a.s. read surah Al-Mumtahina. He a.s was a nabi what about us, do we think we are better than him a.s.? And calling the kuffar “believers of other faiths” is misleading to them. The state of the ummah is sad. I am so sure many are going to be angry at me for saying the word “kuffar”.

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      • Abdus Sabur

        @Sister, Christians and Jews are referred to as the “people of the book” not kuffar, according to Quran.

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      • Sister

        @ Abdus Sabur

        Translations:
        “They (the disbelievers, the Jews and the Christians) want to extinguish Allâh’s Light (with which Muhammad SAW has been sent – Islâmic Monotheism) with their mouths, but Allâh will not allow except that His Light should be perfected even though the Kâfirûn (disbelievers) hate (it).” (9:32)

        “Those who disbelieve from among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) and Al-Mushrikûn, were not going to leave (their disbelief) until there came to them clear evidence. A Messenger (Muhammad (SAW)) from Allâh, reciting (the Qur’ân) purified pages [purified from Al-Bâtil (falsehood)] ” [Surah Bayyina (98): 1-2]

        They are disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah and they disbelieve in the Messenger salallahu alayhi wa sallam and they reject the quran e.t.c.

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  14. UmFawzan

    Asalaamu’alaykum,

    Does anyone else find Abu Takfir’s comment ridiculous and completely unIslamic?

    A Muslim, no matter what flaws they possess, is still a degree above the kufaar on account of their iman. The kufaar have no hope of leaving Hell, whilst even the most sinful Muslim does. Alhamdulilah He is our Judge.

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      • Khaled Ibn Walid

        Chuck, yes, kuffaar is the plural of “kafir”/non-Muslim…you should become Muslim though! :)

        It’s easy and Islam is logical :)

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    • chuck hird

      This is the same attitude about Christians that the mean spirited Fundamentalist Evangelicals say about some of us in more mainstream Christian denominations. Anyone not a Muslim is a Kafir and will spend eternity in hell. Taking this attitude to the ultimate conclusion is demonstrated by the hate filled picketing by members of the Westboro Babtist Church towards most mainline Christians or the Gainesville Florida Pastor Terry Jones hateful Koran burning.

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      • Mustafa

        Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

        It really should be the creed of all Muslims. The problem is when some groups prefer to view things from their own desires instead of the Quran and Sunnah.

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    • burqabarbie

      “The kufaar have no hope of leaving Hell, whilst even the most sinful Muslim does.”
      So Osama Bin Laden goes to heaven but Ghandi doesnt?

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  15. Teaching Kids the Holy Quran using toys

    I am not a big fan of “reality” shows – and once the cameras come in it hardly stays “real”, but any show that humanizes Muslims in America has to be good. Little Mosque was a great show, particularly after the 3rd season onwards, but I am Canadian.

    – Mezba

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  16. Muhakeem U Abdullah

    There is so much to my title “American Muslim”. “…go back…” ~ Surahtul Nur

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  17. Back2Sunnah

    I think we need to shut the tvs off and not worry about these shows. We don’t need reality shows to portray Islam or American Muslims. Practice Islam with the sunnah of the greatest prophet/man/creation to ever live with sincerity and people will see. We have to stop following the ways of the kaafirs. We have our way, they have their way. And if you are trying to please them, then know that they won’t be pleased until you’ve become just like them. Any muslim who watches this show needs to make istighfar. Also, I think any sensible muslim would not even want his/her life to be on display, especially a muslim sister. What is happening to the ummah’s haya?

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    • Sister

      Masha Allah you said what was on my mind subhan Allah. These Individuals need to fear Allah. Their sins are exposed on tv and here muslims are complaining about the show not being “diverse” Allahu Akbar! Where is the gheera of the Ummah when you see your sisters going on TV NAKED and all of them exposing their sins? The brothers and sisters who know them need to remind them to FEAR ALLAH subhanahu wa ta’ala. And if anyone follows a bad deed from them, they will get the sin. Does anyone Understand this? No one should be praising them. We should not try to be like kuffar. Enjoin good and forbid evil. Next thing we know these types of shows will be in the muslim lands – imagine the sins they acquire following an example! Imagine these sisters who expose their awrah letting men see them. These shows are on for as long as only Allah knows. Imagine your sins being displayed and it goes on for 20 + yrs and anyone can access it on internet or buy the dvd, millions or even billions of people watching you Lah hawla wala quwata ila billah. It is no wonder this Ummah is the way it is subhan Allah. Muslims need to fear Allah. If you love your brothers and sisters, remind them of the akhira and this type of show is only entertainment for the dunya and what is this for you -the ultimate pleasure or the ultimate punishment.

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    • Mustafa

      Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

      JAZZAKALLAH KHAIRUN KATHIRAN

      You said what was on my mind.

      “I am a hardcore fan”….

      SINCE WHEN was listening to the incredible amount of laghw on reality t.v shows halal?

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      • Back2Sunnah

        Seriously. Little by little Muslims are getting weaker and weaker. Well, actually I don’t know if it’s “little by little” more like by loads. We’re so caught up in assimilation in America, that we started to follow the non-muslims. I’m not anti-American or anything, I was born here and I love this country for letting me practice my deen. I’m definitely not against American culture that’s halal but these t.v shows are clearly haram. Forget avoiding that which is doubtful, we can’t avoid that which is haram. It’s like we’re taking the non-muslim culture and “halalizing” it or fashioning it into the “muslim brand”. Soon enough someone is going to have “American Muslim Idol”, “Dancing with the Muslim stars” and “Halal Vodka”, nauzhobillah. Why are we wasting our time, why are we so blind? Allahu ‘alam. Oh fellows muslims, how can the of love Allah subhana ta ‘ala and His Habib salAllahu alayhi wa sallam enter our hearts if these are the things we are concerned about?

        Astaghfirullah, and May He guide me and everyone from this ummah.

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      • burqabarbie

        Well you cant live sperately from everyone else and still kvetch about not being liked. Really, you complain too much.

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  18. chuck hird

    Abu Takfir, I am saddened to get this response. The attitude that you express, if true, confirms many islamaphobes misguided attitudes twards all Muslims. I refuse to believe that there is little hope.

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    • Amad

      Chuck,
      You can find ten anti-Muslim bigots for every Abu Takfir. So just like Muslims should not stereotype entire nations based on a few of its kooks, similarly you cannot take this one person’s attitude as representative of a larger audience. There will always be trolls in the internet world.

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      • chuck hird

        I so agree, as I read on Muslimmatters Muslims are terriorists but 94% of them are not. I would guess we could say many Christians are islamaphobes but 80% are not.

        Amad, It does matter to me that as a Christian I am a Kafir to Muslims and am condemned to hell as UmFawsan indicated in his previous post and I assume you concurred as you posted an answer to my question. What is your response to my post about this attitude quoted below:

        “This is the same attitude about Christians that the mean spirited Fundamentalist Evangelicals say about some of us in more mainstream Christian denominations. Anyone not a Muslim is a Kafir and will spend eternity in hell. Taking this attitude to the ultimate conclusion is demonstrated by the hate filled picketing by members of the Westboro Babtist Church towards most mainline Christians or the Gainesville Florida Pastor Terry Jones hateful Koran burning.”

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      • Mustafa

        “This is the same attitude about Christians that the mean spirited Fundamentalist Evangelicals say about some of us in more mainstream Christian denominations. Anyone not a Muslim is a Kafir and will spend eternity in hell. Taking this attitude to the ultimate conclusion is demonstrated by the hate filled picketing by members of the Westboro Babtist Church towards most mainline Christians or the Gainesville Florida Pastor Terry Jones hateful Koran burning.”

        It’s like the prophecy from the about following your ways. If a Christian did it, inevitably we will somehow follow. That’s why you’ll find the Muslim version of Christmas, the Muslim version of monks, of kabbalah, of Saint worship, of liberalism, of racism, and of burning books from another religion.

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      • burqabarbie

        One has to admit no one else riots over cartoons but Muslims.

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  19. MomAliyah

    Seriously, what did Jeff see in his fiance anyways. She does not even look arab or muslim, she looked like a very unflattering girl to me and perhaps the conversion was for marriage purposes only or so it seemed to me. I think we should not be so niave to think that there still are people nowadays that convert just for the sake of marriage. It is disconcerting to show non religious people as a face of American Muslims(I know majority are all like this but still).

    Jeff could have done way better and his mother should really be lamenting that.

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    • Halima

      Hmmmm…..

      I don’t wanna judge but from watching the whole first episode..it seems as if he loved her soo much that he converted for he. He even kinda admits saying “this is what I have to do to marry her..” or something a long the lines of obligation of converting to marry her… the show is kinda wrong in ways how it only depicts ARABS…like seriously people are gonna buy into the Arab-Muslim stereotype really easily…how many other Muslims are there in the world. I’m tired of hearing of this….we got Indonesians, Bosnians, Somali’s, Sudanese, Mexican, etc.

      Why just stop at Arab? They shouldn’t of only shot at Dearborn, but maybe a few more places in the U.S….

      And why are all the ppl on the show so Americanized? I mean don’t lose yourself or your culture/deen…? I wish someone could do a better show…I know it wouldn’t be impossible.

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    • Muhakeem U Abdullah

      Yeah, I must agree with (Abdul) Halima I don’t want to judge him either…but, one must be cautious about switching one’s religion for marriage…or a woman…or a man (in the case of women). Religion or Deen is about one’s personal relationship, friendship with their God, Cherisher, Sustainer and Creator…and the healthy cultivation of that relationship. Marriages…spouses come and go…but, one should make the most effort not to waver nor vacillate in one’s relationship with Allah (swt).

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  20. Muhakeem U Abdullah

    Narrated by Anas (ra) “The Prophet (saws) said, “Love for the ansar is a sign of faith and hatred for the Ansar is a sign of hypocrisy.” ~ Sahih Al Bukhari The Book of Faith No. 16
    Even, though muhajirun are not like the ansarullah in America they should be respected because if I were to go overseas I would want to be treated respectfully, justly, peacefully, honestly with courtesy and hospitality also. If muhajirun came over here and became leaders and millionaires, then they should expect that the same type of thing will take place in their lands…because Allah’s Universe works that way and is justly balanced.

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  21. Muhakeem U Abdullah

    “Do not marry unbelieving women (idolaters), until they believe: A slave woman who believes is better than an unbelieving woman, even though she allures you. Nor marry (your girls) to unbelievers until they believe: A man slave who believes is better than an unbeliever, even though he allures you. Unbelievers do (but) beckon you to the Fire. But God beckons by His Grace to the Garden (of bliss) and forgiveness, and makes His Signs clear to mankind: That they may celebrate His praise.” ~ Surahtul Baqarah Ayat 221
    It does seem that they were engaged/involved before his conversion…it amazes me how “muslim” women are a lot of times unavailable to certain classes of “muslim” men yet are so available to “non-muslim” men…they really get a lot of opportunities at “muslim” women…but, I am not jealous (Whether Allah marries me here on earth or I go my whole life a monk and marry in Jannah, I will not be jealous of this.)…it is just that I have seen this happen many times.

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  22. Ruth Nasrullah

    One of the themes I see recurring is the assumption that Jeff was insincere when he said the shahadah. I don’t think that’s for us to judge. As I mentioned earlier, I have seen many people (usually women) who plan to convert for marriage but when they start investigating Islam become even more sincere than their fiancees/spouses. So I think we need to cut Jeff a break unless he openly denounces Islam.

    The concept of “converting just for marriage” begs the question of what “converting” means. If someone recites the shahadah insincerely, then that’s not a conversion, right? If his initial motivation was to please his fiancee’s family, that doesn’t necessarily mean his declaration was insincere.

    As Muslims, isn’t it better for us to make positive assumptions? We just can’t know what he was thinking unless he makes an open statement against Islam.

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    • Muhakeem U Abdullah

      No, most are not making assumptions about Jeff. The cast of the show including Jeff were on the Anderson Cooper talk show and Jeff did say, that he converted to Islam in order to marry her. Then, Anderson Cooper went to a clip of the Reality show where he told his parents who were Catholics. Jeff expalins here why he converted to Islam.

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      • Ruth Nasrullah

        But now I’m having more second thoughts…if he says he “did it for” his wife and her family, is that evidence that he recited the shahadah insincerely? How do we know? It still continues to bother me. Unless he denounces Islam, are we in a position to judge whether or not he’s Muslim?

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      • Muhakeem U Abdullah

        No, definitely not judging him. There is a fine line between cautioning someone about something/or asking them to tighten up their niyyat and judging them. Consultation or advising someone is not always being judgmental, although many of our brothers and sisters cross the line of being consultants to being judges of a person’s every actions.

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      • Muhakeem U Abdullah

        But, in truth, what you are asking is not just a matter of others judging him…but, of others invalidating him (which now that I think about it is judging him)…Allah (swt) has given us the Quranul Kareem, Remnants of Truth in the Kitab and the Hadiths as a Furqan or Criterion of “Judgement” between right and wrong. We must be able to judge between what is right and what is wrong in order to navigate through life…otherwise, it is a life riddled with problems and errors. Unless their is a curse, sentence/penalty or invalidation of his standing in the community it is not judging him. The “Will or Command” Amr and the “Spirit” are a real phenomenons. “Verily Allah proves true Al Haqq by the Kalimat of Allah” ~ HQ 42:24. Sometimes people attempt to invalidate the “truth” by stigmatizing the process of judging or using discernment. So, while I am not Jeff’s judge…I do use the process of judgement. But, it is important to take a lesson from the Thamudi and the sign of the she-camel and other creature’s or being’s right “to be”. Also by Surahtul Shura it is encouraged and healthy to dialogue about things with each other in Islam…only Allah knows it all…we have to have a gathering of the minds to help ourselves and not be afraid to speak; ask questions; agree and disagree.

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    • Mustafa

      Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

      “So I think we need to cut Jeff a break unless he openly denounces Islam. ”

      Really, it’s about us cutting Jeff a break? Good Lord the way we are following Jews and Christians……there really is no stopping it.

      I remember Abu Talhah converted to Islam to marry Umm Salam(God knows whether my history facts are right or wrong).

      He became one of the best Muslims. Ever.

      Sister, just quit reality t.v shows for Allah’s and Allah will replace it with something better for you. Listening to vain talk is not halal, it is a sin and sin accumulates. We don’t have to be a part of this.

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  23. pinksourgrapes

    The show isn’t perfect but it isn’t meant to be. It’s not about Islam, it’s about some Muslims. All in all I think this show is a good start and can serve as a platform for dialogue and discussion between us and our non-Muslim friends. I’m a fan!

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  24. Muhakeem U Abdullah

    Nabi (Prophet) Muhammad (saws) had 5 stations to his (saws) Prophetic Office and he used them in perfect balance which made him (saws) the best Ambassador of God and God’s Kingdom…and most importantly those who understand do not make any distinctions between Prophet Muhammad (saws) or the other Anbiya (saws) (Prophets) because each Prophet was the best Ambassador of Allah and Allah’s Kingdom.

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  25. Raheel Syed

    Dearborn is the first and only place where I’ve seen hijabi women smoke.

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    • Saeed

      If you come to the GCC, and in particular the UAE, you will see Hijabi women smoking cigarettes and shisha …

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      • amad

        Seen shisha, not smoking in Qatar… i think they dont think of shisha as something bad, just like coffee!!

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      • AnonyMouse

        I’ve seen the shisha AND cigarette smoking by hijaabis (and beardies) both in Egypt and Kuwait… lame.

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  26. Candice Lisa Elam

    Assalaamu alaikum, folks! I haven’t seen the show. I read a few articles about in the week it was premiering, and I just knew that it wasn’t something I’d be interested in seeing. My students (I teach in an Islamic school) were very interested in talking about it, so I took class time to hear about the show and listen to their reflections on what they saw. Every single one of the students I spoke to, even the students who are proudly non-practicing of Islam, were offended and felt misrepresented by the show. My worry about the show is two-fold:
    1. That seeing the portrayal of Muslims, especially women, so thoroughly disregarding Islamic ethics in favor of American culture would lead to a counterpressure on those of us who try to practice. Converts go through this a lot with our non-Muslim families. Your non-Muslim mother, for instance, meets a nice Muslim girl who doesn’t “wear her religion on her sleeve,” becomes the person who proves that you’ve become an extremist or brainwashed when you converted. This person is proof that you can be “normal” when you become a Muslim, but you’re “choosing” to be different when you don’t have to be. So being a non-practicing Muslim or one who hides their religious practice becomes the norm, the example of moderateness. I’d be surprised if people didn’t hear more, “she/he’s Muslim and she/he doesn’t observe hijab/beard, avoid gatherings with alcohol, avoid shaking hands with the opposite sex…. why can’t you be more like her/him?”
    2. That other people think the show IS representative of who we are. A non-Muslim co-worker asked me what I thought about the show, and was shocked that I didn’t see it as a positive and accurate depiction of American Muslim life. I was surprised that HE thought it was true-to-life and generalizable to the wider Muslim population because none of the Muslims he works with have tattoos, want to open a night club, etc. And he’s worked with us for years, yet he said about what’s depicted in the show, “but this is reality!” He kind of argued that we were shocked by the show or disagree with the premise of the show because we’re sheltered, and we don’t know enough about our own community to know that this is normal (as if he and TLC know better about the Muslim community than we do ourselves!). So it’s almost like those of us who are trying to practice, trying to preserve and convey our values and way of life once again become the weird people who opt to live in a bubble, struggling to insulate and isolate ourselves from outside influence. The voice of the Muslim who’s not represented by the people on the TLC show, CNN, or FOX News gets drowned out and ignored. Other people define us and shape our image.

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    • farah

      this is exactly what I was trying to say earlier….you said it perfectly!!! In my earlier posts, it may have come across as saying that the modest you dress, the better the muslim…I did not mean that…I meant that the women portrayed on the show will make it harder for the women who actually do cover to explain and portray what Islam really teaches without being labeled as “extreme.” I watched both episodes and will probably stop….it just gets me mad and then sad about the state of the ummah. Anyways, this post is exactly what I am feeling about the show.

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  27. Mustafa

    Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

    Forgive me for me being a little shocked, irritated and sadened.

    Since when was it right to watch reality shows which are filled with vain talk? This stuff is poison and vanity, why can’t anyone see that? Because it popped up to existence, now turning away from this is sucking all the fun out of life? What happened to remembering the akhirah -REAL PRIORITIES?

    Now, I might get responded to like this. “I don’t think you can judge anyone”. “Worry about your own self”.

    We are commanded to advise each other to the truth and patience. This kind of T.V show is the same exaggeration and ridiculousness our predecessors went through. Wait until fights erupt between Jeff and his wife.

    This isn’t right. Give this up for Allah’s sake and He will replace it with something better. Or give some charity or help any body out in any way even a dua and say “Oh Allah, purify my heart, make me remember you, that I will meet you and turn my heart towards what you would have be turn to and away from what you dislike for me”.

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    • Sister

      Ameen. It is the sad state of the ummah.

      Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy on him) said: A man’s time is in fact his life, and his eternal life, whether it is eternal bliss or eternal suffering, is based on how he spent it. Time is passing quickly; whatever time he spends for the sake of Allah and by the help of Allah, this is his true life; any other time is not counted as part of his life, even if he spends it doing what animals do. So if he spends his time in heedlessness, idle entertainment and false wishes, and the best of what he spends his time in is sleep and idleness, then his death is better than his life.

      “And when they hear Al‑Laghw (dirty, false, evil vain talk), they withdraw from it and say: ‘To us our deeds, and to you your deeds. Peace be to you. We seek not (the way of) the ignorant’” [al-Qasas 28:55].

      “Those among the Children of Israel who disbelieved were cursed by the tongue of Dawood (David) and ‘Eesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary). That was because they disobeyed (Allaah and the Messengers) and were ever transgressing beyond bounds. They used not to forbid one another from Al-Munkar (wrong, evildoing, sins, polytheism, disbelief) which they committed” [al-Maa'idah 5:78-79].
      Forbidding the wrong and enjoining good is part of our deen.

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  28. Teaching Kids the Holy Quran using toys

    A well written commentary on the show by well known blogger and author, Ayesha Mattu.

    “At the heart of the matter lies the question of freedom of choice, including freedom of religion. No one in our faith community has the authority to judge how another should conduct herself or question the decisions she makes. The choices the women of All-American Muslim make – to cover themselves (or not), to marry whom they love, to work in a given profession – are, as Shadia states, between them and their maker. Some Muslims may not always agree with the way in which these women practice their faith, but the authenticity of their beliefs and identity as Muslims are not ours to question. ”

    http://www.altmuslimah.com/a/b/reva/4532/

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  29. Sister

    Inna lilllahi wa inna ilaihi Raj’ioon. We have been COMMANDED to enjoin good and forbid evil. They are openly displaying their sins. They are OPENLY disobeying Allah azza wa jal and here people are saying it is up to them to choose what they please? Yes, if you want for your brothers and sisters to be astray, you are not a good companion.
    Clearly we see in the qur’an those who forbid evil were saved from the punishment of Allah. Today masha Allah we do not love for the sake of Allah or hate for the sake of Allah. we do not want to hurt people’s feelings by speaking the truth. Where is the walaa for your fellow muslims? Do not harm your sisters and brothers by not giving nasiha for the sake of Allah. If they choose to hear or continue their path, atleast you said something fisabilillah to help your brother and sister. Do people UNDERSTAND that we have to submit to the will of Allah azza wa jal? We Muslimat do not JUST marry whom we love. He must be a Muslim. We have been commanded not to display ourselves. Hijjab is fardh. Even those men who go displaying their awrah by wearing too short clothes or even tight pants are not supposed to do this. It is not just women.

    Where is the walaa wal baraa of the Muslims?

    “do not help one another in sin and transgression. And fear Allaah. Verily, Allaah is Severe in punishment” [al Ma’idah 5:2]

    It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever calls others to guidance will have a reward like that of those who follow it, without that detracting from their reward in the slightest. And whoever calls others to misguidance will have a burden of sin like that of those who follow it, without it detracting from their burden in the slightest.” Narrated by Muslim (2674)

    This hadith should scare everyone of us! Imagine your misguidance being followed by millions and then when you die, you curry their sins and who knows the next person who sees their misguidance being followed.. UNTIL ALLAHU ALAM WHEN IT COULD BE YEARS AND YOU ARE IN THE GRAVE.

    Wake up Ummah wake up!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is DUNYA. We shall be questioned about EVERYTHING. Muslims fear Allah. No wonder we are being humiliated. No wonder we are being Humiliated lah hawla wala quwata ila billah.

    My nasiha to the one who started this. I honestly want to warn you for the sake of Allah. This article may inspire someone to watch this show, and then they get sin for that which goes against us in our book of records. Can you imagine the sin not only going against them but you as well for encouraging people to watch this show?

    I advise the muslims in the name of Allah, to save themselves from these evils. And any Muslim who knows these individuals personally should warn them for the sake of Allah. This is not a joke. It is amusement in this dunya but it does not last. The ultimate pleasure is jannah and the ultimate punishment is jahannam. Now they have most of those silly shows in the lands that are supposed to be majority muslim. This filth has come to the lands that once upon a time had thousands of scholars and honor. Now you look around, people want to be like the kuffar. And hardly any scholar!

    Subhan Allah it just reminds me of that time when the dajjal will come, na’uthubillah we ask Allah to save us from this evil fitna. We have accepted so much and forgotten the deen. Once I told a young sister to not watch harry potter. She said she knows that magic is haram but this is just a movie and there is nothing wrong .Allahu Akbar! These tv sets are making us accept more garbage. If the dajjal comes it is no wonder many will follow it. Train yourselves now and fear Allah and stay away from this filth. Like the brother said, give it up for the sake of Allah.

    I understand this is something that many people feel it is a way to remove the islamophobia, or for whatever reasons it is that many muslims who love this show feel. We seek to be like or please the misguided in order to try to look good. Allah azza wa jal gives honor and we should OBEY Him AND SUBMIT to Allah. He gives honor and He humiliates whomever He pleases. We are not looking to please Allah anymore, we just want to fit in with the misguided. We have quran and sunnah, what treasure we muslims have yet we seek to look elsewhere for guidance. We seek to be like them la hawla wala quwata ila billah!

    Where are the “scholars” in the west? Unless they agree with these types of shows. Why aren’t the “scholars” of the west warning the Muslims? ‘Ajeeb this is strange.

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    • Not saying

      Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

      I agree with what you said. Please cut the Dajal references, I think it make it easier for people to dismiss.

      But the advantage of prohibiting wrong and enjoining on what is right, is that it’s only to your own benefit so long as Allah guides you away from arrogance and showing off and taking out your excessive anger etc.

      We get rewarded whether they another person has taqwa or not.

      The same for us. When someone corrects us, they have already benefited. It’s up for us to grab the benefit or chuck it. So we should never be arrogant in giving advice, nor when receiving it. Honestly, it’s like passing gifts. You take one, all and good, give one to someone else and you will get something better from Allah. Mercy upon mercy. Allah is Ar-Rahman.

      Wassalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

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      • Sister

        What I mean to say regarding the dajjal is that it will be a great fitnah and only Allah knows when that will happen. Anyone who does not care for their deen is doomed.

        We are commanded to forbid wrong and enjoin good. This is not a light issue, and obviously there are some who have more gheera than others when they see the situation of the Ummah. That does not make them arrogant.

        If one advises the sister or brother for the sake of Allah, they have done their duty. But if you see and you do not speak out when there is no life threat on you, then some scholars say this is a sin on you.

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      • Sister

        I forgot to say “Assalamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh”

        Point is Muslims stay away from reality tv shows and all that which earns you a sin. Do not participate in them and do not advertise them and do not finance them. Do not praise these shows so as to be pleased with lawgh and sins displayed. Do not be pleased with people disobeying Allah. We should have gheerah for our brothers and sisters . our deen islam and we should have walaa wal baraa

        It was narrated that our Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Are you surprised at the gheerah (protective jealousy) of Sa’d? I am more jealous than he is, and Allaah is more jealous than I.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari from the hadeeth of al-Mugheerah ibn Shu’bah (may Allaah be pleased with him).

        The comments are very sad and bring out the anger for the sake of Allah. Here we have a deen a righteous way of life chosen to us by our Creator. Yet we have accepted the ways of the misguided and try to follow them in almost everything. We are trying to fit in. So the one who does not accept this system these days is a stranger or they are called extremists by some or wahabis by others astaghfirullah.

        I warn the muslims in the name of Allah to stay away from these evils and save themselves and their families.

        Assalamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

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      • Mustafa

        Assalamualaikum
        wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

        Yes, good just skip the dajjal reference since it makes you look like your’re on the “extra cautious conservative side” instead of, well, right. Which you are. Just-skip the dajjal reference. We must absolutely be informed about this since he is of the greatest fitnas ever but also we should present advice in the way that is most convincing so…yeah just skip the dajjal reference. That’s all my advice. Insha Allah you will be rewarded for your good deed.

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      • Sister

        Alhamdulillah It was not intended in the least bit but it somehow became the issue. It was just a way to remind people that there is a lot of fitan going on. And there are many things that are distracting us and causing us to be away from the teachings of Islam or causing us to be away from Allah. I only referenced it because I was trying to say (in general and not referring to this article). if Muslims are having problems with their iman / deen now, and these distractions are causing some of us to be away from Allah, then what will happen if this great fitna where to be and we couldn’t protect ourselves while in these times of fitan. It was not intended to be an issue. Just a way to compare now and the greater times of fitan. Every Muslim should worry about Now. But it is good to remind that there are times of fitan we have been warned about and how to protect ourselves. But Alhamdulillah only Allah guides whomever He wills. May Allah help us to be of those who are guided.
        We should work on ourselves now. Every Muslim should still be warned about it and it should be passed on to our kids. This is not an irrelevant topic although it was not something I intended to bring about. Ever Prophet and Messenger of Allah alayhim-musalam warned their people about this great fitna.
        Only Allah azza wa jal knows how much sin we get from watching all these shows. By Allah I speak for myself personally, If I watch these evils, it affects the heart.

        This is one of the Most terrifying verses of the quran besides the verses about hellfire na’uthu billah. This dunya will soon come to an end.

        “And to Allâh belongs the Unseen of the heavens and the earth. And the matter of the Hour is not but as a twinkling of the eye, or even nearer. Truly! Allâh is Able to do all things.” Nahl 77

        Allah said: “Closer and closer to mankind comes their Reckoning: yet they heed not and they turn away.” (al-Anbiyâ’ 21:1)

        Jazakumullahu khairan for actually approving my comments.

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  30. RCHOUDH

    Assalamu alaikum,

    Jazakillah ul khair Sister for your comments above. You’re right it is best for Believers to stay away from watching shows like this, especially when you expect for things to get worse for the sake of ratings (because this show is not on to educate but to titillate viewers much like all the other forms of garbage entertainment people are obsessed with watching nowadays).

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  31. A Reminder

    Narrated by Anas (ra) Umm Sulaym had become a Muslim before Abu Talha and when he asked her hand in marriage she said: “O Abu Talhah, a man like you could not be turned away, but you are a disbelieving man, and I am a Muslim woman. It is not permitted for me to marry you, but if you were to embrace Islam, that would be my dowry (mahr), and I would ask you for nothing more.”

    The Muslims would say: “We have never yet heard of a mahr that was more valuable and precious than that of Umm Sulaym for she made Islam her mahr.”

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    • Mustafa

      Assalamualaikum

      Narrated by Anas (ra) Umm Sulaym had become a Muslim before Abu Talha and when he asked her hand in marriage she said: “O Abu Talhah, a man like you could not be turned away, but you are a disbelieving man, and I am a Muslim woman. It is not permitted for me to marry you, but if you were to embrace Islam, that would be my dowry (mahr), and I would ask you for nothing more.”

      The Muslims would say: “We have never yet heard of a mahr that was more valuable and precious than that of Umm Sulaym for she made Islam her mahr.”

      Demanding…….lol.

      Anyways, this show is clearly trash, filling oneself with trash. We don’t need it.

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  32. chuck hird

    I think we are missing the whole point of the show which is for different cultures to be more accepting of each others differences. I guess I am just naive enough to think that is possible. I commend the show for trying.

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    • Mustafa

      There is a difference between learning exchanges and trash tv which is against our morals.

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  33. Kamilah

    AsSalaamu Alaikum! Great article brother, right on point, although I am a convert, I never thought about it like. My facebook status was “We had a chance to show them our Fitra, instead we showed them our Fitna”

    I love the Duggars on TLC, they are strong in their religion. Many of us can not even touch a light in comparison on how strong we are in our Deen. TLC probably went into scheduling the Duggars, as look at these fanatical conservative Christians, but something happened along the way. The Duggars were wholesome, there was nothing to exploit except maybe the last baby with medical problems but even that was done tastefully.

    Therefore, my issue was not showing people the beauty of Islam as the Duggars have done with their religion. They are Americans, but their Americanism looks very different than pop-culture, in fact they say turn off the television as Shaykh Hamza Yusuf and many others have recommended. There is a difference between Americanism and Secularism, you can be an American and still follow your religion, the Duggars are a prime example, you do not have to take deen (church) away from your life. “All-American Muslims” would be more appropriately called “All-Secularized Arabs” minus a few who practiced on the show. It may be an idealistic goal for Reality television, but it has been done with the Duggars, and Muslims have the deen al Haqq.

    Lol, you have just given me something else to not like the idea of the show for. I have not watched it, but I can at least have something to say when others bring it up. May Allah bless you and your family.

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  34. Dave the Christian

    Muslim Censor:
    So you are afraid of letting a post from a Christian stay on your Mulim-only forum. This plainly shows Muslim insecurity about their religion. Other points of view must be squashed. I’m thankful that after hearing all points of view, so many people come to Christ. Not through threats or fear of death, but free will. I hope someday that you feel secure enough to let others express differing points of view.

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    • Mustafa

      LOL
      “This plainly shows Muslim insecurity about their religion. ”

      Whatever helps you sleep at night. If I had a dime for the number of converts from Christianity I’ve seen……..

      “Other points of view must be squashed”
      A Christian would know this.

      “I’m thankful that after hearing all points of view, so many people come to Christ. ”
      You and your imagination.

      “Not through threats or fear of death, but free will.”
      Yeah, Christians haven’t been converted through force. SURE.

      How many Christians around the world hardly practice their religion? Your religion in dying, deal with it.
      I’ve noticed that a massive chunk of recent Muslim converts are former Christians. In any case, it’s God’s decision to guide or lead astray.

      “I hope someday that you feel secure enough to let others express differing points of view.”
      I don’t get what your aiming for. This is a Muslim website for Muslims, either raised Muslims or converts. This isn’t some debate site.

      You can’t really find the original Bible. It doesn’t exist any more. Which version should we pick Dave?

      You serve a slave besides His Master and you claim you are serving His Master. There is no truth to what you say, just a flurry of positive emotions. You don’t follow your own law, but your own desires. How do you expect your good deeds to be accepted then?

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      • burqabarbie

        “How many Christians around the world hardly practice their religion? Your religion in dying, deal with it.”
        Wow, youre a really nice person.

        “I don’t get what your aiming for. This is a Muslim website for Muslims, either raised Muslims or converts. This isn’t some debate site. ”

        It IS actually a debate site.

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    • chuck hird

      Dave the Christian from chuck the christian.–This is the kind of post not needed on a forum that is attempting to create some understanding between the faiths. We are all children of the same God no matter what stories we hold dear in our cultural background. One faith is neither better or worse than others.

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  35. Sister

    “And (both) the Jews and the Christians say: “We are the children of Allâh and His loved ones.” Say: “Why then does He punish you for your sins?” Nay, you are but human beings, of those He has created,..” maeda:(18)

    “Say (O Muhammad (SAW)): “He is Allâh, (the) One.[] (1) “Allâh-us-Samad (السيد الذي يصمد إليه في الحاجات) [Allâh the Self-Sufficient Master, Whom all creatures need, (He neither eats nor drinks)]. (2) “He begets not, nor was He begotten;[] (3) “And there is none co-equal or comparable unto Him.” (4) surah ikhlas

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  36. daring

    To the author and all.
    See eversince the advent of islam, there have been people (and lots of them) who with very CREATIVE ways projected islam in a way that caused concerns in the minds of others. Todays there people are in the media and all.
    It is due to this reason that i rarely believe anything on media unless i check who said it, who owns the source.
    Forinstance this site muslimmatters.com(i trust this site). See there are lots of sites who depict a picture of the muslm world that is kinda twisted. The articles on egypt and syria are different then on most that are posted on washington mirror nytimes and all.
    So whoever read anything in the media they should beware.

    I mean you have no idea that “there are places where fake imams are being produced etc” Now just imagine what these fake imams would do.

    But as someone once said that, which if i translate into english it was like this
    “the more you oppress and twist islam,,, the more it will rise and spread!”

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    • Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

      Dear Daring

      Our Comments Policy requires a valid name or Kunyah to be used when commenting. You may also use a blog handle provided your blog is linked, the email address is a valid one, and it is not advertising a product.

      Best Regards
      Comments Team

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  37. Heart

    Wa laikum asalaam wa Rahmatullah wa Barakatullah. :)

    Allah’s Mercy is for true belief. Good deeds are only meant to make Allah Pleased. :) My only good memories. :) Subhan’Allah. Heaven (like a Muslim) has no untruth nor vanity. Our lower self is the only deceit. Bad deeds are only meant to make me/creations pleased. My only bad memories. Hell is as fair as repenting.

    The believers shun vain talk. Only judge justly. Judging me by G-d’s Commands is G-d Judging me. Most say what they do not believe. 8:29 (Y. Ali) O ye who believe! if ye fear Allah, Allah will grant you a criterion (to judge between right and wrong), remove from you (all) evil (that may afflict) you, and forgive you: for Allah is the Lord of grace unbounded. Don’t judge me? Correction. Only G-d Commands me.

    42:15 (Y. Ali) Call them to the Faith, and stand steadfast as thou art commanded, nor follow thou their vain desires; but say: “I believe in the Book which Allah has sent down; and I am commanded to judge justly between you. Allah is our Lord and your Lord: for us (is the responsibility for) our deeds, and for you for your deeds. There is no contention between us and you. Allah will bring us together, and to Him is (our) Final Goal. May Allah Help us repent before death and the Day of Irreversible Judgment.

    May Allah reward Mustafa with good for his true heart. True to the Prophet’s (peace be with him) name. :) Jazak’Allah Sister and Backzsunnah. Qur’an 39:33 – 35 is a Great blessing for Ikhlas. To just bring and support the Qur’an is a Great Blessing. It’s amazing how few of us want Allah’s Blessings. Subhan’Allah Al Hakim.

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