I think this post is long overdue but I’ve been busy catching up with my TQ course, so everything has been on hold lately. Anyway..I was thinking about a term I learned in AP Psych last year called cognitive dissonance. For some reason, I had a really hard time understanding this term and how it was possible so my teacher told me to apply the term to my own life and make an example that would help me remember it. I did that, and it worked. My example was that although I watch PG-13 movies, I don’t necessarily agree that it’s okay for Muslims to watch certain movies regardless of their rating. My teacher looked at me kind of funny, and asked me to elaborate. So I did. I explained to him that what is PG-13 now would have been rated R or worse just ten years ago. I also briefly explained the whole mahram issue and how the men in movies and on TV are not mahram for us (meaning that for Muslim women, the men on TV are most likely not our fathers, grandfathers, brothers, husbands, by blood uncles, or small boys who have not reached the age of maturity). So I told him that I personally believed that watching excessive television (besides news) and non-animated or beneficial or educational movies is not okay, but I do take part in watching tv from time to time or a movie every now and then. He was really confused at first, but after about an hour of explaining issues of ‘Awrah, Mahram, Tawheed, and the common culture of today, I think he really got the point and I was pleased to hear that he understood everything. It was great.
So this got me thinking about one of the gravest sins in Islam–hypocrisy. To do something, even after knowing that it is wrong and prohibited. The warning signs are there, the caution tapes are surrounding it, yet some people completely disregard and ignore those flashing red lights. They proceed to fall deeper and deeper into something, knowing that it will not benefit them in dunya and certainly not in akhirah. So, isn’t that a branch of cognitive dissonance? In the sense that, one’s ideas or beliefs do not match their actions. 17 times a day, we ask Allah ‘azzawajal to keep us far, far away from the path of الْمَغْضُوب Al Maghdubi–those people who have earned Allah’s anger. These are not the people who remained ignorant, rather they are the ones who know what they have to do but they don’t do it..so as a result, they invite the punishment of Allah, they incur Allah’s wrath. SubhanAllah, these are not even the misguided people who fell into dalala rather, those who have the knowledge, yet they still disobey. Thus, they earn the punishment. Yes, we are asking Allah not to make us like them, but are we making the significant changes we need to make to earn His pleasure? To be on the path of An’amta ‘Alayhim? Every time we knowingly disobey Allah, are we not inviting Allah’s punishment? La hawla wala quwwata illa billah…Ya Allah, make us among those who act upon what we know to be the truth. Among those who cut off all the roots to evil in our lives. Among those who’s knowledge will be an evidence for them on Yaum ut Taghabun, and not an evidence against them. Ameen.
My point is not to suck the fun out of everything, but I’ve just been having some trouble balancing my ideas and beliefs with what I actually do. I think it’s all a learning process, and ultimately a test from Allah.