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When Islam Is Mixed With Culture

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As salaam alaykum brothers and sisters


I have a question which I am sure you have all had at some point. I have some muslim friends from different countries and sometimes something comes up which I feel is not Islamic although to them it is. For example the prophets night journey and ascent to heaven is in this month as some of you may remember. Now to me I accept it but I don't make it a celebration. Some of my friends though they make this day special which I have read is bidah. Yet it is difficult to approach this matter as you know when people grow up in their culture they often don't see what they are doing as culture and they believe it is Islamic. I usually try to avoid such topics but today a friend she told me that I am behaving too strict. And yes I know there are worse things people are doing in relation to bidah but still I don't agree with emphasis on such days. 


My question is how do you approach such a situation in which culture is mixed with Islam. I don't want to come across as a miss know it all and that my way is the right way. But sometimes I feel like when I speak I am like this but I don't intentionally want to be like this. How can I be more sensitive with such issues? Not everyone is very religious and sometimes if you start saying well it says this in such and such verse and hadith, they tend to think you are over the top. How can you explain it to people like this who need a different approach?

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Wa alaykum salaam,


Ali Ibn Abu Talib (RA) said that do not argue religion with people of ignorance as they may say things which cause themselves greater harm.


I used to find myself in a similar situation to yours, what I would advise is to keep your replies short and only reply to them when they ask you questions (keeping it short and succint) else it comes across preachy and people dont like that. However if they ask you, then your reply wont be seen in the same light as they instigated it.


Like if someone asked me as they has been done before, my reply would be "From what I have read, I did not come across the prophet or the companions celebrating this day, for this reason I stay away from it as I want to follow the example of the prophet. Maybe you have read things that I have not come across, so please share with me and if the prophet celebrated it then I will happily join in."


obviously not a script, I often find with this, it makes the person question the source of it and it can lead to a more intellectual debate if they choose to persue it.


Remember each person is different and you need to find the best approach, which is not always easy work!!


Hope this helps

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we alikum eslam 


very hard to approach people like that. And I agree on ala'din way, you just wait to be asked, other than that, just don't raise the topic, unless you see that they can really take a good discussion with out any hard feelings  

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