Protests/Demonstrations Dilemma

Today I went to my first ever protest/demonstration in my life. It was for Syria. We marched from the Walter E. Washington Convention Center to the White House. I was excited about it, but then I felt guilty. I’m no scholar, and nor am I able to make decisions for others, but I realized that maybe protests are not the most halal way to do things. There was a hadith that I read; here it is:
Abu Usayd al-Ansari narrated that he heard Allah’s Messenger (May peace and blessings be upon him) say to the women on his way out of the mosque when he saw men and women mixing together on their way home:
‘Give way (i.e., walk to the sides) as it is not appropriate for you to walk in the middle the road.’ Thereafter, women would walk so close to the wall that their dresses would get caught on it. Narrated by Abu Dawood in “Kitab al-Adab min Sunanihi, Chapter: Mashyu an-Nisa Ma’ ar-Rijal fi at-Tariq.”

And then the guilt just kept eating away at me, because the ends do not justify the means. We may be doing something for Syria, but if we contradict the Sunnah, will Allah ever allow us to be successful?

And in extension, I started thinking about all the places where men and women crowd (the mall, MIST, ISNA, etc.) and I was like, okay so someone might say that “we live in the West so we have to be realistic…” but is that true? I don’t even know if I believe that or not. I even heard prominent Islamic lecturers use that line before, but I’m like, what about the hadith? I know that the average Muslim cannot just take an ayah or a hadith and then make assumptions about it/derive rulings from it, but this is bothering me so much. Maybe I’ll ask Shaykh Waleed Basyouni at Complicated about the whole issue, inshaAllah.

Wallahu A’lam.


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