Allah Taala time and again states: “0 ye who believe in Me! Fear me!”

Do not commit such acts which are contrary to belief in Me! Do not follow the ways of other nations. Your affairs and dealings should not be like theirs. Your habits should not be like theirs. Your apparel, your speech and conversation, your sitting and standing, your moving about and travelling, your gazing and looking, your homelife, your appearance, your styles and modes, should not be like theirs. You are Muslim!

What we are discussing is mushabahat – imitation.

What can one do? But at times, in order to make you understand, one has to make use of an English word. The word is uniform. All of you know what it means. It is the special style, mode or dress belonging to a specific group.

For example:

The police force forms one specific government department. The armed force also forms a specific department in the government. Now, are their respective outfits the same? The answer is no.

Take the different ranks within each group: Are the outfits exactly the same for everybody, or are there differences to distinguish one rank from another?

Obviously, there are differences.

The same will apply to the other forces – the navy, the air force, etc.

Take the rank of captain in each force. The uniform and insignia of the captain will differ from other ranks in the same force, as well as from the same rank in the ‘other forces. The captain in each force will thereby be identified as a captain belonging to his specific force.

If the captain in the police force were to wear the uniform and insignia of a captain in the defence force, he will be guilty of having committed an offence.

If, in his defence, he was to state, I have not adopted the uniform of another country. The uniform I am wearing is, after all, that of the same government, will he be let off? Of course not! He will still be found guilty of having committed an offence.

These examples are being used to make the little ones understand. May Allah Taala make it that we can understand!

The issue is quite clear and simple.

If a captain in the police force were to don the uniform of a captain in the army, and he were to present himself to one of his superiors, the Inspector-General for example, the conversation would go something like this:

I-G: And who are you?

Capt: Sir! I am one of the captains serving under you.

(The whole country’s police force is under the Inspector-General.)

I-G: But the uniform you are wearing is that of an army captain. What is the meaning of this impudence?

(Understandably, he is not only upset, but offended as well.)

I-G: How do you expect me to recognise you? By your uniform I would have taken you to be a captain in the defence force. Yet you state that you are one of my captains in the police force!

The captain will be duly charged and suspended from duties. A hearing will take place as to why he wore the uniform of a captain in the army. If it is found that he had sufficient justification, he would be re-instated. If no justification is found, he will be dismissed from his office.

Do you get the point? Just for slightly changing his clothes, charges have been laid. For a while, even if this period is very short, he has been said to be an offender, and has been suspended from duties. Is this not an ignominy, a disgrace, a slur on his character? His subsequent dismissal is another matter.

So, for this short while, is it not a situation of Fatamassukumunnaar – the Fire touching him? By committing an offence, and being an offender, is he not facing the possibility of dismissal?

This is why these matters have to be explained.

Now do you understand, children? Bach-cho… bacho! (Oh children save yourselves)

Guard yourselves from adopting the dealings and lifestyles – the mu’amulat and muasharat – of the non-Muslims: their clothing and dressing, their form and appearance, their ways of eating and drinking, etc.

Those who have niade zulm on themselves by not bringing iman on Allah Taala, do not make your appearance, your features, like theirs. It should not happen that the punishment that is going to befall them, befalls you!

Accepted that on the basis of iman and believing in Us, We forgive you. However, for a few days, by virtue of the fact that you imitated their ways and modes, and thereby became offenders, We will suspend your entrance into Jannat. Not dismissed permanently. No. Dismissal is for the non-Muslims, the kuffar. But it could happen that you are suspended for a few days when you come in Our Presence, and permission to enter that home from which you had originally come, is not granted as yet.

In our worldly situation, if any noble and respectable person is suspended even for one day, how much shame will he not suffer because of his honour being besmirched.

And just think: one day in the Hereafter is equivalent to a thousand years in this world! This is stated in the Quran Shareef.

This is nothing to be amazed about. You must be aware that even here on earth there are certain countries where the sun does not set for six months – that one day will last six months. So, why be amazed that one day in the Hereafter can equal a thousand years here?

If an offender is given one day’s punishment in the Hereafter, it will be equivalent to one thousand years here.

However, this offender has not been banished to Jahannam forever. He is not being deprived of Jannat forever. His entrance to Jannat has been suspended for some time.

For this reason that the iman with which you have been sent, you have incorporated in it the appearance of another, a non-Muslim. His religion of shirk and kufr you have not adopted, but you have surely adopted his modes, his styles, his appearance – the features of mutineers and rebels.