Well, I went and did it. I started a page on Facebook for offering Islamic advice. I hemmed and hawed and went back and forth in my mind about it. Who am I, after all, to offer advice? I’m just your basic Muslim housewife living in the ‘burbs, trying to take care of my family and not burn the cookies. Why should I open my piehole and tell people how to live their lives?
Well, in a real sense I’ve actually been doing it for quite a while unofficially. I used to teach a class for ladies on Islam in the virtual world of Second Life and inshAllah will do so again soon. I was writing for Islamicanswers.com before I had a major pre-partum depression / anxiety episode and dropped off the face of the world for a while. I get occasional e-mails even now from FB friends, or friends of friends who have happened to see a comment on a status update, asking me about their specific situation. I used to hang around at Yahoo answers. So I’ve been writing back and forth with people for quite a long time.
I feel like there’s a real need for practical advice. Advice that is from the Qur’an and Sunnah, yes, but advice that is compassionate and realistic. So often, someone needs help and gets a cut-and-paste fatwa or stern advice that does not take into account that person’s spiritual state, life situation, and emotional needs. You and I could give someone the exact same advice, but if you address it in a soft way, with compassion, showing the steps to be taken to achieve a goal, you’ll leave that person feeling much better and more able to act than I would if I just say “Haraam alaik, knock it off, get over yourself”. People don’t just want advice, they want to know they are being heard. In many cases, they know what the right thing to do is. They just want someone who is not emotionally involved to give them some validation or just a shoulder to cry on. This is what I hope to offer and I pray that I can help my brothers and sisters in Islam, and of course any non-Muslim people who need advice as well.
So, I did it. Created the page and shared it with some of my FB friends and connected to Twitter and all that. Please make du’a for me to be able to give correct answers. I love my brothers and sisters in Islam and only want the best for the Ummah. If I can help someone solve a knotty problem or take a step in the right direction, that will make me happier than a box of bon bons and a case of soda with all the calories miraculously removed :).