Friday, September 23, 2016
The Muslim in me
HI everyone, I was going through my drafts. Posts that have been written but not edited. Or maybe there was more to write. I don't know. I found this one from a few months ago. Sad part. Nothing in our lives have changed, so this post is just as relevant today as it was before. On re-reading, I noticed a lot of redundancies in "The Muslim in me" paragraph. Sorry about that. I want to post this because it's fine as is. It's not perfect, but for now, it'll have to do. Happy reading. TTR
I was supposed to post this last week with all the bombing in Turkey and Iraq and then Medina, Jeddah and some other place in Saudi Arabia. I wanted to post about what it meant to be a Muslim. At least what I feel it means to be a Muslim. To give you all a time frame, that was during Ramadan. Then was Eid and I was quite busy. While I was processing this post, our country submerged back into deep racism and prejudice with the shooting of the black men and the whole anti-black, anti-cop rhetoric and while a part of me is relieved that as a Muslim, I get a break (from being accused of terrorism or be at the receiving end for a few days), as a human being, I'm heart broken for our world.
Funny thing is that being a Muslim makes me also feel deeply for the injustices that surround us today. I wonder if I feel so strongly because I'm a Muslim and those are the teachings and tenants of Islam - to respect and treat equally all races and religions, or is it my natural humanity. I don't know. I would love to think it's my humanity, but how do I have it and some others don't. When I'm talking about others who don't, I'm thinking of the psychotic cops or the terrorists (white or of a different race). Being a Muslim I feel has everything to do with humanity. Because being a Muslim means you respect humanity and treat all with utmost kindness and dignity. I don't think the average American populous knows what it means to be Muslim. They think of the "T" word. When I think of a Muslim I think of the "P" word - PEACE. An American reading this might think I'm a Muslim gone wrong, but the truth is that I'm like the billions of other Muslims who understand and strive to be better Muslims. And what does it mean to be a Muslim? Shun violence is part of the equation.
I have to talk about something else about Islam and being a Muslim. This has nothing to do with political agendas. This has to do with human behavior. As a Muslim, I'm required to not be wasteful. It is a sin to waste food because there are so many people in this world who do not have any and wasting food is a sign that you have disrespect for the blessings provided to you. In America, I struggle with this. I'm not the best of Muslims because I have wasted food before. Sadly, so we get 3 times a meal at a restaurant and taking home left overs are not as tasty and sometimes it ends up in the trash. If the restaurants provided just enough so we didn't have to waste the food, I would feel like a much better Muslim. The thing is that I am consciencencoius about these things. That's being a Muslim.
I have talked about being a Muslim before and I feel things have gone south since. If someone with a "Muslim" name commits any crime, it's automatically labelled as terrorism. It's an immediate label and it's one of those, "guilty until proven innocent" kinda things.
The Muslim in me shuns violence. The Muslim in me wants to accept all human beings. The Muslim in me wants to connect to a greater good. The Muslim in me wants to be shrouded by nothing more than good deeds. The Muslim in me wants to encourage acceptance. The Muslim in me is angered when I'm only human and judgmental. The Muslim in me wants others to be a good person, for the Muslim in me equates being a good person with being Muslim. The Muslim in me wants you to keep your word and as it wants me to keep mine. The Muslim in me wants to peacefully surrender to my spirituality and my faith. The Muslim in me forbids hate. The Muslim in me keeps me honest. The Muslim in me helps me grow to be better than I was yesterday. The Muslim in me wants me to disconnect from this world and give my mind and body some meditative rest in prayer. The Muslim in me loves you and invites you to my home. The Muslim in me trusts you respect me as much as the Muslim in me respects you. The Muslim in me has no room but to respect. The Muslim in me wants you to understand that I pray for you, even though you hurt me or want to hurt me. The Muslim in me wishes peace and blessings for you.