Living Islam

Category: Americas, Faith & Spirituality, Featured, Nature & Science Views: 8378
8378

What is Islam? The attempt to answer that question has been the subject of an almost countless number of symposia, doctoral dissertations, college classes, and books. Yet, for all the hours of lectures that have been given; for all the ink and paper that has been consumed, the answer is still not easy to come by. What is Islam? Is it the five "pillars" of worship? Is it the Ka'ba in Mecca? The Prophet's mosque in Medina? Is it suicide bombers in Israel or Iraq? Is it Osama bin Laden? Ask most Muslims, and they will tell you Islam is none of these things. 

Yet, ask that same question to most Americans, and you will likely get a different answer. I recently received an email from someone who told me that she basically disliked Muslims after being married to one for five years. She suspects that he married her to get his Green Card, because, after getting married, he subjected her to horrible abuse. She has since separated from this man. Her story reminded me of another man, a Muslim, whose non-Muslim wife had a very good opinion of Islam...until they were cheated out of their money by a "devout" Muslim. 

When I mention these situations to other Muslims, many of them understandably get upset. It is not fair, they tell me, that their opinion of Islam is shaped by the conduct of a few bad apples in the Muslim community. They are absolutely correct. The whole of Islam should never be judged by the sins of a few Muslims, and I have repeatedly made this plea in my writings. Yet, the problem is many, if not most, Americans have never personally interacted with a Muslim before, and sadly, the first interaction these Americans had with Islam and Muslims was on the fateful morning of September 11, 2001. Sad, but probably true nonetheless. 

Since that time, Muslims - including this one - have toiled hard to show that Islam is not what happened on September 11. Muslims are not like the 19 hijackers who killed close to 3,000 innocent Americans in New York and Washington, D.C. Yet, American Muslims have to wake up to reality, and the reality is this: many, if not most, Americans shape their opinions about Islam based upon the Muslims with whom they interact. Islam is what the Muslims are. It may not be entirely fair, but that is the way it is. 

Herein lies one of the most important challenges for American Muslims today: since we are what Islam is, we have to physically embody the ideals of Islam. We have to become the eloquently written books and pristine pamphlets that we so proudly display to non-Muslims seeking to learn more about the faith. 

And those books and pamphlets set a very high standard. They say that Islam calls for the worship of the One God of Abraham, and submitting one's will to His sets you free. So why, then, are so many cultural traditions - ones that contradict the principles of Islam - taken to be Islamic doctrine? The books and pamphlets say that men and women are equal in Islam. So why, then, are so many Muslim women subjected to so much mistreatment across the Muslim world? 

The books and pamphlets say that Islam prohibits suicide and abhors violence against the innocent. So why, then, are there Muslims who strap bombs on themselves and kill innocent people in the name of Allah? The books and pamphlets say that all Muslims are brothers and sisters; they say the bonds of Islam transcend racial and ethnic background. So why, then, is there still so much racism in the Muslim community today? 

The existence of these inconsistencies is a fact, and it has very significant consequences. American Muslim youth see these inconsistencies, and they frequently become disenchanted and lose faith in the faith. New converts to Islam - who probably embraced the faith because of what they read in the books and pamphlets - also see these consistencies and frequently become disenchanted. And when fellow Americans see these inconsistencies, it has the potential to erect barriers of misunderstanding and suspicion, precluding a harmonious co-existence as neighbors and countrymen. 

It should not be so, and none other than God Himself said so: "Believers! Why do you say one thing and do another? Most loathsome is it in the sight of God that you say what you do not do" (61:2-3). As Muslims, we cannot hide behind the unfairness of being judged by the sins of our few; we must always live and breathe the ideals of Islam. We must strive to be how the Prophet Muhammad was described by his wife A'isha (God be pleased with her): a Qur'an walking upon the earth. 

It is indeed a daunting challenge, but it is one we must take up. Not so that fellow Americans will have a good opinion of Islam, even though that would be of great benefit. No! it is for the Muslim youth and those new to the faith do not become disenchanted with Islam, even though these are laudable goals. No! Muslims must do as their books and pamphlets say because it is what God wants. And if we claim to be His servants, then we cannot settle for anything less.

Hesham A. Hassaballa is a Chicago physician and writer. His forthcoming book, "The Beliefnet Guide to Islam," is due to be published by Doubleday in 2006. His blog can be visited at: www.hassaballa.org


 
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Older Comments:
MOMODU AZEEZ K. MOMODU FROM NIGERIA said:
Every muslim should lived a life as prescibe by our prophet Muhammed.PBOH.
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ARAZAK FROM MALAYSIA said:
The Muslims of today are neither here nor there. What I mean is that they do not practise what they preach. The top leaders are the worst culprits (in a lot of cases) going to the west and saying "I left my religion in my country" when asked 'why do you drink alcohol or you take pork" To me a Muslim should practise Islam as Muhammad s.a.w. practised it as Aishah has aptly said, "her husband is the Quran personified". In my view, today's Muslims are no different from today's Christians and other Faith believers. I can conclude that 90% or more of our brother Muslims are either murtad or munafiq. The west is persecuting them and we Muslims seem to like the idea of being "westernised". So be it, a period will come when all will be pagans again, and when that happens, the Wrath of Allah will truly come. Wallahua'lam
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ABUBAKAR ABDULLAHI MUSTAPHA FROM NIGERIA said:
Assalamun,alaikum, I must comend the effort of this body or may i say brothers for a very wanderfull piece of article its so mavelous that I must make comment,though i have never replied any of mail sent to me by islamic city.This is due to my non commitment to what ALLAH HAS ordered us to do pls. brothers put me in your prayers,whenever you pray for iam lost in the pursuit of worldly things. I need some advice for the way forward in life. wassalam yours in islam A A MUSTAPHA.
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MAH ABDULRAHMAN FROM UK said:
very true. I think we should start from ourselves. If we are good, so we are a true muslim, and then we can change the image of islam and muslims.
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BINTA MUSTAPHA FROM NIGERIA said:
as muslims we should be good examples in conduct and character guided by the holy quran and the prophet's (saw)tradition.
the way we live our lives should be, to always have that final hour at the back of our minds, then we will not go astray. may Allah guide us to the straight path (ameen)
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ALTHAEA FROM USA said:
I would just like to say that my experience with a muslim was very positive and life changing. I've known this man for almost three years and he has always shown to be a respectable man. he is one of the most generous people i have ever met even to his enemies he shows kindness. He has helped me to change my life for the better and see what this life is really about:worshiping God and taking care of one another with love and kindness. I am so thankful to have met this muslim man, he really did save my life in so many ways.
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PETER FROM USA said:
I am a recent convert to Islam. I would like to say that the devotion and piety of the Muslims has always been inspirational to me and I am very happy to be here among such admirable people.
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A.ARSHAD FROM MALAYSIA said:
We Muslim should stop following the past blindly.We should upgrade to improve as one.Only follows Al-Quran and Sunnah.No diferrent Mazhab,Sunni or Shiah,no cultural differences,Don't be petty.Focus on the main,% pillars,good deed and the do and don't by the Quran.Stop hypocricy.Priority is Development of Ummah not Power,money,greed and Urge.Islam =Submit to Oneness.
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MAOUL-AIN (MALINE) HYDARA FROM UNITED KINGDOM said:
Bissimilah Arahman Arahimi
Assalatou Wassalamou Al-Haatamal Anbiya.
Brothers & Sisters,
Hasaballa, Assalamou Aleikoum.

"What is Islam?", you have asked. If I do understand your wonderful essay, the next bigger question is:" Are we really Muslims?"

One day at speakers'corner here, some fellow brothers in Islam found me saying that; "I am trying to be a Muslim". They got mad at me,to them, if should answer straightaway; as yes I am a Muslim, Alhamdulilah. Then the tide turned between me and them the whole evening arguing on the matter. I went home feeling very bad about myself, but in away felt happy for I think from that moment I have given them something to ponder about. What is to be a Muslim? Am I a muslim because of dress code, name, a facial feature, a skin coulour or a geographic boudary?
"...Lakad kaana fi Rassoulilah Aswatan Hassanatan..."!!!; "...Wa inaka Laala Houlkil Azim..." (Sala Laahou Aleihi Wassalam).

Indeed He was a Muslim; the dearest and beautiful father of Fatimah Zharah, the Husband of N'na Aisha and Khadijatou(may the Most High be pleased with them all). Well before the revelations to him, the pagan community called him AL-Amin. Al-NabiyuLah Yaakouba(PBUH), told his children: ...Laa Tamoutounna Illa Wa Antoum Muslimouna.

I think it is easy, very easy indeed to define Islam or to say I am a Muslim(mah) or to show the features that seem to portrait a Muslim(mah). Unfortunatly to be a Muslim(mah) is in deed one of the hardest adventure (if I may call it so)one would ever engaged to, in our life time. Therefore to achieve the state of being a Muslim(mah), is the highest achievement for any human being. It is almost "impossible", because of the ways Allah Subhanahou Wataala has desired for us. One can be a 100% Believer, Trustworthy, Truthfull, Honest, Sincere...etc, but a Muslim(mah) "never", we just have to try, it is that efford which should be 100% before death comes to us.

Wassalam
Maoul-Ain.
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MUNTHASIR FROM INDIA said:
How short sighted is your vision for muslim ?!

Your first mistake was, your narrowing down the issue only to America. Its not the only place practising muslims are hated.But your concerns are only about people who live in America.Muslim ummah is one body,it is better that you should widen your thoughts.Oh..excuse me, if i have hurted your nationalism. But didnt you know Muhammed(pbuh) has been stern on all forms of nationalism.

Second issue is moral behaviours like being good, kind, affectionate are fine. But thats not what islam is all about. Those are results of submission, which is infact Islam. No, its not same. You can obey your lord and still can be rude to people around you. You can obey muhammed(pbuh)'s guidelines in way of living and still be noted down as a threat. You dont have to fly flights into skyscrapers to be identified as a terrorists in western world.

Islam as a religion, way of life should bring terrors to non believers hearts, since we are supposedly following Truth and they don't. Let's not pretend otherwise. I really would have appreciated, if you had criticized secular powers using their military might to crunch islamic territories (even before 9/11) before criticizing the resistance of muslim in elsewhere.(definately not in america. why your concern limits only to american muslims,but your criticism reach way beyond?).

So, islam is submission to lord and to Him alone, even if the whole world doesnt likes it.
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ABBAS FROM CANADA said:
Considering all the facts and studying past history and current events and situation we should not take granted all news and veiws appears in media, specially in west. GodAllmighty knows better but sooner or later Insha Allah truth will come out about the myth of 9/11 terrorrist attacks. As every one aware Islamic teachings does not allow to kill even harm innocents, old, children, weak, and poeple not fighting by all means.
Just look at history not far just 50/60 years back, who killed masses in Nagasaki and hirishima, using Wapons of Mass Distruction? Who burned fields of commen use crops in Vietnam and Germany? Who piosoned water of common consumption in vietnam, Korea? Probably we may find answar, and finds missing links. Muslim means who submitted himself to God Almighty (Allah) never do such things but according to teachings of Almighty and according to last sermon of our beloved last massanger of Allmighty Muhammed(pbuh), " Hurt no one so that no one may hurt you". Seal of holy prophets Muhammed (pbuh)also took part in defferent Ghazwa's as well to protect Muslim interest as duided by Allmighty God. Struggle against odds and unfair behavior of others towards innocents and weak is also one of the basic responsibility of Muslims. We must aware of there are some Conspiracies are going on to manipulate meanings of Quraan and Ahadis according to evil forces. I pray to Almighty Allah please give us wisdom and make us firm on our true islamic beliefs and teachings (Ameen)
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WAAHIDAH DARAJA FROM UNITED STATES said:
I believe in this day and age where Islam is looked down upon due to the 9/11 tradegy we as Muslims have to constantly set a good example for humanity and that is shown by the way we conduct ourselves in our everyday life. If we just live our daily life as Allah has asked us to in the Qu'ran and Sunnah of the Prophet then we can continue to show non-believers and other religious groups that this is the perfect religion for people to believe in. This I believe is the best dawa that we can show to individuals by living our life as Muslims to the fullest of what Allah sa wa ta Allah would want our conduct to be like. Examples good relations with spouse, good treatment to fellow employees, neighbors, children, etc...
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AMINA FROM GERMANY said:
I very much agree with this article. Too often we confuse religion with tradition and we must not do that. Very well written!
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ABDULAZEEZ FROM NIGERIA said:
Alhamdulillah we are muslims. In as much as I agree that we live and breadth Islam, I want to also say that we should becareful hence these non-muslims force us to act the way they are. my overall opinion from my experience here in Nigeria is that some of them know that Islam is not what they see in these few people but yet they want to provoke you by attacking you base on these things. Some consciously want to remain ignorants. Some want to use it to bambose you such that you start feeling indifferent with your deen. Then, do you suggest we continue to be apologetic to these people who intentionally want to kill the light of Allah. I have made up my mind to attend to this type of issue differently. Their bible says in one verse ( i don't know the exact book and verse number now)that " reply a mad man in line with his madness..." and another one says " do not reply a mad man...." This style I have adopted. If I see your intention has been sincere and wanting to learn, then I'll answer you in an honourable manner, but if otherwise such person is on his/her own.
May Allah continue to guide us aright.
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SAUDAT SALAMI FROM NIGERIA said:
Salam Alaykum,

i went to a site called faith freedom, i think thats the name i'm not so sure now, but the site has alot of bad, very bad things written about Islam, it is owned by a muslim converted to christain. when i went through it, it shook my faith as a muslim, what is your site doing to answer all the questions on that site and address all the so called contradictions and misconceptions on it. i will look for that site again and send the URL to you. pls we need to do something, if not for the grace of God, i would have lost my faith by reading those articles.
Ma Salam
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AKIL FROM US said:
as salaam-o-alaikum

Living according to our faith is for reverence and praise of Allah(swt) alone!

If an entire group or a single person is silly enough to blame religion for the poor character and lowly actions of a few mere mortals, then they aren't very intelligent. Why bother trying to convince them otherwise...it is a waste of energy and resources. Live according to your faith, and if Allah(swt) so choses, will use you to help someone else find Islam...whether your personal intention was to guide toward Islam or not!





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SNOW DANDAY FROM AUSTRALIA said:
I agree with the brother that as Muslims and as servants of Allah we must obey the Quran and follow the path of our beloved prophet. But I am tired of having to defend my religion to the 'western' world!! Why do we need to continue to jump up & down and say "hey I'm just like you..I'm not like those bombers of 9/11.." Whoever they were?! Why should I care if your average non-muslim man or women allows his ignorance to rear it's ugly head and judge me? When are we going to stop wanting acceptance from the non-muslim? Believe me when you stop trying to be-friend them or show them 'we are not all bad' and instead when you act out as a Muslim should and not worry what they think of you, that is when their ignorance breaks down and they start to see the real islam..the real muslim!!
Jazak Allah Khair
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HANIFA FROM USA said:
This was a well written and timely article. As muslims, we are the vicegerents of Allah (SWT), upon the earth; and we need to remember that and act as such.
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MUKHTAR ZAKARI JEGA FROM NIGERIA said:
muslim to come and join hand together like what Allah says in his holy book.and to love each other like what the holy prophet say in the authenthic hadith.if we hold this no any one country that can face muslim country with a war or with given instruction that is not from Allah or his prophet.
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BEYAN FROM USA said:
I am a convert to Islam. Why? By the mercy of Allah. This I know and believe. It came to me out of no where and changed my life. I am by no means righteous and perfect, everyday is a struggle and that keeps me from pointing fingers. I focus on praising Allah and trying to show my gratitude for Mercy and Truth. Yet it is troublesome that some Muslims give this impression of death and destruction. I can only work on myself at this time and pray that I will represent Islam as it should be. In time when educated I hope to show other Americans the true compassion of Islam and that Allah, being able to be angered, has far more Mercy than our little human minds can even begin to comprehend. InshAllah, we that strive to be true will be protected and blessed!
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DEE FROM USA said:
Very true.
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HYAT GHADBAN FROM CANADA said:
Dear Brother:
Don't forget to mention the rest of the world e.g. Canadinas we are in the same boat. A pole was done a few weeks ago and found that there is a high percentage of racisim in gereal but more so against Arabs and Muslim. It all gos back to power and money. That is the root cause of all evil, the love of money. I wonder if the Arab world or Muslim world would be different if they didn't have the riches e.g. oil and other stuff that America want so bad.
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'WASIU SHOWOLE FROM NIGERIA said:
There is no denying the fact that that the individual's attitude and overt behaviour speak volume of his ideals. That is why I cherish the MPAC's slogan that "the best way to defend Islam is to practise it." Islam is a complete way of life and it calls for all that is good and forbids all that is evil.
The major drawback I think the write-up sufferred is the complete lopsidedness. There must be a causal relation to every consequence. To portray the muslims as belicose, transigent, and intolerant only suggests the lack of objectivity. Muslims are rising to the defence of their faith in the presence of enormous orchestrated int'l conspiracy that sees Islam as an emerging paradigm from western political system. individual's deficiencies must be isolated from the norms and it is not only peculiar to Islam. New entrants to Islam are aware of this and do not necessarily base their judgement on these exceptional cases. But the crux of the matter is the attempt to westernise Islam and redefine it from the perspectives of westernisation. This, is being pursued vigorously and equally being challenged vehemently. Otherwise, how do you explain the various battles waged by the Prophet (s)? They were simply for self-defence and the for the protection of the deen. Bro. like in the words of the matryr Dr. Ali Shariati he said: 'father, mother we're being accused'. and to sum it up, in another essay he said: Yeah! brother, that's the way it was'. Truly, that's the way it is even now!
Ma-Sallam.
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ASIF C FROM CANADA said:
This could have been written way better...showing more verses from the Qur'an, etc...

There is a saying:

"Don't judge a car by its driver, judge a car by its make-up"

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DEBBIE KERRICK FROM USA said:
What an absolute fantastic article. It is articles such as these are why I love this site so very much. The topic was exactly what I needed. As a convert and an American I often find it hard to overcome the surprise of sad stories about brushes with bad muslims so many have had. But when they discover I to am a muslum there comes a huge shock often, "Oh I didn't know you were a muslim! Your such a nice person! Is that allowed???" Ofcourse I am a nice person, I act as Allah would want me to be not as other would perseve me to be. We american converts don't all forget to wash and join terriorist groups and running into schools with guns. At least not the muslims in my nieghborhood.
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NASIR HASAN FROM USA said:
I am not sure what the writer is attempting by questioning the "five pillars", and the Kaaba and the Prophet's (PBUH) mosque in Medina as "Islam". Islam means "submission" and so none of the items above can be expected to do that, only human beings. At the same time the five pillars guide us to the practice of Islam, and the Kaaba and our beloved Prophet's (PBUH) mosque in Medina are "Shair-Allah" or the signs of Allah s.w.t. and are there to inspire us to attain the right path. I trust the writer of the article understands that and the value of the above to following the right path.

wasallam

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ASKIA SAUNDERS FROM USA said:
I agreed with everything that was in this article and its true that as muslims we must try very hard to do and live by what Allah and his prophet(pbuh)command us. it is really for our own benefit as well as those who come in contact with us. As'salaamu alaykum
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AMINAH FROM USA said:
Islam is beautiful, and every thing about it.It is ones own responsabilty to learn of GOD,and if they choose not to learn they will be held acountable.A GOD fearing person will not go on what people say or how one in a thousand act.The most important thing a MUSLIM believes. There is one GOD no one stands in front of him or beside him.He has no wife or son.HE ALSO DOES NOT BLEED.He is maker of all.ALLAHU AKBAR-ALLAH IS THE GREATEST.And as soon as the world puts GOD first.We will be blessed,and he will be pleased.ALHAMDO LIL LAHI RAB BIL A'LAMIN AR RAHMAN IR RAHIM MALIKI YAU MID DIN IYYA KA NA BU DO WA IYYA KA NAS TAEEN. AMINAH
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AMEER HAMZA FROM PAKISTAN said:
Living Islam
I'm also setisfy regarding this article but I will not go in whole lines of article. Islam has protect right of women which say that women and men both are equal but Alas! in the muslim society she is spending as an animal (sorry to say) and men whatever want to do, can do. Beside know her right, whenever Men is misbehaviour, snatch her all rights, and say her for remain silent forever, as Men want. He also use part of traditional system but he avoide rule of islam whatever islam is saying and aware about her rights.
And further, Islam don't allow for murder of nonmuslims or others, we should know from Hadith that Hazarat Muhammad (Peace be Upon Him)used to invite for preach Islam in Mosque of Jew who were also nonmuslims.
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JONATHAN WOODHALL FROM ENGLAND said:
Please remember that many English people died in the tragedy of 9/11
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ILYAS BAIG FROM USA said:
It is a very good attempt to draw the attention of bleivers to fulfill the obligation and put their utmost efforts in propagating Islam. Evey non muslim is keenly wathing our deeds. we have become deterrant in the way of non muslims to become muslim.
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SALEH AFRIDI FROM PAKISTAN said:
The article though highlighting 9/11 and tyhe fact of "americans hating islam" , failed to ask/discuss why the Japanese do not hate americans for atom bombing and killing millions of japanese??

the article is too simplistic. The issues are DEEP
and need a poignant , UNAFRAID approach.
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WARSPITE FROM USA said:
I wish I had the skill in English to say what this brilliant writer has so clearly stated. The representatives of Islam are plain, ordinary, normal people who do good, not even exceptional, things, and do not make a fuss about it. Others notice. Your can write or say or quote until all the ink in all the pens in the world run dry but there is not better testament of faith than simple good behavior on the part of people. It is hard to miss. Indeed, you do not even have to go looking for it. Kindness unlocks many hearts, even hearts set against, and shows the true measure of a faith and it's members and the meaning of it all.
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AHMED FROM US said:
I do agree with what this artcile says, but with an exception.There is one thing that most of us never understand and americans won't stop doing it.Most people look at the middle eastern countries and their culture and then translate those to be Islam. First thing the writer needs to understand is that, there is no Muslim countires anymore except Arab countries. Second, Muslims have stopped following the Qur'an and Sunnah honestly and that is the reason for all the problems.Third, the writer needs to stop thinking like most media that Muslim women have no right, they do have but most of them live in countries that have dictatorship, and their own culture that opresses them, and so become victims of circumstances. The other thing is that we need to educate our muslim women and they also need to learn proper Islam for reliable Sheikhs and books, they need to learn the Qur'an and be able to understand it fully. The Qur'an gives muslim women power and freedom that no government of institution would on earth.Muslim women are the teachers and preservers or our Islam,like siad in a hadith by the prophet(PBUH)"if you educate one muslim woman, you have educated the whole house or family". this is because our women would make sure their children, sisters and brothers and husbands behave in the way Allah(S.W) wants us to behave.She will makes sure we the family knows diin properly.
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SHARIAH JAMEELAH FROM USA said:
you hit the nail right on the head!!!!!!!!
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A. QADEER FROM SAUDI ARABIA said:
Assalam-o-Alaikum,
It's true and further more let me add one europien girl who embarace islam and then after converting in islam her husband left her with a small girl she neither can go to her parents nor any muslim. as she is much afraid. But She don't know How Near to Allah She is and how Allah Helping her, It's just how you look to life and truth.

Worldy benifits and settlements might show them successful but always see the results at end.

There are examples in europe who have children who wear Hijab and memorize quranic verses, and some who can leave everything for their parents

Same society some examples who cry in old age saying their kids don't even ask them and wander and part of bad society. They loose world and also hereafter.

Lot many things we don't know becuase mostly we concentrate on ourself.

My openion which i want to convey to every reader muslim or non muslim. Please read Quran and just act accordingly. Its have every answer.

To those who sufferred becuase of trusting someone Allah is the Justice You will find the best in your life or allah will forgive some of your sins and Allah will defentaly punish in this and next world who do wrong. you can see results in this world. Allah forgive us and safe us from any sin and wrong doing. amin
Allah love everyone and Justice to everyone.
May allah help us to Understand Him. Amin.
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HAMZA KALEEM FROM NORWAY said:
Living Islam is one of the major problems most muslims have. A muslim is not a person dressing in arab dress or having arabic name or muslim name, wearing long beared but he/she the one who follow the basic fundamental principles of Islam.
One thing I will like to emphasize is that we should not allow ourselves to be pushed to the wall by western media which try brand islam as a terrorist relegion and a religion that abused human rights.
equality in islam does not mean that every aspect of life of both men and women must be equal. In certain situatins women are restricted and other situations they are favoured more than men likewise applies to men. it is just like in an exams where 2 people got the same marks but that doesn't mean every question they have equal marks.
What western media try to do is that, they normally talk about the side where men are favoured than women and went on to conclude that we discriminate against women. You will never hear them talk about situations where women are favoured than men. If we are going to follow what they say we will end up making so many mistakes. One example of this is what happen in Newyork where a woman was allowed to lead a congregational mixed prayer. This is a practice that was not done in the erra of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and as the Prophet told us we should follow his practice and Holy Quran.
So if we Muslims are not careful we will end adding so many practices in the religion which will lead us astray. So we must follow wahe the Prophet did and what the quran says.
I therefore pray for mulims to do good and abhore bad. May the Almighty Allah bless us and make us grow strong to keep our faith. Wasalaam

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TALAL BAKR FROM SAUDI ARABIA said:
First I want to mention that Saudi Arabia has adpoted the spelling Makkah for the old spelling of Mecca.
I am afraid that the author has fallen in the trap of trying to defend Islam through the behavior of Muslims. Islam is a God sent message to humanity and understand it one must refer to Quran and Sunnah and not judge it by the behavior of mortals who may behave or misbehave. No one judged Christianity by what the Crusaders have done, or the Spanish inquisition, or Nazis crimes, nor we judged the Jewish faith for the Zionists atrocities against Palestinians. So why Islam should be judged by what some "Muslims" do? It is useless to go down this road.
Regarding the Americans, and the West as a whole, the best way is for them to learn about Islam from credible sources. It is the Muslims' duty to guide them to these sources.
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MUXIIYADEEN FROM USA said:
Brother, H.A. Bravo!!. You hit the nail on its rightful head !! you have wonderfully told the truth!! I fully concur to your well-written statement. May ALLAH be with you.
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M. HARISUDDIN FROM USA said:
We often talk about how the conduct of muslims in business dealings, trade and other affairs prompted non-muslims to convert in great numbers in parts of Asia and other places. Excellence that we see in our Prophet(SAW) should be reflected in each of our conduct. But this must be done freely
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ABDUL AZZIZ FROM USA said:
Salaam-

Wearing traditional arabian dress, eating dates, growing a beard, covering your head with a piece of cloth DOES NOT MAKE YOU A MUSLIM.

Reading and promoting the propoganda in flyers, Saudi doctored Qur'ans, and other religious upholders of Islam DOES NOT MAKE ONE A MUSLIM.

Belief in and actions reflective of teachings in Qur'an makes one a Muslim.


The Arab world is busy becomming Jew .. not in it's religious behavior...but in it's sick, greedy, manipulative, evil ways of propoganda, lies and scams on it's own people.

Arabs and some Indo-Pak Muslims are LOST and SCREWED out of reality by thinking todays Ummah is that that accompanied our prophet on the battle fields.

We are ruled by CRIMINALS who choose SWISS bank accounts over their DEEN.

Islam is alive and well and always be....it's a promise from ALLAH.

It's Muslims in particular countries who are going to feel the burn because the THIEVES appointed over them cares more about the Military Industral Complex than their freedoms



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H.A. FROM YATHRIB said:
... It seems Dr. H. is apologizing and ashamed of being a Muslim.

Muslims lacking knowledge of Islam = bad conducts/behaviors by those Muslims.

Just b/c you are a Muslim or born in a Muslim family DOES NOT mean you know how to ACT LIKE A MUSLIM. Same goes for Christian, Jewish and others... I can come w/ thousands of abusive incidents taking place in non-Muslim communties/families/relationships.

Just look at sport events in the WEST....Women are being used as SEX TOYS, who are jumping up and down for no reasons (they call it "extra entertainment)...Diviorce rate 70% in cities and 50% in the suburbs of America.

I think the Dr. can come up this better articles than this one..

Zigzag!!! Don't be brainwashed by FOXNEWS...go read about Islamic civilization... and Islam itself. Stop walking in zigzag manner. Muslims are supposed to walk in a straight path.


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ROBERT ROWLANDS FROM AUSTRALIA said:
as a non muslim (( western'er ))it grieves me to know there is so much intolerance ,fear, distrust& lack of love good will & respect!!! may divine love fill the hearts of humanity .
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HUDD FROM CANADA said:
This article puzzled me. I mean, Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world not because what Muslims do, but because what Islam is. In a different definition, Islam would mean:"Salsabil" or "Seek the way" or "Man's eternal struggle to uphold the truth". All those people that are sick and tired of the hypocritical version of the truth are ready fodder for Islamization. The principle of Islam are very attractive because they are founded on truth, as against Judaism which is founded on favour, "God chose a people to Himself on basis of race?!"(How idiotic!). Christianity, based on brainwash,"God(turned Jesus) will wipe out all sins and admit to Paradise all those that believe in 'Jesus is God'!" What does this mean? It means that if I believe that Jesus was God, I could get away with anything in the final judgement where will be judged only those that didn't recognize Jesus as God! Excuse me if I grew up and can't believe in fairy tales any longer! In Islam is the truth about the way God prescribed for mankind to follow, in order to abtain everlasting bliss in the real life, that would start after the transitional death. Life is just a blink of the eye in the Indefinite time('Asr). You cannot judge God or His Way after the adherents to the established religion. Simply because being born Muslim or becoming one, didn't make you partner with God nor a saint of some kind. We are all mortals and predisposed to sin or transgress. Some more inclined than others, but show me a man/woman without a sin and I will fall down on my face before him/her and kiss both his/her feet! Thus being Muslim means being human and not a super-being and this comes with the whole shebang of weaknesses, greed, hypocracy, criminal-thought, cheat, pervertion, homosexuality, feminism,etc. On the other 'good' hand, though, it comes with all positive characteristics, humanity, compasion, charity, morality, truthfulness, philanthropy, etc. "Errare humanum est",as the ancient Romans noticed.
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YASMINE FROM USA said:
Thank you for your article."The whole of Islam should never be judged by the sins of a few Muslims".Please do not refere to people who are abusing cheating,killing,torturing a Muslim in or a religious person.A Muslim who obeys the rules of Allah will not commit these sins. There are a lot of attrocities which are done under the name of religion.We should educate ourselves and others not to put blame on the religion but on the action of the individual which misunderstood or given wrong information about the religion. Religion is here to give us path for a peaceful and meaningful life.911 hijacker came from Muslim countries but it doesn't mean that they are Muslims!!Allah have mercy on the hijackers soul and give paradise to 911 victims Ensha Allah.I have lived in 2 Islamic countries and seen the True Muslims by their action and pretending ones.Ensh Allah you will continue your hard work by promoting Islam. Keep in mind we can't do much about the ignorant people. Our good deeds and actions will remain for the them to comprehend.
Submission to the laws of Allah is the ultimate love.Sura Al'ASR By (the token of) Time.Verily Manis in loss.Except such as have Faith and do ritheous deeds, and(join together)in the mutual teaching of Truth,and of Patience and Constancy.
Your opinion is appreciated.
Aslam Aleikum va Rahmatollah
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ZIGZAG FROM VIET NAM said:
You hit right on the nail, Dr. Hassaballa. Let us say, if all of muslim men wear beard and muslim girl wear hijab today, will our condition improve tomorrow? How could it be when we are so far from words and deeds? Each and every one of us is an embassador of his/her religion as Dr. Hassaballa put it nicely "Islam is what Muslims are." Just ask ourself, what have we done for the society around us so that we deserve respect from non-muslims? Did we contribute any thing to the advancement of human being? to world knowledge? How could we ask so much but done so little? Hope this article will stimulate some interesting thought and critical self-evaluation.
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JOHN FROM USA said:
It is this last group of people who are interestingly labeled as Extremists, Wahabis, Nutters etc., but in meeting with them I found them most engaging, humble, polite and the most tolerant and liberal of the lot. They practice their faith and yet don't go into excesses. They shun superstitions, empty rituals and cultural practices that are make no sense or border Shirk (associating partners with God) an extraordinarily bad sin. They support fighting only to counter and remove oppression and tyranny. But they abhor nationalism and as their only call is Islam and are guided by the teachings of the Prophet Mohammed. However they are not against progress, personal and social development and achievement. Interestingly they state that as long as Muslims adhered to the true teachings of Islam they flourished as they pleased God. They refer to historical facts of not just the various Islamic conquests, but their amazing contribution to science, mathematics, astronomy, medicine, arts and social welfare. In short both the individual and the community benefited immensely as a whole. But believe that once Muslims became attached to this life and feared death they lost it all. It is an interesting concept.
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JOHN FROM USA said:
In studying Islam, reading books, meeting people from Muslim countries and finally visiting several Muslim countries this year, I have observed one very ironical thing which I find a bit confusing but quite revealing. At the risk of offending people, and sorry if I do, I found Muslims to be divided into three categories. Those who espouse modernity and hence their claim to be Secularism. This group is not uncommonly fairly well off, educated and though both from Shia and Sunni sects they are overwhelmingly of the Sufi school of thought. They harbor deep resentments towards Arabs, conservative Islam, generally deny the importance of Hadees or Sunnah (ways and teachings of the Prophet Mohammed), support Bush, Globalization and feel that Islam should not leave one's house. Then you have the group, also equally made up of Sunnis and Shias who have very little knowledge about Islam other than how to say their prayers & fast. Their concept of Islam is a mlange of social, cultural and ethnic beliefs, superstitions and rituals, but very little that reflects true Islam. They have no real knowledge of Islam and hence rely upon Mullas or Imams who are equally and woefully ignorant of the Sunnah & Hadees and the level of Islamic knowledge that would be expected from clergy. They only express to others an opinion learnt from other clergy who were equally lost. These sadly are the Muslims on the margins of society, poor, uneducated and in most cases disenfranchised with their governments and feel deprived of that which their well-off brethren enjoy. These guys are seething with enraged and easily beguiled. Finally there is the sect who has studied the Koran, hadees and sunnah. They are the thinkers, analysts, and pragmatists and interestingly they too are from the poor, or the lower middle class of society. They are most approachable and enjoy debate. Their main ideology is Moderation. They do not embrace Western ideals but choose to learn from its finer points.
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SHAHNAZ FROM US said:
i agree we must strive hard to hold on to the rope of allah in order to succeed study the quran daily follow quran&sunnah inshaallah&establish daily salah in our lives ameen
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S. K. HAQUE FROM USA said:

Salaam aleikum,
Many of the "books and pamphlets" available in most masjids the author mentions also come out clearly against homosexuality, intellecutal dishonesty, blasphemy, and innovations in worship -- why doesn't the author take his own advice and call things by their name, instead of saying that (as in a previous column) he "benefited" from people espousing such things? Would this author also "find it intellectually enriching" to have an audiece with such intellectually talented Muslims as Salman Rushdie or Taslima Nasrin? How about such avid fans of Islam/Muslims as Daniel Pipes, Steven Emerson, or Khalid Duran?
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AYESHA KHALID said:
Excellent article. Succinctly describes the problems in the Muslim community and what we need to do to achieve greater unity and camaraderie with our fellow American countrymen.
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HANY FROM USA said:
Hesham,

I generally agree with you on the concepts that you mentioned. There are many bad apples around us wherever you go, whether here in the USA or back in our homes. We represent Islam and I am proud to carry its banner. LIVE ISLAM!

However, I have never really met any non-muslim who wishes well for Islam.

"The people of the Book will not be satisfied until you join them"

They will continue to combat our way of life and we have to struggle against that. I am absolutely dissappointed in your characterization of my people as suicide bombers. Had it not been for the Intifada that cost our people many martyrs, "Israel" would stop at nothing to steal our homes and kill our children! Of course, it happens to be backed by Amrika as well.

America created Al-Qaeda and Israel created the Palestinian resistance groups like Hamas. How? Their actions and the injustice that they've spread on this earth. Allah brought out these resilient fighters who are ready to sacrifice their lives for their people in the face of injustice. I don't agree with their strategy all the time but they don't sit down idle and watch what America/Israel do to their people. Let's live Islam and hope that Allah guide the Americans to the straight path, lest they perish like those before them.
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DR EDRISS FROM US said:

how come you are a mosslim and you still doesn't know what Islam means? :)
how come you never read the Hadith where the Angel gabriel comes in form of human to the Prophet to ask him about Islam, Iman and Ehssan??? how come also you didn't read in the Quran "It was not allowed to any believer man or believer woman, when Allah and His messenger judge (the arabic word is kaddaa which doesn't mean 100% judge) a matter to have the choice of their own" ????
about the remaining of your post, it's a mix between something right and alots off missleading! like comparing mosslims to Americans it's a big mistake!.
proof: the Islamic message is the last true message given by the Almighty to all mankind, then this message belong to all humanity. they have to seek it no matter who claim to practice it. unlike America is a country where when you get citizenship, you become American. it's the problem of Americans more than the problem of foreigners(mention I said foreigners and not mosslims) that often the citizenship is given to those who marry an American.

If someone is not practicing Islam but claim himself or herself a mosslim in America, that's because they careless about Islam or they don't know what is Islam like you (following what you claim in your post). It's free country and you do as you like! no one gonna punish you for bringing Islam down, for missleading people in the name of islam or for making propaganda to glorify yourself as a mosslim and claim others are not.

thanks to Allah the Only one deserves the thanks in any situation.
and "thanks" to the freedom after that.
your brother in Islam if you like, Edriss :)
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KEDER OMER FROM USA said:
Well Said, to the point

Thank you
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