A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on. - John F. Kennedy
Before we begin:First: These thoughts represent the author’s personal view. These are my personal views as a Muslim. Why do I choose being a Muslim and why everyday I decide to abide with the Islamic rules.
Second: This is not in the defense of Islam. Islam is a belief and a way of thinking. And just like other thoughts it should be subjected to criticism. And just like other thoughts only the valid ones remain. False thoughts always fail.
Third: This post was inspired by a reply on “the sandmonkey’s blog”. Sandmonkey wrote a post about a program called “make me a Muslim”, which is a reality TV show, where a girl and 4 Imams try to fix the Brits by making them Muslims, an idea that I personally disapprove. But the comments on that post crossed the line of attacking the show, to attacking Islam as a belief. And when I tried to show that moderate Muslim does exist, I got a comment that I am in denial. I decided to write this to prove I am not.
The second inspiration was a post by fantasia. She drew her sword attacking Hijab, in a response to a great post by Miss Egyptiana. It wasn’t the attack on Hijab that inspired me as one more time the comments on fantasia’s post took another direction. As someone came over and started an attack on Arabs implying an attack on Islam.
I can’t deny that these comments have made me think about my religion. And I found myself writing these words.So here we goI am like millions of Muslims all over the world. I was born a Muslim and an Arab. Just like millions of people in that world, I didn’t choose my parents, I didn’t choose my country and I didn’t choose my religion.
I was raised to be a Muslim in what a call a moderate Muslim family. My family I think represents millions of Muslim families, or at least my family represents the norm for Egyptian Muslims.
I was raised to believe that there is only one God. I was to memorize verses of Quran as early as I could do. I was taught how to pray, trained to fast. For me religion was just some mystical rituals. I loved to fast in “Ramadan” as it was a sign that I have grown up. I prayed because this is what everyone else does. I was 10 years old when I started posing my very first question about God. Why did God create us. I didn’t like the answers I got back then and between you and me I don’t like them till now. But just like any Egyptian I am a believer, I believe in a creator and in the after world. We, Egyptians, were the first to believe in the after world. And just like my ancestors, I believed in it. It wasn’t the hardest part.
The older I grew the more I started letting go. I kept the rituals but started looking for answers every where. Being the person I am, I wasn’t easily convinced by the simple things that convinced others.
It wasn’t hard to believe that this universe must have a creator. It was hard to abide to the laws this creator set. As for me, back then and till now, life is such an unexplainable test. We were created to take that test, probably fail it, and then live an eternity based on our results.
I can’t deny that I have had really hard time moving down that way, and sometimes I still do. Once again, being the person I am, I though it over and I found my answer on a word said by “Joey” in my all time favorite show “F.R.I.E.N.D.S”. It was an episode where Joey’s father turned to be having an affair. In a hilarious moment, Joey father and his girl friend were supposed to spend the night at Joey’s. Joey asked his father to sleep in a separate room, saying “as far as you live under my roof, you live by my rules”. I kept laughing at Joey, and his father and the affair. I laughed at the rules and roof line as it is the line used by all fathers all over the world. But in a second thought, I discovered that as far as we are living under God’s roof so we should live by his rule and only then I started buying the unexplainable rules I couldn’t buy earlier. I started abiding by the things I don’t understand the same way I do by the things I understand.
The question now will be, why Islam?
I can’t deny that part of being a Muslim is that I was born a Muslim. I went through evaluating the God concept, and then I got to the point of believing why God have laid his rules in what we call religion. So, as far as I believe in God and I am ready to follow a religion why trying finding a new one while I already have one. But again being the person I am, I didn’t stop at that point. I started searching. I found that being a Jew means that I don’t believe in Christianity, and being a Christian means that I don’t believe in Islam while being a Muslim means that I believe in both religions. I found that Islam isn’t just a religion it is a life style, where people are obligated to respect each other, to love each other and to help each other. Islamic rules are the constitution of the Islamic community.
If Muslims abided by the Islamic rules, the Islamic community will be sober, STI free, with no gamblers and no poor.
Taking a good look at history I found out that Arabs were just savages living in the desert. They have done everything we do in the modern days. They got drunk, had sex whenever possible and gambled there life away. And to top it all, they never managed to build a state. They lived in scattered groups and they have always fought. Before Prophet Mohammed (pbuh), the Arabs spent there time in war or preparing to war. And then it was a miracle, a man who can’t read or write who managed to teach those ignorant people civilization. He grouped the fighting scattered group in a state that ruled most of the old world for centuries.
Dr. Francis Steingass said that Quran is one of the most important books in the world due to the Quran's "ability to transform savage tribes into civilized nations.
So Islam isn’t just a religion. It was the constitution that built that empire. It was the law. And that explains why the first “Khaleefa” had to fight those who reverted. He fought them because they were outlaws. They threatened the growth of the empire. They didn’t abide to the constitution. Just like any civil war in any place in the world. Doesn’t the American fought for the right to free slaves?
Then it was typical for the empire to move outwards. Can you blame Alexander for conquering the world?
Islam is a constitution based on liberty and equality. Everyone is free to believe or not. Everyone is free as far as his freedom ends at the start of his neighbors’ freedom. Everyone is equal, Islam doesn’t discriminate. There is no difference based on religion, race or gender.
I just look around and I feel hurt as people keep attacking Islam because of people who can barely called Muslims. They attack Islam as if the extermination of Islam is the solution.
I look around and I hope for respect. I hope for respecting the idea that changed the face of the world, I hope for respecting the man who changed the savages into civilized people, I hope for respecting the legacy the Muslims left by saving the heritage of civilization in the time Europe was busy in inquisitions.
Is respect that hard to achieve?
Please, comments should be within the context of mutual respect. This post is against violence and religion fights. So, please don't start one. Only civilized discussion is allowed.
I personally blame Muslims for the way Islam is treated. We, Muslims, brought it on our religion. everyone who gave the impression that Islam is a religion of violence, everyone used Islam as mean of suppression, everyone who tailored a religion fit to his needs and called it Islam. I blame everyone who showed Muslims as sex-manic bloody creatures, everyone who mistreated a woman by the name of Islam. I blame everyone who acted with ignorance claiming knowledge. I blame them all for the comments that inspired these posts and I blame them for the following pictures.
If this is how they see Islam, it is because this is how they see us. This is how we show ourselves