What it means to be Muslim…

A Muslim undoubtedly faces criticism at least a few times in his/her life. Unfortunately, that criticism is harsh. I want to clear up a few points:

  1. Yes, we do not consume pork, alcohol or smoke. I don’t get why people just don’t understand and have to be told repeatedly. It’s as clear as it can be. Curiosity is all right, but there are many other pressing matters that we should be concerned about.
  2. We are peaceful human beings and have some of the same problems everyone else has. We are no different than you, so stop alienating us. We all interact in schools, events, and gatherings. Most people are appreciative and see the good in us. But for those who outright hate us, this is no problem for us because we try to explain to you and continue to smile the rest of the day. We do our best to live, so just don’t bother us all the time and immediately put the blame on all Muslims when there is a horrific incident.
  3. We will not harm you. Remember, you have acquired disgust because of what the media has portrayed. Don’t be afraid of us…we just want to buy our groceries, eat at restaurants, and go to museums and parks. We want to live normally and so should you instead of causing issues.
  4. “You are not a good person.” Hello, how can you judge someone based on their religion? Yes, there may be some bad people, but how do you know what our life experiences were? What if we suffered even more than you in our past? We probably spread more love and good than you, but you just pick the bad fruits and leave all the good ones in the tree thinking that we are entirely evil.
  5. Fasting is a difficult, yet amazing task. Ramadan is also a time for giving and being selfless. Most people say they want to help the poor, yet when a Muslim does it, there is no credit given. That is plain wrong. Muslims donate whatever they can give and feel what it’s like to be hungry. I guarantee you on holidays, you stuff yourself up as much as you can. Sometimes humans don’t feel content with what they have while the poor are suffering and scavenging for any food. So, eat only as much as you need to and don’t waste excess food – give it to someone else but don’t throw it…you’re disgracing others and are just proving to yourself you’re of terrible character. Don’t go hating on other people and instead, focus on yourself and improve the goodness inside you. 
  6. It’s not too late. Change yourself and be content with what you have. That is what it means to be Muslim. That is what it means to be human.
  7. Although I have touched on a couple topics, there is much more to be said.

Image Credit: David McEachan

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