True Islam?

What is “True Islam?”

This question is more figurative than literal, however it’s one that I often contemplate.  Not that I don’t know the answer, but its the question and the implications of that question that I ponder most.  Who defines Islam and to whom?

As a convert or some may say revert, many often assume that my belief are somehow not “as” pure or “as” genuine of what many call “true” Muslims.  For many, the “true” Muslim lives in the Middle East.  Certainly this is a fallacy for many reasons, the problem with this fallacy, is that as a Muslim community we have allowed a situation to arise where others define our religion for us.

As a believing body, I believe that we have to institutionalize and take back our image and definition of what Islam truly is.  Often, in the midst of heated debate with non-Muslims I am often challenged with this “true Muslim” mantra.  Somehow, many non-Muslims have be lead to believe that if your a convert or non-Arab, your Islam is not “pure” or “true” enough.  Obviously, there’s many levels of hypocrisy in that belief, because that would mean that unless your Palestinian Christians, your not “Christian” enough, however, I won’t beat the dead horse about the obvious hypocrisy Muslims especially in America, are challenged with these days.

My overall point in context is this, unless we come together as an Islamic community and vigorously combat the false images and propaganda about Islam, we further harm ourselves in the long run.

Im not sure how we do this.  Im not really sure we can even convince those who have already found solice in their hate of all things Muslim or Islam, however, we have to try.  We have to roll our sleeves up and not be afraid to get dirty.

Personally, I get tired of the oft repeated accusation that “true” Muslims live in the Middle East, or that some Iraqi, Saudi, etc.  said Muslims in America, especially the African American ones, are not “true” Muslims.  Granted, this is a personal grievance, however Im not totally convinced that my experience is unique either.

In my personal opinion, I believe the practicing Muslims are more likely to be found outside the Middle East.  I won’t use terms like “true” or “false” Muslims, because Allah (swt) alone is the judge for mankind.  I know that if one believes in Allah (swt) and His Messenger (saw), then one is on the true path.

We have to get this message out, it would be better for us all.  What is “True” Islam?  Is it the suicide bomber?  Or is it the Muslims fighting to save lives?  Is it the terrorist?  Or is it the humanitarian?  Is Islam merely wearing beards, kufis, and hijab?  Or is Islam going to work, taking care of your family, and being kind, truthful, and honest?  Is Islam calling the West “the Great Satan” or non-Muslims “Infidels”?  Or is Islam welcoming non-Muslims specifically Jews and Christians into the Mosques and into our homes for diaglogue, worship, and friendship?

There is a growing feeling in America and the West that Islam is a violent religion that promotes intolerance.  Of course, this is excluding the facts that the majority of Muslims live in diverse, peaceful, societies.  However, the facts are escaping the masses, that are begining to call for our slaughter wholesale.  We are now being called the “silent majority” who by our silence somehow shows that we are in agreement with extremists and terrorists.  However, the truth and facts remain that there are thousands of Fatwas, scholars, Muftis, councils, organizations, who for many years have condemned all acts of terror as Haram (unlawful).  So it’s not that we are silent, its that the word is being confined to books, letters, and the internet, therefore you have to do what most hate to do: read.

My fellow brothers and sisters, we all know that these ideas against Islam and Muslims are false and blantant hypocrisy, and we know that the same measure would never be used by the accusers for themselves, however that is the mindset we live amongst. 

Maybe its hightime we call them on their hypocrisy, maybe we should ask for the mass protest of Christians, Jews, etc. everytime a crime is commited in a 74% “Christian” nation.  They love to say “all terrorists are Muslim” because the majority of said acts are commited by those who say they are Muslim.  Well we should remind them that by the same standard, all thieves, rapists, pedophiles, murderers, adulterers, criminals, etc.  are Christian.  I mean afterall, in a country with this much crime, yet is 74% Christian, odds are the guilty are more likely to be Christian than Muslim right?  The same goes for Europe as well.

We need to start taking our identity back and pushing forth agendas, initiatives, resolutions, etc. forward that will put us in a strong position in order to live without fear.  We need to be able to live without the fear of flying, driving, walking, living, etc. while Muslim.

We are not dealing with reasonable people on either side, whether Muslim radical or non-Muslim radical, so we may have to come to a point where we deal with both according to the way they deal with us.

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4 Comments

  1. “it’s not that we are silent, its that the word is being confined to books, letters, and the internet, therefore you have to do what most hate to do: read.”

    Very nice post. I hope for a better future, but I fear that too many have chosen irreversibly radical paths.

    Reply

  2. Hello Robert great site I wonder how we can get this out there. What you are doing here is what I intended to happen when I first engaged you on the pages of the mil. forums I feel this is a powerfull tool in both of our ministries to build understanding. Have you noticed how more and more are beginning to participate in our conversations and what we are doing, trying to build understanding between our two faiths??
    I am finding it incredibly fulfilling doing this with you please lets keep it up!!
    To my brother in the world, who knows maybe we are to be instruments of understanding as AAlah would have us
    be I for one could live for this. W.A.S. Tawodi…Bruce

    Reply

  3. Understanding is the key to our eventual sucess. If everyone did their part to take step back and where the other persons shoes, we would realize our similarities are more than we originally thought. In this day and age, we have to come to an understanding. We don’t necessarily have to agree on every point, but we can at least understand and respect.

    Peace

    Reply

  4. Having met Muslims of various ethnic backgrounds in the US and traveled and met Muslims on three continents, I must say that there are far too many misconceptions about the so called “Muslim countries” and their citizens. I see such a difference between the deen of converts & reverts and that of those who were born into Muslim families. It’s more often the former that rouse me towards remembrance of Allah. I’m not saying that there are none amongst the “born Muslims” who have sincere faith. What I am saying is that n my almost fourteen years as a Muslim, it is a rare treat when I meet a Muslim raised in this faith that has consciously chosen the Islamic way of life as an adult AND acts as an ambassador to the non-Muslims. I look forward to the day when my own children have matured and can stand before me and recite the shahada khalimah from their hearts.

    I have read of how you came to Islam and I find it so much more impressive than my own story. My journey was somehow mystical compared to yours. My story sounds pretty, especially when I tell it to the cultural Muslims who are so curious about my journey. However, my story just doesn’t suffice in the face of those who seek to attack Islam at every turn. I deeply appreciate all the questions you asked and answered before you made this very serious decision.

    The voice you write with really inspires me. It gets me up off my comfy couch of complacency and reminds me that Islam is a constant jihad. Yes, Allah wants us to have ease but there is joy in hard work! We have to struggle to diminish the distraction of temporary pleasures. We have to constantly remind ourselves of the work we need to do in this life that will benefit us so greatly in the hereafter.

    :->
    Jazak Allahu Khairan, Brother

    wa salaamu aleikum wa rahkmatullahi wa barakatu

    Reply

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