How to deal with Riya and showoff in Islam? Part 1

Bismillah e rahmani raheem (In the name of Allah (swt) {God}, Most Gracious, Most Merciful)
Bismillah e rahmani raheem (In the name of Allah (swt) {God}, Most Gracious, Most Merciful)+

Assalam alaikum,

I got a question from one of our readers, while I did some research, I was surprised by such vast of information on this topic, which was very interesting. Before I go ahead, I would deeply like to thank that reader for this question, because of you, I got a chance to learn and teach to many other people In Sha’Allah.

Question: How to deal with Riya and showoff in Islam?

Since this is huge topic, I would like to discuss in depth and into parts.

Part 1: Riya

What is riya? Riya has many levels in Islam, but the broad definition could be considered as arrogance. Riya can come in many forms such as in our hearts, minds, verbal aspects, and actions.

Let us explore these aspects:

Hearts: When we win or do something and get praised, we often forget Allah (swt) helped us, and we believe that we achieved by ourselves. We not only forget our Creator, without His help we cannot achieve anything, but we also discredit our family members and our loved ones and leave them behind. We take all the credit and fame.

Minds: We tend to believe in ourselves after we achieve something. That’s “I tried” or “I did”, it becomes all about me, instead of Allah (swt). When we lose something or something goes bad, we say or blame Allah (swt) or family/friends, but never oneself.

Verbal Aspects: We start comparing ourselves to other people, especially people in Islamic history such as Caliphs, Sahabahs, Prophet (saw)’s wives, and Prophet (saw), and etc.

We should never compare ourselves with anyone, especially anyone from Prophet’s time or to Himself. Allah (swt) is the best in Knowledge, let Him be the judge. We can strive to be like them, but we can never be them or compare ourselves with them.

Actions: When hearts and minds become one thought, then automatically our actions follow that train of thought.

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The Lies of April or Kithbat Neesaan – How it reflects Islam

“April Fool” in Arabic, Kithbat Neesaan or “The Lies of April”

The origin of this lying is not known for sure. There are differing opinions concerning that:

  • It may have developed from the celebrations of spring at the equinox on March 21
  • This innovation appeared in France in 1564 CE, after the introduction of a new calendar, (when a person who had refused to accept the new calendar became the victim of some people who had subjected him to embarrassment and made fun of him, so he became a laughing-stock for others)
  • This celebration may go back to ancient times and the pagan celebrations connected to a specific date at the beginning of spring, so this is the remnant of pagan rituals. (It was said that hunting in some countries was unsuccessful during the first days of the hunt in some countries. This was the origin of these lies which are made up on the first day of April)

 Le poisson d’avril

Europeans call “April Fool” le poisson d’avril or “April fish”

The reasons for this tradition are several, but none can be considered accurate

  • The sun moves from the zodiacal house of “Pisces” to the next house
  • The word poisson, which means fish, is a distortion of the word passion, which means suffering
  • Symbol of the suffering endured by Isa (AS) (Jesus peace be upon him) [1]

Basic History or Incidences of April Fools Day

  • The first mention of April Fool in the English language was in a magazine known as Dreck Magazine. On the second day of April in 1698 CE, this magazine mentioned that a number of people were invited to come and watch the washing of black people in the Tower of London on the morning of the first day of April.
  • One of the most famous incidents that happened in Europe on April 1st was when the English newspaper, the Evening Star, announced in March 1746 CE that the following day – April 1st – that there would be an parade of donkeys in Islington, in England. The people rushed to see these animals and there was a huge crowd. They continued waiting  and when they got tired of waiting, they asked about when the parade would be. They did not find anything, then they knew that they had come to make an exhibition of themselves, as if they were the donkeys!

Present Time

Known as April Fools Day or All Fools Day

  • Cause of the lies that they tell so that those who hear them might believe them and thus become a victim for those who  are making fun of him

Islam Aspect

This is the law of Allah (swt) in which is wisdom and care for people’s circumstances.

And Allah (swt) is the Haqq [Truth] and the Source of Strength.

  • Lying is prohibited in Islam
  • Making fun of someone or something is haraam (forbidden) is Islam
  • Creates enmity, anger, depression, stress, anxiety, hatred, lack of trust, barriers, and etc

April Fools Day

References

Search for Islam http://searchforislam.com/

Muslims fooled by April Fool’s Day Internet Urban Legend http://www.themodernreligion.com/misc/hoax/april-fool.html

Sister Anisah of South Dakota  http://www.angelfire.com/sd/HIRU

It Appears That Muslims Are the Fools http://www.islamtoday.com

[1] According to the claims of the Christians, and they claim that this happened in the first week of April

Muslimah’s Hijab Challenge from South Africa

Assalaamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wabarakaathu.

As a teenager, I remember my father reprimanding me if I did not have a scarf on when I left the house. Being a typical teenager, with no thoughts of accountability, it did not take me long to realize that I can wear it when I leave the house but there was nothing compelling me to keep it on. And so it carried on. I would wear my scarf when I left the house and if I was not with my father, I took it off. Oblivious, or rather consciously blocking the verse, “…and whatsoever good ye do, lo! ALLAH (swt) is aware of it…” Noble Qur’an, Surah 2, Verse 215) from my mind. But I always knew at the back of my mind and in my heart that I would like to wear the hijab someday, just not then! ‘When I get married’, was that someday.

Well, ’someday’ eventually dawned on me. I got proposed and married within three months. Trousseau shopping was rushed, and then to complicate things, a little voice reminded me “You’re getting married-time for that scarf”. Subhan’Allah, I now not only had to go out and get clothes, I needed scarves to match. I was also consciously more careful with my choice of clothes. I made sure that they were long sleeved and that my tops were longer as I knew that wearing a scarf with short sleeves or short tops were defeating the purpose of hijab.

For my wedding I wore an eastern outfit and had my hair covered, though not fully. I now wish I had covered it fully. The most beautiful brides I remember now are those with their hair (and necks) fully covered, with no part of their body showing. There is a noor emanating from these brides that goes beyond physical beauty. For myself, it was the day after my wedding that the true test began. The fact that my husband approved of my hijab made it much easier for me as did the fact that I had a dear friend and cousin -in-law who was already wearing a scarf. I was not the only one among my peers that was doing it. At times though, I must admit, it was very difficult for me. Although I did not wear revealing clothes before, I was very fashion conscious – latest fashion trends, hair always done up and make-up applied. Now, I often felt ‘old fashioned’. Comments by those close to me to that effect hurt more than you can imagine. I was constantly reminded about my dressing in the past and more often than not was asked “What happened to you?” not in a complimentary way, I might add. Often my husband was blamed or given credit for my adopting the hijab, depending on which way people looked at it. These comments made me stronger and I did not ever consider taking it off. I persevered and Alhamdulillah a few years later, also with my husband’s consent, I started wearing an Abaya. I’ve emphasised my husband’s approval because sadly many sisters fight their own jihad with regards to their husband disapproval of their hijab. Some only wear it when their husbands are not with them; some have to endure their husbands open contempt of it or even verbal abuse. Here I must add, that we must remember not to judge anyone especially those that outwardly seem to be regressing with regards to their hijaab, after having adopted it. We have no idea what their circumstances are, rather we should make dua for them and seek ALLAH (swt)’S protection from that happening to us.

Today as a mother of three daughters, I realize that my father’s demands all those years ago were a result of love and concern for me and not ‘to make my life difficult’ as I believed his intentions to be. I often wonder if my decision would have come sooner had I been encouraged by my parents to start wearing the hijab as a pre-teen. Alhamdulillah this realization has made it possible for me to be conscious of my daughters dressing. My eldest is now thirteen years old, and has been in hijab before she became baaligh (puberty), Subhaan’ALLAH. To this end I must give credit to her Muallimah (Muslimah teacher who teaches Islam), at that time, which made my job effortless. May ALLAH reward her with the best of rewards and continue to use her to inspire our daughters, Ameen.

Dear Sisters, to those of you that have a sincere desire to wear hijab and are thinking about it, May ALLAH make it easy for you to please Him. Remember ALLAH says in a Hadith Qudsi, “…And whosoever comes to me walking I will go to him running….” (Muslim, Ibn Majah and Ahmad). That is ALLAH’s promise dear sisters that is all it takes. Take the plunge and put it on! Everything to lose and the pleasure of ALLAH to gain. HE will make it easy for you. Do not be like me and wait for that ‘someday, one day, Insha’ALLAH…’ I had no guarantee that I would live to see ‘someday’ and neither do you. May ALLAH fill the hearts of those standing in your way with understanding. Subhaan’ALLAH, some of my greatest critics are now wearing the hijab!

May ALLAH guide us and all those that have a sincere desire to adopt hijab to follow HIS commands and make it easy for us and them. May ALLAH guide all our actions with sincerity and the best of intentions and accept our little steps towards HIM. Just as HE has made our outward dressing in conformity to HIS commands, May HE change the conditions of our hearts and improve our character.

I thank ALLAH for granting me the ability to realize that true pleasure and sweetness of Imaan (faith) comes with pleasing HIM alone. I have learnt by experience that fulfilling the Rights of ALLAH and pleasing HIM, has a ripple effect of pleasing those around you that matter, in my case, my husband and parents. May ALLAH bless them. Ameen

South Africa Masjid

Understanding “True” Islam (Peace)

Assalam’alaikum,

I want to let you know that I just started FB page of Muslimah411. Please join me and also let your loved ones know about Muslimah411.

We all need to create awareness about the “true” Islam, which is why I started this blog and Alhumdullillah have received positive response. We need to let our family and friends know the difference between what media defines as Islam and the reality of Islam.

It is each Muslims and Muslimah’s duty for proper Dawah (educate, understand, and behave accordingly to Islam) and it is each individuals duty to understand and accept the differences, so we can all live peacefully and without fear.

Dawah

Muslimah411 Facebook Page

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Muslimah411/1541581086064470?fref=nf

Importance of Shahada

Bismillah e rahmani raheem (In the name of Allah (swt) {God}, Most Gracious, Most Merciful)
Bismillah e rahmani raheem (In the name of Allah (swt) {God}, Most Gracious, Most Merciful)

Ok, in my previous post I described the meaning of Shahada, now it is time to illustrate the importance of Shahada.

Islam is the only religion that solely depends on Shahada

I testify there is no God, but Allah (SWT) ( الله سُبْحَانَهُ وتَعَالَى), He has no partners.

By believing and saying this is you are sincerely acknowledging that Allah (swt) is the sole Creator of all, and the Supreme Authority over everything and everyone in the universe.

You believe with your soul, body, mind, and heart to:

  • Trust Allah (swt) — Everything happens for good by Will of (Allah (swt)
  • Believe in Allah (swt) — He has the Power over everything in the world, between Heaven and Earth, everything Known and Unknown, everything that is Seen and Unseen
  • Obey Allah (swt) — Five Pillars of Islam, Living by the word of Allah (swt) that is written in Qur’an, following Hadiths of Muhammed (SAW), and being part of Ummah
  • Worship Allah (swt) — Praying Qur’an, Salah, Dua, and etc only to Allah (swt) and no one else. Acting/behaving within Islam

I testify Muhammed (SAW) (صلى الله عليه وسلم‎ ) is His last Messenger and Prophet. 

You believe with your soul, body, mind, and heart to:

  • Belief in the Prophethood of Muhammad (SAW) (Peace and blessings be upon him)
  • Guidance brought by him and contained in his Sunnah (traditions of his sayings and actions),
  • Intention to follow his guidance faithfully.
  • Acknowledging and accepting Muhammad (SAW) (Peace and blessings be upon him) was also a human being, a man with feelings and emotions, who ate, drank and slept, and was born and died, like other men.
  • He had a pure and upright nature, extraordinary righteousness, and an unwavering faith in Allah (SWT) and commitment to Islam, but he was not divine.
  • Muslims do not pray to him, not even as an intercessor, and Muslims abhor the terms “Mohammedan” and “Mohammedanism”

Muslim’s Duty to Allah (swt)

  • Be an exemplary example of good behavior towards all, Muslims and non Muslims alike
  • Act and dress modestly (all Muslims – men and women)
  • Dawah-Spread good through your positive behavior and example
  • Appreciate- Thank Allah (swt) frequently and help people who are in need, regardless of their beliefs

Shahada – Testimony of Faith in Islam

Bismillah e rahmani raheem (In the name of Allah (swt) {God}, Most Gracious, Most Merciful)
Bismillah e rahmani raheem (In the name of Allah (swt) {God}, Most Gracious, Most Merciful)

Shahada is an Islamic creed declaring belief in the Oneness of Allah (SWT) ( الله سُبْحَانَهُ وتَعَالَى) and the acceptance of Muhammed (SAW) (صلى الله عليه وسلم‎ ) as His Last Messenger/Prophet.

The first pillar of Islam is to believe and declare the faith by saying the Shahada or better known as the Kalimah.

One to say it verbally and firmly believe that with his/her own will. No one can force another individual to say the Shahada, it has to come from his/her own free will.

Shahada in Arabic 

أشهد أن لا إله إلاَّ الله و أشهد أن محمد رسول الله

Shahada Transliteration

Esh-Hadu Ina La E-LaHa illa Allah wa Esh-Hadu Ina Mohammed Rasoul Allah. 

Shahada Meaning

I testify there is no God, but Allah (SWT) ( الله سُبْحَانَهُ وتَعَالَى), He has no partners. Muhammed (SAW) (صلى الله عليه وسلم‎ ) is His last Messenger and Prophet. 

Freedom in Bikini or Hijab?

Bikini or Headscarf: Which Offers More Freedom?

Confident that her daughter would follow in her footsteps while growing up, Krista Bremer was surprised when Aliya decided to wear the headscarf instead — at the tender age of nine.

Nine years ago, I danced my newborn daughter around my North Carolina living room to the music of Free to Be . . . You and Me, the 70s children’s classic whose every lyric about tolerance and gender equality I had memorized as a girl growing up in California.

My Libyan-born husband, Ismail, sat with her for hours on our screened porch, swaying back and forth on a creaky metal rocker and singing old Arabic folk songs, and took her to a Muslim sheikh who chanted a prayer for long life into her tiny, velvety ear.

She had espresso eyes and lush black lashes like her father’s, and her milky-brown skin darkened quickly in the summer sun. We named her Aliya, which means ‘exalted’ in Arabic, and agreed that we would raise her to choose what she identified with most from our dramatically-different backgrounds.

I secretly felt smug about this agreement — confident that she would favour my comfortable American lifestyle over his modest Muslim upbringing. Ismail’s parents live in a squat stone house down a winding dirt alley outside Tripoli, Libya. Its walls are bare except for passages from the Qur’an engraved on to wood, its floors empty but for thin cushions that double as bedding.

My parents live in a sprawling home in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with a three-car garage, hundreds of channels on the flat-screen television, organic food in the refrigerator and a closet full of toys for the grandchildren.

I imagined Aliya embracing shopping trips to Whole Foods and the stack of presents under the Christmas tree, while still fully appreciating the melodic sound of Arabic, the honey-soaked baklava Ismail makes from scratch, and the intricate henna tattoos her aunt draws on her feet when we visit Libya. Not once did I imagine her falling for the head covering worn by Muslim girls as an expression of modesty.

Last summer we were celebrating the end of Ramadan with our Muslim community at a festival in the car park behind our local mosque. Children bounced in inflatable fun houses while their parents sat beneath a plastic tarpaulin nearby, shooing flies from plates of curried chicken, rice and baklava.

Aliya and I wandered past rows of vendors selling prayer mats, henna tattoos, and Muslim clothing. When we reached a table displaying head coverings, Aliya turned to me and pleaded, ‘Please, Mom — can I have one?’ She riffled through neatly-folded stacks of headscarves while the vendor, an African-American woman shrouded in black, beamed at her.

I had recently seen Aliya cast admiring glances at Muslim girls her age. I quietly pitied them, covered in floor-length skirts and long sleeves on even the hottest days. My best childhood memories were of my skin laid bare to the sun: feeling the grass between my toes as I ran through the sprinkler on my front lawn; wading into an icy river in Idaho, my shorts hitched up to my thighs, to catch my first rainbow trout; surfing a rolling emerald wave off the coast of Hawaii. But Aliya envied these girls and had already asked me to buy her clothes like theirs. And now, a headscarf.

In the past, my excuse was that they were hard to find, but here she was, offering to spend $10 from her allowance to buy the forest green rayon one she clutched in her hand. I started to shake my head, but caught myself, remembering my commitment to Ismail. So I gritted my teeth and bought it, assuming it would soon be forgotten.

That afternoon, as I was leaving for the grocery store, Aliya called out from her room that she wanted to come

More Freedom in Bikini or Hijab?A moment later she appeared at the top of the stairs—or, more accurately, half of her did. From the waist down, she was my daughter: sneakers, bright socks, jeans a little threadbare at the knees. But from the waist up, this girl was a stranger.

Her bright, round face was suspended in a tent of dark cloth like a moon in a starless sky.

‘Are you going to wear that?’

‘Yeah,’ she said slowly, in the tone she had recently begun to use with me.

On the way to the store, I stole glances at her in my rear view mirror. She stared out the window, appearing as aloof and unconcerned as a Muslim dignitary visiting our small Southern town—I merely her chauffeur.

I bit my lip. I wanted to ask her to remove her head covering before she got out of the car, but I couldn’t think of a single, logical reason why, except that the sight of it made my blood pressure rise. I’d always encouraged her to express her individuality and to resist peer pressure, but now I felt as self-conscious and claustrophobic as if I were wearing that headscarf myself.

In the supermarket car park, the heavy summer air smothered my skin. I gathered the damp hair on my neck into a ponytail, but Aliya seemed unfazed by the heat. We must have looked like an odd pair: a tall blonde woman in a tank top and jeans cupping the hand of a 1.2m-tall Muslim. I drew my daughter closer and the skin on my bare arms prickled – as much from protective instinct as from the blast of refrigerated air that hit me as I entered the store.

As we maneuvered our trolley down the aisles, shoppers glanced at us as if we were a riddle that they couldn’t quite solve, quickly dropping their gaze when I caught their eye.

In the produce aisle, a woman reaching for an apple fixed me with an overly bright, solicitous smile that said: ‘I embrace diversity and I am perfectly fine with your child.’ She looked so earnest, so painfully eager to put me at ease, that I suddenly understood how it must feel to have a child with an obvious disability, and all the curiosity or unwelcome sympathies from strangers that it evokes.

At the checkout, an elderly Southern woman clasped her bony hands together and bent slowly down towards Aliya.

‘My, my,’ she drawled, wobbling her head in disbelief. ‘Don’t you look absolutely precious!’ My daughter smiled politely, then turned to ask me for a pack of chewing gum.

In the following days, Aliya wore her headscarf to the breakfast table over her pajamas, to a Muslim gathering where she was showered with compliments, and to the park, where the mothers I chatted to studiously avoided mentioning it.

Later that week, at our local pool, I watched a girl only a few years older than Aliya play table tennis with a boy her age. She was caught in that awkward territory between childhood and adolescence—narrow hips, skinny legs, the slightest swelling of new breasts—and she wore a string bikini.

Her opponent wore an oversize t-shirt and baggy trunks that fell below his knees. When he slammed the ball at her, she lunged for it while trying with one hand to keep the slippery strips of spandex in place. I wanted to offer her a towel to wrap around her hips, so that she could lose herself in the contest and feel the exhilaration of making a perfect shot.

It was easy to see why she was getting demolished at this game: her near-naked body was consuming her focus. And in her pained expression I recognized the familiar mix of shame and excitement that I felt when I first wore a bikini.

At 14, I skittered down the halls of high school like a squirrel in traffic: hugging the walls, changing direction in midstream, darting for cover. Then I went to Los Angeles to visit my Aunt Mary during winter break. Mary collected mermaids, kept a black-and-white photo of her long-haired Indian guru on her dresser and shopped at a tiny health food store that smelled of patchouli and peanut butter. She took me to Venice Beach, where I bought a cheap bikini from a street vendor.

Dizzy with the promise of an impossibly bright afternoon, I thought I could be someone else—glistening and proud like the greased-up bodybuilders on the lawn, relaxed and unselfconscious as the hippies who lounged on the footpath with lit incense tucked behind their ears. In a beach side bathroom with gritty cement floors, I changed into my new suit.

Goose bumps spread across my chubby white tummy and the downy white hairs on my thighs stood on end; I felt as raw and exposed as a turtle stripped of its shell. And when I left the bathroom, the stares of men seemed to pin me in one spot.

In spite of a strange and mounting sense of shame, I was riveted by their smirking faces; in their suggestive expressions I thought I glimpsed some vital clue to the mystery of myself. What did these men see in me? What was this strange power surging between us, this rapidly shifting current that one moment made me feel powerful and the next, unspeakably vulnerable?

I imagined Aliya in a string bikini in a few years. Then I imagined her draped in Muslim attire. It was hard to say which image was more unsettling. I thought then of something a Sufi Muslim friend had told me: that Sufis believe our essence radiates beyond our physical bodies—that we have sort of an energetic second skin, which is sensitive and permeable to everyone we encounter. Muslim men and women wear modest clothing, she said, to protect this charged space between them and the world.

Growing up in Southern California in the 70s, I had learnt that freedom for women meant, among other things, fewer clothes, and that women could be anything—and still look good in a bikini. Exploring my physical freedom had been an important part of my self-discovery, but the exposure had come at a price.

Since that day in Venice Beach, I’d spent years learning to swim in the turbulent currents of attraction: wanting to be desired, resisting unwelcome advances, plumbing the mysterious depths of my own longing. I’d spent countless hours studying my reflection in the mirror—admiring it, hating it, wondering what others thought of it—and it sometimes seemed to me that if I had applied the same relentless scrutiny to another subject, I could have become enlightened, written a novel, or at least figured out how to create an organic vegetable garden.

On a recent Saturday morning, in the crowded dressing room of a large department store, I tried on designer jeans alongside college girls in high, spiky heels, young mothers with babies fussing in their pushchairs, and middle-aged women with glossed lips pursed into frowns. One by one we filed into changing rooms, then lined up to take our turn on a brightly lit pedestal surrounded by mirrors, cocking our hips and sucking in our tummies and craning our necks to stare at our rear ends.

When it was my turn, my heart felt as tight in my chest as my legs did in the jeans. My face looked drawn under the fluorescent lights, and suddenly I was exhausted by all the years I’d spent doggedly chasing the carrot of self-improvement, while dragging behind me a heavy cart of self-criticism.

At this stage in her life, Aliya is captivated by the world around her, not by what she sees in the mirror. Last summer she stood at the edge of the Blue Ridge Parkway, stared at the blue-black outline of the mountains in the distance, their tips swaddled by cottony clouds, and gasped. ‘This is the most beautiful thing I ever saw,’ she whispered. Her wide-open eyes were a mirror of all that beauty, and she stood so still that she blended into the lush landscape, until finally we broke her reverie by pulling her back to the car.

At school it’s different. In her fourth-grade class, girls already draw a connection between clothing and popularity. A few weeks ago, her voice rose in anger as she told me about a classmate who had ranked all the girls in class according to how stylish they were.

I understood then that while physical exposure had liberated me in some ways, Aliya could discover an entirely different type of freedom by choosing to cover herself.

I have no idea how long Aliya’s interest in Muslim clothing will last. If she chooses to embrace Islam, I trust that the faith will bring her tolerance, humility and a sense of justice – the way it has done for her father. And because I have a strong desire to protect her, I will also worry that her choice could make life in her own country difficult. She has recently memorized the Surah Al-Fatihah, the opening verse of the Qur’an, and she is pressing her father to teach her Arabic. She’s also becoming an agile mountain biker who rides with me on wooded trails, mud spraying her calves as she navigates swollen creeks.

The other day, when I dropped her off at school, instead of driving away in a rush as I usually do, I watched her walk into a crowd of kids, bent forward under the weight of her backpack as if she were bracing against a storm. She moved purposefully, in such a solitary way, so different from the way I was at her age, and I realized once again how mysterious she is to me.

It’s not just her head covering that makes her so: it’s her lack of concern for what others think about her. It’s finding her stash of Halloween candy untouched in her drawer, while as a child I was obsessed with sweets. It’s the fact that she would rather dive into a book than into the ocean; that she gets so consumed with her reading that she can’t hear me calling her from the next room.

I watched her kneel at the entryway to her school and pull a neatly folded cloth from the front of her pack, where other kids stash bubble gum or lip gloss. Then she slipped it over her head, and her shoulders disappeared beneath it like the cape her younger brother wears when he pretends to be a superhero.

I imagined that headscarf having magical powers to protect her boundless imagination, her keen perception and her unselfconscious goodness. I imagined it shielding her as she journeys through that house of mirrors where so many young women get trapped in adolescence, buffering her from the dissatisfaction that clings in spite of the growing number of choices at our fingertips, providing safe cover as she takes flight into a future I can only imagine.

© 2010 Krista Bremer. Pictures by Michael McGregor

This article originally appeared in the September/October 2011 issue of Aquila Stylemagazine

http://www.aquila-style.com/focus-points/bikini-or-headscarf/1006/

Submission to Islam or Muslims

Bismillah e rahmani raheem (In the name of Allah (swt) {God}, Most Gracious, Most Merciful)
Bismillah e rahmani raheem (In the name of Allah (swt) {God}, Most Gracious, Most Merciful)

The word “Muslim” means one who submits to the will of Allah (swt), regardless of their race, gender, nationality or ethnic background. Being a Muslim entails recognizing and submitting to Allah (swt)’s will, while doing one’s level best to live in accordance with His message.

Some people mistakenly believe that Islam is just a religion for Arabs, but nothing could be further from the truth. Not only are there reverts to Islam in every corner of the world, especially in England and America, but by taking a look at the Muslim World from Bosnia to Nigeria, and from Indonesia to Morocco, one can clearly see that Muslims come from many various races, ethnic groups and nationalities.

It is also interesting to note that in actual fact, more than 80% of all Muslims are not Arabs – there are more Muslims in Indonesia than in the whole Arab World! So even though it is true that most Arabs are Muslims, the large majority of Muslims are not Arabs.

However, anyone who submits completely to Allah (swt) and worships Him alone is a Muslim.

*Allah (swt) is an Arabic word for God.
*(swt) – Subhanahu wa ta’ala, an Arabic phrase meaning “May He (Allah) be Glorified and Exalted”
*Reverts – a person who has come become a Muslim, from another religion/faith

What is Islam?

Bismillah e rahmani raheem (In the name of Allah (swt) {God}, Most Gracious, Most Merciful)
Bismillah e rahmani raheem (In the name of Allah (swt) {God}, Most Gracious, Most Merciful)

The word “Islam” is an Arabic word which means “submission to the will of Allah (swt) {God}”. This word comes from the same root as the Arabic word “Salam”, which means “Peace”. As such, the religion of Islam teaches that in order to achieve true peace of mind and surety of heart, one must submit to Allah (swt) and bring one’s life in accordance to the Divine will.

The most important truth that Allah (swt) revealed to mankind is that there is nothing divine or worthy of being worshipped except for Almighty Allah, hence it’s wise to recognize and submit to this truth.

*Allah (swt) is an Arabic word for God.
*(swt) – Subhanahu wa ta’ala, an Arabic phrase meaning “May He (Allah) Be Glorified and Exalted”