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We have all seen countless negative media stories about Islam and Muslims, including the recent controversy over Bill Maher’s comments. We see such stories over and over again, year after year. It honestly gets tiring to hear.
However, what I ask of our community is this: have we ever truly shown the world who we are? What we believe? Yes, we may have spoken a lot about Islam, but have we shown our faith through our actions?
We can talk about Islam until our faces turn blue, but as long as we remain a passive community when it comes to issues of social justice and community challenges, we will never truly be able to shed the negative perceptions of Islam and Muslims.
Thus, this Veterans Day—as we honor and respect the sacrifices our service men and women have made for our country—we Muslim Americans need to ask ourselves what we’ve done to better the country we call home.
For that matter, what have we done to better the world in which we live? Have we simply complained about the challenges, problems and issues we face? Or have we taken action to create positive change on the issues we care passionately about?
A Muslim is a Soldier of Mercy and our Veterans Day will be (inshallah) the day we enter Jannah. However, we first need to work towards it through service to our communities.
Islam is not just for Muslims; Islam is a way of life that benefits all people. A Muslim should therefore be one who benefits everyone in his or her presence.
As my mom says, “A Muslim is one who leaves a place in a better condition than he/she first came to it in.”
“A Muslim is one who leaves a place in a better condition than he/she first came to it in.”
This Veterans Day we must all reflect on ways we can help contribute back to our communities.
Ask yourself: what actions have you taken—or what actions do you need to take—in order to be considered a veteran worthy of entering the gates of Jannah?
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