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December 7, 2011

4

And the winner is…Mr/Miss Muslim!

by Simple Muslimah

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

One of the tactics of those who hate Islam is to feed you a horrific image of what life would be like if we allowed Muslims to live by ‘their rules’ or if we all lived ‘like Muslims’.  Racist right-wingers in Europe are certainly guilty of such scare-mongering in today’s society, to justify the oppression and curbing of freedoms of Muslims in the West.

The propaganda they spin illuminates a frightening world where, for example, frenzied, big-bearded men oppress innocent, forcibly-covered-up Muslim women.  As a Muslim I know this and other equally nonsensical rubbish couldn’t be further from the truth, but when non-Muslims are constantly made to believe even the sound of the word Shari’ah (Islamic law) should make their skin crawl, how are they meant to validate this statement when they are unsure of what Shari’ah even entails?

 To say that there is anti-Muslim propaganda out there is an understatement…

I want this post to help clear the fog somewhat inshaAllah.  I’m so confident that living the Muslim way is the best way, that I believe that anyone who chooses to live by the Islamic lifestyle would win any citizenship award anywhere in the world hands-down, whether or not they were Muslim!  What makes me so confident?  Well, I’d like to share my humble attempt at compiling a little list :).

Just so you know, where references are numbers e.g. (49: 12), they refer to the chapter of the Quran and its verse(s) which have been quoted.  References which are words e.g. (Bukhari) are from the sayings of Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم.

(N.B. I am not saying Muslims are perfect.  Muslims are humans like everyone else.  That means, like everyone else, we slip up at times.  What I am saying is that our way of life, as it is ordained by our Creator, is perfect.  So if we strive to live by the ideals He has chosen for us, we will be the best citizens it is within our ability to be) 

~*~*~

25 reasons why a practising Muslim would win any Citizenship award:

1. We don’t trash talk:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اجْتَنِبُوا كَثِيرًا مِّنَ الظَّنِّ إِنَّ بَعْضَ الظَّنِّ إِثْمٌ ۖ وَلَا تَجَسَّسُوا وَلَا يَغْتَب بَّعْضُكُم بَعْضًا ۚ أَيُحِبُّ أَحَدُكُمْ أَن يَأْكُلَ لَحْمَ أَخِيهِ مَيْتًا فَكَرِهْتُمُوهُ ۚ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ تَوَّابٌ رَّحِيمٌ


Believers, avoid making too many assumptions- some assumptions are sinful- and do not spy on one another or speak ill of people behind their backs: would any of you like to eat the flesh of your dead brother? No, you would hate it. So be mindful of God: God is ever relenting, most merciful. (49: 12)

Let he who believes in God and the Last Day either speak good or keep silent. (Muslim)

***

2. We show mercy:

Those people who show no mercy will receive no mercy from Allah.  (Muslim)

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3. We tell the truth:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَكُونُوا مَعَ الصَّادِقِينَ

O You who believe, be mindful of God: stand with those who are true. (9: 119)

وَالَّذِينَ لَا يَشْهَدُونَ الزُّورَ وَإِذَا مَرُّوا بِاللَّغْوِ مَرُّوا كِرَامًا

[The servants of the Lord of Mercy are] those who do not give false testimony, and who, when they see some frivolity, pass by with dignity. (25: 72)

Truthfulness leads to righteousness, and righteousness leads to Paradise.  In addition, a man keeps on telling the truth until he becomes a truthful person.  Falsehood leads to wickedness and evil-doing, and wickedness leads to the (Hell) Fire, and a man may keep on telling lies till he is written before God, as a liar. (Bukhari)

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4. We rise above those who wrong us:

وَعِبَادُ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الَّذِينَ يَمْشُونَ عَلَى الْأَرْضِ هَوْنًا وَإِذَا خَاطَبَهُمُ الْجَاهِلُونَ قَالُوا سَلَامًا

The servants of the Lord of Mercy are those who walk humbly on the earth, and who, when the foolish address them, reply, ‘Peace’ (25: 63)

وَلَا تَسْتَوِي الْحَسَنَةُ وَلَا السَّيِّئَةُ ۚ ادْفَعْ بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ فَإِذَا الَّذِي بَيْنَكَ وَبَيْنَهُ عَدَاوَةٌ كَأَنَّهُ وَلِيٌّ حَمِيمٌ

Good and evil cannot be equal. [Prophet], repel evil with what is better and your enemy will become as close as an old and valued friend (41:34)

***

5. We respect our neighbours:

“By Allah, he does not believe! By Allah, he does not believe! By Allah, he does not believe!”  It was said, “Who is that, O Allah’s Apostle?”  He said, “That person whose neighbour does not feel safe from his evil.”  (Bukhari)

***

6. We love to smile:

Your smile for your brother is charity. (Tirmidhi)

***

7. We don’t waste resources:

وَالَّذِينَ إِذَا أَنفَقُوا لَمْ يُسْرِفُوا وَلَمْ يَقْتُرُوا وَكَانَ بَيْنَ ذَٰلِكَ قَوَامًا

They are those who are neither wasteful nor niggardly when they spend, but keep to a just balance. (25: 67)

***

8. We try to facilitate good and remove harm:

The doors of goodness are many…enjoining good, forbidding evil, removing harm from the road, listening to the deaf, leading the blind, guiding one to the object of his need, hurrying with the strength of one’s legs to one in sorrow who is asking for help, and supporting the feeble with the strength of one’s arms–all of these are charity prescribed for you. (Targheeb wa Tarheeb)

***

9. We don’t break our promises:

يُوفُونَ بِالنَّذْرِ

They fulfil their vows… (76: 7)

***

10. We don’t expose others without just cause:

If a servant, covers the shame of another servant on the Day of Judgement Allah will cover their shame. (Muslim)

***

11. Our hands give freely to the less fortunate:

 

إِنَّ الْمُصَّدِّقِينَ وَالْمُصَّدِّقَاتِ وَأَقْرَضُوا اللَّهَ قَرْضًا حَسَنًا يُضَاعَفُ لَهُمْ وَلَهُمْ أَجْرٌ كَرِيمٌ

Charitable men and women who make a good loan to God will have it doubled and have a generous reward. (57: 18)

***

12. We don’t cheat:

Who cheats us is not one of us. (Muslim)

***

13. We respect the Environment:

وَلَا تُفْسِدُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ بَعْدَ إِصْلَاحِهَا وَادْعُوهُ خَوْفًا وَطَمَعًا ۚ إِنَّ رَحْمَتَ اللَّهِ قَرِيبٌ مِّنَ الْمُحْسِنِينَ

Do not corrupt the earth after it has been set right- call on Him fearing and hoping. The mercy of God is close to those who do good. (7: 56)

Whenever a Muslim plants trees or cultivates land and birds or a man or a beast eats out of them, it is a charity on his behalf. (Muslim)

***

14. We partake in good and refrain from evil:

 

الَّذِينَ إِن مَّكَّنَّاهُمْ فِي الْأَرْضِ أَقَامُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتَوُا الزَّكَاةَ وَأَمَرُوا بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَنَهَوْا عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ ۗ وَلِلَّهِ عَاقِبَةُ الْأُمُورِ

Those who, when We establish them in the land, keep up the prayer, pay the prescribed alms, command what is right, and forbid what is wrong: God controls the outcome of all events. (22: 41)

***

15. We protect the Vulnerable:

 

وَيُطْعِمُونَ الطَّعَامَ عَلَىٰ حُبِّهِ مِسْكِينًا وَيَتِيمًا وَأَسِيرًا

They give food to the poor, the orphan, and the captive, though they love it themselves (76: 8.)

I and the caretaker of the orphan will enter Paradise together like this, raising (by way of illustration) his forefinger and middle finger jointly, leaving no space in between.  (Bukhari)

***

16. We don’t do Racism:

 

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّا خَلَقْنَاكُم مِّن ذَكَرٍ وَأُنثَىٰ وَجَعَلْنَاكُمْ شُعُوبًا وَقَبَائِلَ لِتَعَارَفُوا ۚ إِنَّ أَكْرَمَكُمْ عِندَ اللَّهِ أَتْقَاكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلِيمٌ خَبِيرٌ

People, We created you all from a single man and a single woman, and made you into races and tribes so that you should recognize one another. In God’s eyes, the most honoured of you are the ones most mindful of Him: God is all knowing, all aware. (49: 13)

***

17. We care for the Sick:

On the Day of Resurrection, God the Mighty and Majestic will say: ‘O child of Adam! I became sick and you did not visit me!’ The person will say, ‘O Lord, how can I visit you and you are the Lord of all that Exists!’ God will say, ‘Did you not know that my slave ‘so and so’ became sick, and you did not visit him? Did you not know that if you visited him, you would have found me with him?’” (Muslim)

A Muslim visiting his sick brother will continue to be in the harvest of paradise until he or she returns home. (Muslim)

***

18. We dig good manners:

وَاعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ وَلَا تُشْرِكُوا بِهِ شَيْئًا ۖ وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا وَبِذِي الْقُرْبَىٰ وَالْيَتَامَىٰ وَالْمَسَاكِينِ وَالْجَارِ ذِي الْقُرْبَىٰ وَالْجَارِ الْجُنُبِ وَالصَّاحِبِ بِالْجَنبِ وَابْنِ السَّبِيلِ وَمَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُكُمْ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُحِبُّ مَن كَانَ مُخْتَالًا فَخُورًا

Worship God; join nothing with Him. Be good to your parents, to relatives, to orphans, to the needy, to neighbours near and far, to travellers in need, and to your slaves. God does not like arrogant, boastful people. (4: 36)

No father has ever given a child a gift that is superior to good manners. (Tirmidhi)

The believers who have the most perfect faith are those who have the best manners. (Abu Dawood)

***

19. We don’t judge by physical appearance or class:

Allah will examine neither your physical appearance nor your possessions. He will only examine your hearts and your actions. (Muslim)

***

20. We like for others what we like for ourselves:

Not one of you can (truly) believe if you do not want for your brother what you want for yourself. (Bukhari)

***

21. We forgive:

 

الَّذِينَ يُنفِقُونَ فِي السَّرَّاءِ وَالضَّرَّاءِ وَالْكَاظِمِينَ الْغَيْظَ وَالْعَافِينَ عَنِ النَّاسِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ يُحِبُّ الْمُحْسِنِينَ

Who give, both in prosperity and adversity, who restrain their anger and pardon people- God loves those who do good- (3: 134)

***

22. We respect our women:

The best among you is the one who is the best towards his wife (Muslim)

***

23. We stand for community cohesion:

Do not envy one another; do not inflate prices one to another; do not hate one another; do not turn away from one another; and do not undercut one another, but be you, O servants of Allah, brothers. A Muslim is the brother of a Muslim: he neither oppresses him nor does he fail him, he neither lies to him nor does he hold him in contempt. Piety is right here-and he pointed to his breast three times. It is evil enough for a man to hold his brother Muslim in contempt. The whole of a Muslim for another Muslim is inviolable: his blood, his property, and his honour.  (Muslim)

***

24. We avoid extremes:

وَكَذَٰلِكَ جَعَلْنَاكُمْ أُمَّةً وَسَطًا

And thus have We willed you to be a community of the middle way. (2: 143)

***

25. We’re kind to animals

Those who are kind and considerate to Allah’s creatures, Allah bestows His kindness and affection on them.  Show kindness to the creatures on the earth so that Allah may be kind to you. (Abu Dawood, Tirmidhi)

***

If you are a non-Muslim reading this post, I hope you’ll think twice before you accept any media stereotypes you come across about the Muslim way of life.

If you’re a Muslim reading, inshaAllah this post gives you some examples to hand, with which you can challenge any negative stereotypes about our faith and way of life you come across.

And from Allah comes all khayr (good).

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4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Aug 18 2013

    Alhudulillah…great references. May Allah (swt) grant you goodness In this life and the next for defending the Faith.

    Reply

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  1. Who is a good Muslim? | Living The Muslim Life
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