Some Muslims are scared to acknowledge cultural traditions other than their own for fear that they will lose their Muslim identity. Well, I’ve got news for you: there’s a difference between culture and religion.
During Ramadan, we often pat ourselves on the back for fasting, or think obsessively about the food we can’t eat, or stuff ourselves when we break the fast. But what about those who have no choice, who have no food, who have no one to help them? What are we doing to combat real hunger in this world?
Muslims are constantly talking about the ummah, which means “community,” specifically the community of all believers. We’re proud of being a part of this community, but in actual practice we do little to foster a feeling of fellowship among its members. Sure, we all pray “together” five times a day and fast at the same time during the month of Ramadan. And there are mosques where we can gather for prayer and other events. But [...]
(Continued from “Seeking Guidance” on October 19, 2011.) There is no sure-fire way to be 100% certain that we’re making the right decisions. However, there is a way to be confident that we’re heading in the right direction. And it’s not by seeking out signs and omens or consulting tarot cards or fortune-tellers. There is only one source of perfect advice and guidance and that is God. Some people dislike that answer. Either they don’t [...]
I’m not going to lie: I’m having a rough Ramadan. My greatest weakness as a Muslim has been my prayers and it hasn’t stopped being a problem just because it’s Ramadan. I know that not all converts have this problem—some seem to take to Muslim behavior like a duck takes to water—but I can’t help but think that I would be much more faithful in prayer if I had been brought up as a practicing [...]
“You cannot attain to righteousness unless you spend (in charity) out of what you love.” (The Holy Quran 3:92) Roger Davis became a Muslim in prison. Now he has a burden not only for prisoners, but for all people who need a helping hand. And the way he sees it, who better to lend that helping hand than Muslims? Isn’t that what we’re called to do? After all, charity is one of the Five Pillars [...]
I love the meaning of Islam: submission and peace. I love that Islam has no concept of original sin. I love that Eve is not blamed for our fall into sinfulness. I love that Islam is so smart about human nature. I love that the Qur’an is one long letter from God to human beings. I love Islam’s emphasis on moral behavior. I love its emphasis on helping and serving others. I love that women [...]