Just Because I’m a Muslim…

I just had someone on Facebook, a self-described pro-life Catholic, ask me how I can be a pro-abortion Democrat and a Muslim. Here is how I answered her:

Just because I identify as a Democrat doesn’t mean that I blindly vote the party line. I still think for myself and vote accordingly. Also, I am not pro-abortion, I’m pro-choice. There’s a difference. And where does it say that a Muslim can’t be a Democrat? And lastly, Muslims do not condone wanton use of abortion, but recognize that there are situations that might warrant one. Pro-lifers make no such distinction. See my blogs I, Muslimah (http://muslimah.femagination.com/) and Femagination (http://www.femagination.com/) if you really want to know why I believe as I do. Oh, and by the way, I’m also a feminist.

The whole thing got me to thinking about perceptions non-Muslims have of Muslims. So I decided to jot down a few things that are not necessarily true just because I’m a Muslim.

  • I don’t think that Muslim woman have to wear burkas or niqabs.
  • I don’t think it’s wrong to wear bright colors or make-up.
  • I don’t have an Arabic or Muslim name.
  • I am not conservative in all things.
  • I don’t think that non-Muslims are immoral.
  • I don’t follow the rulings (fatwas) of shayks and scholars blindly. (In other words, I think for myself.)
  • I don’t believe that Muslim women are consigned to second-class citizenship.
  • I don’t believe that men are better than women.
  • I don’t try to dictate to others what they should and should not do.
  • I don’t think it is haram to listen to or make music.
  • I don’t hate America or the West.
  • I don’t want to take over the world.
  • I don’t agree with any form of terrorism.
  • I don’t believe that all Muslims have to be exactly alike.
  • I don’t believe in coercion in religion.
  • I don’t think that Muslims have to shun non-Muslims.
  • I don’t have the Qur’an and the words of Mohammad memorized.
  • I don’t use—or even know—the Arabic terms for everything.
  • I don’t think that abortion should be made illegal.

What I do believe because I’m a Muslim is that:

  • Allah is God, complete in Himself.
  • Islam means both submission and peace.
  • The purpose of prayer is to bless us and bring us closer to Allah and to others.
  • Personal responsibility is a hallmark of Islam.
  • Men and women are equal.
  • There is no such thing as original sin.
  • We are born in a state of oneness with Allah.
  • Each of is called to seek knowledge and understanding.
  • The Qur’an is a sacred book, given to us for instruction and guidance and to warn us of the perils of disobedience.
  • Submission to Allah means that we recognize our debt to Him.
  • My purpose is life is to do Allah’s will.
  • Everything that happens to us is a test which we pass by patience and perseverance.
  • Allah is all-forgiving and all-merciful.
  • Forgiveness comes through true repentance.
  • All the prophets are Allah’s messengers.
  • Mohammad is the last of Allah’s prophets.
  • The greatest “holy war” is the one within myself.

The important thing to remember when we deal with each other is that no two people are alike, nor are we at the same point in our individual journeys. We need to refrain from judgment and try to see where others are coming from. When we stereotype it’s because we’re too lazy or self-absorbed to get to know people who are different than us as persons.

 

Published by

Ellen

Editor and chief writer at I, Muslimah and Femagination. Ellen also contributes regularly to Elevate Difference. She is a freelance writer, essayist and copy editor, living with two cats and a husband in Columbus, OH.

4 thoughts on “Just Because I’m a Muslim…”

  1. alsalamo alykum ^__^
    I do agree with you sis in all the points you mentioned
    but about music is not haram , I don’t agree
    I’m not restrict !!!
    but I made tons of research
    it’s really haram
    the main reason that because listening to music makes your mind so busy with it , so it will lead that you don’t read Quran coz your mind is soooo busy
    and not reading Quran or listening to it is a real problem ! :\
    and thank you for what you wrote , may Allah bless you ^__^

    1. I respect your views and your research, but what about when music makes you feel closer to Allah? And what about birds’ melodies and lullabys and the sound of the wind whistling through the trees? I do believe that some kinds of music are haram. And I agree that if listening to music keeps you from thinking about God, it should be avoided. But you could say that about anything. If you think of how much you love your spouse, you may not be thinking about Allah in the exact same moment, but does that mean that thinking about your spouse is haram? Of course not!

      So much of what we do or don’t do in life has to do with our intentions. If someone uses music to glorify and praise Allah, how can that be haram? And what about nasheeds? I just don’t think that we should be black or white about everything. It is all in how you view and use things. The things themselves are neutral.

      Thank you for commenting!

      1. alsalamo alykum
        My name is Ahmed i’m 25yo & i’m Muslim and i live in a Muslim country and i really wanna share some points with you if you wouldn’t mind! :)

        i agree with all of points even the one about music although it may confuse you! but since i’m Arab-Muslim let me tell you my point of view
        first i don’t hate America or the west for their religion either ِChristian or Jewish coz
        hate is not in my dictionary and i’m not Almighty Allah to judge people! in fact no one should make judgment all Allah do we should try to show the world how great Islam is and show that Islam is religion of Peace & good not hatred & terrorism besides like you said “All the prophets are Allah’s messengers.” so we should respect all the prophets.

        Muslims do not support any kind of terrorism in-fact what happened back in 11th September 2001 in NYC was an attempt to discredit Islam by extremist groups and Allah would never order to kill Innocent people this is not Islam.

        so there’s a lot to say but the bottom line is as long you say away from the obvious forbidden things like Adultery, drinking alcohol….etc and always try to get a step closer to Allah and try to live a descent life, Allah will always be all-forgiving and all-merciful and the Forgiveness door is always open

        Thanks for your Patience
        May Allah Bless You all

        1. Wa alaykum salaam!

          Thank you so much for your comments. It means a lot to me to hear from a Brother in Islam who understands the basic message of Islam (in my opinion). I was drawn to Islam because of its emphasis on peace and personal responsibility. Allah charges us to do all we can to spread peace among all people. That can only be done with love, not hate, in our hearts. Also, the spirit of judgement should not be in us because that only sows contention and ill-feeling. I agree with you that only Allah can judge, because only He knows our hearts.

          It’s good to connect with you through the blog. Keep coming back!

Comments are closed.