One of my favorite writers (she’s so much more than a blogger) is Maha Muslimah. Last Ramadan she wrote a post about why being a Muslim has made her more of an American. I recommend that you read her entire post; I only list her main points here.
1. Environment. Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) said, “All the earth has been made to me as, like, a mosque.” … The planet is the largest mosque for Muslims; thus, by extension, we must maintain it just as clean.
2. Racial equality and religious tolerance. The prophet of Islam makes a distinction between people ONLY on the ground of their deeds.
3. Lawful citizen. Muslims must obey the laws of the country in which they reside unless it prevents them from worshiping.
4. Education. In Islam, both men and women have the right to pursue education to the fullest extent.
5. Community Service and Charity. Charity isn’t an option for Muslims, it is a requirement as it is one of the five pillars of Islam.
Maha Muslimah concludes with these words:
I will pray for the day when I will stop seeing and hearing thick lines being drawn between the two identities: Muslim and American. I identify with both identities and they have only complemented each other. In the words of Asma Gull Hasan, “Being Muslim makes me a better American, and being American makes me a better Muslim.”
I, too, feel like being a Muslim has made me a better American, in spite of the fact that some Americans would deny me my right to practice my religion freely. I’ve found that the vast majority are curious more than critical about Islam. If they’re fearful at all, it’s only because they know next to nothing about it.
Many people think that “Islam” and “democracy” don’t belong together. They associate Islam with close-mindedness and control when in reality it is all about being open to all God’s creation and giving up control to God alone. I’m not saying that there are no close-minded and controlling Muslims. But people of other religions, and of no religion at all, can be just as bad. One of the points of Islam is that we are constantly called to be better than we are.
A better American, a better world citizen, a better Muslim, a better human being.
May Allah make it so.