Why Being a Muslim Makes Me a Better American

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.”

From the August 2010 cover of Time Magazine

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.

 

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 “Why Being a Muslim Makes Me a Better American”

  1. “The prophet of Islam makes a distinction between people ONLY on the ground of their deeds”
    Sorry but I don’t think so….when did that happen ? I mean, only God does that. However, my scholars used to teach me to hate the “sin” not the “sinner”.
    Good post though, keep it up.

    1. Maha Muslimah put it this way in her post: Let’s begin with the hadith of Muhammed (pbuh) that states “no Arab holds greater esteem over a non-Arab; nor a Black person over a red person; except on the grounds of good action and piety.” I don’t think she meant that WE are to judge; you’re right: only God can do that.

      I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your comments. It means so much to me to receive the benefit of your learning and understanding. Shokrun jazeelan!

      1. Did Muhammad really say “red person” there? It would certainly be a good argument for the truth of Islam if he did, as no 7th century Arab without divine guidance would have been aware of the existence of the Americas…

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