Category Archives: Muslim in America

When Muslims Move In

My family and I moved into this quiet neighborhood several years ago.

I’d say I’m generally an outgoing and friendly person, but when we first moved in, I was actually a little afraid to cross paths with my neighbors.

Naturally, I would be inclined to go knock on their doors and introduce myself; but subconsciously I wondered if they would gasp…

What if they were in there talking about the horror of Muslims moving into their neighborhood?

That fear, that shyness, prevented me from being myself.

Thankfully a lady, who is now my closest friend in the neighborhood, walked over while I was out in the yard with my children. She introduced herself and struck up a friendly chat.

She put me at ease.

She removed my fear of not being welcome, or worse; of being hated.

Since then I’ve established great relationships with all of my immediate neighbors.

I am telling this story because I still do have fears. I fear that if a Muslim moves into your neighborhood that they might give the impression of being unfriendly.

They might keep to themselves.

Looking at them from a distance, they might seem strange to you. You might feel compelled to ignore them.

To just pretend they aren’t there.

But they might just feel the same way I did. They might be afraid they aren’t welcome.

Lets face it, we know what they are saying about us on TV…
and in the papers…
and all over the Internet.

We know.

And sometimes it’s hard to imagine that you haven’t been affected by it.

That you are exposed to those negative caricatures of Muslims so readily, yet somehow it doesn’t determine your opinion of us.

But my own experience proves that not everyone is so impressionable.

I have valuable relationships,
people in my life;
caring and reliable people around me

that are proof.

The Quran teaches us that God has created all the variation in humanity so that we can know each other.

The variation creates interest. It gives us something to talk about.

We all have something to learn from one another because we are different.

If we look at it that way- then life with each other becomes beautiful and rich.

Filled with curiosity and learning…

Which leads to understanding and compassion.

It

is

possible.

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Hating Islam

I often browse the Internet for information and I am amazed (well, sort of amazed) at the amount of anti-Islam websites.

More than that though- I am stunned by the sheer amount of time and effort people put into them!

Some of them seem as if they are genuinely promoting Islam, but the “facts” and descriptions are subversive, quoted out of context, misinterpreted, or just plain incorrect.

Very deceptive!

Have you ever wondered why so many people literally devote countless hours and days of their lives to turning people away from Islam?

Is it because they are so noble and compassionate that they must sacrifice their lives to save the world from a dangerous 1400 year old religion and the 1.6 billion people who adhere to it???

Probably not.

I can tell you for sure, that choosing Islam as my way of life has made me a better person.

Even the people in my life who are not exactly thrilled with my choice, will say they have mixed feelings; because they know I am a better daughter, sister and friend now that I’m a Muslim.

I’ve read the Quran many times over. Not only has it helped me to be a kinder, more responsible and compassionate human, but I have also attained a serene peace within myself I had previously thought impossible.

The positive change in me is Islam.

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A Snowy Day in the Neighborhood

My very favorite thing about the snow is that it brings almost everyone out of their houses and into their driveways. It’s probably the only time where neighbors are all outside at the same time for the same purpose.

You will almost always find neighbors helping one another, chatting, catching up and even sharing things from shovels and gloves, to cookies and hot cocoa.

Thankfully, I have really great neighbors who are always kind, helpful and caring to me and my family. Most religions encourage neighborliness, so do common sense and basic human decency.

Did you know that Prophet Muhammad taught to be especially kind to neighbors, regardless of their beliefs?

The prophet Muhammad said: “The best friend in the sight of God is he who is the well-wisher of his companions, and the best neighbor is one who behaves best towards his neighbors.” (Al-Tirmidhi,120)

He also said that the angel Gabriel (who brought him the revelation) used to remind him so much about the rights of neighbors that he thought they might be made heirs (i.e.. like family). He also said not to look down on giving gifts nor receiving any gift from one’s neighbor no matter how small it may be.

If we truly believe in God, then we must be concerned for the well being of our neighbors:
“He is not a believer whose stomach is filled while the neighbor to his side goes hungry.” (Al-Bayhaqi 19049)

He warned severely about mistreating or bothering your neighbor:

“He will not enter Paradise whose neighbor is not secure from his wrongful conduct.” (Sahih Muslim, 15)

Imagine that!

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American and Muslim

I am an American of European descent. My grandparents were born here. My parents never knew any other home or any language beside English.

I grew up doing all sorts of typical American things; from parties and sleepovers to swimming lessons and horseback riding. We had amazing summers boating across the Long Island sound. We dug for clams with our feet in the shallow waters of the bay and stayed on the beach until sunset. We enjoyed backyard barbecues and fireworks. Our winters were brightened by snowmen, iceskating and mugs of hot chocolate.

When I chose to be a Muslim did I become less of an American?

Of course not!

I’m still me… and America is founded on the concept of freedom of religion.

In some ways, I am an ideal representation of what it means to be American by exercising my freedom of choice.

As it turns out, I’m more appreciative of my country, culture and many of the values I’ve been raised with now that I am Muslim, than I ever was before.

But does Islam conflict with American values?

The truth is, there is much more in common than there are differences. The concept that Islam is un-American is a fallacy and a relatively new one at that.

Did you know the Supreme Court of the United States of America honored the prophet Muhammad as one of the greatest lawgivers of all time as recently as 1935?

Maybe there is another reason that some people’s initial reaction is that those two terms can’t coexist?

Objectivity and a genuine interest in educating oneself about the facts are all that is needed to find out.

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Welcome!

I am your American Muslim neighbor. Welcome to my blog! Visit me here any time you like, to learn more about Islam and the most diverse religious group in the USA- the Muslims! I’m just your average American, here to promote peace and understanding in a time rife with fear and mistrust. Get to know the truth about what is possibly the most misunderstood way of life today.

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Wrap your head around it

If you saw Mary, the mother of Jesus, walking down the street, which religion might you assume she follows?

The truth is, Muslim women are pretty much the only ones in the United States, who in general, continue to dress the way Mary did.

Muslims believe Mary was the best of women, and we strive to be like her as well as her son Jesus Christ. Image