Tag Archives: freedom

Unlocked

Islam is liberation.

Freedom.

Every person has the ability to be free through Islam if they choose.

Even if they are poor.
Even if they are oppressed.
Even if they are physically in chains-

In the bowels of a torturous prison.

Because Islam straddles every rift;

It’s able to encompass every one and every thing.

It’s kind of like this:

Think of a type of success; say, via business.

You want to be successful-

Rather, you need a successful form of sustenance.

So you decide to start a business.

But you don’t know what kind of business will be successful; how to start one, how to run it.

You know nothing about being an entrepreneur.

If you have to go through the process all alone and figure out every detail from knowing absolutely nothing,

it will surely be a struggle.

If your success and wellbeing depend entirely on running that business flawlessly, the process will no doubt be stressful.

Your lack of knowledge is a burden.

Let’s say you are receiving conflicting information about the correct way to run a business. It will be hard to decide which advice will be more beneficial. You may fail many times over.

You struggle everyday.

And then suddenly an experienced and highly successful business person comes along. They provide everything you need to make your business more than you even imagined it could be.

They give you the money, the knowhow, the contacts. They educate you on what to do every step of the way. They are entirely at your disposal.

Can you imagine the burden lifted? The relief?

That’s how Islam works.

The tools to surmount every obstacle are provided for you. Handed to you.

For free.

So naturally: implementing it is freeing.

The burden of not knowing is lifted.

Guidance is provided at every step.

You see and feel the results.

And it all has to do with the self, or the soul.

So, that self can adapt to be in the best state relative to its particular situation.

Contrary to what you might think, even wealth and comfort are tests in this life.

So someone seemingly living an easy life is also in need of guidance on how to reach true success.

Pitfalls exist in every situation. We need knowledge to avoid them.

Opportunities for benefit exist in every situation. We need knowledge to recognize them.

To be successful in the life we all have been given, we need knowledge from the One who gave life to us.

Naturally.

When you have that knowledge, it liberates you from the shackles of ignorance and the burdens of incorrect advice.

It’s like driving on a smoothly paved, straight road as opposed to an uneven ground covered in stones and obstacles.

Wouldn’t you feel free once you get off the rocky terrain onto that smooth road?

Woohoo! That’s the free life.

And I think whatever way someone might follow, the satisfaction can never compare to the complete satisfaction of living the way you are intended to live: Driving on that straight, clean road.

According to the guidance given by the manufacturer. Your manufacturer.

So one might ask how do we know which is the right set of instructions?

If you really want to know, it just takes a little dedication.

Truth stands out amongst falsehood.

If you want it, really want it, it will be shown to you. Given to you.

Handed to you with utmost Mercy.

That smooth road you were hoping for.
Comfort.
Peace.

Then if you choose it and put effort into following it:

Success.

Freedom.

“Those who follow the Messenger, the unlettered prophet, whom they find written in what they have of the Torah and the Gospel, who enjoins upon them what is right and forbids them what is wrong and makes lawful for them the good things and prohibits for them the evil and relieves them of their burden and the shackles which were upon them. So they who have believed in him, honored him, supported him and followed the light which was sent down with him – it is those who will be the successful.” (7:157)

“Falsehood shall not come to it from before it nor from behind it; it is a revelation from the Most Wise, the Worthy of Praise.” (41:42)

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The Girl Behind The Veil

When you go out on a cold day, you put on your jacket; Sometimes gloves and a hat and a scarf too.

When I go out, I cover up just like that-
The way you put on your jacket.

I cover myself and I cover the clothes I’m wearing.

I know some find it odd. I know some think it’s foreign culture. I know some think I must be oppressed and suppressed.

Some even think they should “save” me. A man cursed at my husband once because… he must have forced me.

I like to call it hijab, which means “covering” or “partition” in Arabic.

I went without it for twenty three years.
I’ve been there.

I was a girl fresh out of college.

I would have started sooner if I hadn’t feared what my friends would say; If I hadn’t feared people a little too much.

The day I finally did it, I ran into work past everyone- looking down. I ran right into the break room and hesitated before I revealed myself- no longer revealed.

Why? Why do we wear hijab?

The Quran makes it very clear and simple: “so that you will be recognized and so that you will not be annoyed” (Quran 33:59)

Hijab is partially a statement, partially a protection. The implications of both aspects are very, very rich.

It is one of my favorite directives given in Islam.

When I go out, I am recognized as a Muslim: Someone who puts their Creator first; I’m not someone who’s interested in flirting, or showing off my body, or competing for attention.

When I go out, I do not get harassed or gawked at from top to bottom. I don’t get whistled at or called baby by men I don’t know.

Women don’t compare their curves to mine. They don’t get jealous and neither do I.

If my body is not like a supermodel’s that’s ok, I don’t have to feel inadequate. The people who care about me think I’m beautiful the way I am. Why should I worry about anyone else?

I’m not forced to be a runner in the race to wear the latest and greatest fashion.

My outer appearance is not a display of beauty but of the fact I have more important things on my mind.

Hijab has given me the freedom to move through the world with dignity and respect I had not known before it.

It is truly liberating.

I hardly ever have nightmares, but when I do they almost always involve me being out somewhere in a public place- and realizing I’m not wearing hijab.

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Who is Allah?

When you hear the word Allah, what do you think? What comes to mind?

When you hear the word God, what comes to mind?

Before I was Muslim, I didn’t like religion. When I heard the word “God” I used to cringe. After a lot of reflection though, in my late teens, I decided there must be some kind of “force” out there- but I wouldn’t call it “God” (even in my private thoughts)… Just because I didn’t know what it was- or how I could know.

Now, even though I commonly use the word God in order to explain aspects of Islam, I prefer to say Allah.

Here’s why: Allah is the name of God.

If you look into history, you will discover that not one prophet or original religious scripture that we know of, referred to God as God.

Abraham, Moses and Jesus did not use the word God. Look up the etymology of the word yourself and you will see it’s origin is not from God as far as we know.

An additional issue with the word God is that it can be made plural. There can be one God or many gods. So often when I refer to God this way I will qualify it with a description such as “the One and Only God, Who created everything”.

Some assume when we say Allah, that we are referring not to their God, but some other concocted god. But I assure you that when we say Allah, we are referring to The One who created you and me. It is the same word Christian Arabs use for God, and similar to what we know that Jesus used to call God.

Other reasons I prefer to say Allah are because that is the name He has called Himself and the word itself embodies the meaning of who God really is.

The word Allah is formed as a combination of “al” (the) and “ilah” (one who is worshipped). So in English if you were to say “THE God” or “the One true God” or “the only One worthy of worship”, all of these describe the meaning of the word “Allah”.

So next time you hear someone say Allah, remember it means the One True God, the only One worthy of worship. Not the moon, or a building in the desert or a “god of another religion” but our Creator. The One who sustains us and provides all our blessings.

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