Monday, August 31, 2009

Test-drive

In my speech class I was assigned an informative speech. So I chose to speak about the Holy Qur'an in 5-7 minutes (it was very difficult to stay within the time limit). I had just recently begun wearing the hijab (Islamic headscarf) so I was slightly nervous about standing up and speaking in front of the class. But I said Bismillah (in the name of God) and got up there and did it.

After I gave the speech this guy sitting in front of me turned around and said, "That was really good, it was better than all the other speeches given so far." I said thanks, and the girl next to him concurred. Then he said "I have a Muslim friend, but I don't think he is how he's supposed to be, like you." He went to high school with one of the other guys in class and asked him "Yo man, remember Amir?" The other guy did and they both began reminiscing about the great times they had together partying with Amir.

First of all, I would like to say that I am not a perfect Muslimah, nor will I ever be. But I am glad he saw me as an example of how a Muslim is 'supposed' to be, as opposed to his other Muslim friend who regularly drank alcohol and did other things against the teachings of Islam.

Second, no matter who you are or how religious you are, you are bound to make mistakes because you are human. God knows humans better than they know themselves, and it is a huge blessing that He is so merciful and forgiving. The door is always open for repentance and if you are sincere, you will be forgiven for your sins, InshAllah (God-willing). Muslims must always strive to become better in the eyes of God.

So then this begs the question, how are Muslims 'supposed' to be? And if Islam is the truth, and it is perfect, then why are there extremists, terrorists, hypocrites, and Amir's in this world calling themselves Muslims? I heard an interesting example given by Dr. Zakir Naik that might help answer this question. It was something along the lines of:

"Imagine there was a brand new Mercedes-Benz at a car dealership. A man comes and wishes to test-drive it. He gets behind the steering wheel and immediately after he crashes the beauty. It turns out he didn't know how to drive. Would you blame the car or the driver? You would blame the driver, the car was perfectly fine. How would you know if the car was not at fault? You would check its specifications and safety features, then get a professional driver to test-drive it. In this example, the car is Islam, the specifications are the Qur'an and Sunnah, and the professional driver is the Prophet Muhammad."

In truth Muslims are supposed to be like the Prophet Muhammad (saw). He is the one and only true professional of Islam. If one wishes to pass judgment on Islam, do not base judgments on individual Muslims, that is illogical. One should base judgments on the authentic sources of Islam [the Qur'an and Sunnah] and the original teachings of Islam exemplified by Prophet Muhammad (saw).

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