by Madihah Hasan
I write this post as a reminder to myself first and foremost and then to you as Allah SWT says, “And remind, for indeed, the reminder benefits the believers.”
I am a Muslim. But what does that mean? What does it entail? Is it just a label? Is it just something that I’ve ticked on a personal form every once in while? Or is it my identity? Is it who I am? Does it make me?
Living in a non-Muslim country can often cause us to forget our roots and our true identity. We may begin to lose it and forge a new one in order to conform to society’s standards of how we should act and what we should wear, all the while forgetting that being a Muslim means we already have a set of rules regarding these things. Islam is not just a set of rules however, as it is holistic and governs every part of our lives, from the way we eat to the way we talk. Islam encompasses everything and yet we forget this and adopt a new set of rules and guidelines on how to live, ones which are determined by what society wants and not our Creator: Allah SWT.
But does losing our identity bring us happiness? Does it fill us? The answer is no; it just leaves us empty. Being a Muslim means to submit your entire self to Allah SWT. The One who fashioned you, created you and made you who you are. But maybe we forgot this. We have the greatest gift ever being born Muslim yet how many of us are actually Muslim by nature and not just by name? All of us are guilty of choosing what others want instead of what Allah SWT has ordered us to; however we still have time to repent and turn back.
We don’t have to submit to this dunya with its false lies and its false glitter because we can submit to Allah SWT and get the gold of Jannah. When will we realize that this world has nothing to offer but temporary and well-disguised ‘happiness’? This happiness is not real. It’s fleeting and when it leaves, it leaves us so cold and alone, trapped in the darkening sadness of being away from Allah SWT.
But why can’t we enjoy this dunya and just live for this world? Isn’t that the purpose of our life? If not, then what is our purpose? If we answer this question then in sha Allah we no longer have to walk upon this Earth feeling as though we will forever remain lost and in a state of confusion. We can break free from the shackles of dunya. We can be happy once more.
Allah SWT says in the Quran, “And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me.”
And that is it. That is why you and I are here. We are here to worship Allah SWT and please Him SWT with everything we do. We were all created to know and love Allah SWT and our job in this world is to get closer to Him SWT through righteous actions. These righteous actions do not just consist of praying and fasting and the other 5 five pillars but rather any act that is done to please Allah SWT is an act of worship. This means that even cleaning up around the house is a good deed if done for the right reasons!
So now we know why we’re here, then everything else becomes simple. If our purpose is to worship the one true God then choosing Him SWT over dunya should be easy because we realize that we were sent here to fulfill our purpose and not waste our time playing.
However Shaytaan is not going to let us get away that easily. He’s not going to let us just live a sin free life. Now his whispers will really intensify and he will try to get us off the right path. He will attack us from every way and in any shape or form, but remember, the only power he has over us is the power we give him. So be wary of his tricks and his ways. Always ask Allah SWT to guide and help you against his whispers.
As for practical ways to retain your Muslim identity, firstly keep righteous company. Personally it was only due to the righteous sisters who I met that helped me to be more committed to my deen and strive to get closer to Allah SWT. They encouraged me to be a better Muslim and they helped me to realize that my purpose on this dunya isn’t to just have “fun” but rather it’s to please Allah SWT. So find friends who remind you of Allah SWT and who will help you in your deen for they are priceless and really will impact your life for the better in sha Allah. Another way is to listen to lectures by Shaykhs whether it be on Youtube or actually attending halaqahs at your local mosque. This will help to increase your knowledge on Islam and thus enable you to implement the commands of Allah STW and the teachings of our beloved Prophet Muhammed SAW. This then allows no room for your personality or habits to become ruined by society’s ever changing definitions of what is right and wrong.
In sha Allah this benefited you and me as we are all striving and struggling as youth to hold onto our identities as Muslims and not allow society to change us. It is not easy but Allah SWT is with us and so we should never despair or feel hopeless. May Allah SWT make it easy for us all. Ameen.
About the Author:
Madihah is a 16-year-old girl in her first year of college in the UK. She enjoys writing and wants to take writing seriously to benefit others in a larger way. She currently blogs at ummhudaifah.wordpress.com where she writes articles, stories, and poems.
(Attention, writers! Muslim Kids Matter is a regular feature at Muslim Matters. New articles for kids are posted every other Sunday. You’re welcome to send in your entries to firstname.lastname@example.org.)