May 17, 2012

Who are YOU?!

By Wordsmith


Who are you? Who are you and what significance do you have on the face of this earth? What do you have to offer to those around you? While these phrases may come off as quite harsh or belittling, they are not intended to be the former, nor the latter, but simply to provoke thought AND action in every Muslim who contemplates their purpose in this world.

Allah Almighty provides the answers to all three questions very simply:
      “And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me.” [Surah Adh-Dhāriyāt 51:56]

It is quite simple: we were made to worship. And while we may all worship Allah Almighty in different ways and throughout various aspects of the faith, I would like to shed light on an area of our faith that is sometimes overlooked and undermined: activism.

It is certainly undeniable that activism is an essential part of the faith of a sound Muslim, a service to God that elevates one much higher than those who choose to kick back and relax in this dunya, settling with whatever it brings them and refusing to endeavor for betterment in this life and the next. Allah Almighty says:

“Not equal are those believers remaining [at home] - other than the disabled - and the mujahideen, [who strive and fight] in the cause of Allah with their wealth and their lives. Allah has preferred the mujahideen through their wealth and their lives over those who remain [behind], by degrees. And to both Allah has promised the best [reward]. But Allah has preferred the mujahideen over those who remain [behind] with a great reward.” [Surah An-Nisa 4:95]

If our sole purpose really is to serve God to the best of our ability (believing that He has sustained us with Islam as a means of pursuing this goal) it is only logical that we choose the path of activism as competition for God’s mercy and pleasure.

And while we may have been conditioned to believe that activism is merely to perform sporadic acts of service in our free time, or that activism is limited to our mosques and within the borderlines of our Muslim communities, there are many other avenues of activism that are more inclusive and diverse but still maintain the purpose of betterment of society and elevation in God’s eyes and by His measures.

It all begins with recognizing what you yourself are willing to stand for and what you believe in- what makes you passionate and angry and prepared to fight and achieve? What are you drawn to and have the talent, rigor, and skills to take on? Do some soul-searching, explore you options, and don’t limit yourself to the traditional perceptions of what is perceived as activism or what is not. More importantly, where do you choose to put these characteristics into action?

My advice to you is not to limit yourself only to the Islamic environment (mosque, working with Muslims only, etc), and for several reasons. First of all, it is common knowledge that many times our Islamic institutions are under the process of growth and are struggling to maintain the general services of a house of worship, such as prayer, schooling, dawa’ah, etc. If you find that your passion is one that is directly religious-based, then by all means turn to help from your local Islamic center. I am speaking on behalf of those who find themselves grounded in the roots of a drive for social justice, ethics, environmental consciousness, educational reform, etc., but do not find room for such movements directly within their Islamic communities and are therefore discouraged or unprepared to move forward.

What I would like to point out is that many times we choose to ignore our local communities, keeping ourselves from acting passionately and purposefully, as well eliminating any chance of growth or benefit to both the Islamic community and the local one; we tend to trap ourselves in a state of unproductive stagnation.

There are many benefits to being a part of the movement, whether it is Islamic-based or not:

Voice: Involving ourselves within the collective movement of our beliefs fosters the growth of a Muslim voice, especially within Western countries where the media chooses to represent us in the most stereotypical ways. This area of concern is also essential to aspects such as politics, representation, and daw’ah.

Growth: New ideas are a result of interaction among humans; there are always things we can learn from one another, regardless of age, race, ethnicity, religion, etc. In joining collective, non-isolated movements of activism, we are exchanging ideas through our developing voice and in return learning ourselves.

Daw’ah: In every action we take and every word we say, we are representing the Muslim Ummah. By joining progressive movements that are geared towards making the world a better place, even in the smallest ways, we are sending out a very positive message to those around us, informing them that we care just as much as they do, and that we have the same ability to strive and achieve for what we believe in. Activism is a great outlet to spread the faith through action, truly embodying the message of God, but it is also important to keep our intentions clean and clear.

Just as everything else in your life, activism should be a means of reaching God’s pleasure, simultaneously enabling you to pursue a passion that benefits yourself, the local community, and the Muslim Ummah as a whole.

"The best people are those who are most useful to others."[Prophet Muhammad sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam]1

What is it that you will strive to change within your community and what are your initial steps in the process of doing so? Also, what resources can you reach out to and benefit from?

References:1. Retrieved from, also a good resource for more information on how to get active:

I'd love to hear your views on this topic. Please post in the comments section below! :)


Asalaamu Alaikum

My daughter is very active in the pro-life movement,(masha Allah) which is something that 99% of Muslims ignore.  This is just one example of something Muslims can do.

You are right. We are becoming followers rather than leaders (as sahaba raziallahu anhum). We are closing our professional brains when it comes to muslim community. We need to change this. we need to revolutionize, biznillah.

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