There’s something I often hear from Muslims that leaves me really curious and wondering, ‘Where did we get that from?’ and it’s the notion that — because we are subscribers to the faith of Islam, we are far removed from some of the challenges, struggles, and even some of the evil we see in the world.
So you hear people saying,
“Muslims don’t experience this.”
“There is no such thing as this within the Muslim world.”
Let’s be real here. We are all human before we are anything else. We are all human before we are Muslim, and what that means is, as Muslims, we are inherently flawed, and we are far from being perfect.
Perfection doesn’t exist for us as humans because we are inherently flawed, therefore, perfection doesn’t exist for us as Muslims because we are inherently flawed. It also means we will be subjected to the same tests, trials, and challenges as any other human being who lives on this planet.
So for us to think that subscribing to Islam and proclaiming, “There is no God worthy of worship but Allah and that Muhammad SAW is His messenger”, will save us from trials or from being tested, hurt, and disappointed — it’s a lie. We know that, because we, too, are tested just like everyone else.
And so this is a thought pattern that’s really important for us to break, and a re-frame we need to make. We’re all human, and we are all human first. If you say the shahada — ‘Ash-hadu an-la ilaha illallah wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadar-Rasulullah’ — then you are a human who is a Muslim.
This also means that you, like everyone else, have been blessed with the ability to feel a whole host of emotions. So you’ll feel sadness, pain, disappointment, joy, elation, happiness, and love, because you’re a human being, and as a human being, you’ve been gifted by your Creator with the ability to have and create all of these emotions.
And the truth is, emotions like fear and anger, aren’t inherently bad. It’s all about how they’re manifested and the results they bring.
We know there’s a time and place for fear, just like there’s a time and place for every emotion, especially those we have negative associations with. It’s how they’re manifested and the results they bring that determines whether or not they’re useful for us.
And because we are all human before we’re Muslim, that means we bleed like everyone else, and by embracing our own humanity, we learn to create bridges towards people who are Muslim and towards people who aren’t.
We realise that at the basic level, really, we’re all the same. We all feel, we all cry, we all bleed the same.
My invitation to you, now, is to embrace your humanity and all forms that comes in — to embrace the fact that you’re human.
So if you think, ‘I can’t cry because I’m a Muslim and I shouldn’t feel sad,’ then girl, stop that. Cry if you need to cry because crying is being human.
If you think, ‘I shouldn’t get angry about something’, or ‘I shouldn’t feel bad about something’, then dude, if it’s necessary, within context, and will be useful, then do what you need to do. Embrace your humanity because that’s what you are.
You’re human before you say your shahada, and it’s your shahada that comes to help you with your flaws, to help you be a better person, and that’s the whole point of Islam — to help you be better.
So embracing your own humanity doesn’t strip you of your Muslim-ness. It doesn’t strip you of your title of being Muslim; and how amazing will it be to see, feel, and hear all the wonders around you because you have finally embraced that you are human, too.
I’d absolutely love to hear your thoughts about this week’s episode, especially if anything stood out for you. Leave your comments below, inshaAllah, or join us in the Evolve and Emerge Growth Squad on Facebook, and let’s discuss there.
Have a beautiful weekend, and week ahead, my lovely. I look forward to being in your inbox again next week, inshaAllah.