Tuesday 5 May 2020

Joy in Your Faith

I came across this today:

And it reminded me in a roundabout way of this quote by the late, wonderful, wise, Toni Morrison:

“The function, the very serious function of racism is distraction. It keeps you from doing your work. It keeps you explaining, over and over again, your reason for being. Somebody says you have no language and you spend twenty years proving that you do. Somebody says your head isn’t shaped properly so you have scientists working on the fact that it is. Somebody says you have no art, so you dredge that up. Somebody says you have no kingdoms, so you dredge that up. None of this is necessary. There will always be one more thing.”

Part of my job involved looking at inequality, and this is a quote I live by when it comes to my work.  But I hadn’t thought to apply it to my faith and practice of my faith. As a community and as a minority, we spend so much time being defensive, defending ourselves against racist and trolls, justifying our value and right to exist, that we forget we have work outside of defending our faith to anyone that decides to pass a comment. That work is, to get on with our good deeds, to revel in the goodness and beauty our faith, to enjoy being Muslim, part of a beautiful and blessed ummah (community). We should do this with confidence and a smile.

So often we associate religion with being serious or even grumpiness (certainly an association I have grown up with, I see way too many practising sisters looking a bit scary). But Islam teaches us to have good akhlaq toward others – good conduct, good manners, kindness, gentleness, a smile, and a good attitude:

The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him): “There is nothing weightier in the scales than good morals and manners.” (Abu Dawood).

I love this little reminder from Imam Suhaib Webb: Feel good about your religion, about what we have gained from it - our Creator (SWT), our beloved Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), and a beautiful practice when it comes to faith.  Smile and carry on with the work you need to do and that in itself is an act of resistance.

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