Rabia Chaudry – Why I Am A Muslim

This is a guest post from Rabia Chaudry, who is a columnist for Altmuslim on the Patheos Muslim Channel. Patheos is asking its writers and bloggers to finish the sentence: Why I Am A … This is Rabia’s response.

I am a Muslim least of all because I was born into a Muslim family, and most of all because it elevates my existence.

My body is disciplined through fasting and ritual prayer. My soul is disciplined through worship, contemplation and sacrifice.

My quest for the material has meaning, and my quest for the Divine has an end in sight.

 My fears find their way to hope, and my spirit eventually finds peace in knowing there is good in everything for the believer.

My slumber is broken five times daily through exhilarating ablution, and then heightened senses are tempered as forehead meets the floor.  The greatest gifts of Islam to my flesh are these: wudu and sujood.  Wings and a cocoon.

The stories of the Prophets and the pious connect all of humanity together affirm His endless Love and Mercy, confirm we will return together to Him.

My master Muhammad, peace be upon him, emerges as an unwavering light when Muslims do and say ugly things.  His gentility, his fastidiousness, his simplicity, his piety, his kindness, his concern – they destroy what Muslims have made of the faith today.

I have all the answers; sufficient is this faith for me.

To read more responses to this “Why I am a … ” series, click here. Bloggers from the Catholic, Evangelical, Aethist and other Patheos faith channels are all weighing in.

About Dilshad Ali
  • http://www.facebook.com/abu.mahmoud.5203 Abu Mahmoud

    There is nothing specific to Islam here, other than Arabic words for prostration and ablutions. These words could just as easily justify being a Buddhist or an Eastern Christian. They too can point to an enlightened predecessor whenever actually existing co-religionists do stupid things. They too have stories of righteous people that can edify them and connect them with other people (the Christians even have many of the same stories!). One is left to conclude, based o this writing, that she is a Muslim most of all because she was born into a Muslim family.

    • womencanthink

      Rabia did not write an essay on comparative religion, she wrote a declaration of faith. I conclude that she is a Muslim and her faith is primarily a result of her own spiritual journey because she specifically says so. How condescending of you to propose that you have a stronger grasp on her spirituality than she does. You say, “these words could be used to justify being a Buddhist or an Eastern Christian”. Why would a Buddhist or an Eastern Christian and for that matter a Muslim, need to justify their faith? It is insufficient for you, clearly, that easterners just declare their faith. Such a statement needs to be clarified and justified to your satisfaction? The fact that this essay could be the journey of many people of faith does not negate a syllable of what has been said, instead it is a testament to the beauty of the human experience, that we have much in common despite our differences.

      • Atheist Ethicist

        I see nothing wrong in Abu’s statement. Rabia does describe the religious way of life, which could actually mean any religion. And I dont think Abu is implying he has a ‘stronger grasp on her spirituality’ because I’m pretty certain she does neither. Fasting and praying 5 times a day does not spirituality make. Indeed these rituals aren’t even a criteria to be good. I am an easterner and I dont think I’d ever need any religion to be good. I’m still to find something in Islam or Christianity or Hinduism, for that matter ANY religion that will make me essentially good. Some of my previously muslim friends and I have our own moral compasses, and trust me they dont spring from any religion – Islam or otherwise. And yes – had Rabia been born a few thousand miles away she would have been able to justify her affinity to some other faith. The circumstances of her birth is the only answer she has given on the topic.

  • Elizabeth Duffy

    This is beautiful.

  • http://www.facebook.com/malcolm.dodd.773 Malcolm Dodd

    Hello Rabia.
    Read COMPLETELY the Qur’an and the Bible Old Testament written in your own language (not as they do in Pakistan Madrassas where the Qur’an is written in Arabic, a language not understood by those reading and memorizing it). You will then find that these two books are so nasty that, if published today, they would be banned because they encourage uncivilized and barbaric practices. You would likely then join the atheist movement.
    Best wishes
    Malcolm

  • Madhabmatics

    edit: Haha didn’t realize this post was a year old, my bad. Glad someone tweeted it tho.

    • goodman

      why am i muslim well that is not proper question but i also know there are many muslims who do not know, why they are muslim and may be non-muslims would like to know about islam but the fact is to be muslim first is to believe allah as a one who do not have any partners and allah never has, son, wife or any other king of partner but just one and that is the most
      extreme number one requirement to be a just muslim and second requirement is to believe last prophet who is prophet mohamed s.a.w is a true prophet and you must believe prophet Mohamed is the last prophet from allah

      And islam is just natural to be and not to be a muslim is unnatural which means when we born we born { Fitr} or under the natural system of allah which is islam and that is undeniable to any human being that everyone created him or her by Allah. Question After that what is the real purpose of life? To submit the system of Allah the creator of the heavens and earth and what in it.
      That system is a islam. Where would i find that natural system which i ment be flowing? its in the qur,aan and sunna of prophet mohamed s.a.w
      the holy book qur,aan and last book which was send to all human being
      on earth to flow, since prophet mohamed received the message from allah to him this book and all the people to come after that and must flow this book and his sunna or tradition of prophet Mohamed which means staying away what he stay away and doing what he did and that is call sunna the basic thing to be a muslim person


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