It’s ten minutes until sundown, and I instantly stop what I’m doing so that I can slip into the bathroom to wash up for prayer. As I finish my ritualistic cleansing, I wipe my face with a towel and silently ask God to adorn my face with Light.
I exit the bathroom and head into my room, where I close the door and approach the small corner beside my bed. This is where I do my best to connect with God. While positioning my prayer rug, I begin to hear music coming from the next room. It’s my family. I raise my hands and say “Allahu Akbar” (“God is Greater”), marking the moment where my prayer begins. As the captivating melodies of Rihanna penetrate the walls, I recite portions of the Qur’an, trying to stay focused.
As young Muslim, I often find myself struggling with practicing my faith in its entirety while simultaneously attempting to live a semi-normal life.
There is an ambiguous form of beauty in that moment. I feel a sense of enlightenment. I realize that there are different levels of religiosity within my household and I am baffled at the fact that we can all live amongst each other, able to respect each other’s differing philosophies.
Being a Muslim in today’s day and age is tough; many people think that Islamophobia is the main reason why it is tough to be a modern Muslim, but the struggles of young Muslims are actually much deeper than that. As young Muslim, I often find myself struggling with practicing my faith in its entirety while simultaneously attempting to live a semi-normal life. Like any average millennial, I often find myself submerged in Pop-Culture, Music, and all forms of entertainment that appeal to my appreciation for the Arts. As my faith develops, I find that my interest in entertainment evolves. I see things with a deeper, more refined meaning. I have come to understand that I can never truly lose my faith if I look at all things through a lens that intends to point back to a higher purpose.
I continuously question how is it that I’ve been able to balance my religiosity while trying to live pretty normal life. Having seen an endless number of people become over-zealously religious or completely lose their faith, I have been able comprehend the importance of maintaining a balance between both my religion and worldly life. With that being said, it is important to find a balance. Duality is important when you’re on any spiritual path. For humanity to fix itself, we must first look inward. You have to understand who you are and where you want to be before trying to understand others.
Meshing religious ideals with later-liberal ideas is a tough task, but if it is done with the intention of broadening your consciousness and connecting with those around you, you’ll find a way to make it work. We have to keep in mind that all paths (both spiritual and secular) in their purest form intend for us to reach a destination of peace and harmony. So find a balance, broaden the spectrum in which you view things, and most importantly: live your best life.
For humanity to fix itself, we must first look inward. You have to understand who you are and where you want to be before trying to understand others.
The Prophet (saws) said, “Religion is easy; whoever overburdens himself in religion will be overpowered by it (i.e. he will not be able to continue in that way.)” [Sahih al-Bukhari]
“Have you seen he who has taken as his god his [own] desire, and Allah has sent him astray due to knowledge and has set a seal upon his hearing and his heart and put over his vision a veil? So who will guide him after Allah? Then will you not be reminded?” [Qur’an 45:23]
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