Thank you for trying to understand about the religion of Islam. I am actually a revert to Islam from Greek orthodox christianity. I have been muslim now for 2 years. Inshallah (God willing ) let me dive to your questions below. 1. What does "being Muslim" mean to you? Being muslim to me is about being submissive and obedient to the lord of the heavens and earth and everything in between. Being a Muslim i have to obey and follow the will of the most high. Worshipping him alone with out any partners is at the top of the list. This is the first of five pillars of Islam. The other four include fasting in the month of Ramadan, giving donation to the needy, praying 5 times a day and making the pilgrimage to Mecca if financially and physically able. So being a muslim I do all of the five pillars except the pilgrimage and my wish is to do that asap. Being a muslim also means to me to follow the teachings and way of life of our prophet Mohammed (peace be with him). Being modest, respecting parents, joining others in a cause of good work regardless of their faith, forbidding evil works, adopting an orphan, being kind to animals, serving fellow men, being a good husband and father, seeking knowledge and always remembering the creator are some of the duties. In conclusion being a muslim means to me is about achieving peace and success in this life and here after by submitting to Allah. 2. What do you find beautiful about Islam, and how does it find expression in your daily life? I found Islam to be the most logical and exotic religion. Islam is a way of life so it encompasses our daily life in every way. The way we keep ourselves clean, the way eat, what we eat, how we talk, even how we should sleep regulated by Islam. Just like a car manual informs the car owner about the car, Islam informs us how we should live our life. The five prayers a day helps me counter balance and fine tune my self regularly. It amazes me how people maintain peace with in themselves without talking to Allah on regular bases. Islam encourages me to be successful and reminds me that death is not that far. It is gives me hope through Allah's message in Quran and warns me not to be an evil person. Islam helps me see things in perspective of priority. As a muslim my job is to prepare myself for a judgment day while I am on this earth for a short time. Once this goal is realized the hassle of this world become less stressful. 3.What hopes, questions, and concerns are on your mind as you ponder the future of your tradition? I believe there is a bright future for Islam. Islam is very popular now due to publicity after 9-11. In show business there is a saying "There is no such thing as bad publicity". People are curious and ask a lot of questions. Since Islam is very logical and gives people more rights and responsibilities many are embracing it. Islam has the answer for key social problems which we all can benefit from. I don't have any worries or concern because Allah in Quran promised that he will maintain and protect the book (Quran). Because truth is truth and it is clear from error. I hope to see the world united under islamic umbrella where the poor and needy is cared for, greed and crime is eliminated, justice is prevailed, elders are respected, the environment is cared for, knowledge is shared, human rights respected and Allah the most merciful the most kind worshipped as he should be worshipped. I hope in the future, after this life to make it the top level of paradise. That is my hope and wish as it is all muslim's.
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