Being a Muslim means to me that I have a daily relationship with God, in which I hope that every word, every action in my day will help me attain God's pleasure and paradise. Our time on this Earth is a big test; testing our belief in the unseen God and our steadfastness in prayer, helping others, and doing good. God has been the closest to me more than any other. He knows me better than anyone in this world and I would feel lost without Him and His guidance. As a Muslim-American female who was born and raised in the U.S., I find Islam extremely freeing in the sense that I am liberated from being a slave to uncomfortable, exposing fashions or to look a certain way or to compete with others in terms of looks. I have worn the Islamic headscarf since I was 14 years old, by my own choice. While this wasn't easy to do in High School, I felt that it was important to do for God and myself. I did not want people judging me by my body, but for my brains and intellect. I find that in American culture, a female's worth and self-worth is determined by her sex appeal, even from the early years of elementary and middle school. By wearing a headscarf, I felt that I was changing this rule for myself and that each woman who wears it, is changing this unwritten rule, one woman at a time. I would not allow myself to be degraded to nothing more than an exposed body for passing men to admire. I am a person, with thoughts, feelings, and opinions. In addition, Islam has granted women so many rights that Western women were not granted until the early-late 1900's. Muslim women have the right to their own inheritance and have the right to keep every cent they earn in a job. They are not required to share any of their wealth with their husbands. In Islam a woman in not required to cook or clean. If she does so in her household it is considered a charity. I feel that being a Muslim woman makes me extremely content, happy and grateful to be born into this religion. As a mother of two daughters, I hope to pass on to them this tradition of liberation and empowerment for women in Islam and most importantly the love and worship of God the most Merciful.
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