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To me, being Muslim means fostering a good relationship with my Lord. It means establishing a strong connection with the One who nurtures, feeds, clothes, shelters, protects and raisies me to higher levels in life. It means having the most love for the One Who is The Most Loving. My very being and all else that exists in the universe is at my disposal so I can make this relationship with My creator more solid. He provides us with every tool, method, and idelogy to sucessfully navagate through this life and the next. It is sad for me to witness so many of my brothers and sisters from the Muslim World become preoccupied with establishing better relationships with the creation as opposed to better relationships The Creator. If we only understood that it is the latter that facilitaes the former. If only we realized that all benefit and all harm are under His control so He is the One to be most sought after.

The complexities amount when we ,as a community, try to take on others' traditions in an attempt to preserve our own. In reality we are only furthering others' traditions at the cost of our own. If only more of us would recognize the value and beauty of our way of life which can not be found in any other. We can adapt others' ways that may make our worldy lives better but this is not the same for our spiritual lives. We must realize that our system is pure and should not be altered. We must stand firm. We are carrying on the traditions of prophets. We walk in the footsteps of Adam, Noah, David, Solomon, Jacob, Abraham,Moses, Jesus and finally Muhammad. What an honor this is. What a tradition to carry. What a travesty to lose it. What a dilemma we face.

We should understand that diversity can be both a uniting and divisive factor. To the degree we take on the characteristics of others as opposed to characteristics our Lord as legislated for us is to the degree we have the type of diversity that causes differing between us. This is the downside of our diversity. On the upside, we embrace all colors, all races, all nationalities, all economic and educational backgrounds, all age groups and respect both genders. This provides us with a richness of cultures and a connection to all peoples of the world. All become united under one theme: Worship of the One Who created us all, Allah and following the example of His Messenger, Muhammad. We all become a single brotherhood, cooperating upon good and rejecting evil. This theme should penetrate to our cores and adorn all of our interactions with the rest of creation. This theme should be apparent in how we interact with our families,neighbors,co-workers, friends, foes, animals, plants and the enviornment we all share.

Taking all that was previously said into consideration, we are all human beings with all of the strenghts, weaknesses, beauty and ugliness that can be attributed to our race. We suceed and we fail, we get it right and we fall short. It is a beautiful thought that The One Who is The Most Perfect in all respects, Free from every flaw and blemish,The Most Beautiful in His self, names, attributes, actions and speech leaves a clear path for us to take to Him if we are so inclined or desirous of a companion the likes of Him. But how many of us turn down His invitation of friendship?

Dear reader, this is the Islam I know and love with all of its beauty and splendour. Here is the honor bestowed upon us when we live our lives by God's final book, the Qur'aan, and the dilemma we face when we chose other paths. Here is how diversity affects us and here is the way to our salvation. Thank for this opportunity to express my views. I hope this has contributed to some of the clarity you were seeking as well as well a sparked some more curiosity so you wil continue to seek. I bear witness that there is nothing worthy of worship but Allah alone, without any partners in that worship and I bear witness that Muhammad is His true servant and final Messenger. My final prayer is All praise is due to Allah the Lord of the worlds May he sedn peace and blessing upon His Messenger and his followers and may He unite all of our hearts upon the truth, Amin.