For me, Islam serves as a guideline for living my daily life. Being Muslim, to me, means living a life with purpose and gratitude to God for what he has given us. I believe that every day presents us with tests of faith and strength and I think there is beauty in everything if you allow yourself to be swept away. Each day there is the opportunity to do a good deed: help a person cross the street, rescue a wounded animal on the side of a road, warn someone of danger ahead, pick up a lost item and return it...I personally work in an environment where there are few Muslims so in that sense I do not worship publicly. I do, however, cherish the time I take out each day to observe the daily prayers. Each prayer can take just under 5 minutes and serves as a reminder of our true responsibility, i.e. that of worshiping. In the Muslim community itself, there are those who see the daily prayer as a sort of burden. They do not observe it at all or instead delay it until after work. This is a critical failure because the prayer is a simple yet compulsory duty for Muslims. At the same time, I have found that my prayer has been strengthened by those who do piously observe it. As a student in university some of my favorite moments were spent gatherings remembering God's unending mercy and the prophet Muhammad's (peace be upon him) devotion to Him. Circles of knowledge have provided me with the support and courage I needed to feel fully satisfied in life, yet aware that everyone's time on this earth is limited.My hopes for the future of the Muslim community, or the Ummah as it is known in Arabic, are those of unity, honesty, and the end of arrogance. Islam encourages people to be truly humble and embrace the humanity in everyone, realizing that God created us all, and that as our Creator, He knows us best. Thus we trust in Him and His words as relayed in the Holy Qur'an. I hope that Muslims around the world, especially those in conflicted areas, can realize the commonalities between the Abrahamic religions, despite historical disputes. Non-Muslims are supposed to be guaranteed safety in Muslim societies. There may be a tax, but every society charges a price for providing security.
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