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Breaking the Cycle on Media’s Stereotyping of Islam

The media is continuously brainwashing society about Islam being a terrorist religion. Unfortunately, this has resulted in an increase in attacks on Muslims and hate crimes. Hijab is being banned, countless mosques and Qur’ans have been desecrated and Muslims are ridiculed and branded as terrorists. It is time for us to collectively take a stand and take on the responsibility to eradicate these false accusations.

We are obligated to follow the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (saw) and the AhlulBayt (as). The most important aspect of upholding their traditions is through our akhlaq (morals). To have good morals and character will enlighten others towards Islam, as well as dispel any misconceptions. Today, we need Muslims to be confident in their beliefs so they can practice and preach the teachings of our Holy Prophet (s). We must uphold good morals such as being kind, generous, honest, and forgiving. It is natural to respond to hate crimes with hostility and anger, however our religion is a peaceful religion; we must be patient.

In addition to good ethics, it is also recommended in Islam to wear clean clothes and be well groomed. Our seventh holy Imam (as) has said, “To take bath every second day makes a man healthy and strong.”  Looking presentable can give a good first impression, which reflects on our religion. Prophet Mohammad (s) was also known for his honorable character so much so that he was given titles such as al-Ameen (the trustworthy) and as-Sadiq (the honest). His ethical behavior and good morals attracted people towards Islam and encouraged them to believe in tawheed (the oneness of God). The Holy Prophet (s) said “I have been sent by Allah to teach people good manners.” Through his character and good actions, he transformed an ignorant society towards sophistication and bliss. Therefore, we must follow his tradition and through our actions we can transform the misconceptions and hate for Islam towards love and understanding for our religion. It is possible that by living up to the code of conduct left to us by the masoomeen, that we change society as well.

Listed below are some ways in which we can easily adapt the character of the Prophet (s) and AhlulBayt (as) in our daily lives which can bring about a transformation in ourselves and society, as well:

  • “And when the foolish address them (with bad words) they reply back with ‘salamaa’ (peaceful words of gentleness).” –Qur’an, 25:63
  • “Speak good or remain silent.” –Prophet Muhammad (s)
  • “I didn’t see anyone who smiled more than Rasul-Allah (s).” –Imam Ali (as)
  • “The most perfect believers, in the sight of faith, are the most well-mannered.” –Imam Baqir (as)
  • “Be modest, speak honorably, and meet your brother cheerfully.” –Imam Sadiq (as)
  • “The most generous of people, is the one who gives to those from whom he has no hope of return.” –Imam Husayn (as)
  • “Being brothers for the sake of Allah (swt) produces love.” –Imam Ali (as)
  • “Be kind to orphans and be good to your neighbors.” –Imam Ali (as)

 

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