The Conversation that started it all…

Something happened the last time my friends and I met. In all these years and thousands of conversations, we spoke about the state of our own iman. It goes without saying that you must have the utmost trust and confidence in people to whom you are willing to admit your greatest fallacy. We talked about our incessant obsession with fostering strength of Muslim identity and iman in our own children. The question is: “What about ourselves?” So we make sure the children are memorizing Quran, and praying with sincerity. We tell them stories to cultivate their consummate love of the Prophet (SAW)— what about ourselves?

So… this was the “coffee talk” that inspired the Good Deeds Challenge. After 9/11, I gained a new perspective on what my choice to be Muslim meant for my life, and for the lives of those in my family (Muslim and non-Muslim). It shouldn’t have taken a catastophic event, or the threat of harm to open my eyes to the responsibility I bear as a representative of Islam- but it did. When I converted and started covering in ways I could have never imagined when I was non-Muslim, I was naive enough to believe that no one would take notice- they would still see the relatively same old Gena, with most of the same beliefs, aside from a few new social conventions. I was wrong. And when 9/11 occurred, things changed immensely.

So, I am hyper-aware of the fact that anything I do may be construed as an Islamic edict. If my children are ill-behaved, that may be pegged on Islam. If I throw a gum wrapper out the window- that may be interpreted as something “ALLAH told the Muslims to do (astaghfirullah).” Is that fair? In the context of modern society- no, it’s not. Do I accept that responsibility. Yes, I do. Because it would be an easy responsibility to fulfill if I practiced this deen the way that ALLAH has asked me to, and if I look to the Prophet (SAW) for his example.

This Good Deeds Challenge is an endeavor aimed at serving this responsibility, but with eagerness and joy, instead of complacency, vanity and/or unwitting habit. I want to revive the connection to ALLAH, rejuvenate the spirit of Islam that demands sincerity and reverence to our Lord, and seek guidance from Him and from the example of His Prophet (SAW). If I can accomplish just one moment of pure intentions for the sake of ALLAH, then I’ll view that as a step forward. I hope you will, too.

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~ by deedschallenge on February 16, 2008.

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