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by Alveena Salim (Published in TheRevival Magazine)

Why would anyone in the 21st Century willingly practise Islam? I mean, isn’t it a backwards, sexist, violent, and out-dated religion? Ain’t it the religion that’s always on the news? And why the hell is Islam the fastest growing religion in the world? What does it offer anyway?

1. Direction

All humans by nature need a sense of purpose in life. We need to know where we came from, where we’re going and how we can get there. A lack of direction results in a careless attitude towards life which can lead to feeling dissatisfied and depressed.

Islam gives people a sense of direction and a purpose in life so we’re not just wondering about aimlessly. Muslims have a clear destination in life- Jannah (Heaven), an eternity of bliss and happiness.

Muslims know that if they live their lives according to the laws of Islam, there’s no reason why they shouldn’t get there. Without Islam, it’s as if you are in a boat in the middle of the sea with no idea which direction to go.

However, if you have Islam, although it’s still difficult because you have to paddle, at least you have a map of where you’re trying to get to.

2. Belonging

Islam is a religion for all people from whatever race or background they may come from. Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world and the second largest religion in the world. Among every four humans, one of them is Muslim.

Muslims have increased by over 235 percent in the last fifty years up to around 1.6 billion in the world today! The Muslim community (Ummah) has been likened to one body, when one part feels pain the rest of the Ummah suffers as a result.

Islam stresses a sense of sisterhood and brotherhood and places fulfilling the rights of Mankind even higher than the rights of God! This is because, if you don’t fulfil the rights of mankind, God won’t accept any of your worship!

3. Responsibility

How many times have you seen someone in trouble, whether it was a beggar in the street or someone being bullied in school, and thought ‘It ain’t my problem’? Islam stresses responsibility to others on ALL levels.

When these clear guidelines are followed properly, everyone is treated fairly, their needs are fulfilled and no one has any reason to complain. Islam makes sure that everyone’s rights are fulfilled. Muslims have an obligation to reach out to the poor, the sick, the needy, the orphans and those who are oppressed or unfairly detained.

The Prophet Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him said that if you see any injustice, you should try to change it with your hand and if you can’t do that, at least change it with your tongue (speak out against it). Muslims individually and collectively have a part to play in being there for others in times in need: socially, emotionally or financially.

Plus, you benefit too! When you help someone in need, your needs get fulfilled too! When you give charity to others, Allah (swt) multiplies it by 10, 70 or100 before giving it back to you!

4. Strength

Islam gives you the strength and patience to deal with whatever life throws at you. With Islam anything is possible and there’s nothing you can’t hack. Islam gives you strength because if you have true belief you will know that all good and bad is from Allah (swt).

The bad times are a test to make us better, wiser and stronger Muslims and any hardship we encounter in this world we will be rewarded in the next life. The true Muslims are ALWAYS at peace, are NEVER stressed out and are content in ALL situations.

After all, how can you stress when you have God on your side? Furthermore, stress and difficulties, however minor, can serve as expiation for your sins, so it’s a win-win situation at all times!

5. Humility

Before you ever start getting too big for your boots Islam will bring you back down to reality and keep your feet firmly on the ground, keeping you humble and selfless in your actions.

Islam makes us less selfish and pretentious and more grateful and humble. Islam makes us a much better person, friend, son/daughter, brother/sister, husband/ wife etc. When your forehead touches the ground five times a day in prayer you’re humbled and reminded of the One whom you’re totally dependent on.

When you fast in the 30 days of Ramadan, you’re made to think of the less fortunate who are not blessed with as much as you are, when you give charity, you’re reminded of the poor, the orphans and the detained.

When you’re a face amongst millions, wearing the Ihram during the pilgrimage to Makkah, you experience the international sense of the Ummah, and are reminded that you’re just a simple Muslim amongst many.

6. A Perfect Role Model

It is human nature to imitate. We all need someone to look up to, aspire to be like and follow in their footsteps. The uniqueness of the Prophet Muhammad Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him is that he was not only a great person in his own time, but he is a great person for all times, for all people of any race, colour, nationality or gender.

He is such a fantastic role model that his example worked for the 7th century pagan Arabs and also works for us living in the 21st century. In fact, he was voted the most influential man ever! He is an excellent example for the rich and poor, for the young and old and for the rulers and the ruled.

Prophet Muhammad Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him practiced what he preached and was perfection personified.

7. Peace Of Mind

Everyone is searching for peace of mind. Some try to achieve it by earning money, others try to gain it through fame, and some try to gain it through their education or their career. However, complete peace of mind can ONLY be gained through the remembrance of God.

Through the remembrance of Allah (swt) your soul gains fulfilment just as your body needs food for nourishment. The nourishment of the soul is the remembrance of its Creator. True peace can only be gained once you satisfy the soul as well as the body. You can have all the fame, wealth and success in the world, but if you haven’t got peace of mind then you haven’t got anything.

Many celebrities have attempted suicide, suffered from bulimia/anorexia and some have even been successful in their attempt to kill themselves. If they were truly at peace within themselves – why would they be so self-destructive?

8. Keeps You On The Right Track

Every society needs law and order; this is so that society does not fall to pieces. Living without laws is not only unfulfilling but would result in huge problems in society. And coz we don’t always necessarily know what is good for us, and what will bring us harm, we have laws in Islam to help us.

Without Islamic guidelines, alcohol related problems, premarital and extramarital sexual relationships, gambling, stealing, drugs and crime would destroy the Muslim society. By following the guidance from the Qur’an and the Sunnah you aim to stay on the straight path: law abiding and righteous.

Plus, the belief that no action is unaccounted for and no deed is left unchecked is enough to keep anyone on the straight and narrow!

9. The Solution To All Your Problems

Whatever the nature of the problems that you face, Islam has a solution. This is because Islam caters for both the spiritual and practical aspects of human life.

Islam is a complete system for life. Islam has a financial system, an education system, a government system, a social system and a legal system, all of which have been perfectly designed for us. This system of Islam can comprehensively solve the problems of the world today, such as famine, homelessness, crime, terrorism, war, oppression, racism, ignorance etc, etc.

So whatever problem you may be facing, Islam has the perfect solution for it.

10. Happy Endings

The concept ‘what goes around comes around’ is a strong fact in Islam. Every one will get what’s coming to them, not only in this world but also in the hereafter.

Islam promises a lifetime of eternal bliss in the next life and a lifetime of peace and happiness here on Earth for those who sincerely submit to Allah (swt). No deed will ever go to waste and everything will be accounted for.

On the Day of Judgement, we will all be handed our book of deeds, and the people who sinned in this life will be shocked to see that it doesn’t leave anything out, no matter how small the action seemed to be.

So there you have it, 10 things Islam can offer YOU if you live your life according to Islamic guidance. Millions of people all over the world, appreciate all that Islam has to offer, that’s why Islam is the second largest religion in the world AND the fastest growing religion in the world today. Islam has so much to offer each and every person.

So isn’t it time YOU took a serious look at Islam to see what it offers you?

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