The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Tuesday January 18th

Islamic Awareness Week Promotes Muslim Understanding

To be a Muslim means knowing God through his revelation. "Say, He is God, the One; The Self-Sufficient and whom all creatures need; He begets not, nor was He begotten; And there is none co-equal or comparable to Him."

To be a Muslim means knowing that God is part of one's life. "And when my servants ask you concerning Me, I am indeed near; I respond to the invocations of the supplicant when he calls on Me; so let them obey Me and believe in Me that they may be led aright."

To be a Muslim means understanding that the purpose of one's creation is to worship and serve God.

To be a Muslim means submitting one's will and ego to the will of God. To be a Muslim means staying up late at night in self-reflection. Did I take God as my point of reference for every action? Did I wrong anyone today so that I need to seek forgiveness from God and the person I wronged? How can I improve myself tomorrow? Am I a better person tonight than I was the previous night?

To be a Muslim means resting assured of God's mercy for one who sincerely seeks it and being confident that for one who possesses faith there is true guidance.

To be a Muslim means spending the day working and striving for justice, fighting oppression and making your surroundings better than you found them.

To be a Muslim means being active not passive, merciful not hard-hearted, and conscious, not heedless.

To be a Muslim means taking the life of this world for what it is. "Know that the life of this world is . as the likeness of vegetation after rain, whose growth is pleasing to the tiller; yet soon it dries up and you see it turning yellow; then it turns to straw."

To be a Muslim means understanding that life is but temporal. "O humankind. If you are in doubt about the Resurrection, then (know) that We have created you from dust, then from mixed drops of sexual discharge, then from a clot of coagulated blood, then from a little lump of flesh, some formed and some unformed, that We may make it clear to you. And We cause whom We will to remain in the wombs for an appointed term, then We bring you out as infants, then you reach your age of full strength. And among you there is he who dies young and among you there is he who is brought back to miserable old age, so that he knows nothing after having known."

To be a Muslim means contemplating the signs of God on earth.

To be a Muslim means understanding that differences in color and ethnicity are a blessing from God. "And We made humankind into peoples and tribes so that they may know one another; verily, the most honored of you before God are the most pious."

To be a Muslim means understanding that the change in seasons is a sign of one's eventual resurrection. "And among His signs is that you see the earth barren, but when We send down rain upon it, it is stirred to life and growth; verily He who gives it life is surely able to give life to the dead. He is indeed able to do all things."

To be a Muslim means becoming a slave of God and not a slave to one's desires.

To be a Muslim means disciplining the soul, through fasting and prayer, so that one desires only what God finds pleasing and one abhors that which displeases God.

To be a Muslim means believing in the one true God and affirming that there is nothing worthy of worship, service, pursuit, praise, gratitude or obedience except he.

To be a Muslim means believing in God's prophets, from Adam to Noah, from Abraham to Jacob, from Moses to David, from John the Baptist to Jesus and finally the seal of the messengers, Muhammad (peace be upon them all.)

To be a Muslim means believing in the word of God, the Quran, and basing one's life upon it.

To be a Muslim means believing in the angels, the resurrection, the judgment day and the afterlife.

To be a Muslim means longing for the Creator and Sustainer, longing to hear the words, "O you soul now in complete satisfaction and rest, return to your Lord, well-pleased and well-pleasing (to Him); Enter among My honored servants and enter my Paradise."

(The quoted passages are taken from the Holy Quran.)

To be a Muslim means all these things and much more. To hear and learn more, please join the Muslim Students Association of UNC this week during lunch (noon until 2 p.m.) in the Pit for the MSA's annual Islamic Awareness Week. The MSA encourages everyone to come listen to us talk about the religion we hold so dear.

Sherif Elkhouly is a third-year law student and president of the Muslim Students Association at UNC. Reach him at


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