Powerful Stories of Everyday Muslims #02 – The Story of Belonging

Suleiman Hani


Channel: Suleiman Hani


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Our story today is the story of belonging. One time a young man mentioned that he felt like he could not figure out how to identify himself. He was confused about his identity. He said like he did not feel like he belonged to a particular group. He did not feel like he belonged to a particular community, and that he felt nobody actually cared about him. And so he felt like he had no value. He could not figure out what his identity was. He said he felt lost. And this is a very common sentiment. This is a very common complaint. And he asked essentially, how do I figure out who I really am, what I identify with. And in short brothers and sisters, you belong to the ummah of

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Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alayhi salam to the ummah of believers. And the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said, what he couldn't hide, there is good in all believers, strong and weak, you may feel like you are not strong enough in your faith. So even though someone may be religious, in some ways, they may be struggling a lot in their faith, you may not feel like you are the most religious believer, there is still good in all believers. Why? Because you have faith because you believe in Allah subhanho wa Taala you will belong to the ummah. And the reality is the question of belonging. Where do I belong? Where is my relevance? Where is my value? The question of belonging is

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one that many people struggle with subconsciously and consciously. But usually, it's because they're thinking about social aspects of life. Usually, they're thinking about social aspects of Islam, for example, many people might complain that when they go to the Islamic center, when they go to the masjid, at times, they have bad experiences, they don't feel welcomed, it may be a new Muslim, and it may be someone who was raised in a Muslim family, but something takes place and they no longer feel like they belong, some kind of trauma or some kind of drama or some kind of incident or maybe something that they consider minor, but they take it very closely and strongly as a justification

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for not going back to the mosque or feeling like they belong to the Muslim community. And the reality is, that choice is not up to the people who belongs to the OMA does not go back to does not refer to your local community, it does not refer to your local Imam or the board, or any Islamic organization and your identity as well. Where does this go back to this goes back to Allah subhanaw taala, the One who created you, your identity, it's not found in one particular trait that you have. It's not found in one particular desire that people have. It's not found in one particular political view that people have or one particular action that people exemplify in their lives. The reality is

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your identity is grounded in your faith as a Muslim, as a young man and old man or young woman and all the woman, your identity is grounded in law, a law in the law and you belong to the among the nation of the final prophet of God, Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa sallam you absolutely belong. And while there are more than 2 billion Muslims in the world today, and you do belong to this ummah, and it's not up to the people, it's not up to your local community. The reality is, we are great in quantity, but we should strive to focus on improving our quality. And so ask yourself as I belong to this OMA and I may feel at times like I'm a weak believer, or like there's no place

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for me or that I'm not doing anything for the world or for the Ummah, we have to ask ourselves, How do I become stronger? What do I need to do to feel a greater sense of belonging, and a greater sense of exemplification of this faith because oftentimes, we Muslims are the reason the image of Islam is tarnished. We may be as Muslims pushing Muslims and non Muslims away from the truth away from Allah subhanho wa taala. By not practicing Islam properly, by not being confident and proud as Muslims wherever we are around the world, and also by not learning what Islam actually is and what it is not. And this in reality helps us to shape the world and helps us to reform society and helps us to

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improve society for the better to eradicate injustice and immorality to overcome challenges to overcome different types of struggles and oppressions. But the truth is, at times we ourselves do not live Islam fully or properly, we ourselves don't feel like we belong. And as a result of this internal cycle, we don't do the actions of the people of truth we don't do the actions of Islam that shaped society for the better that illuminates society and take care of the many forms of darkness.

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oppressions that we see. This requires us to live and see the world through the lens of what Allah the Creator has revealed to mankind. And I ask Allah subhanho wa Taala to make us all feel a strong sense of belonging and to be welcoming to one another, wherever we are, take the effort, the proactive effort of being welcoming. And when you see your brother or your sister struggling with their religiosity, don't push them away. Don't look down on them. Don't be condescending or arrogant. May Allah protect us, for Allah subhanaw taala concealed your sins in many ways, your job in this moment, your role is to help them pray for them, guide them gently to the truth, don't

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sugarcoat the truth and don't justify a sin. But definitely do not push people away from Allah. That person may be struggling with religiosity in front of you or in front of the community, but they may be practicing a lot of things in private between them and Allah that you yourself are not doing. So it's not your role to assume people's intentions or to place a particular judgment on their status in the sight of Allah subhanaw taala. Even if you are more practicing in some aspects of Islam, your role is to be grateful to Allah for guidance, that you're not committing that sin that you are fulfilling your obligations, but be humble. And remember that they this individual, your brother,

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your sister, may be closer to Allah subhanaw taala than you can imagine. And so your role here through humility and gentleness and wisdom is to support them and help them grow and become greater and stronger believers for our objective as an ummah of belonging as an ummah of brothers and sisters around the world is to come together and make the world a better place by living sincerely for the sake of Allah and living through the lens of his revelation. May Allah subhanaw taala unite to be between our hearts and may Allah subhanaw taala give us a strong sense of belonging and may Allah subhanaw taala make us welcoming to one another in all aspects of life Allahumma me

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