At a time when Muslim, Christians and Jews celebrate their respective holidays, it is important to reflect on the true meaning of being religious.
Being religious was never meant to be divided or separated from others. It was not meant to look down at others. It was certainly not meant to free us from our responsibilities toward our Creator and toward others. The best example of how religion was truly applied into life is witnessed in the lives of Muhammad, Jesus, Moses, Abraham (may the peace of Allah/God be upon them).
Those Prophets understood being religious as a call to love Allah wholeheartedly, worship none but Him, and care for His creation.
It is to care for fellow people, for animals, environment, and our Earth.
It is to promote goodness, fairness, mercy, and ethics, in our societies, selflessly.
It is to speak and act against injustice, oppression, poverty, human suffering, and all forms of abuse.
It is to love for others what we love for ourselves.
It is to practice what we preach others to do and avoid hypocrisy.
It is to remember that this Life we now live is not but a temporary transition to an eternal Hereafter where each one of us will be held accountable for the actions we undertook in this Life. Shouldn't we all be in the best of our behavior then?
The start of a new Gregorian and Hijri year, in few days, is a great opportunity to renew our commitment to being truly "religious", from the inside and not merely from the outside. I invite you to join me in making a resolution to "religiously" follow the example of Muhammad, Jesus, Moses, and Abraham. Let's make next year a "religious" year for us and all the people and communities we serve.
Eid Mubarak and Happy Holidays.
- Hussam Ayloush
- Hussam has been a lifelong human rights activist who is passionate about promoting democratic societies, in the US and worldwide, in which all people, including immigrants, workers, minorities, and the poor enjoy freedom, justice, economic justice, respect, and equality. Mr. Ayloush frequently lectures on Islam, media relations, civil rights, hate crimes and international affairs. He has consistently appeared in local, national, and international media. Full biography at: http://hussamayloush.blogspot.com/2006/08/biography-of-hussam-ayloush.html