The Beauty of Islam: A Message of Mercy

If you had to summarize Islam with one word, what word would that be? What word can express for you the beauty of Islam and the comfort it brings to your heart?

For many, perhaps, that word is peace (salam). This is due, in part, to the peace in our heart that we are seeking as Muslims, but also to the fact that both islam and salam share the same Arabic tri-literal root (S-L-M).

For those who don’t know, most classical Arabic words are composed of three root letters from which we derive the primary meaning of the word. Because the words Islam and Salam are composed of a seen (S), lam (L) and meem (M), many draw a linguistic connection and say: “Islam is peace,” or “Islam means peace.” For this reason, peace (salam) may have been your chosen word. But, despite these reasons, peace is not the quality I find most striking about our faith.

When I read the ayat of the Glorious Qur’an something else stands out to me. It is something I also see when I read about the life of our Beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) and his Companions. It is something I also think about when I hear stories about the righteous women and men of Islam and when I interact with pious men and women within our community. This quality is mercy (rahma).

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Outspoken: Stories on Mental Health

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“Stories are…vessels for ancestors, memory, futures and laughter. They are the medium through which the divine is engaged…To state it more succinctly, stories are ceremony.”
— Mark Gonzales

The Green Room invites you to join OUTSPOKEN, a monthly storytelling series that explores the intersections of faith, identity, social issues, and well-being.

On Tuesday May 31, join us as we explore planet earth through the personal stories and narratives of local community members. All are welcome to join!

Shepherding Our Sons

Fathers and Mothers: what do you want for your sons and daughters?

What fills your heart with joy at the thought of your son or your daughter doing, or being, or becoming? What fills your heart with hope, pride, and love for the bounty that Allah has given you and I in our children? Do you smile at the thought of them becoming a doctor, or a professional of some kind? Perhaps you imagine your daughter or son memorizing the Glorious Qur’an, or having an immense love for God and His Messenger (peace be upon him). Or, perhaps you simply hope for your son or daughter to be a person of good character. 

Whatever it is that you are picturing them doing, whatever it is that generates that pride and hope in your heart; likely, you are also picturing them happy while doing it.

This desire for our children’s happiness comes from our love and compassion for them. Consider, for example, when Ibrahim (peace be upon him) was given the glad tidings that he would be made an Imam and an example of righteousness for all people he asked: “and what of my descendants?” (Q2:124) Ibrahim (peace be upon him) had so much compassion for his children, grand-children, great-grandchildren and all his descendants that as soon as he heard the good news of being made an example for humanity, he asked if they too would have a share in that closeness that he had with Allah. He wanted all of his descendants to experience such serenity and happiness.

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