What it means to be Muslim in the West.

" The true saint goes in and out amongst the people and eats and sleeps with them. He buys and sells in the market and marries, and takes part in social intercourse, and never forgets God for a single moment"

-Abu Sa'id Abi'l- Khayr

Normally when we think of saints, either in the Christian tradition or the Islamic tradition what comes to mind are great minds, and people like Pope Anianus, Bernard of Clairvaux, Habib al Ajami, and Hasan al Basri. Men, and women who led lives of piety that people today strive to attain. I found the above quote concerning saints inspirational is that beyond all that we look to saints to emulate in getting closer to God, we find that they were normal people. It was thier love of God, and thier struggles, and sacrifices in seeking nearness to him that made them larger than life. While this is the most common view of saints people have, Abi'l Khayr is speaking of the individual Muslim, any Muslim who interacts within his/her society, yet through all of that God is still foremost.

Although I wasn't born Muslim, it still surprises me at how Islam is still a way of life that many people still find strange. Yet, Islam, when understood properly is as fits in quite naturally with the life of the human bieng. Indeed it is the natural way of life.


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