Why I like being an Afghan and a Muslim?
by Nawid Elyacy
My story is the same as many young Afghans living in the United States. Being born in Afghanistan but raised in America. I grew up in California as an Afghan boy but without having my true identity. I was just an average Afghan-American kid enjoying my life without a care about the world. The name Muslim was just a word passed on to me generation by generation and I didn't know enough about it. I grew up in an environment away from my culture and mostly hung out with my friends who were Hispanic and Caucasian. I had never really felt any sort of connection to my heritage or my religion at that time. I'm ashamed at the fact that I didn't know enough about Islam or my Afghan culture to represent my self as an Afghan Muslim.
I went to school in California which led me to question even my limited knowledge about my beliefs. However, after extensive soul and identity research, I have found my soul and beliefs in the religion I was born at the age of twenty four. It took me a while but luckily, I can proudly say that, I am an Afghan Muslim which comprises my identity as an Afghan-American Muslim and a human being. I'm not Muslim just because I'm an Afghan or my parents are Muslims; I'm Muslim because I have researched, understood and accepted the concept of Islam. Therefore I have found and accepted the religion of Islam as a true, pure, and factual religion for all human beings. I testify that there is “No other god but Allah (one God) and Muhammad (pbuh) is his messenger”.
The school system or education in American leads most people to atheism, but "smart people are those, who take the time and research for the truth and not to relay on the false education about religion and God that they learn in college and university." I have researched and studied Islam as well as I've embraced my Afghan heritage with the help and support of my grandfather and several cousins. I remember when I was in 8th grade, my English teacher Mrs. Lawrence-Emanuel was giving a report on Islam. She asked, “how many students are Muslim in this classroom?”. Unfortunately I did not raise my hand because of my shyness and lack of knowledge about my religion at that time. She was a non-Muslim, but very smart and educated teacher, and she was the one who actually incouraged me to learn about Islam.
My advise to my young Afghan brothers and sisters is to embrace their religion of Islam. Not just because you’re an Afghan and you came from an Afghan Muslim family, but it’s because that Islam is true, peace and the fastest growing religion with thousands of converts in Europe and America anually. So take the time and read, research, study and find your soul and get healed in Islam. There are many superstitious rituals within Afghan culture and Muslim communities which contradict with the teachings of the Holy Qur'an and the sayings of our beloved prophet Muhammad (pbuh). So avoid those and learn more about the true Islam. Don’t let the Western Media propaganda bring you down. Struggle for the truth and the truth always reveals itself. Embrace Islam, and most importantly; Practice Islam. Always respect your parents and elders.
The Holy Qur'an tells us that we must honor and respect our parents and not to say even uff to them. Our religion of Islam is peace, tolerance, diversity, equality and justice. We must adhere to live the way as our beloved Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) has lived. He never has hurt a single living in his life neither in the battles he had. So always remember our people in our great Watan Afghanistan, and always have a sympathy to happiness and sadness of 1.5 billion Muslim brothers and sisters around the world which rapidly growing day by day. Also respect people of others religions and cultures. Love your country and your people. We have such a rich culture of over 5,000 years with many beautiful things which most of us are not aware of it.
I like my culture and heritage and the primitive simple way of life appeals to me so much in ways that I cannot explain. The Afghan family structure is the ideal family in my opinion and I love the custom and tradition of my country Afghanistan. I really have a strong desire to return to Afghanistan to visit my family and my country as well as performing the ritual pilgrimage of Hajj in Mecca is obviously one of my another dream, Insha Allah.
Thank you for your time reading my blog. May Allah (swt) the creator of the all beings and universe bless you, and keep you all safe.