Journey of life

Challenges of Life as a Muslim in Today’s World

Journey of life

Journey of life Zishaan E Fatema Karim is a writer and a poet, passionate about making a difference and believes in beginning at the roots. She has a Montessori Diploma in Early Childhood Education and 4 decades’ experience in teaching as a Madrasah teacher She also writes children’s stories and creates comic strips and video stories for little children. She facilitates Teaching Skills Practice programs under the MCE of WF and Leadership and Mentorship Development Programs under CBG of AFed. “Small changes by many people equals a Big Change,” is her motto. With that, she anticipates the reappearance of Al Hujjah (atfs) and wishes to be a part of his system of governance.


s we enter the new year and make resolutions for the year 1445, the challenges around us become a means of guidance on the things we need to resolve about. The pros and cons of our existence in the fast-moving world as well as all the facilities at our disposal may make it easy to think of resolutions that we need to make, but hard to adhere to them.

Before we dive into the topic of identifying these challenges and working on solutions to overcome them so as to equip ourselves with tools and life skills, it is vital to understand two things:

  1. Who is a Muslim?
  2.  What is it that makes him encounter challenges in life?

The term Islam has several meanings and the most common one means Submission to the Will of God. Islam is also derived from Salam, meaning peace and this context it is what gives peace in being in line with the command of Allah (swt).

Islam is an ideology and a Muslim is one who has accepted and adopted the ideology. At this point I want the reader to ponder over the difference between accepting and adopting Islam. The difference will give us the answer to no 2 above.

When we refer to the Holy Qur’an, we see that the journey of a Muslim begins with accepting Islam.

The dwellers of the desert say: We believe. Say: You do not believe but say, We submit; and faith has not yet entered into your hearts;

Surah Hujuraat:14

This is acceptance of Islam and the vast majority of Muslims around the globe, being Muslims by Birth, are Muslims of this category.

Then we see another verse

O you who believe! be careful of (your duty to) Allah with the care which is due to Him, and do not die until you are Muslims.

Surah Aali Imran:102

At first sight, the verse seems confusing because it is addressing the believers (in Allah, His Messenger & His Waly) and tells them not to die until they are Muslims.

  • Is belief, not a stage to be acquired after being a Muslim?
  • If they are believers, then are they not already Muslims?

This shows that there is a huge difference between accepting Islam and adopting Islam. The submission referred to in the first verse is that of accepting and in the second verse, which comes after being a believer, is that of adopting Islam.

When looked together, these verses indicate the journey of a Muslim by birth to that of a Muslim by choice. This journey is sometimes the same with the converts who accept Islam for reasons other than the ideology itself, for eg converting for safety, security or marriage.

When a Muslim moves from the phase of proclaiming the Kalimah, and thus accepting Islam, to that of believing in the ideology and finding meaning and reason in its tenets, to then submitting to the Will of Allah (swt), he has adopted Islam in his day-to-day living.

So, the journey begins with Islam – proclamation, to Eiman – core beliefs and then to Islam – submission to the Will of Allah (swt)

If a Muslim has undergone this journey, challenges in life as a Muslim allow him to see them through the lens of Tawheed. He sees them as a means to build himself, grow in his spiritual self, get better equipped in combating them and come out victorious with every challenge. Every challenge that he faces in life is a reminder of his own strength and his capacity to cross through it, as Allah (swt) says;

Allah does not impose (burden) upon any soul but to the extent of its ability

Sura Al Baqarah: 286

This Theme has been specifically picked for Muharram and Safar 1445 AH, so as to be enlightened on the various dimensions of the topic such as ethical considerations, the need for faith and steadfastness, as well as the application of Quránic teachings and sheer logic, all through the months of reformation and rejuvenation…

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