PEACETALK: Islam will always be for the greater good

(Message of Governor Mujiv Hataman of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, for Eid’l Adha, 12 Septembers 2016)

As Muslims who live true to the values of Islam, we make many sacrifices based on faith — faith in ourselves, faith in others, and faith in Allah.

Today we remember Ibrahim’s sacrifice, one that is guided by his faith in Allah. It is an example we aspire to live up to as we celebrate Eid’l Adha. Today, we take pause to remember what Islam means to us as Muslims living in a time where many choose turn a blind eye to our sacrifices and in a world where many look upon our faith with prejudice.

As Muslims, this prejudice is a burden that is familiar to us. We are often persecuted because of our faith, because there are those who sow fear and terror as they claim they are Muslims who follow the path of Islam. Their so-called sacrifices are nothing but self-serving acts of violence; their so-called faith is nothing but a lie. Theirs is the work of the devil and they are a disgrace to the ummah.

We need to stand together and unite against these traitors to Islam and the many other evils that try to tear us apart.

As the Prophet Muhammad once walked the earth and preached Islam, he himself faced great doubt and persecution. He endured great sacrifices so that he can carry with him the true message of our faith.

The challenge now, more than ever, is to be true Muslims and be messengers of Islam ourselves — to genuinely speak, act, and live by our faith. In the midst of noise, let us speak with a clear voice. In the midst of strife, let us act with compassion. In times of darkness, let us live with light and warmth for others.

Our actions as Muslims must always take root in a shared humanity guided by faith, and Islam encourages us to always share with those who have less, serve those who are in need, and stand together with the oppressed. In the hands of the true faithful, Islam will always be for the greater good.

Today, as we celebrate the Eid and remember the sacrifices we have made along the way, we are reminded of the many reasons why our faith must never be taken in vain. Not in our name.