The Gifts of Islam
1.5 to 2 billion of the world’s people identify as Muslim. That means that nearly 1 out of 4 people in the world believe in the Quran as the Holy Scripture, the Oneness of Allah and Muhammed as the Prophet of Allah. Threatened by capture and death for daring to preach the worship of one God who treats all people equally in a land divided strictly by class, Muhammed fled Mecca in 622 C.E. to the town of Medina, where, destitute and starving, his first teaching was: Spread peace, feed the hungry, maintain ties with your family and pray while others sleep.
What are the current gifts of Islam? To answer that question, one need look only to the gifts given us by Muslims, especially in light of the increased suspicion and bigotry born of ignorance and falsehoods generated by media and politicians that have been directed at them in recent years to the point where a recent survey revealed that 48% of American Muslims said they had personally experienced some form of discrimination because of their religion in the previous year.
Consequently, an American Muslim today, as one of about 3.5 million, or barely one percent of the total inhabitants of the U.S., must sometimes feel the way Muhammed must have felt so long ago in Mecca: the object of suspicion, dislike, and ridicule, often the target of hate and abuse.
Muslims have responded to that hate with love and affirmation of their faith. A hate murder of three Muslim students in North Carolina resulted not in condemnation, but in a grassroots coast-to-coast campaign to feed the hungry. Within a month, over 300 Muslim groups sprang up across the U.S., giving canned food and meals to the needy.
In Detroit, Muslims helped over 30,000 people regain clean water. In a two-year period Muslims fed over 90,000 meals to the hungry. Muslims raised a quarter of a million dollars for Hurricane Katrina relief, have donated over half a million dollars to the Salvation Army in Washington, D.C., organized over 900 blood drives in three years and raised over 100,000 dollars for black churches targeted by arson.
There are over 20,000 Muslim doctors in the U.S. operating over 100 free medical clinics, open to everyone, regardless of race or creed.
Over 3,000 Muslims serve with honor in the U.S. military.
There are 1,271 Muslim charities and nonprofits in the U.S.
Muslim-Americans gave more to charity in 2020 than any other group in the U.S. And this from a group that comprises just slightly over one percent of the U.S. population.
Muhammed arrived in Medina, barely alive, having escaped persecution, humiliation and death in Mecca.
American Muslims, despite everything that’s been thrown at them, continue to heed his words—those he delivered after arriving, starving and weak, to his new homeland: Spread peace, feed the hungry, and pray while other people are sleeping and you will enter Paradise in peace.