Editorial - Are you a sheep?

By Sajid Iqbal

Who are you? What are you? Are you a leader or a follower?

Do you follow society or does society follow you? Are you scared to be different or proud to be you? Do you stick to your guns?

Or do you say what people wanna hear? So the question is... ARE YOU A SHEEP?

"...I ain't no sheep, orite!..."

is what y'all sayin' yeah?

So tell me, are you proud to be a Muslim or embarrassed to be labelled one? Do you stick to your Islamic beliefs at home as well as when you're at college/uni/work?

Or are you too weak to even make your non-Muslim friends and colleagues aware of your Islamic principles? When Islam and Muslims are put on the spot are you quick to answer any misconceptions? Or are you quick to escape to the loo?

Are you a walking, talking advert for Islam? Or do you just follow Islam just at home, or on Fridays or at the mosque? Do you ignore the hoo-haa of secular society and still live peacefully as a practising Muslim? Or are you too busy making society happy and forgot about Islam?

So let me ask you again: Are you a sheep?

If you ain't a sheep then when secular society cries "we don't need religion.... there's no God...", you stick to your belief in God and the faith of Islam and not just agree with society.

If you ain't a sheep then you won't compromise on basic principles such as Halal and Haram. You will drink, eat, dress and socialise as Islam says and not as society, colleagues or culture promotes.

If you ain't a sheep then Islam won't embarrass or burden you but you'll be happy and proud to be seen and known as a Muslim and happy to talk about Islam if necessary.

If you ain't a sheep then your role models won't be the likes of Ronaldo and Gerrard, Eminem or 50 Cent, Aishwarya Rai or Shahrukh Khan but just Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

Now... please tell me you ain't a sheep?!

You're a Muslim so be proud of it. Don't feel awkward or embarrassed about it. Your Islamic identity should be an honour not a burden.

You're a Muslim so make sure you know your Islam so you can practise it and reap its benefits. Following the example of the great Prophet Muhammad(pbuh) is a privilege.

You're a Muslim so when you're asked about your faith then make sure you can answer the questions.

You're a Muslim so don't just go with the flow and follow the rest. That's easy. Be yourself and practise Islam. Let people follow you!

Just make sure you're not one of those who just talks about Islam 24/7...coz nobody likes a religious freak. Don't push Islam in people's faces and remember nobody likes a walking, talking fatwa machine, if you know what I mean.

Everyone should know and see you as the good guy. Someone who is approachable. Chilled out. A person with manners and respect for others. Tolerant. This in itself will present you as a good advert for your faith.

You see Islam gives you an identity. A way of life. A peace of mind. Success here and in the hereafter. Now isn't that cool to be a part of? Or are you happy to be a sheep?