Represent Your Faith, Come What May

Reaching for the light

By Wael Abdelgawad |

Some people worry about appearing Muslim because they don’t want to attract negative attention from non-Muslims. They want to be liked and accepted. So they hide their deen. At work or on a journey they worry about doing salat in public and may actually miss prayers. They are reluctant to wear hijab. They don’t even like to greet their fellow Muslims with salam in public.

I say that it’s better to be hated for what you are, than loved for what you are not.

When you appear before Allah, do you want to say, “I hid my religion and the non-Muslims accepted me.”

Or do you want to say, “People harassed me and despised me, because I represented Islam.”

Be proud of who you are – not the pride of arrogance but the pride of self-respect. Be grateful for Allah’s greatest favor to you, Islam. Represent your faith, no matter how people respond. I think you’ll find that most people will respect you for it. In fact I have noticed that practicing, representing Muslims are sometimes treated like sages or priests. But if you are mocked for being Muslim, that’s an honor and a barakah for you on Yawm Al-Qiyamah.

Stand up straight and smile. Speak your truth without preaching. Perform your salat wherever you are, without ostentation. Greet your fellow Muslims with enthusiasm, wish people a happy Eid (even non-Muslims!), wear your Islamic garments, have no fear, and be yourself, a believer.

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Article by Wael

Wael Abdelgawad is an Egyptian-American living in Fresno, California. He is the founder of several Islamic websites, including and, and also of various technology and travel websites. He is a writer and poet, and has been a web developer since 1997. This project,, is very dear to his heart, as it has allowed him to express ideas that have growing inside him for many years. Wael is divorced and has one lovely young daughter. He practices and teaches martial arts (somewhat obsessively), and loves Islamic books, science fiction, and vanilla fudge ice cream. Wael is an advocate for human rights and blogs about these issues at He is also a volunteer with the MyDeen Muslim youth organization in Fresno. Wael tagged this post with: , , , , Read 266 articles by
6 Comments Post a Comment
  1. María M says:

    As salamu alaykum, Wael,

    Alhamdulillah, you got it and you shout it to the wind, …I understand you talk from your position that is a strong one, as a born and raised muslim that has chosen to honour his beliefs but it is not that way for all of us.

    What you say it is the way that it should be, maybe what most of us would wish, but to get there some of us may need to climb some mountains, cross a couple of valleys, a few rivers, an ocean or a couple of them and who knows, a dessert, a frozen continent and maybe the weather won´t help, then let´s be patience with the ones that are still on the way to get where you are already, Insha´Allah.

    All my unconditional Respect,


    • Wael says:

      I understand what you’re saying. You feel it’s a long journey to get to that point. But I disagree. After you cross all those valleys, rivers and oceans, the challenge will not be any easier. You will still be you.

      I get strange looks, I have been turned down from jobs because of my faith, I have been mocked and insulted. But I make a choice to accept that because I know that Allah will reward me for it.

      The opposite happens as well. There are people who respect me for my faith.

      In the end I must live with myself. I must feel good about myself, and respect myself, no matter what anyone else thinks.

      • María M says:

        I know the challenge will be the same but I wouldn´t be the same.

        • Wael says:

          Alright, but here’s the thing. The way we develop the skills that we need to conquer a challenge, is by doing the challenge. If I want to become a good swimmer, the only way is to get in the water. If there is a huge boulder in my path and I need to move it, the only way I can do it is to push, push, push until it moves.

          In sports physiology they say that the best way to develop the muscles that you need for a sport is to do that sport. So, for example, if you want to be a mountain climber, you do not develop the leg muscles you need by swimming. You do it by climbing. You don’t have to climb Mt. Everest the first day. But you have to climb something.

          This is the way of imaan (faith). It grows by confronting hardships and obstacles. Knowledge is good, prayer is good, but what builds the spirit is struggle.

        • María M says:

          at the end of the journey. From the begining till the end we must live with ourselves but to feel good or respect ourselves, some of us may need that journey to mature and bring out what is already inside, then it is a decision but that decision takes a process, not just for us, for everyone around and for some the process may last a blink of an eye for others more than that. That was what I meant.

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