This past week, many Tumblr users were expressing concerns, some even making claims that when users, particularly white users, of the popular recreational drug, marijuana, when making use of the phrase “getting stoned,” to describe the act of going under the influence of the drug they are actually appropriating part of Islamic culture. “’Stoning’ is a part of Islamic culture, MY people’s culture, and [people of Caucasian origins use] the term “getting stoned” lightly.”

One Tumblr user in particular, whose name will not be revealed to avoid undue harassment, claimed that white people using the phrase to describe an activity involving drug use was highly offensive due to them feeling that stoning is an integral part of Islamic culture. Another factor influencing them very well may be the fact that Muslims (in this case, Middle Eastern Muslims) have had a long history of hostility with Europeans. Recent examples of these long-lived hostilities become abundantly clear when taking a look at the current and sometimes dire situation in many places across Europe. Sometimes extending beyond Europe, especially regarding the massive influx of Syrian refugees in the wake civil war and the atrocities committed by ISIL.

When we attempted to approach this user and ask a few questions, rather than cooperating, they decided to respond with insults(and copious amounts of emojis), and we were subsequently blocked from communicating.

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Muslim Culture

Muslim culture is having 85% of the mosque’s population at the hospital waiting room when your grandma has a heart attack. It’s when your uncle passes in a different country so everyone comes over to your house with food and condolences, even the family you’re having drama with.

Muslim culture is packed parking lots where old men are guiding traffic with their canes but actually making traffic slower because they stop each car to ask the driver how their family is. It’s when your car gets a flat tire for the first time and so everyone helps put on the spare.

Muslim culture is fighting over the bill at a restaurant and dropping off meat at the masjid with a sign marked “For anyone who needs a meal”.

Muslim culture is free henna nights the day before Eid and kids passing out candy the day of. It’s when the sweets that are being handed out are from Bosnia but also Benin and also Syria.

Muslim culture is so much more than what you see on the media. Muslim culture is definitely not perfect, but it’s also definitely not what we’ve been told to believe it is.

1. If your heart becomes heavy and hurts sometimes, don’t worry. It means He’s still with you. Your heart is aching to go back to Him. It’s craving detachment from the people you’ve taken to mean too much, from the things that should have just stayed as things. Your heart hurts because He hasn’t given up on you and wants you back. Allah protects the ones He loves. So your heart will hurt. But it will bring you back to the Only One who can fix it.

2. The beauty of Islam is that it emphasizes the need for balance in every aspect of life. When you overindulge and over-invest yourself, your feelings, your time, your effort, your money, your strength, your concentration, your love and your trust on the trivial, the banal, the transient little parts of this dunya, you’re doing yourself an injustice. You’re making it harder for yourself to grow and easier for others to take a grip on you. Stop caring too much about things that won’t matter on the day that counts. Don’t let yourself drown in your work or fall head over heels for another person or strive to succeed whilst allowing yourself to forget what is truly worth striving for. Be fair to yourself, be moderate in everything and be smart about it. Find a balance.

3. You once thought that it was too much to bear. You felt overwhelmed and completely devastated. And yet, you’re here. No matter how difficult life gets to be, remember that Allah is Al-Muhaymin and Ar-Razzaq. He protects and provides. And He will always do so. So trust Him and keep going, this too shall pass as it always does.

4. If you’re heartbroken and tired, disillusioned and confused or if you just feel lost and betrayed by the same people over and over again, remember that Allah is Al-Jabbar, the Restorer, the Repairer, the Compeller. The one who can make you feel better when everyone else keeps pushing you down. You just have to call on Him.

5. If Allah can take the person you never thought you’d lose out of your life, He will surely bless you with someone you never imagined would be in it.

6. I guarantee you’ll reduce the amount of stress and disappointment in your life if you learn to live by this: Everything really does happen for a reason. We all know this but if something was written to be yours, a grade, a job, a relationship, a trip, it will always be yours and nothing in this world can prevent it from being yours except Allah’s will. If you weren’t meant to get something, you won’t get it. Regardless of anything. Because it just wasn’t written. That being said, All you have to do is keep your intentions straight, keep doing your best, keep being the best you can be and keep trusting in the fact that Allah’s provisions are always for our best interest. Something good always comes of something that may seem initially disappointing or bad. So don’t worry. Keep that trust, do your thing, if you don’t get what you wanted, keep moving, keep going. You’ll get something better or make it somewhere more worthwhile.

7. Sometimes the most difficult and heart wrenchingly painful situations are the ones that push you to your knees, to your lowest, and have you raising your hands high to The Most High. When you lose everything you had such strong convictions about and such deep certainty that you would never live without, you realize that truly, Allah has always been there and it was only a matter of time before you went back to Him. It hurts in the moment, but sometimes it takes a lot to bring us back. Sometimes it takes a lot to break the heart so that you can actually realize that there’s only One way to fix it. You have to go back to the One who knows it best, the One who Created it. When we forget Him, He brings us back in ways that sometimes break us. It sucks but it’s what you need and it’s why you smile when you look back at how you got to where you are today.

8. Islam is all about balance and moderation. Look at anything in your life right now that is slightly problematic, worrisome or not going as planned, or perhaps you just aren’t happy with the way you’re doing certain things. Just notice for a second that all your problems, are because of an imbalance between their respective parts, actions & feelings. Either you’re too invested in something, or something is overused, or something is neglected. If you read the Quran, there’s an emphasis on having an important balance in so many different aspects of this life. Islam is such a comprehensive religion that it’s actually the perfect manual to living a healthy life too. Islam is perfect and the balance it calls for is perfect.

9. There’s beauty in the pain and disappointment you feel. There’s beauty in the confusion you feel because you never thought that person would hurt you or forget you. There’s beauty in the constant flow of memories you wish would stop pestering you. The beauty is that everything happens for a reason beyond your comprehension. The beauty is that someone who walked out only made room for the greatest person to walk back in. The beauty is that He is the All-knowing and He always does what’s best. What’s more reassuring than that?

10. Fortify your dua with acceptance. Accept the fact that dua is a powerful tool. Accept the fact that your dua will be heard and answered by the One who says “Be” & it is. Accept the true power of your dua and make it even more effective. You have to know how good something is and trust in it to yield the best outcomes

His Holiness Pope Francis told this body, from the very spot that I’m standing on tonight, that to imitate the hatred and violence of tyrants and murderers is the best way to take their place.  When politicians insult Muslims, whether abroad or (who) are our fellow citizens, when a mosque is vandalized, or a kid is called names – that’s not making us safer.  That’s not ‘telling it like it is.’  It’s just wrong.  It diminishes us in the eyes of the world.  It makes it harder to achieve our goals.  It betrays who we are as a country.

Obama visits a mosque for the first time as president

You might think that, seven years into his presidency, President Barack Obama doesn’t do anything new or exciting. Well, Obama will check “visit a U.S. mosque” off his list of presidential to-dos for the first time Wednesday morning with a trip to the Islamic Society of Baltimore. Why he finally made it a priority. (Includes a live stream of the event happening at 12:25 PM)