Name: Rayan Chermand
Occupation – Ex-law student, currently studying a Bachelor of Criminology and Criminal Justice and working as a dental assistant (I’ve also worked at Sydney International Airport!)
Relationship with Islam:
Islam governs my way of life day-to-day. I try to implement the elements of Islam into my life – whether from the Qur’an or Sunnah. There’s ALWAYS room for improvement – that’s for sure! I consider myself a follower of Islam – I will not judge my level of religiosity, as that is something I cannot bring myself to do. It is a daily exercise of improvement, challenges, and purification. Simply, I cannot imagine my life without Islam. The sense of contentment it provides is incomparable to anything this world has to offer. Gives my life meaning and certainly, a great purpose.
I’m currently enjoying a book on the life of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) by Fethullah Gulen. I’ve also recently read “Lost Islamic History” – highly recommended read!
Has the portrayal of Muslims in the media affected your life?
To be honest, it does to an extent. But I remind myself that I have a duty to show what Islam really is – and that manifests itself through Islamic etiquette through our interactions with others. I think that is vital and should not be derailed by sensationalised and biased perceptions propagated by the media.
There are many, fantastic Muslims who have done great work – and I admire that. Would one day like to emulate such courage and strength.
What about the ‘moderate’ and ‘extremist’ labels that are associated with Islam?
I think such terms are very unnecessary. They create more harm than good. Islam is about unity – to me, there is no such thing as extreme and moderate views. Each to their own – whether they classify themselves as ‘religious’ or not. But the religion is what it is. And I just think Islam is there for you to learn about and put into practice, not to waste time categorising/labelling one another.
Has wearing the hijab changed your interactions with people?
Well, 95% of the time, I’ve had positive experiences. Negative experiences are rare. I mean, I do get the occasional looks – but it doesn’t bother me!
What is the best thing about being Muslim?
Living a content life, knowing I have a purpose in life, knowing that everything happens as Allah wills, according to His Divine Wisdom and Knowledge. How can I forget the sense of FREEDOM that it provides?
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