Whitlam Institute

What Matters 2019 Shortlist

What Matters 2019 Shortlist

Read. Learn. Understand.

Read. Learn. Understand.

Fareeha Khan

Year 11

In the name of God, the most beneficent, the most merciful.

Islam is portrayed as something other than what it's supposed to be. Maybe as something feared or overlooked. There's too many misunderstandings and uncertainties. I'm here to tell you that you might have the wrong idea. You might not care what I have to say, but you might respect it. You might not agree with everything I say and that's okay. But this is what matters to me. My deen and what I'm doing to promote it.

Don't judge Islam by what Muslims around the world are doing or saying, including myself. Look it up- not on google, but in the Quran. The Quran is completely the word of God people have written down in book format. It is what God has sent down to us, unchanged since it was revealed. So look it up. What does God have to say? What does He say about Islam, about how to live life and the laws we have to abide by? Why are we here in this world and what will happen to us after death? These questions come to everyone, and if they haven't come to you, perhaps you do not wish for guidance or seek it. Maybe you listen but you do not hear. Maybe you look but cannot see.

Just think of this world, of the amazing composition of the body. Of the flowers and the fruits and their perfection. Look at your hand, move it.

God says, “So which of the blessings of your Lord will you deny?”55:13

The Quran is a manual for life. It is the rope of God. The miracles of the world in it are amazing, miracles that scientists only found out recently, yet the Quran was revealed 1400 years ago. There's everything you need in it- the ways of marriage and inheritance. It gives men rights and gives women rights. It tells you to stay away from bad and do good. Stay away from alcohol, self-harm, lying, arrogance, cheating, adultery, backbiting- anything prohibited in Islam has more harm in it than good. That's why it's a sin. Anything mandatory or encouraged- respect, being kind, charity, smiling, wearing the hijab, praying five times a day, giving from what you have to others- has more good in it than bad. That's why it's mandatory or encouraged. It's simple really. Is just that people can't get over their love for this world, can't get over their own ego, can't get over what people will think of them. They are not willing to change themselves, give up a little in this world for eternal bliss. For Paradise.

All I'm saying is: Read. Learn. Seek knowledge and act upon it. Understand. Read one sentence in the Quran and think-what does it mean, what is the story behind it, or the context? What can I do to be a better person? Get a better understanding of Islam. Find out what it's about and why so many people become Muslim and love it and are proud of it. Listen to someone's story. People often dislike Islam because they're ignorant of it.

I'm not trying to get you to convert. In fact, Islam does not allow force to be used on people. I just want you to listen and hear, look and see.

Because this is what matters to me. To get to paradise and get you there too.