Here’s an exercise – Think about the times you heard good things about Islam. Whether it was being glorified for its rich history and culture or someone praising the character of the Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) or some Muslim-based organisation being recognised for its charitable activities.
Next, try to remember an embarrassing moment in your life, when your Muslim neighbour was using profanity in an argument with someone or hearing a story of someone being cheated by a Muslim or seeing a news flash about a terrorist attack allegedly carried out by Muslims.
In the good incidents did you feel proud of being associated with Islam and being a Muslim or didn’t bother to care less. And in the bad ones did you feel a personal discomfort or did you think it was irrelevant to you?
What we tell ourselves or think about the affairs around us sets a tone of the narrative we carry. Not often we realise how vastly this narrative of ours influences the people around us.
I would not go to the extent of saying that not bothering about global religious affairs that impact our image and representation in the society is a diabolical trait creeping in us. However, it surely is a lack of responsibility as an accountable Muslim.
Surely, it’s not in our hands to make an enormous impact to lay a positive narrative, yet, in our own small ways and within our own small circles we can start tiny waves of positive impact.
Because sometimes the smallest step in the right direction can end up being the best ones in the long run.
All that being said from a perspective of a layman, imagine the power we hold, both literally and figuratively, through social media platforms.
If we were to look closely, every aspect of our lives has Islamic practices that only enhances it. Food, fitness, personal etiquette, socialising, philosophy, parenting, marriage, intellect, the list goes on. In order to create a positive narrative and nurture it, we should build, rather highlight, the Islamic perspective on these aspects.
Make no mistake, these age-old practices are backed by scientific research even today. The challenge, however, comes in picking the content relevant to our readers, or followers rather. But I would not call it impossible. After all, difficult roads lead to a beautiful destination.
So pick a topic and start to suggest the world with positivity. Its most powerful form is positive spirituality. And remember a narrative creation is just like achieving a flat belly, it requires daily dedication and moments of consistency.
Going back to my opening exercise – next time you come across a good or a bad Islamic situation, notice the chronicle floating around makes a huge impact and our awareness of the topic and ability to articulate right Islamic content about it might just initiate a positive narrative.