By Feyaz Allaham
Hugh Marcano, 71, also known as PJ, lived in Guaya, Mayaro for more than 50 years and is a well-known community oriented individual. “True Islam is true righteousness,” this is how he explained to me his dealings with Muslims as a youth, having been hired for his first job by a Muslim. He listed to me the qualities of his first employer which emulates true Islam and is what he believes real Islam teaches. His employer was always on time, paid him on time, always sought to help him and treated him well.
He also observed that whenever criminals are Muslims, the media never fails to mention it, unlike crimes committed by persons of other religions.
Peter Arismandes, another Mayaro resident for more than 50 years, also expressed the same sentiments as he explained that “the media distorts the views of Muslims”. He also brought it to my attention that he never witnessed Muslims in his community doing free medical services and speaking to the people.
Striving myself to be a good Muslim and propagator of Islam, I was reminded of the hadith where the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “I have been sent except to perfect good character.”
As Muslims, wherever we are, we must try at all times to be the best exemplars of Islamic character because it’s the first source of learning for non-Muslims, according to my personal experience.
With recent events in Trinidad and Tobago and around the world, we have to step out of our routine and comfort zones to mingle with the community and do our job as propagators of true Islam. Now is the time! Stop making excuses and let the people know who real Muslims are.