Drained from an extensive day of babysitting, I was sitting and watching the

Avengers with my 5-year-old nephew. I had actually never seen the movie before

and certainly had no interest to. The only thing that succeeded to reserve my

attention was my nephew’s occasional shrieking and excitement at the appearance

of Captain America. I honestly never believed he was such a great superhero. I mean

what was even so special about him? He, just like any other superhero, was a reason

to give Marvel millions of dollars from the parents of these fascinated children.

So I asked my nephew a simple question…Sweetie, why do you like Captain America

so much? And he gave me an innocent response…“his shield, he’s so strong with his

shield and he can fight his enemy with it, and the best part he doesn’t even get

hurt!”…. and suddenly I made a revelation.

The shield! That’s what makes him so special! It is the sole reason Captain America

is so loved by the nation! With his indestructible shield he’s so amazingly powerful!

He can throw it at his enemies and defeat them in an instant, without any visible

damage to himself.

The analogy is in the shield. For Muslims, our iman, or faith, is inevitably our shield.

The alter ego of Captain America is Steven Rogers, a man who was rejected from the

army due to the single fact that he was too weak and frail to engage in combat with

the enemy. However, as soon as he took the risk to undergo a series of experiments,

he gained unimaginable strength and, to go along with it, an indestructible shield. He

became the Captain America that is known and loved today.

If Muslims take the initiative to step up and learn about their religion and

strengthen their relationship with Allah, they can become their own superhero. It

honestly does not matter how weak you think your iman is, how bad you believe

you are, or how much unforgivable sin you think you have engaged in. As soon as

we, as Muslims, take the leap of faith and seize the opportunity to change our bad

habits, we have put on our shield.

Asking forgiveness for sins we believe we have committed, taking initiatives to start

praying in a timely manner, and changing our mindset to be able to declare that

“Yes! I will change for Allah starting now!” we strengthen our iman and secure our

shield in place. Once we strengthen our faith, no enemy (i.e. Shaytaan) can bring us

down.

What Muslims simply need to remember is that without our iman and without our

Islam we are nothing. We were privileged to be born Muslim and our religion makes

us who we are. So never give up on it because Islam is our shield that undeniably

makes us indestructible.

By Fatima Alam

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