Islam made me a better citizen and patriot. The Prophet Muhammad's teachings strengthened my belief in freedom and democracy. Independence Day once meant nothing more to me than an excuse to party. Prior to my acceptance of Islam, my personal behavior demonstrated all too well why July 4th ranks as the holiday most associated with alcohol-related deaths. When I first read the Quran, Islam's revealed text, and the traditions (hadith) of the Prophet Muhammad I expected to find something totally alien to American ideals. Instead, I found many of the same democratic principles that emerged from the Continental Congress in that summer of 1776. Democracy - The Quran promises rewards for those "who (conduct) their affairs by mutual consultation." (Quran, 42:38) Political Activism - The Prophet Muhammad said, "The best jihad in the path of God is (to speak) a word of justice to an oppressive ruler." (Sunan of Abu-Dawood) Justice - "O believers! Stand firm for justice and bear true witness for the sake of God, even though it be against yourselves, your parents or your relatives. It does not matter whether the party is rich or poor - God is well wisher of both. So let not your selfish desires swerve you from justice.
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