Flaunt Your Differences By Rayyan Sayeed

Assalamu Alaikum. Do you know what that means? It means peace and blessings be upon you. My name is Rayyan Sayeed and I am in 4th grade. I am Muslim and proud of it. However, sometimes people make fun of who I am and my difference.

In Islam, Muslims have to pray at certain times to thank G-d for the blessings He provides. Sometimes when I am outside at school with my non-Muslim friends and have to take a break to go pray, it is hard for me to do that. I say, “I have to go inside to pray,” but my friends try and convince me to stay outside. Sometimes I get shy to display my religion because people make fun of it. One time my brother was coming off the bus and was wearing a thobe (Muslim traditional clothes) and our neighbors said, “nice maxi” to my brother about his thobe. A Thobe is a sign of modesty. There is another thing that Muslim men wear. It is a covering for your hair and it is called a topi.

If you’re wearing a topi at school some students say, It’s not cold. Why are you wearing a hat?” But I try to not take these comments too seriously, and I make sure to stand up for my religion. I tell them it is a thing that our messengers used to wear on their heads. That is not the only difference I have in this big and blessed world. My culture is also different than a lot of people. I am from India and people can make fun of me for it. This is because since I am an Indian and most people assume I am a Hindu since most people assume people from India are Hindu. However, in India, just like in the United States, there are actually so many religions. Some people are Muslims, others are Hindus, while others are Buddhists, Christians and Jews. Being called Hindu is not what bothers me. What bothers me is how people can make fun of people from India.

But again, instead of feeling left out I stand up for myself and flaunt my differences. I hope everyone can live together peacefully. Whatever differences I may have, I try to flaunt them and live happily.

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3 Responses to “Flaunt Your Differences By Rayyan Sayeed”

  1. Mat ZuckerDecember 24, 2016 at 3:03 pm #

    Great essay! Well written and important to share.

  2. Narjis A.M.December 23, 2016 at 9:24 pm #

    Wa alaikum as salam and Mabruk Rayyon! Be bold. Be proud and continue to be strong in faith (iman) and sabr (patience) as this world is not always welcoming to differences. May you be successful in your educational goals and continue to be a bright citizen of this world.

  3. AnnDecember 23, 2016 at 11:09 am #

    Thank you, Rayyon, for your courage and openness. We can all learn from you! I love that you have enough patience and perspective to navigate your experience with so much grace and dignity. What a beautiful example you are.

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