First and foremost, before one can be proud to be a Muslim, one must have strong faith – to believe completely that Islam is the truth and nothing but the truth….
Islam was born during dark times, when modesty was forgotten, when women had no respect and honesty was a rare trait. Islam gave us what we needed, we were taught to like for our brothers what we like for ourselves, it taught us to be honest, to respect our women and be kind to each other, it taught us to look around us and realize that we have not been created without purpose, indicated in the Quran when Allah says:
“Verily in the creations of the heavens and the earth, and in the alteration of night and day, there are indeed signs for men of understanding. Those who remember Allah standing, sitting and lying down on their sides, and think deeply about the creations of the heavens and the earth, (saying): Our Lord! You have not created this without purpose, glory be to You…” (3:190-191)
As human civilization progressed, Allah sent down more and more Messengers to guide the people along, but when development had reached a point where the people were finally ready, Allah sent the last Messenger, Muhammad (May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) with the final message, that was for all mankind till the end of time. Along with the timing of the revelation of the Quran being perfect, the reality of Islam could also be proven from the foretelling of the final Prophet’s arrival in every religious scripture before the Quran.
Furthermore, the truth about Islam is evident by the miraculous nature of the Quran, which not only told us numerous scientific facts 1400 years ago but also unlike any other religious scripture, the Quran is the only one that does not contradict itself and is free from any confusion. Moreover, the universal nature of the religion is another proof why Islam is the only true religion, Brother Abdur Raheem Greene says in one of his lectures : “Islam is a truly universal religion that can be understood by anybody, anywhere; it is based upon certain universal principals that anybody, anywhere in anyplace and in anytime irrespective of their culture, their color, their upbringing… they could understand these things, because the truth about Islam and what Islam teaches us about Allah, about God are so fundamental and so rational and so logical, it could only be the truth.”
Once you’ve established that the path you’re on is the only reality, the only right path there is, not only do you submit completely to it but you take pride in it. I think Brother Nouman Ali Khan said it best when he said: “Faith itself is that you’re convinced Islam is true, that’s faith itself, but beyond that, a step above that is that you take pride in it, and a consequence of that is everything that is not Islam no longer appeals to you, everything that contradicts Islam, not only are you not attracted to it but you feel sad for people who are, you look at it as something beneath you.”
And why shouldn’t we be proud? Alhamdulillah, truly Islam is the most beautiful of religions, Allah says in the Quran: “You (true believers of Islam and real followers of prophet Muhammad and his sunnah) are the best of people ever raised up for mankind; you enjoin Al Ma’ruf (all that Islam has ordained) and forbid Al Munkar (all that Islam has forbidden), and you believe in Allah.” (Quran- 3:110) And whose word can be truer than Allah’s? Indeed, Allah is the All-Knowing, the Mighty, the Wise.