Dr. Khaled Abou El Fadl begins by reminding of the anchor of every day and age, the Qur’an, and that those who make it part of their soul will thrive; those who do not will remain in confusion at a minimum. He reminds that the Quran calls upon us to “Strive in the way of your Lord,” and that struggle and striving require time, energy, investment and effort. He cites verses from the Quran that tell us that God has selected Muslims–not based on racial, ethnic, tribal, or linguistic factors, but based on a relationship. It is a commitment based on the understanding that: you are among those who struggle in the path of God; you are committed to the struggle; if you find God, you will find the true source of happiness, tranquility and meaning; you are among those who understand that existentially, without Allah, nothing makes sense; with Allah your life has a purpose, and it has consequences, which is a foundational principle for morality itself. If you are among those, then you are among those God has chosen. He cites another Quranic verse that tells us that our relationship with God should lead to peace and tranquillity, not rancor, anger, envy or other human emotions that harm the soul and cause hardship.
He points out that one of the critical tasks that we are called to perform as Muslims is to bear witness upon people. Bearing witness was a sacred job and a moral task that predated Islam, Christianity and Judaism. God knows that bearing witness is a difficult task because it can bring profound consequences as people do not like to be confronted with the truth, especially those in power. However, if you want to create a society that is ethically consistent with Islam, you must create a society in which bearing witness does not lead to hardship. When bearing witness and telling the truth create hardship, human nature is to avoid pain, and will naturally tend to justify behavior that avoids pain. This leads to hypocrisy in the heart. It takes real struggle to go against this natural instinct, especially when it means bearing witness on the side of God and the Prophet in truth in opposition to those in power.
He explains that today, Wahhabism is no longer the problem, rather the theology of obedience to the state that is being propagated as an Islamic imperative all over the world. Under this theology, a Muslim learns that Islam is not intended to create autonomous, active, dynamic, thoughtful, and moral human beings, but rather, creates subservient and obedient human beings, whose relationship to politics is simple obedience. He points out that a society built on such despotism and obedience will breed hypocrisy and cowardliness. This type of Islam will ultimately lead to Islam’s death. This type of hypocrisy is what turns Muslim youth away from the faith.
He gives important examples of how this theology of obedience has resulted in devastation all across the Muslim world, and how it has made Muslims, particularly many Muslim “leaders” begin justifying and supporting the obscene acts of those in power, even to the point of suggesting that Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem is not holy in Islam. He gives examples of how ultimately, this quietist, pacifist, obedience theology leads to moral relativism, patriarchy and even the justification of slavery. It teaches people that the most important parts of their religion are prayer, fasting and charity, and that all else is unimportant. He draws the analogy to Karl Marx’s assertion that religion is the opiate of the masses, and demonstrates how this version of Islam–an Islam without ethics, without a vision, without a commitment to justice–would be exactly that. Delivered 23 August 2019.
How do we tow the line between the voice for justice and call for peace? How do we handle conflicts in our communities with healthy solutions? Sh. Omar Suleiman explores conflict resolution through the lens of the Seerah.
Imam Zaid Shakir clarifies how to make an accurate assessment of what constitutes oppression, the consideration of justice, and not to separate the standards established by the divine law. Recorded on 12/8/2018 at MCA (Muslim Community Center), Santa Clara, CA.
One of the biggest issues facing Muslim Americans today is Islamophobia. All around us, Muslims are targeted simply for being Muslim, making it incredibly hard for the youth of our generation to practice their faith comfortably. Allah ﷻ tells us in the Quran, “وَلاَ تَهِنُوا وَلاَ تَحْزَنُوا وَأَنتُمُ الأَعْلَوْنَ إِن كُنتُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ” “And do not grieve and do not be sad, for you are the higher ones if you were believers.” How can we get Muslim youth to have strength in who they are, without needing to run away or hide?
Standing firmly for justice is a core value in Islam which should be given a priority in managing our resources and planning on both individual and community levels. Our efforts in standing for justice should be principled, not exploitative, and should observe Allah’s ﷻ limits. What are the features of our “Standing for Justice” which might differentiate us from other Social Justice and Advocacy movements? What should American Muslims do to deliver to this religious responsibility?
Imamr Omar Suleiman reminds us that as Muslims we must speak the truth in the face of injustice and stand up with those who are oppressed and in need. In this particular case he tells us the stories of many individuals who were murdered due to racism, bigotry, etc.
Dr. Jonathan Brown, a professor at Georgetown University, is the son-in-law of a former political prisoner Dr. Sami Al-Arian. Dr. Brown spoke at an event called “Caged & Forgotten: Muslim Political Prisoners in Post 9/11 America”, July 19, 2018. Sponsored by the Coalition for Civil Freedoms.
We cannot talk about justice without speaking about race. In fact, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ characterized racism as the remnants of Jahiliyyah. Today’s Black Lives Matter movement is integral to our human, American, and Muslim identity. In this session we will discuss how we can get involved what Islam says about fighting for justice for all.
Dr. Altaf Husain delivers a Khutbah about social order from social justice and our religious obligation to uphold justice on the individual level. This sermon was delivered at the Muslim Community Center – East Bay (MCC East Bay) in Pleasanton, California on Friday, October 12, 2018.
Inner Cities in America are struggling. Black, Latino and other less fortunate communities of color are stuck in a viscious cycle of poverty. Couple this with the issue of race in America and you have a much bigger problem on hand. How can Muslims assist in this situation? How can organizations like ICNA Relief assist in these communities. Please share reflections on the recent tensions and violence in Baltimore.
We are searching for mercy on the month of mercy, Ramadan, but how do we attain mercy? What do we need to do? How should we act? Mufti Menk explains. Post Taraweeh talk at Masjidul Furqaan at Islamia Complex in Cape Town. Day 5 of Ramadhaan 1439
Allah(SWT) mentions in the Qur’an, “There are those people who worship Allah with a condition. If life is good, he’s happy and will happy with Allah. But if life is not good and a Fitnah happens, then he switches his faith in Allah, he ends up losing this world and the next” The wisdom of trying to understand the problems of this world is something that every faith/tradition has struggled with. It is one of the fundamental problems of theology.
The question of trying to understanding why there is pain, why is there suffering? Why is there bloodshed? Why is there evil in this world? This is a question that was asked of Allah even before he created us. When Allah(SWT) announced his creation of man in Surah Al-Baqarah, the angels asked: “Why would you do that” Even the angels asked the same question. Remember this is a question that was asked to better comprehend Allah’s wisdom, not to challenge Allah’s authority.
The precious advice that Prophet Muhammad ﷺ gave humanity in his last Sermon (The Sermon of Farewell) shows how much Islam values and appreciates the concepts of social equality, brotherhood, individual liberty and mutual cooperation as a guiding light for humanity fourteen centuries ago. Join us in covering these beautiful principles and discussing how we can apply them to our daily lives.
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: “Allah will elevate some people by this book and he will degrade others with it.” Conveying Islam with utmost clarity is a fundamental component of our mission at MAS. As such, reciting, memorizing, and understanding Quran is the heart of MAS’s plan to raise a Quranic generation who is prepared to carry out our mission. Join us in congratulating a new batch of 15 young men and women who completed the memorization of the Quran in the MAS Quran Institute Program.
A key tenet of belief in Islamic civilization was that God’s law, the Shariah, was the most just and perfect system of law for mankind. The primacy of the Shariah in the minds of many Muslims today remains strong, and an enduring tension in Muslim communities is negotiating the legitimacy of legal systems outside of the Shariah. This presentation will explore how classical Muslim scholars understood the relationship of the Shariah to justice, and how they reconciled their belief in the rule of law with the urgings of equity.
In this powerful and emotional talk, delivered in front of the largest annual gathering of Muslims in North America, Shaykh Dr. Yasir Qadhi shares his thoughts on the current state of Islamophobia in America, and the dismal situation in Muslim lands and how we should work together to speak out against oppression and injustice.
Nelson Mandela was arguably the most beloved statesman and leader of our generation. Why do so many people praise him irrespective of their political leanings? What was it about Mandela that transcended politics? This session will examine the life, times, and struggles of this South African leader that reveal, in the light of Islamic teachings, why our Prophet’s Sunnah, when practiced even by those outside of our faith, engenders love and respect in others. Mandela, for example, resorted to violent resistance only after he exhausted all non-violent means to end the oppression of his people. Even those on the far right of the political spectrum have defended his advocacy of violence. Newt Gingrich, for instance, recently wrote that Mandela was “deeply committed to a non-violent approach, until you had a South African dictatorship … which made it impossible to have anything that was purely non-violent.” Gingrich went as far as to compare Mandela to the Founding Fathers of America. What were the qualities and characteristics that made Mandela so unique and drew such approbation? More importantly, what is the role of patience, principle, purpose, forgiveness, and magnanimity in effecting change in human hearts and society?
In the recent years, Fair Trade has emerged as one of the world’s most dynamic efforts to enhance global social justice and environmental sustainability through market based social change. Does Fair Trade necessarily mean ethical trade? What impact can the average consumer have on global economics? Grounded in the inspiring power of Fair Trade as a positive alternative to poverty, environmental destruction, and human exploitation, this enlightening session will explain how we can make a difference.
It was narrated that ‘Ai’ishah said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “O people, you should do whatever good deeds you can, for Allah does not get tired (of giving reward) until you get tired. And the most beloved of good deeds to Allah is that in which a persons persists, even if it is little. If the family of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) started to do something, they would persist in it.” (al-Bukhaari, 43; Muslim, 782) As Muslims in tumultuous age, we must develop the methods and tools necessary to improve our community’s condition. How can we utilize our various individual strengths and approaches to jointly propel our community into a brighter era? What can we do today to energize and mobilize ourselves? How do we get ourselves moving? What are ways that we can ensure the continuity of our actions? From ISNA 2009 convention, “Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Happiness”, in Washington, D.C.
In his bestselling book, Ill Fares the Land, Tony Judt passionately argues that individualism, egoism, greed and the
politics they gave birth to are undermining the very basis
of community, equality and social justice. In the ensuing
social carnage no one suffers more than the poor and disenfranchised members of our society. What are the political foundations of community, equality and social justice?
Can America be a great nation if it tramples on its poor and downtrodden? How can more affluent Muslims display more compassion for the less fortunate members of our society–both Muslims and others? These are some of the questions Imam Siraj Wahhaj will answer in this lecture.
In this video, Imam Zaid Shakir discusses the concept of thankfulness from an Islamic perspective. He also discusses the importance of speaking out against the abuses which are leading the United States into an era of unprecedented tyranny.
The Pursuit of Happiness through the One and Only God Signs of a True Message: Purity, Simplicity & Balance by Dr. Ingrid Mattson at ICNA 2011 Convention – Quran: Guidance towards Just and Balanced Way