On Being Faithful Muslims and Loyal Americans

October 13, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Resolution of the Fiqh Council of North America Adopted in its General Body Meeting held in Virginia on September 24-25, 2011

Like other faith communities in the US and elsewhere, we see no inherent conflict between the normative values of Islam and the US Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Contrary to erroneous perceptions and Islamophobic propaganda of political extremists from various backgrounds, the true and authentic teachings of Islam promote the sanctity of human life, dignity of all humans, and respect of human, civil and political rights. Islamic teachings uphold religious freedom and adherence to the same universal moral values which are accepted by the majority of people of all backgrounds and upon which the US Constitution was established and according to which the Bill of Rights was enunciated.

The Qur’an speaks explicitly about the imperative of just and peaceful co-existence, and the rights of legitimate self-defense against aggression and oppression that pose threats to freedom and security, provided that, a strict code of behavior is adhered to, including the protection of innocent non-combatants.

The foregoing values and teachings can be amply documented from the two primary sources of Islamic jurisprudence – the Qur’an and authentic Hadith. These values are rooted, not in political correctness or pretense, but on the universally accepted supreme objectives of Islamic Shari’ah, which is to protect religious liberty, life, reason, family and property of all. The Shari’ah, contrary to misrepresentations, is a comprehensive and broad guidance for all aspects of a Muslim’s life – spiritual, moral, social and legal. Secular legal systems in Western democracies generally share the same supreme objectives, and are generally compatible with Islamic Shari’ah.

Likewise, the core modern democratic systems are compatible with the Islamic principles of Shura – mutual consultation and co-determination of all social affairs  at all levels and in all spheres, family, community, society, state and globally.

As a body of Islamic scholars, we the members of FCNA believe that it is false and misleading to suggest that there is a contradiction between being faithful Muslims committed to God (Allah) and being loyal American citizens. Islamic teachings require respect of the laws of the land where Muslims live as minorities, including the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, so long as there is no conflict with Muslims’ obligation for obedience to God. We do not see any such conflict with the US Constitution and Bill of Rights. The primacy of obedience to God is a commonly held position of many practicing Jews and Christians as well.

We believe further that as citizens of a free and democratic society, we have the same obligations and rights of all US citizens. We believe that right of dissent can only be exercised in a peaceful and lawful manner to advance the short and long term interests of our country.

The Fiqh Council of North America calls on all Muslim Americans and American citizens at large to engage in objective, peaceful and respectful dialogue at all levels and spheres of common social concerns. We call upon all Muslim Americans to be involved in solving pressing social problems, such as the challenge of poverty, discrimination, violence, health care and environmental protection. It is fully compatible with Islam for Muslims to integrate positively in the society of which they are equal citizens, without losing their identity as Muslims (just as Jews and Christians do not lose their religious identity in doing the same).

We believe that emphasis on dialogue and positive collaborative action is a far better approach than following the paths of those who thrive on hate mongering and fear propaganda. Anti-Islam, anti-Semitism and other similar forms of religious and/or political-based discrimination are all forms of racism unfit for civilized people and are betrayal of the true American as well as Islamic values.
May the pursuit of peace, justice, love, compassion, human equality and fellowship prevail in the pluralistic mosaic that is the hallmark of our nation.

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Dawah at the Dinner table During Ramadan

August 20, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Correct Fear of ALLAH

By Imam Abdullah El-Amin

A famous politician once said, “ The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”.  That may be true if you are speaking in generalities only.  If you are afraid of the scrutiny of other people or their criticisms, then you will have a fear of them and be under their power, unable to utilize your own.

But if the only fear you have is the fear (respect, regardfulness) of ALLAH, you are empowered over everything in creation.

In my leadership at the masjid I often see people hold back from expressing the truth about a situation simply because they are afraid of the gaze or scrutiny of another person.  That is the wrong fear.

People will also not pursue their dreams because someone told them they were unqualified and so they back up and let it drop and it is probably something they are very good at or at least something that can be sharpened.  They drop their dreams because this naysayer appears to be stronger or smarter than you.  But when you really look at this person you will probably find they are actually weaker than you.

Suppressing the talent ALLAH blessed you with is actually being ungrateful to Him.  If you suppress your Islam so as to not let non-Muslims see you, you are being ungrateful of the greatest gift bestowed on mankind.

Alhamdullilah, we are at the advent of another Ramadan fast.  We look to this month as a period of rejuvenation of our souls and our spirits.  Almighty ALLAH orders us to abstain from food, drink, sex, and vain talk as a submission to Him so as to strengthen our iman.  It is an excellent time to re-visit, study, and, strengthen some basic Islamic principles.

Ramadan is also the time when ALLAH affords us the opportunity to eat with each other more often.  At Maghrib time, you can be sure most Muslims are scurrying around to find something to eat.  During the rest of the year, with our busy schedules, it is difficult for some families to find time to eat together.

This Ramadan, we should focus on utilizing this time to do “Dawah at the dinner table.”  When we have fear of ALLAH, it will be more easy to combat the following weak behaviors.

Muslim men and women need to pay attention to how we live and practice our religion.  This society makes a big point out of irresponsible men and loose women seeming to be normal.  I know some Muslim males who have fathered children and never taken care of them.  They have gotten to the point in their life where the sin of such action escapes them.  In some communities the men go from woman to woman as though they were expendable collateral.  To father children and not “maintain and protect them,” is in direct conflict to the directives of ALLAH.  Men are also charged with maintaining and protecting the community.  Adhering to basic directives like this is necessary to have a stable productive community.

Females also need to be reminded of basic Islamic principles.  ALLAH orders women to not expose their breasts and not draw unnecessary attention to their bodies.  Yet I am noticing increasing numbers of Muslim women exposing cleavage and wearing form fitting jeans and dresses with not enough top piece to cover their forms.  And it is ironic that at the same time they are wearing a scarf.  What do you think the men inside and outside of the mosque are looking at…the scarf??  I think not.

Female breasts are sexual body parts.  That’s why ALLAH orders women to draw a veil over them.  But I see lots of Muslim females from teenagers to young women – and even some “seasoned” women showing cleavage just like the women on TV.

Dawah at the dinner table will help those guilty of this.

Men, if you have babies with women and you haven’t financially, materially, or emotionally supported them, start doing it now – for the sake of ALLAH – if you believe.  You cannot continue lying to and using women just because you can – because they are the weaker sex.  Repent to ALLAH and ask for His forgiveness; and from then on, strive to be upright.

During this month I would like to see more men standing up to their obligations to our women and children.  Start with what you have and ask ALLAH to make it easy for you to fulfill you duties.

And I don’t want to see any more females showing cleavage.  I don’t want to see it at any mosque  – or if I happen to see you at CVS pharmacy.  If you don’t demand respect, you will not get any.

Let’s talk to each other for real.  Do dawah at the dinner table – it’s the best place.

As Salaam alaikum
(Al Hajj) Imam Abdullah El-Amin

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