Thinking Islamically in terms of public function and institution
Using our life energy n resources BUILDING what Allah wants us to build, while we live on this earth.
Islam and Muslims will be relevant when we allow Islam to speak to real-world situations
‘Amal – Islam is built on action
- The intellect is important, as well as our spirituality and our rituals
- However, our MISSION is the highest priority. Rasulullah SAW enabled his companions to learn Deen within the fields of effort that included his Daw’ah, community building, and revolutionary political establishment. We shouldn’t be frightened by such a discussion
- What our Prophet’s teachings brought was a social and political revolution which established the world’s longest-standing empire.
- Our thinking about “Amilu as-Salihaat” should be more expansive. It goes way beyond Salah and good manners. Islam is social, economic, environmental, and political.
Rahma – Mercy is the essence of our Deen, in all things
وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ إِلَّا رَحْمَةً لِّلْعَالَمِينَ
هُوَ الَّذِي أَرْسَلَ رَسُولَهُ بِالْهُدَىٰ وَدِينِ الْحَقِّ
Every surah of the Qur’an begins with Allah’s Names: ar-Rahmaan ir-Raheem
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا هَلْ أَدُلُّكُمْ عَلَىٰ تِجَارَةٍ تُنجِيكُم مِّنْ عَذَابٍ أَلِيمٍ
تُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ وَتُجَاهِدُونَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ بِأَمْوَالِكُمْ وَأَنفُسِكُمْ ۚ ذَٰلِكُمْ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ إِن كُنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ
Everything built is on a foundation, and Western society has problematic foundations
Professor Karl Polanyi’s Great Transformation: an examination of society, modes of living, as they changed under arbitrarily established laws of “free market”
- Enclosure Acts ended an entire mode of life: humans living freely on the land
- urbanization and the beginnings of mass-poverty/class divide
- human relationships now arbitrated by a monetarized marked
- various struggles of the people to gain political control over the wealthy class
- Freedom to pursue self-interest – taken to the extremes to the detriment of society
- The Enclosure Acts
- The impoverished masses crowded into the cities
- The monopolization of opportunity and Cut-throat competition between common people
- The extent of political propaganda over wealth: the hoax called “budget crisis” as an example.
- Capitalism at the roots of: inequality, extreme poverty, government corruption, media corruption, environmental destruction
- Nation States
- Only 300 year-old system
- Humanity divided along imaginary lines
- Colonization and slavery
- Competition and war
- Manipulation by NGO’s (IMF, World Bank), international banking, and transnational corporations
- South America, Greece, Middle East, Africa
وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمْ لَا تُفْسِدُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ قَالُوا إِنَّمَا نَحْنُ مُصْلِحُونَ
The matter of fasaad in public is of extreme relevance in Islamic Law. A single person doing personal wrong will affect themselves. But a public official or a corrupted institution can spread harm among millions of people.
Our Imams have listed it among the kaba-ir (major sins) to allow public office to be held by anyone who is either corrupt or inept.
Currently threatened with global destruction
- Nuclear war
- The War on Terror that produces terror
- The collapsing biosphere
- Shaykh Musa Furber, in his thesis Obligations to Future Generations warns that today’s youth are threatened to such an extent that their very future existence is questionable. He also concludes that we are under a moral imperative, according to Shari’s Objectives, to work toward ensuring humanity has a future, and the best future possible.
Thinking Islamically with basic principles
“Islam is 60 or 70 branches: the least of which is to remove something harmful from the path of the people.”
“None of you will complete your Iman until you love for another what you love for yourself”
وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمْ أَنفِقُوا مِمَّا رَزَقَكُمُ اللَّهُ قَالَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا لِلَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَنُطْعِمُ مَن لَّوْ يَشَاءُ اللَّهُ أَطْعَمَهُ
This verse shows a major flaw in much of today’s “live and let die”, “dog eat dog” society.
- The 5 Higher Objectives of Shari’a
- Maximizing benefit and ease
- Harm must be removed
- Mafsada vs Maslaha
- These principles carry the weight of Law: they are a well-established part of Shari’a.
The Prophet’s masjid was a House that served various functions. Let that be our example.
Explain how Occupy was organized
- We can imagine our communities as early colonies: some colonies thrived while others failed.
- Occupy Wall Street had camps all over the world. Each camp was a self-reliant colony.
- Volunteers were arranged in working groups: each group served a vital function
- Examples: Finance, Education, Youth, Protest, and Social Media
- each working group was responsible to ensure the needs of the camp were met in that particular function.
The Medina Network – how it was developed Began with assessing the needs of converts by interacting with hundreds
- Patterns of needs were recognized
- Programs were developed to address each need
- This exemplifies:
- understanding Community as functioning to meet human needs
- institutionalizing meaningful and effective solutions for real problems
Supporting advanced institutions like Islam Forward
- The need for Peoples’ Education and News
- Surveys indicate that most people don’t read books, most people can’t disect the factual content of the news they read/hear
- With the flurry of information, it is important to have condensed, relevant, honest news providers
- It is essential that everyday people can clearly understand what is happening in the world around us. This requires education beyond what we acquire in schools or in our vocations.
- Not being distracted and divided over nonsense, media spin, propaganda, and non-issues
- Advancement and progress mean movement and development in the right directions.
- This requires all of us to be contributing either the time or wealth that development demands
- When we have qualified people working to establish something, it is critical not to miss the opportunity.
- The loss of knowledge comes through the death of scholars
- The example of the youth center in Arlington, Ayman Ali’s efforts lost for 20 years.
- Relevant knowledge and the velocity of transfer
- A sense of constant urgency is required for forward movement
- Each coming generation needs a foundation of understanding the world’s major issues and its foundations.
- We all need the intellectual tools that direct our efforts into real progress
Conclusion: Examine your own community and our common society to determine which functions need established or rectified. It is critical that every human being is committed to the success of humanity which requires the advancement of our local communities, and the rectification of our global society as well.