Friday, September 16, 2005

What's Next? The Gift of Ramadan

Salaam alaikum everyone,

I've missed posting stuff here but as some of you may know, I am a native of New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina basically washed us out. Alhamdulillah, I am in Atlanta, Georgia, safe and sound, and ready to get back to business.

So much has happened that I have not been able to comment on. In October, this blog will be a year old. We started out with a few goals in mind but our main goal was to promote traditional Islam while pulling apart the theories of the Progressive Muslim Movement.

Within a year, the PMUNA had become Muslim media darlings. Only these journalists, professors and policy makers (cough) could bring the Muslim world into the 21st century. Those who did not fall in line with their agenda were immediately insulted. Their character was called into question publicly and their ignorant fans applauded their efforts.

But in the last two months, we have seen the mass resignations of popular members such as Omid Safi, Michael Knight, and Muqtedar Khan. And with the recent disaster of Hurricane Katrina, the American public will not be distracted by female-led prayer stunts or Muslim women venting out their sexual frustrations. Americans are too busy wondering why we could rebuild Baghdad but New Orleans was left to drown. But does this mean that the fitnah is over?

Of course not.

They have disbanded but these are very creative people. They have managed to steal authority from those who could speak better on Islamic issues. Scholars who spent years training in Western universities and at the feet of the shayukh need not apply. They have seperated but they will pull their respective careers together. They will market themselves as the beacons of Islamic enlightenment until the United States is done with its policies in the Middle East and such beacons are no longer needed.

Where does this leave us at Living Tradition? We are still committed to seeing progress of the Muslim community around the world according to the dictates of the Qur'an and Sunnah. We still believe that in order to progress, God must be the goal of our progression. We are committed to seeing our communities in the West become a beautiful example of Islam. If Islam is still spreading with all this negative propoganda, just imagine what would happen if our neighbors had a more balanced concept of our religion.

We are seeing more progress in our communities. If there was one good thing that came out of the PMUNA is that it forced Muslims to address certain issues from an Islamic standpoint. The issue of "Women in the Masjid" was addressed at the 2005 ISNA convention. A published essay supported by CAIR and ISSA addressed the rights of women in the mosque. Muslims raised their voices of outrage at the plight of Sister Mukhtar Mai at the hands of the Panchiat in Pakistan. We spread the word of our fallen sister and her unborn child, Iman Muhanna Muhammad.

Just recently, Islamic Relief was in charge of relief efforts at the Astrodome in Texas. Various Muslim organizations have come together to establish an umbrella group to collect charity for Katrina's victims. CAIR has plegded to raise 10 million dollars for hurricane relief efforts. New Orleans, with a small, diverse community of Muslims, launched its first Islamic newspaper. More masajid are producing newsletters, some publish newspaper and have websites to give more information about Islam. Muslims are getting involved in the fields of arts, politics and civil liberties.

We have a long way to go but we are getting there. Alhamdulillah, it is good to see progress in the Muslim community for the pleasure of God.
So here is another great idea from Imam Zaid Shakir. I wish his article was still posted to the Zaytuna website but for some reason it's gone. He suggested that we set aside a dollar for every day that we fast in Ramadan. He also suggested that the money be donated to a charitable organization. But it is your sadaqa so spend it when it is needed most. There are probably many people in your neighborhood who are needy. Some of you might be hosting families who lost their homes in the Gulf South. Consult with God and He will guide you well.

I'll be back with more soon...

3 Comments:

Blogger altaf said...

Salaams

Imam Zaid Shakir's article is there on Zaytuna's web site - under the "articles" section...

http://zaytuna.org/articleDetails.asp?articleID=83

Altaf

8:18 PM  
Blogger ابدلرحیم said...

Such a wonderful roundup of things happened and Ameen to your goals to the future. Please continue to challenge the Progressive movement and help represent real Islam.

2:40 AM  
Blogger Info said...

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6:14 AM  

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