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Any of you that have read my blog know that I am opposed to the methodology of isolationism. I really believe that we must engage the community at large, get to know our neighbors and join with other community members to improve it instead of shielding ourselves off in a mental compound.

I have been blasted relentlessly by some brothers for being engaged in this type of work (they say that this is for “progressives” and “modernists”) but I want to let people know that just because one is engaged in outreach and social work that this does not make them a “progressive” or “liberal” Muslim.

The “Progressives” do not have a strangle hold on outreach and many other Muslims that attend the Masjid are coming out and engaging the community.

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The following links are just a few examples of some of the things that have been done by non-‘progressive’ Muslims in the DC area and continues to happen alhamdulillah.

Dar Al Hijrah joins with neighbors to address Day Labor Issue

PG Muslims engage community, Islam through Outreach


Faith Takes a Front Seat in Planning for Flu Pandemic

And this is one that I wrote about an old woman I met in a nursing home

Allah knows that I don’t mention all of this to destroy my deeds, but to be an encouragement to others to reach out and reject isolationism. I have seen first hand that isolationism just does not work – especially when you are a person whose entire family is not Muslim.

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10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Mujahideen Ryder

    June 7, 2007 at 8:10 PM

    This is why I generally love MSAs. We do these type of work on campuses. I can only speak for my MSA at Stony Brook Unversity and we have been told by non-Muslim students and faculty that the MSA at SBU is one of the most active clubs with the deverse events. This was when I was on the e-board. We tried to reach out to all groups: Blacks, Latinos, Whites, Jews, even Chinese! Alhamdulillah for the news articles you have linked. JazakAllah khair bro. Seriously. I love things like this.

  2. Amad

    June 7, 2007 at 9:24 PM

    ASA, Tariq, we have been engaged in such work as well… below, for instance, pls find the keynote session of Texas Dawah last year.

    However, I don’t think we should conflate the two issues— implying that my post on the RAND issue is somehow a criticism of community activism. As you stated, such activism is definitely not limited to the proggies. This also does not mean that we ignore the progressivism movement, which I at least find quite dangerous, esp. because of the support it garners from the ‘state’. Whoever is telling you not to engage with the ‘people’ is obviously out of touch and that too does not represent the mainstream:

    The 1st Amendment: Religious Liberty ,
    Free Speech, and Open Government –
    Protecting the Foundation of America

    Panelists:
    Greg Abbott, The Attorney General of TX (invited);
    Suzzii Paynter, Executive Director of the Christian Life Commission of the Baptist General Convention of Texas;
    Gene Policinski, Executive Director of the First Amendment Center; and Br. Mohammad Elibiary Founder of Freedom and Justice Foundation.

  3. Tariq Nelson

    June 7, 2007 at 9:47 PM

    Amad:

    See, that’s the problem. Many do conflate the two and many who read your article will see it that way for sure.

    The criticism I and others receive is often that we are “acting like progressives” or “ikhwani”

    We can stand firm upon principles AND be open and engaging at the same time.

  4. Amad

    June 7, 2007 at 9:58 PM

    Well then Tariq, I am glad you wrote this post and gave me the opportunity to set the record straight!

    w/s

    P.S. I really like the word conflation as you can tell. It deflates a lot of inflated conflations! :)

  5. Rasheed

    June 7, 2007 at 10:00 PM

    The problem with this ‘activism’ is that it seems like a bunch of butt kissing of the kufaar. why we feeding these people when there are hungry Muslims all over the world???

  6. Amad

    June 7, 2007 at 10:42 PM

    We are not ‘feeding’ or ‘butt kissing’… we are making the place we reside in, the community that we are part of, the land that we live off, better for us and better for our neighbors. Social activism wherever you live is not alien to Islam.

    Also, let’s not conflate (here I go again with my favorite word) the issues of hungry Muslims all over the world and social activism where we live. You think if we were to stop being part of our communities here, will the ‘hungry Muslims’ around the world stop being hungry? The two issues are just that: TWO separate issues. Let’s deal with both separately and uniquely. Mix the two and you won’t achieve either.

  7. Abu Bakr

    June 7, 2007 at 10:59 PM

    This weekend, in sha Allah, I will try to write a short article on Social Work in the Light of the Qur’an

  8. engagement oil portrait painting

    June 8, 2007 at 12:01 AM

    I’m not completely opposed with the idea of isolationism. What I don’t like about it is that it embraces protectionism. Call me bias because I’m into business but I really can’t understand why is there a need to put a barrier in trade and product exchange between states.

  9. Umm Reem

    June 8, 2007 at 9:09 AM

    There are many examples from the Sunnah of the Prophet sallallahu alihi wasalam, which show that he actively participated in a ‘khffar’ community even when it came to helping them out.

    Sh. Yasir’s lecutre on the Life of Muhammad is full of such examples which he drew from Meccan era.

    Just because a Muslim helps non-Muslims or participates in their community activities, it doesn’t mean that s/he is not concerned about other Muslims or that s/he is ignoring the right of other Muslims!

  10. AnonyMouse

    June 8, 2007 at 5:53 PM

    One such example from the Sunnah: the pact of Hilf al-Fudul.

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