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Quran and Sunnah

Our Legacy for the Next Generation: Doubt?

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Posted by abu abdAllah

Indeed all praise is for Allah.  I seek refuge with Him from the rejected-devil, from the evil that my misdeeds and excesses may bring upon me or others, and from every source of evil.  In the Name of Allah, I begin.

Ash-Shura, Ayat 14

Sahih International: And they did not become divided until after knowledge had come to them – out of jealous animosity between themselves. And if not for a word that preceded from your Lord [postponing the penalty] until a specified time, it would have been concluded between them. And indeed, those who were granted inheritance of the Scripture after them are, concerning it, in disquieting doubt.

Muslims who go to the masjid regularly for salat often notice that many more Muslims attend Jum’aa (Friday khutbah and prayers).  And Muslims who regularly attend Jum’aa probably notice how many more Muslims attend Eid.  And the hard fact is that in most communities, only a fraction of Muslims will attend the two Eids.

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There are many reasons given for poor attendance at masajid nationwide — poor as percentages of the Muslims residing in those communities.  This article zeroes in on one of them — “those mullahs are always fighting.”  Those words were not from any dream sequence.  Those are the words that Muslim doctors often repeat to my father, also a physician, when he encourages them to be more involved in their local masjid.

Is there any truth to that accusation?  Let’s substitute for “mullah” the words “people who have some knowledge of Islam.”  Do people who have some knowledge of Islam fight or argue with others at the masajid?  Do they criticize each other in public or in secret?  Are there “turf wars” in our communities?

Suppose for the moment that to an outside observer the answers to those questions are all “yes!

Our own Nouman Ali Khan discusses in this video khatirah what Allah warns the Muslims regarding fighting and arguing among people to whom revelation and knowledge have come.

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While the warning of Allah applies to all people, surely it is the ulema, the people of dhikr, who ponder His Message and give us our best living examples of how to take heed.  It is by the examples they set that ulema do justice or injustice to their inheritance from the Prophet sull Allaho alayhi wa sallam.

Most of us who read MM have met shuyukh like Waleed Basyouni, Yasir Qadhi, and Yaser Birjas, and mashaAllah, can attest from personal experience how these shuyukh and so many others like them study and teach Islam with strength and kindness, firm in faith yet compassionate.  Do we not see how Allah puts barakat in the dawah of these shuyukh?

Our challenge as a community in America is to instill the same attitudes in our masajid, whether in their imams, their boards, their schools, or in any activity.  The legacy we leave the generation that follows us should not be one that fills them with discord, sowing the seeds of doubt.  Rather we have an obligation to call to what is right with salam, with peace.

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Bismillah walhamdolillah. May Allah accept my repentance and yours. I am an attorney, a stepfather, a husband, a son, and a Muslim. Studying Islam is a means, reflecting what I have learned is a must, and to Allah is the inevitable return. If you would like my help, know that Allah is the source of all aid. If you would like to contact me, try tariqnisarahmed at Gmail, LinkedIn, Twitter, or add me as a friend on Facebook.

12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. Halal Tube

    January 21, 2009 at 11:02 AM

    More lectures by Nouman Ali Khan here.

  2. intelect1430

    January 21, 2009 at 11:28 AM

    Good article MM A,

    Now the facts:

    6000+ Masajids in USA,
    200+ qualified Imams, ( Is there a BIG difference in calculations here?)

    Question: Out of 200+ “Qualified” Imams How many are on the “Haqq” that we can recognise by their good deeds?
    Answer: “priceless”

  3. UmmeAmmaarah

    January 21, 2009 at 12:43 PM

    MashaAllah, a great article. I can tell from personal experience that wise shuyookh can actually help transform lives. It is a pretty difficult problem to deal with though. The masjid near my house distresses my husband because the friday khutbahs have a bountiful smattering of the stories of various ‘pirs’ and ‘auliyaas’, the indo-pak tradition of showering/throwing money at the imam accompanied by ‘waah-waah’s’, invitation to various ‘urs’, and he has no idea how to deal with the problem without causing a massive uproar/being excommunicated from the masjid ;) . Another problem at our masaajid is the ‘groupism’ – the arabs, the indo-paks, east-asians, and either the imams don’t recognize the problem or dont deal with it. I honestly feel very sad that in most masaajid, it doesnt feel like all muslims are equal/brothers/sisters. More effort must be put in to acheive ‘integration’. May Allah bring into our hearts the true feeling of oneness and love for the whole ummah.ameen.

  4. bintashraf

    January 21, 2009 at 1:23 PM

    The numbers intelect1430 has mentioned are staggering and I think they stand out as an area in the Muslim community with the need for improvement. We should work to have our next generation sprout more qualified imams and leaders in the masajid and community by striving to make our children, boys and girls, hufaadh of the Quran, and putting them under the wing of knowledgable people who we trust to teach the the fundamentals and the spiritual essence of this deen. True, this may be a stretch for some Muslims in the West, especially if the community one lives in is not strong, but I’ve seen such efforts sprout in nearby cities here in Texas and it’s really inspirational to see the zeal these young kids have for memorizing the Qur’an. So while they are helping their own selves as far as their deen and aakhira, we need to be able to provide the next level for competent leadership so that this knowledge of Qur’an that they have in their hearts can be taken further and applied more consistently and publicly in their lives.

  5. gohar

    January 21, 2009 at 4:31 PM

    This can also be a problem with muslim bloggers who are also in a type of leadership position. Just look at the bickering, lack of tolerance, and harsh language of late. For the first time ever yesterday I finally understood where people, who say that the in-fighting puts them off religion, are coming from.

  6. Anisa

    January 21, 2009 at 7:14 PM

    Good lecture, masha’Allah

  7. osman

    January 21, 2009 at 8:31 PM

    6000 masjids but only 200 qualified imams? come on show some respect to our imams, there are way more qualified that you might want to believe. Sure they might not be up-to-date about teenager lives in America and stuff but most try their best and are trying to improve.

    Its easy to blame every single problem on the “unqualified” imam, rather than actually deeply look at the problem, which is probably the parents…

  8. syed kaschif ahmed

    January 22, 2009 at 12:13 AM

    As-salaamu alaykum,

    Problem is that we are lacking leaders, they maybe imams, but leading people, be able to put down dissent (with haqq and adhab) and show unification is very hard..

    on the other hand…

    the masses need a forum for dissent, people bottle it up and since there are no forums for venting in a halaal way.. it comes out like in the Sahabah time, out it in front… which maybe ok for them since the messenger was there.. and/or they had respect for each other…
    here we make stats like only “very few” imams are on the haqq…. 1 out of 200 out of 6000….
    How optimistic are we about our future here? Is it better anywhere else?

    Wa Allaho Alim

    As-salaamu alaykum

  9. abu abdAllah, the Houstonian

    January 22, 2009 at 2:35 PM

    bismillah. you know, thinking about the shuyukh whose names i mentioned, and thinking about the shuyukh i could easily have added to that list, their comments about the number of Muslim masajid and imams are all positive.

    they point out that more masajid mean more places in which people pray to Allah. and fewer people who live and work far from a musallah. if anything they want there to be more jamat all over the country (and i share that goal, hence my web site — shameless plug).

    i hear these shuyukh mostly when they come to Houston, and they do not rebuke the people for setting up masajid and musallahs, more every year, mashaAllah. but they do nudge people gently into praying more often in jamat.

    yes, a person could assert that many masajid and musallahs could use better leadership. in fact, though, this article (and i think the video, too) does not single out imams or masjid administrators. it’s often students who have acquired a part of knowledge who have the zeal that overtakes their kindness. and rather than becoming assets for their musallah, they engage in behavior that reduces participation.

  10. intelect1430

    January 22, 2009 at 6:48 PM

    @ AAH:
    it’s often students who have acquired a part of knowledge who have the zeal that overtakes their kindness. and rather than becoming assets for their musallah, they engage in behavior that reduces participation.

    I agree, these students have become the “Imams” also. (fortunately and un-fortunately)

    @osman

    6000 masjids but only 200 qualified imams? come on show some respect to our imams, there are way more qualified that you might want to believe.

    These are CAIR statistics, what does “respecting” Imams got to do with the numbers?

  11. sam

    February 14, 2009 at 3:12 AM

    For the new generation,all we can do is become practising muslims so that they will follow our example.Personally,I think that what child learns from the actions and daily life routine of his parents is much greater than what he can learn through books.Islam should become a part of our lives for us to raise a good Muslim child.Also,keeping our religious disputes out of our children’s hearing will also inculcate in them a true love for the religion of Allah.

  12. zfnd

    March 17, 2009 at 12:23 AM

    Our challenge as a community in America is to instill the same attitudes in our masajid, whether in their imams, their boards, their schools, or in any activity.

    How?

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