The Institute of Islamic Education teaches Jihad through conversion
January 17, 2006
On the IIIE donation page we read that Muslims living in North America have the duty to "spread Islamic knowledge locally, whereever you live and you work..." http://www.iiie.net/1/content/view/123/44/ "...You are requested to do two things as Allah has commanded: (1) Spend your wealth for the cause of the propagation of Islam, which is the meaning of "amwalikum", "your wealth". Since we live in North America we have the responsibility of educating people of North America. Become a regular monthly donor to the III&E; ask for the Automatic Donation Authorization form from the III&E, fill it out and return with the required voided, unsigned check. In addition, provide financial help for spreading Islamic knowledge locally, wherever you live and work. (2) Spend your time and talent to spread the knowledge of Islam which is the meaning of "anfusikum", "in person", as Allah has commanded in the Qur'an. The III&E is a not-for-profit, religious, tax exempt organization, status recognized by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), State of Illinois and United States Postal Service (USPS). The III&E will accept as low a donation as $10 and as high as a million dollars or more; the more the better and our projects need millions of dollars. The more money you donate to us, the more work we will do for the cause of Allah on your behalf so that you receive highest reward from Allah. MIM: The IIIE is planning a fundraiser in 2006 with Siraj Wahhaj and Yusuf Estes in Villa Park which is a Hamas/IAP stronghold. http://www.iiie.net/1/content/view/146/67/
MIM: Participants in the event "For those who believe in God" organised by Maulana Shafayat Mohammed in Florida last year were actually duped into watching a parade of "Those who Believe in Allah" i.e.converts to Islam who had come to Islam via Dar Ul Uloom or had completed courses on Islam which would enable them to proselytise to non Muslims. Maulana Shafayat Mohammed's proselytising efforts belie his pretense of being interested in interfaith. The entire event was at showcasing converts and delivering the message that Islam is the only true religion.
Left to Right:
Barry Silver, Sal Oliveri, Howard Finkelstein, Mohsin Jaffer, Anthony Vincigerra
Students From The Qur'aanic Arabic Classes
Students OF Three Month Course
MIM: The Hollywood Interfaith Council is headed by Maulana Shafayat Mohammed and provides a convienent smokescreen for his radical Islamist activities. Of course his efforts are helped by an array of useful idiots who have bought into Maulana's guise as the Muslim version of Captain Kangaroo, Santa Claus, and Mahatma Gandhi.
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The Council seek to promote justice, uunderstanding and cooperation among people of all faiths.
It strives to eliminate inter-group prejudices which distort religious, business, social and political relations and to maintain at all times a society in which a reconciled community and justice are evident.
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MIM:Below are the complete texts of articles which appear on the IIIE website. All of the articles stress that is is the obligation of Muslims to turn America into an Islamic country by any means possible.
The Slandered Jihad
by Abu Khubayb and Abu Zubayr Among the erroneous notions aimed at stifling the spirit of Jihad in this Ummah is the idea of 'greater' and 'lesser' Jihads. According to this belief, striving against desires of the self is considered the Greater Jihad, which makes the Jihad of the battlefield the Lesser Jihad. This idea is based upon a story mentioned by Al-Khatib Al-Baghdadi in his book, The History of Baghdad, by way of Yahya ibn al 'Ala', who said,
We were told by Layth, on the authority of 'Ata', on the authority of Abu Rabah, on the authority of Jabir, who said, "The Prophet (salallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) returned from one of his battles, and thereupon told us, 'You have arrived with an excellent arrival, you have come from the Lesser Jihad to the Greater Jihad - the striving of a servant (of Allah) against his desires."'This concept, despite the fact that it is based on a hadeeth, can be refuted from several aspects, of which we shall mention the following. Firstly: This hadeeth cannot be used to establish proof, for Al-Bayhaqi has said regarding it, "Its chain of narration is weak (da'eef)". As-Suyuti also pronounced a verdict of weakness on it in his book, Al Jami' As-Saghir. Somebody might claim that da'eef (weak) ahadeeth can be accepted in matters of supererogatory virtuous deeds. This is unacceptable, for we do not believe that Jihad can be a supererogatory deed. Indeed, how can it be so when the Messenger of Allah (salallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) has said that the asceticism of his Ummah lies in Jihad? Furthermore, anybody who follows up on Yahya ibn al 'Ala', the narrator of the hadeeth, will find in his biography things which will make him forsake the man's ahadeeth. Ibn Hajar Al-Asqalani said about him in Al-Taqrib, "He was accused of forging Ahadeeth." Adh-Dhahabi said in Al-Mizan, "Abu Hatim said that he is not a strong narrator, Ibn Mu'in classified him as weak, Ad-Daraqutni said that he is to be neglected, and Ahmad bin Hanbal said that he is a liar and a forger of ahadeeth." Secondly: This hadeeth explicitly contradicts clear verses of the Quran. Allah the Mighty, the Majestic, says, (Translation of the Meaning),
"Those believers who sit back are not equal to those who perform Jihad in the Path of Allah with their wealth and their selves. To both (groups) has Allah promised good, but Allah has favoured the Mujahideen with a great reward, by ranks from Him, and with Forgiveness, over those who sit back. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most- Merciful." (Quran 4:95-96)Thirdly: This hadeeth contradicts mutawatir (mass-narrated) ahadeeth which have been reported from the Prophet (salallaahu 'alayhee wa sallam), and which make plain the excellence of Jihad. We will mention a few of these.
"A morning or an evening spent in the Path of Allah is better than the world and all it contains." [Bukhari and Muslim] "Standing for an hour in the ranks of battle in the Path of Allah is better than standing for sixty years (in prayer)." [Sahih Al-Jami'] Abu Hurayrah (radiallaahu 'anhu) said, "Is any of you able to stand in prayer without stopping, and to fast continuously for as long as he lives?" The people said, "Oh Abu Hurayrah! Who could endure that?" He said, "By Allah! A day of a mujahid in the Path of Allah is better than that."The claim of those who say that the 'struggle against the self' is the Greater Jihad because the individual is put to test by day and by night, may be refuted by the following hadeeth:
Fourthly: This erroneous and slanderous notion involves injustice and wrong to the status of the Mujahideen. Allah (Ta'aala) has ordered us to practice justice in our verdicts, saying, (Translation of the Meaning),On the authority of Rashid, on the authority of Sa'd (radiallaahu 'anhu), on the authority of one of the Companions, that a man said, "Oh Messenger of Allah! Why is it that the believers are all put to trial in their graves, except for the martyrs?" He (salallaahu 'alayhee wa sallam) said, "The clashing of swords above his head was sufficient trial for him." [Sahih Al-Jami']
"Be just, it is closer to piety; and fear Allah. Allah is aware of what you do." (Quran 5:8)Is it any part of justice and fair treatment for us to say that our brethren in the land of attention and battle are in a lesser Jihad when the mines are exploding beneath their feet, with the result that their bodies fly into the air, and their limbs and blood are scattered all over, to the extent that their pure corpses cannot be contained in a grave? And that is for the sake of Allah, and if He wills, He may bless the limbs of a body torn to pieces. Were these youths in a lesser Jihad, while our fasting, and breaking our fasts on the most delicious of food are then a greater Jihad? By Allah! This is an unequal measure, and if you were to put the matter before the most knowledgeable people on earth, they would never arrive at such a disparate verdict. Fifthly: The Egyptian, Dr. Muhammad Amin says, in his book, The Path of Islamic Propagation,
Jihad of the self and Jihad by wealth, if they do not lead one to establish the Call of Truth, and to stand beside it, enjoining the right and forbidding the wrong, and contributing one's life and wealth in the Path of Allah, are deficient Jihads containing inadequacy. It is astonishing that the hour of testing and of severity, in which the feet are shaken and the heart reaches the throat, can be called the Hour of the Lesser Jihad, while the hours of safety and comfort in secure homes, in the midst of one's family and friends, can be called hours of the Greater Jihad! In the like of such appellations do the holders-back rejoice in their sitting behind from obeying the Messenger of Allah (salallaahu 'alayhee wa sallam) and his Companions (radiallaahu 'anhum)? Such people find contentment and comfort in this way, while in reality they only deceive their weak souls, for the true values of the deeds are entirely the opposite.Finally, we conclude with some verses which were sent by the Mujahid scholar Abdullah bin Al-Mubarak, from the land of Jihad to his friend Al-Fudayl bin Ayyadh, who used to preach to the rulers and make them cry, yet did not seek any payment, being a sincere worshipper.
Oh worshipper of the Two Holy Sanctuaries, if you could only see us, You would see that you, in your devotions, are only playing. If you are one whose cheek is tinged with his tears, Then our chests are dyed with our blood.
The Pretended Jihad Some people may be astonished when they hear a person describing Jihad in person as a lesser Jihad, or who deems fighting in the Path of Allah (Ta'aala) little in comparison to other acts of devotion. However, if we pursue the lives of these people, look at their histories and investigate the reason for their confusion regarding the matter, we will find that the explanation for their stance is simple. These are the people who's people undervalue Jihad and give priority to studying in universities, writing in magazines, and giving speeches in conferences over fighting and being martyred. By examining their lives, one will find a common denominator, which brings them together in deficiency and unites them in their viewpoint. The common denominator among the feeble and those who hold back from Jihad (the people of theories and concepts) is that they have not participated in Jihad. The opportunity has not presented itself to these people (by the Will of Allah Ta'aala), nor have they had the good fortune to join a camp of Mujahideen. In such a camp there is a lack of luxuries and a scarcity of necessities which would make them feel the difference between a day in the camp and a similar day in the university with its food, entertainment, and air-conditioned class rooms. How can these people recognise the true value of Jihad when they have not participated in the regiments of war nor entered into the arenas of tumult? If a man plunges into a single battle, it will be sufficient to correct all his misconceptions. The Mujahid, in only a few hours, may see things whose horror would make children grey-haired: bombs and splinters sweeping away the souls of the most beloved of his brethren who shared with him his travelling, training, ribat (guarding the front line), and Jihad. What will be the situation of these people when the rockets and shells are exploding over their heads and beneath their feet? How will it be when they see with their very own eyes the scattering of arms, legs and intestines so that a healthy body with well-proportioned limbs will become handicapped, dismembered, or paralysed? This then is the underlying reason for the confusion on the part of those who underrate Jihad. In a few hours or days, the Mujahid sees, with his own eyes, such hardships, trials, and tribulations, as others do not see in decades. It will be impossible for anyone who engages in this experience of Jihad to equate physical Jihad with other pacifistic means of Dawah. Therefore, anyone who disputes with the Mujahid in the issue of Jihad or who calls people to abandon fighting should join a camp, even if only as a servant. Or he should participate in a battle even if only as a cook. Then after that, we will see if, in his opinion, the pen is equal to the Kalashnikov.
How To Present Islam
Living as a Muslim among non-Muslims, whether a majority or a minority, imposes the duty by Allah of conveying the message of Islam. This duty is documented in the Qur'an and Hadith at many places. For example, Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala says: "Thus you are appointed as the model community so that you become witnesses against humankind and the Messenger is witness against you." The Qur'an 2:143. It is reported that the Messenger(S) of Allah said, "Convey for me even if it is one ayah!" (Bukhari and others)
How to present Islam? The answer to this question has two parts:
1) How to approach non-Muslims, and 2) how to present Islamic beliefs and practices in a rational way without total dependence upon the Qur'an and Hadith. This brochure deals with the approaches to non-Muslims and another brochure titled, Introduction to Islamic Beliefs and Practices deals with the second part of the question. We are living in a time and age that provides us with many new methods of communication, some of them not available only twenty-five years ago. All knowledge of the sciences, inventions and technology is God-given, which makes it necessary for us to use the entire technology to spread His Word worldwide. New methods of approaching the non-Muslim population are already being used by da'wah workers at one place or the other with a measure of success. The following methods are suggested. However, a visionary da'wah worker should use his knowledge, experience, vision and imagination to invent his own methods of reaching out to the non-Muslim population.
Personal Approach, One-to-One
This is the method of choice which brings a non-Muslim closer to Islam and frequently he reverts. The question is how to begin the conversation. It is true that at most work places and educational institutions it is considered a taboo to talk about religion and politics. However, a sharp and dedicated Muslim da'wah worker will find an excuse to start talking about Islam. For example, Muslims are frequently in the news because there are problems in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, India and other parts of the Muslim world. One can ask a question to a colleague or a fellow student or a neighbor about the news involving Muslims and its background. Turn the reply around and ask the person if he/she knows anything about Muslims or Islam. Depending upon the situation, continue the discussion or promise some literature. Do not give any literature on the spot if you expect to see the person again soon because it may look like a set up. If it was a casual encounter, like a fellow traveler, give a brochure. In metropolitan cities in the U.S. many Muslim taxi drivers keep Islamic brochures with them and if the situation allows they hand over one or two brochures as the passenger disembarks.
With the people you meet regularly, never spend too much time discussing Islam. Islam in small doses is digested better than large doses. Never give books or the Qur'an right away. Always begin with small brochures then booklets. A copy of the Qur'an or small introductory books should be given only after they are requested repeatedly. Never give two or three books; always one at a time and follow up if the person has read the material and asks questions. Always have someone with better knowledge of Islam available for referral whenever difficult questions arise. Never give to a Christian video tapes of debates or those talks which appear offensive to them because such material does not open hearts and minds. The person will build defensive walls around himself rendering it impossible to penetrate. Through debates, a Muslim da'wah worker may win a battle but surely will lose the war. Intellectually presented arguments about the fallacy of Christian dogmas are frequently helpful.
If the person takes shahadah it is the beginning of a closer relationship not the end of it. There must be some plan for the education and integration of the new Muslim into the Muslim community at large. A new Muslim leaves behind relatives and friends and is in need of new relatives and new friends in the Muslim community. Frequently, there are many social and financial needs of a new Muslim which must be met by the Muslim community. Failure to meet the needs of a new Muslim will cause his/her drifting away into the wilderness and darkness of hypocrisy (nifaq) or apostasy (irtidad).
Personal Approach, One-to-Group
A group means two or more persons. In case of a small group, such as under five persons, the method of one-to-one applies as given above. With larger groups the relationship may become a bit more impersonal, like giving a speech to a group. Such groups may be arranged with a church or a secular community organization or at a school, college or a university. After the lecture, some brochures on Islam should be distributed and questions invited. When the function is over some interested persons may surround the speaker giving an opportunity to exchange phone numbers and addresses for follow up and going into the one-to-one mode. Those group talks are the best which avail opportunities to the speaker of developing personal contacts with new persons.
In general, once a week class at a permanent location is ideal to maintain continuity. Muslims are asked to bring their non-Muslim friends with them to the classes; concurrently, newspaper advertisements or distribution of flyers helps bringing new people. Subject matter of presentation to the class must begin with the verses from the Qur'an and one may bring in the Bible quotations for comparison, to refute or confirm, as the case may be. There should be enough time allotted for questions and comments. Some refreshment with cold and hot drinks adds to the interest of the people.
Seminars for Executives
One day seminars with a fee have been organized and work well. However, seminars are a formal affair which require proper preparation and the speaker must be a professional, preferably a professor in a college or a university. A manual with audio and video tapes must be given to supplement talks of the day. The location of the seminars should be carefully selected, preferably in a high class hotel's seminar room with audio-visual facilities, tea, coffee, cold drinks and lunch. A fee of $150 to $250 may be charged and advertised appropriately, preferably by direct mail to various companies, media, politicians, government officials, school teachers and college professors. If promoted and conducted properly, employers of prospective attendees may sponsor and pay the required fee. Such seminars should be arranged and announced at least three months, if not six months ahead of time. Keys to success are publicity, speakers, subject matter, material handed over in the seminar, location and environment and fee (neither too small nor too large). The style of presentation should not be preaching nor a lecture but giving information and pointing to the sources of further information. The interactive format has been found to be the most effective.
Distribution of Simple Brochures
When seeds are thrown from an airplane, some will fall on rocks, some in lakes, some in a desert and some in fertile land and grow; the same fate results with the distribution of brochures. Brochures should be simple in language and presentation. Concise brochures may be in two sizes, (a) one-minute literature which may be read within one to three minutes, and (b) five-minute literature which may be read within five to ten minutes. The cost of such literature is minimal and may be distributed by the millions. The name of the organization, address, phone and fax numbers, and if available, e-mail address must be provided on all brochures.
The venues of distribution may be setting up a table on campus, street crossings, subway or tube station exits, shopping centers, Islamic centers and mosques, conventions and conferences, county fairs, doctor's office waiting rooms, hospital chapels and waiting rooms (by permission only), airports, house-to-house in a small plastic bag hung on the door knob or knocking on the door and handing them out. In addition, brochures may be mailed with a courtesy letter to known people. In case of impersonal distribution, the da'wah worker should walk around a couple of blocks in each direction and pick up all discarded brochures. Muslims should respect their own material before we expect others to respect it, besides we should not leave our litter at the area of our work.
Knocking on Doors
This method has also been tried with some success. At this time not much data is available to give detailed instructions. Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons use this method and are spreading their religions very successfully. Even if one in a hundred houses responds positively it is a success.
Chaplaincy in the Hospitals
Patients in the hospitals take much comfort in consolation and prayers by a religious leader and it provides a permanent attachment. Many hospitals in the West are looking for Muslim chaplains. Since there is no ordination in Islam any knowledgeable Muslim can qualify for hospital chaplaincy. Chaplaincy in the hospitals is volunteer work for Muslims because of low demand at this time.
Letters to the Leadership
In society there are people who are considered "successful" and the rest of the population looks up to them and may even imitate them. Such leadership includes teachers and professors, mid to high level executives in business, the media and the government, professionals, such as doctors and lawyers, politicians, business owners and others. In this age of computers many directories on CD-ROM are available which may be used to send direct letters with brochures to the leadership mentioned in this section.
The Mass Media
Media includes newspapers and magazines, radio, television and Internet. It is up to da'wah organizations and da'wah workers to raise funds and use the mass media to reach out to large numbers of people at "low cost" per person or per household. It requires a lot of money to buy time or space but it reaches a large number of people thus lowering the cost per person of reaching out.
Internet and E-mail discussion groups is the media of the nineties. Almost every religious group has a web page and informative literature posted on it.
Debates work on the principle of knocking out the opponent by exposing and attacking his perceived weaknesses, thus a very negative approach to da'wah. During the debate each side closes its mind and heart and builds walls to make themselves impenetrable. It has been heard some Christians saying that the Muslim debater was better prepared than the Christian side. The best of arguments fail to win hearts. However, debates make Muslims very happy about Islam and helps to reinforce their faith. Debates are entertaining to the Muslims and torture to the Christians; tortures never win hearts.
Dialogues work on the principle of each side presenting what it perceives to be the best and strongest arguments in his religion. There are no jibes and no attacks, if conducted correctly. The problem lies in organizing dialogues. Frequently, it is the Muslim side which organizes dialogues in their Islamic centers where 95% or more of the audience is Muslim. The Christian side gets a Muslim audience but Muslims get almost no Christian audience. If a dialogue has almost fifty percent or more of Christians it is a good format. Dialogues serve to remove mis-information and dis-information from the minds of Christians but they rarely bring anyone into Islam.
Excellence of Character
A Muslim who excels in all aspects of his life is more likely to win many hearts than the one who is mediocre. Muslims are supposed to be role models for humankind, meaning they should excel in knowledge, dedication to Allah, applying the moral code of Islam, fulfilling duties to others, excelling in their professions, being courteous and humble, controlling anger and emotions. This is the most effective way of inviting people to Islam.
Knowledge Requirements for Da'wah Workers
Any Muslim with some elementary knowledge of Islam can be a da'wah worker but his effectiveness will depend upon his maturity in approach. One should be honest, do not fake what one does not know. When arriving at the edge of one's knowledge take or refer the person to a more knowledgeable Muslim or a well trained da'wah worker. In general a Muslim da'wah worker, to be independent and effective, should have correct knowledge of Islamic aqeedah and be able to find Qur'anic references, if asked. Also, he should know Islamic practices (a'malus salihat) according to the Qur'an and Sunnah. Frequently, it is helpful to have the knowledge of beliefs and practices of non-Muslims from their scriptural sources and be able to show their internal and external inconsistencies. Internal consistencies mean contradictions within their own scripture and external inconsistencies mean contradictions with common sense and Islamic teachings.
Individual Effort vs Organizational Effort
An organization multiplies the effort of a person many-fold. However, everyone is not able to start an organization, in which case, find an Islamic organization and work with it. If no such organization is found, work individually until there are enough Muslims who are willing to work together in an organization. Most of the countries in the world have at least one da'wah organization publishing Islamic brochures; contacting and obtaining their literature will be helpful to a da'wah worker.
Da'wah is a duty of every Muslim which he or she must discharge to the best of his/her ability and to prepare to face Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala. The tools of da'wah vary according to one's ability, whether working alone or within an organization and the availability of adequate finances. The term da'wah has only one meaning, that is, interaction with non-Muslims to convey the message of Islam in words and treatment.
The work to reform the Muslims to practice Islam is not da'wah but islah or reform, reeducation and providing motivation to be better Muslims. Similarly, the term tableegh has the only connotation of delivering the message of Islam to non-Muslims. It is unfortunate that some people use the term tableegh but they do not fulfil its requirements; they busy themselves only partially in islah.
Da'wah Training Program
The Institute of Islamic Information & Education (III&E) has developed a training program for da'wah workers which can be given on location in the U.S.A. and Canada.
One Family a Month
by M. Amir Ali, Ph.D.
Muslims in America have a duty to try to make Islam acceptable and Muslims respectable. Let us make a goal of achieving this within the next 10-12 years. It can be done because the Muslim community has both required resources, money and manpower.
The first step is to make Muslims understand that reaching out to the American people for Islam is a priority work of spending our material and human resources. Most importantly, the Muslim community must be convinced that it is an achievable goal to pursue. I believe that the Muslim community does not see this work as a priority because they think that the goal is not achievable. Therefore, they are resigned to live with anti-Islam propaganda like incurable cancer with which a patient has become resigned to live with. Muslims have developed complacency and indifference toward the disease of Islamophobia in their environment; you may call this indifference, complacency or apathy, it is all the same. Muslim leadership, intellectuals and thinkers must come up with a strategy for convincing Islamic organizations and the Muslim population for establishing active Da'wah committees. Reaching out to the non-Muslims is a top priority.
One of the actions to be taken is to reach out to the media, cultivate friendships with their editors, reporters and columnists at the personal level and use personal contracts to publish favorable articles and reports to develop a positive understanding of Islam and Muslims. Such an approach has proven successful whenever it was tried at the local level.
Another step to be taken is for those Muslims with wealth to join hands in starting the ownership of radio and TV stations and run them as businesses but use them for the dissemination of correct information leading to the understanding and appreciation of Islam and the Muslim Community in North America. Let's make a start somewhere and our experience will be our guide.
Another step is to reach out to educators at the state and local levels to sanitize curricula and text books from anti-Islam propaganda. This would have the effect of future non-Muslim generations raised as neutral towards Islam. This has proven very successful in California – let us expand this work nationwide.
Let's mobilize every Muslim man, woman and school child to reach out to a designated minimum number of people every month to educate them. Brochures are needed to guide Muslims how to reach out and what to tell and teach the non-Muslims. This Institute has published a number of them and they are available to those who need them.
There are many more things which we must do together, and these details can be worked out once we have resolved to embark upon this long range project.
Spreading out the work
We must embark upon a plan to mobilize one million Muslims towards reaching out with the message of Islam to the American population of 280 million over a period of ten years. This number converts into reaching out to 28 persons per year or twelve families in a year, that is, one family or three persons (a couple and a child) per month for a Muslim worker. Reaching out to one new non-Muslim family once a month, every month, should not be a difficult task. I would like to caution against becoming ambitious and inviting many people at a time. When you invite one family or 3-6 persons you talk to them. If you invite too many people, say more than six, they talk to each other and you defeat the purpose. Inviting to your home is important because you open your home to them, they see your home environment and believe that Muslims are human beings too. This is the message you want to convey that goes contrary to the media image that Muslims are terrorist beasts and demons.
You may invite two to three families together as follow up meetings to reinforce their neutralization about Islam and pull them closer. You may want to meet some of them repeatedly and develop closer relationships with them.
A question may be what to talk about. In the first meeting let them know that you are a Muslim and your family would like to live like Muslims in peace and harmony. So do not get ambitious by pushing Islam down the throat of the people. If they ask questions answer them to the point and try to satisfy them. You may ask them about how they feel about you as a Muslim neighbor or a colleague. In the follow up meetings you may talk about Islam, Islamic culture and history in an interesting manner without giving any hint of trying to convert them because you are not. Our main goal should be to neutralize them towards Islam and make them our friends. Your goal should be for them to understand our apprehensions, our problems and appreciate them. Conversion is between them and Allah. Let us not worry about it.
Spreading out the cost
In the III&E experience, it costs approximately 3-10 dollars to reach one person depending upon our approach. A Muslim worker who commits himself for reaching 26 persons per year would pay $80 to $260 per year or the meager amount of $7 to $22 per month for this important work. In terms of time you may spend no more than three hours per month. Don't you think this is worthwhile to spend a little money and time for this work?
We may need five years for planning, recruiting, training, mobilizing the Muslim community and organizing the campaign. Once the plan is in place, it can be completed within the following ten years. The total time needed is fifteen years. You should not wait for starting this work. You should begin your contribution today. The mobilization and recruitment work will run parallel with the work of reaching out.
Anti-Islam forces in the West have planned to get rid of Islam from their countries and fight Islam in the Muslim-majority countries. This long range plan is to be completed in 70-80 years, or even if it takes one hundred years. They want to defeat Islam as they have defeated communism in seventy years. Their minimum goal is to render Muslims secular people like those who belong to other religions. On a larger scale the result would be the removal of spirituality from the people's lives. This will give total freedom to mankind to live like animals having no clothing requirements, nothing unlawful in sexual affairs, the term incest will be history, nothing will be right or wrong, nothing will be evil or virtuous except what the majority agrees to. The last of the great religions which stands in their way is Islam. This is the challenge to the Muslim leadership – whether they want to give-in or give genuine and stiff resistance to anti-God forces for Allah and for humanity.
A Narrow Window of Opportunity
The American government, led by the Zionists, Christian Fundamentalists and Secular Fundamentalists, has already started the work. Five years since 1993 were spent on passing appropriate legislation to enable the FBI and local and state authorities to harass Muslims at airports, restrict immigration of Muslims, seize properties of Islamic organizations without charging or proving any crime. The media, with the cooperation of the Zionists, Christian Fundamentalists and Secular Fundamentalists, is demonizing Muslims and Islam to stop its propagation. Added to the confusion is active and passive support of pseudo-Islamic cults and Muslim groups who live and promote only a fraction of Islam. Muslims have a window of opportunity of 10 - 15 years before the lives of Muslims become difficult, mimicking those of the Jews under Nazi Germany and Muslims in Algeria, Tunis, Morocco, Syria, Iraq, Libya and other totalitarian states in the 1990's.
If the Muslims succeed (Insha-Allah, they will) in educating America about the truth of Islam and opening the door for the entry of a few million middle class Americans into Islam, the anti-Islam forces will be disarmed. This will open the door widely for the spread of Islam in America bringing acceptance of Islam and respect for the Muslims.
Time is short. Muslims must unite, organize and go out to spread the message of Islam. Never rest until every home in America is reached with the message of Allah.
May Allah bless you for your sincerity, which is evident from your reading this material. I pray to Allah for His help in all our righteous endeavors.
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This proposal, in part, was presented at the "Two Day Seminar on The Future of Muslims in America: Requisites of Dignified Presence" held on October 18-19, 1997 at East West University, 816 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60605, U.S.A.
The Challenge Of Daw'ah
In our age the challenges in conveying the message of Islam to non-Muslims are complex. On one hand we face a great deal of misinformation about Islam and Muslims in media, school and college text books and reference material in libraries. In addition, adversaries of Islam and Muslims and making serious efforts to defame Muslims and dis-inform people about Islam and Muslims for political, military and economic motives related to the Middle East situation and world politics. On the other hand there has been an information vacuum with regards to the correct knowledge of Islam in the West, in general and in North America in particular. When Muslims were few in the West, the situation could not be rectified by them. During the last two or three decades the Muslim population has increased many fold to the extent that Muslims have become the second largest religious group in the U.S. and in many other countries of the West. Therefore, it is a challenge to the Muslims to live up to their responsibility to fill the vacuum of correct knowledge about Islam and Muslims in the West and remove misinformation and combat disinformation.
Why Da'wah In North America
There are several solid reasons for Muslims to convey the message of Islam to the North American people.
1. It is a duty assigned by Allah
In the Qur'an Allah has placed the responsibility on the Muslim Ummah to convey the message of Islam to mankind. Allah (SWT) says in Surah Al-Baqarah:
We find numerous verses in the Qur'an on the same topic. Here witnessing means to convey the message of Islam, i.e. to call people towards Allah (da'aa ilallah as in the Qur'an 41:33). Prophet Muhammad (S) completed his assignment in his life time by conveying the message to the entire Arabian Peninsula and sending letters to the heads of surrounding countries. In his Khutba of his farewell hajj he passed on the responsibility to every Muslim when he said,
He did not allow us to wait until we are a perfect Islamic society before we begin to convey the message. Prophet Muhammad (S) did not wait until a few converts grew up to develop an Islamic society nor he did want us to wait. He said as given in Bukhari,
No one as an individual or as a community can delay until perfection is achieved; as soon as you have some knowledge of Islam you have a duty to convey it to those unfortunate people who know little or nothing about Islam and invite them to it.
The emphasis is on the transmission of the message of Islam to other human beings. We, the Muslims are not responsible to convert people by force or coercion, as Allah (SWT) has clearly forbidden such tactics (Qur'an 2:256). All human beings on earth have God given freedom to submit to Him (God Alone) or submit to taghut (non-God anything).
2. Preservation vs propagation of Islam
Millions of Muslims from all over the world have migrated to North America and many North Americans have accepted Islam. Many are busy developing Muslim communities at local levels. The major problem of Muslims in North America is to PRESERVE Islam in their future generations. The melting pot effect of the American society does not allow isolation of a unique community like Muslims to preserve their identity of religion and culture. The net effect is the loss of their young to the melting pot culture. The only way of preserving the identity of Islam and Muslim culture are, (a) to increase the size of the community through propagation or/and immigration until it is large enough to preserve itself, and (b) to develop Muslim neighborhoods and Muslim enclaves with all the necessary facilities for survival. It is apparent that PROPAGATION of Islam is the best way to increase the size of the community. This is the way of Prophet Muhammad (S).
3. Resource development
Development of the Muslim community and its propagation needs human and material resources. Initially, Muslims in America would have to contribute a large share of resources and bring some from Muslim countries, whenever possible. As Americans, particularly the middle class, begin to enter in the fold of Islam they will bring their own material resources and skills with them. Prophet Muhammad (S) has reportedly (Bukhari) said that among the new Muslims those who excelled (in human qualities) during the period of ignorance (jahiliyah) excel in Islam after learning Islam. It simply means that the propagation of Islam will become a self catalyzing process after some input of energy, money and skills. It cannot happen until we make an organized beginning with definite goals and keep pushing until it takes over by itself and moves on.
4. Moral and spiritual healing
Muslims are moral and spiritual physicians and in this capacity they have the responsibility of diagnosing the patients and treating them. Muslims are in the forefront of claiming that Islam has the treatment for the ills of America, however, they lack the skills and courage to present the Islamic medicine to the American society. Is it possible that a medical doctor sits among many crying and moaning patients and not offer medicine to them? Similarly, Muslims, moral and spiritual doctors are living in a sick society; they know they have medicine but do not offer it to the sick. This is either hypocrisy or a false claim. Muslims have a duty to themselves not to acquire American social, moral and spiritual diseases and they have a duty to offer the treatment of Islam to the sick.
The Islamic injunction against alcohol and intoxicants will cure Western society of liquor and drug addiction. Islam removes the demand as well as the supply of drugs of abuse; it is a balanced approach. The Islamic system of infaq, zakah and prohibition of riba (interest) will bring social justice and equity in material terms. The prohibition of fornication and adultery will remove the problems of high divorce rate, single parents and juvenile crimes. Equality of races and equality of opportunity will bring harmony among all people and prosperity to all equally. The concept of accountability to Allah Who is All Seeing, All Powerful, All Knowing, All Hearing and Just will reduce the crime rate to a low manageable level bringing peace and security for all. And so on.
5. Benefits to Muslims living in North America
Muslims living in North America know the problems they are facing in their daily lives as Muslims. Islamic holidays of Eidain (two celebrations) are not recognized and it is difficult for them to take time off for Eid prayers or even Jum'ah prayer. Due to the bad perception of Islam and Muslims in this continent, many Muslims shy away from identifying themselves as Muslims. This is, in part, a problem of personal conviction and courage, and, in part, negligible minority perception. If there are many Muslims in an organization they will support each other and will be recognized. In schools our children are sometimes ridiculed for being Muslims and they do not get special privileges for Friday prayers, food and clothing requirements for gymnasium and swimming. If there are many Americans Muslims, even as a significant minority they will bring recognition of Muslim needs at the city, county, state and national levels.
6. Benefits to Muslim Countries
Islamic revivalists in many Muslim countries are trying to establish the Islamic way of life or khilafa but they are failing due to, (a) rampant sickness and corruption, (b) lack of understanding of Islam and its requirements by the Muslim masses, (c) secular minded oppressive rulers as kings, emirs and dictators supported by the anti-Islam West including Americans, (d) the ever present hand of the Western intelligence, particularly the CIA which employs every dirty trick in its book to crush the rise of Islam under the guise of anti-fundamentalism. If Islam spreads in America and many more people understand Islam properly, there will be many Muslim senators, congressmen, journalists, businessmen, diplomats, bureaucrats and others in addition to those sympathetic to Islam, at all levels to protect the interests of Islam and Muslims. They would not allow the CIA or similar such organizations to operate in Muslim countries in an adverse manner. A few examples are the State of Israel and European countries where the CIA and similar organizations do not interfere in internal matters and allow those countries to be run as their inhabitants would like. In case of Muslim countries the CIA is involved up to its neck in conspiring against Islamic systems and the revival of Islam. The spread of Islam in the West would have a positive psychological impact on West-imitating Muslim masses in Muslim countries.
7. Tazkiah or purification of Muslims
Prophet Muhammad (S) is a role model for Muslims and Muslims in turn are required to be role models for the rest of the mankind. Muslims will realize this important duty to become role models for other people only when they begin to present Islam to others. Muslims will have to learn Islam before presenting it which will have the positive effect of purifying them. Purification (moral and spiritual) is the process of success, i.e. going to paradise as Allah (SWT) has said,
It works the way teaching works; when a new teacher begins to teach he learns himself first and he becomes more learned the more he teaches.
The Term "Dawa'h"
According to many scholars in this field the term DA'WAH applies to conveying the message of Islam to non-Muslims and inviting them to Allah. Non-practicing and lost Muslims need to be reeducated and motivated to become better Muslims; they already know Allah (SWT) and have been given the concept of TAWHEED.
The working definition of DA'WAH for the Institute (III&E) includes the following functions: (a) conveying the message of Islam to non-Muslims and inviting them to Allah, (b) making efforts to remove misinformation about Islam and Muslims from text books, reference material and media, (c) making efforts for the integration of new Muslims into the Muslim community, and (d) to develop material resources, recruit manpower (volunteer) and provide training for da'wah workers.
An Appeal To Islamic Organizations
Knowing the importance of da'wah to the non-Muslim American people, it is a duty of every Muslim and Islamic organizations to spend a significant proportion of their budget, manpower and time on da'wah. It is suggested that Islamic organizations spend 30 to 50 percent of their budget and manpower on propagation of Islam in their city and state. Individual Muslims should spend 5 to 10 percent of their disposable income and 50% of their zakah on da'wah through the fund for talif al-quloob.
The Institute of Islamic Information & Education (III&E) was established in 1985 with the comprehensive project of conveying the message of Islam to everyone in North America. You are invited to give your helping hand to this project by giving your time, talent and money. III&E is a non-profit religious institution and all your donations are TAX EXEMPT (as allowed by IRS under certain income limits). It is suggested that you give one percent (1%) of your annual income to the Institute. You may give all your ZAKAT money to the Institute. III&E uses one hundred percent of its funds for da'wah work.
III&E publishes brochures and tracts for non-Muslims as well as Muslims. In addition, III&E has an Islamic Reading Room in Chicago where it holds classes on Islam for new Muslims and non-Muslims. III&E gives out free books and tapes to needy persons and participates in da'wah work in the prison system. III&E personnel give lectures and talks on Islam and Muslims in schools and churches on request. You may request one set of brochures and tracts by mailing a five dollar check or money order to the Institute. You may request Islamic literature in bulk quantities for distribution. Write to III&E, call or send a fax http://www.iiie.net/1/content/view/85/44/
by M. Amir Ali, Ph.D.
Do you agree with the vision of removing the negative image of Islam and prejudices against Muslims in America by the year 2010? Would you like to see an Islamophobia-free world? Muslims must have a vision for America beyond the year 2010: for 2025, 2050 or even 2100! Muslims must have a vision for the world through the eyes of the Qur'an and Sunnah.
A commonly quoted figure is that in the U.S. over six million Muslims live, of which 3.5 million are immigrants and their children and 2.5 million are native born American converts to Islam and their children. However, there is a dearth of respect for Muslims – they find themselves in the midst of a hate campaign which is growing by the day. The influx of the Jews to America preceded the Muslims by a century. Respect for the Jews one hundred years ago was very bad and they found themselves in the midst of hate which still persists in some pockets of the American population. However, the Jews took advantage of constitutional guarantees of freedom in America and they used them. The Jews developed a vision for their place in American society and immediately began working on their projects. They became so successful that they could dictate to President Harry Truman the recognition of the State of Israel in 1948 despite opposition everywhere, including his own Secretary of State and a majority of his cabinet members. Now we find Jews dominating politics, economy, media and the entertainment industry of the U.S.A. It is said that almost 42% of former President Clinton's appointees are Jews despite the fact that only 2% of the American population is Jewish. The story of the success of Jews in America is fascinating and Muslims can learn something from it. The Muslims in America must have their own vision and an Islamic approach to carve out their place in the American society.
Communities without a vision are doomed to ignominy living as subjects of those who have a vision. Similarly, individuals who do not have a vision are doomed to ignominy. We all have a vision for ourselves and we strive to turn our vision into a reality. Some see themselves as politicians, corporate managers, doctors, engineers, journalists and so on. Some try. Many succeed but some fail. Karl Marx theorized establishing a communist state and Lenin made it a reality. America's vision to defeat communism and become the sole super power came true. Theodore Herzl had a vision of establishing a Jewish state. Americans had a vision to put a man on the moon, survey the solar system and to go beyond. Allah grants many people what they desire and work hard to get, even if it is against Allah Himself. For example, secularism is a way of life which denies Allah's sovereignty; Allah is giving secularists success after success because they persevere. Now, the West, in general, and the U.S., in particular, have a vision of seeing the world freed of Islam as a deen. Are we, the Muslims, going to allow this to happen?
Prophet Muhammad(S)'s Vision
We can cite at least two occasions when the Prophet(S) talked about his vision of victory and establishment of Islam in a land where an overwhelming majority of the people were mushrik. The mushrik leadership opposed the Prophet, his religion and persecuted his followers. In comparison, American Muslims are 2% of the population, and as of now there is no serious persecution as freedom of religion and speech is constitutionally guaranteed.
1. Mid-Makkan Period
Khabbab( R ) ibn Arat and the Prophet(S) were sitting in the shade of the Ka'bah. The persecution of the Muslims was severe and many of the companions had already migrated to Habashah, modern day Ethiopia and Eriteria. Khabbab humbly requested the Prophet to pray to Allah for freedom from persecution and success of the Muslims. The Prophet replied that true Muslims have to go through suffering. In ancient times, the Muslims were buried alive up to the neck in the ground and their heads were sawed off in the middle. Some had to suffer the combing of the flesh from their bodies. The Prophet said that the time will come when the deen will be established and an old lady will travel from San'a (south Yemen) to Hadr Mawt (north Yemen) and will have nothing to fear but the fear of Allah. The Prophet's vision of making Islam the way of life in the Arabian Peninsula, including Yemen, would bring peace and security for all. At that time he did not have even one hundred followers. If we estimate the population of the Arabian Peninsula before hijira to be 500,000, the population of Muslims was only 0.02%. Historians tell us that at the time of Farewell Hajj over 120,000 pilgrims were present which should provide us with some basis for estimating the population of Arabian Peninsula.
2. Thirteenth Year of Prophethood
The Prophet(S), with a booty of one hundred camels on his head, was migrating from Makkah to Madinah in the company of Abu Bakr( R ) and his guide. In a coffee shop in Makkah, Suraqa(R) ibn Malik learned about three persons travelling north. Suraqa got on his horse and went on a chase to catch the Prophet. As he came near the Prophet, his horse began floundering in the sand. Suraqa realized his mistake and asked Prophet to rescue him, promising in return to misguide other potential bounty hunters. The Prophet told Suraqa that if he kept his promise, he would wear the gold bracelets of the king of Persia. The Prophet envisioned that Islam would spread in the Arabian Peninsula and Persia in the life time of Suraqa. At this time he had less than 300 followers, that is, under 0.06% of the Arabian population.
One may raise the objection that being a Prophet, he had foreknowledge. That is wrong. It was his wish and vision. We find that in 2 A.H. at Badr he was weeping and praying to Allah for victory at Badr. His du'aa included some words to the effect that if the Muslims lost, there would be no one left to worship Allah. If he had foreknowledge, the Prophet would not be begging Allah so much. Allah made the Prophet(S) to declare in the Qur'an: "Had I knowledge of the Unseen, I should have abundance of wealth, and adversity would not touch me" (7:188). There are more verses in the Qur'an giving the a similar message.
The Prophet established a city state and expanded it through da'wah, defensive wars and preemptive strikes against his enemies. The equivalent of that city state in America would be Islamic organizations and Muslim neighborhoods. We should promote Muslim neighborhoods in all major cities of the U.S. to serve as nuclei and expand them through conversion and migration to the Muslim enclaves. The development of enclaves would give us control over the schools, local politics and help in establishing necessary institutional infrastructure. As these enclaves grow in size through conversion and immigration, the Muslims will have some say in national politics and perhaps even be able to elect Muslims as congressmen and senators. Naturally, at some point in time, we will be able to elect a Muslim as President in the White House. In time, we will be able to do what we cannot even say at this time. Defensive actions in our time, analogous to the defensive actions of the Prophet, would be to respond to the attackers on Islam in literature and the media. Preemptive strikes against the enemies of Islam, analogous to the preemptive strikes of the Prophet, would be ideological exposure of falsehood of secular humanism, secular nationalism, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism and other religions and cults. However, in many cases mere presentation of the truth of Islam aggressively but rationally will be adequate to defeat the falsehood; Muslims may not need to attack other systems and religions.
This is a vision; without a vision we have no destination to travel to.
Why are Muslim leaders so myopic about the future of Islam in America and the world? Why has the Muslim leadership failed to come up with a vision for America?
Theodore Herzl's Vision
Notably, Raphael Patai has mentioned in his book, THE MESSIAH TEXTS, introduction, page xlviii:
This was before World War I, when Khilafat-e-Osmania ruled Palestine and most of the Arab world. The Jews were being persecuted everywhere in Europe. Herzl went to all major Jewish financiers for help and was turned away, including the Rothschilds, a major financial institution in Europe. Under those conditions Herzl neither considered his vision to be simplistic nor did those few Jews who supported him. History bears witness that Herzl's vision came to reality in 50 years.
Vision is the Motivation for Progress
All advanced and progressive societies have visions. All inventors in science are visionary people. They see a problem and they want to solve it. As it is said, necessity is the mother of invention. Some may say it is the greed of getting rich fast. Well! Vision of getting rich is still a vision but on the way to riches, inventors permanently alter societies.
Let us look at history. Prophet Muhammad's vision was shared by his successors: Umar ibn Al-Khattab and Uthman ibn Affan carried out the mission of defeating and destroying the two super powers of the time, the Byzantine and Persian empires. Their successors carried the mission to the borders of China and the heart of West Europe. These Muslim leaders were visionary optimists. Alas! Muslims in America have no visionary leadership. The most that the Muslims in America have been able to do is to organize conferences, conventions and seminars. If these seminars and conferences are used to recruit Muslims as workers and motivate them to work for Islam then these conferences, etc. are a good start, but only a start. Conferences as an end by themselves are a waste of money, time and energy.
Alexander the Great had a vision of ruling the entire known world. He conquered almost half of it and appointed his governors in various countries. The Founding Fathers of the United States had a vision of building an independent country free from colonialism where there would be freedom of religion, enterprise and expression of thought. Most of the recent immigrants to the U.S. had the vision of education, career and prosperity. Most of them are living economically better than their counterparts in their home countries. Vision and optimism combined with struggle, patience and perseverance give success. Those who have lived in slavery or inherited slavish minds live very selfish lives; they may have optimism in their individual visions but collectively lack vision and are pessimists.
All adventurers and inventors were visionary optimists. They envisioned a world different than they inherited, felt need for change and individually left their impact on world civilization and culture. Discoveries of the steam engine, electricity and the silicon chip are some of the shining examples. In the 1960's there was a serious problem of pollution – someone had a vision of a pollution-free environment. Henry Ford had a vision of mass production. The development of the computer was someone's vision. Every change comes from one or another man's vision despite his being laughed at by the ignorant pessimists. World progress has come through the thoughts, visions and works of optimists. Pessimists contribute nothing but discouragement and doom.
Anti-Islam forces in the world, particularly in America have a vision to defeat Islam worldwide as a deen and render it permanently a personal religion of rituals only. Are we, the informed Muslims, going to allow it to happen or are we going to have a vision of the world through the eyes of Islam? Are we going to tolerate and accept shirk and its varied manifestations, like drug abuse, teen pregnancies, out-of-wedlock children, single parenthood, adultery, fornication, incest, homosexuality, drunkenness, rising gambling addiction with destruction of more and more families, flourishing gambling casinos, rising thefts and robberies, senseless murders and so on. Do Muslims living in America have any responsibility to see that shirk is eliminated, tawheed becomes a norm and we live in a safe country where anybody could walk anywhere and anytime with no fear of any kind except the fear of Allah? I believe that we do have a duty to see a safe America for Allah's sake, for our own salvation and for our own future generations' sake!
The cleaning process of America is not possible without bringing the awareness, acceptance and respect for Islam and Islamic values by an overwhelming majority of the population. It is the duty of the Muslim leadership to develop a vision for America for twenty years from now, fifty years from now or even one hundred years from now. A vision must be translated into a plan and a project and be implemented.
Where are visionary Muslim leaders in America? Is there anyone responding to the call?
A Call For Help
Those who live outside of America but have Allah-given wealth have a duty to help those who are struggling for the establishment of Islam in America and elsewhere. Those who live in America have a double duty, (a) to spend money (infaq) by helping financially those who are working to spread the message of Islam, and (b) to spend their own time and talent in calling people towards Allah (da'wat ila-Allah).
Allah is calling you, will you then not heed Allah's call?
The Vision in the Qur'an
Allah's call to the believers
1. Reward of Power:
2. Punishment of Disgrace:
3. Condition of Change to give back the Power:
The Muslims were given promises: the Sahaba and the 8-12 generations that followed fulfilled the conditions stipulated in the verse 24:55 and Allah fulfilled His promise. As Muslims became weak in their faith and works, Allah's punishment came and, over the centuries that followed, Muslims were disgraced so much that they were made subjects of their enemies (colonial powers). On the curve of rise and fall of nations Muslims are at the bottom of the trough. Colonial powers are gone physically but their agents continue to rule the Muslims on behalf of their masters, only more brutally. At the end of 20th century Allah's promise (#2) is in effect. To go back to His promise (#1) we must go through His promise (#3). In this paper I am calling you to bring change through developing the vision of the Prophet(S) and his companions.
Some may argue that the Muslims must become perfect or better Muslims before we go to non-Muslims and invite them to Islam. This argument is rooted in ignorance of the Qur'an and Sunnah of the Prophet. The process of correction of Muslims goes parallel with the propagation of Islam – one helps the other. It is like a bicycle which needs both wheels. Some Muslims should take the job of calling Muslims back to Islam and others should call non-Muslims to Islam. Both groups need to be taught Qur'an and Sunnah, not cultural Islam. Muslim's material and human resources should be allocated equally between the work among Muslims and the work among non-Muslims. We must use modern technology and resources in our work.
If you agree with the vision stated in the opening, join the Institute of Islamic Information & Education (III&E) for the dissemination of knowledge about Islam and Muslims to the American people, educating those who enter the fold of Islam and developing material and human resources to do the job. In addition, please support your local Da'wah organization. If there is no Da'wah organization, establish one for the sake of Allah.
Challenge to Action
All Muslims living in America have the duty to reach out to their non-Muslim brethren, in love and sympathy, with the message of Islam for their own sake and for the sake of Allah. To recognize their duty, Muslims need to be educated, motivated and mobilized for the task. A national movement is required. If you agree with this assessment, write or talk to your local, regional and national leaders, including those of Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), Imam Warith Deen Muhammad, Imam Jamil A. Al-Amin and others. Demand action from them individually and collectively. Demand from them a long-term vision and an active project of planned growth of Islam and the Muslim community in America. You must do it persistently and repeatedly to wake up the "leadership" and you yourself do what you can.
If it can be imagined, it can be done
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Islam:
Assalamu 'Alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.
I hope that by the Grace and Mercy of Allah you are doing excellent in health and righteous endeavors. May Allah bless you and your family always.
"If it can be imagined, it can be done." A TV advertisement.
In the background of human achievements of the twentieth century the above claim appears to be true. Human genetics to computers to landing on the moon to space explorations to lifting of the ships from bottom of the oceans are remarkable achievements. Someone imagined such things and eventually they became a reality. These are some achievements of the non-Muslim world.
How about Islamic imaginations and making them happen?
For example, making America an Islamic country! Are you courageous enough to imagine it?
The first step is to remove the anti-Islam bias and prejudices from the American mind, which is affecting the masses and policy makers in the government, the media and business alike. This would be a ten year project. It can be done. Are you going to support us and participate in this project? See the article ONE FAMILY A MONTH on our web site.
The second step is to make America a Muslim majority country. This would be a sixty year project. It can be done. Will you support us and participate to achieve it for yourself, your children, your progeny and, most importantly, for Allah? See the article THE VISION on our web site.
The third step is to make America where Muslims can live according to Allah's rules. This would be a one hundred year project. It can be done especially when we find that Allah is with us. Allah said in the Qur'an, "He (Allah) it is Who has sent His Messenger with the guidance and the Deen of Truth, that He may make it totally dominant (over all adyan), however much mushrikoon may hate it" (As-Saff 9) and "Allah is enough as a witness" (Al-Fat'h 28).
This Institute is working to remove prejudice, hate and fear of Islam from North America and go beyond. We need your help with your donations, time and talent. Please send your donation to the Institute; become a permanent supporter by filling out and signing the monthly donation form and attach a voided check for electronic deduction. YOUR DONATIONS MAY BE TAX-DEDUCTIBLE TO THE EXTENT OF THE FEDERAL LAW. This is a tax-deductible organization. This Institute needs a lot of money and manpower.
One Thousand Points Of Light
Establishing New Daw'ah / Islamic Business Organizations
by M. Amir Ali, Ph.D.
There is a tendency among Muslims who run Islamic organizations to discourage others from establishing new organizations. Once a new organization is well established and running, the organizers or the officers themselves become jealous of any new budding organization. In North America it is an unhealthy attitude to discourage others from working to form new organizations. In economic terms we, the Muslims, are not close to reaching the situation in which we can apply the Law of Diminishing Returns. Questions are often heard when a new organization is established. "Why form a new organization? Why not work with so and so organization which is doing the same or similar work? Why duplicate the work?"
As a matter of fact, Islamic Da'wah work requires a large number of organizations. Also, the consolidation of Islamic economic activities demands a large number of business organizations to pull resources together to make Islamic economics in North America become workable for Muslims and establish an example for the non-Muslim society to follow. Muslims are being watched closely by individuals, institutions, governments at all levels, community organizations of non-Muslims, churches and synagogues. Our success in Islamic business organizations is one of the tools of Da'wah and we have a duty to help such businesses to become successful. At this time these business organizations include NAIT, Amana Mutual Funds, Ansar Capital Management Inc., MSI Financial Corporation, and other cooperative buying and investment projects.
The establishment of a new Islamic organization with identical objectives as any of the already existing organizations is neither duplication of work nor a waste of resources. Islamic work in North America is like a marathon race which is joined by thousands but winners are very few. If a marathon race did not have thousands of runners, the winner may not be the one with the best physique; the winner may be a person of mediocre qualities. Other important reasons for establishing new Da'wah/Islamic business organizations which we must take into consideration are:
1. The Size Of The Job
The population of North America is approximately 300 million people and the size of the continent is very large, over 3000 miles in width and over 2000 miles in length. For Da'wah objectives alone it would take an organization the size of US Department of Interior to come up with the resources and management to do the job adequately. Therefore, it makes sense to have a large number of small, autonomous organizations who can develop their own resources and reach people locally with the MESSAGE OF ISLAM. Taking of the message of Islam to the entire non-Muslim population is the responsibility of all the Muslims, individually as well as collectively. Those who are living in North America must realize their duty and shoulder the responsibility, utilizing state-of-the-art methodologies.
2. Policies And Approaches
People are different in their background, education, knowledge, experience and outlook at various matters. Therefore, they develop different policies and approaches toward solving a problem. Some people have the right policies and approaches and some do not. We may differ and argue about these matters but time is the best judge. If Da'wah work is like a marathon race, those with the best policies, approaches and the most stamina (or firmness) are going to win, whereas bad policies and approaches are going to be losers. If all our energies and resources are placed into only one or two organizations and they happen to have poor or bad policies and approaches, we come out very bad losers, losing material and human resources as well as the most precious commodity, time. On the other hand, if there are one hundred organizations with a variety of policies and approaches at least a few of them are going to be winners, which will be a good experience and an asset for all other Muslim organizations to follow. Therefore, it is a wise strategy to start with many organizations in Da'wah until we have learned the best in policies and approaches.
In any organization there are many activities with various levels of priority. It is the duty of responsible officers to set the priorities appropriately. Any misjudgment in setting priorities and allotment of resources may result in setbacks to achieving the objectives of the organization. Having many organizations to achieve the same objectives but different approaches and strategies has an advantage of covering one organization's misjudgments of approach and strategy by another one. All organizations having the same or similar objectives but different approaches and strategies should be looked upon as tributaries of one river rather than competitive spoilers of each other. As long as these organizations follow certain rules which are discussed below there should be little fear or concern for waste of resources.
4. Pooling Of Greater Financial Resources
There are donors and there are fund raisers but the problem of getting them together is difficult. Donors are choosy and discriminate when giving money to organizations. Having many organization with similar objectives has the advantage of pooling resources for the same cause through different channels. If some one does not feel comfortable in giving to one Da'wah oriented organization there is a likelihood that he will feel comfortable with another organization for reasons known to himself. Da'wah work cannot move forward without the availability of large resources whether pooled under one umbrella or under many different names. Pooling of material resources at the local level by local or regional organizations has a better chance than pooling by one or two large organizations. Besides, very large organizations tend to waste more because of a lack of close knit organizational structure, personal touch and care which small organizations can achieve.
5. Pooling Of Human Resources
Da'wah work needs thousands of workers if it is going to succeed in giving the message of Islam to every one in North America and we should do everything possible to recruit volunteer workers. Like donors of money volunteer workers have their likes and dislikes of people and organizations. Some people would like to work with one group of people but would refuse to work with another group. Having a large number of Da'wah organizations offers alternatives to volunteer workers and would help in recruiting large numbers of these workers for the propagation of the message of Islam.
6. Protection Against Infiltration And Disruption
As Islamic Da'wah work progresses successfully in North America, the Muslims, in general, and Da'wah organizations in particular are going to face a gradually increasing resistance by the non-Muslim society. A point will come when opponents of Islam will feel compelled to infiltrate Islamic organizations, in general, and Da'wah organizations, in particular, and disrupt them. If there are only a few organizations the task of the opponents is made easier. On the other hand, if there are a large number of Da'wah organizations, autonomous in their policies, approaches, priorities and resources, it will become difficult for miscreants to succeed in their mission. Therefore, having a large number of Da'wah organizations is a blessing and protection against sabotage and disruption by the opponents of the Islamic mission.
Some apprehensions have been expressed concerning the possibility of waste of resources, wasteful competition, waste of time and a show of disunity within the Muslim people. These fears are more imagined than real. However, these fears can be taken care of by following some rules. These rules are summarized below.
DO THE FOLLOWING 3 C'S:
COOPERATION: Organizations should follow the rule of cooperation which will lead to more productive work. There are many ways of cooperation, such as exchange of ideas and materials, extending help to each other, and so on.
COORDINATION: Islamic Da'wah work has many aspects, parts and phases. Da'wah organizations can coordinate between themselves in various aspects or phases of the work.
COMPLEMENTATION: Doing something which another organization has not done for one reason or another is complementation.
DO NOT DO THE FOLLOWING 3 C'S:
CRITICISM: There are two types of criticism, constructive and destructive. Constructive criticism is when you offer better alternatives and preferably your services to go with it. If you are not able to offer alternatives but criticize others' work it is destructive criticism which should be avoided at all costs. If you can not offer a better alternative it is possible that the one who is being criticized has not been able to find a better alternative either and is doing the best he can.
CONDEMNATION: Condemnation is very poisonous to every society. Condemnation means you are attacking some one's intentions which only Allah knows. Condemnation causes many personal and social problems. You have a right to condemn only when something in violation of Islamic principles (haram) is being done.
COMPETITION WHICH IS WASTEFUL: Allah encourages all Muslims to compete in good work. However some competitions could become wasteful and may cause problems. All Muslims should be watchful and perceptive enough to detect harmful and wasteful competition and avoid it.
How To Establish A Daw'ah Organization
Any religious organization falls within the category of "non-profit" or "not-for-profit" corporations. All corporations are regulated by the office of the Secretary of State of a given state in U.S. One must obtain a copy of the laws governing such organizations and follow the procedures. The general procedure is given below:
1. Filing the articles of incorporation with the Secretary of State with the appropriate fee,
2. Writing the constitution or by-laws of the corporation,
3. Filing an application with the IRS for tax exempt status,
4. Filing an application with the State Revenue Department for sales tax exemption,
5. Filing an application with the US Postal Service for non-profit status for bulk mailing.
Sometimes the name of the corporation may have to be registered with the county. Usually the state government and IRS require some kind annual reporting which has to be followed.
An Introduction To Dialogue
No intimidation. See the Qur'an 29:46
Understanding the addressee
1. Simple minded truth seeker. Reasonable, objective, no irrational or provocative questions. See the Qur'an 28:51-53
2. The Intellectual Truth Seeker. Quite intelligent and reasonable, wide scope of intellectual exposure; a da'iyah should provide clear and convincing answers to his questions; avoid doubtful answers. Use logic, analogies and rationale.
3. Apparent Truth Seeker. Pretender, a hypocrite. Sowing seeds of truth allows you to gain Allah's blessings.
4. Closed Minded. "born again" Bible thumpers, demon casters. They have the false pretense of listening to you but they are never with you. They are quick in reading your motives, condemn use of reasoning, emphasizing allegorical or metaphorical meaning, emphasize need of Holy Spirit, salvation in Jesus.
Benefits of dialogue with closed minded people, see Qur'an 2:146 and 36:17: (1) Understand his psychology and your own training, (2) to make listeners (if any) realize that he is unreasonable, dogmatic, and not sincerely interested in the truth.
(1) Start with common grounds – what you two agree, see Qur'an 3:64. Ask questions like
(2) Finding the basis of beliefs - why?
(3) Traps in dialogue: contradictions will shut them up and you can not proceed much further.
(4) Avoid a "straw man" argument – putting words into your mouth, e.g. "Qur'an confirms the Bible" and so on.
(5) Have a mental picture of the sequence of argument where you or he is leading to. Advance preparation for leading the discussion.
(6) Never underestimate the other person – be well prepared and know your stuff; you cannot bluff some people.
(7) Be able to recognize the difference between the explanation of a point and the proof of truthfulness or authenticity of that point, i.e. the difference between "what it means" and "why it must be true".
(8) Do not allow him to divert your attention to other point to provide him an escape. For example, you are talking about crucifixion and he asks you about your belief in second coming of Jesus. Make sure you make your point before you move to the next.
(9) Suppression of evidence, e.g. John 10:30 = John 17:22-23; John 14:9 = John 5:37 (disciples are gods too).
(10) Give him false confidence, let him make his point and hold back your offensive. Respond only at appropriate time.
(11) Avoid looping arguments, beating around the bush arguments; establish your grounds and move from there.
(12) Do not let insults (direct or indirect) distract you. Don't let him make you angry by saying that Muhammad was a serial killer, so on. Your anger will only lose your case.
(13) Always speak gently and in a convincing manner, do not get angry or insult any one.
(14) Do not continue discussion if the other person is not listening to you. If you have to separate, do it beautifully.
(15) In a logical sequence of discussion do not move from one point to another unless you have come to an agreement (or agreement to disagree). If you ask him "do you agree?" He responds, "Carry on!" He may not be in agreement with you. Do not move to another point.
(16) Do not embarrass the other person unless it is psychologically a necessity to expose his unreasonable stand. The main objective is to make him and people around you understand your point clearly.
(17) Know the other side religiously, socially and intellectually and be his match in discussion.
(18) It is not necessary to plunge straight into your topic of interest. You may begin with a non-religious topic and lead him into your area of interest.
(19) Don't hesitate in commending him when he brings points that are in accordance with Islamic teachings.
(20) Have a good command of your language.
(21) Practice makes perfect. Arguments awaken reasoning.
(22) Do not be impressed with his educational background, whether he is a Ph.D. or a professor. Just ensure that you put your arguments across loud and clear.
Muslims Stand Up!
by Wael Abdelgawad – Zawaj.com
All praise is due to Allah, who has guided us to the religion of truth, and made us Muslims.
Fear and Terror
In the days since the World Trade Center attack, Muslims in the U.S. and around the world have fallen over one another in the rush to be the first to condemn the attack, and express sympathy for the victims. That's well and good. Such an act deserves condemnation, and as Muslims we should be compassionate by nature. We should love and respect all of Allah's creatures, and we should oppose evil in any guise.
The statements of many Islamic organizations and Muslim leaders, however, does not stop at condemnation but proceeds to apology and even shame. As the mad acts of retaliation against Muslims (and Sikhs, and Arab Christians) have begun, another emotion has been added to the mix: fear. Terror, even. Masjids in the U.S. have been abandoned, and stand empty during prayer time. A few scholars have exempted Muslim women in the West from wearing hijab in public, and told the men to shave their beards and not to wear distinctive Islamic clothing in public.
And so here we are. We have become a community of frightened sheep. An ummah of assimilationists, stripping ourselves of Islamic emblems and trying to "pass" as non-Muslims so that we will not be subjected to insults, the blows of fists, or yes, even bullets.
Muslims, no matter what the disbelievers may do, this fear cannot continue. Muslims, stand up and be strong men and women! Be glad of our beautiful deen, which is the religion of Allah and the religion of truth.
Allah has said in the Holy Qur'an,
And Allah says,
I do not wish to insult or hurt anyone. What I want is to encourage all of us in this difficult time to be strong, to remember our priorities as Muslims, and not to be afraid. Do not be discouraged. Let us hold our heads high and our shoulders straight. Let us be happy that Allah has blessed us with Islam. Let us fear Allah more than we fear the people.
A Time of Testing
Brothers and sisters, we've had it easy here in this comfortable environment of the U.S.A. and in the West. Al-Hamdulillah, we have formed our M.S.A.s, opened our Islamic centers and masjids, preached Islam, begun to develop Islamic institutions and begun to gain influence in this society. But we have become complacent and arrogant. We have become soft as kittens.
For years now I have heard some Muslims in the West proclaiming that they represent the new leadership of the Muslim ummah. They claim that the "old-world" Muslims of the East are mired in ancient conflicts and bogged down in cultural habits. This always struck me as presumptuous - the arrogance and ignorance of the young. Don't they know their history? Don't they know that these "old-world" Muslims have survived the khawarij, the crusades, the Huns, the Tatars, the black plague, the collapse of the Khilaafah, colonization, occupation, and the rule of dictators? They have been tested, and yet they have maintained their faith in the face of all opposition. Activists in the Muslim world have been arrested, imprisoned and even executed. And yet the "old-world" ummah continues to produce great Islamic thinkers, scholars and martyrs.
What tests have we suffered in the West? What persecution have we been subjected to? I have always believed that the growth of Islam in this country would be tested, and tested hard. That is Allah's way, and Allah's way does not change:
Read these verses and take heed! "that Allah may know those that believe..."
And Allah says,
It is no longer a question of whether the test will come. It is here. Maybe it will get better, maybe it will get worse. Only Allah knows. The question is, how will we perform in this test? How will we respond?
Will we, at the first sign of trouble, close our masjids, shut our da'wah booths, cancel our Islamic events and hide like mice? Laa hawla wa laa quwwata illa-billah. Our sisters in Turkey are imprisoned for wearing hijab. Our brothers in Uzbekistan are arrested and tortured for going to the masjid. Our Imams in China are executed for teaching Qur'an. Still they persevere, because to do otherwise would be to abandon their obligations to Allah and to themselves, and to let Islam die like withered fruit on the vine. To do otherwise would be to fear the people more than they fear Allah.
This is not an issue of hijabs or beards. If a Muslim sister has no other options – if she cannot be escorted, or move to a safer place - and her life or safety is in danger, then take off the hijab and be safe. No one wants to see Muslim people being killed or injured.
But as I said, it is not at heart an issue of hijabs and beards. The central issue, rather, is one of steadfastness in Allah's cause. Will we be run in fear at the first sign of danger, or will we stand up tall and strong as Muslims? Will we seek solutions to guarantee our safety, or will we simply hide? Will we reach out to the non-Muslims to educate them, or will we change our colors like chameleons and pretend to be non-Muslims? Maybe this climate of hostility will pass, or maybe not. How will we respond? What kind of people will we be?
Muslims, stand up! Stop cowering. This is not the time to hide. This is the time to reach out to our non-Muslim neighbors and co-workers, not to apologize, but to educate and enlighten them about Islam. This is the time to organize multi-faith events. This is the time to write to the newspapers and magazines. Organize a donation drive for the families of the New York victims, many of whom were Muslim, by the way. Bake some cookies for the neighbors. Send a thoughtful memo at work. This is the time to open our da'wah booths, and if a few people hurl insults at us, then so be it, and if in some rare instances they attack us, then so be it. Let the strongest of us assume the most difficult positions. We defend ourselves as best we can and we deal with it. This is what it is to work for Islam. This is what it is to persevere.
Do we know that this is an opportunity in so many ways?
It is an opportunity to grow as Muslims, because when Allah wants his servants to become better, stronger and wiser believers, He tests them. There is no other way to grow. Spiritual struggle is a gift from Allah to the persevering Muslim.
It is an opportunity to engage the non-Muslims and educate them about Islam. I have seen many news stories in the last week attempting to explain to the public what Islam really is. Muslim leaders are in demand by the press. I myself was interviewed recently by the San Jose Mercury News. Even if it stems from anger and misunderstanding, the fact is that Americans suddenly want to know what Islam is, and what it wants from them. Use this opportunity to reach out to them and teach them. But we cannot do that if we are passing, dissimulating, and doing everything we can to avoid being identified as Muslims.
Dr. Harold Bursztajn is co-director of the program in psychiatry and the law at Harvard Medical School. He has profiled terrorists and often testifies as an expert witness in mass-murder trials. He recently gave an interview to abcnews.com in which he says the only way to spot anyone affiliated with the hijackers is to "beware of those who celebrate the mass murderers and those who apologize for them," perhaps indicating some sense of guilt by association.
Beware! You may think you are doing something good by apologizing, but the disbelievers will presume that you are guilty.
I make this statement once because it needs to be said only once:
We have done nothing wrong. We have nothing to apologize for. We have nothing to be ashamed of.
The World Trade Center was not attacked by Islam, it was attacked by individuals. Their religious persuasion is irrelevant. Does Christianity apologize for Timothy McVeigh? Does Christianity apologize for the Reverend Jim Jones, the KKK, Nazism, colonialism, or slavery? Christianity does not apologize for these atrocities because Christianity did not commit them, individuals committed them.
This need to apologize stems from a deep inferiority complex which binds many Muslims. Most of the Muslim world was colonized by the West after the collapse of the Khilaafah, and many Muslims still harbor the inferiority complexes that are typical of colonized peoples. The hallmarks of that inferiority complex are shame of one's own religious background, despite for one's co-religionists, and pure admiration of the colonizer. The inferiority complex expresses itself in a pleading tone of voice: "See Mr. Westerner, I'm not a bad, religious Muslim like those people, I'm a good, westernized Muslim! I'm not a crazy fundamentalist, I'm a secularist like you. Pleaaaase, Mr. Westerner, approve of me..."
They will never truly approve of us, nor will they ever fully accept us. As Allah says,
However, if we present an image of strength and confidence, and if we express the truth of Islam in our actions, I guarantee that even if they do not approve of us, they will respect us.
So don't apologize. Especially if you are in a da'wah setting, don't be drawn into a discussion of Osama bin Laden or suicide bombers. Control the forum, direct the talk. Steer it into a discussion of the beauty and truth of Islam:
Control the Forum
Stop defending Islam, as if Islam is a criminal and needs a defense attorney. I realize that those who are doing this have the best of intentions, but when we continually defend a thing, people come to believe that it is culpable. When we constantly proclaim our innocence, people begin to suspect our guilt. Instead of defending Islam, promote it. Discuss the beauty of Islam, its power, and its truth. Be positive, not negative. Be self-assured, not defensive. Don't allow yourself to be drawn into protracted discussions about Osama bin Laden, or the Taliban, because these issues are irrelevant to our da'wah and our practice of Islam in the U.S..
For example, let's suppose you are staffing an Islamic booth in the free speech area at your university, or maybe you are taking a break in the lounge at your workplace. Someone comes up to you and says,
You don't respond with denials and apologies. You bypass all of that and you say,
Do you see how this statement is positive rather than negative? It is an expression of strength, not weakness.
If the person allows you to continue, you might go on to give examples of the brotherhood you have experienced in Islam, or of what Islam has done for you personally. You could talk about Salat or Sawm or Hajj, or any of the beautiful aspects of Islam.
But let's suppose the person is persistent, and he won't let the subject go. He interrupts you and says,
And then you elaborate on any Islamic subject that you like, such as the Oneness of Allah, the Prophet Muhammad, Salat, brotherhood, or Zakat.
In doing this, you are not avoiding the topic of terrorism or the Taliban or whatever, you are simply making it irrelevant to your presentation of Islam, and thereby severing the mental link between terrorism and Islam. Your da'wah booth is not a forum for a discussion on terrorism. You are there to promote Islam, and one has nothing to do with the other.
Fear Allah, not the People
It's time to come out of our houses. Fill the masjids. Invite our non-Muslim friends to Islamic events. Stop hiding. When we hide, two things happen:
1. People begin to think we have something to hide. After all, we must have done something and we feel guilty, or we wouldn't be hiding, right?
2. Bad people, those who would harm us, see it is a confirmation of our weakness, and this gives them a green light to oppress and intimidate us.
Fear Allah, not the people. The Messsenger of Allah (pbuh) said,
I am not saying we Muslims should not take precautions. We should have twenty-four-hour security at masjids, Islamic centers and Islamic events. Muslims should not travel alone. Sisters in hijab should be escorted whenever possible. M.S.A.s should form an escort hot line for the Muslim female students. Set up a phone tree in your community. Lock your doors, buy a cell phone, be aware of your surroundings and don't go out at night. If you are harassed, report it to [CAIR] (your local community) and to the police, and to your employer if it happens at work. Yes, we should continue with our lives and take precautions. This is a sign of strength and determination, while hiding in the house or trying to conceal one's Islamic identity is a sign of weakness and spinelessness.
Lastly, do not forget to always make du'aa to Allah subhanahu wa ta'aala. This is the most important security precaution of all. Ask Allah to keep you and your family safe, and to protect all Muslims all over the world.
Present the Beauty of Islam
The apologists and defenders expend all of their energy proclaiming what Islam is not, while never bothering to explain what Islam is.
I don't think I need to elaborate too much in this section, because we all know what is beautiful, powerful and wonderful about Islam. Present these aspects of Islam in your talks with the non-Muslims. Talk about such issues as:
Let these issues define Islam in the minds of your listeners. Remember, don't apologize or defend. Rather, control the forum and present a beautiful picture of Islam.
And may Allah guide us to the best of deeds at all times.
Islamization of Social and Humanistic Sciences
An Action Plan for Islamization Through Discipline-Oriented First or Second Majors, Through Secular Colleges and Universities in North America and World Wide (Proposed for IIIT, International Institute of Islamic Thought; AMSS, Association of Muslim Social Scientists; and others Worldwide)
by Prof. S. Waqar Ahmed Husaini
Islamization of knowledge/`ilm and the 'two cultures' (ideological and technological) is an individual duty/fard `ayn. Secularism and secularization are kufr (lit. "rejection") of Islam since they reject the jurisdiction of God and Islamic ideology in the 'two cultures'. Islamization is also a necessity as secular ideologies of Muslims have failed to promote al-din (the complete Islamic system), reason, life, posterity, wealth, and honor: al-din, `aql, hayat, nasl, mal, `ird.
Muslim "religious mentality" and cultures are dominated by takhsis (reductionism) and Sufism which are akin to and worse than secularism. Takhsis (Imam Ghazali, d.505 AH/1111 CE) restricted fiqh to family law, and "Islamic studies" to humanities, while rejecting the natural sciences, technology, and even many social sciences. Sufism is anti-reason, anti-science, etc., and made a Muslim "apolitical; asocial; amilitary; anethical; unproductive; an egoist... shaken neither by the misery, poverty, disease, and subjugation of his own society nor of mankind" (Shaheed Ismail & Lamya al-Faruqi, The Cultural Atlas of Islam, p. 304 ).
Today, even "Islamic" movements and organizations, "Islamic" schools and universities, are drowned in takhsis, Sufism, and secular kufr. Modern "Islamists" are a brain-dead and blinded people (qawmun `ameen, Quran 7:64); often Muslim vision of Islam does not extend beyond halal-meats, hijab, beards, and rituals. Muslims must make Islamization their duty/fard and, like their noble ancesters/as-salaf as-saliheen, bring in for the benefit of mankind the two cultures "under the whole of Islam" (fis-silmi kaafah, Quran 2:208).
B. Islamization needs a two-pronged strategy once we have amassed "Islamic knowledge"
Islamization is both reclamation of the Islamic parts of "modern secularized knowledge" and the "two cultures", and their re-Islamization through modern Islamic philosophical sciences:
C. Proposed Action Plan for IIIT, AMSS, and others to Islamize Socio-Humanistic Sciences and Education through Secular Colleges and Universities in North America and Worldwide
AN IMPORTANT ASPECT OF THIS "ACTION PLAN" IS TO GRADUALLY/BI-TADREEJ ISLAMIZE EXISTING SECULAR COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES, NOT ESTABLISH NEW TAKHSISIYYAH ONES; NEITHER SOLVE THE PROBLEMS OF CIVILIZATION. IDEALLY, ISLAMIZATION MUST BE PURSUED RIGOROUSLY IN 'ISLAMIC' STATES BY INDIVIDUAL SCHOLARS AND INSTITUTIONS AS WAS DONE DURING THE EARLY CENTURIES OF ISLAM THROUGH UNEASY COOPERATION WITH THE RULING ELITES OF UMAYYID, ABBASID AND OTHER DYNASTIES. FREEDOM, PROMOTION OF DIVERSITY, ETHNICITY AND MULTI-CULTURALISM, AND THE FLEXIBLE ACADEMIC STRUCTURE IN NORTH AMERICA, PROVIDE OPPORTUNITIES FOR ISLAMIZATION FOR THE BENEFIT OF MANKIND.
The following must be adopted and adapted to suit the situations in each country and region. Some salient aspects of this Proposed Action Plan addressed to AMSS and IIIT, and others are:
1) AMSS/IIIT must have a Secretariat supported by a Waqf/Trust founded through the cooperation of Islamic centers, ISNA, ICNA, IMA, Ministry of Imam Warith Muhammad, etc.
2) The 20+ Discipline Groups of AMSS/IIIT must be revived and expanded under active "believers" in Islamization. They must post on web sites of AMSS and IIIT the "Description of Courses" for every discipline, with a Plan similar to and more advanced than that of IISTD.
3) Initially these will be Self-Study courses for Muslim and non-Muslim students. Gradually, these must be added to curriculum of Departments, Centers, and inter-disciplinary Institutes.
4) AMSS, IIIT, and other web sites must identify "focal points" or advisors for each course for students to interact. Such courses must be taken in any secular 2-year college/university through a student's initiative as General Education Requirements, Electives, and an "Islamic Discipline-Oriented First or Second Major, or a Minor". Muslim Students Association and the local community and Islamic centers should play a key role in advocating such courses.
5) This Action Plan will produce students with a Double Major or Minor in every discipline, competent for the private and public job markets in USA and worldwide; the Second Major is Islamic discipline-oriented. As faculty members in 2-year colleges to universities, they must be devoted to Islamization through teaching, publications, consultancy, and professional practice.
6) Islamization of Muslim pseudo-Islamic takhsisiyyah/reductionist lower and higher education systems (e.g., madarasah) must also be undertaken. The 'traditionalist' systems will easily and willing accept Islamization if their "modernization" is not an excuse to impose secularization. http://www.iiie.net/1/content/view/66/44/
The Institute of Islamic Information and Education (III&E) is dedicated to the cause of Islam in North America through striving to elevate the image of Islam and Muslims by providing the correct information about Islamic beliefs, history and civilization from the authentic sources. The III&E was established in Chicago, Illinois in 1985 with the comprehensive project of conveying the message of Islam to everyone in North America.
Welcome to III&E
Misinformation about Islam is widespread in Western countries. This misinformation also finds its way into the text books and media published in Asian and African countries including Muslim countries themselves with all its impact on growing young generations all over the world.
Such a state of affairs is having an adverse effect on Muslims in North America and Muslim countries in a multitude of ways. Misinformation is prevalent in text books, fiction and non-fiction material, reference books, encyclopedias, magazines, journals, newspapers, television and radio shows. Let us look at a few examples:
– A medical encyclopedia published in Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A., mentions Prophet Muhammad's name (may Allah's blessings be upon him) among those famous people who were EPILEPTIC.
– A church publication in 1981 mentions the rise of Islam in its early period in the following words:
– A fourth grade history text book published in U.S.A. has an article about Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) with the title, "A CAMEL DRIVER". The same article tells children 9 to 10 years of age about the status of women in Islam in the following words:
The author tells children about the spread of Islam,
Obviously adults and children who read this kind of material would not want to know anything more about Islam. Our responsibility is to open the minds of people so that they read and learn the truth about Islam before they even think about accepting it. The responsibility of Muslims is to make efforts to remove such fabricated material from circulation so that the minds of people are not poisoned about Islam but rather opened to Islam and the atmosphere becomes more amenable to Muslims. This is a Fard Kifaayah, if no one does it the entire Muslim Ummah, particularly those living in the West, will be accountable to Allah for their collusion with anti-Islamic forces through their inaction (i.e. losing by default) .
Allah (S) tells us,
Objectives of III&E
One of the main objectives of the Institute of Islamic Information and Education (III&E) is to strive to elevate the image of Islam and Muslims in North America through providing the correct information about Islamic beliefs, history and civilization to Muslims and non-Muslims in this continent.
A complementary objective is to strive to integrate the new Muslims into the Muslim community and train them Islamically so that they become workers in their own communities.
How You Can Help
Please read through the relevant text books used in your school district from KG to high school, college books and reference material and see what the author has to say about Islam and Muslims. If you come across anything erroneous or even doubtful make a photocopy of the page, write down the names of books, author, publisher, year of publication or edition, and school district where the book is used and send the information to the Institute (III&E). The Institute will take it from there and will try to keep you informed of the action taken.
Please ask your friends in your locality and outside of it to cooperate with Institute in a similar manner as outlined above.
The Institute is in the process of acquiring and publishing the relevant literature (brochures and booklets) to answer questions frequently asked by non-Muslims in North America. So far the III&E has published over 80 brochures, tracts, articles and flyers – there is something that will be helpful for you. The Institute is providing literature for a donation for distribution among your non-Muslim colleagues, friends and neighbors. Please send your inquiries to the Institute for the literature.
Send your suggestions to the Institute to improve its work and methodology. We all learn from experience.
Give us the names and addresses of individuals and organizations that could be helpful to the Institute.
The Institute (III&E) is a non-profit, religious and tax exempt corporation registered in the State of Illinois, U.S.A. and it runs on contributions and donations from those who share the concerns of Muslims in North America. Please send your generous donation in the name of "III&E Chicago."
Regarding tableegh and da'wat
It is our (Muslims) responsibility to disseminate the message of Islam to other human beings who may have never known the Truth of Islam. The Institute (III&E) is producing written materials (tracts, brochures, handouts, etc.) as well as audio and video material to help you fulfill your duty of the dissemination of the message of Islam (tableegh) and invitation towards Allah (da'wat). In the language of Qur'an, such an effort is called Shahadat ‘alan-Naas for which we, all the Muslims will be accountable on the Day of Judgment (Al-Qur'an 2:143, 4:41, 22: 78).
Please contact the Institute (III&E) to find how we (you and the Institute) can work together to fulfill our duties in North America, in general, and our localities, in particular.
We, the Muslims, have the promise of help of Allah (S) in our work if only we become sincere and willing to sacrifice our time and money for the cause we believe in. Allah says:
Message of Al-Qur'an…
The III&E was established in Chicago, Illinois in 1985. The III&E is registered in the State of Illinois and recognized by the Internal Revenue Service and the United State Postal Service (USPS) as a not-for-profit, religious organization.
Goals of III&E
Achievements of III&E
Future plans of III&E
What are the material needs of III&E?
Islam, Jihad, and Terrorism
"Islam" and other various Islamic terms and concepts are grossly misunderstood in the West. Muslims can hardly find anyone to blame but themselves because (a) they have failed to live by the Islamic tenants in our times, and (b) they have failed to promote understanding of Islam in the West through outreach projects. This brochures is a humble attempt to briefly explain the terms given in the title. The Institute of Islamic Information & Education (III&E) has published almost fifty brochures and several articles for promoting understanding of Islam among Muslims and non-Muslims equally. Please write to the III&E or visit their web site for more information.
Some of the Islamic Terms
The True Meaning of "Jihad"
Jihad is usually associated with Islam and Muslims, but in fact, the concept of Jihad is found in all religions including Christianity, Judaism and political/economic ideologies, such as, Capitalism, Socialism, Communism, etc. Islam defines Jihad as striving and struggling for improvement as well as fighting back to defend one's self, honor, assets and homeland. Also, Jihad is interpreted as the struggle against evil, internal or external of a person or a society. Jihad, in Islam, means doing any or all but not limited to the following:
The Levels of Jihad
The Qur'an defines physical Jihad as being the highest level of Jihad that one can undertake. Its reward is eternal Paradise. Muslims also know that all humans are accountable for what they have done during their life on this earth. Muslims will be asked about what they did with their lives and their level of submission to Allah on the Day of Judgment.
Does Jihad mean Holy War?
In Islam, there is no such thing as holy war. This terminology was generated in Europe during the Crusades and their war against Muslims. Islam recognizes Jews and Christians as the "People of the Book" because they all follow the Prophet Abraham, believing in Moses' and Jesus' teachings. For many centuries, Muslims have peacefully coexisted with Christians, Jews, and people of other faiths, maintaining social, business, political and economic treaties. Islam respects all humans and faiths as long as there is no religious oppression, forbidding Muslims from serving Allah, preventing others from learning about Islam, and not respecting treaties. For more information on the topic of Jihad see the brochure Jihad Explained or request brochure #18 from the III&E, the publisher of this article.
Who is authorized to call for Jihad as a war?
Jihad must be performed according to Islamic rules and regulations and only for the sake or in the service of Allah. The physical or military Jihad must be called by a Muslim authority, such as, a president or head of a Muslim country after due consultations with the learned leadership.
What Does Islam Say about Terrorism?
The term "terrorism" does not exist in the Qur'an or the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad. If the terms "terrorist or terrorism" are derived from a verb used in the Qur'an, such as 5:33 describing a "Muslim's" terrorist acts, it is in condemnation and prescribes most severe punishment. Islam is a religion and a way of life that does not separate politics from religion. Islam is a religion of mercy, unity and most importantly peace with one's self and others, to defend not to fight. Allah said in His Book the Qur'an:
Some of the Prophet Muhammad's Teachings (Sunnah)
Islam and Human Rights
Islam is a practical religion that respects all human beings and it was revealed for all mankind. Its message is that of peace and submission to Allah. Muslims believe in all the Prophets mentioned in the Bible, and the Qur'an. The Qur'an shares many moral teachings of the Old Testament and the New Testament. These three religions (and their books) were founded upon the revelations by One True God, Allah. For more information on this topic please see the brochure Human Rights In Islam or ask for brochure #7 from the III&E, the publisher of this article.
Jihad in the Bible
Let us see what the Bible has to say about Jihad in the meaning of war and violence. The following verses are from the Bible, New International Version (NIV), 1984, italics added.
Muslims follow a religion of peace, mercy and forgiveness. If an individual Muslim were to commit an act of terrorism, this person would be guilty of violating the basic tenants of Islam. When Timothy McVeigh bombed the Oklahoma City building, no American or Christian was labeled as a terrorist or was the target of hate crimes. When Irish Christians carry out acts of terrorism against each other and on the British Isles, the Christian religion is not blamed but individuals or their political agenda. Unfortunately, the same is not true for American Muslims and Arabs. The vast majority of Muslims or Arabs have no association with the violent events around the world yet Islam is invoked with terrorism. It is unfair to 1.2 billion Muslims of the world and religion of Islam.
Criteria of guilt
Innocent until proven guilty in an open court is an accepted universal principle of justice along with liberty and freedom for all humankind. However, the U.S. failed to practice the same principles for those who are not U.S. nationals. Even worse, the U.S. is creating military tribunal for secret trials because there may be inadequate evidence to prove Arabs and Muslims guilty in open courts.
May Allah bless us all and purify our hearts from all misunderstanding, malice, hate and anger. http://www.iiie.net/1/content/view/43/44/
U.S. foreign policy towards Muslims must change
If America Wants World Peace, It Must Communicate with Islamic World
by Abu Umar – www.iviews.com
The official United States policy towards Islam is quite admirable. "Our policies are guided by our profound respect for Islam," states a January report by the White House on national security strategy for the new century. "US policy in the region is directed at the actions of governments and terrorist groups, not peoples or faiths."
However, the reality is different. American policy toward Islam in practice is reflected in CIA director George Tenet's testimony before the Senate Select Intelligence Committee in February. Tenet named the global Islamic movement as a principle national security threat.
"There is an intricate web of alliances among Sunni extremists worldwide, including North Africans, radical Palestinians, Pakistanis, and Central Asians...there's an infrastructure out there that is perhaps bigger than we anticipated," said Tenet. "We essentially have undertaken to systematically develop a strategic plan to attack this infrastructure."
Some might object that the two statements are not contradictory; that the first refers to Islam as a world faith, and the second relates to "extremists" and "terrorists." The premise of this objection is rooted in a fundamental misunderstanding and shortsightedness in American foreign policy that, if not corrected by the incoming administration, could lead the United States into a quagmire.
In villages and cities from the Balkans to Africa to China, young people are discovering the richness of the faith of their ancestors, the faith that led them to build just societies, to reach new heights in art, science, and culture. At the grassroots, Muslims are convinced their civilization is on the brink of recovering from the Islamic world's equivalent of Europe's Dark Ages. The world can count on Muslims continuing to search for ways to bring this renaissance about.
The primary fallacy underpinning American foreign policy in the region is the idea that the global Islamic awakening is an inherent danger to the United States. This impression was burned into policymakers' minds when the Shah, America's client in Iran, was tossed out in 1979 with a great deal of understandable animosity toward the tyrant's sponsors in Washington. The perception of an "Islamic threat" is reinforced by manifestations of Muslim anger over America's sponsorship of the Zionist regime in Palestine and a host of two-bit dictators in the region.
Some observers conclude that Muslim anger toward the US exists because Islamic society is, at heart, totalitarian, and that it is America's "freedom and democracy" that rubs Muslim sensibilities raw. It is certainly the case that America's steady cultural moral decline saddens and repulses religious Muslims (as it does religious Christians), but to suggest that opposition to "democracy" is the source of Muslim anger with the US is uninformed and ethnocentric.
Anger flows only when Muslims are on the receiving end of perceived or real American-supported or American-tolerated oppression. Political prisoners in Egypt (the second largest recipient of US aid), Palestinian refugees under American-made Israeli guns, and religious Turkish women blocked from an education by their government while the US remains silent can all be excused for their bitterness. Policymakers, however, see this anger and conclude that the solution is to encourage yet more repression of the thriving Islamic movement.
Case in point: speaking this month at Johns Hopkins University, Lt. Col. William Lahue of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said that US Army special forces are stationed in Uzbekistan and provide training, trucks, radios, and other so-called "non-lethal" military equipment to that country for its war on Islamic insurgents. NATO holds regular exercises to train Central Asian dictatorships "to be able to handle these internal regional problems," US General Thomas Franks was recently quoted as saying.
Meanwhile, human rights groups, Congressional committees, and even the US State Department say Uzbekistan's treatment of Islamic believers is appalling. Human Rights Watch reports that police routinely torture and murder detainees in Uzbekistan in the course of its neo-communist government's "crackdown against those whose practice of Islam falls outside of state-sanctioned religion, often charging them with ill-defined crimes of 'religious extremism'."
Tenet's warning of an "intricate web of alliances" is ironic. Islamic activists would not have to operate underground to achieve reforms in their countries if the region's governments were not, in general, ruthless dictatorships hell-bent against any sort of opposition. Instability in the region is not caused by Islamic groups but by autocracies that drive those believers underground and deny them peaceful means of participation in society.
A December report by the National Foreign Intelligence Board predicts that by the year 2015, "political Islam in various forms will be an attractive alternative for millions of Muslims throughout the region...Islamists could come to power in states that are beginning to become pluralist and in which entrenched secular elites have lost their appeal."
A policy based upon the notion that the Islamic revival is inherently anti-American and thus must be suppressed is a self-fulfilling prophecy. A non-hostile relationship with the grassroots of the Islamic world is vastly more beneficial to America's national security interests than friendly relationships with regimes that are useful in the short term for their complacence but that are doomed by their autocratic domestic behavior.
Rather than earning the rancor of millions of Muslims by, in the CIA director's words, "systematically developing a strategic plan to attack" the Islamic movement, the incoming administration should enter into a dialogue with its leaders, who are generally more representative of the Muslim world than its political rulers. Such a dialogue would help the United States understand why Muslims are sometimes angry at its actions, and thus build a foreign policy toward the Islamic world that will reduce the aggregate level of tension in a world that does not need a new cold war.
Abu Umar is Foreign Affairs Director for Lahore-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (www.markazdawa.org). LET is engaged in a military campaign that targets the occupying Indian army to force their withdrawal from Kashmir. To subscribe to Lashkar-e-Taiba's e-newsletter, send a message to [email protected].
Muslim Population Statistics
Note that the information here is a few years old so the populations are slightly higher. The statistics are also updated periodically as more accurate information becomes available. A question mark indicates that the information has not been found yet. Please report any errors or new information to [email protected].
The number of the total population has been taken from The CIA's World Factbook which can be found at:
I've used it to verify the total number of population in every country but it lacks the percentage of Muslims in each country so I have used another statistic located at:
In 1986, the Muslim Education Trust organization (MET) located in the United Kingdom and directed by Ghulam Sarwar, obtained the 1971 census and information given by Embassies of the respective countries in London. The 1971 census showed the Independent Muslim countries population was around 784.5 Million and the Muslim Minorities countries had around 308 Million Muslim.
As for the U.N., I've used Britannica Encyclopedia for 1994 and for 1995 to get the growth rates. Britannica took those statistics from the U.N.
So, I've applied the percentage of Muslims (taken from MET) to the number of people (taken from CIA) to each country using Microsoft Excel then it was easy to get the final number. But that is not all. I had more accurate statistics to some countries so I've used them directly.