My Apprehension and nervous excitement increased with every step, it was sunset and I still had maybe a ten minute walk to my target.
The minaret was a beacon as I Homed in on my destination.
How do I get in? I enter through a wide and warmly lit passageway of some cold stone, I approach a courtyard that has a large stone fountain as a centre piece, prayer mats cover the courtyard, I see that one exit leads to some gardens that are walled and serene , and another leads to a more conventional prayer space.
Food has already been served my companion is agitated.
I head towards the bathroom, I get redirected once then twice. Someone offers us snacks,
We hustle to sit down, introductions are made , a basin of food is made available and we have attracted a gathering of new acquaintances. I share stories with with a gardener a few years older than me.
Most people would agree that religious faith, like patriotism is one of The most powerful potential forces for social good, because ideals are one thing, and human potential is another. For example People from without and within Islam will sincerely and insincerely critique bad practice. However lets not fall over ourselves in condemning, when religious services and institutions are not meeting our needs. Yes they should be more progressive, Eco conscious, and professional. More inclusive to women, the disabled, minorities from varying backgrounds, different sects and schools, different social classes, and so on. From experience, their feedback mechanisms can be ineffective. It’s not anyone’s obligation to stick around after they have been let down, but it doesn’t help the underlying issue by distancing the people ‘leading’ a community from the common folk . Yes it’s a lot to ask but wouldn’t we all greatly appreciate some patient and persistent prodding in the right direction.
It is becoming apparent to me, that any movement that calls to the high ideals like social and economic justice has to be vigilant in being open to people of varying orientations and inclinations . Differences in world view will lead to some points of departure, but the important thing to remember is that we are more alike than we are different, and when given the opportunity to be virtuous, we flourish.
‘You were created into nations and tribes that you may know one another’ -Quran
A fascinating introduction into faith, politics, and blackness in America
Originally posted on Margari Aziza:
The Muslim American community is held together with the belief that there is no God but the One True God and that Muhammad is His prophet. Muslims share daily patterns of worship, rituals of birth, marriage, and death. As one of the most diverse faith communities, Muslim Americans come from various ethnic, socio-economic, and cultural backgrounds. Sometimes there are various articulations of Islam due to different political, cultural, and religious orientations. Over the years, many Black American Muslims have been at the forefront of articulating Islamic thought for the growing American Muslim community. But this seems to have changed as a dominant narrative has taken over.
Some estimates go as far to say that there are 5 million Muslims in America. According to census data and information provided by mosques and community centers, Muslims in America make up .5% of the total population in America. Keeping it conservative, that equals just under two…
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Not long ago I was taken by train
While gazing at the genteel British countryside,
Scenery materialising quickly and floating away slowly like a ripple from a stream,
Not quite nature, not quite disorder
Forced to confront myself,
I ask some of those awkward questions
An unwelcome chance to bemoan the missteps of yesteryear
The nearly empty train with the melodic hum of the carriage allowed my thoughts to cascade in a way that was refreshing and unfamiliar.
Reaching a limit to my tolerance , I send messages of a superficial nature,
I’m here , alone, going to this wedding, because that’s what adults do.
Opportunity and possibility lay before me as routine and rigour retreated
After a while I’m looking out of the window, and realise what I have to do.