Q: Salaam Alaykum,
It has been on my mind a lot for awhile, but with the recent purchase of dozens of Qurans by Wasatch Presbytarian Church, to have distributed for free in some bookstores to anyone who asks, it has just been gnawing away at me to the point that I can’t just sit still and not DO anything any longer.
To make a long story short, this display of respect for Muslims and effort to distance themselves and their faith from the radical Pastor Terry Jones made me realize that we (the Muslim Community…in Salt Lake City specifically) need to do the same thing. We need to reach out to our community (and be reachable as well) and in this effort we WILL distance ourselves (especially in the minds of those around us) from those who kill and destroy and create the terror for which ALL Muslims are blamed. The only way for people to see who we are, and know us as members of their community is for us to be out in the community being active and contributing members of society. I am not saying that we aren’t active and contributing members of society, I am just saying we need to be a little more “out there” and a little more involved so that our neighbors and community members think of Muslims and think of US, their neighbors, the people they know as a part of their society…not a people
seperate from their society. Compassion, understanding and the reuniting of America has to start within and from the bottom to the top. It starts with us reaching out to our neighbors, and those neighbors reaching out to theirs until we are a community network that functions and flows TOGETHER for the good of all of us.
That said, what can we do? What SHALL we do? Some of the women are cooking and serving lunch to thank some of the women of the congregation, but it should not end there. We are Americans, we a part of this community, and we ARE a people who do good deeds and perpetuate kindness and compassion, (albeit silently). I know we should never announce that which we do for good as far as boasting. However I do not believe getting involved in or having our own community projects and acting on them would fall under this category. (We seem to have a HUGE youth resource in the students of the MSA…there has to be someone or two or three that can think of ways we can be available and involved in our great City of Salt Lake).
I am willing and (mostly) able to help and be involved in any way I can. We do have the ability to do this. I know I am not the only one who feels this way so Imam, please help me in this venture. Send anyone who wants to help or any ideas you or anyone else may have my way, and ask those kids in the MSA to think of ways we can do dawah ( I do believe this would fall under that category…correct me if I am wrong…which I know you will :P ). The youth are our future and they tend to think of things we older folks just wouldn’t. Thanks for listening, Jazzakallah khayr Imam. Hope to hear from you soon.
Time: Monday May 2, 2011 at 7:05 pm
Regarding my previous question, does the Islamic society have a food bank or clothing bank or any kind of resources for those who are in need in our community? How do we handle these needs of our community members? And if we don’t quite do these things yet…can we start?
Remember, you have at least me to help…;)
Time: Monday May 2, 2011 at 7:09 pm
A: وعليكم السلام ورحمة الله وبركاته
I appreciate your email. It is filled with positivity and warmth. May the Almighty make us all as kind and generous as you. Here are some tips, (since you seem to have asked for them.)
- Your ideas and intentions seem noble. This is blessing in times of strife and difficulty.
- Muslims must also continue to denounce those that do wrong wherever wrong may exist. This is part of our faith. It also is the correct thing to do.
- Likewise, humans all over should condemn wrongful killers of all types. Be they Muslim or nonmuslim — be it under the name of religion or politics. This we should do without prejudice. We should treasure life over blood.
- Do not limit yourself to only wanting to attain the support of a particular segment of society. Work with all for the benefit of all — muslims, nonmuslim, youth, the elderly, the disabled, infirm, etc. Open your heart and Allah (SWT)would open His Doors for you to be a giver.
- MSA and many such organizations often need to better help themselves prior to helping others. MSA does have good attributed to it. Again, i repeat, work with all for the benefit of all.
- Many, humanitarian organizations exist in Utah. I have been invited as a guest speaker to many of them — be it abuse shelters, food banks, clothing centers, etc, etc. They are awaiting us all. May you be blessed in continually doing the right thing for yourself and humanity at large, Ameen.
Allah Certainly Knows Best.