American Imam

American Imam is the title of an article I have written for Inside Islam: Dialogues and Debates, a collaboration between UW-Madison’s nine area and international studies centers, Wisconsin Public Radio, and the public.

Islam at times can seem, to the outside observer, to be a peculiar religion in that there is no formally established hierarchy or pecking order. There is no priesthood, no monasticism (though there are traditions of asceticism). A Muslim’s “confession” of sin is directed solely to God without an intermediary, so to speak, as is the role of the priest in Catholic traditions. In this context, what is the role of an imam? How does it differ from other religious traditions?

Read the rest of the article here. My many thanks to Colin and Inside Islam for reaching out to me.

2 Replies to “American Imam”

  1. Jazakallahu khairan for the article. I am not sure if the fatwa you cited is the best example of an overseas fatwa that cause problems for the indigenous Muslims. I have been to many masajid all across the country and most places have separate prayer spaces for women even though the place may not be full. Perhaps a better example would have been the fatwa by Sh. Ali Gomaa allowing the sell of pork and alcohol in America.

  2. Wa ‘alaykum salaam. Yes, there are indeed many issues with imported citations and rulings without considering how they affect us here. Only illustrates how we have to strive harder to produce our own homegrown scholarship that responds to what we need.

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