I’m gonna post my comments from this conversation below to push it to the fore front of the blog a little. Please read the 2nd post and the original one as well. And of course, we’d love to hear your take on it.
I’ve had really good responses and I thank all of you. My
purpose for this is precisely that – a dialog. So I hope to hear from
more of you.
I will try to address a few points here:
The brother said, “I tend to agree with Qardawi in that there needs to be a way of addressing a number of current issue, while staying inside of the fold
of Islaam (I won’t say there is a need of a new Fiqh because that
usually draws ire from a number of circles)”
Why not a new fiqh? What would constitute a new fiqh? What does fiqh
even mean? We may have the dictionary definition as jurisprudence (the
theory and/or philosophy of law), but what does it really mean for us
in its application? This is why we had the formation of a fiqh council, although some of its founding members have left due to various reasons.
The Salafis as a group do not address (and I believe it was never their intention
to address) the needs and situations of Western Muslims. It is shocking
and appalling to see East Coast Salafi ranks swelled by Blackamerican
Muslims, whom for many, live in poverty, drug and gang-ridden
neighborhoods. Their populations have little to no access to health
care, educational or economic opportunities. They are often taught an
anti-Jewish, anti-Western rhetoric (which for the vast majority of
which never had bad relations with Jews and on the reverse, many had a
legitimate gripe with the established white authority). Combating white
supremacy or institutionalized racism has taken a back seat to the
Palestinian/Israeli conflict (which is made out to be the 6th Pillar of
Islam). Having been convinced that everything about their Western
heritage is haram and corrupt, many of these Muslims focus on
“learning the Deen” or “going overseas” to learn Arabic when most have
a less than a 3rd or 4th-grade grammatical education (I can say this
from experience – I’ve tried teaching Arabic courses in places like
these and most people lack rudimentary grammar skills). The men spend
all day in the mosques soaking up this “knowledge” instead of getting
an education and or a job so they can take care of themselves, their
families and contribute something to this society instead of just
bitching about it.
P.S. – What ever happened to just soaking up the ethical message of Islam and incorporating that into the daily life? Nah…
It also begs the question: Did these brothers and sisters think by
becoming Muslims that they could just leave their demographics? AIDS
plagues our inner city black communities, Muslim or non-Muslim.
If I can also address ‘Umar’s comments. He said, “define
Islamic Pluralsim as it means to you? are there any limitations to
this? Or do we have to sit back and wait for lesbian imams?”
I think I made myself fairly clear by what I mean by Pluralism but I’ll
say it again: There is more than one way of being Muslim. There is more
than one way of practicing Islam. Not all Muslims agree on all matters.
And in the absence of Unanimous Consensus (ijma’), we must
agree to disagree. In other words, in the absence of Unanimous
Consensus or the Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) coming back and
saying Bob is right and Marqas is wrong (why am I always wrong??), then we must simply agree to disagree. I must tolerate your practice and you must tolerate mine. Does this mean we’ll have lesbian imams? I dunno. I doubt it. Define lesbian imam? Someone who is a lesbian and calls themselves an imam? They could do so but would they be accepted by the greater community? And in all honesty, don’t we have bigger issues to deal with than a thousand “what
if’s?” Poverty is a real issue. Health care is a real issue. Economic
disparity is a real issue. Being misunderstood, marginalized and
disenfranchised are real issues of the day we ought to be dealing with. Just my two cents. Thanks for the thoughts.