Resources Bank

To help support those seeking to meet the needs of Muslims within community and institutional settings, I have gathered together a variety of resources.

While it does not claim to be comprehensive, it does bring together articles, videos, books and related sources that can support those who serve Muslims in various capacities. Please share with others and also submit your own suggestions for other resources that you have found useful.

However, please note that not all links should be considered endorsements of the author, scholar or research institute. Nevertheless, I do hope that this resource bank is beneficial.

CLICK TO ENTER RESOURCE BANK

 

Nurture Compassion #Ramadan2016

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Join me this Ramadan for a weekly series on nurturing compassion
for ourselves, our families and our communities.

Each Sunday of Ramadan
12:30 – 1:30pm

Boyle Street Community League
9538 103A Avenue, Edmonton


Tarjuma emerges from our need to belong to a God-conscious, welcoming community that nourishes our longing for fellowship and spiritual cultivation.Tarjuma Logo

To learn more, visit Tarjuma.ca

Why a Muslim Chaplain at Cornell University?

The Muslim students and alumni at Cornell University have been diligently working on establishing the first Muslim chaplaincy position on their campus. Together they have organized an official association, the Diwan Foundation, aimed at providing programming and services to support the well-being of Muslims on campus. As part of this wonderful and ambitious initiative, they have also recently begun publishing a newsletter addressing issues of relevance to Muslims on campus. It was my honor to have been asked in their latest issue to provide them with a brief introduction to Islamic chaplaincy: Why a Muslim Chaplain?

Diwan

The Messenger I Love

Imams and other Islamic religious leaders need to move away from the (too) commonly stated line (in sermons and elsewhere): “If you say you love the Prophet but do not follow all of his Sunnahs, you are fooling yourself.”

While the statement may come from a place of encouragement, it can be perceived as a way of belittling another’s love for their Prophet ﷺ(God bless and send him peace). Needless to say, it can also be construed as “talking down to people” (even if this was not the intention of the speaker).

We are all growing in our Islam in stages, and so too our love for the Prophet ﷺ. Furthermore, I do not see any reason to necessarily assume that one’s love for the Prophet ﷺ has become voided by falling into sin.

Masjid NabawiRather, our love for the Messenger of God ﷺ is a encouragement and inspiration for all of us to become better servants of God, despite our shortcomings. And, his message is also one of encouragement despite one’s falling short of doing everything he asked. As he stated in a rigorously authentic hadith: “What I have forbidden for you, avoid. What I have ordered you [to do], do as much of it as you can.” [Bukhari, Muslim]

I encourage our Imams and leaders to adopt a methodology of guidance which recognizes that we are all at different places in our journey to our Lord, and ask that they not doubt anyone’s love based upon what they see (or hear) of them. For there was during the time of the Messenger ﷺ a companion of his who used to get drunk; despite its being made forbidden at the time.

After repeatedly falling into this sin, other companions reprimanded him harshly but our Messenger commanded them to stop and said (despite the man’s falling into open sin): “Verily, this man loves Allah and His Messenger”.

Our Messenger ﷺ saw through the sin to the heart of the sinner, and saw in it love for God and His Messenger.

This is the Messenger I love…

Leadership Leading to Disunity

A heart that has not truly grasped the golden rule—loving for others, what you would love for yourself—will ultimately break it.  Too often the reason why it is difficult to be involved in the community is that too many of us lack this rule in our heart. This is especially the case when feelings get heated between members of the same community–or even religious organizations–over the correct way to resolve an issue.  Yet, many times the issue is not the worst part of it.

During discussions passions may become inflamed, hurtful words said and slander and backbiting becomes a norm. This often leaves greater harm in the community then the initial problem that prompted it.  The Prophet ﷺwas keenly aware of the effect of words. Very comprehensively he ﷺ said of their effect: “A man utters a word pleasing to God without considering it of any significance, yet for it God exalts his rank; and another one speaks a word displeasing to God without considering it of any significance, yet for it he will sink into the Hellfire.”

May Allah forgive and protect us…

Furthermore, due to our own ideals and goals community leaders, activists, and volunteers may become dismissive of the benefit another member of the community brings–simply because they do not share the same focus. This is like dismissing the moon for not shining like the sun, yet each was created with a distinct purpose.  It is a great blessing that we find in our community those who argue for more youth programs and services, another for fairer treatment of women, another for better religious education and another for interfaith work; all of this is needed!

Yet, while each leader walks the community towards a perceived destination, they stumble over the concerns of others.  And, not sharing the same focus, some (if not many) dismiss the efforts of the other.

If we are truly trying to bring some good to the community, we need to recognize and accept that the work that others are doing, and the concerns that others are bringing forward are all needed and come from a genuine concern for the good of the community. Leaders must understand the concerns of the people, even if the concern is not their primary focus. Though, I would argue that many times they are all interrelated.

Let us then speak well of the other and help them in their work, for ultimately we are all looking forward to living in a better community.  Let us not speak ill  or ridicule the efforts of the other; for they may be providing a much needed service to the community we would not be able to provide on our own.

             “Believers, no one group of men should jeer at another, who may after all be better than them; no one group of women should jeer at another, who may after all be better than them; do not speak ill of one another; do not use offensive nicknames for one another. How bad it is to be called a mischief-maker after accepting faith! Those who do not repent of this behaviour are evildoers” (Q. al-Hujurat, 49:10-11).

May God help us to bring good to others, but also protect us from preventing others from bringing good as well…