Published July 2015
Shaykh Amin’s address to Muslims to be more American: Eid Khutba at Darul Qasim.
On July 17, Darul Qasim Director Shaykh Amin Kholwadia addressed an Eid gathering with a call to action. In it, he presented his case for a middle ground in these times when Muslims find themselves lost in a knowledge vacuum created between a left extreme that is bereft of fiqh and a right extreme that is devoid of rahmah. He called out the heedless incongruity with which Muslims live Islam and represent it, predominantly in the West.
On the one hand, Muslims acknowledge the importance of accurately representing a field of knowledge, while on the other hand, flout it with impunity. For instance, nobody belittles the resources and time thrown behind training a hardened physician – over sixteen years of formal schooling, higher education and apprenticeship. As a consequence nobody dares deem himself or herself worthy of representing any part of the medical field without the benefit of such formal education. One who does so is rightly dismissed as a pretentious fool. And this applies to all fields of secular study without exception, ranging from the biological sciences, architecture and engineering down to the physical sciences and arts. This attitude is very much a part of the American DNA. Muslims living in America have admirably imbibed it into their way of life.
Yet, among Muslims here in America, there is little, if any at all, respect for the years, sometimes decades, of instruction, study and rigorous academic instruction rendered to the student of religion. As a consequence, everybody ventures to deem himself or herself worthy of representing Islam, regardless of his or her exposure to any Islamic education. This mentality has led us to where we find ourselves today, deep in a hole of our own doing. We are reduced to a people that heedlessly propagate gross misrepresentations of our deen, unsure and even suspicious of the future we strive to shape for our children.
Shaykh Amin reminded us this past Eid that it behooves us to recognize this deficiency in our approach. It is time we became true to ourselves. It is widely held that the first step to fixing any problem is to acknolwedge it. The way forward is for us to adopt a consistent approach. Appreciating legitimate scholarship and giving it the resources and time it deserves is not just the intelligent thing to do, it is also the American thing to do.
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Synopsis by Javeed Chida
Darul Qasim Bachelor’s-level Student & Adjunct Faculty Member