Islamic Studies

The Obama Era and Popular Trends in Contemporary Western Islamic Efforts

We recently witnessed the fall out of the , extreme, Salafi da’wah and then the Kabbani cult. These fall outs introduced the rise of “traditionalisms” and now, we can safety say,  we are in the era of post-traditionalism. The Islamic movement too has been plagued by various diseases. The questions of pertinence that we must answer in this new century and in the context of globalization, secular society and more specifically after the fall out of various trends are:

1.) what are we to do and how can we do it effectively?”

2.) “what are the short term goals that will realize the overall aim of our action plan ?”

It is clear we have no real direction as Muslims in the West -our state- is emotional and intellectual chaos. In addition to an orientation crisis we must add:

a.) the subtle and emerging problem between immigrants and indigenous Muslims.

b.) the expansion of a radical morally liberal discourse that is claiming the right of interpretation

c.) the re-appearance a hardline da’wah that can potentially incite violence if not foster destructive tendencies

d.) the increase of divorce and personal problems

e.) an increase in apostasy

With the rise of international crises and  the downturn related to the global economy the question is are we ready to lead by building? Indeed, for there is no doubt, that these are trying times which need builders not destroyers?

How long will the INTERNET reflect the psychosis of an ailing people who lives with all needs met and in yet can not bypass mental stagnation and defective character (we treat each other illy)?  We are seriously on the brink of collapse as a Muslim community in more than one way, if we continue down the road of disorientation, which seems to be the road most traveled, it is feared that we will miss the boat of revival. Although the Internet does not always represent the reality of life on the ground, it does represent various minds and tendencies at work; it is a mixed bag of those who corrupt knowingly and those who are ignorant of their actions but well intended.

The work of revival and reform, of Islamic Movement, in this phase is to teach and give (taleem wa’l irshad). We must wade through this valley of darkness and do the work of  “FREE” people, freed of the shackles of bad habits, perverted thinking and dead hearts and ignorance. The reconstruction of the Ummah is before us as a task and obligation and will not take place if we are drowning in infighting and problems (international and local). We must continue to have clear goals (maqasid), a fiqh of priorities and institute gradual work along a tangible outline tied to  a strategy for reform and revival which caters to every context we are in at the level of:

1.) the Individual, the Family Life, Community and Society (Muslims and Non-Muslims)

2.) Economy

3.) Politics

4.) Education

5.) the Law and Human Rights (Social Justice)

6.) the Media (Internet included)

The role of the Islamic movement at this juncture must be to stabilize the fall out of the economic and ideological disorientation present today,;work to aid society of its ills by working with people and their concern and issues. In the West the role of Islamic movement is social reform not to form an “Islamic state” or “Khilafa,” neither should we be taken by the trend to call for “hijra” nor “an offensive strategy of war to establish Islam.

As builders and citizens in of pluralistic societies, our task is heavy and the road is long and wearisome. The deterioration of the rule of law in the West, threatens global instability as does the meltdown in the global economy (many will die from poverty and starvation and many will die from violence and war). As Muslims we should not contribute to the social breakdown taking root in the World; neither should we stand silent in the face of oppression ,but we must act effectively and responsibly initiating positive change in society and the World. What is demanded for the task of revival and reform is clarity of vision and purpose, clarity of a course of action, accountability and discipline (organization). This deficiency is causing disorientation in the Muslim community and the primary reason why Muslims are consumed by infighting and disengaged from their host communities. Frankly, great numbers of our people are disoriented and plagued by psychological traum; burdened by the economy of living and have had no time to understand what our role and purpose of Muslims in the West (as citizens). We must not fall prey to historical dynamics and Geo-politics.  The Islamic movement is obligated to bypass constructively the current ideological conflicts on the ground between Muslims given that most of these conflicts are address in the our intellectual heritage while others are due to a deficiency in formation (tarbiyyah). “

Allah (swt) will not change the condition of a people until they change themselves.”

Allahu Al’am

About the author

Yusuf Rios (Abul Hussein)

Yusuf Rios (Abul Hussein)

Yusuf Rios was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. While becoming a Catholic priest, Yusuf discovered the path to Islam. He studied Islamic sciences for a period of seven years, studying with scholars in Cleveland, Ohio before receiving a work-study contract with the Islamic American University. At the Islamic American University, he read Arabic and a limited number of Islamic sciences intensively for one year. He then traveled to Cairo, Egypt where he resided for five years. There, he attended a number of intensive courses at Arabic learning centers. After these courses, he joined various scholarly circles, reading Islamic sciences with a host of scholars of diverse expertise and orientations. Yusuf takes particular pride in having studied intimately with a number of scholars from al-Azhar University. Likewise, he has great love and attachment to Egypt and especially al-Azhar Mosque where he studied for the major portion of his residence in Egypt. Yusuf has a Bachelors in Western Philosophy and Sociology and is working on a Masters in Education. He serves as an instructor in Islamic Sciences with Islamic American University and in local mosques in Dearborn, Michigan and Cleveland, Ohio. His four main research areas in Islamic sciences are in the areas of Usul al-Fiqh, Maqasid ash Shar’ia, Hadith Sciences, and Fiqh.

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  • Salams

    All this talk of Islamic “Movement/Revolution/Reform/Action” etc…many will argue that what the Ummah needs is more “Stillness/Calm/Tranquility”.

  • Tranquility in our hearts and movement in our limbs 😉

    The issue is that all this movement is without direction, real leadership, and connectedness with Allah and the example of His Messenger (pbuh), in my opinion.

  • How would you define post-traditionalism? Would it be a meeting point between the Salafis and Traditionalists? Is it an informed muslim who has achieved Islamic literacy?

  • as-salaam alaykum

    a.) the subtle and emerging problem between immigrants and indigenous Muslims.

    I am assuming by “immigrant” you mean immigrants and their children/grandchildren and by indigenous you mean converts and their children/grandchildren.

    With this particular “problem”, I think that we have reached a point where many of the indigenous Muslims have simply thrown their hand ups and would rather no longer engage. The voices of the ‘indigenous’ have been drowned out and rendered meaningless – unless they are mouth pieces for the ‘immigrants’. Whenever someone tries to speak about converts or indigenous and their problems it is taken to be “whining” and they are blown off. So it has reached a point where many of the indigenous have given up and don’t care enough to even fight for a seat at the table anymore.

    Now “giving up” can mean anything from no longer participating in community activities to outright apostasy (point ‘e’ in your post above). Whatever the case, the indigenous feel ostracized and I am finding that more and more would rather not be bothered at all. I am also finding that more and more ‘immigrants’ do not care to hear about this too.

    The point I am making is that in order for there to be a “problem” or conflict, both sides have to be present. There is not conflict when only one side is there.

  • As’salamu alaikum warahmatullah.

    This is an extremely poor piece of writing. Grammatical and spelling errors abound. Why was this article not proof-read before uploading?

    Aside from this, a number of extremely vague statements and ideas are presented. It reads like a mash-up of random conjecture.

    The only thing specific that stands out, and alarmingly so, is an unjustified and somewhat audacious claim to reject the Islamic teaching of Hijra and reject working towards establishing a unified Islamic state (Caliphate.)

    On what authority does the author make this ijtihad, and based on which evidences?

    Meanwhile, if we go by personal experience and what we see in the media, what little Deen Western Muslims were hanging on to is slowly wasting away.

    This can’t be more obvious in the next generation of Muslim youth, who are becoming increasingly detached from their Deen. Who can blame them? The onslaught of the culture of kufr, coupled with the revisionism of the munafiqeen is unrelenting.

    It is in this minefield that you wish to “stay and build.” While you’re laying a few bricks, the foundation is being washed away (i.e. your kids are apostatizing, either explicitly or implicitly.)

    If you want to benefit society, why not expend your efforts in the Muslim lands? Aren’t your brothers and sisters in faith more deserving your benevolent energies?

    Furthermore, why would a Muslim want himself or his family present in a situation whereby his ability to hold on to his Deen is comprimised? This is what we’re seeing, Muslims are staying (allegedly) for “da’wah” at the expense of Tawheed.

    Seems like a no-brainer to me.

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