Dawah (Outreach) Domestic Affairs International Affairs

10th Anniversary of 9/11

The horrific violence that took place on September 11th 2001 spawned many negative – and a few positive – realities. Before going in to any discussion about it, let’s look at the facts:

The major negative effects of 9/11 were:

  1. The murder of 3,000-plus innocent people, whose “crime” was going to work to support their families.
  2. Demonstrating our 800-billion-dollar a year defense budget (which is six times more than China, who is next on the list of defense spending) has major holes in it. Of course, there are the hundreds of previous government officials, military officers, scientists and scholars of the highest institutions that have brought forth testimonies and evidence that there are major issues in the official story of 9/11, which questions the ease by which Bin Laden and his crew orchestrated these horrendous attacks from the mountains of Afghanistan.
  3. A million innocent Afghani and Iraqi people have been murdered, whose only “crime” was having a corrupt government.
  4. The destruction of those two innocent countries, causing chaos, division and strife.
  5. The placement and support of a highly corrupt regime in Afghanistan.
  6. The two wars in Afghanistan and Iraq fueling a fringe element of extremist ideology amongst Muslims.
  7. Mainstream mass media blaming 1.5 billion Muslims for this and spreading fear against Islam and Muslims the world over.  Whether fueled by strategic anti-Islam agenda or just trying to create an attractive story, images like that of the World Trade Center burning, and then fading into a photo of Muslims engaged in prayer, have played a major role in the formation of hate groups, which produce the likes of the recent Norwegian terrorist  Anders Breivik.
  8. Giving credence and purpose to the anti-Islam movement that has existed since the time of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ.
  9. The rapid downfall of the U.S. and thus the world economy.

Major positive effects:

  1. The millions of curious objective people who didn’t accept the anti-Islam rhetoric and researched the faith and interacted with Muslims, causing most of them to have a favorable view of Islam and Muslims, as well as multitudes embracing Islam.
  2. It woke up many Muslims and their Islamic centers to fulfill their responsibility in presenting the message of Islam to their neighbors.
  3. The removal of Saddam Hussein and the Taliban from power.

When comparing these two sets of facts, it becomes obvious that this tragedy was ugly and highly negative. It produced anger, hatred, bias, fear, chaos, bloodshed and poverty. I was talking to a friend of mine yesterday who is a Methodist minister and I mentioned to him that, although Muslims mourned the loss of 9/11 and condemned the evil that caused it, we feel uncomfortable with these anniversaries. We feel that the anniversary says “Don’t forget when those “Muslim” terrorists attacked our country, so let’s join in solidarity against them.” The minister agreed that an anniversary should be a remembrance of a positive joyous occasion.

Islam is about beauty, mercy and God-consciousness and it should be remembered and understood as such. There is a famous hadith which says, “Indeed God is beautiful and He loves beauty…” (Muslim). God is defined primarily at the beginning of each chapter of the Quran as the loving, merciful, gracious, compassionate, forgiving, beneficent, etc. Muslim theologians have agreed from the time of the Prophet until this very day that the most comprehensive verse of the Qur’an about the message of Islam is:

“Indeed God calls for justice, a high standard of virtuous interaction, and preserving the rights of kinship. He forbids ugly immorality, sin and aggression. He reminds you so that perhaps you will be mindful.”(Qur’an, 16:90)

The acts of 9/11 were completely in contrast to this authoritative definitive verse of the Qur’an, so we will not accept the horror of 9/11 as being related to Islam. The burden now rests on the shoulders of every Muslim to understand their faith correctly and how to properly relate it to our neighbors. In doing this, we can promote the truth of Islam and dispel the lies and anti-Islam rhetoric.

This requires us to achieve balance in our approach to the world, as it relates to spiritual tolerance and intellectualism, while remaining proud of the divine message that we are calling to.

“Thus, We have chosen you to be an ideal moderate balanced nation so that you may be witnesses upon mankind and that Messenger can be a witness for you.”(Qur’an, 2:143)

We must step out of our enclaves and interact with society according to the values of this verse and the rest of the Qur’an and the Sunnah. This is first done by building relationships with neighbors, co-workers, classmates, the interfaith community, etc. The method is simple: be a Muslim, understand Islam and its priorities without coming off as preaching, and let it be known you are Muslim. The Qur’an says,

“Who is better in speech than He who calls to the path of God and works righteousness saying, ‘Indeed I am a Muslim.’”(Qur’an, 41:33).

Presenting Islam is based upon wisdom and gentle preaching, as mentioned in the Qur’an:

“Call to the path of your Lord with wisdom and gentle preaching…” (16:125)

This verse, in conjunction with the previously-mentioned verse, dictates that we first act like Muslims, and if the chance arises we present our message. First of all, this means it is NOT correct to get into theological debates with people as an act of da`wah. Very rarely will you change someone’s mind about religion by proving something to them in a debate. In many cases ,you will alienate them with your dogmatic religiosity. If discussion naturally goes somewhere, or you are asked a specific question, then you can mention a point about Islam. In other cases, once you’ve built a good relationship, you might have an open religious discussion. In any case, you must present Islam with wisdom and understanding, which is a big gift from God that we must strive and pray for:

“…Whoever has been given wisdom has been given a lot of good…” (2:269)

Finally, one of the most important parts of our mission as Muslims, that we are very weak in, is community service. Every single Mosque should have an active role in soup kitchens, clothing the homeless, keeping the city clean, etc. In my opinion, this weakness in our community is a result of our lack of seeing this land as ours and the inhabitants as our people, our brothers in humanity and nationality. Don’t forget how the Qur’an refers to the Prophets and their people:

“We sent to the city of Ad their brother Hud. He said, “O my people, worship God as there is no god other than Him” (11:50)

We will conclude with a verse which sums up our responsibility,

“You are the greatest nation brought forth for the benefit of mankind. You enjoin all good; you forbid all evil and believe in God…” (3:110)

About the author

John (Yahya) Ederer

John (Yahya) Ederer

Imam John Yahya Ederer left a life of spiritual decadence and embraced Islam in 1998. In 2002, he accepted a scholarship offer from the Islamic American University in Michigan and spent 6 years travelling the Muslim world studying with prominent scholars. He attained an associates with IAU, a certification of mastery of the Arabic sciences from the ministry of education in Egypt, a diploma in Islamic Studies from the Cordoba Institute in Kuwait and a license with one of the highest chains of transmission in Qur’an memorization and recitation. He served as the Religious Director of the Islamic Foundation of South Florida for two years and now lives with his wife and two children in Charlotte, North Carolina where he serves as Imam of the Muslim American Society. He currently sits on the clergy board of one of the largest interfaith coalitions in Mecklenburg Ministries and is a board member of the Shamrock Drive Development Association.

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  • Mashallah, very beautiful and informative post! I really like how you first gave us some of the positive and negative effects of 9/11. I completely agree that Muslims should be more active in their communities. These small steps of community service will Inshallah help improve Americans perception of Islam and Muslims. The fourth rightly guided Khalifa Ali (r.a.) eloquently stated that every human is either your brother in faith or your equal in humanity!

  • Abu Majeed is an example of someone who really understands what has happened, is happening and NEEDS to happen in America. I really enjoyed this article as it lucidly outlines not just the negatives of what we experienced as a community after 9/11 but also some positives. How many of those have you read of in the flurry of 9/11 articles that came out this month? Great work.

  • As Salaamu alaykum,

    JazakAllahu khairan for such a thoughtful and thougth provoking piece. We need to continously be reminded that we have a duty to study and know our deen and to share that deen in the best way with others.

    BarakAllahu feek

  • I’m sorry brother but how was the removal of the Taliban which implemented shariah and eradicated drug cultivation and corruption a good thing? Fear Allah for such posts. Whatever you’ve heard about them should be verified as we know there is a huge propaganda war against Islam spearheaded by the western media.

    • @Muslim As-Salamu alaikum,

      Of course brother my knowledge is confirmed and part of that knowledge is indeed that of the good things they did was eradicate to a large extent drugs and alcohol. On the other hand we can write a whole article on how their so called implementation of Islamic Law was far from even reasonable much less than ideal. I suppose you support the “Shari’ah” of Saudi and al-Shabab in Somalia too!

      You need to fear God and learn your deen dear brother. Ignorance is our worst enemy!

  • Mashallah, this article is more even handed than previous articles on this site with regards to 9/11. Jazakallahu khayrn.
    Just a few thoughts…
    @ Muslim – Im with you brother, American Muslims need to spend more time understanding the history of Afghanistan and its central role in the drug trade during the 1990s.
    As for the negative effects of 9/11, I would hope that 2+ million dead Muslims would rank number one on your list….but alhamdulillah at least the author acknowledges the fact that there are legitimate questions regarding the official narrative of 9/11. Conspiracy theorists are those who try to propose an alternative narrative, logical thinkers are those who simply do not trust the American government….think “WMDs in Iraq.” Members of the 9/11 Commission have stated on the record that they do not believe the published report is an accurate reflection of events leading up to the attacks.
    There is one ayat in particular that we should reflect on: 49:6.

    • salamu alaykum,

      @Muslim & Zayd,Advice, I agree to an extent that the Taliban did eradicate drugs and other things, but what good is this if you do not fulfil all the laws and obligations of the shariah and establish the rights of the ummah. One cannot pick and choose what to implement and what to not to. For example, where was the rights for woman to be able to seek knowledge? who gave them the right to take this away when allah bestowed this for them? Abu Hurayrah relates that the Prophet (SAW)said, “For him who embarks on the path of seeking knowledge, Allah will ease for him the way to paradise.” (Muslim).
      Women are the one’s who teach the kids, who one day became the pillars of our nation,. I could go on and show you many other things,

      No one is disputing they did some good however i think you need to reflect on some ayah’s yourselves 90:4-18, and i can say as a somali i know exactly what author means when he compares them to al-shabab, who are causing destruction among the people.

      Also no wonder we are being divided when we are using such words as American Muslim’s. We are a nation of Muslim brother’s and sisters,(The Believers Are Like Brothers To One Another) 49:10,
      we’re too busy being afghani or american or somali. How many more divisions? How many more separations ? The Kaffir are killing us one by one, as seen in the “New World Order” (Chechnya, Bosnia, Kashmir, etc). Divide-and-conquer is really working on the UMMAH. Lets all work together to put an end to this nonsense called Nationalism, a completely alien, and forbidden ideology in Islam.

      “And verily this Ummah of yours IS A SINGLE UMMAH and I am your Lord and Cherisher: Therefore Fear Me and no other” 23:53

      Jazakum khaiyr.

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