Do I believe that most mosques today would let recovering alcoholics and drug addicts speak to their congregations? Probably not. Do I think there is a problem with that? Yes, definitely. Our failure to engage diversity in our communities, inclusive of diversity in terms of life experience, leaves us potentially stunted in our individual and communal growth.
For those who missed my last reflection, I had started to discuss the profound impact the 100th chapter of the Quran, Al 'Adiyat, had on me. At a time when I felt quite isolated and confused, I found solace in it like I had never found in the Qur'an before and it helped me to read the Quran in an entirely different way. It helped me to understand the human condition, my own condition, in a deeper way.
If you are privileged to ascend the pulpit, then honor the legacy of the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, and speak to the people rather than speaking at them. Put forth a message that is coherent, thought-out, and takes into the consideration the moment and all of the people who are present in it.
The Muslim community has no federation or established systems of networks of any kind. On a local, state, or national level, there is virtually no communication or strategy being employed whatsoever. Moving aside from building coalitions external to the broader Muslim community, the development of intra-community coalitions is necessary.
In Islam, so much of our spirituality is tied to what we consume and right now a lot of Muslims, and people in general, are not consuming things that are good for them. There is an inherent beauty in an animal giving its to provide sustenance to you and I. To me, it only makes sense that such an act would necessitate remembering God at every step of the process.
Over a billion people are fasting this Ramadan and each one of us is arguably on average producing more waste than during the rest of the year. Iftars are held pretty much anywhere you can think of. The hosts more often than not are using paper plates, sytrofoam cups, and plastic forks in abundance to help serve the large number of guests,
Whatever walk of life you come from, please do keep them in your thoughts and prayers. For those who are fasting, encourage your community leaders, imams, khateebs and others to pray for the Rohingya with the community at large, especially in the blessed nights of Ramadan, and try to contribute to them whatever you are able to.