Saturday, July 30, 2011

Ramadan Message

Ramadan is about reflection about ourselves and who we are and who we want to be. I urge each one of us to reflect on what Ramadan should mean to us? Let's not reduce Ramadan to be a mere ritual or an obligation, let it do what it was intended to; to build a kind and gentler being out of us. 
Let's start cleaning our hearts from prejudice and judgment against our own and everyone else. Let there be no politics in religion. Let us fulfill a major task God assigns to the humanity, the best among you is the one who knows each other and cares for the other.
This is truly a test of our humility and our Taqwa. Should our Ramadan make us find deficiencies with other traditions? Should our Ramadan find faults with others? Should it free us? Should our Ramadan impel us to be a tyrant and push others to observe (Saudi and a few other nations)? Should our Ramadan strengthen us in our discipline and encourage others to enjoy their food, accompany them to restaurants and live a normal life?  Are we strong enough in our faith to let others do what they want, without affecting an ounce of our faith?   Alhamdu Lillah, last year I was with my clients and friends for lunch, I encouraged them not to give  up anything for me and urged them to eat great foods and live their life. Fasting is for me and those who follow it and not for others. Thank God, my determination remained un-shaken.

  1. Let’s pray that Ramadan becomes our Jihad and strips our ill-will, malice, hatred towards others.
  2. Let’s pray that Ramadan brings goodwill, peace and great attitude towards entire humanity.
  3. Let’s pray that Ramadan generates goodwill towards fellow Muslims.
  4. Let’s pray that Ramadan truly guides us to believe that God alone is the judge of one’s faith
  5. Let’s pray that Ramadan dumps our prejudices, after all we are not responsible for others
  6. Let’s pray that Ramadan makes us respect every Muslim tradition from Ahmadiyya to Wahhabi.
  7. Let’s pray that Ramadan makes us an all embracing Muhkookhul Aalameen


Alhamdu Lillah, I will be at Richardson Mosque on Monday Iftaar and will make the schedule to visit ever possible mosque where Ramadan is observed without any prejudice. I will create a schedule of mosques, if you wish to join. I will be in Louisville, Kentucky Mosques as well. If I drive, I will set up the meeting at the Murfree Mosque by Nashville, TN.

We always talk about unity and now let’s match it with action. I am in Dallas and ask at least two individuals (men and women) from each denomination to go as a group in visiting a Mosque a day. Since most of you cannot make it every day, I would urge us to gather together a total of eight times on the weekends and we will visit the following Mosques; Ahmadiyya, Bohra, Ismaili, Shia, Sufi, Sunni, Warith Deen Muhammad and others if we know any. If you are not in Dallas, please make an effort to visit every possible denomination. Please make an effort to bring people of other faiths to join, just to be a part of the Ramadan friendship circle.

We will learn about our experiences and share with each other and others. We will also learn about respecting the otherness of other and accepting the God given uniqueness that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) has prophesized. I will be happy to be the scribe and get them published. Alhamdu Lillah, I was blessed to have done that last year and add to that the Suhoor at Imam Bukharis house in Jerusalem and the prayers at Al-Aqsa. Except the Ismaili congregation I have visited most diversity humanly possible. Insha Allah we will complete the circle this year.

Islam is large enough to absorb all the strands. Indeed, we can see the wisdom in the Prophet's predictions that we will divide ourselves into 73 tribes. He understood the human fitra (nature) and prepared us to accept it instead of making arrogant claim to be the best, the best among us is the one who is pious and who serves humanity.

Each one of the strands is serving the humanity. As a Sunni, I can value the respect former Prime Minister Blair's sister in law has generated for the Shiite branch of Islam. As a Sunni, I can appreciate the work Ahmadiyya Muslims are doing in serving the humanity, feeding the hungry and being neighborly. As a Sunni, I admire the selfless work done by the Ismaili Muslim Community to uplift humanity. As a Sunni, I love the bridge building work being done by the Warith Deen Muhammad Muslims. And as a Muslim, I salute the major funding of education in India by Bohra Muslim Azim Premji. The list is endless.

There is indeed a net gain for Islam collectively, and we must appreciate them all. Islam is universal; it absorbs all of us in its embrace. 

If Muslims can stand up for everyone on a principled basis, then our voices will carry the moral weight necessary to bring a positive change for the entire humanity including us. Prophet Muhammad has given us a model to emulate: The Amin, the just, the truthful and the trustworthy to build just societies for humanity.

Please note; it is easy for me to stick with the Sunni tradition and not hear rogue criticism, I am willing to put up with a few bigoted ones among us for a greater goal of at least talking about unity. We should not speak about Muslim Unity anymore, if we don't mean and act on it. Let's begin the process and learn to tolerate the intolerants among us.

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Mike Ghouse is committed to nurturing the pluralistic value of Islam.
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1 comment:

Unknown said...

That's one of the most beautiful and meaningful ramadan messages I've read so far as I browse for Ramadan blogs.

Thanks for sharing. Ramadan Kareem to you!