[Chapter 38] Working for Allah in the West: Its Nature and Implications – The Nature of the West

Dec 23, 2010

Chapter 38
Still Working for Allah in the West: Theory and Methodology

Working for Allah in the West:
Its Nature and Implications – The Nature of the West

One of the areas which require a great deal of new thinking is the meaning and method of working for Allah in the context of Western societies in the 21st century.

It is heartbreaking to see hopeful and promising young Muslims in the West being taught all kinds of clichés and shibboleths in the name of Islam. This sometimes leads to their alienation and marginalization in the very society that is their home and where their roots are. Neither they nor the harbingers of the influence of alienation in their midst seem to understand that these young people own, and are a part of, the societies on which they are turning their back. These are societies that they have the power and the legal and political right to change how they pleased.

This is in part due to lack of clear thinking on the part of Muslims about the nature of the West as well as about the role of Muslims and Islam in it. The Still-Working-for-Allah camp is designed keeping in mind the need for some clear thinking on this subject. As a result, it is based on the following premises:

Premise One. Western societies are home to certain basic human and civil rights that are guaranteed and protected by law. Even though the Western societies in general and the American society in particular have taken many steps that are corrosive of them, these rights are by their very nature such that they are bound to endure. That means, in the West governments will come and go but the basic laws of liberty and human dignity and equality will go on, because they are part of the spirit and soul of the West.

Premise Two. These societies are now home to Muslims, and through them to Islam, which makes Muslims entitled to all these rights. Even though September 11, 2001 has made Muslims the target of moves on the part of Western governments, especially in the United States, that appear to border on a witch-hunt, both Muslims and Western governments will wake up to a new future of accommodation and cooperation. The people of the West will not allow their societies to degenerate into concentration camps for large segments of their populations including Muslims.

Premise Three. Muslims must live and work in these societies with a sense of ownership and common citizenship. They need to learn to lay claim to ownership of some of the values in Western societies and parts of Western culture that are at bottom not only Islamic but in many cases arguably derived from Islam. Muslims must come forward to shoulder their share of civic responsibility in working to make Western societies better by holding them up to their highest ideals and aspirations.

What this means is this: Instead of living in the West as outsiders and spectators, Muslims need to develop a mindset of actual participants and stakeholders. Muslims must throw themselves wholeheartedly into the societal processes and activities – and not be content to populate their own ghettoes where they can mope, sulk and gripe about the devilish culture that surrounds them.

In doing so, Muslims must continually and tirelessly work to impact and change the societal processes and institutions to be more responsive to the law of Allah, to their own needs as Muslims and to the common good of all humanity. They need to work tirelessly and imaginatively to make the societies in which they live better places for all their members.

This is the understanding and the mindset that the present seminar or camp seeks to foster among its participants.

Still Working for Allah in the West: Theory and Methodology

© 2003 Syed Husain Pasha

Dr. Pasha is an educator and scholar of exceptional 
talent, training and experience. He can be reached at DrSyedPasha [at] 
AOL [dot] com or www.IslamicSolutions.com.

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