Contributed by : Ahmad Shams
" I am a Muslim man who was born and raised in the United States by parents who are natives of Egypt. I have seen the way Muslim immigrants in this country teach their children about Islam, and I must say that I disagree with it ..... "
I hold firm belief that the reason for the decrepit state of Muslims in the world today is due to the deviation we have taken from the Sunnah of Mohammed, (pbuh) in the teaching and communication of the word of Allah. I have seen many children of Muslim immigrants completely stray from Islam once they are out on their own.
The reason, I believe, is that they have not been taught Islam in accordance with the manner Mohammed (pbuh) taught it. When Mohammed (pbuh) taught Islam, he started by first working to strengthen the faith in Allah and Islam by his people. Once they had this, only then could they ever be expected to follow the commandments of Islam. Today, Islam is imposed upon our children and new converts in a manner similar to the way a new inmate in a penitentiary is informed of the rules of their new life.
This cannot work for an adolescent Muslim living in Topeka, Kansas and going to public school with no other Muslims in sight. They are given little explanation as to why they have to follow certain rules, other than, ‘if you don’t, you will be eternally condemned to hellfire.’
The Western thought that our children are exposed to teaches them to not simply accept things as they are, but rather to require explanation. These people are then left with one of two fates, to seek knowledge in other areas, which I believe will increase their Iman -faith-, or to abandon Islam completely.
Unfortunately I have seen the latter occure more frequently. Without a true faith in something, especially religion, one cannot ever be a model teacher and fractioned of it. For us to believe that our children will just have unquestionable faith in religion to start with, and that all is needed is for them, is to be given the rules, is ridiculous. Mohammed (pbuh) would never agree with this ‘just add water’ philosophy, for this is not his Sunnah.
In the United States today, the voice of Muslims is not heard. In the political arena, Muslims are overlooked and rarely heard from. With the coming of age of the first large group of Muslim Americans who are natives of this country, (mostly sons and daughters of immigrants) lie our greatest opportunity for global advancement.
A Muslim of this sort who possesses true Iman can be one of the most powerful tools of Allah ever used. An American-born Muslim who possesses true Iman in Islam today is battle tested.
They have fought a society and way of life which makes becoming a Mu’min very difficult. Herein lies a person who is an indestructible tool for the cause of Allah. Although they may not yet live as the followers of Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) did, they will never be the Imam who has the entire Quran memorized, only to be caught driving drunk after hours.
They may not yet pray five times a day or wear Hijab, but the Iman they possess is unshakable because to achieve that Iman they have gained much knowledge of almost everything, and Islam is their answer to all of the mysteries of the world. Islam is the explanation to all of the ambiguousness and confusion they have met in their lives. I believe that, once these people reach this point, the rest will come with much ease, and they will become true examples of what a Muslim should be. Within this country, in my opinion, grow the next great leaders of Islam who will be equipped with the qualities that will make them some of the best soldiers of Allah ever seen. I think that we must nurture them and allow them to find Allah by themselves, and we will find that they will eventually become excellent examples of true Muslimeen.