In The Name of Allah, the beneficent, the Merciful




[Shamim A Siddiqi, New York]


In the context of modern world and considering the various crises which Muslim world is encountered with due to highly publicized “Crusade” of President Bush against Islam in the name of “War against Terrorism”, it appears that America is the most suitable place where Islam can shower its infinite blessings on its people in due course; where American leadership is very much scared of Islam’s inherent magnetic power that is attracting  people who are in search of “Truth” and a system of life that can resolve the problems of both the worlds.  The causes of this “hopeful” situation, the reasons for this upbeat approach and the possibilities of its occurrence are various and very convincing. I will discuss each in brief to remove the clouds of despondency that are hovering over the minds of American Muslims, especially after the tragic event of September 11, 2001. It is in the nature of Islam that the more it is tried to be “crushed” through opposition, suppression and oppression, the more it rebounds and resurrects with great thud. The history of revival of Islam in modern Russia after the collapse of communism and that of recent Turkey are the glaring examples of this reality. Thus, America due to its predominant anti-Islam policies both at home and abroad has become the most natural place for its revival as a geopolitical entity.  


 1. The Planning of Allah: In fact, Allah (SWT) has perhaps “selected” this land out of His infinite mercy to be the future “home” of Islam. It may look strange to many but the emergence of Islam from Arabian Peninsula in seventh century AC in the most primitive human society but whose people were brave, dauntless, honest, trustworthy and full of valor of far excellence of that age was the miracle of the time. Islam polished their character and transformed them to be the hope of the oppressed mankind. Muslims dominated the world scenarios for about a thousand years but they lost its leadership when they deserted Islam as a “System of life” for the worldly gains and now holding it only as a “religion”. 


In today’s world, American people excel in the art of science and technology, Research and Development, in undertaking strenuous jobs of exploration on land, under the sea and above the sky in the space and striving hard to be the leaders of mankind. The only thing that they lack is the ideology that could attract the imagination of the world in this materialistic age and that could transform them to be the honest and the trustworthy torch bearers only of truth, care and service to the suffering humanity. The oppressive ideology of capitalism in the “garb” of democracy has failed to attract the poor people of Asia, Africa and Latin America. Islam provides that unique opportunity to American people who are “destined” to rush for it and grab it as their future ideology. Only then mankind may trust their actions, deeds and “promises”, otherwise not. Islam is now their future need. It appears that in the fitness of the situation, Allah (SWT) has perhaps “selected” the people of the USA as the future leaders of mankind as He selected Arabs 1400 years ago. It is the honesty in character that matters to the suffering and oppressed humanity not wealth, technical know-how or military might howsoever great it might be. Allah is preparing the ground for the emergence of this “miracle” in the current millennium.   


 Keeping the aforesaid “Divine Strategy” in mind, it appears as the planning of Allah that the most developed and the most scientifically advanced country of the USA gives a free and fair trial to Islamic system of life as its future ideology in order to stop its ever-growing moral decadence; provides ideological moral foundation to its domestic and foreign policies to stabilize its dwindling foreign influence in the community of nations in the wake of its decade old hegemonies for the New World Order; eradicates the prevailing corruption from its corporate economic system; remodels  its social and cultural system of life by removing various disbalances at personal, family and national levels; gives redress to its unbalanced growth and uneven concentration of wealth in the hands of a few while depriving teaming  millions form the fruits of its free economy at equal footings by introducing the self-sustained  welfare system of Islam for its poor, the needy, the deprived  and the incapacitated people at ease with  willing and active support of the affluent with no burden on the treasury or public exchequer at all. Without these corrective measures, Americans should not even dream to be accepted as the leaders of mankind. Only Islam and its concept of life – obedience to Allah, the Creator and the Sustainer and feeling always accountable to Him for every action and deed on earth, can come to their rescue.


2. Influx of Muslim Immigrants: As no Prophet was to come to fulfill this paramount need of America towards reforming its affairs in depth, Allah (SWT) in His infinite mercy and through His Divine planning, arranged to send millions of highly educated “messengers” of His last Messenger (S), in different fields from different parts of the Muslim world through the process of immigration to meet the growing needs of skilled labor of this country.  It must be clear in our minds that none of us has come over here on his/her own accord but as per His aforesaid grand planning.  He paved our way to migrate to this country and live here as its most productive citizens and the recognized ambassadors of Islam. That process is still on in spite of some set backs that it had sustained in the post-9/11 era.


In fact, right from the very outset, the immigrant Muslims in close cooperation with our indigenous brothers/sisters should have been conscious of their position on earth as the savior of mankind and demonstrated their characters as a boon and benediction for the people of this land and the society at large. Unfortunately, Muslims as a community lost that opportunity, forgot the mission of their life, involved themselves enjoying the free-for-all “bounties” of this prosperous land, are gradually increasing their strength numerically but not qualitatively as Da’ee Ilallah, the only special title that Allah preferred and conferred on them when they are actively involved in calling the people to the fold of their Creator and Sustainer. [Ref: Verse 33 of Surah 41 of the Qur’an]. However, this chapter is still wide open and Muslims can rush through that process any time and get themselves re-established on correct footings in this country.

 3.  What the USA Constitutes:  The USA is a vast country of 350 millions with enormous material and highly technical resources of its own, holding a strategic position of utmost importance in between two Oceans – the Pacific and the Atlantic, with vast hinterland both in the North and in the South up to the Coast of Chile. Its population is heterogeneous, representing different faiths, languages and ethnicities all living together in the melting pot of America. Most of the human and family values that they believe, protect and promote in their socio-economic-political life are the remnants of Abrahamic faith, irrespective of the fact whether he/she is a Jew, a Christians or a Muslim, the predominant population of this land. Believers in paganism are quite limited in number and so is the case of atheism. They are in microscopic minority. These fundamental values are the resonant of “Islam” as a way of life and the legacies of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. 


4. The Inevitable Role of Muslims: Thus, howsoever distorted it may look, the paramount “religion” of this country is monotheism [Trust in God] and believing in the accountability on the last Day of Judgment. Here the followers of Islam stand at par with their Christian and Jews brothers, agreeing basically on concepts but variably different in practice and approach towards life. Here now the role of both immigrant and indigenous Muslims comes in its true picture. They are to live, act and behave as the motivating force in presenting the concept of Monotheism in its most puritan form and the accountability in Akhirah as the guiding force of their life in their day to day activities, serving as model to the people of the land. They are to walk on the streets of the USA as living models of the Qur’an and what it envisages. It was their well articulated assignment from their Lord and they should have carried it out form the day they landed on this land or entered into the fold of Islam by their free will. If they don’t do it now, the stay, especially of the Immigrant Muslims, in the USA enjoying its bounties but rendering no service to its people as ordained by Allah will become extremely troublesome on the Day of Judgment.


This is the flash point of Muslim’s character and that is the objective for which Allah (SWT) has arranged their way to this land of opportunities, not for dollars, comfort and easy going life. That is the secondary object as it would come automatically to them. When they are living in this country, Allah will shower upon them “bread and butter” in abundance as He is the best Provider. [Ref: Verse 58 of Surah 51]  Allah never neglects His “slaves” that fall in the category of “Muhseneen”. His appointed angels accompany them when they are in the field of Dawah Ilallah. [Ref: Verse 31 of Surah 41]. Can any assignment be more dignified than calling the people to the fold of Allah?


5.  Now What to Do?


* Let us see first where we stand: Currently, about eight millions Muslims are living in America and Canada, mostly on permanent basis.  Most of them, Alhamdulillah, are well placed in life, technically advanced and leading a well established professional life in different sectors of the society. Most of them have made or in the process of making their “Dunya” [worldly life] fine and their children are getting education for most lucrative jobs in the best campuses. But for the life of “Akhirah”, unfortunately, they take it as sufficient if they perform five times prayers a day at some Muslim center or mosque or at home, are able to fast during the month of Ramadan, attend some lectures here and there and participate in Annual Conventions of ISNA, ICNA and some Afro-American Muslim’s caucuses at national and regional levels with great fanfare, thinking that their obligation to their “religion” Islam is fulfilled. Our Imams and the Muslim leadership also feel contented, if the community is doing so much and contributes “generously” for the Masajid. It must be noted at this juncture that hardly 15 % Muslims are practicing this so much of Islam or attached to mosques. The rest are lost in the melting pot of the American way of life that is free for all. This is our account at individual level.


* At collective level, Muslims are perhaps the most disorganized community of America. We have no united political platform, no single trusted and dependable leadership, no national agenda, no consolidated voting power, no central core of volunteers and no central Baitulmal to cater the needs of the community at times of national elections or natural calamities. ISNA is an umbrella organization of about 500 Muslim Masajid/communities and is satisfied by meeting their some particular needs and holding a “grand” Convention on yearly basis. ICNA is a national organization too established for the sole objective of the “Iqamah” of Allah’s Deen [but where it is not clear] but its Dawah efforts so for cannot be called “satisfactory”. MPAC is doing some political activities at Washington and California level. CAIR is rendering some useful services to the oppressed Muslims and fighting for human rights violations, especially for those who are harassed in the aftermath of 9/11 tragedy. Muslim communities around the country are busy in organizing some religious lectures, Friday’s sermons, teaching of the Qur’an and Ahadith of Rasulullah (S) and some “Every Day Fiqh”. Some more are busy in producing “Huffaz” to meet the growing need of the community for recitation of the Qur’an during the “Taraviah” in Ramadan. This is the sum total of the so-called Muslim “activities” at local and national levels.


* Dawah Activities: It is the most limited in dimension whereas it should have been the top most objective of our socio-political life in America... Some individuals and some institutions are resorting to Dawah work but it is limited to ‘Dawah in jail”, some open Masjid programs for non-Muslims, distributing some flyers at streets and public rallies and setting Dawah tables in some campuses. Why-Islam, a Dawah project of ICNA, is putting some attractive material on Bill boards at some places, distributing a Dawah kits for new Muslims and attending calls on phones. This is all that is going on in the name of Dawah Ilallah in this country. Though all the local and national institutions and many Masajid have a Dawah Department and hold Dawah conferences but do not have a nation wide Dawah program. “House to house” and “person to person” contact programs are missing all around. Dawah Workshops were being held for training Da’ees in American perspective by our beloved brother late Dr Amir Ali Merhoom of Chicago on regular basis but that too has now become a history after his sad demise year before last. Our Afro-American Muslim and some Latino-American Brothers/sisters do carry out Dawah activities with enthusiasm but that too is restricted to their respective communities or in jail. Building half-way houses is missing from our Dawah programs altogether. Dawah to white Americans that constitute about 74 % of our population is the most neglected one. Are these name - sake Dawah activities have any proportion to the onerous responsibility of calling the people of the land to the fold of Allah as the sole objective of Muslims in America? Each one of us must think over this extremely poor ratio and must resolve to come forward and help dawah activities in whatever capacity he/she can. This is the supreme call of the time.


* Publications – Need of Dawah Literature: Dawah work in this country is of great magnitude that must suit to the mission of our life. It needs huge literature - audio, video and print, about the basic concepts of Islam to flood the country and its every house. Late Maulana Maudoodi (RA) advised me in July 1979 when I discussed with him during last days of his life in Buffalo, NY about our mission of Iqamatuddeen in this country, he categorically advised me to prepare your own Dawah literature in American perspective as the literature written by him or in the ME will not suit the Dawah needs of this country.[Ref: Methodology of Dawah, Chapter IV – Shamim Siddiqi] I tried my humble way to do something in this respect but that is totally insufficient to cater our Dawah needs. We need issue-oriented literature on Tawheed, Amanah, Akhirah and Prophet-hood in American English but none of our Islamic scholars are forthcoming to fulfill this paramount need. Without effective Dawah literature addressing the issues that American society is confronting, the call to the fold of Allah will remain hollow. I wish our national organizations like ICNA and ISNA would have undertaken this basic need of Dawah Ilallah as priority number one of their agenda.


To bridge the vast gap of basic Dawah needs, it demands a lot of funds, many prolific writers in English and Spanish, a well organized system of distribution through enormous Dawah activities and a dynamic effective force of hundreds and thousands of Da’ee Ilallah. Muslim national organizations will have to make a joint and concerted effort to bridge this gap and the Muslim community must come forward with abundance of funds that, Alhamdulillah, they do have, to meet these needs and earn the magnificent harvest of AJR for Akhirah with no delay at all. Time left for us is very small and very tight.


Our sisters and our youth must be eager to play a dominant role in the field of Dawah Ilallah as they are equally responsible as men are. Rather, they will be more effective in communicating with the masses of the land both at individual and group levels. Sisters Wings of ICNA & ISNA must come forward and reorganize itself to penetrate deep into this society, meet the American sisters and acquaint them with the blessings of Islam that they are enjoying immensely in their hearths and homes like the proverbial queens of time.    


* The Culminating Point: The planning of Allah is absolutely clear as envisioned above. The disorganized condition of Muslim Ummah in America is extremely deplorable as we see around us. The state of our Dawah activities in this country, how meager and insufficient it is, is no longer a secret. The attitude of individual Muslims and that of Imams, organizations and national institutions towards Dawah Ilallah is that of neglect. However, the total prevailing condition is not of hopelessness but of hope.  Allamah Iqbal rightly said: “Zarah num hu tu yeh mitti bahut zarkhez hai saqi” [Translation: The ground of this Ummah is very fertile; [It would blossom] even when it is watered a little rain]. The Muslim leadership, our respected Imams, our Masajid, Muslim communities, and our National Organizations all together have to resolve to undertake Dawah Ilallah as the basic need of this country on emergent footings, muster and mobilize the available resources of the community in men and material and build the requisite team of Da’ees in American perspective.


The day the Muslim community of America resolves to undertake this onerous task to fulfill as the only objective of its existence in America, Allah’s help and Nusrah will grace its efforts with success in due course of time as He ordains in the Qur’an in Verse # 69 of Surah # 29, Al-Ankabut:


“As for those who strive in Us [in His way], We surely guide them to our paths, and Lo! Allah is with the good [Muhseneen]”


May Allah bless the Muslim community of the USA with Tawfeeq and Azimah to rise to the occasion and fill the vacuum of Dawah Ilallah with an effective team of Da’ees in American perspective! Amen!



Shamim A Siddiqi