In the name of Allah, the most Gracious the most Merciful
Dear respected community members,
Assalamu Alaykum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa barakatuh,
All praise and glory be to Allah (SWT), and Peace and Blessings on Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), his family and followers. I pray to Allah (SWT) that this message finds you in the best state of health and highest level of Iman.
Allah (SWT) has blessed us with this religion of Islam and made it a complete, comprehensive way of life, which is not limited only to certain rituals and acts of worship. Rather, it goes beyond that to include all the social interactions that are encouraged in Islam. This includes a Muslim’s relationship with his parents, his wife, his children, his brothers in Islam, his friends, his relatives and all other members of society. Taking care of these relationships in the manner prescribed by the shari’ah is considered to be an act of worship.
All the actions of a true, sincere Muslim are acts of worship, and all the duties that he performs, if his intention is correct, are acts of worship. So seeking knowledge and teaching, calling people to Allah, educating and caring for his children, looking after his family affairs, treating people kindly, striving to help them, offering relief to those who are distressed and worried, benefitting people in all kinds of possible ways, seeking Halal provision………all of this may be worship of Allah (SWT) if one’s intention is proper. As you can see in Islam, acts of worship are connected to society, if our Noble Prophet and his companions had limited themselves to practicing a few rituals, without getting involved in the fabric of economic, political, intellectual and social life, there would have been no hostility with the mushrik Arabs.
Al-hamdulillah, our community is growing. The Muslim community is the fastest growing faith community. Our community started with a handful of individuals, who over 40 years ago planted a seed. And that seed has grown so much with so many branches Ma-Shaallah, making us one of the largest Islamic communities in Delaware. But the real growth of the community means, a great responsibility of involvement in all aspects of life - it means the great responsibility of reaching out to our neighbors, classmates, co-workers, and friends to tell them our story, and share with them the beauty of our faith and culture. Allah (SWT) has obligated us to reach out and deliver the message of Islam, so that the entire humanity may benefit from its teachings. More importantly, d’awah isn’t simply preaching, but actually practicing what we preach, and providing a real life model of what it means to be a Muslim. The work of dawah is the responsibility of every Muslim, be an active member of your community, this is how people will get to know you. Never ever fool yourself into thinking that you can’t change things. We are the only ones who will be able to drown out these voices of anti-Muslim rhetoric and propaganda. We must believe in change at the grassroots level, don’t ever adopt a defeatist attitude. To despair and give up all hope is a grave sin. Life is a challenge, it’s a test from Allah (SWT); and Allah’s help is always near.
Sacrifice is an essential requirement to test the sincerity of our iman and to fortify our position with Allah. When Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) arrived in Madinah at the end of his journey, Al Hijra, his first speech summed up a Muslim’s life. He set out a full mission statement for us, with these simple words: “Spread peace, feed the poor, keep your family ties, pray for part of the night while others are asleep and you will enter Paradise in peace”. What a beautiful, concise description of Islam, in one short sentence! Allah will always care for us as long as we care for His creation. We must try our best to help our brothers and sisters in Islam, as well as our brothers and sisters in humanity, i.e. not only Muslims, but anyone in need, anywhere.
In closing, I remind myself and all of you to be conscious of Allah (SWT) in every aspect of our lives, for Taqwa is one of the fundamental principles in Islam. May Allah bless the community, its members and leaders for your continuous support and generosity and may Allah (SWT) keep us together, allow us to live in peace and spread the message of peace.
Imam of the Islamic Society of Delaware