November 1996: Page 1, 2, 3, 4

Submitters Perspective

Page 3


Cont’d to page 2

It is obvious that the modernist and the traditionalist theses canceled each other. Furthermore, the modernists have to explain why the Turkish experiment with Westernized modernization failed. They also have to explain why developed Western societies such as the United States and Europe have been undergoing a multi-faceted crisis since the First World War, and why a new philosophical trend of thought critical of Western-type modernization has developed in Europe and America.

The traditionalists, on the other hand, must explain the failure of their system from the beginning when it was first formulated around the third, fourth and fifth centuries of Islam. Some Arab countries have hardly modernized and

had been practicing the traditional system for centuries—why have these not progressed? If they have not progressed, it is idle to expect Muslim countries to progress if they implement the traditional system.

The answer lies in our hypothesis. The early Muslims rose to the pinnacles of success precisely because they were in possession of and practiced the powerful and dynamic Islamic ideology as preached in the Quran. They subjected other knowledge, local and foreign, to the discriminative teachings of the Quran. As long as they did this, they progressed. A time came when other teachings, local and foreign, gained the upper hand and submerged the Quran, as witnessed by the following Quranic prophecy:

The messenger will say, “My Lord, my people have deserted this Quran.” We thus appointed for every prophet

enemies from among the criminals, and God suffices as Guide and Protector. (25:30-31)

After about three hundred years, extraneous harmful teachings not taught by Prophet Muhammad but skillfully attributed to him gradually gained a foothold in the Muslim community and turned them away from the dynamic invincible ideology that initially brought them success. This ideology, as we shall show, is precisely the hadith. This is the main cause of their downfall. It therefore follows that the purging of this harmful ideology, and with it other foreign modern ideologies, from the Muslim community, and their return to the original ideology brought by Muhammad in the Quran is the sine qua non for the regeneration of the Muslim community and for a new Muslim Renaissance.

Kassim Ahmad

Masjid Tucson Activities

Food Drive

Some members of the community participated in a food drive for the Community Food Bank. They volunteered to help collect canned and non-perishable food donations in the last week of September, 1996. The Food Bank, one of the largest charitable organizations in Tucson with low overhead, distributes the donated items to the needy people throughout the year.

Soup Kitchen

We participate in an ongoing project to help feed the hungry in our town in cooperation with Casas Adobes congregational church and Temple Emmanuel synagogue. Representatives from the three communities get together during one weekend every other month, to buy, prepare and distribute food at a soup kitchen operated by the Salvation Army. The last soup kitchen participation was on November 9-10, 1996. Hot meals were served to a total of 230 needy people.

Thanksgiving Service

The 2nd annual Interfaith Thanksgiving service was held on November 28, 1996 at Temple Emanuel in Tucson. The event was sponsored by the Inter-Religious Council of Southern Arizona of which we are a member. The idea is to use this American holiday of giving thanks to our Creator as a chance for people of different faiths to come together, united in the worship of God. We read Quranic verses of appreciation and thanks. The Christian readings from the New Testament included Jesus reminding his disciples not to worry about the things of this world: “Your heavenly Father knows all that you need. Seek first His kingship over you, His way of Holiness, and all these things will be given to you besides.” (Matthew 6:32-33) There were Jewish Thanksgiving Blessings, a prayer of thanks in the language of the Indian tribe of the Tohono O'odham, and thanksgiving prayers by other religous groups. It was a wonderful chance to see all that we have in common.

He decreed for you the same religion decreed for Noah, and what we inspired to you, and what we decreed for Abraham, Moses and Jesus: “You shall uphold this one religion and do not divide it.” (42:13)

Your Lord has decreed: “The more you thank Me, the more I give you.” (14:7)