The Brass Crescent Awards vs ILM

The Soul Of Islam

I seem to have touched a few nerves.

How did this all begin? I had planned to write about my work at Ar-Rahman Islamic Center in Atlanta, not defend my stance against homosexuality in Islam and so-called progressive Muslims. But it seems controversy follows this li’l ol’ website so I’m going to have to deal with it.

In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, here’s the quick and dirty rundown:

  1. I got nominated for a Brass Crescent Award. Cool.
  2. I get irked by some of the other blogs in the running for said award and am inspired to write a post against accepting homosexuality in Islam and “progressive” Muslims.
  3. Word gets back to Brass Crescent folks about my article and they start a mini smear campaign against me.
  4. Organizers of the award encourage their Facebook fans to vote against me.
  5. I decide to get back by writing this post.

Actually, I’m not trying to get back. I just want to make a few things clear.

Ever since September 11, 2001 there has been wave after wave of attacks against Islam. Some of these attacks came from outside. But many came from within Islam also.

There are many Muslims who consider themselves “progressive” Muslims and they want to bring change to Islam. They want to get rid of many of the traditional values that are important in Islam and replace them with disgusting, immoral, secular practices.

They want men and women to stand side by side in prayers. They want women to lead the prayers. They want us to agree that homosexuality is “okay” in Islam. And they just looooooove Rumi.

Okay, that last one was uncalled for.

To me this whole discussion seems to be a battle for the soul of Islam. Maybe that’s a little dramatic, but you get my drift.

The Real Discussion

This all boils down to one thing: How do we define Islam?

Is it whatever you and I and that other guy want it to be? Can we all just come up with our own ideas about what Allah wants and how we personify His last Messenger (pbuh)?

Or is there a precedent to follow? Is there a model we should emulate?

Brothers and sisters, I must warn and advise you. Hold on to the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) with every fiber of your being. Always remember that the real reward is not in this life, but in the next life.

Those who want to change Islam to fit into some weird idea are focused only on this life. They do not fear Allah’s wrath, or else how can they casually say the things they say?

How can someone who fears Allah say that it is ‘okay’ to be gay when Allah has cursed such activity in His book and documented how He destroyed those who did it before?

How can someone who fears Allah say that Muslims and Christians and Jews are all the same when Allah (SWT) Himself states that our way of life and our book and our beliefs and practices are superior?

How can someone who fears Allah so casually trample over Islamic tradition and practices and rulings from scholars (both men and women) who devoted their lives to studying this way of life?

We need to take these things seriously. Not all enemies of Islam wear fatigues.


Spread the word

7 Responses to The Brass Crescent Awards vs ILM

  1. Wholeheartedly agree with you brother. Not a fan of the progressive Muslim movement either and I truly feel that’s pretty messed up how they took your “Gay Muslims” article as some sort of malicious bashathon. I for one did vote for your blog on Brass Crescent awards.

    On one hand its good that Brass Crescent has a diverse array of blogs that they are promoting as worthy nominees, but on the other hand, you’re right a lot of it is cushy softy Progressive sounding stuff. Not saying that being Progressive is bad, but when you put it in the way like you mentioned it, it’s questionable.

  2. Assalamua’laykum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuhu.

    I think that with the term “progressive” put next to the word “Muslim”, we assume that it is the religion, Islam, that needs to change to still meet the requirements in our lifestyles right now. Not us, the Muslims, that need to change in our lifestyles right now to still meet Islam’s requirements. I feel that we’re a bit stubborn that way, and that we’re too lazy or full of pride to accept that we make mistakes sometimes in our lifestyles choices, myself included.

    You see, I’ve come to realize that Islam is a whole way of life. It really is. Why? If Islam has clearly defined a certain aspect of life, then there is no question of how to follow that part of life in Islam. Because that part is already defined. Followers of Islam can practice Islam the way it has been prescribed, and would not have to worry of being out of the fold of Islam for that reason. But let’s take an example of a clearly-defined aspect of Islam: that Allah (SWT) is One. That there is no other God besides Him. [I’m not trying to get in a debate with anyone wanting to argue this aspect, but if you don’t agree with me, first take this as an example].

    So In the same way that we know that the Allah (SWT) is One, we can use what He (SWT) has passed on to our beloved Messenger (PBUH), meaning the Qur’an and Sunnah, to determine how to live life now. For instance, there are certain deep mindsets in some poses of yoga, that are believed to “speak on the Gods/spirits in the Heavens”. Since that conflicts with the *very* clear aspect of One God in Islam, we know that having that mindset in those poses of yoga would not be permissible in Islam, since in Islam, there is no question that Allah is One.

    This is being “progressive” in the sense that we have evolved from basic exercises and stretches and can now do some yoga – but if we can still keep in mind that Allah is One and maintain the other necessary beliefs in Islam, you can be defined as a “Muslim” as well. This might be a poor example, but it was the best way I could explain being progressive but still being Muslim from my perspective.

    I think that we should change the way of thinking of Islam as a rigid, no-room-for-adjustments kind of religion, and should look at how we (myself included!) are slowly becoming a flexible, everything-is-okay kind of people, in terms of following Islam. As it is said, “If you can’t change something, change your attitude towards it”. I don’t think it is religion that needs to be changed, but us.

    Wa Salaam,

    • Wa Alaikum Salaam Wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu,

      Thank you for expressing your opinion on Progressive Muslims.

      You do make some valid points, though I’m not sure I get the yoga reference. That may be because I don’t really understand yoga anyway. I always thought it was merely stretching exercises but from some things I’ve read there seems to be a spiritual/religious aspect to it as well.

      I may have ranted a bit about Progressive Muslims, but I believe my argument is clear. I’m not necessarily labeling them all as hypocrites; but many of them have very questionable goals and aspirations.

      From what I’ve seen of them, they are not content to practice Islam in their own way and keep it to themselves. They have a message and they want to spread it to others.

      I also disagree with your comment “everything-is-okay kind of people.”

      No. Everything is not okay for Muslims. There are some things which we cannot do; which are sinful, plain and simple. Whether Yoga is one of those things, I don’t know and really don’t care at this time. But for sure, many of the other things “Progressive Muslims” put forward as acceptable in Islam, are absolutely NOT OKAY.

      • Assalamua’laykum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuhu.

        Wa-iyya-kum (And [may Allah] also [reward] you). I wanted to kind of dissect the issue so that we could really see things from a bird’s eye point of view (or as close as we could get to that)..

        For the yoga reference, I too just thought it was a bunch of stretches. But slowly, over time, I came to realize that there is a spiritual/religious side to yoga, like kripalu yoga. This example of discovering yoga’s true roots & nature is what I mean by being a “progressive Muslim”, from another aspect. Some “progressive Muslim” (though not all) might not want to “change” aspects of Islam; but rather, they might want to make themselves more aware of the things that can harm or help their religion as technology and civilization go on. These people might change their own *behaviour*, not what they believe in, according to the changes in the world (thus making progress). So for the yoga example, that would mean not doing certain poses or exercises for the sake of saving your ‘Imaan’ (belief in Allah) – that’s progress compared to how some of us used to do those poses as well.

        As for my stance with how right/wrong “progressive Muslims” are, for me, I’m just going to let Allah (SWT) be the judge. There are things that Allah (SWT) knows about a person or group that I might not know. Although at times, I may find a person’s character questionable, in the end, it is ultimately the decision of Allah (SWT), not mine’s, that will prevail. Thus, I try not to get too involved in discussing whether I think someone is morally correct or incorrect. It could count as ‘gheebat’ (backbiting), and I sure don’t want that on my back. Warning people is okay, and I kind of see that that’s what you were doing here. But I feel that outwardly stating that “these guys are wrong” instead of saying “this act is wrong” are two very different ways of approaching an issue.

        Also, I was actually agreeing with you – we can’t just be “everything-is-okay kind of people”. We tend to think that religion is so rigid, there’s no room for fun, blah blah blah – and that’s how we’re becoming “okay with everything” and oh-so flexible with religion nowadays. Like I said, ” I don’t think it is religion that needs to be changed, but us.”. The thing is, the majority of Muslims living in today’s times don’t really know what the ‘saheeh aqeeda’ (right belief) is, and how to follow Islam in a way that your practices will not lead you astray from Allah (SWT). That’s what I think the root of the problem is here with conflicting beliefs – that not everyone knows what’s really right or wrong anymore 🙁

        Wa Salaam,

  3. Salam alaikum

    Just love the way you put your words,and as you say ” homosexuality” it has NO place in Islam.I Totally Agree.

    In this materialistic age when everything is being sacrificed at the altar of ‘freedom’, the world from east to west, is witnessing a total collapse of morality and decency.

    Virtue is portrayed as evil while sins of every type are being glamorized so as to seem acceptable to society. Honesty, fidelity, generosity, piety, chastity, the fear of Allah, etc. are rarely looked upon as praiseworthy qualities while adultery, gambling, fraud, usury, cheating, abortion, homosexuality, lesbianism, etc. are fast becoming the order of the day.

    In many of the so-called democracies, there is no longer any stigma in even committing sins openly because of the many corrupt laws that support such sins. In fact today, in some of the world’s biggest “democracies” the more a leader publicizes his immoral and adulterous exploits, the more his popularity seems to increase and the greater become his chances of being re-elected by the people.

    But the saddest part of this is that while the Muslims were supposed to lead the world out of this turmoil and offer it Islam as the only solution to its problems, they have begun to embrace the bankrupt ways of those who are themselves groping in the darkness of ignorance. Unfortunately many of the abominable practices found in the west and other kuffaar societies are creeping into Muslim societies. May Allah protect us!

    It is time for the Muslim Ummah to awaken from its slumber and realize that it is the duty of every Muslim to remind the whole of mankind that success lies only in fulfilling the orders of Allah in the way shown by our Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wasallam).

    • Wa Alaikum Salaam Sister Aminah,

      Thank you thank you thank you for this comment!!!!!!

      Alhamdulillah, I’m so glad that there are other Muslims willing to enjoin the good and forbid the evil. I know they’re out there, but the progressive-liberal-can’t-we-all-just-get-along Muslim types are so vocal and visible they make it seem as if they’re the majority. And I know they’re not.

      May Allah protect this Ummah from going down that dark lizard hole of misguidance, immorality, and chaos that the People of the Book find themselves in.

  4. Salam alaikum Brother

    You are so very welcome and yes we are out here,not shown much as we try to avoid being around the most bad places.

    Do join us,we could need a Brother with your knowledge for our students,we are at going to open up for free online lessons. I am the Head Admin there,and is now working to set up the platform for our new project.

    Today,there is a need for Muslims to study and learn,that is what we wish to offer for free..

    Wa salam

    Sister Aminah

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