Call to Action

The following e-mail message is, arguably, the beginning of the Columbus Dawah effort, and the project was birthed as a result of this message that was sent & the response & ideas it elicited. It is included in its complete & unaltered form for reference & historical reasons. “Qabeelat Hayl”, in this message, refers to the body of students of AlMaghrib Institute in Columbus, Ohio. Most of the initial planners and volunteers for Columbus Dawah are/were AlMaghrib Institute students as well.

Bismillaahir Rahmaanir Raheem

Assalaamu`alaykum wa Rahmatullaahi wa Barakatuhu

In shaa Allaah this e-mail finds you all in the very best of health and ever-increasing imaan!!!

At the greatest calamity faced by the Sahaabah – the death of the Prophet Muhammad (salallaahu `alayhi wa sallam) – nearly all of them were in despair and felt a great sense of loss. Indeed, many of them may have even been unable to think of a future of Islam without Rasulullaah. Yet, the greatest of men after the Prophet, Abu Bakr As-Siddeeq, recognized what was important, and announced,

“If you worshiped Muhammad, then he is dead. If you worshiped Allaah, then He is alive and does not die.”

These words of wisdom helped to pull the Sahaabah back into line with regards to the reality of the situation, and how the Prophet Muhammad (salallaahu `alayhi wa sallam), no matter how great of a man he was, and no matter how important to the deen he was, was still only a part of the message. When his duties were completed, Allaah took him back to Him. Innaa lillaahi wa innaa ilaayhi raaj`oon – Indeed we are from Allaah, and to Him we shall return.

Furthermore, trials and struggles are the times at which the sincere stand out from those that followed a task for alternate reasons. It is in the times of distress that the true character and nature of the believer is revealed, and whether they discover that they had pure intentions or they were pursuing an action or activity for reasons other than the sake of Allaah, they discover something new about their character. Either way, a list of actions for improvement set themselves out before the believer – either to improve themselves or to improve the situation.

It is with great regret, therefore, that I am going to deliver news that will differentiate between the two types of people mentioned immediately before. Unfortunately, AlMaghrib Institute has decided to discontinue classes in Columbus completely. I, as the Ameer, take full responsibility for this, and I regret that I did not do more to preserve the class through stronger efforts and better organization. However, the reasons cited to me by Muhammad Alshareef himself listed off a long series of issues with the Columbus community that were barriers to the future success of AlMaghrib in Columbus, not the least of which is an under-developed Muslim community in which da`wah projects are difficult to undertake. Though I struggled to justify future classes in Hayl, exploring every possibility, the reality of the situation is that the decision had been made shortly after our previous class, Light of Guidance, and the decision was final at that point. The reason this wasn’t communicated more clearly to us was a monumental failure of management for which Muhammad apologized. In fact, if there were a silver lining to this, it is that Muhammad himself is getting more involved with the management of AlMaghrib, though he is not completely taking over.

No doubt, this is a terrible and great calamity, however, I want to remind everyone, at this point, to re-read the introduction to this message, and then think very carefully about your own reactions. After doing so, please proceed.

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The difficult part is now to decide, “What do we do?” Shall we sit down, in the middle of battle, as some of the sahaabah did when news of the death of the Prophet (salallaahu `alayhi wa sallam) spread during the battle of Uhud? Or shall we stand up, as did Anas ibn Nadr, and say, “Then stand up and die for what he did!”, marching right into the enemy lines? Though the cancellation of AlMaghrib classes in Columbus is a great loss, the reality is that it was canceled because of the very issues we are facing in our community. Not only will AlMaghrib not flourish in Columbus – it is very unlikely that any large-scale da`wah project will be successful. Those that have lived in Columbus all their lives, like I have, know that this is not a new story to our community. So, the question is – do we sit down, in the middle of battle? Or do we stand up and fix our problems?

AlMaghrib, for me, was supposed to be the solution for our community’s issues. I had hoped that, through AlMaghrib, the Muslims in Columbus could learn the importance of good manners, developing our skills, organization, on top of the core knowledge that was taught. And I had hoped that those that had attended the classes would have gained a sense of pride being a Muslim, and would take these benefits throughout the community. However, what I was unaware of is that for something like AlMaghrib to take root, there needs to be “fertile ground”. AlMaghrib, in fact, requires a strong, existing base of a developed Muslim community in order to flourish. This, my dear brothers and sisters, is one of the fundamental differences between Columbus and other cities in which projects like AlMaghrib is successful. Places like Houston and Toronto, as well as the Muslim communities in Michigan, all have large Muslim communities that have already put in the effort to lay the groundwork such that da`wah projects can take off. If a da`wah project is also encumbered with the task of developing the community, it will never succeed in its primary mission.

Realizing this, I now know that the most important task facing those who are sincere about our situation is to focus on this essential development. We need to lay the groundwork and develop our community. We need to make this our task and main priority, because without this foundation and groundwork, no real da`wah, education, nor development itself can occur.

Therefore, I would like to invite all of those that are sincere to join myself, Sr. Fatima (our new Ameerah for Hayl), and the rest of those from Qabeelat Hayl in organizing a new, focused effort to enhance our community, free from any ideological grouping or party, but just made from the members of our community. It is not an AlMaghrib project, it is not associated with any one group in Columbus, but rather, it will cooperate with anyone and anything that is working for the sake of Allaah. Our criterion is the Qur’aan and the Sunnah. Period.

So, if you are someone that would like to invest in the community of Columbus, working hard to setup a future that will be a fertile ground for all kinds of beneficial Islamic projects, then I invite you join our effort.

We have tentatively setup a meeting for Sunday, February 12th. If you are sincere about fixing the issues we are facing, and putting forward a large amount of work and a great commitment to our community (and, therefore, the Ummah by extension), then please come, and share your own ideas with me and/or Sr. Fatima.

Because the future of Hayl with AlMaghrib is not certain, I advise everyone to communicate with me via my personal e-mail address: abu_hurayrah@hidayahonline.org. I encourage everyone that cares even the slightest about what I have said to reply to this e-mail at the new e-mail address.

Jazaakum Allaahu Khayr.

Wassalaamu`alaykum

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