The following is a heartwarming post from the SeekersGuidance blog describing how two of my favorite organizations are working together for the cause of spreading sacred knowledge throughout North America. Our community faces many obstacles in the form of the intellectual challenges of modernity, the continual struggle against hegemony, the destructive nature of global capitalism, and the spiritual tests and tribulations that we face in this life and the next. Rather than banding together, various Islamic institutions – even those with the same frame of reference – often fail to cooperate or worse, work against one another. The challenges facing the Muslim world in the 21st century are numerous and the need for cooperation is greater now more than ever. With these challenges in mind, it should be pointed out that their are also great opportunities. In order for these opportunities to bear fruit, however, their must be an alignment of hearts and minds within our community. The efforts described below may seem small, but over time and with greater frequency, they become tidal waves of changes.
May Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) preserve our scholars and our scholarly institutions and enable us to benefit from them in this life and the next. Ameen.
In the Name of Allah, the Benevolent, the Merciful
Allah Most High calls us to, “Cooperate in righteousness and piety,” [Qur’an] but humans naturally have a competitive spirit that makes this spirt of cooperation the exception rather than the rule in our relationships. And this is especially true at the organizational level.
A group that we have found to be committed both to excellence in their own educational projects and keen to cooperate with others is our dear brothers at Al-Madina Institute(www.almadinainstitute.org/).
Yesterday, Ustadh Moutasem Atiya, one of Al-Madina’s teachers and main organizers, emailed us at SeekersGuidance, asking for some information about the latter’s Online Courses, so that Al-Madina Institute could send it out on their mailing list–in order to help promote the Winter 2010 courses.
While SeekersGuidance and Al-Madina Institute have a good cooperative relationship, what resonated was that this wasn’t a “corporate” kind of request. Ustadh Moutasem didn’t negotiate a “mutually agreeable” set of arrangements (”we’ll promote your courses in exchange for xyz from you”). This was done in the spirit of cooperation, brotherhood, and sincere concern.
This is a reminder and lesson of how Muslim organizations should work. We should view other organizations as brethren with common concerns and aspirations. We should actively strive to cooperate with them and to assist them in their goals and projects–not because this may be “strategically” advantageous, but because it is a means of pleasing Allah Most High and upholding the example of the Beloved Messenger of Allah (peace & blessings be upon him & his folk).
Al-Madina Institute’s Excellent Programs
This request from Al-Madina was just another example of Al-Madina’s commitment to excellence: their programs are some of the best Islamic educational programs you can attend. They not only have some of the best Islamic scholars teaching for them–such as Shaykh Muhammad bin Yahya al-Ninowy and Shaykh Mokhtar Maghraoui–but their organization and execution of their programs is impeccable. It also reminds us that commitment to excellence and the highest standards of execution isn’t at variance with having a cooperative spirit with respect to other projects. Their mission is, “Enriching individuals by cultivating the capacity for inward excellence and outward service to the community.”
If Al-Madina Institute holds a program in your community, or if you can travel to any of their programs, you’ll find great benefit: excellent teachers, excellent program, and excellent organization. And if you are an activist, strongly consider asking Al-Madina Institute to come to your community. They come with light of Prophetic excellence and wisdom, Masha’ Allah.
A program we’d highly recommend is their upcoming Pearls of the Qur’an retreat this April:
And Allah alone gives success.
Executive Director, SeekersGuidance