Dr. Pasha’s All-Day Islamic Camp
& Community Clean-up
Saturday, September 6, 2003
Coppice Community Center, Oldham, UK
(Bringing Islam to the World One Concept at a Time!
Taking the Qur’an to Every Home and Heart that Needs It —
And which One Does Not?)
Our goals are – in the words of Dr. Pasha – to help the Muslim and non-Muslim communities in and around Oldham, and throughout the world:
To understand Islam as a complete and practical way of life in today’s complex and confusing world;
To make Islamic knowledge more relevant to our daily life in our communities, homes and personal lives;
To understand Islam in its proper social context in the West in general and in UK in particular;
To use Islamic knowledge, heritage and culture for community education, training, revival, regeneration and redevelopment purposes in and around Oldham, in European societies and throughout the world;
To use Islamic teachings and practices to alleviate the sense of alienation and confusion among Muslim and non-Muslim youth in the area;
- To foster and enhance among area Muslims and non-Muslims a clearer and stronger sense of identity, purpose, community and cooperation with others;
To reduce social discontent, deviance, drugs and crime among Muslim and non-Muslim youth, using Islamic methods and teachings;
To enhance education and achievement motivation and entrepreneurship among area Muslims and non-Muslims;
To encourage personal responsibility, sense of excellence and job orientation among area Muslims and non-Muslims;
To foster greater understanding and more positive communication and interaction between Muslims on the one hand and non-Muslims and the larger community and society on the other hand;
To use Islam as an instrument and model to enhance among area Muslims and non-Muslims a greater sense of social, economic and political involvement, participation and empowerment;
To create among area Muslims and non-Muslims a greater, stronger and more urgent sense of awareness, responsibility, caring and concern toward the neighbourhood, toward society as a whole and toward the environment in general;
To foster among area Muslims and non-Muslims a greater and more pronounced sense of helpfulness and service orientation toward others in the neighbourhood, the community and the society at large;
To enhance among area Muslims and non-Muslims the will, eagerness, confidence and skills to reach out to others in the neighbourhood, the community and the society as a whole;
To perform neighbourhood clean-up as a fundamental human, civic and Islamic service to the Muslim and non-Muslim communities of the area, to the British and European societies in general, and to the world as a whole (Dr. Pasha, USA, 2003).
Different kinds of people among us – today and at other times:
Those traditional Muslims who don’t really know much about Islam – and know it. That is, they are aware of their lack of knowledge and understanding.
(a) Among them, there are those who don’t care.
They are not likely to be here today.
(b) And then there are those among them who do
care – and want to learn.
This program is for them.
Those traditional Muslims who don’t know or understand Islam very well – but think they do.
This program is also for them – if they are willing to take a deep breath, realize that there are holes in their knowledge and understanding of Islam and are willing to learn.
Those traditional Muslims who know Islam in theory – but don’t know it in practice, beyond what people call the usual “rituals” of Islam such as Salaah and Siyaam.
They don’t know or understand Islam as a matter of everyday living – covering the entire gamut of life.
Most Muslims fall in this category – and this camp is especially for them. Its purpose is to show them how Islam is a practical way and method of living – a Deen – from Allah and not a religion – made up by human beings.
Non-Muslims who are here out of curiosity – to see how Islam could possibly connect with clean and safe neighborhood and environment.
This program is also respectful of their presence and curiosity.
Those Muslims and non-Muslims who are here merely to lend support to the local community’s effort at clean up, regeneration and development.
This program bids them a warm welcome and appreciates their support.
Those leaders, activists and workers in the community – both Muslim and non-Muslim – who are here as part of their routine involvement with the affairs of the community.
This program rejoices at their presence and involvement.
Islam – A Deen, not a Religion
Islam is a Deen from Allah. It is not a religion.
Islam is a complete set of instructions and models and methods on how people should their daily lives – as individuals; with their families; in their neighborhoods; in their communities; at the workplace; on their playgrounds; in their societies; and in the world at large.
That is why when you refer to Islam as “Religion” you are missing out on what it really is.
Islam Is about Relationships
Islam is about life. As a Deen, Islam teaches people about life – what it is and how to live it. And it is all about relationships in one’s life.
Islam teaches that, more than anything else, life is about relationships.
And at the core of all possible relationships is the one with one’s creator, God Almighty.
When your relationship with God works well, everything else works well.
When this relationship goes bad, all other relationships go sour.
Then comes the relationship with people – at the top of which is the relationship of oneself with oneself.
Failure of most human beings to understand themselves as people lies at the root of their inability to live life to the fullest – and in the best possible way – the way life should be lived.
With oneself; with one’s family; with one’s friends and acquaintances; with one’s neighbors; with one’s relatives; and with chance encounters and total strangers.
Islam provides an integrated and not a fragmented view of reality.
From God to humans, to animals to plants to all animate and inanimate objects – those we know and those we don’t.
Eemaan Bilghaib is one of Islam’s first requirements. It means believing in a world that lies beyond the ability of our senses to fathom.
One Continuum – One Family
According to Islam, The whole universe is interconnected. In spite of its enormous diversity and range, it has one source, one origin, one destiny.
It is a continuum.
One family – under God.
Life in all its forms and manifestations is Umamun Amthaalikum – people and nations just like you.
Innaa lillahi wa innaa ilaihi raaji-‘oon.
From God do we all come and unto God shall we all return.
One Overarching Principle
This is an overarching principle that informs, organizes and guides our view of reality.
In such an integrated and cohesive universe, there are no strangers, no natural foes to be wiped out from the face of this earth.
Instead, each one here is on duty in a different capacity, all working for the same master – just doing different things.
As humans, we were created to manage this menagerie – this amazing diversity of existence. We were the custodians of the earthly domain: its caretakers and guardian angels.
All of human, animal and plant life was our jurisdiction.
The environment was our baby. Our sacred trust.
Every dying dog, murdered seal, over-hunted whale and ravaged rain forest was our concern – as was every hungry child, abused woman, jobless man and a human being in the grip of illness or adversity.
The world – and everything in it – was our common responsibility.
To be Muslim was to be able to understand the dynamics of these relationships – and then to play one’s role in moving them forward.
Theologizing and Clericizing Islam
Instead, we theologized and clericized Islam. Islam became a “religion” – like all the other religions in the world.
A divine system that was sent by God to manage the affairs of this world in an optimum, divinely guided way, became part of the problem which it was sent down to solve.
And Muslims became fugitives on the run from God’s justice.
Muslims turned their back on Islam, and God turned away from them.
They became the have-beens and have-nots of history. And the whole world turned against them.
And so did Allah.
Because they turned his Deen upside down. They reduced it to a “religion.”
Life: An Integrated Unit – So is Islam
Life is an integrated unit. All compartmentalization is based on convenience and division of labor. Reality is one.
That is the beginning of Tauheed in Islam – the idea of oneness: of God and of creation.
We need to understand that Islam provides an integrated and not a fragmented view of life.
That is why good Muslims can jump over trash and walk to Masjid – because they do not see the continuity of life as an integrated unit.
They fail to understand that if we cannot be good Muslims on our streets, then it is difficult for us to be good Muslims in our mosques.
That is why we ignore the cries of pain of young men and women in distress or on drugs and hold prayer vigils in mosques.
Relearn Islam as a complete Deen….
And set about mending our ways…
As much as you can, get involved with the local Muslim community.
In whatever way you can, get involved with the local non-Muslims community.
Make the place you live a place worth living….
Show the pride of ownership of the earth that God gifted you.
Act like you are Allah’s managers on earth.
Be responsible for everyone and everything – from the nearest to the farthest neighbor. From the closest relative to the one who is a total stranger and only related to you through the common drop of Adam’s blood.
Learn to care for them; learn to be accountable for them; work for them; sacrifice and suffer for them.
Learn to treat all of the universe as one integrated unit.
You will then know what it is to be a Muslim.
For, that is what Islam is all about!
© 2003 Syed Husain Pasha
Dr. Pasha is an educator and scholar of exceptional
talent, training and experience. He can be reached at DrSyedPasha [at]
AOL [dot] com or www.IslamicSolutions.com