What Are the Duties of American Muslims?
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What Are the Duties of American Muslims?



Reply Date

Sep 11, 2017


As-salamu `alaykum. Dear scholars, as a Muslim living in the States, I need to know my duties towards my people here, I mean towards my country. How do I support it in the face of the surrounding crises, side by side with upholding my religious duties? What does Islam say on this?



What Are the Duties of American Muslims?

Wa `alaykum As-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messeng.

In this fatwa:
1- Renowned Muslim scholars have made it clear that every Muslim living in the West, in general, and the US, in particular, has a role to play in the process of establishing a better life for all the people living together as members of the society, regardless of whether they are Muslims or non-Muslims.

2- Islam urges Muslims to be active and pro-active in any society they reside in. They have good example in the early Muslims. No sooner had the Muslims set their feet in Madinah, after the emigration, than they started new life, as the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) laid down the framework of establishing “a better society for all.” All this is clarified in what is known as the Constitution of Madinah.

3- But being proactive in the society does not mean that a Muslim has to jeopardize his religious teachings when some policies of his government run counter to them; he must champion right and justice wherever he finds himself and in any post he occupies.

4- A true Muslim is not the one used as a tool to wage unjust war against innocent people. He must render his service to the betterment of his people, but not at the expense of others.

Dr. Taha Jabir Halawani, the late president of the Graduate School of Islamic and Social Sciences and president of the Fiqh Council of North America, states:

In order for Muslims to gain their rights in this country, and their positive interaction with the native people of this country, it requires from us consultation and agreement on the main principles of Islam, and we should excuse each other on the minor differences.

The righteous Companions of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) set up an example hundreds of years ago when they met to consult each other on the best response to the critical situation during their migration to Abyssinia.

American Muslims are in need of strengthening their belief, and enhancing their Islamic culture. Interaction with others should not lead to concessions that hinder their religion.

The example of Jaf`ar and his refusal to bow for An-Najashi (Negus) King of Abyssinia is the best example.

Muslim minority is in need of expressing the facts of Islam in the best manner. Eternal values of Islam, and its humanitarian system should be practiced and reflected in the best way.

Exactly as Jaf`ar did in his speech in front of An-Najashi, when he stated the principles of Islam and the difference between Islam and darkness.

In doing so, Muslims not only gain support and sympathy of others but an encouragement to others to follow the path of Islam.

Muslims in America should familiarize themselves with the art of communication and public relations. Again, mentioning Ja`far’s example here is quite relevant. He ended his speech by addressing the king saying, “We have come to your country’ we have chosen you among kings, we seek your neighborhood, and seek not to be dealt with unjustly.

Allah Almighty knows best.

About Dr. Taha Jabir Al-`Alawani

The late president of the Fiqh Council of North America and dean of Cordoba University

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