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Finding Balance After Shahadah

Imam Suhaib Webb gave this uplifting speech last month in Chicago at the 15th. MAS-ICNA Convention.

The following is a partial transcript of this excellent speech.

As Muslims we have a number of incredible opportunities to take on a number of incredible challenges… so I’d like to talk to you about 3 or 4 things we can think about:

Each and every one of us has a responsibility to have a relationship with Allah (SWT). Nobody can do that for you… it’s something that has to come from you. The Quran says very beautifully:

No soul can carry the burden of another soul.

I’m with you as long as you establish prayer.

Remember me and I will remember you.

Each and every one of us, in the coming days, should make sure that we don’t trump our souls, and maintain a strong relationship with our Lord finding the sweetness of worship and creating that intimacy so no matter what happens: whether you experience the family challenges of Prophet Adam, whether you experience the mockery of Prophet Noah, whether you experience the loneliness of Prophet Joseph, whether you have to speak against power like Prophet Moses, whether you have to balance appliance opulence like Prophets Solomon and David, whether you experience as a woman, the shame thrown at Maryam, whether you experience the stress of Prophet Jesus, whether you experience the incredible test faced by the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)

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Remember that the greatest asset you have in to taking on the challenges of the dunya is the Lord of this dunya. So find that sweetness and that worship in faith. If you’re young find your value through worship, if you’re struggling with drug and addiction, turn back to Allah (SWT), if your marriage is on the rocks turn back to have in that relationship, not necessarily to fix those challenges but to bring you a sense of balance and equilibrium.

Whether you fear for family members in Gaza, Aleppo, Yemen… find solace in worshiping the King of Kings, Allah Almighty…

Change of Times

Times have changed and the necessity for activism and the need for engagement has never been greater than now. We find in the Quran that people who have a spiritual relationship with God but failed to calibrate that spirituality in their experiences being raised as God’s servants. The people of knowledge and faith are raised…

Allah honored Prophet Muhammad and raised him and gave him spiritual enlightenment. As we have been honored by God to grow spiritually, we have to recalibrate that as thankfulness to God for looking after the most marginalized in and outside of our communities.

We can’t simply have spiritual experiences that lift our spirits and fail to translate that into lifting the plight of the poor, the homeless, the needy, the immigrants, the refugees…

Before we can have sanctuary cities, we should have sanctuary souls. Before we can truly be dedicated to those surround us who are most marginalized… The Prophet Muhammad said:

The best of you are those who help the others.

He also said:

Every creation is dependent on Allah and the best of creation are those who look after Allah’s dependents…

We have to seek to foster relationships with other religious communities, ethnic communities, the immigrants in this country, people of other orientations… where those intersections are so powerful that we can’t neglect to exercise the option to participate…

We have to begin to sit at the tables and exchange the ideas and learn each others’ language…

Freedom is not a monopoly, justice is not a monopoly, honor is not a monopoly. These belong to everyone in this country…

Young American Muslims

My experience with young American Muslims, regardless of their ethnic background is that you are really the future of not only Islam but you are the future of an increasingly diverse America. Your responsibility is a great responsibility, you can make mistakes, you can screw up… Islam will never turn its back on you. You may fall, and you may slip, but I, as an Imam, I’m here to tell you that we have your back, that we are supportive.

But for parents … your young kids are going to do great things in this country, they’re going to heal a country rocked by racism, they’re going to be collectively contributing to the struggles…

The last thing that we move forward, our communities are in need of unity, we don’t have to agree on everything, but we have to agree in a way which our agreements and our disagreements reflect our collective love for each other.

The challenges we’ve had will not matter if you’re salafi, sufi, … because in the eyes of islamophobia, we’re all collectively a problem and when we’re seen as a collective problem, the way to push that back is to be a collective, to be one…

Watch the full video.