Skip to content

September 29, 2005

In Defense of the Ramadan Project

kr’s note: Yes, I have become the official defender for every group and organization that would request my services after I wrote my ISNA convention defense post. Yep, for anyone… heck, I might even defend the liberals (like the MWU types) if they asked me nicely and paid me handsomely. As for the Ramadan Project, I only jokingly bashed on it earlier cause I thought it was overpriced… but then again, I think everything’s overpriced since I have no income…

Al-insaanu `aduwwun ma yujhal (Man is an enemy of that which he does not understand) –Imam `Ali (may God be pleased with him)

With the Ramadan Project about to take place in a few days, I am convinced now, more than ever, that we’ve become a community of haters simply because we don’t understand something. Especially when faced with something new, we seem unable to consider such innovation with intellectual maturity. Rather than giving new ideas a chance, we’ve become people that only consider established customs as acceptable, and everything else as a threat. Don’t get me wrong here, I’m not talking about the time-honored aspects of the religion–certainly these must be maintained. Specifically, I’m referring to our tendency of abhorring the development of a culture and identity; while these are not essential to the deen itself, they certainly make practicing it easier. The difference between deen and culture is that everyone has to be involved in the former; only a few will attempt the latter as a benefit to the rest of the community. In fact, it’s a mercy that a minority attempt this since most people aren’t inclined or even capable of this task. What is required then is for those not involved to support such efforts to the best of their ability… or at least, as the Prophetic hadith says, “Whosoever believes in God and the Last Day, let him speak good or be silent…“.

The common theme between all those who oppose the Ramadan Project is their lack of understanding as to the objective of said event. Hence, ignorance breeds fear, which in turn fathers the bastard-child of animosity, a feeling that threatens to undermind any effort to improve the state of American Muslims.

As for the Ramadan Project, I believe it is a pioneer effort in trying to develop events that foster a uniquely American Muslim identity by combining education and entertainment. This fusion is critical for the American landscape simply because of the social, political, and economic realities that exist here as opposed to other areas of the world. Now–and this is important–this doesn’t give one a free license to do whatever one wishes in order to achieve this. What I mean by this specifically can be found in the Qur’anic verse, “And never did we send a Messenger except in the tongue (lisan) of his people in order to make clear (the message) to them…“. This means that while all Prophets were brothers and brought the same fundamental message to mankind, how they presented it differed, not just amongst various Prophets, but even depending on who they were addressing. Again, the wisdom behind this is that if one’s audience cannot understand the medium used to relay the message, then no matter how powerful the message is, it will fall on deaf ears. Hence, even the Prophet (salallahu `alayhi wa sallam), depending on who he spoke to, used different nuances and metaphors to explain the same truth. For example, with companions who had such inclincation and capacity (such as Anas), he expected more from them and communicated this to them as well. For those whose nature he saw as different (such as the beautiful comedian-companion Nu`ayman), he communicated with them different as well. The Companions understood this as well. Shaykh Hamza narrates about an incident when the Chinese emperor had sent a delegation to Madinah that met with `Umar. In this incident, the brilliance of `Umar (the man who had drank milk from the fingertips of the Prophet in his dream, symbolizing his inheritance of Prophetic knowledge and wisdom) is seen when he tells the delegation to go back to their emperor and tell him that the Mandate of Heaven returned to the earth and it is time for them to realign themselves with this Mandate. The brilliance, of course, was how he gave da`wah to them in a language (including metaphors, nuances, rhetoric, etc.) that they could understand and comprehend.

For some reason, this mindset that people have to understand what one is saying has been lost amongst the American Muslim community. To quote Chris Tucker from Rush Hour, “Do you understand the words that are coming out of my mouth?…”; the sad part is that many people don’t understand the “mainstream” lectures, conferences, and other such events. This leaves us with two choices: disdainfully scorn these people, which would certainly border the devil’s favorite sin of self-righteousness; or, we can follow the Prophetic path of conveying Divine truths in a way that is understandable to everyone, especially those who don’t benefit from mere lectures.

I believe the Ramadan Project is a long-overdue step towards this inclusiveness as it combines nasheed, poetry, qasidahs, and speeches to inspire, educate, and prepare people for the month of Ramadan. The variety and range of media presented will, Inshallah, allow for nearly every person to relate to something and latch on to as motivation during this blessed month. We must be mature enough to realize that not everyone benefits from speeches–heck, ask anyone on Friday evening if they even remember what the khutbah was about. Yet there’s people who still remember an old school MYNA raps song from 10 years ago that still serves as spiritual fuel in their lives. Thus, not only is it important to realize that different forms of presenting the same message impact different people, but for the vast majority of people, a combination of media make a stronger effect. For example, lectures may serve as 40% of their motivation, poetry may serve as 25%, etc. The Ramadan Project melds this together well: in the RP book, there’s a collection of motivational articles, du’as, poems, etc… heck, there’s even recipes so that chicks (ie, females that can’t cook) can learn to cook. What a smashing idea.

As long as all lanes are leading to God, let us not curse the path. Let us not bash on efforts like the Ramadan Project that are trying to effect positive change.

Let us not be enemies of something simply because we’re ignorant of it.

I think that leaves us to choose amongst the following choices:

1. Attend the event and take part in a pioneering event that will Inshallah be of great benefit. Mahatma Gandhi (remember, wisdom is the lost property of a believer…)said, “Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.” You may think that going is insignificant (and perhaps it might be), but it’s still important nonetheless. Tickets are only $15 before Saturday and $20 at the door on Saturday. Check out the website for details

2. Make du’a for the event to be a success. If I were a mufti like Shaykh Abrar Mirza, I would say it’s wajib to make du’a for this event… but I’m not. Perhaps if Abrar would give such a fatwah on my behalf, it would make things easier.

3. Keep silent and let others do their work.

4. Be a hater. Re-read the hadith above if you want to be one.

Bottom line is go out and support this event guys. Even if you’re not sold on the idea of such an event, at least go and see what it is before you jump to a final conclusion. Suspend judgment until you have experienced the event; this would be the intellectually mature thing to do. Who knows, gasp, you might enjoy and benefit from it.

Besides, Ali Quadri (the same guy whose picture was on the back of the ISNA newsletter for and his studly hair (gloriously drenched in gel) will be there…



From → Uncategorized

  1. good post mash’Allah…yayyy im the first one to comment

  2. salaam Man i wanted to be the first one to comment, stupid TQ. anyways, Finally somebody covered this point. phew about time. THank God. Mashallah very amazing job done!!!! inshallah RP will be a sucess. ws

  3. haha Ali Quadri is a stud =)

  4. mashaallah good post kr.

    iA this event is a success.

    and ali Q is a nigga.

  5. salaam DUDE ALI Q is the Ultimate STUD, and he’s min!!! but he ain’t on, i’ve been on there for 15 min now. wth man this is false advertising. lol. RP better not be false advertising as well. jk. inshallah RP will be a success a huge success!!!!ws

  6. Anonymous permalink

    Hey… why isnt you an Isaac Supporter.. WHy dont you go making posts defending Isaac…Kr im disappointed

  7. Anonymous permalink

    props for the Ramadan Project….be there…

  8. mashallah, i just hope u guys all show up inshallah


  10. Anonymous permalink

    This is what Ali Q text messaged me about at 5.39 in the morning? To read about the RP?
    I think perhaps my rebuttle post will be coming soon.

  11. Anonymous permalink

    “The common theme between all those who oppose the Ramadan Project is their lack of understanding as to the objective of said event. Hence, ignorance breeds fear, which in turn fathers the bastard-child of animosity, a feeling that threatens to undermind any effort to improve the state of American Muslims.”
    nice flow. misunderstanding -> fear -> animosity -> deconstruction.

  12. I like these defense posts =)

  13. Anonymous permalink

    hmm…good post.  oh do you know where the money is going to?  if its being donated anywhere?

  14. hells yeah…alot of people seemed to have  aproblem with women performing and seeeing as me and friend of mine are doing spoken word they asked us to tone it down because many people were saying its not “islamic” allah u alim, but it really doesnt make any sense to reject the idea completely without even trying it. I highly doubt that the sahaba got far being as close minded as many muslims today. But inshallah the project will go well and increase spirituality and knowledge of ramadan . * make duaa for the performers and all the admin. people * masalaam and preach on bro.

  15. **As KR steps off of his soapbox, he looks at the dumbfounded crowd and realizes that people don’t think enough to understand the message.**

  16. UICMSA’s profits will go directly towards paying for the Rayyan Center masjid and iftaars during Ramadan. Very well written post! Inshallah, the event will be success.

  17. KR is my hero
    Everyone go to the Ramadan Project or else…

  18. Anonymous permalink

    “As long as all lanes are leading to God, let us not curse the path. Let us not bash on efforts like the Ramadan Project that are trying to effect positive change.”^^ Very true. People need to do less hating and more appreciating. Well done. Mash’Allah.Success, insha’Allah. =)

  19. Anonymous permalink

    bottomline: just look at the bigger it or not.
    that simple. and aliQ needs to get a new side-strap bag. that’s SO 3 years

  20. Anonymous permalink

    and when did kaz start reading people’s minds?

  21. nicely done. and kazim, your comment is spectacular. mAi sincerely hope that all those who attend RP enjoy it and benefit from it iApeace,IJB

  22. ooh…i think i might go!  Need something to do after the shelf exam for psych!

  23. Hehe, it seems that the formula for creating a good kr post is: one part religiousness, one part pop culture, one part academic quotes, one part rip on people… and of course, top it all off with a rip on chicks (The Ramadan Project melds this together well: in the RP book, there’s a collection of motivational articles, du’as, poems, etc… heck, there’s even recipes so that chicks (ie, females that can’t cook) can learn to cook. What a smashing idea.)
    Bake for 30 minutes on 350 degree heat and serves 170-250 people.

  24. i won’t be able to attend but i did have a question. were any scholars consulted during the planning of this event to make sure everything was permissible according to Islamic guidelines? i remember imam suhaib webb once mentioned a story about a kid who produced 5000 rap cds and THEN, approached imam suhaib to see whether what he did was ok or not. i’m sure the organizers of this event are very sincere people and would hate to see that they put together an event which went against Islamic principles because they didnt consult those with proper knowledge beforehand. if they did, then khair alhamdulillah. if they didn’t, i would advise that they do so. šŸ™‚

  25. MashAllah, that story about the Chinese delegation was inspiring.
    May Allah bless the Ramadan Project and make it successful

  26. How much did the RP people pay you for this?
    Just kidding, this was good, MashAllah.

  27. I love cake!
    * This post was in honor of Ali Q.

  28. Anonymous permalink

    may Allah make RRamadan Project a success..mad props.

  29. I’m insh’Allah going to be there, good post…

  30. Anonymous permalink

    hm…u do bring up good points…ah we’ll see!

  31. Anonymous permalink

    Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu
    ** As Kamran walks into Pick-Staiger concert hall, Ali Quadri gives him a bag of cash for writing this post…
    Jazak Allah Khair Kamran for this post.  It is truly inspiring to know that some are encouraging us to remain patient when things are difficult.  And you know that I don’t look up to you like I used to, I realize the tremendous work you’ve done for this community, and I strive to be at least an iota of the Muslim you are, masha’Allah.
    As far as the Muslim scholars consulted about this… the programming is done by Fluidvisions, and they said they talked to several of the major Imams in the Michigan area about this and got their approval.  So Insha’Allah it will be beneficial to many people.
    And the ‘Shaban Seven’ rock!!!
    Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu

  32. Anonymous permalink

    Why are people so resistant to innovation? Even when that innovation plays into their religion and culture and would do nothing except benefit them personally well all i can say is if they dont come around (who ever is opposing the Ramadan project)it’s pretty much their loss
    inshallah all will turn out well with the Ramadan project and enough people that appreciate the value of it will show up

  33.  Anger leads to fear, fear leads to hateā€¦
    hateā€¦leads to suffering.

  34. These brothers and sisters made a solid effort. May Allah help the event. However, regardless of the outcome tonight, may Allah reward those responsible for it in the Hereafter. Ameen.

  35. May the project be a succes Insha Allah.

  36. well said bro…its too bad i can’t be there

  37. Anonymous permalink

    lol, if they’re serving buffalo to unsuspecting customers…i guess the white man is still allowed to hunt them

  38. I never read the story about ‘Umar and the Chinese delegation….oooOh now I have a purpose for the next 10 minutes. Asalamu alaikum wb.

  39. Anonymous permalink

    lol kajoor and a mango shake? it doesn’t get better than that

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: