Drawing from his rich and life-long experience as an Islamic worker in different types of organizations, countries and political and cultural settings; Dr. Hisham elaborated on the major pitfalls that Muslim organizations, groups and leaders have fallen into in the course of their work to promote the cause of Islam and the Muslim Umma. He outlined the principles and values that are needed for addressing these pitfalls and the methods for their application that are based on the true divine guidance from Qur’an and Sunna.
Dr. Hisham shared with a small group of Arab and Muslim intellectuals the lessons he learned from his own experience as an Islamic worker since the early 1950s and in different countries such as Iraq, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia and the United States. He reminded the audience of the work of the late Algerian thinker Malik Ben Nabi and his brilliant analysis of the underlying causes for the rise and fall of civilizations, nations, societies and individuals. He was particularly critical of many Islamic groups that did not follow the wisdom of Malik Ben Nabi’s analyses and fell into the narrow pursuit of political power and the illusive goal of establishing an Islamic state, to the exclusion of the more noble cause of building the moral, social and spiritual foundation for development of Muslim societies.
To address these fundamental flaws in the methodology of Islamic work and outreach, Dr. Hisham called for the revival of a Prophetic approach to Islamic education that starts even before birth and continues throughout one’s life. He cited a new book to be published on Parenting that he is working on together with Dr. Abdul Hamid AbuSulayman, President of IIIT.
Dr. Hisham concluded by calling for a principled approach to Dawa, based on Qur’an and Sunna, and informed by the realities of our times and assisted by contemporary knowledge and new technologies. Most importantly, he said, Muslim workers need to embrace a spirit of moderation and an attitude of inclusion that seeks to benefit from the human experience at large and contribute to it with a spirit of humility and brotherhood among all the children of Adam and Eve.
About Al-Hiwar Center:
Established in 1989 by the well known Arab American intellectual Ahmed Subhi Ghandour, Al-Hiwar Center is a non profit organization that provides a forum for dialogue on issues of concern to Arab and Muslim Americans. It also publishes Al-Hiwar magazine, a quarterly.