Studying in Britain vs. Studying Abroad

A person is not considered to be particularly learned unless they have traveled abroad and studied. However, there is no real reason why this should be the case. Furthermore, its very problematic that in Britain we have so many imams who grew up and studied in a different country, and in many cases they barely speak a word of English, let alone understand the culture and way of thinking in this country.

Take this beautiful recitation from a young western imam: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=513624128696934&set=vb.211078868951463&type=2&theater

Amazingly, he grew up in and is a citizen of a western country, and studied his Arabic and qur’an there too. His facebook profile can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/fatihseferagic?group_id=0

He studied arabic and qur’an in America. His arabic was studied in bayyinah institute in Dallas. Here is someone elses experience of studying there:

http://muslimmatters.org/2011/12/01/bayyinah-dream-so-how-was-it/

Details of the institute itself:

http://bayyinah.com/

Its a fantastic institution.

this is exactly what we need. british produced imams and teachers for the british muslim community

The purpose of this blog

Throughout history, Islam has been adapted to meet the needs of circumstances of particular nations. Unfortunately, in the UK, a fiqh that is designed for British Muslims is yet to evolve, and our community currently consists of a hodgepodge of dozes of mini communities, importing their interpretations of islam, that may be suitable for their time and place, but doesnt meet the needs of British Muslims.

InshAllah this site will be used for researching into how to live as a Muslim in Britain. Can we work for a shop that sells alcohol? Can we take interest based student loans for Uni? Can we have IVF treatment if we can’t have children? We need a consistent set of jurisprudence for British Muslims to cater for our circumstances, and that’s the aim of this blog. InshAllah I will try to research these issues and post what I find as and when. We also have some practices that were imported from abroad so we need to have clear rulings on that, issues such as female genital mutilation, honour killings etc, as well as extremist groups who attack the british way of life and even encourage violence so we need clear and unequivocal rulings on those issues, backed by strong evidence so that there can be no room for argument and we have solid reasoning for our positions.

Please note that I am not an islamic scholar, so will not be directly deriving rulings myself, I will simply be reading what the many western scholars have said as well as some classical scholars and promoting the views I find most compatible for the British Muslim community inshAllah so I will reference the origin of the ruling as well inshAllah.

Please note this is not about “pick and mix Islam”, but every Muslim country in the world has their own interpretation that works for them, yet they all seek to bring their cultural interpretations to the UK and it simply isn’t working for the British Muslim community, not for converts, and not for ethnic minorities that grew up here and don’t relate to the homeland of their parents.

It isn’t about liberalising the Muslim community or any other hidden agenda, just looking for an islam that works with our culture, in the same way that every other muslim community has done. I’m tired of walking into mosques that do nothing for bridging the gap between muslims and non muslims, building bridges, giving practical rulings that make sense in our society, many mosques dont even give sermons in english and have no idea how to live practically as a muslim in Britain. Some say make hijra or say Britain isnt their home, I respect that and surely if you feel you are a Somali Muslim or Pakistani or Arab muslim then maybe these places are home for you, but for many of us Britain is our home and we are here to stay inshAllah so need to unify our ranks and build a community that is for british muslims inshAllah.

We also need clear rulings on things like engaging in politics, joining the police force, many issues for us to consider inshAllah. Wallahu a’lam (Allah Knows Best).