Sunday, November 27, 2011

Muslims Together Pledge


On November 25, 2011, we entered the 1433rd year of Hijri, the Islamic Calendar.  It started out as one Muslim community with a foundational belief in one God, one universe, one creation and that we are accountable for our actions on a day yet to come.
Islam is referred to reflecting our nature known as fitra. Indeed, every human is designed to seek justice and to be just, however the temptations cause us to cross the line and suffer the consequences one way or the other, and if we miss it, we have to account for it one day.  It is our responsibility to work for a just world where everyone is better off individually and collectively when we trust each other.

Prophet Muhammad understood human nature; he knew that as the number of adherents grew they are bound to have differences. He predicted his followers will split into 73 groups – a metaphoric number to denote a large division. Being the ultimate peace maker, he was always bent on mitigating conflicts and nurturing goodwill among people that surround him. By predicting the division and challenging each one to race in doing good, he saw that a lot of cumulative good coming out of it, when everyone strove to be his or her best.  

When he said, one among you will be the best, it reminds me of the class room scenario where one or two may fail, but will have the opportunity to make it up.  However, only one earns to be # 1 rank based on individual performance of good deeds and almost all others will pass at varying degrees. He did not condemn the 72 other participants to hell, he left that to God to judge on the Day of Judgment.

Indeed, the wise men in the first few centuries did have a different take on the issues and understanding of Quraan and Hadith. First we grew into two divisions and produced six schools of thought – accepting the otherness of other interpretation without denigrating any. Today we have over 7 or 8 major divisions and many mini-divisions with each group. Thanks to many a Imams today, including my respected Imams Kavakci and  Zia Sheikh who will explain the issue from different points of view without judgment. I pray that their attitude is infectious and we get that bug.

Each one of us can decide for ourselves in our hearts and minds to become generous like the Rabbul Aalameen and Rahmatul Aalameen who will not differentiate or discriminate any one of us from the 73 tribes or 7000 tribes?  All we have to do is to respect the otherness of other.

Let’s avoid as much as possible to pre-fix or suffix ourselves. Let our words and actions reflect our Aalameen ul inclusiveness. Do your best and I will do mine. I pledge that in my word and actions, I will keep myself as Muslim and nothing but Muslim.

Mike Ghouse is committed to put his energy in building cohesive societies where no human has to afraid of the other.

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quraan burning

Planned Muslim Response to Qur'an Burning by Pastor Jones on September 11 in Mulberry, Florida

August 19, 2013| Dallas, Texas

Mike Ghouse
Text/Talk: (214) 325-1916

Mirza A Beg
(205) 454-8797


We as Muslims plan to respond to pastor Terry Jones' planned burning of 3000 copies of Quran on September 11, 2013 in positive terms.

Our response - we will reclaim the standard of behavior practiced by the Prophet concerning “scurrilous and hostile criticism of the Qur’an” (Muhammad Asad Translation Note 31, verse 41:34). It was "To overcome evil with good is good, and to resist evil by evil is evil." It is also strongly enjoined in the Qur’an in the same verse 41:34, “Good and evil deeds are not equal. Repel evil with what is better; then you will see that one who was once your enemy has become your dearest friend.”

God willing Muslims will follow the divine guidance and pray for the restoration of Goodwill, and on that day many Muslim organizations will go on a “blood drive” to save lives and serve humanity with kindness.

We invite fellow Americans of all faiths, races, and ethnicities to join us to rededicate the pledge, “One nation under God”, and to build a cohesive America where no American has to live in apprehension, discomfort or fear of fellow Americans. This event is a substitute for our 10th Annual Unity Day Celebration ( held in Dallas, but now it will be at Mulberry, Florida.

Unwittingly Pastor Jones has done us a favor by invigorating us by his decision to burn nearly 3000 copies Quran on September 11, 2013. Obviously he is not satisfied by the notoriety he garnered by burning one Qur'an last year.

As Muslims and citizens we honor the free speech guaranteed in our constitution. We have no intentions to criticize, condemn or oppose Pastor Terry Jones' freedom of expression. Instead, we will be donating blood and praying for goodness to permeate in our society.

We plan to follow Jesus Christ (pbuh), a revered prophet in Islam as well as Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) – that of mitigating the conflicts and nurturing good will for the common good of the society.

We hope, this event and the message will remind Muslims elsewhere in the world as well, that violence is not the way. Muslims, who react violently to senseless provocation, should realize that, violence causes more violence, and besmirches the name of the religion that we hold so dear. We believe that Prophet Muhammad was a mercy to the mankind, and we ought to practice what we believe and preach. We must not insult Islam by the negative reactions of a few.

We can only hope it will bring about a change in the attitude of the followers of Pastor Jones, and in the behavior of those Muslims who reacted violently the last time Pastor sought notoriety – We hope this small step towards a bridge to peaceful coexistence would propel us towards building a cohesive society.

Like most Americans a majority of Muslims quietly go about their own business, but it is time to speak up and take positive action instead of negative reaction. May this message of peace and goodwill reverberate and reach many shores.

Lastly, we appreciate the Citizens of Mulberry, Florida, Honorable Mayor George Hatch, City Commissioners, police and Fire Chiefs for handing this situation very well. This will add a ‘feather of peace’ in the City’s reputation. We hope Mulberry will be a catalyst in showing the way in handling conflict with dignity and peace.

We thank the Media for giving value to the work towards peace rather than conflict.


Thank you.


The people in Dallas are making an effort to understand and clean their own hearts first, when we are free from bias, it would be easy to share that with others. Islam teaches us in so many ways to "respect the otherness of others" and it is time we find simple practical ways of doing it.