Defining MY DEEN
MY DEEN Vision
MY DEEN envisions an American Muslim community that complements the larger American community by serving as a role model through exemplification of Islamic values; including Unity, Faith in the Creator (Allah), Honesty, Humility, and Integrity.
MY DEEN Mission
MY DEEN develops and empowers the American Muslim community through innovative programs that build character, foster unity, and serve humanity. This mission statement is the recipe for achieving MY DEEN’s vision, and is further explained as follows:
“MY DEEN develops the American Muslim community”
The American Muslim community is a diverse community that is relatively “young” when compared to other religious or ethnic American communities. Many other sizable American communities have developed the infrastructure and institutions necessary to provide their members with much needed services. The majority of American Islamic organizations, while adequate for providing prayer and some educational services, have not provided the infrastructure or long-term planning/vision needed to develop the American Muslim community. While this has left a daunting void to be filled, MY DEEN sees this as an opportunity for American Muslims to work together to build a thriving, unified community, one that works hand in hand with all other communities.
“MY DEEN empowers American Muslim community”
MY DEEN empowers the American Muslim community by offering much-needed programs
and services. These programs and services are designed around the real-life problems and issues faced by our community which in turn will empower the community to develop in ways not currently addressed by existing institutions.
“…through innovative programs…”
Our community faces tremendous issues and barriers to growth, such as the loss of our youth to non-Islamic principles and racial/ethnic divisions. MY DEEN believes that a wide range of innovative programs is necessary to fully address these issues, and that the traditional approach does not adequately target the complex issues facing our community.
“…that build character…”
MY DEEN believes that building the Islamic character within the American Muslim community is of the highest priority. It is apparent by the many problems facing the Islamic community that a fundamental lack of Islamic character, including honesty and integrity, is a primary problem that must urgently be addressed. As youth continue to be programmed to be increasingly materialistic by modern society, it is becoming ever more urgent to provide the next generation with programs necessary to help build Islamic character, a character that is established on humility, gratefulness, and appreciation of basics of life; a character that relies on cooperation, respect for others, and carries humanistic values in everyday living. This will ensure that the next generations of American Muslims are productive members and leaders of the community.
The American Muslim community faces many barriers to unity. These barriers include racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic divisions that have long made it difficult to establish true unity within the community. These issues are often ignored and largely unaddressed by existing Islamic institutions, which often exacerbate the issues by not tolerating diversity of thought within the community.
“…and serve humanity…”
It is the role of every American Muslim to not only serve their community, but also the American community at large. MY DEEN believes that this principle should be core and central to the American Muslim identity, and that American Muslims should lead the way in serving the community at large.
MY DEEN maintains a set of guiding values that establish the basic identity and “essence” of MY DEEN. MY DEEN will employ these values in every activity as a means of maintaining its core identity and to serve as the basic framework moving forward toward achieving its vision.
1. Conduct all activities for the sake of Allah, the Creator.
The purpose of MY DEEN is to develop an American Muslim community that pleases Allah, the Creator, through the realization of unity and its full potential as a community. Thus, all activities conducted by MY DEEN are done for the sake of Allah, under the principles of Islam as delivered to humanity by the Prophet Muhammad, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him.
2. Accept that our community is diverse ethnically, culturally, and in opinions, and seek out the common ground necessary to unify.
John Hume once said “When people are divided, the only solution is agreement.” Disunity amongst various segments of the American Muslim community are a primary reason for the current weakened state of the community. A key guiding value of MY DEEN is to seek out the common ground that exists amongst all segments of the American Muslim community for the sake of unity. This does not mean compromising individual identities, but, rather, focusing on the values and principles that bond us as Muslims and people.
3. Create a “village” within our community by providing comprehensive services that address the needs of our community.
Services and programs within our community are fragmented and defocused. All of MY DEEN’s programs will be designed to target specific stakeholders within our community, and to address specific issues or needs. The scope of MY DEEN’s programs will be comprehensive in nature, with an ultimate goal of providing much-needed programs and services in all major areas.
4. Provide a positive learning platform for bettering ourselves and not for the judgment of individuals or “enforcement” of religion.
A core value of MY DEEN is to instill core values of faith in Allah, honesty, integrity, and other Islamic values by providing positive learning platforms and by understanding the issues faced by our community. MY DEEN’s core values do not include enforcement of religious requirements, which we would expect individuals to enforce of themselves through the building of genuine faith, nor the condemnation of individuals.
5. Respect each member of the world community.
In the Holy Quraan (Surat El-Nissa 4:36) Allah says: “Serve Allah, and join not any partners with Him; and do good – to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, those in need, neighbors who are near, neighbors who are strangers, the companion by your side, the wayfarer (ye meet) and what your right hands possess: For Allah loveth not the arrogant, the vainglorious.”
This passage from the Qur’an does not single out Muslims only as targets for good treatment, but actually points to both neighbors who physically reside near to us, and those neighbors on a larger, global scale. This requires all of us to respect and be kind to each and every person living on this earth regardless of race, culture, or faith.
6. Maintain integrity by speaking the truth, working towards justice, and adhering to our guiding values at all times.
Community-based organizations often experience problems such as corruption, “politics”, and other problems that compromise the integrity and long-term viability of these organizations. MY DEEN will maintain its integrity by striving towards truth, justice, and our guiding values at all times.
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