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Becoming A Worshipper: The Key To Connecting All Of The Dots
Sat, 16 Jul 2016, 09:00 – Sun, 24 Jul 2016, 16:00 BST
Many Western Muslims who seek to practice their faith acknowledge that there are voids in contemporary explanations of belief, practice and identity. Many committed Muslims feel disillusioned and not knowing how to relate their Islam to the real world.
As we have seen from the past decade, Muslims struggle on numerous fronts. This struggle ultimately stems from a lack of consideration that to be a believer means to be a worshipper, as well as ambiguity on what that means. Many of us want a holistic conception and practice of Islam but are missing the vital element from which all of it stems, that which would make us ‘Abidin’ (worshippers) and give us a sense of fulfilment, purpose and direction in all matters. Resultantly, we continually fail to grasp both considerations on being a religious minority and a detailed exploration of what God wants of our religious, political and social endeavours.
We are organising a series of workshops to explore critical issues on the core aspects of the Islamic faith and what being a Muslim means. We want to take committed believers on an all-encompassing journey that will cover all aspects of their faith in Britain.
The initial workshop seeks to present the notion of Worshippers – 'Abidin: those with firm belief (imaan), resolve ('azimah), and an informed and motivated drive (rushd wal juhd). It seeks to provide the basis for a holistic narrative that formulates a comprehensive and theologically sound approach to Islam in Britain. The workshop starts right at the beginning by addressing the three core principles of Islam that form the lifeblood of the worshipper and the basis for everything he or she does:
- Abrahamic monotheism
Many people assume that these three are simple matters and view them in a reductionist way. However, the philosophies of these concepts are deeply profound with the spiritual outcomes, as well as social and political consequences, all laid out in revelation. The Quran encourages us to explore why these three have been established since the earliest Prophets and how they represent true subservience to God.
“And they were simply commanded to worship God - sincere to Him in religion - inclining to monotheism, and to establish prayer and to give zakah. And that is the correct religion.” (98:5)
Beyond being rituals, the entire structure of political and social activism is built upon these pillars; God desired for them to form the foundations of societies and communities:
“And We made them (Prophets) leaders guiding by Our command. And We revealed to them the doing of good deeds, and the establishment of prayer, and giving of zakah; and they were our worshippers.” (21:73)
These pillars inform our:
- Spirituality: the subservience of the heart;
- Religious practice: subservience of the limbs;
- Activism: the drive to promote the divine will.
Proper insight into these compels believers to see beyond rhetoric and act meaningfully. We will explore these through considering the following:
- Who is God and what does He want?
- What is worship, and how do we worship properly, effectively and meaningfully?
- What are the outcomes of such worship: on the soul, society and politics?
- What does God want of our social and political (inter)actions?
- Belief, religious guidance, activism, and resources – how is everything connected? How can we utilise this understanding to develop ourselves, using every means at our disposal (religious, social, and political) to reach full potential and earn the highest rank in paradise?
These workshops are a space in which participants learn methods and processes to develop techniques and skills to implement in practice. These classes delve deep, providing justification and elucidating the importance and consequneces of relating to God and the Islamic faith in a holistic way. They are formulated to encourage inquiry and discussion between individuals based on the asking and answering of questions in order to stimulate critical thinking and to illuminate ideas.
The workshop is open to committed Muslim men and women who desire a connection with the Most High, want guidance on faith, are interested (or already active) in religion and streams of activism, want to be part of a communal effort, and desire access to contemporary western scholars who live amongst, and engage, with wider society.
Please note: seats are limited due to our desire to make it as interactive as possible. All proceeds go to the organising of this event.