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January 28, 2022

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
الحمد لله، والصلاة والسلام على رسول الله، وبعد:

وَكَذَٰلِكَ جَعَلْنَـٰكُمْ أُمَّةً وَسَطًا لِّتَكُونُوا۟ شُهَدَآءَ عَلَى ٱلنَّاسِ وَيَكُونَ ٱلرَّسُولُ عَلَيْكُمْ شَهِيدًا (البقرة:١٤٣)

“And thus We have made you (believers) an upright community so that you may be witnesses over humanity, and that the Messenger be a witness over you” (2:143)

Allah Almighty describes the Muslims as “أمة وسطاً”, most often translated as “a moderate and balanced community”, or by implication “an upright and outstanding group” that must, in the Quranic imperative, be “witnesses over humanity”. Put more simply, we must be role models and leaders among all peoples.

This means that we as a community have a divinely ordained, pivotal role in human society, similar to that which the Messenger of Allah (SAW) had vis-a-vis his followers: a “witness” (شهيد) or an excellent example to those who looked at him or looked to him.

Undoubtedly the Prophet (SAW) was a leader of the highest moral and ethical disposition and the perfect role model. This lofty and noble objective is what Allah has obligated for us in the above Quranic ayah to aspire to, individually and collectively.

Achieving that elevated and enviable status cannot be possible without struggle and sacrifice. This posture in life: to consistently strive with patient perseverance, to rise up and ultimately leave behind an enduring legacy, is also known to us as the concept of Jihad, the unofficial sixth pillar of Islam and a necessary mandate in the life of a Muslim.

The reference to being a “moderate community and balanced nation” is usually contextualized in how to comprehend our creed and ideology (عقيدة) and it’s philosophical application between two extremes. This has undoubtedly helped us to counter the rising tides of extremism on BOTH sides that threaten not only the Muslims but all of humanity.

However, moderation is a comprehensive principle in Islam that guides a Muslim in all affairs and activities in his or her life: beliefs, rituals, relationships, interactions, etc. We will assess different dimensions of this principle in the coming weeks. May Allah the Mighty and Majestic bestow in us an understanding of His book and the success (توفيق) in implementing its teachings. Surely He is the most Trustworthy and He is the all Powerful.

May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon our beloved master Prophet Muhammad (SAW). And all praise is due to Allah.

وصلى الله وسلم على سيدنا وحبيبنا محمد، والحمدلله رب العالمين

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