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Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|UNDERSTANDING THE 'ECOLOGY' OF DA'WAH|
|09/18/02 at 02:58:37|
Eventhough the article below is contextualised for da'wah in Singapore, I feel that the principles behind it can be applied to many Muslim minority (or majority) communities.
Perhaps, if can look into the demographic, political, economical etc state of the Muslim community where we are, we would be able to come out with an outline as below, and then, work on to the finer details with regards to the action plan, and hence, a firmer foundation as to where we would want to orientate our da'wah work.Allahua'lam.
Hope this is useful, inshaAllah.
[center]UNDERSTANDING THE 'ECOLOGY' OF DA'WAH IN SINGAPORE AND MAPPING ITS DNA[/center]
Da'wah has to operate within its own ecology. Ecology refers to the
environment as it relates to living organisms; the branch of biology
concerned with the relations between organisms and their environment.
Reference www.dictionary.com .
In principal, religious scholars are in consensus that fatwa and ijtihad
should apply according to the reality and context in question, so long as
they are consistent with the principles and methodologies that are
recognised by the scholars.
For da'wah to operate in the appropriate ecology requires an appreciation
and understanding of the ecology in which we exist. This in turn requires
an understanding and appreciation of the roles of the elements and
organisms within that ecology. We also need to distinguish the more
significant elements and their roles, whose oversight may eliminate
maslahat and produce mudarat.
Once we are familiar with all the important elements, it is time to measure
them against the standards of Islam with regards to the principles and the
siyasah syar'iyah. These principles serve to guide the ummah in their
da'wah effort, with clear awareness of the elements within their own
environment or the ecology as a whole.
For example, if we were to regard the minority position of Muslims as an
element within the da'wah ecology here, we should place it against the
standards of Islam and produce principles of da'wah relevant for the
minority position of Muslims in Singapore.
But what are the elements that shape the da'wah ecology in Singapore? This
is a question that requires in-depth study and research, beyond the
capacity of this writing.
Nevertheless, until research is conducted and a consensus reached, we might
consider the following as some of the elements that shape the ecology of
da'wah in Singapore.
1. There are 400 000 Muslims in Singapore representing 15% of the
population. Nevertheless Muslims form the largest minority group here.
2. Muslims in Singapore are predominantly Malays. This is unlike the
Muslim minority groups in America or Europe, which are less homogenous. In
these countries, the Muslim population consist of people from different
cultures and countries of origins.
3. The dominant group is made up of Chinese who are mainly Buddhists.
4. The government practices democracy that in general provides our
citizens with a fair amount of freedom. While there have been criticisms of
our democratic system and the existing government, we can safely say that
our government do not practice the dictatorship style of government found
in Yugoslavia. Neither are the Muslims here persecuted because of their
religion or race like Muslims in Chechnya.
5. With secularism in practice, the government ensures a non-partisan
approach when it comes to religious matters. This is to ensure religious
harmony. While Islam is critical to secularism as a philosophy, we should
distinguish the secular practices in Singapore from that practiced by Kamal
6. Singapore has a society that is cosmopolitan, open and urban by
nature. These characteristics have been fortified by the effects of
globalisation. As a result Singaporeans are affected by events happening
around the world and not just influenced by internal factors or their
immediate environment. Globalisation also offers Muslims in Singapore a
wealth of resources and opportunities.
7. Although we acknowledge that Muslims in Singapore are still lagging
behind economically, we have the benefit of living in an advanced
developing economy and financial centre.
8. Singaporeans are generally affluent with a relatively high gross
9. Muslims in Singapore are surrounded by other Muslims groups that
together, form a majority in this region. For example our neighbour
Indonesia has the largest Muslim population in the world.
10. Muslims in the region are experiencing a revivalism ? a return to the
fundamentals of Islam.
The principles that direct da'wah can be channeled into the ecology based
on a dynamic system of prioritizing. This is because priorities will
continually change the elements in the ecology subject to the maslahat and
mudarat in Islam.
|09/18/02 at 03:06:56|
Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board