Disclaimer: It is not my intention to pick on any of our local
Salaam and Peace to you all:
As I alluded to in my last post leadership, especially in a minority community, should aim as creating some sense of unity and common destiny in its followers. With the diversity we see in the Muslim community: ethnic, generational, economic, religious practices (jurisprudence schools, adherence , etc) it is mandated on any figure in leadership position to reach out to other and ‘different' groups to try to work out obstacles in the way of creating a sense of common destiny. This does not mean compromising core beliefs, but it means having enough religious and practical knowledge to bridge gaps and create a feeling that we are one body - if a limb is sick, the rest of the body responds with fever and aches. After all, out Prophet, peace be upon him, has taught us that explicitly.
Their religious knowledge should also let them prioritize issues properly. Unity of the community should take precedence over minor jurisprudence issues that do not tarnish core beliefs.
Now, we move to the Eid prayer issue. In this city (
Many young Muslims cerebrated with their families, while their closest friends celebrated on a different day altogether. The number of the congregants was smaller than it should have been. What is worse, each congregation had a strong 'ethnic' tint - another blow to our prestige and self respect. I have not talked to any Muslim since then that did not have some bad taste regarding what happened on one of our two only Muslim festivities.
I am sure all the decision-making religious leadership has acted in good intentions, and had some good reasons, in their own mind at least. But the bad taste in my mouth tells me that good intentions and religious knowledge did not help achieve the ultimate goal of Muslims: feeling like one.
Good leadership does not only need knowledge. More importantly, it needs the ability to use the knowledge to know what and when to compromise. It needs the ability to go to its followers and tell them that we need to compromise a minor issue that we may be comfortable with, for a greater goal - unity of the area Muslims in this case. The clergy in this town need to get together and help promote the feeling of our oneness regardless of race, economics, Sunnah/Shi'a affiliations, etc.
If the religiously-knowledgeable educated leadership cannot bring itself to do that, how on God's earth could the rest of us do it ????