How Did I Recognized Islam? | Dr. Gerald Derges Life Story 02


before when you came back yes ah there
was some negative reaction from within the community in which I live as well as
from some non-muslim friends and also from some business associates but very
much positive response from my Muslim friends the first year after I became a
Muslim I lost probably about 50% of my income one one son but he was already an adult
at this time yeah well he was on the verge of saying Shahada
he’s married by the way and he was about on the verge of it and this is an
example of how Dawa should never be done he was at our house some Muslim friends
were at our house and the one brother recognizing that my son was very close
to saying Shahada said well you know just go ahead and say Shahada and then
you can divorce your wife and we’ll get you a good Muslim life well my son’s
wife heard it and that was the end of that no not get it on but we sometimes fail
to realize how powerful our words can affect people well as I said before I
was spending over half of my social time with Muslims to begin with and the
Muslims that I knew at that point were all wonderful examples of this huh so
that certainly didn’t change afterwards I continued to have contact with him at
cetera but I did then come into contact with the wider Ummah and and discovered
that not all Muslims were such shining examples of Islam as were the my initial
friends I would point to three things one on an
intellectual basis I was impressed with the strict monotheism that is found in
the Quran and Islam and quite frankly coming from my background seminary
background there were things in the Quran that quite frankly no illiterate
seventh century Arab could possibly have known and that was drawing to realize
that fact but also this farmers message of love and Islam’s message of
brotherhood were on a more emotional level strongly motivating forces well first of all let me hedge my bets
and answering that question because I wonder whether there is an Islamic world
really if we define an Islamic world as a world or a community or an Ummah and
in which everyone is practicing Islam I’m not sure that exists quite frankly
as far as the so-called Muslim countries of the world I’ve had the opportunity of
living in Jordan for over a year and it was a wonderful experience and many many
valuable things I think exists there the way in which families care for each
other the extended family concept that is there the fact that in my fourteen
months living in Jordan I never saw a nursing home you know families cared for
their elderly those were beautiful things on the flip side every strength
is a weakness in some ways and the focus on extended families etc creates what
social psychologists call a collectivist culture and in a collectivist culture
very often it’s more who you know than what you know and everything becomes
based upon sort of tribal and family alliances as opposed to actual skill and
merit in contrast with say the Western world which is an individualist culture
and everything’s based on what you know not who you know so in in the oume i’m going to speak
about the Omaha America primarily and I think the major problem that we face as
an OMA in America is one that we as a normal create and that is the failure to
differentiate between culture and Islam so we have many Muslims from all over
the world living here and they each bring their home culture with them along
with their Islam and to a great extent I think failed to differentiate what is
their home culture and what is Islam and the problem this creates is not a
problem for themselves necessarily or for converts like you and me but the
problem that creates us for the second generation of Muslims in America because
the children of these immigrants are born and raised in America and if you
ask them what’s your nationality they’ll tell you they’re Americans you know
doesn’t matter where their parents are from they’re Americans
and if we do not differentiate home culture from this law we can very easily
end up creating a situation where the youth feel that they have to choose
between being an American and being a Muslim and if they feel that’s the
option given to them quite frankly we’re not going to like the answer they give
so I think this is the major problem failure to separate home culture from
the religion of the saw obviously obviously the solution is we
do need to make that differentiation see Shawn you

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