The Great Imams of Dallas Fort Worth

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July 6, 2012 

The Islamic Speakers Bureau had organized “Islam
101” program designed to familiarize Islam to the community at large. Indeed, it
is our responsibility to know each other, when we do that, conflicts fade and
solutions emerge. God in Quraan 49:13 says that the best among you are the ones
who learn and understand each other. Most of the issues we face as communities
within America are a product of living in silos with social, religious,
cultural, racial and ethnic boundaries around us.
Unless we connect with
each other, our energies would be spent on gossiping about others, living in
phobias, frightening myths and plain distrust of others, this binds us to these
human ills. We need to get out of it and live and breathe the air of freedom
without apprehensions. Yes, we can do that.

We must appreciate the
efforts and drive of at least a few Imams in our region; Imam Dr. Yusuf Zia
Kavakci, Imam Dr. Zia Shaikh, Imam Yaseen, Imam Yahya, Imam Mujahid, Imam
Zafrullah and Imam Shakoor to name a few. I am sure we have a few other great
Imams, but these are the ones I am familiar with and in touch with. I know Dr.
Kavakci and Dr. Zia Shaikh fairly well and have worked with them on many events.
However, I was looking for an opportunity to know Imam Yaseen, and I am glad I
attended the Islam 101 at Plano Mosque today.

I listened to Imam Yaseen
intently, wanting to know how his talk will contribute towards making America a
better place for everyone to live and let live. He is right on, and is as
committed to invoke the “to know each other” and “social justice” aspect of
Islam as frequently as I do, as an American Muslim.

Gone are the days when
clergy of most religions thrived on finding faults with other faiths, people
never questioned that. Thanks to these Imams for genuinely sharing the values
of Islam such as truth, justice and accountability of one’s

Our right wing media
plays a broken record that Muslims teach hatred in the Mosques, and shamelessly
some of our Muslim brothers and sisters sing along with them. They need to wake
up from their sleep, and see the world around them, that is different than it
was when they went into the slumber.

They need to visit these
Mosques to find the truth and hopefully change their perceptions about Muslims.
The Islam 101 program started with a caveat that this is not an attempt to
convert, but to present our point of view. Indeed, that was similar to the
introduction at the Quraan conference2 event held in December 2010,
it was to separate the myths about Qur’anic verses and not to sell the

One of the corrections we
need to make is the utterance that Islam is the most diverse religion in the
USA, nay, Christianity is more diverse than Islam in America, followed by Islam
and the Baha’i faith. Islam rather brings most diversity in one place of
worship, even though we have a few private mosques, where a certain homogenous
group of people go, but most mosques are diverse and open to all Muslims. If you
attend the Mosques in Irving and Richardson, you will find God’s full creation
in attendance at the Friday congregational prayers. It may be the case with
other mosques, but I have not been to all of them

So, the next time you see
ISLAM 101 at Plano Mosque, make an effort to attend it, it is a comprehensive
program. I recommend that the Muslim council of North Texas develop a common
presentation to be used in all Mosques. However, I must caution that I have
attended a few 101’s that are a turn offs and almost border on reinforcing the
negative perceptions of Islam to the non-Muslims, of course, you will find that
in most 101s of different religions, all of us need to get out of the little
holes we live in, and see the big world and be a part of the universe.

The creator we believe in, is the lord of the universe and not just the
lord of Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims or others, and our talk
should reflect that Universality “Aalameen” of God, and not reduce him to be
puny God of Muslims or Christians.

God willing I am set out
to produce a film called Americans together building a cohesive America, where
no American has to live in apprehension, discomfort or fear of other, the
trailer is ready to be viewed at

On the same principles,
we need to work on building a cohesive Muslim society, where no Muslim feels
alienated with other Muslims. If you have the will to be a part of the larger
Muslim community without barriers, Insha Allah, I will have a schedule out for
Ramadan at

This would be the third year of Iftaaring in each Mosque. We have to
shed our bias and prejudices, and visit each mosque, the ritual prayers and
Iftaar sequence will differ in each place, but you have to accept and respect
their way and drop the arrogance that yours is the only right way. I have
documented some of the differences at the Ramadan blog.

Insha Allah, we
will be visiting the mosques of the following Muslim denominations; Sunni, Shia,
Bohra, Ahmadiyya, Sufi, WD Muhammad, Ismaili, Salafi, Ahle-Sunnat and others. If
you know a different denomination other than the listed, let’s put it on the

You can do your own program, but if we all can follow a schedule,
it will make a difference. I can take 4 additional passengers with me in my SUV,
and if each one can pool, it would be great. It’s for men and women, seniors or
youth, all are welcome.


Jazak Allah

Mike Ghouse is committed
to nurturing the pluralistic values embedded in Islam. The role of a Muslim is
to mitigate conflicts and nurture goodwill to create cohesive societies where
all of God’s creation can co-exist in harmony. More about Mike at indexing to his blogs and sites. 

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