I stumbled upon a deeply moving transcript of a talk by Myriam Francois Cerrah today. It is a piece that I want to post on the bulletin board above my desk. There is so much to reflect on here: the reminder that Muslim communities should not be concerned simply with building mosques but also strive to create space that are healthy, hopeful and community affirming, the reminder to ‘never rest on your laurels’ but keep seeking knowledge, and the extraordinary female exemplars within Islam that should inspire us to develop as much as we can and be involved in all spheres of society.
My favourite section of the talk is below:
Islam is not about being insular – it is not about staying amongst ourselves – it is about drawing on the values of Islam to try and make the world a better place for everyone. There is no reason why that can’t start in the home – but it certainly can’t end in the home. It starts by nurturing and developing values in yourself, which you then spread to your family, community and then the world more broadly. But you can’t nurture anything without knowledge and I don’t mean learning the Quran by rote in a language which you can’t understand. It is obtaining a deep and profound knowledge of the religion, sharing that to help educate others and helping to use the transformative potential of those values so that they don’t remain under our beautifully decorated domes, but are used to improve our community and society.
The full transcript of the talk can be found here.