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  • Writer's pictureAslam Abdullah

A Prophetic Practice in Dealing with Challenging Situations

Updated: May 29

By Dr. Abdullah Al Ahsan

In our previous article, we addressed the question of how Muslims interact with non-Muslims and America and argued that as a tiny minority as opposed to the total population, Muslims in America are in a similar situation as the Prophet was in Makkah during the early days of his prophetic mission.

If we agree with this thesis, then we should take this question further by comparing our specifics and trying to draw an analogy of what the Prophet would have done in such situations. The most critical specific now is, of course, the situation in Palestine and the response of students on campuses in the United States.

American campuses are now roaring in support of Palestine. It is noteworthy that protests began with elite universities and in many cases; professors have come forward to support the protesters.

It is also noteworthy that most protesters are not Muslim or Palestinian. They are motivated to defend ideas of human dignity, equality, and justice. These are American constitutional values.

Our imams, mosque leaders, and other community leaders know that these are Qur'anic values too. Therefore, we have a good foundation for cooperation with non-Muslims. This brings us to one major dilemma for the Muslim community in the United States – how are they going to participate in the upcoming November election?

Muslims seem to be engrossed with the two major political parties as if there is no way out. Is this dilemma more serious than the challenges that the people of Gaza are encountering now? Let us take a brief look at the issue.

I think Muslims overwhelmingly voted for President Biden in 2020 but due to his unqualified support for Israel's genocide in Gaza, they have decided to abandon him this year and I think they have already made their point. However, they must go beyond the vengeful attitude.

The Democratic Party does not seem to be in the mood to find an alternative candidate or change the course completely. For most Muslims, former President Trump is not a choice because of his Muslim-ban policy. Are there no alternatives? With the awakening that the unprecedented sacrifice of the people of Gaza has created, it would be unwise not to look for other choices.


We are in May now, and state ballot entries are currently going on, this is the time to act, and in my opinion, to get third-party candidates on the ballot.

Allah subhan wa ta’ala has kindly created for us mechanisms to communicate regularly among ourselves through congregations at least once a week for Jum'a prayer, twice a year during Eid prayers, and once a year during the Hajj. These are occasions for consultations, and imams and community leaders should take full advantage of these institutions to educate the people.

Community leaders may decide who to vote for in November, whether all Muslim votes should go to one specific candidate or with proper education let everyone choose whoever they want, they can do so in two or three months from now.

What is important at this stage is to identify their values with the values of those who are protesting on campuses. We may hold more discussions identifying these values, but now we must undertake the task of educating people and creating awareness about our responsibility not only to US Muslims but to the whole ummah and humanity.

Professor Abdullah al-Ahsan, a graduate of the University of Michigan, has dedicated nearly three and a half decades to teaching history, comparative civilization, and international relations in Pakistan, Malaysia, and Turkey. Currently residing in Chicago, he continues to contribute his expertise in academia.

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