Blog Archives

Transforming Anger: Martin Luther King, Jr.

By Fedwa Wazwaz, Engage Minnesota

“Today, remember that MLK was an organizer who confronted unjust government policy of racism. Arrested 30 times, stabbed in the chest, sued for perjury, home bombed, and more; so America live up to its promises of Liberty & Justice for All.”
–Rep. Keith Ellison

MLK_mugshot_birmingham

Below is a presentation that I made regarding the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  I prefer to remember him as someone who acknowledged the suffering and oppression taking place and turning to God to receive wisdom and understanding on how to transform that anger which is justified into a transformative force for himself and his community and beyond.

 

This is an excerpt from a forthcoming book, currently titled Reflections of Faith: Lessons from the Prophets.

Fedwa Wazwaz is a Palestinian-American born in Jerusalem, Palestine and raised in the US.  She was the chair of the Interfaith Relations at Islamic Center of Minnesota.  She has completed training in restorative justice at the University’s Center for Restorative Justice and Peacemaking.  She was a 2008-2009 policy fellow at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs.  She is a public speaker and writer and lives in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota.

WANT TO ADD YOUR VOICE?
If you like this piece, share it on social media.  We invite you to join us in this project on our social media sites.  We welcome your voice to the Comment section below — or consider writing a commentary, podcast or photo story. (For more information, email engageminnesota@gmail.com.)

© Copyright 2005-2017.  Fedwa Wazwaz, All rights reserved.

Conversations must have boundaries to lift the chaos

By Fedwa Wazwaz, Engage Minnesota

Not to know is bad, not to wish to know is much worse.  –Nigerian Proverb

fedwa wazwaz
A companion of Prophet Muhammad, upon him peace and blessings, named at-Tufayl was once told, before he had become a companion, that he shouldn’t listen to Muhammad. Don’t listen to him, al-Tufayl was told. He’s a wizard. He’s a magician!

The Prophet’s enemies told at-Tufayl that the Prophet had fragmented the community, that his words were like magic, and that he severed the ties between father and child, between husband and wife. You must avoid him, the community told at-Tufayl.

At-Tufayl said that they insisted and insisted until he decided that he would not hear anything from him, and inserted earplugs so he would not hear a word from him.

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Give in charity

By Fedwa Wazwaz, Engage Minnesota

“God is in the aide of His servant as long as His servant is in the aide of others…”  Prophet Muhammad, upon him peace and blessings.

fedwa wazwaz
We can fall in despair at the news reaching us that people are hurting all over the world, or we can figure out how we can help.

I recall reading some words of wisdom by Dr. Ingrid Mattson regarding trials and tribulations:

“As Muslims we believe that human suffering is not always explainable or understandable. We do know that innocent people suffer all the time, from sickness and natural disaster, and that in such cases, we are required to do two things: First, pray and remember, as the Qur’an says that “to God we belong and to Him we return.” Second, we must help those who are suffering.

The Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, reported in a Sacred Hadith [Prophetic Saying] that if we want to be close to God, we should visit the sick and feed the needy. On the Day of Resurrection, Allah will say, “O son of Adam, I fell ill and you did not visit me.” The person will say, “O Lord, how could I visit you when You are the Lord of the worlds?” He will say, “Did you not know that So-and-so fell ill and you did not visit him? If you had visited him, you would have found Me with him [the hadith continues.”

 

Likewise, the Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) said: “Allah is in the aide of His servant as long as His servant is in the aide of others…”

 

Instead of listing organizations or how you can give, I would prefer to leave it to you to research the best way you can give and motivate you to do so.

Start by asking questions and find out who has more rights upon you when giving.

Who else is impacted with your charity?  You don’t want to place yourself in debt when giving or leave people under your trust – without aid and support as well.

What organizations do you trust that you can reach out to?

What else could you do?

What else occurs to you?

Fedwa Wazwaz is a Palestinian-American born in Jerusalem, Palestine and raised in the US.  She was the chair for the Interfaith Relations at Islamic Center of Minnesota.  She has completed training in restorative justice at the University’s Center for Restorative Justice and Peacemaking.  She was a 2008-2009 policy fellow at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs.  She is a public speaker and writer and lives in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota.

WANT TO ADD YOUR VOICE?
If you like this piece, share it on social media.  We invite you to join us in this project on our social media sites.  We welcome your voice to the Comment section below — or consider writing a commentary, podcast or photo story. (For more information, email engageminnesota@gmail.com.)

© Copyright 2005-2017.  Fedwa Wazwaz, All rights reserved.

Security is a human right for all

By Fedwa Wazwaz, Engage Minnesota

Security is a two-way street. None of us can be secure at the expense of another’s insecurity.

fedwa wazwaz
What is security and how do we find it?

A sense of security—in our families, our homes, and our communities—is a basic human need and a human right. None of us is ever completely safe from the unpredictable dangers of our world. At any moment, a storm might blow up, or another driver might lose control of their car. But we do need to feel reasonably protected in our relationships with others, both near and far. We need to feel that the other drivers of this world are staying in their lanes.

What is reasonable protection? Does our security mean building an enormous Humvee, or blocking other drivers from using the road? The concept of “security” can easily become distorted, driving us into an aggressive “security” that makes us progressively less secure.

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