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Official Statement of Solidarity

In light of recent occurrences, Boston Islamic Seminary wishes to condemn the blatant racism that led to the murder of #George Floyd, #Ahmaud Arbery, #Breonna Taylor and countless other Black men and women.  We are outraged that the list of those who have died simply for being Black, is much longer than these three names. We are committed to standing in unwavering solidarity with our Black community against the clear inequality and oppression that exists towards them today.

We must acknowledge this plight and shield Black citizens as our brothers and sisters in humanity. As an academic institution, we draw our position by tapping back into the values of our divine teachings and highlighting the prophetic methods in defending the values of justice.  We remember two inspiring incidents that happened during the time of the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him):

  • The Prophet (PBUH) chose Bilal, a Black non-Arab man, to be the first caller of Athan in Islam. The voice of a Black man was heard and followed by all.  Bilal had a beautiful voice and the Prophet (PBUH) declared that publicly as the main reason for his decision.  By declaring that, the Prophet (PBUH) is highlighting that elevated positions should be granted according to quality and not by the color of skin. People should follow the voice of truth no matter where it comes from. 
  • Another powerful incident was when the Prophet (PBUH) asked Bilal, the same Black man: “Tell me of the best deed you did after embracing Islam, for I heard your footsteps in front of me in Paradise.” Bilal replied, “I did not do anything worth mentioning except that whenever I performed ablution during the day or night, I prayed after that ablution as much as was written for me.” By this statement, the Prophet (PBUH) declared that the rank and reward in the sight of Allah and His Prophet is based on efforts and deeds, not ethnicity or race.

We need to practice these prophetic teachings, by making sure that Black folks are given the space to have their voices heard and respected. We must ensure that their efforts and contributions to our society are rewarded and acknowledged, never to be neglected and denied. Black Lives Matter. So do their voices, struggles and experiences.

As believing Muslims, we must be committed to uplifting and defending the rights of our Black brothers and sisters at a time like this. We should not settle for anything less than that. It is our religious obligation to stand up against injustice, confront it and speak out against it.

As an academic institution, we are planning to host educational forums in order to provide a platform for our faculty and students to speak on issues that are important for us all to benefit from during these times. We will listen and we will explore steps we can take to do better as an academic institution and together as a Muslim community. Hold us accountable. 

We welcome any suggestions on how we can enhance our curriculum to better include education, training and dialogue addressing anti-blackness and racism internally and externally so we can contribute to a healthier, anti-racist and equal society, as our Prophet (PBUH) encouraged.

May Allah guide us all towards justice, peace and brotherhood.

“وَمِنْ آيَاتِهِ خَلْقُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَاخْتِلَافُ أَلْسِنَتِكُمْ وَأَلْوَانِكُمْ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِّلْعَالِمِين”
“And of His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth and the diversity of your languages and your colors. Indeed in that are signs for those of knowledge” (Qur’an 30:22).
Sincerely,
The Boston Islamic Seminary Team

Real Talk with Students & Faculty

 

A discussion with Ustadha Zaynab Ansari & Nihal Mubarak on how we can productively use social media and be sincere, practical activists in the wake of systemic racism.

Click the video on the right to watch their discussion:

 

As we continue educating ourselves about systemic racism and the reality our Black brothers and sisters live in, Imam Zaid Shakir & BIS student Harith Morgan discuss spiritual approaches to combating racism. They explore how we can use prophetic teachings when finding a balance between showing grace and standing for justice.

Click the video on the right to watch their discussion: