Is Islam inherited? Definitely not.

No one owns it. Islam isn’t yours, or mine. It’s a way of life that anyone can inherit. Today one of my teachers reminded us of an important point. Islam has overwhelmingly been transmitted and preserved by non-Arabs. Sibaway, Bukhari, and many others.

People did whatever they could to attain the inheritance of the Prophet. They struggled, they cried, they sinned, and they repented until they became the names that we now hold dear and the writer of books that we now learn from.

The religion of Islam isn’t inherited. You need to learn it. I’m not telling you to become a scholar of the religion, nor am I telling you to neglect becoming teachers, parents, entrepreneurs, tailors, engineers and the like. There is nothing that says you can’t learn the fundamentals of your faith and be a law professor, or a designer, or whatever it may be. Learn your faith and practice it and watch as your life and those around you transforms.

Sisters, the word “mother” and the word for “nation” in the Arabic language both share the same root. You are the mothers of nations. God bestowed you with certain characteristics and attributes that are natural to you. Use those attributes, learn the religion and pass it down to the next generation. We desperately need female scholarship and guidance today, what you all bring to the discussion cannot be overlooked, in fact, it is pivotal! This is why I encourage you all to join programs like Rabata and be under the tutelage of a Shaykha like Shaykha Tamara Gray.

My fellow men learn your faith and be examples to the people around you. We desperately need examples of men who learn the faith and then truly put it into practice. Men who live the tradition and inspire awe, not fear. Men who support the women in their lives to pursue knowledge of God. Who make pathways for them to learn, even if it means giving up their own time and teaching their family before teaching anyone else.

We all have a role to play in creating an inspired future (stole that line from LaunchGood). I am of the belief that we all at least need to know why we worship God, do that and we are all a bit better off.

Arthur K. Richards

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