Minute with a Muslim #239 – The Imam Job Description

Tom Facchine


Channel: Tom Facchine


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I recently got back from $1, trip and Hamdulillah, it's wonderful to go around the country and to see how different communities do things in different ways. One thing that I've noticed, and I'd like to point out is that a lot of masajid, they have started to understand that they need an imam that's different from the Imams back home, they need any man who's going to relate to the youth, they need an imam who's going to be able to understand American culture and address it, you know, both the good and the bad. The bad thing is that a lot of masajid, they just tack all of those skills and qualities onto their existing job description, right. So if you read some of the job descriptions

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that come out of masajid, that are looking for Imams, subhanAllah, you will be quite amazed, right? It's like they want the person they're looking for, they want them to be half of the Quran, and have gone through years of study and know, you know, very well felt and Hadith and also and all these different things. And the person has to be able to tend to the old and tend to the young and talk to the non Muslims and representatives from the media and have management skills and be able to, you know, make a flyer for his programs and send out an email list and all this other stuff. Where is this person? Right? This is they're looking for a unicorn, to be honest, that's like, you know, I

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appreciate I appreciate the way that my students have have woken up to the fact that there are new skills that need to be involved. But I see most masajid, making the mistake where they think they're going to find all the skills in one person, you're not sorry, except for very, very, very, very rarely, and my advice to massage it and I tell people this straight up or on boards and things like that is what's stopping you from splitting all of these tasks and qualities and characteristics and skills over to people, right, you can get somebody who's young, and who has an understanding of the deen, who studied but they're more hip to the culture, they're more they understand the local

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culture more, and they're able to do Dow more. And then you have a second person, right, who's kind of a more traditional, you know, even maybe someone from abroad who's able to lead thought away and do these sorts of things, right? That's a much more, I think, reasonable approach. And you can split the money how you want, you know, than to try to look for all these qualities on one person, you're gonna be looking for a long time, and you might not ever find something that you want. And even if you find it's going to be really hard to actually get it. And what does that mean, for emails that are coming up now Hamdulillah. You know, there's, there's a lot of youth out there that are seeking

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knowledge. And that's an excellent thing. I guess one thing that it means is that if you're going abroad, you need to not be culturally indoctrinated. Okay. And that's not in a bad sense. I mean, it can be kind of cool to go abroad and to let yourself become completely immersed. And you know, but but sometimes you go over and you immerse yourself so much where you lose part of yourself. And if you want to come back and be Ma'am, you know, if you're making hijra, or whatever, then if you know if that's your thing, and that's fine. But if you want to come back and being the Imam, you need to understand that people's culture, need to understand how the people think, and there's a certain

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degree to, you know, being able to be be familiar with what people are talking about, and what's on their mind, it doesn't mean you need to sign up for Tumblr, and have all these sorts of accounts, and you know, do tick tock dance videos, but I mean, at least to understand their role in the culture and how it's affecting people, right. So if there's a way that you can keep tabs on what's going on in the culture back home, or make periodic visits, visits and things like that, just to keep that part of yourself alive, you need to be able to be relatable, the end of the day, don't think that data is just, we're just going to present the facts and people accept it, or they don't

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know, I mean, everything is read through a cultural lens, or it's read through a lens of authority. And some people if they see you, you know, white Sobe, you know, and a pen on the pocket, they're gonna take you seriously, for better for worse, they could be wrong for doing that. But that's the reality. Right? So if you're a young person who aspires to be an imam? Yeah, I would say that you need to Yeah, focus on knowledge that most people are doing that don't really see a lot of people who are going abroad and studying and then you know, not focusing on the knowledge, yeah, you've got that down. But also realize that you need to stay up on the culture, both the popular culture and

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the academic culture. And if you're at the point where you're about to take on a job, then you have to be real. I mean, you have to communicate what the machine is, like, you know, this is who I am. And this is what I'm not, you know, and even push back against. A lot of times, you know, a lot of people have bad experiences. And a lot of people have kind of shared with me and almost even discouraged me to the point of discouragement with their bad experiences with working with massage and working with boards and stuff like that. And yeah, there's some very problematic situations that happen. But I also see a lot of students of knowledge that go into it a little naively, and go into

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it kind of almost like, oh, I have to be grateful and just accept whatever comes along the way and just say, yes, no, you push back. He's saying, No, this is not reasonable. Like this is not this is not a reasonable job description. It's like

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I can't I can't I'm not as heavy. You know, like, I can't have the piety of Armada, like, it's just not, it's not going to work. And you if you pretend it, you pretend that you can it's just only a matter of time and so you get burnout or whatever. So to be able to and there's institutional language for that is but you can push back and say that, you know, this is really two positions, I would consider separating this into two and here's what I can offer and here's what I can't and if you like it, then you can take it and if not, then you just move on.