Introducing the Association of Muslim Professionals of South Africa (AMPSA)
In the Name of Allah ﷻ, the Ever-Merciful, the Most Merciful
“Seek the Hereafter in what Allah ﷻhas given you and don’t forget (to enjoy) your portion from this world; do good (to others) just as Allah has done good to you; and don’t seek disobedience on earth; for verily Allah ﷻdoes not love the defiantly disobedient ones!” Q28:77
“O Believers! Be Allah ﷻ – conscious! And let every soul examine what (work/deeds) he has stored for tomorrow (the Hereafter)! So be Allah-conscious! Really Allah is fully-aware of what you are doing!
And don’t be like those who are unmindful of Allahﷻ ; so Allah ﷻmade them unmindful of their own souls: so such are the defiantly disobedient ones!” Q59:19
Background and Context to AMPSA
The growing number of Muslim professionals in South Africa, not merely in name, but in their conviction and willingness to serve the Dīn, is truly admirable and promising. Moreover, the realisation that one can be a Muslim professional and yet promote the interests of Islam for the benefit of the Ummah and other communities is an attitude that brings one closer to Allahﷻ, following in the footsteps of one’s Rasool (ﷺ) and building one’s Aakhirah.
The increasing frequency of attacks on religion in general, on Islam in particular, and on our Islamic way of life has necessitated appropriate responses not only from our Ulama fraternity but also from the professionals amongst us. Above all, as issues like the Covid19 pandemic and the lockdown regulations have shown, there is a dire need for our Ulama, and our conscientious Muslim professionals committed to upholding the essence of the Shar’iah, to work together to formulate correct responses and directives for the guidance of the Ummah and our community based Muslim organisations.
Challenges facing Muslim Professionals
The challenges facing the Ummah are many. We shall however mention but a few.
Most modern professions are rooted in the European Renaissance, which resulted in a popular revolt against what was perceived to be organised, dominant and retrogressive religious values, and backward religious thinking as opposed to free-thinking and liberalism. The emergence of this secularist mind-set was alien to Islam and Muslims who always viewed il’m(knowledge) holistically and comprehensively. Yet it was imposed on Muslims under the military conquests of European colonialism which not only colonised Muslim lands, but also colonised Muslim minds.
The first challenge is to decolonise our minds and to restore the Islamic worldview and mindset to life’s challenges and disciplines! This requires us to reformulate most, if not all, of our disciplines to enable us to better understand life’s challenges and to proffer islamically aligned solutions.
The second challenge is being alienated from Islamic values and principles, some of our professionals have little or no conception of our duty to serve Islam, Muslims, and the broader humanity. A few, however, abandon their professions or practices to do so. Others simply see their professions and practices as no more than sources of self-enrichment and self-indulgence (a better car, a bigger house, a Disneyland holiday, etc), punctuated with a bit of charity here and there.
A further challenge is that some of our professionals are so alienated from Islam, its principles, its values and its rationale that they prefer, and even actively pursue, alternatives to Islam or a brand of Islam that fundamentally compromises its principles.
How can we possibly reconcile this secularist outlook with Allah’sﷻcommand!!!
“Say: verily my prayer, my sacrifice, my life, and my death are for Allah ﷻAlone, the Lord of all the Worlds. He has no partner. This is how I have been commanded and I am the first of those who submit (as Muslims).” [Sûrah al-An`âm: 162-163].”