Cult vs. Community – Khutbah by Nouman Ali Khan
This Khutbah was recorded at Islamic Center of Irving on May 20th, 2016.
Introducing his reflections on ayat 166 and 167 of Surat Al-Baqarah, Nouman Ali Khan highlights the differences between a cult and community to warn against the threat of allowing unhealthy social pressures to dominate our lives. Cults are by definition groups of people who live on the fringes of society, ideologically at war with “others”, are antagonistic, command uniformity, feed off negative emotions, have no tolerance for dialogue and perpetuate practices even without knowing why they’re doing them. On the contrary, a community keeps its doors open, accepts diversity, thrives on encouragement and trust and adapts when times and needs change. Often in churches, synagogues and even mosques we think of ourselves as communities but we behave as cults, excluding others following different schools of thought and behaving self-righteously. In Surat Al-Baqarah, Allah describes how on the day of judgment those who set the trends and standards which others had followed mindlessly would cut themselves off from those who followed them, and those who followed would say that if they had a second chance, they too would cut themselves off from those fake idols. Khan concludes that the Muslim Ummah is based on one thing only: Taqwa, consciousness of Allah and an unequivocal belief in His oneness. When we create fake uniforms, we place unreasonable pressures on ourselves and our social circles and end up losing members of our community, perhaps irreversibly.
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