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Tariq grew up in a religious Muslim family, regularly attending mosque with his family in a traditional Muslim community. But he began to challenge those traditions as he grew older. Engaged in a global business with a diverse group of friends, Tariq began to question the relevance of some Islamic beliefs to his modern concerns. Tariq’s family feared he was rejecting his faith. But he did not want to stop being Muslim. He simply wanted to find a way to be a Muslim in the 21st century.
Progressive movements in Islam, sometimes called Islamic Modernism, face the challenge of interpreting the religion that was founded in 7th century Arabia for a contemporary, global community. This movement began to emerge in the 19th century, a time of rapid change which impacted the Muslim world in many ways, including colonialism and the rise of Western civilization.
Progressive Muslims are not trying to remove their faith from their public life – they are trying to apply their faith in contemporary culture, particularly in regard to modern values related to women, LGBTQ people and human rights. We seem them running for public office on platforms that emphasize equality or forming organizations such as the Inclusive Mosque Initiative begun in London, UK, or the global group, Muslims for Progressive Values.
Often times, progressive Muslims can be opposed by more conservative Muslims wherever they are. Some will only meet privately or online to discuss their beliefs, for fear of community or family disapproval.
How to Pray
- Matthew 7:7-10 says, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find….” Pray for Muslims who are asking questions and seeking answers about faith in the modern world.
- Pray for Muslims who are trouble by rapid changes in their communities and in the world, that they will find peace in the One who never changes. (James 1:17)
- Pray for opportunities to get to know progressive Muslims and talk to them about what it’s like to follow Jesus in 2020.
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