Question 8. Does IONA have a concrete vision of how to best serve Islam? What is that vision, and how is it related to the situation faced by Muslims in the contemporary world?
IONA has only one overarching objective: to help as many North American Muslims as possible in understanding and fulfilling their divinely ordained obligations, so they may please Allah (SWT) and achieve success and salvation in the Hereafter. IONA's vision for serving Islam in the contemporary world is firmly rooted in this comprehensive objective.
While the objective itself transcends both history and geography, its concrete realization must take into account the conditions that prevail in the here and now. This is because we are not abstract entities, but rather human beings made of flesh and blood who are living in a particular part of the world at a particular period in history. We cannot ignore our surroundings.
This underscores the fact that the message of IONA, while universal and timeless in principle, is primarily addressed to the Muslims of North America at the beginning of the twenty-first century. The particularity of its temporal and geographical context has important implications for how the universality of the objective will be translated into concrete goals for the present day.
Both the historical moment in which we are living and the social and cultural complex that surrounds us impose certain unique restrictions and allow unique opportunities. IONA seeks to translate its universal objective into concrete goals in an authentic and effective fashion, by keeping in mind this particular configuration of restrictions and opportunities.
On the one hand, we ought to be firmly grounded in the main source of divine guidance - the Qur’an - as well as the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and the Islamic scholarly traditions. This grounding is needed to maintain our authenticity. On the other hand, we must be familiar with the historical and socio-cultural context in which we find ourselves, particularly in relation to the massive changes that have occurred in the world starting in 1492 with the European discovery of the Americas. This familiarity is needed to maintain our effectiveness.
IONA's vision for serving Islam in the contemporary world is informed by the above needs and realities. The clarification and articulation of that vision is an ongoing process. This website is itself an attempt to present and propagate that vision.