Published on September 30th, 2013 | by Omar
Using contemporary issues to make Islam relatable to the people
How many times have you gone to a lecture or a jumuah khutba where you weren’t able to relate to or relate to very well? There are many stories from the Qur’an or around the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) or his companions that are very beneficial but not necessarily very easy to relate to.
Many ‘western’ born and/or raised Muslims have never been to the middle east or even outside North America not to mention the sheer difference in the context between 1400 years ago and now.
The khutba above is very different in that aspect in that it is directly relatable to a large percentage of young and middle-age adults in North America. Breaking Bad is a very popular TV series shown on TBS. Not for the faint of heart, full of violence, drinking, drugs and swearing but it has a huge following. It has spanned over 5 seasons and came to an end this past weekend with their series finale. If you haven’t heard of it, ask around, I’m sure you’ll find a large number of people who watched it intently.
In the series there are two main characters, Walter White and Jesse Pinkman. Walter starts off as a high school chemistry teacher who had previously won the nobel prize in chemistry but wasn’t able to make anything of himself from it and struggled to make ends meet. He initially finds out he has been diagnosed with lung cancer and wants to find a means to provide a nest egg for his family upon his passing. Jesse is a screwup who came from a wholesome all american family that ends up becoming a bottom feeding drug dealer. For 5 seasons we watch as Walter and Jesse team up to take the crystal meth industry by storm.
The beautifully timed khutba by Imam Suhaib Webb is around the lessons that can be learned from the journey we witness Walter and those around him take from wholesome to completely corruption and how we can avoid going that route ourselves. The beauty of using contemporary issues to allow people relate to the Qur’an, Islam and the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is something that all our community leaders and teachers need to learn.