Dr. Sherman Jackson’s 2010 Ramadan Challenge

Dr. Jackson and Dr. West
Dr. Sherman Jackson (left), and Dr. Cornel West (left) speak during a panel discussion at Princeton University in March 2010Listen to Dr. Jackson speaking in April at
IMAN’s Brunch & Tour:

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“IMAN,” I answered, without any hesitation. Professor Cornel West had asked me to identify an organization whose work models “prophetic Islam in America.” During a panel discussion with him at Princeton University, I further described IMAN as a very impressive amalgamation of diverse Muslims that have come together to serve the people. A few weeks after that, I was back at IMAN and got another opportunity to see some of its projects and meet local community members who either lead or are served by these projects. This visit was another reminder, to me, of IMAN’s role as a model for positive Muslim engagement in America.

While discussions about Muslims in America seem to be currently focused on some high-profile Islamic centers, for the last 15 years IMAN has been busy doing the groundwork that is absolutely critical to securing a dignified and relevant present and future for the American Muslim community. Beyond this, IMAN’s work also connects with me in a deeply personal way. The neighborhood in Philadelphia where I grew up was like the Southwest Side of Chicago. I know some of the dislocations that these communities have experienced and I also know that there are good and talented people in these communities whose lives are being touched by the work of IMAN and who can, in turn, touch the lives of many others.

As we keep the flood victims in Pakistan and other Muslims around the world in our prayers and remember them in our giving, it is urgent that we continue, nonetheless, to advance the values and tradition of what Professor West referred to as “prophetic Islam” right here in America by financially supporting the work of IMAN. During these blessed last days of Ramadan, I would like to challenge myself and you to donate generously to IMAN’s Heal the ‘Hood Ramadan Campaign. To meet this challenge, I will match your donations, dollar for dollar, by mobilizing my personal network of donors and friends.

In other words, from now until the end of Ramadan, any amount you donate will be doubled.

Please join me in capitalizing on the gains IMAN is making for Muslims and non-Muslims with its work in the cities of America. As the Prophet himself said, “You will be supported to victory to the extent that you help the poor and needy.” And, as is well known, the Prophet was most generous during the month of Ramadan. Donate now and help Heal the ‘Hood.

Dr. Sherman Jackson

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