This discussion highlights that the challenges facing Imams have largely remained unchanged for many decades: for instance, the same way ancient Imams struggled to spread the traditional culture of Islam, which had largely alienated the religion from the mainstream Western-Christian societies is the same way current Imams are battling isolation from secular agents due to the theoretical association of the community with hostilities. Imams are struggling to help new Muslim converts rediscover themselves within the religious community. This is because new converts, for instance, especially members of the younger generation are facing problem embodying the very classic Muslim ideals of conservatism. Imams in the US are facing the effects of secularism of the Western culture especially among new converts, in the form of perceived deviant behavior such as smoking, alcoholism, partying, and nightlife. Making the new converts internalize their individual commitment to God (Allah) is one of the most challenging experiences facing the clergy in dealing with members of the younger generation. As such, distinguishing members of the faithful from other members of the secular society or Kafirs in a superficial manner that does not betray the mainstream perception of Muslims as exclusive for a sinister motive or alienating is a major challenge. However, with “theological questions were first prompted by political disputes” Lapidus noted that political pressure and the need for so many of the faithful to feel welcome in the secular mainstream society is making it easy for Imams to sacrifice some of the “extreme” traditional Islamic cultural practices such as the treatment of females as lesser beings.
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This essay, Challenges Faced by Imams, discusses that since time immemorial, Imams have been facing different challenges arising from special dietary needs, ways of worship, education, different cultural sensitivities and conservation of the religious identity. …
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