The Religious Imagination of the Early Muslim Immigrants in America
The formation of the Muslim community in America was unique. For the early immigrant Muslims, America was certainly not their future land because of the theological complexity and the view that the West was full of uncertainty and had nothing to offer to improve their faith. However, the fact that the Muslim community could exist with their religious identity and could stay in the land ruled by a non Muslim government epitomized a change in the religious understanding of identity and the evolution of view about the New World. Living in the land ruled by a non-Muslim government, where community and religious infrastructures were not yet established, the early immigrant Muslims created a set of consciousness, symbols, and practices that guided their acts and minds. At this point, the power of imagination that derived from religious teaching played an important role that would later determine Muslim’s definition of the nature of life and human destiny. This article will explore the religious imagination of the early Muslim immigrants and explain how their imagination developed in accordance with the major change in American society, namely cultural pluralism.