The earlier Nawawi Foundation paper Islam and the Cultural Imperative addressed the necessity of establishing an authentic indigenous Muslim cultural presence in America. Living Islam with Purpose complements that paper by offering an operational framework for accomplishing the task. This framework consists of “five operational principles,” which are discussed at length and illustrated with examples:
• Trusting reason
• Respecting dissent
• Stressing societal obligation
• Setting priorities
• Embracing maxims
These five principles are central to the Islamic tradition and embody the practical wisdom and consummate sensibility of the Prophetic teaching. The paper emphasizes the need for American Muslims as a whole to become directly involved in their self-definition and the construction of their future as individuals and communities. This task cannot be left to others or to chance; the five operational principles provide an invaluable resource for determining the way forward. Living Islam with Purpose focuses on the American Muslim community but is relevant to Muslims everywhere, especially those in the West.