Higher Studies Project
The Islamic Organization of North America (IONA) exists for the sole purpose of helping Muslims fulfill their divinely ordained duties; the highest obligation among all Islamic duties is the struggle to establish a just social-political-economic order based upon Islamic injunctions – a way of life embracing the private and the public spheres, meant to be a manifestation of the mercy and justice of Allah (SWT) for humankind as well as for all of His creation.
The heart of Islam is faith in unseen realities (Iman bil-ghab). The external aspects of Islam depend for their nourishment and support on its internal aspects to have faith without sensory evidence (Iman), and, ultimately, to experience unseen realities through spiritual perception (Ihsan).
In IONA's vision, therefore, the revival and establishment of Islam as a concrete fact of history calls for the revival of the Human capacity to have faith in unseen realities. As an essential prerequisite towards the objective of establishing a just social-political- economic order based upon Islamic injunctions, IONA envisions the initiation of a dynamic process of revitalization of religious faith in North America, primarily among Muslims and, through them, among non-Muslims.
Keeping contemporary realities in mind, IONA believes that this revitalization of religious faith can be initiated and maintained only through the organized efforts of such scholar-activists as are capable of articulating the Qur'anic wisdom in ways appropriate to their audience. This means that these scholar-activists must be able to explain and elaborate Qur'anic wisdom for all segments of the North American society, so as to allow the Quran to influence, convince, convert, and transform the hearts and minds of both Muslims and non-Muslims. In addition, such scholar-activist must be able to present the Qur'anic wisdom at the most sophisticated level of contemporary scholarship so as to establish, beyond any reasonable doubt, the weight and force of the Qur'anic Truth. We acknowledge that all guidance comes from Allah (SWT) He guides whom He wills and our duty is only to propagate His message in the best and most effective way possible.
Based on this understanding, IONA has launched the Higher Studies Project (HSP) with the hope that if Allah (SWT) so wills this effort will facilitate the process through which a significant number of the required scholar-activists may be produced. For all intents and purposes, there fore, the HSP is an integral part of IONA and shares its vision completely; HSP's distinct name and existence is justified only by the specialized nature of the task that has been entrusted to its members.